As a place of higher learning, Stockholm University (SU) must ensure that all students are given equal opportunities to participate in the education. Today, the University does not live up to that requirement. Discrimination and harassment occur every day, based on gender, religion, sexual orientation and other reasons. There is a lot that the University can do to prevent further discrimination. For example, the University can make its website more accessible, so that more people can take part of the information. Thus, it is important to strategically work with equal opportunities issues.
It goes without saying that the Student Union works with cases of direct discrimination and harassment, but we also handle structural equal opportunities issues such as lack of norm critical perspectives in the education or lack of representation in the University administration or in the Student Union. We strive to make the University work more pro-actively to create as good an environment as possible for all students in all regards.
The discrimination act
Since SU is a place of higher learning, it has obligations to fulfill regarding the discrimination act. SU are required to investigate and take action if a student is the target of harassment and/or discrimination. SU also has an obligation to produce an Equal Treatments plan, that should be updated yearly.
If you've experienced discrimination and/or harassment the Student Union recommends that you turn to our student ombudsmen who will stand by your side and give you advice on how to handle the situation. You can also turn directly to the SU coordinator for equal treatment of students (firstname.lastname@example.org) who can investigate the event and take action if applicable.
How can you act for equal opportunities at SU?
- Become an Equal Opportunities Officer at your department. You be elected as an Equal Opportunities Officer by the student council at your department. If you don't know how to come in contact with with your student council you can contact the Equal Opportunities Coordinator at the Student Union who will assist you.
- Go to the Equal Opportunities Network meetings. The network has meetings continuously throughout the semester and gives you an opportunity to meet others who are passionate about equal opportunities and learn more about how you can influence the university.
What does the Student Union do for equal opportunities at the university?
At the Student Union we have an Equal Opportunities Coordinator who works strategically to promote equal opportunities. The Coordinator is your contact if you want to influence the university in regards of equal opportunities or if you have an idea about what the Union should be doing when addressing these issues.
The Coordinator works with long term strategic issues and not individual cases of discrimination and/or harassment. If you want to discuss those type of issues, turn to the Student Ombudsmen or the SU Coordinator for equal treatment of students (see above).
The main duties of the Equal Opportunities Coordinator are:
- Attending meetings at SU where decisions regarding equal opportunities are made.
- Ousting long term equal opportunities issues to raise the level of ambition regarding these issues at the university.
- Monitoring and help push equal opportunities issues at different departments.
- Host the Equal Opportunities Network for passionate students who want to learn more about, or help influence, equal opportunities issues.
- Leading projects and workshops to increase visibility, create public opinion and share knowledge related to this area.
Equal Opportunities Coordinator
Paloma Halén Román