Report + Support: a new way to look after each other

Tuesday 10 November 2020

The University of St Andrews has launched a new reporting tool to support a community-centred approach to inclusion and diversity.

The Report + Support platform provides access to support regarding harassment, abuse, sexual violence and discrimination of any kind; a reporting route for welfare concerns; and a secure channel for making named or anonymous reports.

The initiative builds on the University’s Social Responsibility strategy, and represents the next step in efforts to do better by empowering the whole community.

There is extensive evidence that connected and empowered communities, that are well networked, supportive and where neighbours look out for each other, have a positive impact on people’s wellbeing. Progress already includes:

  • More than 600 St Andrews student volunteers make a critical contribution nationally and internationally;
  • The University’s Community Engagement and Social Responsibility Officer is working to strengthen networks and ensure the University’s impact is consistently positive;
  • And the University’s Community Fund is providing financial support to local organisations.

Now any member of the community can go online to stand up to unacceptable behaviour, to raise concerns about a student’s wellbeing, or to feedback on safety issues.

Issues reported using the new online system will allow the University to understand trends, identify gaps in service provision, and take evidence-based action – for example, providing training, communication campaigns or increased Security and Response patrols. Report + Support will also promote transparency by allowing the University to benchmark issues which may previously have been invisible or unreported.

Assistance Vice-Principal (Diversity) Professor Ruth Woodfield said: “St Andrews is one of the most international university communities in the world. That diversity enriches our town and I would like to thank everyone for all they do to make our students, many of whom are a long way from home for the first time, feel welcome. Regardless of current challenges, St Andrews has shown the world that this is an amazing place to live and study.

“We want to do all we can to help uphold the values that make St Andrews special – diversity, inclusion, safety and respect. That means supporting each other to take responsibility for how students and staff are treated, learning from each other, and offering support to anyone who needs it.

“Better reporting will help us to get an accurate picture of what’s happening at the University. We will be able to capture every opportunity to do better, and to signpost help and resources. You can make a report by giving your personal details, which will enable advisers to make contact and offer advice on next steps. Or you can also make a report anonymously. For anonymous reporting, we won’t be able to contact you but would encourage you to use the resources available on the platform.”

Students’ Association Director of Wellbeing Emma Walsh said: “Report + Support gives us all an accessible and user-friendly way to make the University aware of the most pressing issues. The new system will work to create a town that is safer and more accepting for students, staff and locals throughout.”

Report + Support does not replace current reporting channels, but provides an additional route for reporting. It is also important to be aware that Report + Support cannot provide an immediate response to urgent concerns or ongoing incidents. If there is an immediate risk of serious harm call the emergency services on 999.

The Report + Support initiative is a partnership between the University and the Students’ Association.

All employees, students and members of the public can use Report + Support to report complaints or concerns to the University and access support information.

The Report + Support platform is developed by Manchester-based tech for good start-up Culture Shift.

Image courtesy of Reyzan-Shali.

Issued by the University of St Andrews Communications Office.

Category Community

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