The Trust and Support Network’s (TSN) role is to listen, orient and support EPFL members in complete confidentiality.
It brings together internal and external instances of EPFL with a mandate to provide initial assistance in situations of harassment, discrimination and other psychosocial risks. Its stakeholders can also guide the people who have contacted them to find a solution.
The TSN is managed by Ines Ariceta within the Vice Presidency for Responsible Transformation.
The EPFL Trust and Support Network comprises among others the Student Affairs department, the Doctoral School, the Equal Opportunity Office, the Point Santé (Health Point), the Person of Trust and HR Managers. These bodies share a common approach to problems related to psychological and sexual harassment and their resources are available to members of the EPFL community. They provide targeted support at all times, and as needed.
The Trust and Support Network was created as a result of the work of the Task Force Harassment A-Z & Promoting a Culture of Respect in 2021. It will be gradually developed throughout 2022. The TSN’s Lead, Ines Ariceta, began her role in May 2022. Her mission is to coordinate the members of the Network and to ensure that its members have the relevant training to prevent, address and reduce psychosocial risks in the work and study environment at EPFL.
At your disposal at EPFL
Support, advice and guidance
The Student Affairs department offers confidential support, information and advice* to all students, including PhD students. The Student Affairs representative can take the necessary steps to try to resolve a problematic situation. S/he will ensure that the person who has requested help obtains the necessary support and assistance. S/he may, with the person’s agreement, transfer a situation to the Respect Cell for a formal complaint to be lodged.
*In certain circumstances, the Student Affairs representative may be required to act and share information with the persons concerned or with third parties. As a general rule, the student will be asked for permission to share confidential information with third parties.
Individual Support > Social Consultation > Psychotherapeutic Consultation
Support, advice and guidance
The Doctoral School offers support, information and confidential advice* to PhD students. It can take the necessary measures to try to solve a problematic situation. It ensures that the person who has requested help obtains the necessary support and assistance. It may, with the student’s agreement, transfer a situation to the Respect Cell for a formal complaint to be lodged.
*In certain circumstances, the Doctoral School may be required to act and share information. However, as a general rule, the PhD student will be asked for permission to share confidential information with third parties. The student will be kept informed of the next steps at each stage of the procedure.
Support, advice and guidance
The Equal Opportunity Delegate offers support, information and confidential advice.* On request, she can provide support during the process of finding an informal solution or in the preparation of a formal complaint.
*Confidentiality is guaranteed, except in cases involving criminal law.
Consultations, support, managerial actions
The HR managers’ role is to support and guide team leaders, staff and employees in managing their working relations. This includes conflict prevention and outlining solutions in accordance with the legal framework. HR managers ensure that an employee (PhD student, faculty, or administrative staff) who has requested their help obtains the necessary support and assistance. HR managers are responsible for ensuring confidentiality and may, with the person’s agreement, transfer a situation to the Respect Cell for a formal complaint to be lodged.
Melchior Allet, ENAC School – [email protected]
Chantal Gallandre, P, VPO, CDM – [email protected]
Eliane Gesseney Laeri, VPA centres & platforms – [email protected]
Anne Gilliéron, SB School – [email protected]
Monique Grin Celka, VPA – [email protected]
François Jaccottet, VPO-SI, VPFI, VPI, VPT, CDH – [email protected]
Laure Ledru, SV School- [email protected]
Roger Monin, STI School – [email protected]
Consultations, support and advice in complete confidentiality
The Point Santé provides two services: occupational medicine, which includes consultations for EPFL employees and PhD students in the context of specific occupational health risks; and nursing consultations, which are open to all. The nurses, medical assistants and doctors who work in Point Santé are subject to professional secrecy obligations.
Nursing consultations: [email protected]
Occupational medicine: [email protected]
Mediation, support, advice and guidance in complete confidentiality
The Person of Trust is a professional in conflict management in the workplace and in the applicable legislation. She has a mandate from EPFL’s Senior Management to advise, in complete independence and confidentiality, employees (including doctoral students) and students, when they are victims or witnesses of moral or sexual harassment or discriminatory behavior, in the best interest of the person concerned, in a completely independent manner and by guaranteeing them complete confidentiality and anonymity.
Without replacing a lawyer or doctor, the Person of Trust will listen to, advise and, if necessary, direct to the right people anyone experiencing a problem at EPFL. Such difficulties can be personal (demotivation, anxiety, burnout, work overload, sense of isolation or exclusion, etc.) or relational (communication problems, lack of understanding, tensions, disagreements, conflicts, violence, psychological (mobbing) and sexual harassment, etc.).
The Person of Trust may also provide mediation services to resolve a situation involving one or more other persons.
Aurélie de Francesco – [email protected]
Person of Trust, SBA Mediator and Conflict resolution specialist, accredited by the Swiss Chamber of Commercial Mediation, Lawyer member of the Commission of Mediation of the Vaud Bar Association.
“The Trust and Support Network must be a trusted network”
In May 2022, Ines Ariceta became the head of the Trust and Support Network, which was set up under EPFL’s Harassment Task Force. Her journey and vision have made her the obvious choice, but she doesn’t take anything for granted.
Preventing and dealing with “psychosocial risks”: where do we stand?
With the establishment of the Trust and Support Network (TSN), the bodies and functions involved in dealing with cases of harassment, discrimination or any other inappropriate behavior are becoming clearer. Specific training courses have been started and are being developed, reaching more and more key people.