X. Non-Discrimination, Anti-Harassment, and Hostile Campus Environment Policy

The University strives for an environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity.  Each individual has the right to study and work in an atmosphere which promotes equal opportunities and prohibits discriminatory practices and harassment based upon age, race, ethnicity, national origin, color, religion, sex, gender identity, handicap, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran or military status and physical or mental disabilities.  Harassment of any kind, whether verbal, physical, or environmental, is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

The University does not engage in discrimination in its programs, activities and policies against students, employees or prospective employees. The University prohibits and will not tolerate any such discrimination or harassment at its facilities, programs and activities.

 

I.          Definition of Harassment

 

This policy prohibits sexual harassment and harassment on other protected bases. For purposes of this policy, harassment is defined as unwelcome or unwanted conduct of an offensive nature (whether verbal, visual, or physical) when: (i) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment or academic status; (ii) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or academic decisions affecting such individual; or (iii) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's enjoyment of the University environment or work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working or learning environment.

 

Examples of harassment include, but are not limited to:  unwanted sexual advances; demands for sexual favors in exchange for favorable treatment or continued employment or work or academic status; repeated jokes which include offensive references to age, disability, national origin, race, religion, or sex; unwelcome flirtations, advances, or propositions; verbal abuse of a sexual nature; graphic, verbal commentary about an individual's age, disability, national origin, race, religion, sex, body, sexual prowess, or sexual deficiencies; leering; whistling; touching; pinching; assault; coerced sexual acts; suggestive, insulting, threatening, or obscene comments or gestures; gossip; bullying; dissemination or display in the workplace or learning environment of objects, written materials, or pictures which include offensive references to age, disability, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran or military status, or sex; asking questions about sexual conduct; racial or ethnic slurs or epithets.

 

Conduct that occurs away from the University can still affect the University community. Accordingly, the definitions and examples of harassment apply to conduct during working hours and non-working hours, including University-sponsored programs, seminars, conferences, business trips or business related social events, and conduct that occurs directly or indirectly via telephone or other electronic communication through the internal or external mail system (including e-mail) and other forms of communication. Additionally, this policy extends to members of the University community whether on or off campus. This includes, but is not limited to conduct which may occur on professional practice assignments, clinical assignments, while attending activities or events as a representative of the University, while representing the University in the community or at a University sanctioned or sponsored event. It also includes off-campus activities that are connected to the educational process of the University.

 

II.         Individuals Covered Under the Policy

 

These policies apply to all faculty, staff and students and prohibit harassment, discrimination and retaliation. These polices also apply to all others who come into contact with the University. That is, visitors, vendors and others are expected to engage in behavior that is consistent with our expectations of respect and dignity and are similarly to be treated in an appropriate manner. Conduct prohibited by these policies is unacceptable on all University-related business or activities, whether on the University campus or off-campus.

 

The University also prohibits retaliation against any individual who reports discrimination or harassment, or participates in an investigation of such reports. Retaliation against an individual for reporting harassment or discrimination, or for participating in an investigation of a claim of harassment or discrimination is a serious violation of this policy and, like harassment or discrimination itself, will be subject to disciplinary action.

 

III.       Reporting a Complaint

 

The University encourages all individuals who believe they are being harassed to firmly and promptly notify the offender that his or her behavior is unwelcome.  The University does, however, recognize that, in some instances, power and status disparities between the alleged harasser and the individual may make such a confrontation impossible.  In the event that such informal, direct communication between individuals is either ineffective or impossible, the following steps should be followed in reporting a harassment complaint.  A complaint may be filed by one experiencing or witnessing harassment.

 

The University will provide disciplinary amnesty to students who report an incident (as a victim or a witness) or participate in good faith as a witness during an investigation. Amnesty will also be provided to those individuals a witness may identify who may have information relevant to the investigation but did not cause/participate in the violations covered by this policy. Amnesty will not be provided to those individuals whose actions/violations caused harm to another person or participated or facilitated in any way, violations covered by this policy.

           

                        1.         Notification of Complaint

 

An individual who believes that he or she have been subjected to harassment should promptly report the incident to the Director of Human Resources or the Title IX Coordinator. The University also has a Harassment Hotline. The number is 419-434-6777; your call will be answered confidentially and directed to the appropriate area for help. If you are in immediate danger, security will be notified.

Students can report harassment, sexual assault, domestic and dating violence, and stalking confidentially to the Counseling Services Office, Cosiano Health Center, or by contacting a Campus Minister.

 

Students, faculty, and staff can also report harassment, sexual assault, domestic and dating violence, and stalking to offices in addition to the Human Resources Office and Title IX Coordinator. These offices include, Security, the Title IX Investigator, and Student Affairs

 

Victims are not required to notify law enforcement. However, reporting to any office other than Counseling Services, Health Center, or Campus Ministry will initiate an internal investigation by the University to determine any appropriate action that should be taken as a result of the report.

