Statutes and Ordinances
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Darwin College is legally constituted by its Royal Charter, and governed by its Statutes and Ordinances. The Darwin College Statutes and Ordinances are available below.

Darwin College Statutes

Darwin College Ordinances

Annual Trustees' Reports & Accounts
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Investment policy
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The College's Investment Policy appears below. It was revised in February 2019.

DARWIN COLLEGE CAMBRIDGE INVESTMENT POLICY

STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES

A          Introduction

In accordance with the terms of Statute XV, the control of the financial affairs of the College is vested in the Finance Committee, subject to the legal responsibilities of Trustees on College Council, and oversight by the Governing Body.  The Committee comprises the Master, Vice-Master, and Bursar ex-officio, and three other Fellows; the DCSA Treasurer is invited as an observer for unreserved business.  At least biannually, the Finance Committee, reinforced by 3-4 external members with relevant investment expertise, meets as the Finance (Investments) Committee.

The College’s financial investments are comprised of its invested endowment and the proceeds of private placings (unsecured long term debt obligations), which have been invested pending their deployment on projected capital projects. The investments are managed in separate portfolios.

The College, on the advice of the Finance Committee, may decide at its discretion to appoint one or more fund managers. The Finance (Investments) Committee meets to receive and consider the investment managers’ reports, and reports to the Trustees on College Council, and to the Governing Body. The Finance (Investments) Committee is responsible for decisions on asset allocation and may, on occasion, direct the selection of specific individual stocks and other investments. 

The College is a permanently endowed charity and adopts a long-term time horizon when making investments, save in connection with the two private placement portfolios, where it is expected that the funds will be needed in the short to medium term for investment in income generating student accommodation.

B          Investment Objective

The College’s principal investment objective for all its portfolios is to grow the investment portfolios over time, observing the progressive stance of the College to risk while maintaining diversification so as to limit the risks from any particular market investment.

C          Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) considerations

The College Trustees have, as a matter of principle, and endorsed by the Governing Body, decided that the College will not invest in entities where:

  • The investment may conflict, or be inconsistent, with primary aims, objectives and activities of the College;
  • The investment might alienate the College’s supporters or potential supporters;
  • The investment may be reputationally damaging;
  • The investment is considered by the Trustees to be unethical; or
  • The investment might otherwise hamper the work of the College.

The College will undertake the following particular ESG actions: 

ESG Ratings Monitoring

The College will continue to require its investment managers to provide regular updates and  a comprehensive annual report on the ESG ratings (using robust and objective metrics) of the College’s direct equity holdings, and will expect its investment managers to maintain or improve the overall average ranking of the College’s portfolios.

Climate change and sustainable development

The College recognises that climate change is a real and present danger, and encourages debate on the appropriate response by the College to the risks climate change represents. The College seeks  to support sustainability, carbon reduction, the development of renewable energy sources, and action to mitigate the effects of adverse climate change.

The College Trustees  have a legal duty to ensure that  the College’s investment risks and returns are kept in balance, and that any risks that are financially material are taken into account. The Trustees therefore expect the Finance (Investments) Committee to ascertain where climate change presents a financially material risk in the College’s investments and to take appropriate investment/divestment decisions to address this risk.

The College’s  policy incorporates a three tiered approach to tackling climate change through its investments:

  • Divestment

The College will maintain its existing position in not investing in the most carbon intensive fossil fuels - thermal coal and tar sands. It will progressively divest from its holdings in other fossil fuel companies, on a timescale which is based on a robust evaluation of the companies’ financial prospects, transition risk, and progress in shifting to renewables and work to enable carbon reduction, and which seeks to manage any diminution in income to the College.

  • Monitoring and engagement

The College will, through the ESG ratings monitoring referred to above, continue to monitor its investments for their environmental and climate impact.

The College will seek to use its influence, both as an academic institution and (through its investment managers) as an investor in companies which may be significant carbon emitters, to encourage and facilitate positive change.

  • Positive Investment

The College will give serious consideration to investing in dedicated ESG funds as these become more established and in other opportunities to invest in low carbon, sustainable, or renewable solutions to global energy needs.

