Freedom of Speech
The College subscribes to the University of Oxford’s Code of Practice. The Policy statement is below:
“Members, students, and employees of the University must conduct themselves so as to ensure that freedom of speech within the law is secured for members, students, and employees of the University and for visiting speakers. The freedom protected by this Code of Practice is confined to the exercise of freedom of speech within the law. The University believes that a culture of free, open and robust discussion can be achieved only if all concerned avoid needlessly offensive or provocative action and language.
Whilst there is no legal prohibition on offending others, the University expects speakers and those taking part in meetings or protest activities to respect its values, to be sensitive to the diversity of its community and to show respect to all sections of that community. An event which is likely to give rise to an environment in which people will experience, or could reasonably fear, harassment, intimidation, verbal abuse or violence, particularly because of their ethnicity, race, nationality, religion or belief, sexual orientation, gender, disability or age, is also likely to be unlawful.”
The Code of Practice may be seen on the University’s website.
The College subscribes to the University of Oxford’s Policy and Procedure on Harassment.
The University does not tolerate any form of harassment or victimisation and expects all members of the University community, its visitors and contractors to treat each other with respect, courtesy and consideration. The University is committed to fostering an inclusive culture which promotes equality, values diversity and maintains a working, learning and social environment in which the rights and dignity of all members of the University community are respected. All members of the University community have the right to expect professional behaviour from others, and a corresponding responsibility to behave professionally towards others.
The full Policy and Procedure on Harassment may be seen on the College website under the section entitled ‘College Policies and Documents’.
If you are harassed, advice can be sought from the College Harassment Advisors (see the Master’s PA for contact details), or one of the two Student Welfare Representatives (see Secretary of the CRC for contact details). OUSU Welfare Service ((2) 88460/ (2) 88461) also offers advice.
Discussions with Harassment Advisors will always be confidential and will take place with the two senior Harassment Advisors only and not normally with anyone else without explicit permission from the complainant. However, when a matter is sufficiently serious the Advisors may discuss it with other Senior Members of the College.
In cases of harassment the complainant can contact either one of the senior Harassment Advisors or the Student Welfare Representatives. The College Harassment Advisors will always consult with each other. If a Student Welfare Representative is first contacted he/she will normally consult with the senior Harassment Advisors. In exceptional cases only would the Harassment Advisors talk to other Senior Members without the explicit permission of the complainant. See the College’s Confidentiality Policy.
Equal Opportunities Policy statement
No member of staff, student, or other College member shall be discriminated against because of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation.
Please see the below link for further information on the Equality Act 2010.
St Cross College welcomes diversity amongst its students, staff and visitors, recognising the particular contributions to the achievement of the College’s mission that can be made by individuals from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences.
In relation to staff, the policy and practice of the College require that all the staff are afforded equal opportunities within employment and that entry into employment with the College and the progression within employment will be determined only by personal merit and the application of criteria which are related to the duties of each particular post and the relevant salary structure. In all cases, ability to perform the job is the primary consideration. Subject to statutory provisions, no applicant or member of staff will be treated less favourably than another because of his or her age, colour, disability, gender (including gender reassignment), nationality, national origin, parental status, race, religion or belief, political opinion or affiliation, sexual orientation or length or type of contract.
In relation to students the College aims to provide education of excellent quality at postgraduate level for able students, whatever their background. In pursuit of this aim, the College is committed to using its best endeavours to ensure that all of its activities are governed by principles of equality of opportunity and that all students are helped to achieve their full academic potential. This statement applies to recruitment and admissions, to assessment, to welfare and support services, and to staff development and training.
The College will also avoid in the fields of employment, education and provision of goods, facilities, services and premises the use of ostensibly neutral criteria which have a disproportionate adverse impact on members of a particular racial group, sex or marital status, unless such use is objectively justifiable.
This policy statement is supported by equal opportunities policies and codes of practice for staff and students, the collegiate University’s code of practice on harassment, and the College’s integrated equality policy.
