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I want to sue my University

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    (Original post by beautifulbigmacs)
    Sexual harassment is inexcusable but that's the fault of individuals rather than the uni itself.

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    It depends on the cirucmstances of the case.

    If the OP raised a specific issue and the uni ignored it, failed to investigate or take seriously, then the uni start to have some responsibiliy. They need to have procedures where they can complain and then they need to be taken seriously.
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    (Original post by 999tigger)
    A lot of unis will provide a gender split if you ask them nicely. Just research that can be found out beforehand.
    I didn't type my reply very well. I mean at interview for a course, an applicable might look a bit silly insisting that the demographics of other learners matters that much.
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    (Original post by beautifulbigmacs)
    I didn't type my reply very well. I mean at interview for a course, an applicable might look a bit silly insisting that the demographics of other learners matters that much.
    You could ask on an open day. Its not really relevant to an interview, but it would be down to how you would ask the question.

    In this thread its whether a uni had a duty to make sure courses were diverse and balanced. Clearly unreasonable.
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    (Original post by beautifulbigmacs)
    I didn't type my reply very well. I mean at interview for a course, an applicable might look a bit silly insisting that the demographics of other learners matters that much.
    Probably because it doesn't
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    The only situation where you could see a fault in this situation is if you reported any said sexual harassment you experienced to the university authorities and no action was taken accordingly. Otherwise, it's not like the university can foresee the gender ratio of applicants for a particular course and accept applicants just because they should create a fitting ratio, as you think.
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    (Original post by Chihiro95)
    Hello.
    Not gonna mention which uni but I should be entering year two next month, however that's looking unlikely. This is because of depression and other issues that have arisen due to an abysmal first year.

    Computing in generally low in no. of girls and high in no. of guys. I expected no less than that in my art+computing combo, but when I went to my first lecture of the year, I was a bit jarred to find out that I was the only girl on my degree.

    At first I thought I'd be ok and was determined not to make a fuss out of it nor let it affect me. A minority of the other students had a different idea as became evident. I found myself subjected to two leery, creepy guys who were both pretty patronising to my intelligence. One of these guys started being quite harassing as time went on.

    After that and some other situations, I found it very hard to make friends and get comfortable on my degree because I was afraid of what might happen were I to relax. I was stressed and exhausted by the gender situation and was super frustrated that it had to so clearly affect the way my classmates saw me. By term 2, I had become an anxious wreck and just being in a room full of men was enough to make me cry. I've got some pretty bad fears of men that I have to work through and some depression to manage. I almost passed the year and have been given one retake coursework to do over the summer, but I think I have to take a year out.

    It was just too hard and stressful having to deal with what I now know as sexual harassment on top of my studies. Being the only girl created a pretty messed up dynamic. My degree ended up feeling alienating and like there was only space for my looks and not my brain. Just because I'm a girl, ffs.

    Anyway, I am thinking of getting legal advice as I believe the course to have been misrepresented to me before accepting the place. I found out that my degree has consistently had three female students or less which was never mentioned to me before accepting my place through clearing. Also, I never imagined it possible that there could be such a poor gender ratio, especially at university level and find it unacceptable that this even happened in the first place.

