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The P to T Guide to Social Ethics @ UNE

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

This is blog 4/5 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.


Peer Pressure

(See Bullying, Harassment, Sexual Assault)

Personal Details While the University has a responsibility to keep you informed about your enrolment status, unit enrolment details, your results, etc., you also have a responsibility to notify the University about relevant changes to your circumstances. Fortunately, it is now much easier for you to notify UNE about your current mailing and home addresses, telephone contact details, and even future dated addresses. myUNE is your online link to the University from anywhere at any time. You can update your contact details here.

You will first need to register for your UNE username before you can enter your login details. If you change your name, you will need to notify the University in writing and must provide relevant verifying documentation – particularly if you want your new name to appear on your graduation certificate.


Academia is about fostering and acknowledging original thoughts, ideas, writing, etc. If someone puts time and energy into creating something new, imagine how they feel upon discovering that someone else has put the creation forward as their own, or has not acknowledged the author’s work. Social ethics are about respecting intellectual property and acknowledging the achievements of others. Plagiarism is when a person uses someone else’s thoughts or writings without acknowledging the source. It includes things like using direct copies of someone else’s sentence(s) or paragraphs without the use of quotation marks and appropriate referencing; developing someone else’s idea without referencing the original source of that idea, and paraphrasing or summarising someone else’s material without citing the source.

Committing plagiarism and other forms of academic misconduct as a student may have serious detrimental consequences on your future employment or academic career.

In order to avoid plagiarism and academic misconduct, it is vital you respect and respond to the University’s policies on plagiarism, and are familiar with the referencing conventions in your discipline. The UNE policies on plagiarism can be found here.

Here you will also find a link to the Academic Integrity Module (AIM) which all students have a responsibility to complete. The AIM will educate you about ethical study practices at UNE. Also, check your myUNE for the latest information about how to avoid plagiarism. If you are requiring assistance or advice on an academic misconduct investigation, including for plagiarism, contact Advocacy and Welfare.

As a student, you must sign and date a Plagiarism Declaration form for every assignment that you submit. When you submit assignments electronically, clicking the send button is also equivalent to signing a Declaration. For tips on how to keep track of what material you have used and where you sourced it visit eSKILLS. 


(See Confidentiality)


(See Attendance, Due Dates)



(See Equity and Xenophobia)


Check out different referencing styles here. (Also see Plagiarism)


During the course of your studies, you will be required to conduct research within or outside the University. You may need to conduct research that involves the participation of humans and/or animals, or your research may require you to look at a body of literature, to conduct experiments that don’t involve any life forms, to analyse previously collected data, or to develop computer software. Social ethics are about conducting your research with honesty, integrity, and awareness that you are an ambassador for UNE – especially when you are conducting research off-campus that involves the participation of animals, humans, outside organisations or locations (e.g., government departments, hospitals, sacred sites, national parks, mines, etc.).

Social ethics are about not falsifying your research data, not using someone else’s data without their permission, not coercing people to participate in research, and not misrepresenting the purpose of your research. As a student, you need to be aware of the ethical considerations of any research that you conduct or participate in. Ask for guidance and support from your unit coordinator or supervisor. Also, check out information on research integrity and research ethics here.


The University is a place where people are free to practice or not practice a faith without fear of persecution or vilification. The University has a number of chaplains whose role includes helping you become involved in a faith community. Although the various chaplains at UNE are appointed by particular faith communities and most of the chaplains are Christian, you do not need to be a member of their particular faith group, or even a religious person in order to talk to a chaplain. Although part of a chaplain’s role is to support people who belong to their particular faith or denomination, they’re also there for all members of the University community – students, staff and their families.

For more information about Chaplaincy at UNE, or to find out how to contact other Christian and nonChristian religious groups that meet in Armidale, check this out or to find out about the UNE Mosque Management Association (UMMA) or the International Muslim Students Association (IMSA) have a look here.

Respect. Now. Always.

UNE has partnered with other Australian universities in a national initiative to prevent sexual assault and harassment. Universities need to be places of respect and safety. The Respect. Now. Always. campaign seeks to prevent assault and harassment by raising awareness, supporting students in need of help, and giving bystanders the confidence to speak up. You can help UNE ensure it meets best practice with regards to preventing sexual assault and harassment.

