Bullying, Harassment, and Harassing Speech

May 24, 2023

The following is a statement from the Sociology Department on Bullying, Harassment, and Harassing Speech:

As scholars attuned to and teaching about the times in which we live, the faculty in Sociology, along with staff, have been discussing the new forms of bullying, harassment, and harassing speech that have arisen alongside increasing political and cultural polarization, and that are often reinforced by news and social media platforms that spread falsehoods and allow for anonymity. For example, we have come to recognize that student-initiated Discord channels can create a platform for bullying and harassment that can leave student participants and the teaching team feeling unsafe. We also recognize these dynamics can be exacerbated by the trauma and isolation from the pandemic; the broad range of injustices we study in sociology, including along lines of race, gender, sexuality, and class; distress caused by contemporary issues such as climate change; and a multitude of other societal ills that Sociology explores and addresses.

The Sociology Department strongly condemns all such harassment, bullying, and harassing speech and is currently taking steps to better understand what makes our department safe for undergraduate students, graduate students, staff and faculty, and to institute new policies and practices to ensure the safety and well-being of our Sociology community.

The University of California Office of the President has released new guidelines on abusive conduct in the workplace that pertain to student employees, staff and faculty, which took effect in January of this year. If you have experienced bullying, harassment, harassing speech, or other abusive conduct, here are some action steps you can take.

  • If you would like to discuss any experience of bullying, harassment, or harassing speech and/or seek conflict resolution, you may speak to someone confidentially at the Office of the Ombuds

  • Note: The department is currently working on a list of referrals for students, staff, and faculty who may be dealing with these issues. This list will include a distinction between referrals to on-campus support services that are confidential and those subject to mandatory reporting laws relating to certain issues, such as sexual violence and sexual harrassment.  For now, if anyone is seeking counsel that is completely confidential, and that can refer you to other resources on campus, we recommend starting with the Ombuds office.