The Vice-Chancellor of Teesside University and President of the Students’ Union have signed a new pledge which signals a joint commitment for all staff and students to embrace diversity and actively oppose prejudice.

The All Different, All Equal pledge is part of an ongoing initiative to ensure that all members of the University community are respected and supported in an inclusive environment and feel able to challenge all forms of discrimination, hate crime, harassment and bullying.

Under the All Different, All Equal banner, a wide range of events, campaigns and initiatives will be supported, including Black History Month, Yes to Respect, Interfaith Week and Anti-Bullying Week.

Professor Paul Croney, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of Teesside University and Bruna Silva, President of the Students’ Union, signed the pledge which is available to view online and will be displayed in key areas of the University.

It promises a commitment to treat everybody with dignity and fairness, promote a campus which is free from fear, intimidation and harassment and engage in a culture of openness, tolerance and understanding. In addition, procedures have been revised to better support students who are being harassed and bullied and a team of specialist advisors has been identified to work with and support specific groups.

Professor Croney said: “It is part of Teesside University’s ethos to embrace diversity. All our students and staff are entitled to work and study in an inclusive, safe and supportive environment. I am pleased to be signing the All Different, All Equal Pledge alongside the President of our Students’ Union to demonstrate a joint commitment to embedding these values throughout university life.”

Bruna Silva added: “It is vital that all students and staff at the University feel included, accepted and respected. We are delighted to work in partnership on a range of campaigns devoted to that aim and we also warmly welcome and fully support the principles of the All Different, All Equal pledge. I’m proud to have the opportunity to co-sign it with the Vice-Chancellor.”

In addition, the Love Your Neighbour conference, organised by the Middlesbrough Interfaith Network, is being launched at Teesside University Students’ Union on Tuesday 15 November.

Love Your Neighbour is a movement started in Birmingham which encourages people and communities to live in harmony, mutual respect and care. The launch event is celebrating acts of kindness that faith and community groups are doing every week.

The full day event will feature films, performances, talks and presentations and will culminate with a range of community and civic leaders, charities, businesses and community groups signing a banner to show their support for the cause.

Teesside University has already been ranked as the number one English university in the Stonewall list of the top 100 places for LGBT employees to work across Britain, judged on the way each treats members of staff from the LGBT community. It is also one of only five UK universities to be accredited with Investors in People GOLD status and is a proud member of the Athena SWAN charter, which recognises a commitment to supporting women in science, technology, engineering, medicine and mathematics (STEMM).

The Students’ Union has also pioneered a number of equality related initiatives, including signing the national ‘Time To Change’ pledge on mental health, a sports charter setting out acceptable behaviour and language from students when playing sport and the wider ranging Yes To Respect campaign which aims to get students thinking about their language and behaviour towards others in a range of settings.

Read the All Different, All Equal pledge here –  www.tees.ac.uk/sections/studentsupport/different_equal.cfm