Monitoring and auditing
1. The College has established an Equality and Welfare Committee to oversee equality issues, including this policy and action plan and to monitor, by reference to different ethnic groups, the selection and recruitment of members of staff and the admission of students. The results of this monitoring process are collated by the College’s Equality Officer and reported to the Governing Body.
2. The College is putting in place, through the Committee, procedures to ensure that such monitoring and assessment arrangements are adopted as necessary to ensure that the College is able to identify possible improvements in its practices, whether in relation to learning and assessment, management and governance, admissions, access and participation, students’ support and guidance, behaviour and discipline, partnership and community links, staff recruitment, training and career development, and service delivery.
3. The College’s Integrated Equality Action Plan sets out in greater detail the way in which arrangements for monitoring have been developed.
4. The Governing Body is responsible for securing compliance with the general and specific duties and for overseeing implementation of the Action Plan.
5. The Master is responsible for providing leadership in the promotion and implementation of the Action Plan.
6. The College’s Equality and Welfare Committee is responsible to the Governing Body for the development, implementation, monitoring, prioritisation and review of equal opportunities policies generally
7. All College committees are responsible for ensuring that this policy is embedded in their duties and functions in relation to both students and staff.
8. Those with managerial responsibility have a duty to take forward specific actions under this policy as identified in the Action Plan in addition to the general duties under the Act.
Contractors and service providers
9. The College’s procurement policies will address where appropriate the obligation to promote equality and good relations between different groups.
The Equality Policy will be reviewed annually to assess its effectiveness. The Governing Body will undertake the review during Trinity Term through regular monitoring of the action plans and the reports prepared by the Equality and Welfare Committee.
The College will publish the Equality Policy and Action Plan and will update these policies in the light of the annual review. It will also publish the results of monitoring and assessments, including information on consultation undertaken as part of the assessment process.
The College follows the University’s Equality Policy which can be found here.
By-Laws on Discipline
For the purposes of these By-Laws, the following words should have the following meanings:
- The term 'student member' shall include any person who has been or is to be registered or enrolled as a student whether for a degree or diploma or otherwise.
- 'Expulsion' by the College shall mean the permanent loss of membership of the College and the University.
- 'Banning' by the College shall mean a withdrawal of the right of access to specified premises or facilities for a fixed period or pending the fulfilment of certain conditions.
- 'Rustication' by the College shall mean the withdrawal of the right of access to all of the premises or facilities of the College for a fixed period or pending the fulfilment of certain conditions.
- 'Suspension' by the College shall mean a withdrawal of a right of access as above where action is taken as an interim measure pending further investigation, or where action is required in a non-disciplinary situation. Such withdrawal may be for a limited period pending the fulfilment of certain conditions or may be indefinite.
- 'Harassment' shall mean a course of unwarranted behaviour such as to cause or as may reasonably be expected to cause such distress or annoyance as to seriously disrupt the work or to substantially reduce the quality of life of another person.
- 'Member of the College' shall mean any Fellow of the College, student member, Member of Common Room (visiting or otherwise), member of College staff, employee or agent of the College.
- ‘In a College context’ shall mean:
(i) on College premises;
(ii) in the course of a College activity within or outside Oxford whether academic, sporting, social, cultural or other.
II Disciplinary Code: Misconduct
No Fellow, student member or Member of Common Room of the College shall in a College context intentionally or recklessly:
- Disrupt or attempt to disrupt teaching, study, research or the administrative, sporting, social or other activities of the College;
- Disrupt or attempt to disrupt the lawful exercise of the freedom of speech by members, students or employees at the College or by visiting speakers;
- Obstruct any employee or agent of the College in the performance of his or her duties;
- Damage or deface any property of the College or of any Member, Officer or employee of the College, or knowingly misappropriate such property;
- Occupy or use or attempt to occupy or use any property or facilities of the College except as may be authorised by the College or University authorities concerned;
- Forge or falsify expressly or impliedly any University certificate or document or knowingly make false statements concerning standing or results obtained in examinations;
- Engage in any activity likely to cause injury or to impair safety;
- Engage in violent, indecent, disorderly or threatening or offensive behaviour or language;
- Engage in the harassment of any Member, visitor, employee or agent of the College;
- Engage in any fraudulent or dishonest behaviour in relation to the College or the holding of any College office;
- Refuse to disclose his or her name or any other relevant details to an Officer or an employee or agent of the College in circumstances where it is reasonable to require such information to be given;
- Use, offer or sell or give to any person drugs, the possession or use of which is illegal;
- Engage in conduct in breach of the Statutes and Regulations of the University or in breach of College regulations published from time to time;
- Engage in conduct in breach of College regulations regarding the use of the College Library or computing facilities.
