What is a Zero Tolerance Policy?

What is a Zero Tolerance Policy to Racism and why we want one

We've been asking you to sign our petition lobbying the University to implement a Zero Tolerance to Racism policy.

But what does this mean?

The Union is committed to eliminating racism and other forms of discrimination, retaliation, and harassment in our community. We want the University to implement a policy that racism and discrimination of any type will not be tolerated. This policy would include everyone, staff and students. 

The University should provide a supportive environment for learning and working, free from discrimination, harassment, and retaliation of any type based on race, colour, religion, national origin, sex, age, social status, mental or physical disability, gender identity, or sexual orientation.

What is Racism?

Racism is discrimination, prejudice, or antagonism directed against a person or people on the basis of their membership of a particular racial or ethnic group. Discrimination is defined as disparate treatment of an adverse nature towards any member of our department based on race, colour, religion, age, sex, national origin, social status, physical or mental disability, gender identity, or sexual orientation. Racism is wrong. We should not just be 'against' racism, we must actively be anti-racist.

We believe that every member of the University of Portsmouth, staff or student, should be held accountable to maintain a place of learning and work free of racism or discriminatory practices and make efforts to resolve any form of either. 

It is everybody's responsibility to maintain and foster a non-hostile learning environment. 

We believe that a Zero Tolerance to Racism Policy should address:

  • Provision of clarity on what constitutes racism, in all its forms.
  • Setting of clear and accessible racism reporting pathways.
  • Defined support pathways for all those subjected to acts of racism.
  • Setting of clear processes through which acts of racism will be acted upon.
  • Defined consequence pathways for all acts of racism committed within the organisation.
  • The anti-racist expectations for the university staff, students and partners including the required information, advice and guidance.
  • Defined commitment to encouraging anti-racist student members.
  • Clarity on how the University works with the Union and other stakeholders to ensure the elimination of racism in the institution. 

We are not alone in identifying this injustice and this issue is not just limited to Portsmouth. Opting for a bureaucratic approach to address this matter of human right is tantamount to being complicit in racial discrimination. We urge the University to act now, protect their Students, and take a step forward to encourage racial justice.

“What we ideally want to see is the University adopting their own Zero Tolerance to Racism Policy as a request from our BAME Ambassadors. We should be engaging and educating our students and staff in the first instance, but we also need to enforce repercussions for continued offences. It’s not good enough as an institution to not be racist, we have to be anti-racist” - Rama Hilouneh, Learning Experience Officer

To sign the petition, please click here.

Contact us

The University of Portsmouth Students’ Union has a vision of creating a positive impact with every Portsmouth student during their time at University.

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