In the London School of Economics and Political Science, there is The Discrimination, Harassment and Bullying Policy. I knew that it exists before specifically looking for the document, as I knew that there is some formal way to fill in complaint (I vaguely remember some leaflets stating it; also in my Department there are always booklets with Code of Ethics available at the beginning of new academic year). I am also aware that there are specific roles connected to anti-discrimination at Students Union, including Women’s Officer and LGBT+ Officer.

What I like about the policy is that it provides clear definitions for terms used, as well as clear procedures for staff (including non-academic staff, and non-paid staff like visiting scholars) and students to fill in official complaints. I also appreciate the fact, that there is ‘early resolution phase’ which is about ‘addressing straightforward concerns swiftly and locally rather than escalating them into formal complaints’.

However, I find it worrisome that the complaint should be raised within 20 days (form the incident) and that ‘Unless there is good reason for not attempting an early resolution, we will not normally investigate issues as a formal complaint without the early resolution stage being followed’. I am not convinced that at this stage anyone should judge if the complaint is serious enough, and many victims may feel overwhelmed with a prospect of meeting with their offender, even in relatively simple cases.