The University of Zurich has a set of regulations to ensure protection against sexual harassment ("Reglement zum Schutz vor sexueller Belästigung an der Universität Zürich," in the following RSB). These regulations are based on the fundamental assumption that all staff and students should treat each other with respect. This does not mean that interpersonal relations should be purely impersonal, distant and formal. On the contrary, friendly and relaxed personal interaction, also between women and men, is and should be a normal part of everyday life at the University. Nevertheless, the regulations stipulate unequivocally that sexual harassment is prohibited and will not be tolerated.
To whom do the regulations apply?
All staff and students at the University of Zurich.
What is sexual harassment?
Any behavior that injures or demeans a person on account of their gender, and that the targeted person finds uncomfortable.
What is permitted and what not?
Friendly compliments, shared coffee breaks and University fitness events, humorous conversations and banter are certainly not a problem. Behavior that is inappropriate and not permitted includes unwelcome physical contact, intrusive behavior, salacious remarks and jokes about appearance or physical characteristics. Showing potentially offensive images or behaving in other ways conveying or creating an oppressive work or study climate also contravenes the regulations. The same naturally applies to all unlawful sexual acts.
Where can I find the precise wording of the regulations?
The document is available in the Zurich law collection (ZH-Lex, in German)
Please note that «UniFrauenstelle – Gleichstellung von Frau und Mann» is the former name of the Office for Gender Equality and Diversity.
The regulations also stipulate what measures are to be taken in the event of sexual harassment, and what rights the affected parties have.
What can affected parties do?
The University of Zurich has designated several people who may be contacted for initial confidential advice and support, as listed below.
Furthermore, UZH has designated Prof. Dr. iur. utr. Brigitte Tag (Faculty of Law) to handle any legal issues in cooperation with the University’s Legal Services.
Lic. phil. Martin Akeret, Head of UZH Archive (City Campus)
MSc Annette Hofmann, Head of Safety, Security and Environment (Irchel Campus)
Dr. Christiane Löwe, Head of Gender Equality and Diversity (City Campus)
Prof. Dr. Dr. med. Caroline Ospelt (Oerlikon/Schlieren Campus)
MLaw Sina Staudinger, Manager of the RSB Committee (City Campus)
Dr. Rita Stöckli, General Secretary of the University of Zurich (City Campus)
Lic. iur. Thomas Tschümperlin, Head of Services (City Campus)