Safer space principles for Finnish Student Sports Federation's events


A guide for arranging a safe event.

OLL’s core values include equality and communality. We hope that our values are reflected in a harassment-free and pleasant atmosphere for everyone at our events and other activities.

With these guidelines, the Finnish Student Sports Federation wants to describe what kind of behaviour is expected and desirable in our events and other activities.

The guidelines aim to create a space that is safe for all participants. Unfortunately, we cannot always guarantee this to every participant with certainty, which is why we use the term “safer space” instead of “safe space”.

Safer space principles

  1. We do not assume or generalise our own experiences to apply them to others. We cannot know what another person’s experiences, thoughts, life situation, sexuality, gender, nationality, culture, language, religion, values, health or functional capacity really are like. Making assumptions is natural, however, which is why it is important that we question our own assumptions, listen to others, and are open to changing our impressions.
  2. We talk to and about other people in a respectful way.
  3. We use language that everyone understands.
  4. We give space to others. We make sure that everyone has the chance to participate and to be heard.
  5. We let everyone be themselves. We do not question the differences between people.
  6. We respect different views and stand by the indivisible human dignity that belongs to all.
  7. We do not harass anyone verbally, by touching, or by staring. If someone asks us to, we stop or change our behaviour and apologise immediately.
  8. When taking photographs at public events, we always do so according to the generally accepted good practices.
  9. We intervene if we witness inappropriate behaviour
  10. If we break the rules, we do not panic: everyone may break the rules sometimes. Still, we do not try to brush off our behaviour, intentional or unintentional, but rather apologise and learn from it.
  11. If we need help or support in problem situations, we can ask e.g. the harassment contact persons for it.
  12. In the event of serious and / or repeated breaches of the rules, the event organizer will intervene in accordance with the federation’s guidelines.

If you have encountered or witnessed harassment, discrimination or other inappropriate behaviour:

  1. Contact the event's harassment contact person personally, via telephone or via this form. You can also contact the harassment contact persons after the event. See harassment contacts persons contact details here.

  2. Tell them what you have experienced or what has happened.
  3. Talk with the harassment contact person about how to resolve the matter. If you so wish, the harassment contact person can contact the different parties involved in the situation.

When you contact a harassment contact person:

  1. The harassment contact person listens to you without judging.
  2. The harassment contact person is under an obligation of confidentiality.
  3. The harassment contact person and the person who has experienced harassment can talk about the situation confidentially.
  4. The harassment contact persons will never take any action without your consent.

With your consent, the harassment contact person may:

  • Contact the parties involved in the harassment situation and discuss what has happened.
  • Arrange an opportunity for the parties involved in the harassment situation to discuss what has happened.
  • Advise the parties involved in the harassment situation to contact various support services, e.g. telephone services.
  • Assemble a group of OLL people to decide on possible disciplinary measures, e.g. removing the person who has acted inappropriately from an event or banning them from OLL’s future events.

Harassment, discrimination and inappropriate behaviour

Everyone has different ideas of what constitutes inappropriate behaviour, and defining such behaviour unambiguously is impossible. Something intended as a humorous joke may be harmless and funny to one person, but another may find it offensive, either to themselves or to someone else. The fact that a person feels that they have been treated inappropriately and wants the matter to be addressed is reason enough to address it.

“Harassment is behaviour that infringes the dignity and integrity of an individual or a group of people by creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment.” - Non-Discrimination Ombudsman’s definition of harassment

“Sexual harassment is defined as verbal, non-verbal or physical unwanted conduct of a sexual nature by which a person’s psychological or physical integrity is violated intentionally or factually, in particular by creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive atmosphere.” - The Ombudsman for Equality's definition of sexual harassment

“Inappropriate treatment is behaviour that goes against general good manners.” - “The line between appropriate and inappropriate behaviour is defined by workplace personnel. If someone finds “risqué humour” offensive, others need to stop it. Shouting, ranting and raving or talking about other people’s personal characteristics have no place in the work community, either.” - Occupational safety and health publication – Epäasiallinen kohtelu (Inappropriate treatment)

“In order for an action to qualify as discrimination, one person must have been treated less favourably than another person in a comparable situation specifically because of one or more of her or his personal characteristics.” “Harassment, denial of reasonable accommodation as well as an instruction or order to discriminate also constitute discrimination as referred to in the Non-Discrimination Act.” - The Non-Discrimination Ombudsman’s definition of discrimination