Do not hesitate to contact us – HYY’s harassment contact persons are there for you
We are actively working to ensure that HYY is a safe place for everyone. Despite this, you may find yourself in situations where people act inappropriately. HYY’s harassment contact persons are there to help you process such situations.
Inappropriate behaviour, such as harassment, bullying or discrimination, may occur in student activities, too. When processing such an incident feels difficult or seeking help for it proves challenging, HYY’s members can turn to our harassment contact persons.
HYY has two harassment contact persons. Their task is to offer advice on processing harassment situations and to support anyone who has experienced harassment with taking the matter forward. Any contacts with the harassment contact persons are confidential, and the harassment contact persons are under the obligation of secrecy. You can contact the harassment contact persons directly by email or by using our new harassment report form. Other student unions also have similar forms in use.
‘Our members have requested the possibility of reporting harassment by other means than email’, Tiia Niemi explains. Tiia has been serving as one of HYY’s harassment contact persons for several years now.
‘We hope that the form serves as a low-threshold channel to report harassment’, Tiia continues.
The form also allows you to report any harassment you have encountered anonymously, which has not been possible before. In harassment cases, the accused party also has the right to be heard and to participate in processing the situation. For this reason, anonymous contacts will not be processed or investigated, but they will be used for statistical purposes and for developing our operations.
‘It is important for our operation for us to be aware of what is going on in student life’, Tiia states.
With the permission of the person contacting them, the harassment contact persons also cooperate with the University and organisations, depending on the situation. If the inappropriate behaviour is connected to University staff, for instance, the harassment contact persons of the University of Helsinki may also get involved in the process.
‘Dealing with harassment situations requires cooperation and the readiness to discuss the matter’, HYY’s other harassment contact person, Janne Kajander, reflects. ‘We often seek solutions in cooperation with organisations operating under HYY.’
In addition to individual members, organisations operating under HYY can also consult the harassment contact persons if needed. However, the harassment contact persons do not hand out punishments, act as judges or replace professional help – not even in organisational activities.
‘Sometimes the best way for us to help in a particular situation is to direct people towards professional help’, Tiia explains.
Even though punishments are not issued, the harassment contact persons still consider it important to address the inappropriate behaviour.
‘If you are not entirely sure whether to contact us on your matter, it is better to err on the side of caution and get in touch with us. That is always a better option than leave the matter unresolved’, Janne sums up.
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