 

Victims who report to any of the above listed offices will be provided with information about support services and resources available on and off campus and will receive assistance in notifying law enforcement if the victim chooses to do so. Reporting an incident to one of the above offices does not commit the victim to further legal action. However, the earlier an incident is reported, the easier it will be for police to investigation, if the victim decides to proceed with criminal charges.

 

The University encourages prompt reporting of complaints so that rapid response and appropriate action may be taken. Individuals should make every effort to report complaints as soon as possible, generally within six months of the conduct at issue. Delays in reporting of complaints will not in and of itself preclude the University from taking remedial action.         

 

The Director of Human Resources or the Title IX Coordinator and/or their designees are the only members of the University community who are authorized to act upon, investigate and recommend sanction or discipline for violations of this policy. Other faculty or staff receiving complaints of harassment prohibited by this policy must immediately forward them to the Director of Human Resources or the Title IX Coordinator.

 

Sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking reports will be referred to the Title IX coordinator for investigation under the appropriate University policies. In cases where an employee or employees are involved in the incident (either as the victim or the accused), the Title IX Coordinator will work in cooperation with Human Resources to conduct the investigation. These cases will be conducted in the same manner as that prescribed for “student on student” cases.

 

                        2.         Protection Against Retaliation

 

The University will not in any way retaliate or permit retaliation against any individual who makes a good faith report of harassment or who assists or cooperates in a harassment investigation.  Retaliation is a serious violation of this harassment policy and should be reported immediately.  Any person found to have violated this policy by retaliating against another individual for making a report of harassment or for assisting or cooperating in the investigation thereof will be subject to the same disciplinary action provided for harassment offenders.

 

                        3.         Investigating the Complaint

 

Any allegation of harassment brought to the attention of the University will be thoroughly and promptly investigated. Confidentiality will be maintained where possible throughout the investigatory process to the extent practical and appropriate under the circumstances. The identity of the complainant will be made known to those involved in the incidents under review, however, so that the matter can be addressed most directly and effectively.

 

Allegations of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking will be referred to the Title IX Coordinator for investigation under the appropriate University policies. In cases where an employee or employees are involved in the incident (either as the victim or accused), the Title IX Coordinator will work in cooperation with Human Resources to conduct the investigation. These cases will be conducted in the same manner as that prescribed for “student on student” cases.

 

                        4.         Resolving the Complaint

 

Upon completing the investigation of a harassment complaint, the University will communicate its findings and intended actions to the complainant and the alleged harasser. If the individuals involved are students, communication of the final disposition shall be subject to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

 

If the investigation finds that harassment occurred, the harasser will be subject to appropriate disciplinary sanctions, as listed below.  The complainant will be informed if disciplinary action is taken.

 

If the investigation determines that no harassment has occurred, this finding will be communicated to the complainant in an appropriately sensitive manner.

 

IV.       Disciplinary Sanctions

 

Employees found to have engaged in misconduct constituting harassment will be disciplined, up to and including termination. Students found to have violated this policy will be disciplined up to and including expulsion.

 

Any complaint determined to be intentionally dishonest or made maliciously without regard for the truth shall be considered misconduct and will subject such complainant to disciplinary action.

 

Appropriate actions will be determined and within the sole discretion of the Director of Human Resources and/or the Title IX Coordinator. In addressing incidents of harassment, the University’s response, at a minimum, will include reprimanding the offender and documenting the occurrence in the appropriate file.  Additional actions may include: referral to counseling, withholding of a promotion, demotion, reassignment, temporary suspension without pay, or termination of employment. Discipline imposed will become part of an accused employee’s personnel records or an accused student’s student records.

 

In cases of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking the Investigative Team conducting the investigation will have sole discretion over any disciplinary action resulting from the investigation. Disciplinary action taken by this team can include:

 

  • Student disciplinary actions, while applied fairly and impartially, will be decided on a case-by-case basis and can include violator training, mandatory counseling, community/campus service, revocation of financial aid, housing reassignment, academic schedule changes, no contact orders, no trespass orders, suspension, and/or dismissal from the institution.

 

  • Employee disciplinary actions, while applied fairly and impartially, will be decided on a case-by-case basis and can include violator training, community/campus service, mandatory counseling, job/duty reassignment, no contact orders, no trespass orders, suspension and/or termination of employment. All employee disciplinary actions taken by this team will be in coordination with the Human Resources Office.

 

Although the University’s ability to discipline a harasser not directly related to the University is limited by the degree of control, if any, that the University has over the alleged harasser, any individual who has been subjected to harassment by such an individual should still file a complaint and be assured that the University will take those actions it deems appropriate in an attempt to bring such harassment to an end.

 

The University complies with the requirements of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in all programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance. To ensure compliance with Title IX, the University has designated the Title IX Coordinator and the Office of Human Resources as the contacts responsible for developing, adopting and making this policy available to the University community. The Title IX Coordinator shall coordinate compliance requirements with all University departments, as appropriate.

 

For information or for filing complaints regarding Title IX compliance and complaint procedures, contact the University's Title IX Coordinator.