III Criminal Offences
In the event that a student member has been convicted of a criminal offence of such seriousness that an immediate term of imprisonment might have been imposed (and whether or not such a sentence was in fact imposed) the Governing Body shall have the power, after hearing any representation that the student member may wish to make, to expel the student member or impose such lesser penalty as it shall see fit.
IV University Offences
- In the event that a student member is expelled by the University, such expulsion shall apply to the College also, subject to a right of appeal to the Governing Body. The grounds of appeal shall be limited to the application of that penalty to the student member’s use of College premises and facilities.
- In the event that a student member is disciplined by the University for conduct in breach of College and/or University statutes or regulations, a penalty of suspension or rustication imposed by the University shall apply also to College premises and facilities, subject to a right of appeal to the Governing Body. The grounds of appeal shall be limited to the application of that penalty to the student member’s use of College premises and facilities.
V Disciplinary Procedures
- For the purposes of the Disciplinary Procedures
- The Disciplinary Committee shall consist of the Vice-Master, the Senior Tutor, and two persons appointed by the Master from a panel of ten members of the Governing Body nominated by the Governing Body. A sitting of the Committee shall be sufficiently constituted (always provided that clause (c) below is observed) by a panel comprising three members, one of whom shall be one of the College Officers specified above, who will take the chair (in the order Vice-Master, Senior Tutor);
- No person who has an actual or apparent interest in the outcome of a case before the Disciplinary Committee because, for example, he or she was the complainant or he or she has participated in any decision against which an appeal is being brought, may be a member of the Disciplinary Committee considering the case. In the event that this requirement disqualifies any ex officio member of the Disciplinary Committee, the Master shall have discretion to appoint a substitute;
- Membership of the Disciplinary Committee shall be chosen in a way that is consistent with the equality policies of the College and in particular, so that there is at least one member of each sex.
- The Disciplinary Procedure may be initiated by the Dean or by any other member of the College who has good reason to believe that a student member has breached the Disciplinary Code in Section II of these By-Laws. Other than the Dean him/herself, this person (the complainant) shall refer the matter to the Dean as soon as reasonably possible after the occurrence of the alleged breach, naming the student member concerned and giving details of the alleged breach.
- When an alleged breach of the Disciplinary Code involves a student member resident in College or in College premises, the Dean shall have the authority (where the seriousness of the alleged breach justifies it) to suspend the student member from residence or from use of College facilities, if necessary, with immediate effect, for as long as the Disciplinary Procedure is in operation. The student member may, by giving notice to the Dean, appeal a suspension lasting in excess of seven days to a panel of three members of the Governing Body appointed by the Master consistently with clauses 1 (b) and (c) above.
- Where an alleged breach of the Disciplinary Code constitutes, in the opinion of the Dean, a sufficiently serious offence, the Dean shall immediately refer the matter to the Police, and where a student member is subject to criminal proceedings arising out of the alleged breach of the Code, the Dean shall not normally proceed with the case other than to suspend him or her from residence, or from use of College facilities if appropriate. The student member may appeal such suspension as in clause 3 above.
- If the alleged breach is not proceeded with as a criminal matter by the prosecuting authorities, the Dean shall then deal with the matter as if it had not been referred to the Police.
