The students of the University of Eastern Finland have the right to study in a safe and comfortable environment. All the university’s units must ensure that students do not experience harassment or inappropriate treatment when they participate in education or receive guidance.
The university has zero tolerance for any type of inappropriate treatment, bullying and harassment. All university supervisors and teachers are obliged to intervene when they witness any of the above behaviour in their work or study environment.
The university has prepared instructions, a process and an operating model (pdf) for dealing with different cases of student harassment since 1.1.2019. The body responsible for coordinating this work was the Student Well-being and Study Ability Team.
Inappropriate treatment is continuous bullying, harassment, belittling, or other form of negative behaviour that makes a person feel they are defenceless against it. Inappropriate treatment can occur between work colleagues or students, between a supervisor and an employee, or between a teacher and student. Anyone of these people can be a bully or can be bullied. The object of the negative behaviour may find it hard to deal with the situation, especially if the other person is in a position of power. Sexual harassment is the most blatant form of inappropriate behaviour. It is uninvited, one-sided, sexually explicit behaviour that the other person finds uncomfortable and offensive. Sexual harassment can be verbal or physical. Sexual advances become harassment if the behaviour continues even if the other party has expressed that it is unwelcome.
Settlement of cases of harassment
Students can contact the Student Union’s Anti-harassment Contact Persons or, the University Anti-harassment Contact Persons at the Joensuu Campus, Erja Widgrén-Sallinen (erja.widgren-sallinen(at)uef.fi), or at the Kuopio Campus, Janne Saarela (janne.saarela(at)uef.fi). Phonenumbers will be found via UEF-contacts-directory. If necessary, the student can also contact the FSHS.
If the harasser is a member of the university staff, you can also contact his or her superior, who is then obligated to proceed with the case.
First and foremost, the harasser is responsible for the harassment. If the harassment involves an intentional violation of the victim’s physical integrity, the harasser may face criminal charges for his or her actions. The university is obligated to take action if a student is the victim of harassment. The full provisions and instructions can be found in the Act of Equality between Women and Men (Finlex 609/1986) Equality Act and the university’s Gender Equality and Equal Opportunities Programme (pdf).
Instructions and Operating model
Approach to Situations of Inappropriate Treatment and Harassment while Studying at the University of Eastern Finland (pdf)