Personal safety refers not only to physical safety (freedom from physical harm) but also to psychological safety, which involves freedom from worry about physical safety as well as being victimized by hostility, aggression, and harassment. Valuing physical and psychological safety means emphasizing not only bright lights, but also a welcoming, respectful environment.
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) recognizes that health and safety hazards can represent significant impediments to student and staff professional, creative and social growth” and “is determined to promote safe and healthy working conditions in its facilities” (TRU Policy on Health and Safety, 1991). Further, TRU affirms that “all employees and students have a right to work and study in an environment that asserts and supports their fundamental rights, personal worth, and human dignity” (TRU policy on Harassment Prevention, 1993).
TRU and/or its employees may be liable in instances where students, employees, or campus visitors suffer injuries because the environment is found to be unsafe or unhealthy.
What is personal safety?
Personal Safety refers to the freedom from physical harm and threat of physical harm, and freedom from hostility, aggression, harassment, and devaluation by members of the academic community. Safety includes worry about being victimized as well as actual incidents.
Everyone's right of access to education, academic excellence, and career achievement are seriously compromised when phyiscal and pyschological safety are in question.
A positive, open and supportive climate can enhance learning and academic excellence. Interactions with instructors, colleagues, co-workers, and peers which are cooperative, friendly, helpful, focused, and trusting are important contibutors to achievement and job performance.
A substandard environment is bereft if mutual respect and compassion; it may be characterized by differential treatment and devaluation of certain groups, usually women and minorities. Such an enviroment can have a negative impact on the seif-esteem, academic acheivement, career development, and income of targeted groups.