Content Warning: Sexual Violence and Harassment
We are deeply horrified by the rising reports of harassment and spiking - via injection or otherwise - and the damage this does to people’s sense of safety when on a night out. While we could use this opportunity to encourage people to stay safe, watch your drinks, look out for your friends, be conscious of any sudden change in how you feel or in a friend's behavior, we know that for the most part, this is already being done.
While spiking is a serious criminal offence, we recognise that spiking and harassment are both part of the wider, structural issue of gender-based violence that exists in our society, and it is this we must tackle, alongside taking precautions to keep everyone safe. The four student bodies are committed to exercising and advocating a zero-tolerance approach to all forms of harassment, abuse, and violence. Meanwhile, both Unions will be exercising tighter security and increased surveillance in their venues. However, if you see someone acting strangely, or believe they are harassing, assaulting or making someone feel uncomfortable, please step up. If you see a friend acting strangely, or believe they are harassing, assaulting, or making someone feel uncomfortable, please step up. If you can, report an incident immediately to a member of staff or duty board within the Unions. You can also alert campus security 24/7 using the SafeZone app (https://www.gla.ac.uk/myglasgow/students/newsletter/stories/headline_760821_en.html), and they will come immediately, or call 999 if necessary. Even just asking the person that you believe to be under threat if they are okay, can be a step in making someone feel safer. However, always remember to err on the side of caution.
Our friends and classmates are left feeling unsafe, scared, and threatened on nights out. We must not stand for this. We must step up where we can to help make our campus and society a place free from gender-based violence.
If you are anxious that you or someone else has been spiked on a night out, try and get to a safe place and seek medical attention. If you are in either one of the Unions, speak to a member of staff or ask to speak to a member of the duty board who are trained to help. Call 111 for non-urgent medical advice. However, wait times can be long so don’t hesitate to call 999 if needed.
If you or someone you know needs help getting home but have no money or phone, you can use your student card as a deposit to get a taxi with Glasgow Taxis and then pay at a later date at the university gatehouse. You can also contact the SRC Advice Centre, if you want to report an incident of harassment or abuse to a third-party reporting centre for hate crimes: https://www.glasgowunisrc.org/advice/academic/bullying/
The SRC Advice Centre have a page of Sexual Violence Support resources which you can access here: https://www.glasgowunisrc.org/advice/health-and-wellbeing/sexual-violence/
The SRC also run a workshop series called ‘Let’s Talk about Sexual Violence’ which you can learn more about and sign up to here: https://www.glasgowunisrc.org/opportunities/workshops/lets-talk-sexual-violence/
Alongside releasing this statement, we are all committed to campaigning continuously to tackle gender-based violence. We will continue to collaborate, campaign, and develop existing plans to tackle this issue, of which more information will be released in the coming weeks. We will not stop working on this and will always be open to input. If you have any more enquiries or want to reach out to us further about the issue, please get in touch with the SRC or any of the other student bodies at the University.
Glasgow University Students’ Representative Council
Glasgow University Union
Queen Margaret Union
Glasgow University Sport Association