Also, refer to the Be a Better Human campaign developed to help share messages in a conversational way around RNA. (See Bystander, Sexual Assault, Sexual Harassment)


Hopefully, you have figured out that one of the key aims of this publication is to ensure your rights as a student at UNE are protected – rights such as: freedom from discrimination based on race, sex, disability, age, or sexual orientation; freedom of speech; freedom to practice a religion; the right to participate fully in the University community and to attain an education; and the right to a safe environment that is free of bullying and all forms of harassment.

For more information about your student rights please click here or contact the Student Access and Inclusion staff. There are so many other rights that we can so easily take for granted – the right, for example, to clean drinking water, food, shelter, being able to vote, and being treated fairly. To refresh your memory on our basic human rights, check this out.


Safety, Security & Information

Social ethics are about looking out for your safety and protection and that of other people and their belongings which, in turn, makes the job of the UNE Life Safety, Security & Information team easier. This team, which consists of well-trained customer-oriented security personnel, offers a support service which assists the UNE community in protecting life and property, and in the control of traffic and parking on campus. The team provides uniformed Safety and Security patrols of the campus. It also provides a UNE Safety Shuttle service that operates during the academic term – see their website for all times and destinations.

The Safety and Security team also provide services such as staff/student escorts, alarm monitoring and response, emergency assistance, care of lost property, visitor assistance and personal/property safety awareness programs. For non-life threatening emergencies within the University dial 02 6773 2099. For critical emergency services dial 000, then call Safety and Security 02 6773 2099 who can support the situation until Emergency Services arrive.

Sexual Assault

Sexual Assault is not tolerated on campus.  Sex is not there for the taking. Sex, whether in a casual encounter or within an ongoing relationship, is something to be negotiated and freely consented to by all parties. Sex without consent is a very serious crime. Sexual assault is a violation of a person’s body, their sense of self, their sense of safety and their right to choose.

Think about any general situation where you have given your free consent for something to happen. You most likely wanted to know what you would be consenting to. You may have needed or wanted time to think about your decision.

You hopefully said YES without any coercion, pressure or duress. You may have needed to know that you could change your mind without reprisals. When negotiating sex, aim for a clear understanding that you and the other person(s) are comfortable with what is happening. “The way they flirted told me they wanted it!” or “They didn’t say no” are not good enough indicators. Don’t try to read the other person’s mind or assume that they want what you want. Check out what the other person is thinking or feeling. For information about preventative and reporting measures at UNE to respond to sexual harassment and assault, go to Respect. Now. Always.  or contact the staff at Student Support (Also see Respect and BaBH)

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination, is unlawful, and is serious. It is unwanted and unwelcome sexual behaviour that it is reasonable for someone to find offensive, distressing, humiliating and/or intimidating. The Human Rights Commission also states that sexual harassment, irrespective of whether it occurred once or repeatedly, deliberately or unintentionally, has nothing to do with mutual attraction or friendship. Unfortunately, it is something that may occur from student to student, student to staff, staff to student, staff to staff, or may involve a visitor to UNE.

Sexual harassment might include wolf whistles, leering or staring, sexually explicit jokes, gestures, comments, emails, posters, text messages or online posts, someone being overly familiar by brushing up against you or touching you in an unwelcome way, requests for sex or dates, and intrusive questions about your private life or body.

If certain behaviours go unchallenged, people can fall into the trap of thinking that the behaviours must be OK – even when they find themselves cringing, feeling uneasy, frightened, intimidated or uncomfortable when witnessing or experiencing such behaviours. People often stop themselves challenging certain behaviours by saying things like: “Oh. That sort of thing always happens around here” or “Maybe I’m overreacting”. There is a good chance that a person in the same situation would feel similarly to you. For more information about sexual harassment, check out the UNE policy,talk to the Student Access and Inclusion staff at Student Success, staff in the Student Grievance Unit, or go to the Human Rights Commission website.

Think about how each person in the following scenarios might feel.

Scenario 1: A female student met a male student during orientation and they started dating. She called the relationship off during the second term. The male student then started to make persistent phone calls, would check the whereabouts of his ex-girlfriend and turn up there, sent rude text messages and emails, and always sat next to his ex-girlfriend in class. The female student started to avoid classes and was reluctant to answer her phone or tell people where she was going.

Scenario 2: A male student enjoyed his studies in a particular unit but dropped out after a fellow student repeatedly brushed up against him during prac. classes, often stared at him, and once asked about his sex life.

Sexual Health

Acting in a socially responsible, ethical way is important in the bedroom or wherever you choose to have sexual encounters. Sexual health is not only about protecting your health, but that of others. If you have a sexually transmissible infection, it is important that you seek medical treatment and that you minimise the risk of others contracting the infection. If you don’t have an STI, take steps to remain STI free.

