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TYPES OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT

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Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when (1) submission to such conduct is explicitly or implicitly made a term or condition of academic participation or activity, educational advancement, or employment; (2) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or academic decisions that affect the individual; (3) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's academic or work performance or limiting participation in University programs; or (4) the intent or effect of such conduct is to create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive academic or work environment. Sexual harassment may occur without regard to either party's gender.
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  • Added: October, 10th 2010
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Faculty Recruitment and Personnel Relations




SEXUAL HARASSMENT:
GUIDANCE REGARDING RECOGNITION & PREVENTION




GW Policy on Sexual Harassment


Page 2

Types of Sexual Harassment


Page 3

Examples of Sexual Harassment


Page 4

Administrator/Faculty
Responsibilities
Page
5

Your
Behavior
Page
5

Resolving
Complaints
Page
5

Tips for Fulfilling Your Responsibilities

Page 7

Resources






Page 8

Sexual Harassment Policies and Procedures
(Visit: http://www.gwu.edu/~vpgc/harass.html)

SEXUAL HARASSMENT: GUIDANCE REGARDING RECOGNITION & PREVENTION


POLICY ON SEXUAL HARASSMENT

The University has adopted the following definition of sexual harassment, substantially derived from Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission and Department of Education statements:

Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical
conduct of a sexual nature when (1) submission to such conduct is explicitly or implicitly
made a term or condition of academic participation or activity, educational advancement,
or employment; (2) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as
the basis for employment or academic decisions that affect the individual; (3) such
conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's
academic or work performance or limiting participation in University programs; or (4) the
intent or effect of such conduct is to create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive academic
or work environment. Sexual harassment may occur without regard to either party's
gender.

This policy addresses only sexual harassment and does not deal with other forms of gender discrimination.
For other University policies dealing with gender discrimination, consult The George Washington University
Office of Equal Employment Opportunity.

Nothing in this policy limits academic freedom, guaranteed by the Faculty Code, which is a pre-eminent
value of the University. This policy shall not be interpreted to abridge academic freedom. Accordingly, in an
academic setting expression that is reasonably designed or reasonably intended to contribute to academic
inquiry, education or debate on issues of public concern shall not be construed as sexual harassment.

A person who commits sexual harassment in violation of this policy will be subject to disciplinary action, up
to and including expulsion or termination.

Page 2 of 8

SEXUAL HARASSMENT: GUIDANCE REGARDING RECOGNITION & PREVENTION


TYPES OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT


HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT
QUID PRO QUO
DEFINITION
When unwelcome conduct based
This for that. Demanded exchange in which
on the target’s sex unreasonably
the target is to grant sexual favors in
interferes with work performance or exchange for the:
creates an intimidating, hostile, or
• Help in retaining a job or obtaining a
offensive work or learning
promotion.
environment.
• Help in receiving a good grade or
recommendation.
THE HARASSER CAN BE
A supervisor, academic
Supervisor, faculty member, a person with
administrator, faculty member, co-
power to influence the target’s employment or
worker, student, or a non-GW
educational situation.
employee, such as a vendor,
consultant, customer or client.
THE TARGET CAN BE
Anyone whose work or learning
The direct target of the harassment.
environment is affected by the
harassment, not only the targeted
person.
UNWELCOME
Target did not ask for it and
Target did not ask for it and regards it as
regards it as offensive.
offensive. (Submission does not necessarily
mean that the sexual advance is welcome.)
FREQUENCY
Depends on severity.
Once is enough.
REPORTED INCIDENTS
Vast majority of cases fall into this
The most well defined and least common
category.
form of sexual harassment.
EXAMPLES
Repeated:
A suggestion that sexual involvement would
• Gratuitous derogatory
improve the employee’s opportunity for
comments about women or
promotion or the student’s chance for a good
men in the classroom
grade or a threat that failure to engage in
unrelated to course
such activity will result in an adverse action.
topic/discussion
• Gratuitous and unwelcome
sexual attention (comments,
questions about an individual’s
sexuality or sex life)
• Gratuitous comments about
one’s own sex life and desires,
directed at members of one
gender
• Undesired physical contact of a
sexual nature, such as
brushing up against someone
intentionally
Page 3 of 8

SEXUAL HARASSMENT: GUIDANCE REGARDING RECOGNITION & PREVENTION

EXAMPLES OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT

Sexually harassing conduct may take many different forms. Most cases of sexual harassment fall into
these categories – verbal, non-verbal, visual, and physical.

The following may constitute verbal harassment in violation of this Policy, if unwelcome and depending on
the severity and pervasiveness of the conduct:
Making sexual comments about a person’s clothing, anatomy, or looks;
Making kissing sounds, howling, smacking lips, whistling at someone, cat calls or other noises
suggesting sex;
Turning work discussions to sexual topics or using sexual innuendos during work discussions;
Telling sexual jokes or stories, telling sexist jokes or stories;
Asking about or sharing sexual fantasies, preferences or history;
Asking personal questions about one’s sex life;
Referring to an adult inappropriately as, for example, a girl, doll, sweetie, babe, hunk, stud, or
honey;
Referring to men or women by their private body parts;
Repeatedly asking out a person who has clearly expressed that s/he is not interested;
Telling lies or spreading rumors about a person’s sex life.

