Rules for co-existence at Pompeu Fabra University
Pompeu Fabra University has a long tradition of promoting integrity, which logically includes the need to ensure harmonious relations within the community as a fundamental value. To this end, its Code of Ethics, originally adopted in 2012, included several principles intended to achieve such harmony between and among the members of its community and those who interact with it. In this regard, the principle of ‘Respect’ is particularly important. According to this principle, ‘A true university community is only possible if its members work together to create and transfer knowledge, participate in the organization of learning, research and management processes, and treat others with respect in the performance of their duties.’ The Code further specifies, ‘Respect is expressed by how we treat and regard colleagues, students, teaching staff, administrative and service staff, or any other person related to the university, their ideas and contributions, and the natural, social and cultural research environment.’ Needless to say, the validity of this principle – initially drafted around ten years ago – is absolute, as is that of the other principles and guarantee mechanisms included in the most recent revision of the Code of Ethics, adopted, following a participatory process, in 2020.
All of this is fully congruent with the terms of Spanish Law 3/2022, of 24 February, on co-existence at universities, implemented at UPF by means of these regulations. Specifically, the approval of these Rules for Co-existence fulfils the mandate established by the Fourth Additional Provision of the Law, whereby ‘within a maximum period of one year from the entry into force of this law, and under the terms of Articles 3 and 4 hereof, public and private universities shall approve their Rules for Co-existence, which must include measures to prevent and respond to violence, discrimination and harassment. Universities may include in these Rules for Co-existence any measures of a similar nature that they already have in place, adapting them as appropriate to the provisions of this law.’
Precisely as stated in the aforementioned provision, UPF has considerable experience in the field of promoting values such as equality and already has instruments in place to this end. Accordingly, these rules refer to the ‘Protocol for preventing and acting against gender-based violence, sexual harassment, and harassment on grounds of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression’. Likewise, with regard to workplace bullying, they provide for the application of another instrument already in force at UPF, namely, the ‘Protocol for preventing and solving conflicts involving workplace bullying’. As for discrimination due to racism, xenophobia or intolerance in sport, culture, participation and volunteering, as well as discrimination on grounds of disability in the university environment, these rules provide for the strengthening of those mechanisms with a mandate to draw up the corresponding protocol or protocols.
Finally, in accordance with the terms of the aforementioned Law, UPF has created the UPF Co-existence Committee, a new collective body to be made up of an equal number of members from each of the three main sectors of the university community: teaching and research staff, administrative and service staff, and students. Under these regulations, the new Committee is established with a close link to the University Senate, as the maximum representative body of the community, and the specific plans for it are limited, as it is intended to be operational, functioning in accordance with the impetus of its members. In addition to being able to invite university officials or experts from within or outside the community to its meetings or work, the Co-existence Committee shall have the necessary support to perform its functions. As for conflict resolution, mention should be made of the UPF ombuds officer, who, in the exercise of his or her independent action, may carry out mediation, conciliation or other forms of action, as already provided for in the regulations governing that office and which, in practice, has been occurring since the founding of this institution. In accordance with the Law, these regulations provide for alternative methods of conflict resolution in cases of conflicts that might interfere with co-existence and the normal functioning of the essential roles of teaching, research and knowledge transfer.
These rules were developed with the participation of the representatives of all the university’s component groups, who had access to earlier drafts, and some of their proposals have been incorporated into the final text.
Preliminary title. General provisions
Article 1. Purpose
1. The purpose of these regulations is to establish the basis for co-existence in the Pompeu Fabra University community, encouraging the preferential use of alternative methods of conflict resolution for those conflicts that might interfere with co-existence and the normal functioning of the essential roles of teaching, research and knowledge transfer.
2. These regulations promote:
a. respect for diversity and tolerance, equality, inclusion and the adoption of affirmative action measures in favour of vulnerable groups;
b. freedom of expression, the right of assembly and association, freedom to teach, and academic freedom;
c. the eradication of all forms of violence, discrimination or sexual harassment on grounds of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or sex characteristics;
d. the eradication of all forms of violence, discrimination or harassment on grounds of national origin, ethnicity, disability, age, health status, social class, religion or beliefs, language, or any other personal or social condition or circumstance;
e. transparency in the performance of academic activity;
f. the use and conservation of the university’s property and resources in accordance with its role as a public service;
g. respect for common spaces, including those of a digital nature; and
h. the use of the university’s name and symbols in accordance with the established protocols.
