Don’t bully my friend: There is too much bullying in academia, says NSO. Now they will take up the fight against all the harassment. The photo is from the congress this weekend.
Don’t bully my friend: There is too much bullying in academia, says NSO. Now they will take up the fight against all the harassment. The photo is from the congress this weekend.

Ending bullying

NSO has grown tired of all the bullying in academia. Legislation must be strengthened and institutions must take more responsibility.

– We know that many students have experienced bullying and harassment. It must be addressed, both in terms of strengthening legislation and institutions developing internal guidelines, says NSO leader Therese Eia Lerøen.

One of eleven, ie more than 20 000 students in Norway has experienced bullying, harassment or other improper conduct during their study. This emerged after a survey conducted by Sentio on behalf of the NSO and Universitas one year ago. Now NSO demands strong measures. Measures against bullying were one of three resolutions the congress adopted this weekend.

– We envisage that legislative work will be done on a national level. When it comes to internal policies, this must be designed in institutions. We can envision a partnership between student democracies at universities and university colleges, says the NSO leader.

We can’t accept that students who are exposed to bullying and harassment not getting the necessary protection. Therese Eia Lerøen, head of the NSO

We can’t accept that students who are exposed to bullying and harassment are not getting the necessary protection

Anita Tøyen Johansen, student ombudsman at Oslo and Akershus University College

Measures

The legislation is to ensure students’ protection against bullying.

– We can’t accept that students who are exposed to bullying and harassment are not getting the necessary protection.

Anita Tøyen Johansen is student ombudsman at Oslo and Akershus University College. Several students have come to her to report bullying. She emphasizes that it is important to have good systems for addressing conflicts at an early stage.

– I think it is important in such cases – whether conflict, bullying or harassment – that institutions have adequate systems for how to resolve the conflicts at an early stage. How such a system should be must be up to the institution to decide, says Johansen.

Protect the students

Marianne Hova, student ombudsman at the University of Oslo, has also received many cases of bullying. She welcomes NSO’s proposal to strengthen students' protection.

– Our experience suggests that the proposal for a legal protection against retaliation is a good suggestion, she says.

NSO suggest learning environment committee – the advisory body where students meet university management – will have the overall responsibility for the universities and university colleges to implement and maintain internal policies against bullying and harassment.