The following may constitute non-verbal, visual harassment in violation of this Policy, if unwelcome and
depending on the severity and pervasiveness of the conduct:
Leering, staring, or glaring at someone;
Looking a person up and down;
Making sexual gestures with hands or through body movements, making facial expressions such
as exaggerated winking, throwing kisses or licking lips;
Giving personal gifts that are clearly unsolicited (if in the context of other inappropriate conduct);
Displaying sexually suggestive calendars, photographs, posters, cartoons, etc;
Sending sexually explicit letters, notes, or e-mail messages, including sexual jokes.

The following may constitute physical harassment in violation of this Policy, if unwelcome and depending
on the severity and pervasiveness of the conduct:
Giving a massage around the neck and shoulders;
Standing close, leaning over someone or brushing up against a person (intentionally);
Touching a person’s clothing, hair, or body;
Touching or rubbing oneself sexually in front of another person;
Hugging, kissing, patting, or stroking another person;
Forced fondling;
Actual or attempted rape or sexual assault.





Page 4 of 8

SEXUAL HARASSMENT: GUIDANCE REGARDING RECOGNITION & PREVENTION

EXAMPLES OF ALLEGED SEXUAL HARASSMENT

The examples below are drawn from judicial opinions and media reports of sexual harassment litigation.
While some of the situations may not have led to a conclusion that the faculty member or the institution
committed sexual harassment, all illustrate the types of behaviors that may be challenged. None of the
examples involve The George Washington University.

A tenured professor was accused of sexual harassment for his behavior after a graduate student with
whom he was having an affair sought to end the relationship. The affair had begun while the student
was an undergraduate and continued during her graduate studies. The professor served as her
dissertation advisor. The student alleged that the professor became abusive after she sought to break
up with him. She claimed that he engaged in both sexual harassment and retaliation.

A tenured professor was dismissed after 25 years of service. He used sexually explicit remarks and
sexual innuendo in his classroom, and he asked students sexually oriented questions about their
academic activities and personal lives. The professor had been reprimanded for similar behavior on
two earlier occasions prior to his dismissal.

A male professor encouraged a female student to enroll in a summer seminar at an isolated, rustic
facility in a national forest. During the seminar, the professor provided the participants with alcohol and,
as the female student later alleged in her lawsuit, began to sexually harass her through comments,
innuendo, the singing of sexually suggestive songs, and some touching. The following year their
relationship became intimate. Shortly before she graduated, the student filed a sexual harassment
complaint. Another student who had attended the summer program also filed a complaint. The second
student alleged that the professor touched her inappropriately and did not intercede on one occasion
when a male student who was naked jumped on her as she sat on a sofa.

A female faculty member alleged that her rejection of the provost’s sexual advances led to her loss of a
prestigious title and her removal from important committee work. She claimed that when she rebuffed
his advances, the provost indicated that she “had better do what I say or you’re going to be sorry.”

A faculty member led a class session on the use of language to marginalize disadvantaged groups in
society. He asked the class to identify examples of such terms, and several students offered sexist and
racist epithets. The professor used some of those terms himself in the class discussion. A student and
a local civil rights activist later complained, and the professor was not rehired. The professor brought
suit in federal court. The court, citing the nation's robust tradition of academic freedom, ruled in the
professor's favor.

This final illustration shows the balance between academic freedom and harassment. As stated above on
Page 2, the University’s Policy on Sexual Harassment recognizes that, in an academic setting, expression
that is reasonably designed or reasonably intended to contribute to academic inquiry, education or debate
on issues of public concern will not be construed as sexual harassment. Please note that while most
reported sexual harassment cases involve men harassing women, this is not always the case. A number of
claims filed with administrative agencies and the courts involve women in positions of power harassing
male subordinates, as well as claims in which the alleged harasser and the target are members of the
same sex.
Page 5 of 8

SEXUAL HARASSMENT: GUIDANCE REGARDING RECOGNITION & PREVENTION

ACADEMIC ADMINISTRATOR/FACULTY RESPONSIBILITIES

Understand what constitutes harassment in violation of University policy.
Refrain from engaging in such misconduct.
Ensure that any employees whom you supervise understand GW’s anti-harassment policy and
complaint procedures.
Be aware of what is going on in your classrooms and workplaces and maintain a harassment-free
environment.
Inform your department chairperson or dean and the Sexual Harassment Response Coordinator of
instances of harassment reported to you or that you witness.

