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  • 2017-11-25

    Academia will not accept harassment

    The force behind the Swedish #Akademiuppropet campaign is significant and, in my position as Vice-Chancellor, both myself and Södertörn University’s management are following it with the greatest seriousness. This is part of our work to fulfil our responsibility: academia must be a place that is entirely free from all types of harassment.

    Good working environments and good leadership are required to prevent unhealthy cultures in which various types of offensive behaviour can thrive. The leaders of Sweden’s higher education institutions bear great responsibility for conducting an active and open dialogue about these issues with students and staff. All leaders at the various levels of academia have a duty to work preventively, to find forms for dealing with suspicions that harassment has occurred without delay, and then acting upon them with the support of the relevant legislation. We have a system for this already and are working with it actively, not least together with our students.

    Sexual harassment has no place at Södertörn University. There must be no acceptance within academia of rotten cultures that allow harassment to continue and which allow people guilty of such behaviour to remain unanswerable for their actions. Quite the opposite, we must always encourage suspected harassment to be brought into the open, so we can take action. We hope that one positive effect of the #Akademiuppropet campaign is that this important issue remains on the agenda at higher education institutions, thus bringing an awareness that increases the willingness to report, to highlight and to stop sexual harassment.

    We are currently planning how to concretise our work against harassment, and I will be returning to the issue shortly.
    Gustav Amberg, Vice-Chancellor