If you are not ready to start a family, don’t assume that your sexual partner is taking or using a contraceptive or is the only one responsible for taking or using a contraceptive. It is a good idea for all sexual partners to check that contraceptive measures are in place.

For sexual health and contraceptive information, contact the UNE Medical Centre on 02 6773 2916, your GP, or your local Community Health Centre. Call into Advocacy & Welfare or Student Support for information pamphlets and free condoms, lube sachets or oral dams (when available).

Social Media

The accessibility and immediacy of social media increase the likelihood of you seeing, saying, writing and doing things online that you would normally not do. There is also often a record of what you did for others to see. If you are subsequently cringing at what you may have said or done online, imagine how others are responding. It is important to protect your integrity and that of others when using social media. If you are communicating via UNE Facebook groups, remember that your views will understandably be scrutinised by others. You must adhere to the student code of conduct in the online space. For tips on this topic, go to the “Getting the Most from Social Media” tip sheet (See Communication, Cyberethics)


(See Freedom and Fun)

Special Needs

(See Disability Support)


Social ethics are about having compassion, being reasonable, and appreciating that people may come up against unexpected, extenuating circumstances that prevent them from reaching their full potential. So what has that got to do with “specials”? “Specials” at UNE do not refer to “red light” or “red dot” campus bargains. “Specials” refer to a range of measures that the University will put in place if you can verify that illness or other unavoidable circumstances have prevented you from attending an exam, adversely affected your examination performance at the time of the exam or in the period immediately before, and/or adversely affected your ability to complete and submit required work prior to the commencement of the examination period in the relevant semester. The University allows for “specials” because it appreciates that study does not occur in a vacuum, but that unforeseen, negative circumstances can arise. Specials are a means of creating equity and fairness. In order to maintain fairness, it is important that you only seek a special when your circumstances warrant this. For more information about the general rules applying to UNE awards check this out.

The onus is on you to provide appropriate supporting evidence if you need to apply for a Special Extension of Time, a Special Examination, Special Consideration, or a late application for Withdrawal without failure. Application forms can be found here.


Social ethics are not just about how you behave in lectures, classrooms, or within the colleges. They are also about how you conduct yourself on the sporting field, track, court, or in the pool, as well as how you behave after a sporting event or game. It’s great to celebrate a win. We simply ask you to do it safely. “Celebrate. Don’t violate”. As a sportsperson, you are expected to be a positive role model or mentor for your peers. Sporting competitions rely upon players sticking to the rules of the game. These rules also include things like respect for your fellow players, coaches, referees, team managers, spectators, etc. This University is proud of its sporting tradition and sporting facilities. Find out about sports clubs, sports scholarships, sports awards, as well as how to participate in intercollegiate and intervarsity events.

Student Grievance Unit

In expecting the best from you, it is also reasonable for you to expect the best from us. The Student Grievance Unit is an independent investigative unit that provides assistance with and the resolution of any student-related issues, concerns or complaints submitted by students, staff, residential schools, associated business and any entity that undertakes operations on behalf of the UNE. The SGU’s objective is to ensure a supportive and positive student experience.


Supporting yourself and others is an integral part of social ethics. Yet sometimes, in your efforts to support others, you may find yourself doing too much for the other person, think you are not doing enough, or you may be feeling overwhelmed, “burnt out” or even a little resentful. The other person may also still feel uncertain about how to support themselves.

If you need support for yourself or for another student for personal or academic matters but are unsure what is available to you, please know that there is an integrated student support team at UNE whose role is to guide you in the right direction. For more information contact the Student Support team.


(See Environment)



Technology provides us with tools that unfortunately can be misused. As a student at UNE, you are given the opportunity to access sophisticated technology – to conduct your research, store information, and to communicate with others. Social ethics are about not abusing the technology, not only because you may forfeit future access, but because improper use of the facilities can disadvantage others. Most of you will use information technology such as computer databases, email and the internet. Social ethics means things like leaving a computer lab tidy, not eating, drinking or smoking in computer labs, not gaining access to another person’s emails, not trying to gain unauthorised access to the computer systems, not sending emails under a false identity, and not sending unsolicited emails or chain letters (SPAM). The Information Technology Directorate has clear rules and conditions for the use of UNE computing and communication facilities. These can be found by looking at the Cyberethics policy here.


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