Bullying and harassment in academic environment

Last week I heard about some of the experiences of students about bullying and harassment during their studies. I was not much familiar with those happenings in academic environment during my studies. For me university and academic environment was always such a holy place which never those devastating things could have been happened. This issue made me realize that how much presence of codes of conducts in each profession is necessary for fostering ethical and professional behavior. Those codes would act as an obligation for people to act in the constrain of law and exercise disciplines. Moreover, according to those codes people would know which kind of behaviors would not be tolerated in their work places and would lead to punishments. Through gentle implementing those codes, rules and disciplines and more serious punishments for abuse, harassment, embezzlement, I think fewer violations would happen especially in academic environments. In my opinion, since those who are working at universities are usually the elite part of societies if they become fully aware of the consequences of codes and ethics violation, they won’t conduct unacceptable behaviors.

However, the above hypothesis is very optimistic. For addressing to those issues in a comprehensive way a thorough investigation about the causes of such behaviors should be conduct and the reasons categorized meticulously. I personally think for finding the reasons of such behaviors and have done some quick and basic research about this issue. So, from my viewpoint, these are the main reasons of such events in universities and academic environments:

–      Domination of male population in most universities,

–      Ineffective addressing to previous happenings,

–      Power concentration,

–      Highly respected status,

–      Sense of job safety after tenure track,

–      Top-down relationship.

After thinking about the reasons of harassment and abuse in universities, and finding those, it was interesting for me that I have found some similarities between the reasons of violation at academic and political environments. I think wherever there is a high concentration of power, those corruptions are unavoidable because power would give people a sense of security and freedom for conducting any kind of legal or illegal acts. Needless to say, it is just a general hypothesis and it is not true for all academic people or politicians since many other factors are also involved and have key role in this regard.