YOUR BEHAVIOR

Because sexual harassment may take many different forms, there is much confusion about what it is or is
not. The distinguishing feature of sexual harassment is that it is unwelcome conduct directed to a person
on the basis of that person’s sex. It is also important to remember that sexual harassment may occur even
if the harasser does not make explicit threats to the other party’s continued or future employment or
academic status. Sexual harassment can occur if unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature creates, in the
eyes of the other individual, and of a “reasonable person,” an intimidating, hostile, or offensive academic or
work environment. Everyone must be aware of their behavioral boundaries and be careful to avoid
behavior that could constitute sexual harassment. Remember, sexual harassment may be verbal, non-
verbal, visual or physical.

Please review the examples in this document and contact the Sexual Harassment Response Coordinator at
202.994.6503 if you have questions or concerns about particular behaviors.

RESOLVING COMPLAINTS

The University has adopted procedures governing sexual harassment complaints and these procedures are
administered by the Sexual Harassment Response Coordinator located in the Office of the Vice President
and General Counsel. If you believe you are being or have been sexually harassed, if someone has
accused you of sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior of a sexual nature, or if you receive a report of
sexual harassment, it is important that you contact the Coordinator as soon as possible. The Coordinator
will respond to questions, provide resources for additional assistance such as counseling, address your
concerns, and, if warranted, coordinate an investigation.

A member of the University community who believes that behavior of a sexual nature may be inappropriate
may also discuss the issue with their department chair, dean, the Assistant Vice President for Faculty
Recruitment and Personnel Relations, the Director of the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity, or the
Dean of Students. These individuals will work with the Coordinator as appropriate to respond to the
situation.

Page 6 of 8

SEXUAL HARASSMENT: GUIDANCE REGARDING RECOGNITION & PREVENTION

TIPS FOR FULFILLING YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES

As a Faculty Member. You may be approached by students, staff or other faculty with concerns about the
behavior of their peers, staff, faculty, or other individuals. The individual may request confidentiality.
However, the University may have a legal duty, notwithstanding the individual’s preferences, to take action
based on the information. You might promise to treat the information with discretion and to limit disclosure
to those with a need to know.

The University’s sexual harassment policy states: “It is inappropriate for a faculty member or teaching
assistant to have sexual relationships with a student who is currently in his/her course or is subject to
his/her supervision or evaluation. Even when both parties previously consented to a sexual relationship, a
charge of sexual harassment may be based on subsequent conduct that one of them does not welcome.”
Your department chairperson, dean, and the Sexual Harassment Response Coordinator are among the
people who can assist you in avoiding or managing such a situation.

As a Supervisor. Deans, department chairs, program directors, other academic administrators and some
faculty (principal investigators, for example) have supervisory responsibilities for administrative staff,
faculty, students, student assistants, lab technicians, or others. Supervisors should be sure to consult with
their dean or department chair, or the Sexual Harassment Response Coordinator, if they are concerned
that a particular situation may constitute sexual harassment or be perceived by others as constituting
sexual harassment. Please note that University policy states that sexual relationships between a supervisor
and subordinate are inappropriate.

As a Colleague. University faculty owe professional respect and courtesy to one another and to others.
Especially in situations of unequal status, such as dealings between a tenured professor and a tenure-track
colleague, the more senior person should make a special effort to avoid remarks or conduct that might be
misconstrued as containing unwelcome and inappropriate sexual content.

As a Person Involved in a Sexual Harassment Complaint. If you find yourself involved in a sexual
harassment complaint, in whatever role, you should understand that University policy explicitly prohibits
retaliation. The policy states: “Retaliation against a person who reports or complains of sexual harassment
or who provides information in a sexual harassment investigation or proceeding is prohibited.” If retaliation
is found, the perpetrator may be subject to disciplinary action. Our policy also provides for disciplinary
action against a person who knowingly makes a false allegation of sexual harassment or who knowingly
provides false information in an investigation or proceeding.

Page 7 of 8

SEXUAL HARASSMENT: GUIDANCE REGARDING RECOGNITION & PREVENTION

RESOURCES

Elizabeth Wanger, Associate General Counsel
Ann Adams, Associate General Counsel
Office of the Vice President & General Counsel
2100 Pennsylvania Avenue, Suite 250
202.994.6503
(Sexual Harassment Response Coordinators)

Linda Donnels, Associate Vice President SASS, Dean of Students
Rice Hall, Suite 401
202.994.6710
(Student EEO Matters)

Cynthia Richardson-Crooks, Director
Office of Equal Employment Opportunity
2033 K Street, Suite 320
202.994.9656
(Non-Faculty Staff, EEO Matters – Faculty and Staff Disability Matters)

Annie Wooldridge, Assistant Vice President
Faculty Recruitment and Personnel Relations
Employee Training and Development
1922 F Street, Suite 315
202.994.6783
(Faculty EEO Matters)

Susan Kaplan, Associate Vice President for Human Resources
2100 Pennsylvania Avenue, Suite 250
202.994.4433
(University EEO Oversight)
Page 8 of 8

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