- If the complaint relates to activity that falls within the College's Code of Practice on Harassment, whether or not it constitutes 'harassment' for the purpose of these By-Laws, the Dean shall consider whether the complaint should more appropriately be dealt with under the informal procedures set out in that Code. If he or she takes the view that the complaint should not be so dealt with, he or she shall deal with the matter under the following procedure.
- The Dean shall, if possible, within 24 hours of receiving the report of the alleged breach, require in writing the student member concerned to attend for interview before him or her at a time and place stipulated and shall normally provide the student member with 24 hours' notice of the interview. The notification of the interview shall give particulars of the alleged breach of the Disciplinary Code. The student member may be assisted by a third person who may be another member of the College or of the University.
- At the interview, the Dean shall explain to the student member that he or she can:
- admit the alleged breach and continue with the interview;
- deny the alleged breach and continue with the interview as an investigative process, which may be adjourned if either the Dean or the student member reasonably requires evidence in relation to the alleged breach to be provided by other persons.
If the student member opts for (a), the Dean shall elicit all information about the breach relevant to imposing a penalty.
If the student member opts for (b), the Dean shall investigate whether the alleged breach is established.
9. (a) At any stage of the interview, the Dean may, if he or she considers it appropriate in all the circumstances, refer the matter to the Disciplinary Committee;
(b) At the close of the interview, the Dean may, dependent on its nature and outcome, either:
- take no further action;
- if the breach has not been admitted, determine that a breach has been established and after hearing any mitigation, impose a penalty from those listed in 9(c) below;
- if the breach has been admitted, after hearing any mitigation, impose a penalty from those listed in 9(c) below.
- If the Dean is satisfied that a student member is guilty of the breach with which he or she is charged, the Dean may separately or in any combination:
- impose a fine not exceeding £75 or such other amount as is determined from time to time by the Governing Body;
- order the student member to pay compensation not exceeding £75 to any person or body suffering injury, damage or loss as a result of the student member’s conduct;
- impose an order banning the student member from specified premises or facilities for such period or on such terms as she/he thinks fit, such ban not to exceed one Full Term without review;
- rusticate the student member for a period not exceeding one Full Term.
The Dean may, instead of exercising his or her powers under this clause, give the student member a written warning as to his or her future conduct and the Dean shall keep a record of the warning. Subject to good conduct, the warning will be spent after one year and removed from the student member’s record.
- If the Dean considers in any case that his or her powers under clause 9(c) above are insufficient to meet the gravity of the breach of which he or she finds the student member guilty, the Dean may refer the case to the Disciplinary Committee and invite it to make such decision as it thinks appropriate. The Dean must state to the Committee what penalty would in his or her opinion be appropriate and give reasons for that opinion.
- In case 9 (b) (ii) or (iii), details of the breach established and/or penalty imposed shall be entered on an appropriate record and signed by the Dean and the student member. One copy of the record shall be retained by the Dean and one given to the student member.
- In case 9 (b) (ii) or (iii), the student member may appeal the matter to the Disciplinary Committee, against a finding of a breach and/or any of the penalties (i) to (iv) imposed under clause (c) above. He or she shall inform the Dean of his or her intention to exercise the right of appeal within 48 hours of the receipt of the Dean’s determination.
- The function of the Disciplinary Committee shall be to hear and determine:
(a) references made to it by the Dean under clause 9 (a) above;
(b) cases remitted to it for decision as to penalty under 9 (d) above;
(c) appeals made to it by student members under clause 9 (f) above.
- The Disciplinary Committee will be informed by the Dean
- where there is a reference under paragraph 9 (a) above of the particulars of the alleged breach of the rules;
- where if there is an appeal under paragraph 9 (f) above particulars of the breach of the rules and the penalty imposed;
- in either event of the name or names of the student member(s) involved and of any known witnesses;
- where there is a reference under paragraph 9 (d) above of the penalty the Dean thinks appropriate together with reasons for that penalty.