Ethical screening

The College adheres to Charity Commission guidance on ethical investments, and the Trustees may from time to time when it is consistent with that advice, direct the Finance (Investments) Committee and the College’s investment managers not to make direct investments in specific companies. Such directions are in place prohibiting investment in tobacco companies, companies dealing in armaments with countries in which the UK government does not permit them to trade, and companies dependent upon pornography or child labour.

Pooled investments

The College will seek to extend the above ESG principles to its indirect holdings through pooled investment funds.

Last updated February 2019

 

Freedom of Information
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If you wish to make a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 or the Data Protection Act 1998, please make your request to foi@darwin.cam.ac.uk.

Darwin College Publication Scheme

Introduction

Darwin College makes information available to the public in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act. The classes of information in the publication scheme set out below follow the model prepared and approved by the Information Commissioner. This publication scheme should be read within the context of the University of Cambridge’s scheme, available at www.admin.cam.ac.uk/univ/information/foi . Information not included in the scheme may be requested in writing and the College will respond in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act.

The classes of information do not generally include:

  • Information the disclosure of which is prevented by law, or exempt under the Freedom of Information Act, or is otherwise properly considered to be protected from disclosure.
  • Information in draft form.
  • Information that is no longer readily available as it is contained in files that have been placed in archive storage, or is difficult to access for similar reasons.

The publication scheme indicates what information it covers and how it can be obtained. Where it is within the capability of the College, information is provided on its website. Where it is impracticable to make information available on its website the scheme indicates how to obtain the information from the College by other means. Where an individual might not wish to access the information by the website it can be obtained by contacting the College FOI Officer.

Information will be provided in the language in which it is held or in such other language that is legally required. Obligations under disability and discrimination legislation and any other legislation to provide information in other forms and formats will be adhered to when providing information in accordance with this scheme.

Material which is published and accessed on the College’s website will be provided free of charge. Charges may be made for information subject to the charging regime specified by Parliament. Charges may be made for actual disbursements incurred such as photocopying, postage and packaging, and the costs directly incurred as a result of viewing information. Charges may also be made for information provided under this scheme where they are legally authorised, they are in all the circumstances, including the general principles of the right of access to information held by public authorities, justified and are in accordance with a published schedule or schedules of fees which is readily available to the public.

Charges may also be made for making datasets (or parts of datasets) that are relevant copyright works available for re-use. These charges will be in accordance with the terms of the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2015, where they apply, or with regulations made under section 11B of the Freedom of Information Act, or with other statutory powers of the public authority.

If a charge is to be made, confirmation of the payment due will be given before the information is provided. Payment may be requested prior to provision of the information.

Information held by the College that is not published under this scheme can be requested in writing, when its provision will be considered in accordance with the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act.

Requests for Information

Please email foi@darwin.cam.ac.uk to make a request. You may also write to The FOI Officer, Darwin College, Cambridge, CB3 9EU. Please note that all requests must be made in writing and contain an email address or an address for correspondence. Please use your full name.

Please make your request as specific as possible. This Publication Scheme contains much useful information about the College and the way that it operates. You are advised to refer to this information before making a request as it may help you frame your request or even answer your question completely. The College may seek clarification of your request. If it needs to do this then the statutory deadline for reply will be extended until you supply this information.

If the request may take excessive resources of time to fulfil then the College may refuse it on the grounds that it exceeds the appropriate cost limit or reserve the right to charge for work over and above this limit. This can be avoided by making your request as specific as possible. The College will notify you and obtain your agreement before imposing any charges.

Some information is subject to exemptions under the Freedom of Information Act and we may refuse a request if we feel that the information is covered by one of these exemptions.

If you are not satisfied with our response you have a legal right to request an internal review which will be conducted by a senior college officer. You also have the right to refer the matter to the Information Commissioner’s Office if the College cannot resolve the matter.