Article 2. Subjective scope
1. These rules for co-existence apply to the university community made up of teaching and research staff, administrative and service staff, and students.
2. These rules for co-existence apply to both physical spaces on the university’s campuses and its online areas, such as the university’s website and virtual campus, the virtual learning platform, the university’s social media, and the rest of its technological applications or virtual spaces.
Article 3. Promotion of values, rights and freedoms
1. The university must guarantee the freedom of expression and rights of assembly, association, demonstration and strike in the university environment.
2. With a view to fostering understanding, peaceful co-existence at the university and full respect for democratic values, these rules for co-existence must promote the fundamental rights and public freedoms in the university environment established under Article 3.2 and must also guarantee the rights and freedoms established under Article 3.5 of Spanish Law 3/2022, of 24 February, on co-existence at universities.
3. In any case, the implementation and interpretation of these regulations, with regard to the aforementioned values, rights and freedoms, must be carried out taking into account the formulation of the principles established by the Code of Ethics currently in force at Pompeu Fabra University and its successive revisions and expansions.
TITLE I. Measures to prevent and respond to violence, discrimination or harassment
Article 4. Preventive measures
1. It is the responsibility of all component groups of the university community to prevent conflicts and create an environment of respect, tolerance and preservation of equality. This duty also extends to any other person who participates in the institution’s activity.
2. It is the responsibility of the academic bodies and administrative services and units with jurisdiction in any of the areas described in Article 1.2 above to coordinate the putting into place of:
a) Actions for the primary prevention of conflicts, such as sensitization, awareness-raising and training, to promote recognition and respect for diversity and fairness in the university environment;
b) Actions for the secondary prevention of conflicts, such as actions related to contexts, circumstances and risk factors, in order to prevent situations of violence, discrimination or harassment from occurring.
Article 5. Sexual harassment and harassment on grounds of sex
In the case of sexual harassment or harassment on grounds of sex, the ‘Protocol for preventing and acting against gender-based violence, sexual harassment, and harassment on grounds of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression’, approved by resolution of the Board of Governors dated 27 April 2022, or the applicable protocol at any given time, will apply.
Article 6. Discrimination due to racism, xenophobia and intolerance in sport, culture, participation and volunteering
In the case of discriminatory behaviours due to racism, xenophobia and intolerance in activities organized by the university related to sport, culture, participation and volunteering, the protocol approved by the Board of Governors in force at any given time will apply.
Article 7. Discrimination on grounds of disability in the university sphere
In the case of discriminatory behaviours on grounds of disability in the university sphere, the protocol approved by the Board of Governors in force at any given time will apply.
Article 8. Workplace bullying
In the case of workplace bullying behaviours, the ‘Protocol for preventing and solving conflicts involving workplace bullying’, approved by resolution of the Board of Governors dated 11 April 2018, or the protocol in force at any given time, will apply.
Article 9. Information for victims regarding their rights and psychological and legal support to facilitate their recovery
1. The university units or services with jurisdiction over the matters set out in Article 1.2 of these regulations will be responsible for providing information to the university community about their rights in case of complaints or reports filed for behaviours contrary to these matters.
2. In addition to the aforementioned points, the university will seek the best information, guidance and psychological and legal support tools for the parties concerned. The legal information, guidance and support will be provided as a differentiated service by the university’s Legal Services.
Article 10. Support measures to facilitate victims’ recovery
1. The university may take the support measures it deems suitable within the current legal framework for the purposes of facilitating victims’ recovery.
2. These measures will be granted by resolution of the rector or vice-rector to whom he or she delegates this task, at the proposal of the Co-existence Committee.
TITLE II. Co-existence Committee and mediation procedure
Chapter I. Co-existence Committee
Article 11. Creation and composition
1. The Pompeu Fabra University Co-existence Committee is hereby created. It will be made up of a total of six members belonging, in equal measure, to the university community’s different component groups, ensuring gender balance and that its actions are governed by the principles of independence and autonomy.
