Office of Human Resouces



Sexual Harassment



Click to download: Sexual Harassment PDF file

POLICY:



Sexual harassment of or by any member of the Utica College community is strictly prohibited. Reports of sexual harassment will be promptly and rigorously investigated. Individuals who are found to have been engaged in sexual harassment will be sanctioned following guidelines established in the applicable handbook, contract, or policy. More specifically, any employee who engages in such behavior will be subject to disciplinary action through the employee disciplinary process. Students who engage in sexually harassing behavior will be subject to action through Utica College’s student conduct program.


SCOPE:

This policy and its procedure apply to all Utica College students, faculty, and staff members. In addition, independent contractors, vendors, visitors, volunteers, alumni, and other guests of the College are expected to comply with this policy. This policy covers all academic, educational, cocurricular, athletic, and other College programs, including those that may take place off campus.


REASON FOR POLICY:


Utica College has an ethical and legal obligation to create a fair, humane, and responsible working and learning environment for all employees and students and to protect such individuals from sexual harassment.

The cost of sexual harassment to individuals is high and includes, but is not limited to, depression, feelings of helplessness, headaches, substance abuse, anxiety, sleep disturbances, and disordered eating. The cost of sexual harassment to the College includes, but is not limited to, decreased productivity, absenteeism, an increased demand for services needed to address issues raised for the targets of harassing behavior, and eroded trust in the institution. Sexual harassment may also result in a decrease in morale, participation in life-enriching student activities, and student success. Sexual harassment interferes with an employee’s ability to get his or her work done or a student’s ability to fully participate in the educational process.

All members of the Utica College community have a responsibility to cooperate in creating a climate where sexual harassment does not occur. This policy is designed to prepare members of the College community for that responsibility by creating an awareness of behavior that is considered to be sexual harassment and an understanding of the procedures Utica College will use to address sexual harassment in a way that protects complainants, witnesses, and respondents.


DEFINITIONS:


Sexual Harassment: A form of sex discrimination defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when any one of the following is met:
  • Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of the individual’s academic standing or employment;
     
  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or educational decisions affecting the individual;
     
  • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s learning or work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work/learning environment.

Sexual harassment can be physical, verbal, visual, or written. Such behaviors constitute sexual harassment if they are committed by individuals who are in supervisory positions or peers (i.e., coworkers or other students). Also, these behaviors constitute sexual harassment if they occur between individuals of the same sex or between individuals of the opposite sex.

Two types of sexual harassment situations are included within this legal definition: quid pro quo sexual harassment and hostile environment sexual harassment.

Quid pro quo sexual harassment involves an individual with organizational power who either expressly or implicitly ties an academic decision or employment decision to the response to unwelcome sexual advances. For example, a professor may promise to give a student an “A” for complying with sexual requests or threaten to give a lower grade for failing to comply with the sexual requests. Similarly, a supervisor may promise a reward to an employee for complying with sexual requests (e.g., a better job, promotion, pay raise) or threaten an employee’s job for failing to comply with the sexual requests (e.g., threatening to not promote the employee, threatening to give an unsatisfactory performance appraisal).


Hostile environment sexual harassment involves a situation where an atmosphere or climate is created on the campus that makes it difficult, if not impossible, for a student to learn or an employee to work because the atmosphere is perceived by the employee or student to be intimidating, offensive, and hostile.

For purposes of this policy, sexual harassment may include, but is not limited to, the following:
  • Unwelcome sexual advances
  • Sexual innuendos, comments, and sexual remarks
  • Suggestive, obscene, or insulting sounds
  • Implied or expressed threat of reprisal for refusal to comply with a sexual request
  •  Patting, pinching, or brushing up against another’s body
  • Sexually suggestive objects, books, magazines, poster, photographs, cartoons, e-mail, or pictures displayed in the work/classroom/faculty office area
  • Actual denial of a job-related benefit for refusal to comply with sexual requests

Sexual Misconduct:
Physical assaults of a sexual nature or sexual violence are forms of sexual misconduct. Attempts to commit these acts are forms of unlawful harassment and are criminal acts under the New York State law. Incidents of this nature should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator, Office of Campus Safety, and/or the police. For additional information about sexual misconduct, please refer to Utica College’s Sexual Misconduct Policy.