Schedule of Information

Who we are and what we do

Darwin College is a college within the University of Cambridge with the power, subject to the Statutes of the University, to present candidates for matriculation by the University.  It was founded in 1964 as the University’s first graduate-only College and the first College to admit both men and women. The College was granted a Royal Charter in 1976 and it is a Registered Charity (number 1141105).  The College was founded without any religious affiliation, and it is situated in central Cambridge.

Darwin College is one of the larger Cambridge Colleges.  It has 70 Fellows who hold faculty or research positions in the University and associated institutes, and about 700 students who come from the UK and some 70 other countries.  Students study for PhDs and Masters Degrees in a wide range of disciplines.  Darwin College fosters an informal and egalitarian atmosphere for this multi-disciplinary, international community.  Students and Fellows meet and talk at academic gatherings and seminars, over meals and at social and sporting events. Students and Fellows are not segregated (there is no High Table) and students are members of many of the College’s governing committees. The College has since 1986 organised the annual Darwin College Lecture Series, a major event with eminent speakers giving public lectures every week of the Lent Term. The College community extends to over 10,000 alumni throughout the world.

Legal framework

Copies of the College’s Statutes and Ordinances are available in the above section "Statutes and Ordinances".

A copy of the Charter of the College is available free of charge on application to the Bursar at bursar@darwin.cam.ac.uk

How the institution is organised

The College is governed by consensus and consultation.  Its pattern of governance is laid down in its Statutes and Ordinances.  The Statues provide for the constitution and governance of the College, the duties and election to office of the Master, the election and admission to fellowships; the appointment and the duties of College officers.  The Ordinances set out the procedures for appointment of officers and election of fellows as well as procedures for other college business.  Authority is devolved among several College officers (Vice-Master(s), Bursar, Dean, College Secretary) and decision making is conducted through a number of committees. 

The Master is the head of the College, elected by the Fellowship, and chairs the major College committees.

The Governing Body consists of the Master and the Fellows, except Emeritus and Honorary Fellows.  The Governing Body is the main authority of the College and has power to amend statutes (with the agreement of the University and the Privy Council) and to make ordinances.

The College Council is the main operating committee of the College and meets twice termly.  Its ex-officio members are the Master, Vice Master(s), Dean, Bursar, and Student Association President, with 4 other Fellows, elected to serve 3 years each, and 2 further students, elected annually by the student body.

The Visitor is an appointment made by Royal Charter to ensure that on the rare occasion when the College is unable to determine an issue, it can seek a disinterested opinion. The Visitor is the Lord Chief Justice of England.

Details of key officers and personnel with contact details including email addresses are available in the Fellows' Directory and College Directory on this website.

Location and contacts

The address of the college is:

Darwin College, Silver Street, Cambridge, CB3 9EU, United Kingdom; Tel  +44 (0)1223 335660

Details of key officers and personnel with contact details including email addresses are available in the Fellows' Directory and College Directory on this website.

Student Activities

The Darwin College Student’s Association (DCSA) consists of all the students of the College on the register, excluding any who have given notice to the Dean of opting out of memberships of the DCSA.  The DCSA elects its own officers for a term of a year. Officers of the DCSA sit on some college committees. The DCSA is an independent entity run by students and is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act. More information about the DCSA and clubs and societies within the DCSA can be found at   http://dcsa.dar.cam.ac.uk/

The College’s code of practice under section 22 of the Education Act 1994 is available free of charge on application to the Bursar at bursar@darwin.cam.ac.uk

What we spend and how we spend it

Financial information for the current and recent financial years is available on this website. Information for earlier years is available free of charge on application to the Bursar at bursar@darwin.cam.ac.uk 

Funding and income, budgetary and account information

The College is dependent on income from its endowment, from donations, the use of its facilities, as well as income from tuition fees, charges to members and accommodation fees.

Further details of charges made to students and other members for accommodation and meals can be found in the appropriate sections of this website.

The College’s statutory annual accounts, which contain details of the College’s income and expenditure, are published on this website with an accompanying annual report, and can be found in the section "Annual Trustees' Reports & Accounts" above.  They are also published annually within a special edition of the Cambridge University Reporter.  See www.admin.cam.ac.uk/reporter

The College’s investment policy is available in the section "Investment Policy" above.

