Community Concerns Process

All College members have the right to feel safe in the place where they live and/or work.  It is recognised that, especially in these exceptionally testing times, individuals – students or staff – may experience the behaviour of others in our community as challenging, or may have concerns about the safety of the college’s provision. Such experiences may leave them feeling uncomfortable or concerned for their own wellbeing and that of others.

This process is intended to lay out a clear pathway for individuals to raise their concerns.  Both students and staff should feel confident and supported in raising concerns, which is why we have identified more than one route to approach. 

Note that the below Process is aimed at dealing with behavioural concerns and disagreements.  Any serious breach of the Student Responsibility Agreement , the College Regulations, guidance by national authorities, or legal requirements should be urgently reported to the Dean (if by students), Home Bursar (if by domestic staff) or Academic Director (if by academic staff).  Any issues about the college’s COVID infrastructure, or concerns about safety on the estate should be reported to the Home Bursar. Practical issues such as a lack of hand sanitiser may be raised as a maintenance request.

Approach

Students and staff are encouraged, where possible, to feel able to address their concerns to the individual involved.  One way is through the ‘CUSS’ system used in the healthcare system:

C - I am Concerned…

U - I am Uncomfortable...

S S - Stop, this is a Safety issue.

When using this framework, you would typically begin at C and escalate until the issue was dealt with.  For instance: "I am concerned that you are not using your face covering in all indoor settings" and, if ignored, "I am uncomfortable that you are not using your face covering in Hall".  At the same time, if something were especially significant, you could begin at a more appropriate level, for instance: “Stop, this is a safety issue. You have been coughing lots over the past half an hour, and I notice you seem to have a temperature. You need to self-isolate, notify the lodge, and order a test.”

Informal Support

For student concerns about student behaviour, there are three support routes available:

1. JCR/MCR Welfare Reps and Peer Supporters

Provide an informal route whereby students can raise concerns with a peer in a welfare role. Students can choose to remain anonymous or not, and confidentiality will be respected. Depending on the issue, the rep/Supporter will recommend the next steps, which may include them helping to mediate a resolution, or escalating matters to the forum held by the Junior Deans (below).

2. Junior Deans

Hold regular Welfare Forums as an opportunity to express concerns.  Any Student Reps can bring anonymised concerns to this group. Alternatively, a student who may wish to remain anonymous will be encouraged to make contact with the Junior Deans who will follow the usual basis for confidentiality. Unless there is a concern about harm, the individual will not be identified in any subsequent action, unless they wish to be.  Junior Deans report on a weekly basis to College Welfare Forum the type or examples of concerns being raised.

3. College Welfare Forum members

Rebekah White (Welfare Coordinator), Annette McCormack (Academic Registrar), Junior Deans and reps from domestic team

If patterns emerge of particular concerning behaviour the College Welfare Forum may choose to recommend further action, including suggesting communications strategies to specific groups if there appear to be issues about understanding.

Staff

A staff member with a concern about a student’s behaviour should take this to their line manager or the Home Bursar to discuss appropriate action, which may include referral to the Dean or a report to the Welfare Forum. A member of the academic staff may raise a concern about a student with the Academic Registrar or Academic Director.

Any concerns about staff behaviour from a student or another staff member should be raised either with their line manager or the Home Bursar (domestic staff) or with the Academic Director (academic staff).

Formal complaints

The formal complaints procedure for Pembroke students to follow in cases of concern about College provision or the actions of a staff member is laid out in this document.  Note that informal channels should be followed first, and that complaints about the actions of a student should always be referred to the Dean, Dr Eamonn Molloy.