- Within, if possible, five days of the reference or appeal the Disciplinary Committee shall require in writing the student member concerned and witnesses to attend for a hearing at a time and place stipulated, normally with two full days’ notice. In the case of a reference such notice shall state the details of the alleged breach of the Disciplinary Code. The student member may be assisted by a third person who may be another member of the College or a member of the University. Both the student member and the Disciplinary Committee shall have the right to call witnesses to the hearing and the right, through the Chair, to question witnesses. In all cases the notice shall state the membership of the Disciplinary Committee. The student member shall have the right to challenge the membership of the Disciplinary Committee stating in writing and in advance of the hearing the reasons why it is inappropriate for the person or persons concerned to hear the case. The Master shall determine whether the reasons given by the student member are sufficient justification to change the membership. If the Master does so determine, a new and final written notice shall be issued that may prescribe a different date and time for the hearing. The membership of the Disciplinary Committee proposed in this final notice may not be challenged. Where a challenge has been made, the facts and their outcomes shall be recorded in the report of the Disciplinary Committee’s hearing.
- Unless the Disciplinary Committee thinks it inappropriate in a particular case or the Dean is unable to act (in which event the Vice-Master shall appoint a substitute), the Dean shall act as clerk to the Committee for the purposes of formulating the charges, making any administrative arrangements for such matters as the summoning of witnesses and the production of documents, and keeping a record of the hearing as in clause 18 below. The Dean will have no part in the Committee’s decision.
- If penalty only is at issue, the Disciplinary Committee shall follow, so far as appropriate, the procedure referred to in clause 12 above, save that the notice shall state the details of the penalty imposed.
- If any person required to attend such a hearing before the Disciplinary Committee fails to make an appearance, the Committee may, at its discretion, adjourn the proceedings and in particular, if the student member concerned fails to appear, may deal with his or her case in his or her absence, if satisfied that proper notice has been given.
- Failure by a student member of the College to attend when summoned to appear before the Committee as a witness, unless after enquiry the Committee is satisfied that there was reasonable cause for such failure, shall be treated as an offence under Section II (a) and (c) above and dealt with under these procedures.
- The Chair shall explain the procedure to be followed at the hearing and shall read out, in the case of a reference, the complaint of alleged breach of the Disciplinary Code against the student member and in the case of an appeal the finding of breach and/or the penalty imposed against which the appeal is directed.
- At the hearing, the Disciplinary Committee shall ensure that a full and accurate record of all evidence considered and of the determination made is compiled.
- If, in the course of such a hearing the Disciplinary Committee is given the names of additional potential witnesses, whose evidence it considers may be significant, it shall follow, so far as appropriate, the procedure referred to in clause 12 above so as to arrange their attendance.
- At the conclusion of the hearing, the Disciplinary Committee shall determine whether any breach of the Disciplinary Code has been established, taking into account any representations made by or on behalf of the student member. If the Committee is satisfied that a student member is guilty of the breach with which he or she is charged, or in any case remitted to it under clause 9(d) above, the Disciplinary Committee may separately or in any combination:
- impose a fine of such amount as it thinks fit;
- order the student member to pay compensation to any person or body suffering injury, damage or loss as a result of the student member’s conduct;
- make an order banning the student member from access to specified premises or facilities for such period or on such terms as it thinks fit;
- rusticate the student member for such time as it thinks fit;
- expel the student member.
The Committee may, instead of exercising its powers under this clause, give the student member a written warning as to his or her future conduct and a record of the warning shall be lodged with the Dean. Subject to good conduct, the warning will be spent after one year and removed from the student member’s record.
- The Committee shall inform the student member in writing, as soon as is practicable, of its determination and remind the student member of his or her right of appeal to the Governing Body in appropriate cases, as described in the next paragraph.
- The student member shall have the right of appeal to the Governing Body against the finding of the Disciplinary Committee and/or any of the penalties (a) to (e) imposed under clause 20 above in cases remitted to it under clause 10 (a) above or against any such penalty imposed in cases remitted under clause 10 (b) above. The decision of the Disciplinary Committee shall be final in cases remitted to it under clause 10 (c) above.
