Bullying is offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour, or an abuse or misuse of power through means that undermine, humiliate, denigrate or injure another person. Bullying may happen in public or in private. Bullying may occur through many different forms, including written communications, visual images, email, phone, social networking websites, etc.
Examples of bullying behaviours include:
- destructively criticising
- ostracising or ignoring
- humiliating and undermining a person so that their confidence and self-esteem is destroyed
- withholding relevant information
- treating a person differently from others.
In the University context, there could be occasions where someone perceives that they are in a position of power and could then use that power to threaten or bully others.
Legitimate, reasonable and constructive criticism of performance or behaviour, or reasonable instructions given to staff in the course of their employment or to students as part of their studies, will not amount to bullying on their own.