/

Sexism Questions to Ask at Open Days

It is so important to question institutions on their policies for prevention of sexual violence, and what their support and reporting mechanisms look like.

By asking questions you should get a feel for whether students would be empowered to report incidents, however insignificant they seem. Be specific and ask to see copies of policies and any initiatives that are running.

Three young university students studying together ©iStock/Ammentorp Photography
iStock/Ammentorp Photography

Dr Alison Phipps, Director of Gender Studies at the University of Sussex and co-author of the research conducted for the NUS, advises to drill staff about what is being done. She says that “asking questions at an early stage will help you to evaluate the institution’s culture and values...if they say don’t worry, we don’t have problems here, then that would ring alarm bells for me because it would signify a lack of awareness of laddism rather than absence of a problem.”

Suggestions of questions to ask about sexism at a university open day:

  • What processes are there to deal with reports of sexism on campus?
  • Who can I speak to if I’ve been the victim of sexist abuse?
  • Is there a number I can call regarding sexism on campus?
  • What have you done to deal with sexism at the university in the past?
  • Are there any events coming up involving people talking about sexism at university?
  • Are there any specific societies or campaigns I can get involved in, if I wanted to?
  • Do you have any plans in action, or about to be put in place, to help reduce rates of sexism cases at this university?

By spreading awareness, speaking out, and with the cooperation of all students, staff and external organisations, we can help to stamp out sexism on campus.