Research

Experienced offensive behaviour?

Aalborg University does not accept offensive behaviour

Aalborg University takes a zero-tolerance approach to offensive and abusive behaviour. 

Positive study and working environments require a culture defined by respectful behaviour and communication. In accordance with Danish legislation and Aalborg University policies, all students and staff are expected not to engage in any form of bullying, harassment, differential treatment, discrimination, conducts of threatening behaviour or acts of violence. 

AAU’s students and staff have a shared responsibility for acknowledging and promoting a culture based on respectful and inclusive behaviour. All AAU staff and students are expected to take action if they learn about or witness offensive or abusive behaviour.

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    Who can help you?

    If you become a victim of, or witness to, offensive or abusive behaviour between students and/or staff, please contact AAU Student Guidance. AAU Student Guidance is equipped to handle enquiries and cases involving offensive and abusive behaviour, and is able to help you deal with your experience.

    The Student Guidance takes enquiries relating to offensive and abusive behaviour very seriously, and the service provided is confidential.

    Contact AAU Student GuidanceIf you feel safe talking to a staff member at your department, you are welcome to do so instead. This might be your supervisor, your lecturer or one of the other staff members affiliated with your degree programme or department.

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    Advice if you have experienced offensive behaviour

    It is extremely important that you share your experience with someone you feel comfortable with.

    • Talk to someone you trust. Describe to him/her what you feel and think about what has happened. It is important that you trust your feelings and thoughts, and listen to what your loved ones have to say about your situation
    • Your reactions are normal. It is healthy to express any anxious or strange feelings you may have. Sometimes it is easier to show your feelings than talk about them e.g. by drawing, painting, writing or running
    • Respond quickly when you experience abusive behavior - don't just live with it
    • You must maintain your habits as far as possible. Keep doing the things you usually do - especially things that make you happy
    • Keep your mood and courage up and be extra caring to yourself
    • Stay healthy, get your sleep, eat healthily, get exercise, keep studying and stay socially active
    • If you feel excluded or your boundaries keep getting crossed, then practice saying "no" and distance yourself from the negative situation. It requires strength, courage and lots of exercise to say no
    • Seek support from family, friends, fellow students, and student counselors
    • Be aware of your health and habits - consult your doctor if you are in doubt
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    Other options for contact

    If you need to discuss and process your experience, you are welcome to contact the University chaplains, the Student Counselling Service, Headspace or Den Sociale Skadestue [the Social Emergency Centre].

    The University Chaplains
    Student Counselling Service
    Headspace
    Den sociale skadestue

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    How do you file a complaint about a student’s offensive behaviour?

    If you want to file a complaint about a fellow student’s offensive behaviour, you must submit your complaint to your Head of Studies. If the Head of Studies assesses that it is a case of abusive or repeated unacceptable behaviour, a recommendation will be sent to Rector. Rector (the administrative case processing is handled by the Secretariat in Study Service) ensures that the student is heard, assesses the complaint, and takes action.

    If you wish, AAU Student Guidance can help you get started with the dialogue and the process.

    If you are unsure about who your Head of Studies is, you can find the person's contact information on the following page:

    Overview of heads of studies

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    How do you file a complaint about an employee’s offensive behaviour?

    If an employee exposes you to offensive behaviour, you should first contact your Head of Studies. If the Head of Studies assesses that it is a case of abusive or repeated unacceptable behaviour, a recommendation will be sent to the Head of the Department, who can involve the HR department in order to take action.

    If you wish, AAU Student Guidance can help you get started with the dialogue and the process.

    If you are unsure about who your Head of Study and/or Head of Department is, you can find their contact information on the following pages:

    Overview of Heads of Studies

    Overview of heads of departments

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    How do you complain about offensive behaviour during your internship?

    Inform your Head of Studies if you are exposed to offensive behaviour at your internship organisation while you are in an internship during your education at AAU.

    If you feel comfortable with it, you should also inform a union representative or HR employee at the internship organisation about the incident.

    If you wish, AAU Student Guidance can help you get started with the dialogue and the process..

    If you are unsure about who your Head of Study and/or Head of Department is, you can find their contact information on the following pages:

    OVERVIEW OF HEADS OF STUDIES

    OVERVIEW OF HEADS OF DEPARTMENTS

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    What happens if you file a complaint?

    Once your Head of Studies has received your complaint, he or she will quickly schedule an appointment with you for an interview. You have the right to bring an attendant to the meeting. Typically, your complaint will then be sent to the person you are complaining about. The person in question will be called to a meeting with the Head of Studies, so that the Head of Studies can hear his or her interpretation. In the vast majority of minor complaints, it is the Head of Studies who makes the verdict.

    In the event of extraordinary, repeated or serious violations, the case will be forwarded to the Rector (the administrative case processing is handled by the secretariat in Study Service), which will make a verdict on the case.

    Read more about AAU’s guidelines for handling student’s experiences of offensive behaviour

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    Statement of the Rector's Office