Financial audit reports

A report by the College's auditors forms part of the College’s statutory annual accounts available in the section "Annual Trustees' Reports & Accounts" above.

Capital programme

Details of capital projects in progress and planned are contained in the trustees’ report forming part of the statutory annual accounts available in the section "Annual Trustees' Reports & Accounts" above.. Further information that provides specific details of the College's future capital plans is likely to be exempt from disclosure as this would damage the College's commercial interests.

Financial regulations and procedures

A summary of the College’s financial regulations and procedures is available free of charge on application to the Bursar at bursar@darwin.cam.ac.uk .

Staff Pay and Grading structures

College staff are generally paid on the College’s own pay scale a copy of which is available free of charge on application to the Bursar at bursar@darwin.cam.ac.uk .

Register of suppliers

The College does not have an approved list of suppliers, but in order to obtain best value for money engages in various consortium purchasing arrangements. The details of those arrangements are not included in this publication scheme for reasons of commercial confidentiality.

Procurement and tendering procedures

The College is not a public authority under laws relating to tendering requirements. Its normal practice in relation to capital works is to procure them through a tendering process.

Contracts

The College does not publish details of its commercial contracts.

Research Funding

The majority of the College’s academic staff are supported through the University of Cambridge for research purposes. The College administers a limited number of research grants and also provides research fellowships. The Fellowships Committee is the college committee responsible for administering Research Fellowship competitions and reporting thereon to the Governing Body.  Further detail of awards, scholarships and research fellowships may be found on this website.

What our priorities are and how we are doing

Strategy and performance

The College’s objectives, strategic and otherwise, are set out in its statutes which are available in the section "Statutes and Ordinances" above.

The performance of the College is reported on in the annual statutory reports and accounts available in the section "Annual Trustees' Reports & Accounts" above

Assessments and reviews

The University is responsible for the academic assessment of students and their research.  See www.admin.cam.ac.uk/offices/gradstud/ . External inspections and reviews (e.g. by the Office for Students or by UK Research & Innovation) are carried out in respect of the University rather than of the college.

How we make decisions

The section above entitled “Who we are and what we do” sets out the framework for decision making at the College. Further details about the corporate governance of the College can be found in the College’s statutory annual accounts available in the section "Annual Trustees' Reports & Accounts" above.  General Policy is determined by the Governing Body and the College Council and is implemented through committees, College Officers, and individual Heads of Departments.  College committees, their remit and composition are set out in the College’s Statues and Ordinances are available in the section "Statutes and Ordinances" above. College departments are individually managed by Heads of Department who answer to the Bursar.   Details of key officers and personnel are available in the Fellows' Directory and College Directory on this website. There is representation of fellows, non-academic staff, and students on College committees.

Policies and Procedures

The College’s policies and procedures, and current written protocols for delivering its functions and responsibilities, include the following:

Procedures and policies relating to academic and student services

Policy statements relevant to student members and academic services are found on this website under "Governance and Policies" and "Study at Darwin". The College’s Admission Policy can be found on this website under "Study at Darwin". A statement relating to expected standards of conduct can be found on this website under "Current Members". 

Procedures and policies relating to human resources and recruitment

The College uses standard terms and conditions of employment where possible and has comprehensive policies relevant to staff maintained on an electronic register.  These include policies on Equality and Diversity, Probation, Repeated Absence, Data Protection, References, Leave Carry-Over, Staff Meals, Jury Service, and Extra Holiday, copies of which are available free of charge on application to the Bursar at bursar@darwin.cam.ac.uk .

Code of Conduct for members of Governing Body

Policy statements relevant to fellows and trustees, including the policy for the management of conflicts of interest, are found within the College’s statutes and ordinances which are available in the section "Statutes and Ordinances" above.

Equity, diversity and inclusion

The College is committed to equal opportunities in its recruitment of Fellows, students and staff. Academic vacancies are advertised on the College’s website when they arise.

The College’s policy on Equity Diversity and Inclusion can be found in the section "Equity Diversity and Inclusion" below.