2. The corresponding representatives will be selected as follows:
Two representatives of the teaching and research staff – one of whom must be permanently affiliated with the university – who must be members of the University Senate will be chosen by the sector of the University Senate that they represent.
- Two representatives of the administrative and service staff, who must be members of the University Senate, who will be chosen by the sector of the University Senate that they represent.
- Two representatives of the student body – one of whom must be a master’s degree or doctoral student – who must be members of the University Senate will be chosen by the sector of the University Senate that they represent.
3. Once elected, the various representatives will be appointed by the rector.
4. The election of the Committee members and filling of any vacancies that may occur will be subject to the terms of the Regulations governing the University Senate.
5. To ensure the proper functioning of the Co-existence Committee, an equal number of alternate members will be chosen.
6. The members of the Co-existence Committee will be elected for a term of 4 years, except for the students, who will be elected for a term of 2 years.
7. The following will be grounds for termination as a member of the Co-existence Committee:
a. Completion of the term for which the member was appointed.
b. Termination of the member’s employment or academic relationship with the university.
c. Voluntary withdrawal.
Article 12. Communications to the Co-existence Committee
Communications, which may not be anonymous, may be sent to the Co-existence Committee by any means allowed by law.
Article 13. Functions of the Co-existence Committee
The Co-existence Committee shall have the following functions:
a. Channel the initiatives and proposals of the sectors that make up the university community to improve co-existence at the university and make proposals in this sphere.
b. Promote the use of the mediation mechanism to try to settle conflicts arising between members of the university community due to violations of the Rules for Co-existence.
c. Where appropriate, undertake the mediation procedure as an alternative to the disciplinary regime.
d. Submit on an annual basis, when deemed necessary, a report on its actions to the University Senate.
e. Any other function assigned, delegated or entrusted to it by the university’s governing bodies.
Article 14. Organization and operation
1. The president and secretary of the Co-existence Committee shall be appointed by and from among its members.
2. The internal functioning of the Co-existence Committee is governed by the terms of the Regulations governing the University’s Board of Governors.
3. The Co-existence Committee may invite university officials or experts from within or outside of the university community to its meetings or work.
4. The General Manager’s Office will provide the Co-existence Committee with the necessary resources and training for it to fulfil its functions, within the available budget.
Article 15. Rights, duties and conflicts of interests of members
1. The members of the Co-existence Committee may not hold single-person governance offices at the university or be appointed to conduct disciplinary proceedings. They will likewise be subject to the rules for abstention and recusal established under Spanish Law 40/2015, of 1 October, on the Legal Regime for the Public Sector. In the event of the existence of possible grounds for abstention, the parties concerned may propose their recusal in writing to the rector, stating the reason or reasons for it. Should the rector consider grounds for abstention to exist, he or she will decide on the member’s replacement by the respective alternate member.
2. The members of the Committee and other participants in the sessions must observe the duty of secrecy regarding the matters discussed. This duty will remain in force even following expiry of their term and regardless of their statutory or employment situation.
Chapter II. Mediation procedure
Article 16. Scope of the mediation
1. For the purposes of these regulations, mediation shall be understood as that non-judicial process of a voluntary and confidential nature intended to facilitate communication between persons so that they can reach a solution to the conflicts affecting them on their own, with the assistance of an impartial and neutral mediator.
2. Mediation is prohibited in those situations of violence established by current law at any given time.
Article 17. Principles of the mediation
The principles of the mediation shall be those established in the applicable Spanish and Catalan laws on this matter.
Article 18. Mediators
1. For the purposes of these regulations, any person, with the appropriate training, who is part of the university community and is appointed by the rector or vice-rector to whom the rector has delegated this task may carry out the mediation. The mediation may also be carried out by a person external to the university when so established by the relevant legal or regulatory provisions or by collective bargaining or other agreements.
2. Should the Co-existence Committee draw up a list of mediators, the appointment by the rector or vice-rector to whom he or she delegates this task must preferably be made from among those persons.