    This is not the university experience I borrowed £9000 plus maintenance loans for. Do you think I might have grounds to sue for a refund?
    I don't know anything about the legal standpoint but from the 'human' or psychological standpoint I understand how traumatic sexual harassment can be; if the others were harassing you, you informed the university and nothing was done then YES I think you would have a right to complain.
    I wonder if you could still transfer to another university? Most maths and science subjects are male dominated however I have never heard of being the only female student on the course (at least there should be 2 or 3!!).
    If you are only in your first year you could still transfer to a different uni, sometimes you can still get loans and grants to continue or skip the first year. It might be worth enquiring as good Unis are currently recruiting again.
    For instance Uni of Sheffield has loads of girls in computer science and maths, maybe as much as 30%. Pretty much the same balance in UCL and Birkbeck College which was where I did my first degree.
    For the people who have made negative comments about being 'strong' they clearly don't know what it is like for a young girl to be sexually harassed on a daily basis. I do because it has happened to me at the workplace. It is victim blaming and I am sure you have tormented yourself enough. People get confused between being depressed through no direct cause and being depressed because of suffering trauma, and I believe if your situation changes you can be much happier and achieve better academic results too!
    If possible I would suggest trying not to worry about the money as much as your future happiness - I think changing uni would be a better idea as anyway the Uni has shown that they aren't effective at looking after your wellbeing.
    Again good Universities can even give you a year off if depression gets the better of you (same grant/loans in place) but my feeling is that something is off if there was only one female on the course (I do statistics and this feels like something unlikely to happen 'by accident').
    In my MSc Statistics there is only 5 UK female students but loads of female Chinese students, but even so everyone respects each other and NO-ONE would get away with harassing any of us. The young men are all totally respectful and interact and talk to us ABOUT THE SUBJECT. It's worrying that the atmosphere has allowed other students to treat you in this way.
    I would stress that you should focus on yourself ie moving to another uni or doing another course than the financial aspect - but get advice from others over this. Your future is more important than the size of the loan, a better degree will get you a better job anyway! I would take the chance to look around for other unis and make a fresh start
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    I am thinking to take computer science next year at Lancaster where they say is only 5% female. I am ok with that but aim to make female friends in my flat.
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    I study Computing and I'm a female, there are 6 other girls on my course. It can be comforting knowing there are girls to be finds with etc, boys don't bite. I did sometimes wish there were girls, now I'm not too bothered. I have become close friends 3 girls and we usually stay together, quite often the men come with us to do work etc. It's normal, it's only awkward if you mention it I guess.

    I don't understand why women aren't more interested in Computing, Enginering courses though?

    I remembered, I'm there for my Computing degree and not to be friends with people of my preferred genitals. When I graduate, I doubt I'll see many females and I'm okay with that.

    I can understand about the gender ratio being slightly uncomfortable. Although, about the sexual harrassment you should definitely report that.

    Just go in to second year with a positive mind frame. I'm going into second year aswell!

    PM me if you want to talk more!
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    Did you explicitly ask the uni about male:female ratios before you started? Did the uni promise there would be at least X% females? If the answer is 'no' to both then you don't have a case.

    There are plenty of opportunities to socialise with whatever demographic you want - in halls, bars, societies and sports teams. It's not the uni's fault if you don't chose to do so.
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    (Original post by Chihiro95)
    Sure, but one woman? In what world is that an acceptable ratio?

    The point that I'd be getting legal advice for is not just for the sexual harassment but the little forewarning. My professor had ample opportunity to tell me I would be the only girl as we communicated via skype a month before the course was due to begin.

    She misrepresented the course, so I accepted without taking it into consideration because I never once thought this could happen. Even the other computing degrees have a couple of girls.
    well if only one woman applied and got the required grades then it is perfectly acceptable... Your university is not obliged to point out gender variation before a course starts, just as they wouldn't tell someone they were the only black person on a course or whatever - it's easy to find out which courses are female/male heavy and if you cared then you should have avoided them, if you said 1/20 comp sci students are women (don't know the actual number) then if you only have 40-60 students that's only 3 girls which very easily varies to 1-6 girls depending on the year

    if the university was rejecting nearly all the female applicants who met the requirements then you might have an argument for them not fulfilling their duty as far as diversity but I doubt that is the case

    also: having a male heavy course or female heavy course doesn't automatically mean there will be gender based problems... I was on a very female dominated course and I don't think the few guys there had an issue with it, and they divided up so they were all the only guy in their group etc and my partner did comp sci so there were few girls and I don't think there was ever an issue there either - if you were genuinely being harassed the university should have taken action over that but if you just felt uncomfortable around all the guys or they made a few jokes about you being a girl then you needed to just get on with it

    either way sueing a university who can afford much better legal representation than you over something so flimsy is not a good idea
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    (Original post by Ishax)
    I study Computing and I'm a female, there are 6 other girls on my course. It can be comforting knowing there are girls to be finds with etc, boys don't bite. I did sometimes wish there were girls, now I'm not too bothered. I have become close friends 3 girls and we usually stay together, quite often the men come with us to do work etc. It's normal, it's only awkward if you mention it I guess.

    I don't understand why women aren't more interested in Computing, Enginering courses though?

    I remembered, I'm there for my Computing degree and not to be friends with people of my preferred genitals. When I graduate, I doubt I'll see many females and I'm okay with that.

    I can understand about the gender ratio being slightly uncomfortable. Although, about the sexual harrassment you should definitely report that.

    Just go in to second year with a positive mind frame. I'm going into second year aswell!

