STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLE
Saint Louis University is a Catholic Jesuit institution with a distinctive educational mission and philosophy emphasizing Christian humanism, human dignity, and the development of the total human being. These core values are manifested in the University's commitment to foster a workplace and learning environment that is free from any form of harassment because of sex, race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, disability, age, sexual orientation, marital status, military status, veteran's status, or any other characteristics protected by law.
This policy applies to all faculty, staff and students of Saint Louis University, with the exception of the Saint Louis University at Madrid campus.
Saint Louis University affirms that harassment because of sex, race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, disability, age, sexual orientation, marital status, military status, veteran's status, pregnancy, or any other protected classification is detrimental to its mission and values. The University endeavors to take steps reasonably necessary to prevent such behavior from occurring, including providing education and training to faculty, staff, and students as to their rights and responsibilities, informing persons of the appropriate procedures for reporting inappropriate behavior, promptly investigating complaints, and imposing appropriate sanctions.
Amorous relationships that occur in the context of educational or employment supervision and evaluation present serious concerns about the validity of consent. The disparity of power between persons involved in amorous relationships, such as those between a teacher and student, supervisor and subordinate, or senior and junior colleagues in the same department or unit, makes these relationships susceptible to exploitation. Those who abuse their power in such a context violate their duty to the University community.
Anyone who engages in a sexual relationship with a person over whom s/he has any power or authority within the University structure must understand that the validity of the consent may be questioned. In the event of a charge of sexual harassment, the University will give very critical scrutiny to any defense based upon consent when the facts establish that a power differential existed within the relationship.
For purposes of this policy, "harassment" means any intentional unwelcomed, unsolicited, and offensive conduct that tends to injure, degrade, disgrace, or show hostility toward a person because of sex, race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, disability, age, sexual orientation, marital status, military status, pregnancy, or any other characteristic protected by law. For purposes of applying this policy, "sexual" harassment includes conduct that is of a sexual nature or related to a person's gender and may include persons of the same sex.
Harassment is a violation of this policy in any of the following situations:
If a person is promised or is given some favorable academic or employment-related action or benefit only if she or he will submit to or tolerate the harassing behavior; or
If a person is threatened with or suffers adverse academic or employment-related action because s/he has not submitted to or tolerated the harassing behavior; or
If the harassing behavior in question interferes with a person's work or academic performance, has the purpose or effect of interfering with a person's status or participation in a university course, program, or activity, is used as a basis for educational or employment decisions, or has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or learning environment.
A complaint will be reviewed under the totality of the circumstances to determine whether or not a violation has occurred under A (1)-(3) and the severity of the violation. This will include examining such factors as the nature of the conduct, the context in which the alleged incident(s) occurred, whether the conduct was solicited or invited, and the frequency, severity, and impact of the conduct on the victim. In order to find a violation the conduct must be both objectively unwelcome and offensive to a reasonable person and, in fact, perceived as such by the complaining party.
False complaints: Any person who, in bad faith, files a false complaint or provides false information to University officials investigating a complaint shall be deemed to have violated this policy. This is not in any way meant to discourage legitimate complaints or consultation.
Retaliation: The University will not tolerate retaliation against any person who in good faith makes a harassment complaint, exercises his/her rights under this policy, or cooperates or participates in any internal or external investigation or proceedings. Retaliation constitutes a violation of this policy.
The following examples are provided so that members of the University community have a better understanding of the general range of behaviors that might constitute harassment in violation of this policy.
Examples of "harassment" in violation of this policy include the following:
- Sexual advances, propositions, flirtations, requests or pressure of any kind for sexual favors under any of the circumstances described by Prohibitions A.(1), (2), or (3);
- Sexually explicit, graphic, abusive, degrading, intimidating, or offensive jokes, comments, remarks, or gestures, under any of the circumstances described by Prohibitions A.(1), (2), or (3).
