12 January 2022, by Niklas Keller
Members of the University should contribute to a work and study environment in which sexual discrimination, harassment, and violence are not tolerated.
To more clearly delineate the line between respectful interaction and offensive behavior, the Executive University Board has approved a new directive which will take effect from its publication. The new directive replaces the version last updated in 2009, and now includes students as well as employees.
The Executive University Board of Universität Hamburg has decided to adopt a new directive to protect against sexual discrimination, harassment, and violence. This directive reflects the current statutory provisions, and highlights the support infrastructure developed over recent years. The directive aims to improve awareness and encourage individuals to consider their own behavior and experience when dealing with others. It draws on the German General Act on Equal Treatment (Das Allgemeine Gleichbehandlungsgesetz, AGG) and provides a point of reference for all parties involved in a case of sexual discrimination, harassment, or violence.
Universität Hamburg first developed a directive for sexual transgressions in 1996. This was most recently reviewed in 2009, but does not reflect current AGG provisions. The new directive now includes students and lists the central points of contact individuals can currently turn to in the face of sexual discrimination, harassment, or violence. The directive now addresses scholarship holders, auditing students, and students completing postdoctoral qualifications (Habilitation).
How the University will prevent unacceptable behavior
To prevent sexual discrimination, Universität Hamburg conducts regular advanced training for staff members, particularly those in leadership positions. There is also a range of advising services for staff and students. In cases of sexual discrimination and harassment, staff members can turn to the Center for Health and Workplace Cooperation. Students suffering sexual discrimination and violence should contact the Office of Advising for Sexual Discrimination and Violence in Department 3. Affected individuals may also turn to equal opportunity representatives, disability representatives, and the conflict and personal counseling services for staff members, while students should contact the Psychological Counseling Team in the Campus Center.
Handouts, brochures, flyers, and information on the University website are intended to enhance visibility and provide guidance on what to do. Similarly, preventative construction measures such as better lighting and secure parking spaces will be implemented.