Concerns and complaints
Concerns about student behaviour
Find out what we expect of our students and how we can support you to resolve concerns.
We expect all students, staff and visitors to act respectfully and fairly towards each other. This page explains what you can do if you have experienced unwanted and unacceptable behaviours, and the support available to you.
This page contains information on:
Our Student Charter and Student Dignity and Respect Policy set out our expectations for student behaviour and conduct, as well as that of our wider community:
The University is committed to ensuring effective prevention and effective responses to unacceptable behaviour.
There are several approaches available when you have a concern about the behaviour of another student at York St John.
Taking personal action
You are encouraged, where possible, to resolve concerns directly at an early stage. Where you feel able and safe to, you should discuss your concerns with those involved and explain when certain behaviours may be unwanted or unacceptable.
The person concerned may be unaware and a respectful conversation may help them to understand the impact of their behaviour and adapt it accordingly.
What if I can't resolve the issue myself?
We understand that for a number of reasons you may feel unable to take action yourself, or it may not be appropriate to do so, particularly where the behaviour has caused you significant distress.
If the concern relates to a sport or society or does not concern named individuals you may be directed to contact the Students' Union.
Report and Support
The Student Dignity and Respect Policy sets out the University's expectations for student behaviour and conduct, as well as that of our wider community.
Any conduct or behaviour which contravenes these expectations and jeopardises the mental, physical and emotional wellbeing of our students and community is not acceptable.
The Report and Support online platform provides further information about unacceptable behaviours, how to make disclosures and report incidents, and where to seek help and support.
Information on reporting issues relating to your accommodation can be found on the Your home pages.
If you are in immediate danger or risk of harm you should contact emergency services by calling 999, or University security when on campus.
You can view this process in our Student Disciplinary Policy and Procedure Flowchart 2023-24 (PDF, 0.1MB).
What happens when your report has been submitted
Your report will be reviewed and assessed to determine how your concern will be addressed and any provisional action the University may need to take to keep you safe.
If you leave your details, you will be contacted to discuss options and any support you may need. We may ask you for further information or evidence at this stage to make sure we fully understand your concerns.
We understand that you may not feel comfortable raising a concern, maybe because you feel it will make things worse, or you may not be believed. Any disclosures made will be taken seriously and treated sensitively, and the University will work with you to decide if you wish to take further steps.
There is also an option to make an anonymous disclosure through Report and Support. These will also be reviewed and inform improvements, however it is not usually possible to respond to anonymous disclosures directly.
Action the University can take
Failure to meet expected standards of behaviour and conduct will be dealt with through the Student Disciplinary Procedure. This procedure sets out a clear and consistent process for addressing student disciplinary matters.
If an incident involves a criminal charge or police investigation, or if there is the possibility of injury or harm to others, the University may take provisional action to limit a student's interaction with the University community, including through suspension and exclusion.
Level 1 Misconduct
This includes but is not limited to general nuisance or disruptive behaviour and behaviour which may cause distress to others but does not put them at serious risk.
Reports assessed and categorised as level 1 will be investigated by an appropriate member of staff. They will review the evidence and make any further enquiries they deem necessary. They will normally meet with the reported student to allow them to explain their version of events and put forward any evidence they wish to provide.
If the investigator decides that misconduct has taken place they may either issue a penalty or refer the case for further investigation under level 2.
Level 2 Misconduct
This includes reports of serious behaviour such as harassment, sexual misconduct and violence, hate crime and other behaviours which pose a risk to members of our community.
Reports assessed and categorised as level 2 will be investigated by an Investigating Officer. This will be a senior member of staff who has received investigation training from the University and is not connected to either yourself or the student you have reported.
The Investigating Officer will review the evidence and make any further enquiries they deem necessary. They will normally meet with the reported student to allow them to explain their version of events and put forward any evidence they wish to provide. You may also be asked to attend a separate meeting with the responsible person to provide further information.
A written report will be completed by the Investigating Officer and will be reviewed by the University Disciplinary Officer.
Based on this report the University Disciplinary Officer will decide whether misconduct has taken place. If they decide that misconduct has taken place they may either issue a penalty or refer the case for a full hearing of the Student Appeals and Conduct Committee.
Appeals and Conduct Committee (ACC)
The Committee is made up of senior members of the University and representatives from the Students' Union. The reported individual will also be invited to attend the hearing.
The Committee will consider the Investigating Officer's report and any other available evidence to reach a conclusion. If the Committee agrees that a disciplinary offence was committed they can choose to issue a penalty as follows:
- A verbal warning
- Written warning or reprimand
- Restitution of any damage caused
- Enforced suspension
- Exclusion from specified University facilities or activities
- Fines up to a maximum of £250
- Other such actions as may be appropriate to the case