- Physical contact or intimidation under any of the circumstances described by Prohibitions A.(1), (2), or (3).
- Display, circulation, or communication of any sexually suggestive, explicit, graphic, or offensive objects, pictures, or materials of any kind, under any of the circumstances described by Prohibitions A.(1), (2), or (3).
- Epithets, slurs, negative stereotyping, or threatening, intimidating, or hostile acts that relate to sex, race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, age, physical or mental disability, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, military status, veteran's status or any other characteristics protected by law, under any of the circumstances described by Prohibitions A.(1), (2), or (3).
- Placing on walls, bulletin boards, email, or elsewhere on the University's premises graphic material that shows hostility or aversion to an individual group because of sex, race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, age, physical or mental disability, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, military status, veteran's status, or any other characteristics protected by law, under any of the circumstances described by Prohibitions A.(1), (2), or (3).
The University recognizes the sensitive nature of harassment complaints. It endeavors within this policy to respect the rights and dignity of all persons involved and to provide a neutral atmosphere in the investigation of complaints and in its efforts to end prohibited behavior. The University endeavors to maintain confidentiality on all matters relating to processing harassment complaints, subject to its need to effectively administer this policy.
This policy shall be applied in a manner consistent with the University's provision on academic freedom set forth in The Faculty Manual of Saint Louis University (Section III.H.1).
Any person who believes that s/he has been subjected to conduct prohibited under this policy may elect to pursue the matter as either an informal or a formal complaint. An informal complaint involves discussion and counseling as the primary means by which conduct may be constructively influenced and resolution reached. A formal complaint may result in disciplinary action against the accused.
The following procedures have been developed to receive and investigate harassment complaints. Any person who believes that s/he has been subjected to Prohibited Harassment may elect to pursue the matter as either an informal or formal complaint.
Where to Get Help--Informal Complaints
The persons listed below have been designated as the contact person(s) for informal complaints and to provide information and consultation regarding Prohibited Harassment and this policy:
Informal complaints against students involving conduct in the residence halls should be directed to the Resident Assistant, Area Coordinator, or the Director of Housing. All other informal complaints against undergraduate students should be reported to the Assistant Vice President for Student Development/Dean of Students or the Director of Diversity and Affirmative Action. Informal complaints against graduate or professional students should be directed to the Director of Diversity and Affirmative Action or the Dean of the accused's or the complainant's School or College. It is recommended that the complainant keep a record of prohibited conduct such as a journal of his/her experiences, reflecting dates, times, places, nature of the incident, and names of any witness(es).
Informal complaints directed against staff employees should be reported to the employee's immediate supervisor, department head, unit vice president, Vice President for Human Resources, or the Director of Diversity and Affirmative Action. Informal complaints directed against faculty should be reported to the faculty member's Chair, Dean, Provost, or the Director of Diversity and Affirmative Action.
All complaints involving persons who are not members of the University community, such as employees of outside vendors, should be reported to the Director of Diversity and Affirmative Action.
The informal complaint may be resolved as follows:
The complainant may meet with the accused, discuss the behavior of the accused, and, if appropriate, request that such behavior be stopped;
The complainant may meet with the designated contact person to ask that the contact person meet with the accused to discuss the behavior and, if appropriate, ask that the behavior be stopped; or
If, after consultation with the designated contact person or after steps under the Informal Complaint process have been taken, the complainant should indicate s/he does not wish the University to take further action on the complaint, the designated contact person shall present "a request for no action" form to the complaining party. The completion of the form is strictly voluntary.
The University administration reserves the right to initiate the Formal Complaint process outlined below depending upon the nature and seriousness of the complaint.
The Director of Diversity and Affirmative Action ("Director") is responsible for processing and investigating formal complaints against faculty, staff, and students. All formal complaints should be directed by the complainant or referred by University personnel to the Director. Prior to initiating the investigation, the Director will contact the appropriate Vice President or the Provost to give notice of the complaint and the pending investigation.
