Zero Tolerance to Sexual Harassment at Dalarna University
3 min read

Over recent weeks as a result of the hashtag #MeToo movement, we have learnt about appalling cases of sexual harassment towards women in a number of social sectors. With the new akademiuppropet campaign, similar stories are now coming to light from the world of academia.

We welcome the power of the MeToo movement, and together with other vice-chancellors and student unions in Sweden, we are taking the movement very seriously. At Dalarna University, we need to give serious thought to the position of responsibility we have in terms of this issue. We must live up to the values we are proud of: openness, courage and responsibility. In organisations that have large staff and student numbers, we must take complete responsibility to ensure that the academic world is a place that is void of any kind of harassment and discrimination. Dalarna University and Dalarna's Student Union have a policy of zero tolerance both to sexual harassment and to abuse of power. No student or colleague must ever be a victim of any form of abusive behaviour.

Dalarna University deals with all forms of reports of abuse in a swift manner and takes the appropriate measures. Our ambition now is to prioritise long-term efforts so as to implement change. We aim to make use of the research and knowledge on the subject that exist here at the University and that we can garner through collaboration with other institutes of higher education. Our intention is to ensure that everyone in a management position has the chance to broaden their understanding through training. We need to closely review our programmes and courses to find ways, together with students, to question and formulate our position so that we can fully understand, and effect and contribute to change. In light of all the revelations, we need also to critically review the structures and the content of the University's research. We need to ensure that the knowledge that we ourselves can come with and that we garner from others is used to benefit others through public lectures, articles in the press and other measures.

If we truly stand by what we together say - that we shall create open pathways to knowledge for a good society - then we must be consistent and in our actions raise the issues of, and react to, oppression in all its forms so that students and colleagues can feel safe in the knowledge that anyone who is victimised is given the support they need. We will work to ensure that the regulations and procedures that are in place at the University for dealing with reports of abuse and other forms of victimisation are adequate and accessible. To be able to work systematically and long-term with this, university management - together with the Student Union, academic boards, human resources organisations and parties of interest - will develop a plan of action so as to tackle any form of sexual oppression at the University and tie it with the work we do towards the integration of equality and see to it that it is put into practice.

What is more, everyone linked to Dalarna University has an active responsibility to ensure that we treat each other with respect and that we contribute to maintaining a work environment that is free from discrimination and abuse.

Dalarna University will continue its work to raise awareness and to create a safe environment for reporting, drawing attention to and stopping sexual harassment.

Marie Klingberg-Allvin, Acting Vice-Chancellor, Dalarna University
Tom Edoff, Chairperson, Dalarna's Student Union

In the Event of Harassment

If you are an employee and a victim of sexual harassment at Dalarna University, you must first raise the incident with your nearest manager or the Human Resources Director (always contact the Human Resources Director if the person being reported holds a managerial position). You can also talk with a human resources officer who specialises in work environment, a work safety representative (arbetsmiljöombud) or a union representative. If you are an employee and wish to speak to somebody external to the University, you can contact Företagshälsovården.

If you are a student, you can contact a teacher, subject representative, director of programme, Student Counselling Services or the University's Diversity Coordinator. You can also contact a student representative or chairperson at the Student Union.