TitleAbout - 0 44841

Anti-Harassment and Nondiscrimination Policy

Central to the mission of Susquehanna University is the establishment and maintenance of an environment in which the dignity and worth of all individuals within the institutional community are respected. Therefore, it is the responsibility of each person on campus to respect the personal dignity of others and to demonstrate a basic spirit that precludes harassment and discrimination. While the university is committed to freedom of thought, discourse, and speech and the attainment of the highest quality of educational and academic pursuits, the university is compelled to establish this policy on behaviors that would interfere with these freedoms.

Harassment or discrimination in any context is reprehensible but of particular concern to an academic community in which students, faculty and staff must rely on bonds of intellectual trust and dependence. Therefore, harassment or discrimination will not be tolerated. Specifically, the university expressly prohibits any form of unlawful harassment of its employees or students based on age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status or any other basis protected by applicable federal, state or local laws. Those inflicting such behavior on others are subject to the full range of institutional disciplinary actions, up to and including termination from the university, but also any legal action that may accompany such acts.

A. Definitions

1) Sexual Harassment is any unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, when:

• Submission to or rejection of such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment or educational advancement, or evaluation, or

• Submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis for employment or educational advancement, or evaluation, or

• Such conduct, of a severe and pervasive manner, has the purpose or effect of interfering with an individual's work performance or educational experience; creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work/educational environment.

• Unwelcome behavior is if the individual did not solicit or invite conduct, and particularly if he or she indicates that s/he finds the conduct undesirable or offensive. Acquiescence or failure to complain does not mean that the conduct is welcome. However, if an individual actively participates in sexual banter or discussions without giving an indication that he or she does not like it, it will more than likely not meet the definition of "unwelcome."

Intent vs. Impact

It is the impact of the behavior, not the intent of the person who exhibited the behavior that determines whether or not sexual harassment has occurred. According to the law, actual intent is irrelevant. Courts have found a hostile environment exists if the victim believes the environment to be abusive and a reasonable person would find it to be an abusive environment.

2) Harassment - a person engages in harassment when, with the intent to harass, annoy, or alarm another person, he or she:

• Engages in inappropriate physical behavior including but not limited to striking, shoving, and kicking or otherwise subjects others to physical contact, or threatens to do the same; or

• Follows a person in or about a public place or places; or

• Engages in a course of conduct or repeatedly commits acts which alarm or seriously annoy such other person and which serve no legitimate purpose. Depending on its severity, a single act may constitute harassment.

a. Racial Harassment - Verbal or physical conduct that is directed at an individual because of his or her race, color, national origin or ethnicity, and that is sufficiently severe or pervasive so as to have the effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or educational environment, which unreasonably interferes with work or educational performance, or negatively affects an individual's employment or educational opportunities.

b. Sexual Orientation Harassment - Verbal or physical conduct that is directed at an individual because of his or her sexual orientation, and that is sufficiently severe or pervasive so as to have the effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or educational environment, which unreasonably interferes with work or educational performance, or negatively affects an individual's employment or educational opportunities.

c. Gender Harassment - Verbal or physical conduct that is directed at an individual because of his or her gender, and that is sufficiently severe or pervasive so as to have the effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or educational environment, which unreasonably interferes with work or educational performance, or negatively affects an individual's employment or educational opportunities.

d. Gender Identity Harassment - Verbal or physical conduct that is directed at an individual because of his or her gender identity, the degree to which a person identifies as male, female, or some combination, and that is sufficiently severe or pervasive so as to have the effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or educational environment which unreasonably interferes with work or educational performance, or negatively affects an individual's employment or educational opportunities.

e. Disability Harassment - Verbal or physical conduct or a pattern of a lack of reasonable accommodation that is directed at an individual because of his or her mental or physical impairment, and that is sufficiently severe or pervasive so as to have the effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or educational environment which unreasonably interferes with work or educational performance, or negatively affects an individual's employment or educational opportunities.

f. Religious Harassment - Verbal or physical conduct that is directed at an individual because of his or her religion and/or religious pertaining to religion and that is sufficiently severe or pervasive as to have the effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or educational environment, which unreasonably interferes with work or educational performance, or negatively affects an individual's employment or educational opportunities.

g. Discrimination - Actions based on race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, ancestry, disability or veteran status, that are sufficiently severe or pervasive enough to have the effect of substantially interfering with one's employment or educational performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive employment or educational environment. As federal law changes the more stringent protections will supersede these.

3) Harassment/Discrimination Grievance Procedures

a. Description of Process

If there is a grievance, you will need to contact, verbally or in writing, the Director of Human Resources and Risk Management or the Chief Diversity Officer who will explain the process and answer any questions you might have. Unsigned written or anonymous oral complaints will not be processed nor believed to have merit. All parties involved including peer supporter will be reminded to keep all information related to the complaint confidential.

The purpose of the informal complaint resolution is to encourage the reporting of complaints concerning harassment or discrimination and to facilitate satisfactory resolution of the complaint without undue anxiety and provocation for the parties involved. An individual making a harassment or discrimination complaint does not have to speak first with his or her supervisor or the person against whom the allegation has been made. However, he or she is encouraged to do so with the assistance of his or her peer supporter (who may be a university employee or another university student as outlined in the paragraph below) in the presence of the Director of Human Resource and Risk Management or Special Assistant to the President and Chief Diversity Officer

Lisa Scott
Special Assistant to the President and Chief Diversity Officer
2nd Floor, Selinsgrove Hall
514 University Ave.
Selinsgrove, PA 17870
570-372-4415
scottl@susqu.edu




Bookmark and Share
close