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Social Safety campaign encourages dialogue

27 June 2023

The Social Safety campaign was launched on 17 April 2023 and is now entering its third month. The campaign aims to encourage staff members and students to engage in dialogue around social safety. It consists of two phases. The current first phase of the campaign comprises posters and online communications that refer to a website about social safety: www.rug.nl/checkhetdan [English: www.rug.nl/justask]. On this website, you can learn how to assess potentially unsafe situations, and what you can do to initiate dialogue. You can also read about what to do if you cannot resolve the issue together, or if the situation does not allow for dialogue, or no longer makes it possible.

Wide reach

The campaign team is carefully monitoring how the campaign is received and the responses on the various channels, as well as social media activities, and the number of visitors to the website. The posts on social media reached thousands of accounts, with a high level of interest in the campaign particularly amongst Instagram followers. The number of visitors to the website seems to indicate that the website is easy to find: there were approximately 7100 visitors in the past campaign period. In addition, the team is asking for feedback in various meetings and from colleagues. The points for learning and improvement that are emerging from this first step will be used in the second phase of the campaign, which is due to start after the summer. The findings will be processed further in the UG's integral safety policy and integrated into any follow-up actions. All of this is intended to contribute to the continued strengthening of an open and safe culture within the UG.

More dialogue, more reports

Anne-Marie Petter, Campaign Manager: ‘We've noticed that there has been more dialogue around social safety lately. This is good because it raises awareness around social safety.’ The HR department is clearly receiving more reports and questions. The confidential counsellor also indicated that she is receiving more reports, which she believes is partly due to the campaign. It seems that the campaign is encouraging people to talk to each other and also to report undesirable behaviour. It has also made the support structure more visible. ‘Some organizational units are using the campaign as a starting point for an internal dialogue around social safety. Some people find it difficult to talk about these things, but it is important to proceed with the campaign. Conversations around this topic may be difficult or painful, but they are always valuable.’

Points for improvement

The campaign team has noticed that the posters and texts on screens invite dialogue. There are also points for improvement. Petter: ‘People have been critical of certain texts because they do not resonate well with students, or because they put too much emphasis on action on the part of the victim of undesirable behaviour. Furthermore, the English slogan ‘just ask’ should be adjusted, as it seems to communicate the message less clearly. There have been suggestions to include examples of desirable behaviour in the second phase of the campaign, so that people can learn to recognize positive behaviour in themselves and in others. We are using all this feedback to develop new texts and communications for the next stages of this campaign.’

Working further on creating a safe work and study environment

For the second phase of the campaign, the team is also collecting direct input from various target groups. They are also carrying out a short evaluation among colleagues in the support structure, with a few questions about the campaign and the manual entitled Eerste hulp bij meldingen en signalen van ongewenst gedrag (First aid in case of reports and signals of undesirable behaviour). Petter: ‘After the summer, we will report on the results and share what the second phase of the campaign will look like. We are happy with the initial findings of the campaign and the useful feedback we have received. We will use it to further improve the campaign with the aim of contributing to a safer working environment for everyone at UG.’

Last modified:26 June 2023 3.47 p.m.
View this page in: Nederlands

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