    PM me if you want to talk more!
    Easy
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    (Original post by Chihiro95)
    Hey. Thanks for responding, I don't know where else to go.
    I had reported throughout the year, had extensions because of depression, two doctor's letters, told my course leader and the women's officer at the SU.

    They have a duty to diversity though, which I believe they went against here.

    My course leader seemed pretty resigned at it and seems no action's been taken to up the ratio. I was also told by another professor that at least now I know what to expect from the industry I'm going into.

    I would totally do that but I already did a year 1 at another uni before doing Computing so have no SF for another degree. I would stay on but I obviously don't want to go back.
    They have a duty to diversity but the tide is going the other way. The big issue now is the lack of males at university in general. I'm surprised so few women took your course but there is no legal duty to split courses by gender. Unless you can show women were turned down because they were women you have no case here.

    The harassment is different. Ask the university for the records of your complaints and start taking notes. Report what is happening. You can't sue over it but it's easy enough to go to the student union (or someone else that can represent you if they aren't good where you are) and force the university to take it seriously. The last thing they would want is negative publicity even if like you claim they haven't cared so far.
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    (Original post by Chihiro95)
    Hello.
    Not gonna mention which uni but I should be entering year two next month, however that's looking unlikely. This is because of depression and other issues that have arisen due to an abysmal first year.

    Computing in generally low in no. of girls and high in no. of guys. I expected no less than that in my art+computing combo, but when I went to my first lecture of the year, I was a bit jarred to find out that I was the only girl on my degree.

    At first I thought I'd be ok and was determined not to make a fuss out of it nor let it affect me. A minority of the other students had a different idea as became evident. I found myself subjected to two leery, creepy guys who were both pretty patronising to my intelligence. One of these guys started being quite harassing as time went on.

    After that and some other situations, I found it very hard to make friends and get comfortable on my degree because I was afraid of what might happen were I to relax. I was stressed and exhausted by the gender situation and was super frustrated that it had to so clearly affect the way my classmates saw me. By term 2, I had become an anxious wreck and just being in a room full of men was enough to make me cry. I've got some pretty bad fears of men that I have to work through and some depression to manage. I almost passed the year and have been given one retake coursework to do over the summer, but I think I have to take a year out.

    It was just too hard and stressful having to deal with what I now know as sexual harassment on top of my studies. Being the only girl created a pretty messed up dynamic. My degree ended up feeling alienating and like there was only space for my looks and not my brain. Just because I'm a girl, ffs.

    Anyway, I am thinking of getting legal advice as I believe the course to have been misrepresented to me before accepting the place. I found out that my degree has consistently had three female students or less which was never mentioned to me before accepting my place through clearing. Also, I never imagined it possible that there could be such a poor gender ratio, especially at university level and find it unacceptable that this even happened in the first place.

    This is not the university experience I borrowed £9000 plus maintenance loans for. Do you think I might have grounds to sue for a refund?
    No the proportion of guys to girls is not the uni's and problem your unease around guy is your problem ad you need to deal with it I'm sorry you had a bad time but you don't have legal grounds for a law suit.
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    I'm so sorry to hear you had this experience. I can't imagine the stress of trying to deal with depression and sexual harassment whilst meeting university deadlines.

    If you feel you wish to pursue legal action, look for solicitors who specialise in litigation / have previously taken on a similar institution. Some solicitors even offer free consultations which might help. As some others have said, you might want to consider your chances of success against taking action, perhaps research similar past legal action.

    I would try and talk to a counsellor, for both help with your experiences and for advice going forward.
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    (Original post by Chihiro95)
    Anyway, I am thinking of getting legal advice as I believe the course to have been misrepresented to me before accepting the place. I found out that my degree has consistently had three female students or less which was never mentioned to me before accepting my place through clearing. Also, I never imagined it possible that there could be such a poor gender ratio, especially at university level and find it unacceptable that this even happened in the first place.

    This is not the university experience I borrowed £9000 plus maintenance loans for. Do you think I might have grounds to sue for a refund?
    Don't think you have any grounds to sue.

    It is well known that substantially more males take up IT than females. You should know this before you applied. If the gender ratio is an important factor for you, you should have asked about this during your uni application. So did you ask anyone at all before you accepted the offer?

    I think you're just looking to blame the uni for your mistakes, and your failure to do well on your course. You would find the world outside uni won't be any more accommodating to your unrealistic expectations.
 
 
 
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