What Isn't Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment does not refer to relationships between responsible, consenting adults. Flirting, joking, giving compliments, and some forms of touch are not necessarily sexual harassment unless such behavior is unwanted or unwelcome.



PROCEDURE:


Employees, Vendors, Contractors, and Visitors

Complaints of sexual harassment involving employees, vendors, contingent workers/contractors, clients, or visitors should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator for investigation and resolution as soon as possible following the alleged incident(s). Complaints can also be filed with the Office of Civil Rights at http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/complaintintro.html?src=ct.

The Title IX Coordinator will ensure that all complaints are investigated as expeditiously as possible in a professional manner. The confidentiality of the investigative procedures will be maintained.

To the extent possible, the complaint will be investigated upon receipt. Complaint resolution will typically occur within 30 days, but may take longer based on the complexity of the situation.

Complaint resolutions will be communicated promptly once the investigation is completed; however, this timeframe may vary depending on the complexity of the situation. Complainants and respondents will not be expected to meet together to discuss the resolution of the complaint. Any employee who is found to have engaged in sexual harassment will be subject to employee disciplinary action.


Students

Complaints of sexual harassment involving students should be reported to either the Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Students or the Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Athletes for investigation and resolution as soon as possible following the alleged incident(s). Students can also submit complaints to the Office of Civil Rights at http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/complaintintro.html?src=ct.

To the extent possible, the complaint will be investigated upon receipt. Complaint resolution will typically occur within 30 days, but may take longer based on the complexity of the situation and whether the situation is handled through the student conduct process. Complaint resolutions will be communicated promptly once the investigation is completed; however, this timeframe may vary depending on the complexity of the situation. Complainants and respondents will not be expected to meet together to discuss the resolution of the complaint.

Any student who is found to have engaged in sexual harassment will be subject to conduct action through the student conduct process.

The names or other identifying information regarding witnesses for either party involved in the complaint will be made known to the respondent as part of the student conduct process.

Investigatory procedures are fully explained in Utica College’s Sexual Harassment Complaint Procedure at http://www.utica.edu/policies/media/hr/shcp.pdf


Retaliation

There will be no retaliation against any individual for reporting sexual harassment or assisting the Title IX Coordinator, or anyone he/she has assigned to investigate, in the investigation of a complaint. Any retaliation against such individuals is subject to disciplinary or conduct action, including verbal and written reprimands, transfers, demotions, and dismissal.


False Complaints

Utica College takes allegations of sexual harassment very seriously, and recognizes the consequences such allegations may have for a respondent, as well as the complainant. Any individual who knowingly provides false information regarding the filing of a complaint or report of sexual harassment may be subject to employee or student discipline.


Recommended Corrective Action

The purpose of any recommended corrective action to resolve a complaint will be to correct or remedy the injury, if any, to the complainant and to prevent further harassment.

Employee
Recommended employee action may include a private or public apology, written or oral reprimand of the respondent, relief from specific duties, transfer, or dismissal of the individual who engaged in sexual harassment.

Student

Recommended student action may include: a written apology, suspension, or expulsion of the respondent. For examples of potential corrective action in cases involving students, please refer to the Sanctions page under Student Conduct, which can be accessed at http://www.utica.edu/student/conduct/sanctions.cfm

If complainants are not satisfied with the attempts to resolve the sexual harassment, they may seek resolution through other sources, such as the New York State Division of Human Rights, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Office for Civil Rights, or the U.S. Department of Education.

RESPONSIBILITY:

It is the responsibility of College administrators, deans, department heads, and supervisors to prevent and eliminate sexual harassment within the areas they oversee.