The College does not condone any form of racial, sexual or other discriminatory harassment and treats any such incident as a serious matter. The College’s policy on racial and sexual harassment can be found in the section "Racial and Sexual Harassment Policy" below.

Health and Safety

The College’s Health and Safety Committee meets regularly and reports to the Governing Body and College Council. Policies relevant to health, safety and welfare may be found on this website, including under "Current Members - General information" and "Accommodation".

Estate Management

Information that provides specific details of the College's future plans relating to its estate is exempt from disclosure where this would damage the College's commercial interests.

The College’s Strategic Planning and Buildings & Grounds Committees meet regularly and report to the College Council.

The College’s policy on room allocation and waiting list can be found on this website under "Accommodation".

Complaints policy

The College's guidelines in relation to comments suggestions and complaints from students is available in the section "Comments, Suggestions and Complaints from Students" below.

Records management and personal data policies

Written records containing personal information are kept securely by the relevant College office. Historic records are retained in the College Archives details of which are available on the University’s Janus catalogue at http://janus.lib.cam.ac.uk/

The College’s Data Protection Statements and Policies are available on this website under "Data Protection". 

Research policy and strategy

The College does not lay claim to the intellectual property of academics, and supports freedom of thought and speech.

Charging regimes and policies

Details details of charges made to students and other members for accommodation and meals can be found in on this website, including under "Current Members - General information" and "Accommodation". 

Details of the charges made for the provision of information included in this publication scheme may be found in the Introduction to this Publication Scheme.

Lists and Registers

The College is a registered charity under registration number is 1141105. Its registered details and filings can be found on the Charity Commission website at www.gov.uk/government/organisations/charity-commission.

The College is registered as a Data Controller under the Data Protection Act 1998. Its registration number and details may be found on the Information Commissioner’s website at www.ico.org.uk .

Some of the property that the College owns is listed with the Land Registry .

The services we offer

Darwin is a community of its members (Fellows, students, staff and alumni).  Our website has information about the services we provide to our community

Research Fellowships.

Please contact the College Registrar for further information.

Graduate students

Information about applying to be a graduate student can be found on this website under "Study at Darwin"

Accommodation and related services

Information about the accommodation that we offer members can be found on this website under "Accommodation".

The college offers meals to members and use of the college facilities. Further information can be found on the website under "Current Members".

Conferencing and catering

We offer conferencing and catering facilities. More information can be found on this website under "Dine at Darwin" or by contacting the Catering Manager on catering.manager@darwin.cam.ac.uk

Job Opportunities

Job opportunities are advertised on this website under "Vacancies"

Archives

The college has archives, cataloguing its history and information can be accessed by contacting the College Archivist, archivist@darwin.cam.ac.uk

Last updated April 2021

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
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As a member of the Collegiate University of Cambridge, Darwin College is committed, in its pursuit of academic excellence, to the following principles:

  • Equity: the promotion of fairness by offering equality of opportunity and addressing needs relative to the individual;  
  • Diversity: recognizing and valuing difference and avoiding systemic discrimination;
  • Inclusivity: maximising the inclusivity of the College’s culture and practices, particularly for members of the community who might otherwise be excluded or marginalised.

In 2021 the College established a working group of students, Fellows and staff to draw up an overarching EDI development plan that will lay out the key areas of EDI work to be implemented across the College.

Comments, Suggestions and Complaints from Students
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Overview

The College welcomes comments and suggestions from students about the services it provides. Students wishing to make a suggestion or comment about the College's services, either academic or non-academic can do so informally at the point of service delivery, or by contacting the person in charge of the relevant area, or where it seems appropriate by raising the matter with their Graduate Tutor or a member of the Deanery.

Occasionally however, students may wish to make a complaint about the services they receive, and this document sets out the procedures for making a complaint to the College. The College anticipates that complaints will normally be dealt with informally in the first instance.

Students with a complaint should bring it to the attention of the College using the procedure outlined here as soon as possible following the occurrence of a problem and ideally within one calendar month. Many complaints can be dealt with quickly and effectively in this manner, without recourse to formal procedure. The College's procedures have been developed with this in mind.

