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Haigh, Katy and de Pury, John (2019) Initiations at UK universities. London: Universities UK.

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The briefing includes a consensus statement on the best way forward from stakeholders across the university and health sectors, examples of emerging good practice, and recommendations for universities including the following:

  1. Adopt a clear definition of what constitutes an initiation which focuses on prohibited behaviours

  2. Foster cross-working and a whole university approach. This means including work to prevent initiations as part of strategies to tackle harassment and promote good wellbeing and mental health

  3. Evaluate new initiatives and share knowledge and good practice, continuously assessing progress being made

  4. Update or develop policies and practices to explicitly refer to initiation events and the problems that arise from them

  5. Ensure proportionate disciplinary processes and sanctions are in place, noting that a “zero tolerance approach” is unhelpful as it implies initiations do not happen

  6. Provide clear reporting systems and advertise support available to students

  7. Raise awareness of initiations and their risks among students and staff 

  8. Organise appropriate staff training, identifying the levels of training needed for different staff. First responders will need the most training, for example.

  9. Work with the local council, licensees and partners to ensure the campus environment promotes responsible behaviours towards drinking

  10. Work with alumni to encourage an increased sense of responsibility for the safety of student groups and societies of which they were a part

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