What is bullying?
Bullying is prohibited by the University’s Dignity and Respect Policy and is defined as “unwanted, offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour, an abuse or misuse of power through means that undermine, humiliate, denigrate or injure the recipient.”
Bullying can take the form of an isolated incident, or it may be persistent or repeated. It does not have to be deliberate. Bullying can be carried out by an individual or group of people and often involves an abuse of power or authority. It can, however, occur in less obvious scenarios and outside traditional power relationships. A member of staff may, for example, be bullied by a student or a manager by a member of their staff.
Legitimate, reasonable and constructive criticism of performance or behaviour, or reasonable instructions given to staff in the course of their employment or students in the course of their studies, will not amount to bullying on their own.
Examples of bullying may include:
- shouting at, being sarcastic towards, ridiculing or demeaning others
- physical or psychological threats
- overbearing and intimidating levels of supervision
- inappropriate and/or derogatory remarks about someone's performance
- abuse of authority or power by those in positions of seniority
- deliberately excluding someone from meetings or communications without good reason.