The Guild of Civil Engineers does not tolerate harassment in any form. The Guild is constantly evolving and its primary mission is to ensure that its members feel safe and welcome at all Guild events, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity or any other characteristic.
Harassment or inappropriate behaviour may take the form of verbal or non-verbal abuse, sexist or racist jokes, unwanted physical contact, intimidation, unwanted contact, exclusion from the community or otherwise making it inappropriately difficult to participate in its activities. The experience of harassment is subjective, i.e. what is offensive and distressing and perceived as harassment varies from person to person, so the most important thing is the individual’s own experience of the situation.
The Civil Engineering Guild currently has five harassment contact persons who can be contacted in situations of harassment. All reported cases are dealt with under the terms of the person concerned. The Guild of Civil Engineers harassment contact persons are committed to dealing with harassment cases in a confidential and respectful manner for all parties involved.
All conversations about harassment incidents with the harassment contact person contacted will be confidential and all conversations between the harassment contact person, the person experiencing the harassment or any other person involved in the incident will remain private. The harassment contact person will also not share any information or take any action without the consent of the person experiencing harassment. The harassment contact persons may only communicate with each other with the consent of the person experiencing the harassment. However, harassment contact persons may discuss with each other larger issues of harm to the guild or guild members, as long as the discussions do not share identifying details.
For all guild events, the responsibility lies with the event organiser, but addressing harassment and providing a safe environment is the responsibility of every guild member and event participant. In the context of incidents, we aim to take deliberate and low-profile measures to ensure that harassment cases are handled confidentially and only between those involved.
Encountering harassment situations as a guild member:
- Harassment is not the fault of the person experiencing it and you don’t have to be alone with it. It is important that incidents of harassment are brought to the attention of harassment contact persons.
- If you are the victim of harassment or witness harassment, try to make it clear to the harasser that you want them to stop.
- It is always better to intervene than to stand by and watch, even if you are not sure what the right way to intervene is. If you don’t want to intervene alone, it’s fine to do it with a friend.
- If you notice harassment at an event, you can contact the event organiser during the event. The organiser will be able to help you sort out the situation.
- You can always contact the guild’s or AYY’s harassment contact persons. You can contact the harassment contact persons even if you are not sure whether the situation you are experiencing is harassment. For further investigation, you should keep, for example, the social media conversations related to the incident.
- If the incident of harassment constitutes a crime, contact the police.
- If your own behaviour is pointed out, take the criticism constructively.
Processing harassment situations:
- You can notify any one of the harassment contact persons of a harassment situation and all received cases will be processed.
- Harassment cases will not be discussed at meetings of the Guild board, but will be dealt with by the reported harassment contact person. The matter is always confidential and will not be discussed with anyone else without the permission of the person experiencing the harassment.
- The harassment contact person will continue to investigate the matter and decide on the further handling of the case together with the person who has experienced the harassment and only with their consent.
Depending on the severity of the situation, the following measures, among others, may be considered:
- The suspected harasser is told that their actions have been perceived as disturbing. Every effort will be made to hear all parties involved in the situation in an equitable manner, and any discussions that take place will remain between the harassment contact and the parties concerned.
- The contacted guild harassment contact may also recommend and refer the person to, for example, the AYY harassment contact, FSHS professionals or, if necessary, the authorities. However, the decision to approach the above-mentioned parties rests with the victim of harassment.
- If the harassment involves University staff, the situation will be investigated by the University’s harassment officers. The Guild’s harassment officers can assist in this process if the person concerned so wishes.
- The Board will only be informed of the incident if further action is required, as defined in the Guild’s Bylaws, Section 10.
Further measures include:
- Ban on participation:the Guild board may ban a suspected harasser from participating in guild events, in whole or in part, for a limited period of time. This ban does not apply to Guild meetings.
- Suspension from the Guild:In the event of harassment, an attempt will always be made to resolve the situation between the parties involved first, but if the problem recurs, the person who caused the harassment will not be welcome in the Guild or at its events. Expulsion from the Guild is a very serious action to be taken by the Board based on the Guild rules.