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The F to J Guide to Social Ethics @ UNE

This content has been provided by UNE Student Support Services & Staff

This is blog 2/5 see the bottom of the blog for the other glossaries.

The University of New England is committed to providing an inclusive environment that acknowledges and celebrates diversity, is free from all forms of discrimination and harassment, and which encompasses and utilises the skills and ideas of all people, irrespective of race or cultural background, gender or sexual orientation, educational level, socioeconomic position, age, disability, or family responsibility. We hope that you will enthusiastically take your place within this environment and enjoy your time here at UNE.

This A to Z Guide to Social Ethics @ UNE is designed to help you understand your social rights and responsibilities while studying at UNE and also to give you a clear sense of what is, and what is not, acceptable behaviour for staff, students or visitors.

The ultimate aim of the guide is to help you establish a safe and secure lifestyle while you are at UNE so that you enjoy your time as a student and ultimately achieve your full academic potential. Whether you dip into and out of this guide as needed, or read it from A to Z, we are sure you will find it a useful resource as you embark on your studies at UNE. You will find within this guide the contact details for a wide range of people who can assist and guide you during your time as a student. We all look forward to meeting you individually into the future. We wish you every success during your time at UNE and welcome you to our community.




Upon starting university, some of you may be managing your own finances for the first time. Managing your finances with a sense of social responsibility does not mean shouting every round of drinks. At university, it means things like paying your course fees on time, paying library or parking fines, paying your college fees or rent, paying back your mate if you borrow a twenty, and budgeting for the cost of textbooks. If you do not pay any monies owed to the University, this may hinder you from re-enrolling, borrowing books or from graduating. Being financially responsible also means finding out about what’s available to help you “stay in the black”. Check out these finance tips.

Also find out about various scholarships, including student emergency assistance funds today –  you may well satisfy the criteria for receiving a scholarship.


The core business of a university is to look at new ways of thinking or of doing things, to challenge current ideas and beliefs, to provide social commentary, to test existing theories, to create paradigm shifts and to question the status quo. Freedom to express ideas without censure or reprisal is fundamental to a democracy. Freedom of speech, however, is not about attacking another person. It is about respecting each other’s right to have differing views or beliefs – like agreeing that it’s OK to disagree.

Being at university is not only about having the freedom to express new ideas but is also about discovering one’s personal freedom. For many of you, university coincides with the first move away from home. This may be the first time ever that you’ve needed to decide what to eat, when to sleep, who to socialise with, whether or not to drink alcohol, how to spend your money, and who to be intimate with. Being at university should be a wonderful time for personal discovery and growth. To keep it wonderful is contingent upon you exercising your personal freedom in a way that does not encroach on the freedom of others. For example, your decision to not go to sleep until 2 am should not prevent others from getting a good night’s rest earlier in the evening. Keep in mind how your choices affect others.


Your time at university is not just about studying. It is about finding safe ways for you and those around you to have fun. By promoting social ethics, the University is not setting out to be a “killjoy”, but is asking you to treat each other with dignity and respect. Unfortunately, some people’s idea of fun involves making jokes at another person’s expense, or subjecting others to initiation rites, peer group pressure, taunts, insults, and public humiliation. This is not fun for the person on the receiving end. It is abuse (see Bullying and Harassment). Think about safe ways that you can celebrate important achievements (submitting an assignment, winning a sporting game) and milestones (turning 18, getting your license) while at university. Celebrate. Don’t violate. For tips on how to celebrate safely, check out the Youth Safe website and find out how to get involved with events in the UNE community by visiting UNE Life.


Graduate Attributes

Several of the attributes that you will be expected to have developed during your time at UNE are communication skills, knowledge of a discipline from a global perspective, social responsibility and teamwork. You can start developing these attributes by being open to different communication styles across cultures; by thinking about how your thoughts and actions impact on others or the environment or globally; by working collaboratively with others; by appreciating the contributions of others; and by following through with agreed tasks. For more information about the attributes of a UNE Graduate, have a look here or Also speak to the Career staff about how you can become career ready.

Global Perspective

Whether studying online or on-campus, university study opens up a whole world of resources, perspectives, and people. As you study, your awareness of where you and your thinking fit in the global scheme of things will develop. You may wish to enhance your appreciation of other cultures, peoples, and lands by considering a UNE student exchange program. For more information about study overseas for up to a year check this out (See Graduate Attributes)



Harassment and bullying often refer to the same thing, but harassment can be a single incident whereas bullying is repeated unreasonable behaviour. Harassment is unwelcome and unwanted behaviour that is reasonable for you to regard as offensive, distressing, humiliating, threatening, intimidating or abusive. The University is committed to keeping the campus free from all forms of harassment, but it needs you to make the same commitment.

