Volume II: Campus Community

2.6 Policy on Sexual Harassment

2.6 Policy on Sexual Harassment

Adopted by the Ithaca College Board of Trustees May 20, 1995; amended by the Ithaca College Board of Trustees February 26, 2004.

SEXUAL HARASSMENT IS ILLEGAL AS A FORM OF SEX DISCRIMINATION. IT IS UNETHICAL, AND IT WILL NOT BE TOLERATED AT ITHACA COLLEGE

Ithaca College is committed to maintaining a campus environment that promotes dignity and respect for all individuals within the parameters that provide for freedom of thought, expression, and the flourishing of ideas. Sexual harassment undermines these ideals as well as the College's overall mission as an educational institution.

In promulgating this policy, Ithaca College reaffirms that every member of the College community has a right to an educational and/or employment setting that is free from sexual harassment.

Tenure, the proper exercise of academic freedom, years of service, or job-related authority neither insulate individuals from complaints nor influence the enforcement of the College's policy prohibiting sexual harassment

In the discrimination complaint-resolution process, confidentiality will be maintained as far as is possible and appropriate. Intimidation or threats of retaliation against anyone exercising their right to bring a complaint, make an inquiry, or participate in the complaint process will not be tolerated and will be treated as a violation of the College's sexual harassment policy.

Individuals who violate this policy are subject to disciplinary action, including dismissal, to be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Allegations of sexual harassment and other forms of discrimination are extremely serious. Thus, neither frivolous nor false allegations made willfully will be tolerated. Individuals involved in making such allegations are subject to disciplinary action, to be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Faculty and staff members have an ethical obligation to promote the College’s educational mission by fostering an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect. Given the inherent inequity that exists in the relationships between faculty or staff members and students, no faculty or staff member shall have a romantic and/or sexual relationship, consensual or otherwise, with a student over whom he or she has supervisory, instructional or evaluative authority. For the purposes of this policy, the definition of faculty member will also include graduate assistants.

Consensual sexual relationships between a supervisor and his/her supervisee, while not expressly forbidden at Ithaca College, have the potential for exploitation. Because of the power disparity inherent in such professional relationships, consent will not necessarily protect an individual from allegations of harassment.

Responsibility for ensuring enforcement of this policy is delegated to the Office of Human Resources. Faculty members and staff with supervisory responsibilities are expected to maintain an employment and educational environment that is free of sexual harassment. Ultimately, however, preventing sexual harassment and creating an environment in which such behavior is recognized as unequivocally unacceptable require commitment from all members of the community.

Sexual harassment may take a variety of forms and refers to a broad spectrum of conduct ranging from unwelcome sexual comments to physical assault.

In keeping with the E.E.O.C. Guidelines on Discrimination Because of Sex (29 CFR 1604. 11), Ithaca College defines sexual harassment as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other physical and expressive behavior of a sexual nature when:

  1. submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment or academic status; or
     
  2. submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for employment or academic decisions affecting the individual; or
     
  3. such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's professional or academic performance, or of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive employment or educational environment.

The College shall respond to complaints of sexual harassment promptly and equitably. Complaints by students against employees and complaints by employees against other employees will be resolved using the formal and/or informal procedures of the Ithaca College Guidelines for Resolving Discrimination Complaints (see section 2.7). When the individual accused of violating the policy is a student, complaints will be resolved in accordance with relevant provisions of the Ithaca College Student Conduct Code (see section 7.1.2 of Volume VII of the Ithaca College Policy Manual).

Ithaca College encourages resolution of complaints through informal means when appropriate. However, if attempts at informal resolution are unsuccessful, or if the Office of Human Resources determines that the nature of the allegations is such that an informal approach would be inappropriate or ineffective, the complainant may request resolution through the formal discrimination complaint procedures.

The College will publicize annually a summary of action taken in response to sexual harassment complaints. These data will be made available in anonymous, aggregate form, and a demonstrated effort will be made to protect confidentiality.

Last Updated: January 14, 2014