- The student member shall inform the Dean of his or her intention to exercise the right of appeal within 48 hours of receipt of the Disciplinary Committee's determination. The appeal shall be made to a panel comprising the Master (who will take the chair) and one other member of the Governing Body and one legally qualified member of Congregation who shall be appointed by the Master consistently with clause 1 (b) and (c) above.
- If the Disciplinary Committee has imposed the penalty of expulsion or rustication in excess of one term and the Governing Body endorses the Disciplinary Committee's decision, the student member shall be informed of his or her right of appeal to the Colleges’ Appeal Tribunal in the first instance. Students who are not satisfied with the outcome of an appeal to the Tribunal will be able to take their complaint to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education, details of which are available from the Master’s Office.
- Any findings of a breach of the Disciplinary Code by the Dean or the Disciplinary Committee shall be based on the balance of probabilities.
- The student member may waive at any stage all or any of his or her rights under the foregoing procedure nor shall any departure from such procedure invalidate any determination purported to be made there under unless in all circumstances such departure is productive of substantial unfairness to the student member.
- Any time limits contained in this disciplinary procedure may be extended at the discretion of the Dean or the Disciplinary Committee as appropriate.
Policy on Confidentiality in Student Health and Welfare
General principle of privacy and respect for confidentiality
The College is committed to respecting the privacy of students wherever possible and is particularly concerned about maintaining confidentiality with regard to matters relating to the health and welfare of students.
Students can expect that information given in confidence will be treated in a confidential manner and should make clear at the outset of a discussion whether the content is to be confidential and the extent of confidentiality to be afforded to any disclosures. Senior Members of College who are involved in advising students will where possible seek the consent of the student for the onward disclosure of relevant information to those with a clear need to know and will identify the individuals or body who might be informed in such circumstances. Where such consent is not forthcoming, the person entrusted with the information should make it clear that in exceptional circumstances, it may be necessary to disclose the information to others, whilst also making it clear that such disclosure would be on a need-to-know basis only, preserving strict confidentiality in relation to any other third party.
Compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation, 2016/679 (GDPR)
In order to fulfil educational, pastoral and administrative responsibilities, the College will need to collect and process personal data about students. GDPR requires that any such data is processed fairly and lawfully, is held securely and is kept up-to-date. Data collected by the College may be passed to the University/departments and vice-versa so that necessary processing can be undertaken.
Explicit consent is not required for the processing of non-sensitive personal data as the data is needed to allow the College to fulfil its operational responsibilities. Examples of non-sensitive personal data are: name and address, date of birth and gender, name of doctor, emergency contact number, school and admissions documentation, information on academic performance, positions of responsibility held, disciplinary action taken, financial matters and information provided to the College during the course of study.
Explicit consent is required to collect and process sensitive personal data, except in certain limited circumstances. Examples of sensitive personal data are: information about racial or ethnic origins, political opinions, religious or other beliefs, trade union membership, health, sex life and criminal allegations, proceedings or convictions. The College has no need or intention to collect information in this type of category and any such information which is handled by the College will usually have been volunteered by students themselves so consent to process in such cases is not an issue.
The College will not normally send out information about students to any outside organisation without the consent of the student concerned. However, consent is not required in certain limited circumstances, for example, to comply with legal or statutory requirements, in any legal proceedings, or for medical reasons to medical staff. Nor is consent required for the provision of non-sensitive data to outside bodies who are acting as agents of the University or College.
The Act places an obligation on the College to ensure that personal data is kept up to date, therefore students are requested to inform the College of changes to personal data.
The College will retain information about students whose studies have been completed so that, for example, references may be provided. If students are concerned about the retention of any sensitive personal data on file after they have left, they should discuss their concerns with the Bursar.
For further details on personal data, please contact the Bursar, who is the College’s Data Protection Officer.
General duty of care
In certain circumstances the College may owe a duty of care to individuals that cannot be discharged unless the institution takes action on information provided in confidence; for example, where information concerns potential harm to the individual or to others, the College must weigh the duty of confidentiality against that potential harm.
