Four Durham students have received fixed-term exclusions from the University after major breaches of the University’s non-academic misconduct policy in two separate incidents.
One of the students who was excluded has also received a ban from University and College representative sport for the remainder of their time at University. A fifth student received community service, as well as a permanent ban from University and College representative sport.
All five cases were considered by the University’s Senate Discipline Committee, who commented: “As part of our drive to ensure we create a respectful and inclusive University culture, we expect staff and students to adhere to the University’s values on behaviour and our regulations on conduct. Where an individual’s behaviour falls below the standard we would expect, we take swift and decisive action.
“Our Respect Oversight Group (ROG) meets four times a year to oversee our progress in response to the Report of the Durham Commission on Respect, Values, and Behaviour. We have recently strengthened our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion team with the appointment of additional Conduct Investigators who are improving the speed of complaint responses, and EDI Trainers who will develop and deliver vital training for all students.”
The Respect Oversight Group was set up in October 2020 in response to the findings of the University’s Respect Commission. Following a report published by Durham student, Lauren White, which alleged verbal and physical abuse against Northern students at Durham University, University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart Corbridge, and the Respect Report Chair agreed to implement a new Student Pledge which includes ‘background’ as a protected characteristic.
One student was expelled for a “serious breach” of the University’s Sexual Misconduct and Violence Policy in February, while another has received a fixed-term suspension for breaching the University’s non-academic misconduct policy.
In October last year, two students were expelled from Durham University for committing a “serious breach” of the University’s Sexual Misconduct and Violence Policy and for making racist remarks on social media respectively.
Additionally, one student had their offer withdrawn last summer after “utterly abhorrent” screenshots emerged of their comments in an offer holders’ group chat, which included concerns over being accused of rape and suggestions of using female students for sex, although two students implicated in the screenshots were allowed to keep their offers.
Image: Adeline Zhao