Harassment Free Environment
It is the policy of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College to provide an educational, employment and residential environment free from unwelcome sexual intimidation or communications constituting sexual harassment or racial harassment as defined and otherwise prohibited by state and federal statutes. This policy applies to students, faculty and staff of the College, as well as to individuals employed by contractors who provide routine daily services to the college.
It is the intent of this policy to fairly and impartially review any and all sexual and racial harassment charges and to handle such matters in a professional manner. In addition, any violators of this policy may be subjected to applicable federal and state laws regarding racial or sexual harassment. The College strictly prohibits any action or behavior in retaliation to an individual who files a harassment complaint. Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College administrators are responsible for publicizing and implementing the College’s sexual and racial harassment policy in their respective areas of jurisdiction.
- Students, faculty and staff members have the right to be free from any unlawful sexual or racial harassment:
- In any building or at any location on college premises
- During the course of college activities in connection with all academic, educational, extracurricular, athletic, and other programs of the College. These activities may take place in a college facility, during college-sponsored transportation, or at a class or training program sponsored by the College at another location.
- Sexual harassment, a form of sex discrimination, is defined as sexual violence and unwelcome sexual advances, including requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, when:
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct by a student, faculty or staff member is used as the basis for academic or employment decisions affecting that individual or;
- Such statements or conduct interferes with another person’s work performance or education or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or educational environment.
- Sexual violence refers to physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent due. This can be due to:
- The victim’s use of drugs or alcohol, or;
- Intellectual or other disability.
- Sexual violence includes such acts as:
- Sexual assault
- Sexual battery
- Sexual coercion
- Racial harassment is defined as any behavior, physical or verbal, that victimizes an individual on the basis of race, ethnicity, ancestry, or national origin, and involves any of the following:
- Physical behavior that involves an expressed or implied threat to interfere unlawfully with an individual’s personal safety, academic efforts, employment, or participation in college-sponsored extracurricular activities and causes the person to have a reasonable apprehension that such harm is about to occur;
- Verbal behavior that contains racially sensitive words, phrases, and content that are demeaning, abusive, offensive and serves to victimize the individual.
- “Hostile work environment” is defined as any setting in which another’s (others’) behavior is sufficiently severe or pervasive that creates a work environment that is abusive. The level of “sufficient discomfort” must meet the legal test for “reasonableness” behavior that would cause any “reasonable” similarly employed person to be adversely impaired in performing assigned duties and responsibilities.
- “Hostile educational environment” is defined as any educational setting in which another’s (others’) behavior causes interferes with or limits a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the educational program.
- Complaints of sexual or racial harassment should be filed as soon as possible after the alleged offense has occurred and should be brought within one (1) year of such event unless good cause is shown for any delay in filing a charge. The complaint shall be directed to the Title IX Coordinator.
- No more than five (5) days after a complaint is filed, the Title IX Coordinator shall conduct an interview with the complainant to determine the complaint/type of alleged harassment, evidence, and the resolution the complainant is seeking. The Title IX Coordinator shall offer the complainant two methods for addressing the complaint- one informal and the other formal. Complainants will be informed that in severe instances the College is obligated by law to pursue a formal investigation.
- Confidentiality will be protected in as far as reasonable during the investigation but the complainant must understand that her/his name will be used during the process and the specifics of the complaint will be presented to the respondent (alleged harasser).
- The informal procedure shall consist of the Title IX Coordinator working with the complainant to seek a quick and satisfactory resolution with emphasis on advising, problem solving, and actions to get the harasser (respondent) to stop the offensive behavior. Every effort will be made through conversation, investigation, and mediation to provide an opportunity for prompt resolution of the complaint via interaction with the complainant and the respondent. Mediation will not be used to resolve sexual assault complaints. The Title IX Coordinator will maintain a written log of all conversations and investigative information. In the event that no resolution is achieved the complainant has the right to request a formal investigation at which time the complainant must submit her/his complaint in writing. The Title IX Coordinator must forward to the Review Officer the following material
- The date of receipt of the complaint;
- Identification of the complainant;
- Identification of the alleged harasser(s) and the actions complained of, including relevant background facts and circumstances;
- Statement describing the scope of the investigation and the results of the investigation;
- A determination of probable cause or no probable cause.
- The Review Officer shall be appointed by the President. The Review Officer will conduct further investigation which may include interviewing of witnesses, confirming of information, and seeking additional information and/or documentation. The complainant and respondent may submit additional information to the Review Officer.
- The Review Officer will review all information and provide the parties a written summary of the findings, conclusions, and recommendations made on the basis of the evidence gathered during the informal/formal investigation(s).
- Any actions/recommendations will be initiated in consultation with the Vice President for Financial Affairs or another person appointed by the President, to ensure that the relevant College procedures and policies are applied appropriately. These recommendations/sanctions may include but are not limited to; a written warning, probation, suspension, or termination.
- The written summary of findings will be submitted within seven (7) working days after the completion of the formal/informal investigation.
The Review Officer may conduct a hearing with all parties present at the same time. If such a hearing is scheduled, the complainant and respondent will receive written notice at least seven (7) working days before the scheduled hearing. The complainant and respondent may each be accompanied by an advisor and be allowed to provide witnesses. Since this is not a legal proceeding, no party may be represented by legal counsel. The method of recording the informational hearing will be determined by agreement of all parties.
- Either party may request a review of the findings or recommendations/sanctions of the Review Officer by submitting a written request to the President. The individual sanctioned for harassment will be afforded a reasonable opportunity to meet with the President to present any defense against the charge and/or against the severity of the sanction imposed. The President will make the final determination and will distribute the written response to all relevant parties.