College Doctors and their professional colleagues
There are strict guidelines on medical confidentiality which are codified by the General Medical Council. Doctors may share information with other members of the healthcare team such as nurses. There are limited exceptions to confidentiality – statutory and in the public interest where failure to disclose information may expose the patient or others to risk of serious harm. The College will not seek to discuss students with medical professionals without the consent of the individual or if consent is not forthcoming advice may be sought without identifying the student concerned unless the student appears to have mental health problems and is not in a position to consent.
The University’s Counselling Service does not normally disclose information outside the Service without the permission of the student. If a student were considered to be a danger to him/herself or others and consent were not given, then a counsellor would consult with a senior member of the team before a decision to break confidentiality was given.
Students may approach their College Advisors about health, welfare and disciplinary problems. If preferred, students may approach the Senior Tutor or Harassment Advisors. Students with financial problems or health and welfare problems requiring practical assistance are advised to approach the Bursar.
It is important that College personnel do not become involved in attempting to help with problems that require expert assessment and management, so information may be shared with others who need to know it if it is in the best interests of the individual and the community but this will be carried out with the utmost discretion. Generally, College Advisors will inform the Senior Tutor about major health, welfare or disciplinary problems which may have an impact on the lives of students and the Domestic Bursar may be informed if the problems could be eased with practical assistance. Should a Senior Member consider it appropriate to convey information to medical or counselling personnel, the student’s consent to do so will be sought. Major mental illness may impair the capacity to take decisions about confidentiality or seeking help. In such cases, the Master, who is the Senior Member responsible for College welfare will act in the public interest if there is a need to do so.
Families will not normally be contacted without the consent of the student. Contact may occasionally be justified in a student’s best interest but the decision to do so will be made at the highest level and the student will normally be informed.
It is often helpful for less serious problems of a psychological, behavioural, or emotional nature to be discussed with friends, Junior Advisors or with a member of the College’s student welfare team (Student Welfare Representatives and LGBTQ Representative). In addition to College Advisors, the Senior Tutor, the Harassment Advisors, the Dean, the President of Common Room, the Bursar and Domestic Bursar are also readily available and students may choose to discuss important matters with them. The College Doctors have the experience, expertise and knowledge of specialist help that is required in the management of any major crisis.
If a student is at risk of self-harm, worries should be reported to the Master and the Senior Tutor. Self-harming activity can vary in its level of immediate danger, however where there are clear indications that the student is in imminent and serious danger the College Doctor should be consulted as quickly as possible and if necessary the emergency services contacted.
Students should be reassured that discussions about distress or personal problems will not normally result in adverse academic, employment or other consequences. Any discussions in College of students’ academic progress will generally be confined to exchange of information on issues relating to educational performance and discipline .
Students have the same general obligation as Senior Members to respect the privacy of others in their everyday behaviour and also in what they say to students, local and national press and in the use of electronic communication .
St Cross’ Hardship Officer is the Bursar. If you would like to discuss Hardship funding, please contact the Bursary Administrator ( email@example.com ) to arrange an appointment with him. A private and confidential discussion will then take place but students ought to be aware that applications for hardship funding may be seen by various members of College and University staff. In all instances the information received will be treated with discretion.
Suspension of status
On rare occasions, a student may request to suspend their studies for a period of time. The University definition is: “Suspension of status within the University ‘stops the clock’ for all elements of your degree, including residence, fees and terms for which a particular status may be held.” The clear understanding is that the student hopes to return after suspension and will then be liable for fees, accommodation charges, etc. for the equivalent extended period. Although the individual is suspending their student status, the University states that: “a student with suspended status will retain their University card and Single Sign On access to online resources, including email, and to University libraries, during periods of suspension.” We expect that it will be normal for students to move away from Oxford (typically back home with family) during suspension.
Withdrawal from Course
An alternative to Suspension of Status is withdrawal from a course since it allows reinstatement within two years for taught Master’s courses and within an indefinite period for DPhil and Master by Research courses, and offers a longer period for personal circumstances or medical conditions to be resolved before application to return onto a course.