3. When circumstances so require, the university ombuds officer may undertake mediation, conciliation or other forms of conflict resolution actions unrelated to disciplinary proceedings.
4. The mediator may have the collaboration of specialists, who may intervene as experts, and the assistance of co-mediators, especially in mediations between more than two parties. These professionals shall adapt their actions to the principles of the mediation.
Article 19. Initial meeting
1. The mediator shall summon the parties to an initial meeting in which he or she shall explain the procedure, principles and scope of the mediation to them. In particular, he or she must inform both parties of their right to end the mediation.
2. At the first meeting, the mediator and the parties shall agree on the issues to be examined and plan how the sessions that may be needed will be conducted.
3. Depending on the circumstances of the case, the mediator may inform the parties of the advisability of receiving specific assistance, such as legal advice.
Article 20. Start of the mediation procedure
1. In those procedures involving, in addition to the offender or offenders, other parties harmed or offended by the offence, the parties may, within a period of fifteen days, state their willingness to use the mediation procedure by communicating it to the person responsible for conducting the disciplinary proceedings.
2. When the parties so agree, the person conducting the said proceedings must send the file to the Co-existence Committee within a maximum of ten days.
3. The Co-existence Committee, within a period of fifteen days, and after conducting the appropriate checks, will adopt one of the following decisions:
a. The admissibility of the mediation procedure.
b. The return of the file to the person conducting the disciplinary proceedings for the continuation thereof.
4. The decision stating the admissibility of the mediation procedure will be notified to the parties and the processing of the disciplinary proceedings will be suspended, as will the countdown for the deadlines and prescriptive periods for it, for as long as the mediation lasts.
Article 21. Actions in the mediation procedure
In the mediation procedure, the actions needed in each case to facilitate the mediation or achieve its intended aim will be carried out and, in particular, anything not regulated in these regulations will be subject to the relevant Spanish and Catalan laws on mediation.
Article 22. Duration of the mediation
The duration of the mediation will depend on the nature and complexity of the conflict but may not exceed forty-five business days, counting from the day of the initial meeting. By means of a reasoned request from the mediator and the parties to the mediation, the person conducting the proceedings may extend the duration for a maximum of thirty more business days, in consideration of the complexity of the conflict or the number of people involved.
Article 23. Completion of the mediation procedure
1. If the parties involved reach an agreement, it will be formalized in writing and signed by both parties, with each one keeping a copy, with the approval of the mediator.
2. This agreement will be recorded by the Co-existence Committee and will be communicated to the person conducting the disciplinary proceedings so that he or she can close the disciplinary file.
3. The agreement reached will be confidential.
4. If the parties involved fail to reach a full agreement or reach only a partial one, the person conducting the proceedings will be notified, and the file will be returned, so that the disciplinary proceedings can be continued, for their total or partial purpose, and the agreed suspension will be lifted.
First additional provision. Protocol for preventing and acting against discrimination due to racism, xenophobia and intolerance in sport, culture, participation and volunteering
It is the responsibility of the rector, or the person to whom he or she delegates this task, to propose to the Board of Governors the approval of a Protocol for preventing and acting against discrimination due to racism, xenophobia and intolerance in sport, culture, participation and volunteering. The preparation of this protocol shall take into account international standards and, in particular, those established by the Council of Europe through the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI).
Second additional provision. Protocol to prevent and act against discrimination on grounds of disability in the university sphere
It is the responsibility of the rector, or the person to whom he or she delegates this task, to propose to the Board of Governors the approval of a Protocol to prevent and act against discrimination on grounds of disability in the university sphere.
First transitional provision. Temporarily applicable procedure in cases of discrimination due to racism, xenophobia and intolerance in sport, culture, participation and volunteering and in cases of discrimination on grounds of disability in the university sphere
Until the protocols mentioned in the first and second additional provisions are approved, on all points applicable to the specific case, the criteria established in Spanish Law 19/2020, of 30 December, on equal treatment and non-discrimination, or the applicable regulations, will apply.
Sole final provision. Entry into force
These regulations will enter into force the day after their publication in the UPF’s online office.