University of Sunderland Launches new campaign to change campus culture

Written by on 19th April 2018

The University of Sunderland has launched a campaign this week tackling attitudes to hate crime, harassment and violence.

The campaign, which includes an animated video, posters and a poem focusing on what is acceptable behaviour, has been created by two University of Sunderland graduates.

The new campaign was created in response to a national call to make campuses safer, and make students aware of what is and isn’t acceptable behaviour, both for themselves, and for their friends.

In 2016 a national universities taskforce examined violence against women, harassment and hate crime affecting university students, and made a series of recommendations for UK universities.

In response the University of Sunderland set up a number of initiatives, including online reporting tools, as well as face-to-face confidential support for students.

The University’s ‘Bystander – Be the Difference’ training was delivered to over 300 students and staff.

The University of Sunderland Students’ Union digital interns Daniel Hepple and Zoe Cooper created a video outlining what is acceptable behaviour, and what support is available to students.

Zoe, 24, graduated from the University last year with an MA in Public Relations, and now works as a Digital Communications Assistant at the University of Sunderland’s Students’ Union.

The project began with a poem which Zoe wrote in response to her experiences as a student with focus not only on the criminal aspects of harassment, but also on behaviours which people – perhaps naively – consider acceptable.

Daniel Hepple, who produces the Students Union Takeover on Spark, created his animation in response to Zoe’s poem.

Daniel, 22, from Sunderland, graduated with a degree in Digital Film Production in 2017, and this week started work as a Trainee Script Editor on CBBC’s The Dumping Ground.

Daniel says that working on a professional campaign was a great learning curve for him, and taught him a lot about how such a campaign should engage with an audience.

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