The College recognises that it has a duty to provide fair and objective procedures for examining and resolving complaints, and to ensure that its procedures are free from partiality arising from personal or institutional conflict of interest or other sources of bias. No student will be disadvantaged by having raised a complaint, but the College expects that students will not make frivolous, vexatious or malicious complaints. Students who are considering making a complaint may wish to seek help or advice from the persons listed in Annex 1 (below).

A student may of course wish to complain about a matter that is not within the control of the College but within that of another institution, e.g. the University or another College. In this case the first thing to do will be to identify the appropriate point of contact within the Faculty, Department or College, and you may either contact that person directly or your Graduate Tutor or ask the Dean to take up the matter on your behalf. If it is unclear to you where responsibility for the matter lies you may seek advice from any of the persons listed in Annex 1.

Examination Appeals

Students should be aware that a separate procedure exists for appealing to the University in a case where a student feels that he or she has been disadvantaged or unfairly classified in a University examination. Further information may be obtained from the Deanery.

Harassment

Students with a complaint relating to harassment of any kind can find additional information in the College's policy on Racial and Sexual Harassment found in the section below. This policy also contains a suggested process for dealing with such issues.

College Policy

Complaints on matters of College policy should be directed to the appropriate College committee (see Annex 2 below) through student representatives. These may be contacted through the Darwin College Students Association.

Confidentiality

Every attempt will be made to maintain the confidentiality of a complainant. However, where a complaint is of a personal nature against an individual, it is likely that the complainant's identity would have to be revealed at some stage in all but the most exceptional cases in order for there to be a fair investigation. The College will endeavour to inform an individual complainant of the extent to which her/his/their identity is likely to be revealed at each stage of the procedure.

To assist in the process of auditing the quality of its services and responsiveness to student comments, suggestions and complaints, the College will monitor complaints. The College undertakes to respect the confidentiality of complainants in this exercise.

Informal procedure

Stage one: if you experience a problem with any service provided by the College or anything else within the control of the College, you should first raise the matter with the person actually providing that service. If informal discussion does not resolve the situation satisfactorily, you should approach the person in charge of that college service. You may do this directly or through the Dean or Bursar. A prompt response can be expected.

Stage two: in cases where you feel that the nature of the complaint is too serious to be dealt with informally by yourself, or where, after the relevant Head of Department/Service has been approached, a satisfactory conclusion has not been reached, a complaint should be made in writing to the Dean, who will acknowledge receipt and ensure that the matter is looked into as soon as possible. An initial response to any complaint can be expected within 7 days of its receipt, and a considered response should be received within one month, with any subsequent remedy implemented with the minimum of delay.

Formal complaints procedure

It is hoped that very few complaints would remain unresolved after this stage. However should this be the case, you can request that the Dean refers the matter to the Master who will through the College Council undertake an independent assessment of the case and come to a conclusion on the matter. A full and considered response to the complaint should be completed within one month and any subsequent remedy implemented with the minimum of delay.

If you are required to attend in person as part of the investigation into a complaint, you are entitled to be accompanied by a member of the College or University: this could be any Fellow, a fellow student including one of the officers of the Darwin College Students Association, or an officer of the Students' Union.

In some cases the first stage of the informal procedure set out above may already involve the Dean as a Head of Department. Should the complaint remain unresolved at the end of that stage, or in the event that a complaint is against the Dean, the complaint should be put in writing to the Master who will appoint another senior member of the College to act in the place of the Dean.

Office of the Independent Adjudicator

If all internal procedures for reaching a solution to a complaint, a mechanism for further review is available through the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education. Please see the Deanery for further details.

Annex 1: Persons from whom help may be sought

Help and advice may be sought from anyone; listed below are those contacts with a specific role to assist students.