In order to screen the complaint and determine if an investigation is warranted, the Director ordinarily will require the complainant to submit a written complaint. The complaint should be signed by the complainant and set forth in writing the particulars relating to the alleged harassment, including the name and position of the accused. The Director will investigate the complaint with assistance from Human Resources or personnel from other appropriate units as needed. Alternatively, the Director may refer the complaint to some other suitable authority for investigation and possible action.
Whenever the Director conducts the investigation the complainant and the accused will be interviewed. The accused will be furnished with a copy of the complaint and will have an opportunity to respond and submit additional information. The Director will interview other witnesses and collect such additional information as the Director deems reasonably necessary to determine whether a violation of this policy did or did not occur. Within a reasonable period of time after commencing the investigation, the Director will submit a report to the appropriate Vice President or the Provost, the accused, and the complaining party outlining the Director's findings and recommended disciplinary or corrective action.
Within five (5) working days from receipt of the report, the complainant or the accused may file a request for reconsideration with the appropriate Vice President or the Provost by attaching a copy of the Director's report and stating the specific reasons for setting aside the Director's findings or recommendations. The Vice President or the Provost will review the record of the investigation conducted by the Director and may seek additional information and consult with the Director or any other person, including the complainant or the accused, as needed. Ordinarily, the Director's report will be accepted except where the Vice President or the Provost concludes that the findings or the recommended actions are not reasonable or supported by the record. The Vice President or the Provost also may recommend more or less severe disciplinary or other corrective action depending upon the circumstances in any particular case including, but not limited to, the prior employment record of the accused and due consideration for effective enforcement of this policy. After reviewing the Director's report and any request for reconsideration, the Vice President or the Provost will issue a written decision accepting or rejecting the Director's report and outlining any disciplinary actions or proceedings that will be initiated. A copy of the decision will be sent to the accused, the complainant, and the Director.
In any instance where the accused is an officer of the University, the Director will consult with the appropriate higher ranking official(s) and a representative of the General Counsel's Office for direction on administering the complaint.
The appropriate Vice President or the Provost is responsible for ultimately determining whether disciplinary action is warranted and invoking the applicable University disciplinary policies and procedures. Potential disciplinary actions implemented under this policy may include but will not be limited to, formal warning, mandatory training and education, transfer, demotion, suspension, probation, or separation from the University, residence hall reassignment, and termination of relationships with outside contractors and vendors. The Vice President or the Provost may take reasonable and necessary interim action until an investigation can be completed or a final disciplinary action can be implemented.
All interim and final disciplinary or corrective action shall be initiated consistent with the specific policies and procedures applicable to faculty, staff, or students depending upon the particular status of the accused. Disciplinary action against undergraduate students will be processed under the Code of Nonacademic Student Discipline and Responsibility contained in the Student Handbook of Saint Louis University. Cases involving disciplinary action against graduate or professional students will be referred to the Dean of the respective School or College for handling under policies and procedures governing Prohibited Harassment or matters relating to the student's qualifications and fitness to continue in a particular program. Disciplinary action against faculty will be governed by the procedural requirements and standards contained in The Faculty Manual of Saint Louis University. Depending on the nature of the action(s) sought by the University administration, the faculty member may invoke the grievance procedures set out in Section III.I.9.2. of the Faculty Manual, procedures for challenging serious sanctions short of termination set out in Section III.I.8. of the Faculty Manual, or the procedures for challenging termination for cause set out in Section III.I.6. of the Faculty Manual. Any disciplinary action against staff will be implemented consistent with the policies and procedures set forth in the Staff Handbook of Saint Louis University except where otherwise provided for employees who are covered by a collective bargaining agreement.
COMMUNICATION OF OUTCOME
The University will inform the accused, complainant, and any other persons who have a legitimate need to know of the general outcome of any informal or formal complaint. Disclosure of information involving students shall be subject to any legal requirements including the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Clery Act.
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