Take time to stop and reflect on your behaviour. Are you coming across as loud, controlling or judgemental? Are you making negative comments about what someone wears, how they look, or their lifestyle? Are you freezing someone out or spreading malicious rumours? Are you teasing, mocking, pressuring or belittling someone? Think about whether you would want to be treated in the way you are treating others. If you encounter harassment at UNE, consider contacting the equity staff within the UNE Student Access and Inclusion office or staff in the Student Grievance Unit. (Also see Bullying, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault)


While none of us have complete control over our health and may find ourselves unwell at the worst possible time, there are steps we can all take to look after our wellbeing. Promoting and prioritizing your health and wellbeing is one of the most effective ways to ensure you are able to respond to the needs of others and the demands of your study and life more generally. To assist with this, UNE students can access for free the UNE Medical Centre for GP consultations.  UNE encourages you to engage in appropriate help-seeking behavior and to do it sooner rather than later where possible. If you require psychological support, the UNE Student Counselling and Psychological Services can assist.

Human Rights

For information about your human rights, see Equity and Rights in this guide and go to the Human Rights Commission website (See Equity, Rights)



(See Access, Disability, Special Needs)

Independent Learning

Independent learning does not mean locking yourself away in your study and having minimal interaction with others. It is about taking responsibility for your own learning. It is about being active rather than passive – for example, letting others know if you have a concern rather than sitting with it (whether it is financial, academic, personal, etc.). Contact student support staff at UNE so that they can point you in the right direction.

Independent learning is also about bouncing ideas around with other students yet producing your own work for assessment. It is about chasing up some extra reading references rather than limiting yourself to what’s on the expected reading list. It’s about prioritising and setting your own deadlines in order to avoid the dreaded assignment due date “bottleneck”. It’s about being an active learner – someone who questions the material you have been given and who doesn’t limit themselves to just learning by rote.

Being an independent learner is also about recognising that being enrolled at university and paying university fees does not automatically lead to the guaranteed completion of a course. While the University would like to see all its students graduate, this is not a given. The University’s objective is to help you to help yourself. The onus is on you to demonstrate that you have met the minimum requirements of your course. Also, if you are a first-year internal on-campus student, your First Year Advisor can help you gain some of the skills to be an independent learner. If you need academic support, contact the Academic Skills Office  and you can also access online academic support via a link in your Moodle units to Studiosity essay feedback and live chat. (Also see Academic Skills)


Social ethics or responsibility means appreciating that we are interconnected or interdependent. We are connected to others as well as to our environment. This is something that indigenous Australians deeply value. The Anaiwan people are the traditional owners or custodians of the land that UNE is situated on. By recognising and paying respect to the traditional owners of the land, hopefully, we are also reminded of our own responsibility to care for the land, its flora and fauna

Among the University’s alumni are members of the Anaiwan community. The UNE welcomes members of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to consider UNE as a place of learning. The Oorala Centre is a study support and advisory centre for on-campus and online-only Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students of the UNE.

Inherent Requirements

Inherent requirements are the fundamental parts of a course or unit that must be met by all students. They are the abilities, knowledge and skills you need to complete the course. Students with a disability or chronic health condition can have adjustments made at the UNE end to enable them to meet these requirements. There may also be other considerations, such as cultural or religious considerations, that may impact your capacity to meet an inherent requirement and may require adjustments. However, any adjustments must not fundamentally change the nature of the inherent requirement. You have a responsibility to ensure you can meet the requirements of your course. For more information about inherent requirements check this out.

International Students

Social ethics are about engaging with other people in a positive way, creating opportunities for them to engage with you, and experiencing our connectedness with people from all cultures and faiths. Our hope is that staff and students from all over the world who choose to work and study at UNE, also have opportunities to experience many enriching facets of the Australian culture. If you would like to become involved with the international community at UNE, contact staff in UNE International about programs or groups such as the Armidale International Association (AIA) or opportunities to be a host family for international students or visitors to UNE. If you have any questions visit AskUNE. (Also see Xenophobia)


(See Technology, World Wide Web)



(See Harassment)

Justice Social ethics are about justice and fairness for all parties. If, while you are at university, a situation arises that means you need to lodge a complaint against another person, or someone lodges a complaint against you, the complaint will be handled according to the principles of natural justice. These principles ensure that all parties to a complaint are given a fair hearing. If, for example, someone alleges that you assaulted them, the principles of natural justice ensure that you are given an opportunity to put forward your case in response to any allegations. The University stresses that all members of the University community have the right to lodge a complaint without fear of reprisal or retribution. For more information on the role of the Student Grievance Unit click here (Also see Complaints, Equity, Harassment)


Haven’t found what you’re looking for? Find the rest of the glossary here;

The A to E Guide to Social Ethics @ UNE
The F to J Guide to Social Ethics @ UNE
The K to O Guide to Social Ethics @ UNE
The P to T Guide to Social Ethics @ UNE
The U to Z Guide to Social Ethics @ UNE