  • The Dean of Darwin
  • The Bursar of Darwin
  • The Deputy Deans of Darwin
  • Graduate Tutors
  • Darwin College Students Association
  • Supervisor
  • Secretary of the Degree Committee or other Departmental Graduate Adviser
  • Board of Graduate Studies
  • Students' Union

Annex 2: List of College Committees with Student Representatives

  • College Council
  • Finance Committee
  • Building and Grounds Committee
  • Strategic Development Committee
  • Meals Committee
  • Library Committee
  • Education & Research Committee
  • Information Services Committee
Racial and Sexual Harassment Policy
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The purpose of this policy

The College intends to provide an environment for students, staff and Fellows free from unlawful or otherwise unjustifiable discrimination (which can include harassment) and to foster mutual respect and consideration. It repudiates any form of harassment of either women or men on grounds of sex, sexual orientation, race, ethnic origin, colour, nationality or national origin. The College regards harassment of any form as unacceptable and seeks with this document to ensure that such harassment does not arise.  Hence the College seeks to:

  • Inform each member of the College, and member of staff, of the College's determination to eliminate harassment.
  • Prevent incidents of harassment that do occur from adversely affecting the work of any individual.
  • Emphasise the responsibility of each member of the College, and member of staff, to assist in the implementation of this policy.
  • Take such measures within the power of the College deemed necessary and as outlined in this policy.

By these means, the College seeks to promote a policy of equality and opportunity in which all members of the College, and members of staff, can have confidence.

What is harassment?

Incidents of harassment can take a variety of forms and the indications given here are not exhaustive. Any such incident can be the effect of conduct that has the purpose or the effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work within the College, or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working, educational or social environment, about which a person can justifiably complain because that person is thereby adversely affected.

An incident of harassment can take the form of a single act or expression, or of a number of different kinds of behaviour.  Behaviour (whether directed at an individual or a group in general) which can be shown to have adverse effects on racial grounds or grounds of his or her sex will be harassment even if such behaviour was not intended to have this effect. Such unacceptable behaviour can include belittling, degrading, upsetting, vulgar or insinuating comments or acts. It is recognised that differences in attitude and culture can lead to problems of this sort and counselling to educate in this regard will be undertaken when necessary.

Sexual harassment

Sexual harassment can take many forms. While this account of some of the forms of such harassment is not exclusive, it may be broadly understood as including comments (e.g. of an insinuating or vulgar nature), intimidating or unwanted sexual advances or attentions, requests for sexual favours, any behaviour containing a sexual element that belittles the person at whom it is directed, or otherwise treats such a person less favourably on grounds of sex. Any behaviour that makes a woman or man feel herself or himself to be the object of unjustifiable sexual attentions may cause offence, even if offence is not intended.

Racial harassment

Racial harassment can take many forms, including derogatory name-calling or insults, verbal abuse and threats, incitement of others to behave in a racist way, physical abuse, other forms of provocative behaviour and behaviour which belittles the person at whom it is directed on racial grounds. Racial harassment, no less than racial discrimination, may not depend simply on the intention of the offender, but on the impact of the behaviour on the person at whom it is directed.

Harassment on grounds of sexual orientation

Harassment on grounds of sexual orientation is equally regarded by the College as unacceptable behaviour. Such harassment can take many forms and can include derogatory name-calling or insults, verbal abuse and threats, incitement of others to behave in a similar prejudicial way. It may involve repeated behaviour or isolated incidents. Any behaviour that unjustifiably constrains a person to hide his or her sexual orientation, when they otherwise would not, may amount to harassment on grounds of sexual orientation.

Preventing harassment in Darwin

The College seeks to foster mutual respect by requesting members of the College and members of staff to cultivate an awareness of the effects of their conduct on others. The educational and other work of the College takes many diverse forms and there is no area of work or social activity within the College to which this policy does not apply. In each of these various areas, members of the College and members of staff are urged and required to follow the guidelines set out in this document in order to curtail harassment should it occur and to endeavour to prevent harassment from arising. Teaching arrangements in the College are founded on the professional relationship between supervisor and student. Abuse of authority or trust within this relationship, or any abuse of authority held by virtue of office or employment within the College, is regarded by the College in a serious light. In social activity within the College, it is important to ensure that thoughtless behaviour does not lead to harassment.

