Category Archives: Behaviour and Responsibilities

How to raise a concern

Has something happened that doesn’t feel right to you? Are you unhappy with a decision?

UC is committed to providing a teaching and learning environment that you feel comfortable in, and we have a fair and transparent process in place to help you. If you want to raise a concern, complaint or grievance, you can make a formal complaint or report it anonymously online. 

How to formally raise a concern 

Here’s a step by step guide on how you can raise a concern at UC: 

  1. If you feel comfortable doing so, try to talk to the person who made the decision or whose actions have caused your concern. Alternatively, you could get in touch with the Dean, Head of Department/School, Service Unit Manager or your Class Representative
  2. Talk to the UCSA Advocacy and Welfare team or UC’s Grievance Coordinator. They can support you work towards a resolution with the person involved
  3. The next step is to lodge a formal complaint in writing with the UC Grievance Coordinator or UCSA Student Advocate. Atawhai Ākonga | Student CareUC Māori or the Pacific Development Team can support you to prepare your statement. 
  4. An investigation will then take place and you’ll be kept informed of progress. UC aims to resolve issues within four weeks
  5.  You’ll be told the outcome of the investigation, and how/why this decision was made.  You’ll also receive information about how you can appeal this decision. 

Find more information about how you can formally raise a concern here> 

How to make an informal anonymous report 

You can fill in a form anonymously on UC’s website here. Most of these questions are optional, but try to answer as many as you can. 

Where to go if you need some advice 

You can also reach out to our UC support services for help and advice if you’ve got something on your mind: 

Think First this coming winter

Welcome back to campus for Term 2, hopefully you found one of the stations around campus with free face masks and wind screen wipers to help you get started for the term. Now that the mornings are darker and the days are colder it’s a great time to start preparing for winter, so here are some top tips to help you Think First.

Driving: Make sure you fully defrost your windows before you set off, it is really hard (and also illegal) to peer through a defrosted section the size of your hand. You could use a drink bottle with good long distance squirt action and warm water – don’t forget to turn your windscreen wipers on and get out of the way of the flicking water. Or you could use a plastic scrapper, we’ve been handing out some around campus today.

Biking: First, wear plenty of layers (and of course your helmet). Make sure you can be seen by using a white/yellow head light and red taillight – some fluro clothing is a good idea too. Take care if it is wet and slippery, (road paint can be slippery when wet) and be careful in areas that don’t get sun during winter days.

There are also road works going on around the Riccarton/Ilam area, so be aware of that too when you are planning your drive or bike ride into uni.

Walking/footpath users: If you are walking, scootering or skateboarding Think first if it is wet or frosty. Take care moving on painted surfaces and in areas that don’t get sun during winter. Consider your footwear, use handrails when you can and if it would be safer walk on grass during frosty mornings.

If you’re walking home from campus in the dark, check out the Safe walk map –  it shows you the best lit routes to make your way round UC. Make sure you save Security’s number (0800 823 637 ) in your phone too, just in case you need help in an emergency.  

On a different note, it’s strongly recommended that you wear a face mask when you’re around campus or in lectures, and they are required to be worn at our campus retail outlets. All the information you need to know about face mask wearing is available here.

This protection measure has worked well, so continue to protect yourself and others as you continue your study this winter. Hopefully, you grabbed a free mask today to help!

Kia tika, kia pono, kia aroha – doing what is right with integrity and empathy

The University of Canterbury (UC) has been made aware of a racist video circulating on social media that was posted in a forum associated with Uni Hall.  The person making the racist comments is not a UC student and, accordingly, there are no formal processes we can initiate to address the nature and impact of the video.

We can however take this as a moment to reflect on racism, bias and discrimination in all their forms. Racism, like sexism, originates from a belief that people of a particular community are ‘less than’: less valuable, less intelligent or otherwise having lesser dignity and worth. The damage of racism is therefore both the direct injury to people who have experienced a form of verbal violence that ultimately impeaches their humanity, as well as to the cohesion and trust within our community. While we can be thankful that the type of overt racism in this video, which is perhaps verging on hate speech, is now socially unacceptable and will be deplored by many, this video is a reminder that racism is still present in our society.

The University is committed to overcoming racism and other forms of discrimination, all of which cause harm to the people experiencing them. Our policies prohibit discrimination, and we have a range of processes to address instances of racism, sexism or other discrimination. It will however take more than policy to make our UC community free from the harms of racism, harassment and discrimination.

In regard to this video, we encourage members of our community to report it to the platform and to not amplify the harm by resharing it. More broadly, if you are interested in exploring how we can overcome racism, the NZ Human Rights Commission supported the ‘Give Nothing to Racism’ campaign that has a number of accessible videos available online. 

UC is committed to supporting equity and diversity in our community and ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all students and staff. UC has help available that we encourage members of our community to access through our support services, including Te Waka Pākākano | Office of Māori, Pacific and Equity.

Kia tika, kia pono, kia aroha – doing what is right with integrity and empathy

Sacha McMeeking
Executive Director Māori, Pacific and Equity