If administrators, deans, department heads, or supervisors know sexual harassment is occurring, receive a complaint of sexual harassment, or obtain other information indicating possible sexual harassment, they should take prompt action to ensure the matter is addressed, even if the problem or alleged problems is not within their area of oversight. Faculty members, likewise, should inform an appropriate administrator if they have reason to believe sexual harassment is occurring. Further, anyone knowing of any alleged sexual harassment may contact the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinators at any time.


Policy Notices


Employees
The College shall make available to all employees a copy of the Sexual Harassment Policy. Distribution may be accomplished by posting it on the Utica College website, provided that all employees are directly notified of the exact address of the policy, and that they may receive a paper copy upon request.


Students
The College shall, at a minimum, at the time of registration make available to each student information about its Sexual Harassment Policy, and shall additionally post a copy of the policy in appropriate locations on campus at all times. The College may distribute its policy by posting it on the Utica College Website, provided that all students are directly notified of the exact address of the policy, and that they may receive a paper copy upon request.

Policy Review


This policy will be reviewed periodically by the Title IX Coordinator who welcomes comments on the policy, its interpretation, or implementation.

For additional information regarding sexual harassment, contact the Title IX Coordinator or any Deputy Title IX Coordinator listed at the end of this document. They have been trained in complaint resolution, receive additional education about sexual harassment law and its management, and are sensitive to psychological implications. The Title IX Coordinator will be responsible for a program of information and education concerning this policy and procedures relating to sexual harassment.


ENFORCEMENT:

Enforcement of Utica College policies is the responsibility of the office or offices listed in the “Resources/Questions” section of each policy. The responsible office will contact the appropriate authority regarding faculty or staff members, students, vendors, or visitors who violate policies.

Utica College acknowledges that College policies may not anticipate every possible issue that may arise. The College therefore reserves the right to make reasonable and relevant decisions regarding the enforcement of this policy. All such decisions must be approved by an officer of the College (i.e. President, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Senior Vice President and Chief Advancement Officer, Vice President for Financial Affairs, or Vice President for Legal Affairs and General Counsel).

RESOURCES/QUESTIONS:

All members of the Utica College community have a number of resources available to discuss sexual harassment concerns or questions. Available resources include, but are not limited to:

Title IX Coordinator/Deputy Title IX Coordinator Designations:

Title IX Coordinator: Lisa Green, Assistant Vice President of Human Resources & Personnel Development
315-792-3736 or lcgreen@utica.edu

Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Students: Alane Varga, Dean of Students
315-792-3100 or avarga@utica.edu

Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Athletics: David Fontaine, Director of Athletics and Physical Education
315-792-3050 or dsfontai@utica.edu

Other Resources:

Employees:
Office of Campus Safety: (315) 792-3046
Office of Human Resources: (315) 792-3276
UC’s Employee Assistance Program (Human Resources Directions): (315) 525-1370
The New York Office for Civil Rights: (646) 428-3900

Students:
Office of Campus Safety: (315) 792-3046
Academic Support Services: (315) 792-3032
Office of Student Affairs: (315) 792-3100
The New York Office for Civil Rights: (646) 428-3900

These resources afford employees and students the opportunity to discuss a concern or situation and the available options. These resources also offer employees and students the opportunity to gain information about the College’s formal sexual harassment complaint procedures.

The Title IX Coordinator arranges regular training sessions for all members of the Utica College community about prevention of sexual harassment. The intent of this training is to maintain an academic and work environment free of harassment. An environment that is free from sexual harassment provides for the opportunity for all individuals to reach their potential in the performance of their educational pursuits or assigned position.

Educational efforts are essential to sustain a College environment that is as free as possible of sexual harassment, that fosters respect for all individuals, and that observes high standards of conduct in consensual relationships. The primary goals to be achieved through education include:
  1. Ensuring that all individuals are aware of their rights;
     
  2. Notifying individuals of prohibited behaviors;
     
  3. Informing parties of the proper way to address complaints of violations of this policy; and
     
  4. Maintaining a community awareness of the problems this policy addresses.

Please note that other Utica College policies may apply or be related to this policy. To search for related policies, use the Keyword Search function of the online policy manual.




Effective Date:
12/12/2012
Promulgation Date:
12/19/2012