Action to take in the event of harassment

Any member of the College, or member of staff, who feels that he or she is being subjected to harassment should follow the advice given in this paragraph. It is important not to allow the behaviour to continue to a point where it becomes intolerable. By taking action early it is often possible to minimise or alleviate the harmful effects of harassment on the individual. If you think that you are being subjected to harassment in any form, do not feel that it is your fault or that you have to tolerate it. The problem will be treated sympathetically and in confidence. 

This is what you can do:

  • You can seek help from any of the persons listed in the section on 'Seeking help'; it would be advisable to do this before taking any other steps.
  • You may not wish to speak to the person, or persons, causing the offence about their behaviour but, if you are able to do so, approach the person, or persons, explain that their behaviour is unacceptable to you, and ask them to stop.  You may wish to have support from a friend or adviser in taking this action.
  • It is important to remember that the possibility of counter-accusation or recrimination exists. Given that this is so, it may be wise to alert someone else to your problem before you approach the person concerned.
  • If you feel that you cannot make a direct approach, if the behaviour does not stop, if it resumes or if you are still unhappy and believe you have cause for complaint, keep a record of the details of any relevant incidents which distress you, including a note of the ways in which the incidents cause you to change the pattern of your work or social life.
  • If you do not feel able to tackle the person concerned, this does not constitute consent to the harassment, nor will it prejudice any complaint you may later bring.

Seeking help

The College regards harassment of any kind as contrary to its own best interests and those of its members and employees. In dealing with cases of harassment and with complaints that arise from them, the College will seek to remedy the effects of harassment. Any person within the College who feels that she or he is being subjected to harassment should not hesitate to seek advice and help from one of the following people:

Students and Fellows: Dr Duncan Needham, Dr Matthew Jones or Dr Sara Baker 

Staff: Mrs Wendy Godfrey (HR Manager) or Mr Giles Greenfield

These people will advise those who look to them for help on a course of action. They may take the matter further on behalf of, and with the consent of, a person who feels that he or she has been subjected to harassment. You may, of course, also come to the Deanery and we will assist in making an appointment with one of the people listed above. Anyone, against whom a complaint of harassment has been made, is also entitled to seek a private interview with one of the above in order to present his or her side of the case.

Action to take in cases of physical assault, whether involving a racial or sexual element or not

If you have been physically attacked it is very important to seek help immediately.  In particular, you should report the attack to the police and, should you wish, to a trusted member of the College staff, a Fellow or to the DCSA. If you have been sexually assaulted or raped you should also seek medical help and advice immediately.

You may wish to approach either of the people listed in the previous section, who will willingly give you support, and will help you to decide what to do next. Advice will be given but the choice of action will be yours. Confidentiality will be respected and further action will not be taken without your express permission. The only exception to this would be if the police required the College to give further information in the event of criminal proceedings being taken. If you decide to go to the police or a senior member of the College you need not go alone, unless you so wish.

Furthering this policy

No member of the College, or member of the College staff, should hesitate to consult either of the persons listed above about any aspect of this guidance, or about any aspect of the problem of harassment that might otherwise be neglected.  All members of the College, and of the staff, are urged to assist the College so that it can more easily further its policy of equal opportunity and freedom from discrimination.

Darwin College Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Guidelines and Procedures.pdf

Prevent Duties
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Since September 2015, all ‘relevant higher education bodies’ (RHEBs) including Darwin College have been subject under the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 (CTSA) to a statutory duty to have ‘due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism’, referred to as ‘the Prevent duty’ (or simply ‘the duty’ within this document) 2 . In fulfilling this duty, they must have particular regard to their existing duties to ensure freedom of speech and consider academic freedom. The OfS is responsible for monitoring this duty in the higher education sector in England.

Since 2019 Darwin College reports on an annual basis to the Office for Students where its compliance with its legal duty has been monitored and approved.

The use of Seminar rooms, the approval of External Speakers, events and publicity is guided by the College's obligations under PREVENT.

Safeguarding
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A copy of the College's policy on safeguarding adults at risk can be found here