Alleged Misconduct Offences that may also be Criminal Offences
The following is intended to advise students about how the University will deal with allegations of misconduct that might also be criminal offences. For example:
- Physical assault
- Sexual misconduct
- Abusive/threatening behaviour
- Hate crime
We want all students to feel confident in reporting allegations to us, knowing that they’ll be taken seriously, treated fairly and supported, and will know what the University can and can’t do. We also want students accused of misconduct to know they will be treated fairly, without any presumption of guilt, and will be supported.
At all times we’ll exercise our duty of care to all students, apply the principles of natural justice, comply with equality legislation and uphold human rights. Support, advice and assistance will be available to you. We won’t make any assumptions about you and you’ll be treated fairly.
We’ll try to ensure that the person who initially advises you will continue to advise you, so that you don’t need to repeat the same information to different people. We’ll help you to get support from inside the University and from external agencies if that’s necessary. If you have a disability or other health issue (including mental health), we’ll take this info account and make reasonable adjustments for you.
We’ll continue to offer support even after criminal and/or conduct processes have ended, for as long as you remain a Glasgow University student.
Guidance for students wishing to report an allegation
If you’ve been subjected to behaviour by another student that is unacceptable, you are encouraged to inform the University – even if the allegation might also be a criminal offence.
We understand that it can be difficult to come forward, especially if you haven’t yet decided what you want to do about it. Reporting it to the University doesn’t mean you have to pursue the complaint – you can simply speak to us about your options, and get some advice. We won't make contact with the student you're reporting until you've decided you definitely want to proceed with your complaint.
We’ll never pressure you into choosing a particular course of action, and we won’t normally contact the police without first discussing this with you and seeking your consent. There may be circumstances in which we have to contact or provide information to the police without your consent - for example, in cases involving suspected terrorist activity or money laundering (which we are legally required to report), or where we believe reporting the matter is necessary to protect you and/or others from immediate harm or to prevent a further crime from taking place. If we believe we must make a report we will let you know this, and will fully explain the reasons. We may be able to make a report without identifying you, in some cases. We can advise you about this.
Otherwise, if you decide not to go to the police, or to take any further action through any route, that’s your choice and we will respect it. We can still help you and give you advice. If you do go to the police, we can offer support in doing that.
If you decide not to go to the police, we can investigate the allegations through the University’s conduct process. We’re more limited in what we can do, and we can’t make a finding that a criminal act has taken place - only a breach of our Code of Student Conduct. We can’t conduct the same investigations as the police/courts and can’t compel witnesses to give evidence. However, we can apply conditions to the accused student (such as prohibiting them from contacting you, and suspending or expelling them in some cases). We can also take precautionary action while the investigation is ongoing.
To report something to us, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also use the online reporting tool at https://www.gla.ac.uk/myglasgow/students/safetyhealth/sexualviolencesupport/. The information you provide in that form will not come directly to the Senate Office but it may be referred to us. If so, we will get in touch with you to ask if you want us to take action under the Code of Student Conduct.
Guidance for students accused of misconduct
While we’ll take all allegations seriously, there’s no presumption of guilt and you’ll be treated fairly throughout the process.
We can take precautionary action where we believe you might present a potential risk to the wellbeing and safety of students and staff. We might restrict or prohibit contact with the reporting student and any witnesses, or restrict the times you can be on campus. In some cases we might suspend you from the University while the case is being investigated (whether through University or criminal processes). This action is precautionary, not a penalty. It doesn’t suggest we think you’re guilty of the alleged offence.
If you’re suspended, we may allow you to submit assessment online and sit examinations with special arrangements (e.g., in a separate room). This option won’t be available in all cases and if it is not possible, we will explain why not.
If criminal processes are involved, you might be suspended for many months, as criminal processes can take a very long time. This is beyond our control. We review all suspensions monthly.
In most cases, we won’t take any further action under University processes until the criminal process has been concluded, because we don’t want to interfere with the criminal process, which takes priority.
If you’re convicted, we will use that finding to inform our conduct process.
If you’re acquitted or the charge is dropped, we might still consider the matter under conduct processes if there’s enough evidence to establish that a breach of the Code of Student Conduct has been committed. We can’t make any finding that a criminal offence has been committed – only a court can do that.
If allegations lead to action being taken against you following the procedures in the Code of Student Conduct, we may share information with respect to those procedures and outcomes with the police and other relevant third parties where it is deemed necessary by the University for reasons of public interest or safety, or where we are obliged by law to do so.