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Last update May 2012
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The University of Texas at Dallas is committed to the principle that the learning and working environment of its students, employees, and guests should be free from sexual harassment and inappropriate sexual conduct. Inappropriate sexual conduct is unprofessional behavior and is discouraged as a matter of institutional policy. Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that is illegal and is proscribed by institutional policy. All employees and students are accountable for compliance with U.T. Dallas policy. Established violations will lead to disciplinary actions which may include termination of employment or permanent expulsion from the University.
This policy applies to all administrators and supervisors, regular and temporary faculty members, teaching and research assistants, staff members and students. It pertains to actions that affect any employee, student or guest of U.T. Dallas.
WHAT IS SEXUAL HARASSMENT
Sexual harassment of an individual, as prohibited by state and federal laws and proscribed by university policy, is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, particularly when
submission to such conduct by the individual is made a term or condition of employment or scholastic status, either explicitly or implicitly,
submission to or rejection of such conduct by the individual influences personnel or scholastic decisions concerning that individual,
such conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering unreasonably with the individual's work or academic performance or of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working or scholastic environment for the individual.
Physical contact of a sexual nature including unnecessary touching, patting, hugging or brushing against a person's body
Explicit or implicit propositions to engage in sexual activity
Comments of a sexual nature, including
Sexually explicit jokes or anecdotes
Sexually explicit statements or questions
Remarks of a sexual nature regarding a person's clothing or body
Remarks about sexual activity
Whistling, ogling or leering
Inappropriate exposure to sexually-oriented graffiti, pictures, posters or other such materials
Physical interference with or restriction of an individual's movements
CONSENSUAL SEXUAL RELATIONSHIPS
Consensual sexual relationships between members of the University community constitute a dimension of sexually related conduct that requires explicit attention in a Sexual Harassment policy. When these relationships occur between peers, they do not violate institutional policy, although the working and learning environments of the University are not appropriate places for the manifestations of sexual intimacy.
However, a consensual sexual relationship between individuals who occupy different levels of authority in the institution automatically and inevitably carries the potential for evolving into a sexual harassment case of very serious implications, either from a subsequent change of attitude by the subordinate partner or from a contemporary complaint from a disadvantaged third party. Relationships of this sort are explicitly discouraged. It follows that consensual sexual relationships between faculty members and students in a school or program, or between administrators or supervisors and staff in an office or program are especially discouraged. They are proscribed in those instances in which the partner with higher status and/or power has explicit or implicit authority over, or the power to reward or punish, the partner with lower status and/or power.
WHAT DO I DO IF I THINK I MAY BE EXPERIENCING SEXUAL HARASSMENT?
Know your rights.
Sexual harassment is a violation of University policy. It is also prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. You have a right to an educational or work environment that is free of bias, intimidation or hostility.
State your objections at the time.
Tell the harasser that his/her behavior is unwelcome. Your response could prevent future harassment from the person, especially if he or she did not realize the behavior was offensive.
Talk to a trusted friend, colleague, teacher or counselor. Ask for advice and support to help stop the harassment.
Keep records in a journal or record the facts on a tape recorder. Keep track of dates, places, times, witnesses and the nature of harassment.
Write a letter.
A letter to the harasser can be an effective way to communicate one's objection to certain behaviors. Such a letter should state: (a) the facts of the situation, (b) the effects the behavior has had on the harassee, and (c) that the harassee would like the behavior to stop.
Report the problem
We at U.T. Dallas urge you to report any problem you have with sexual harassment. The Responsible University Official, administratively neutral and knowledgeable, can be helpful if you need information or want to file an informal or formal complaint.
PRINCIPLES OF U.T. DALLAS POLICY ON SEXUAL HARASSMENT
Energetic, thorough, continuing programs of education
Clear, comprehensive and effective procedures for addressing complaints and rectifying problems
Maximum protection of confidentiality and privacy for all parties involved in complaints consistent with effective resolution
Careful and complete monitoring and recording of specific incidents of sexual harassment and of the prevailing institutional climate
Institutional values, established at the highest level, emphasizing the rigorous prohibition of sexual harassment and the fostering of constructive, collegial and respectful working and learning relationships
U.T. DALLAS GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES
Once a complaint has been filed, the University has two levels of investigative and resolution proceedings, informal and formal. If after informal proceedings, the complainant and/or the person accused of sexual harassment cannot find an acceptable resolution, formal proceedings may be initiated.
Informal proceedings are generally handled by the alleged offender's principal administrator, in consultation with the University's designated Responsible Official for Sexual Harassment matters, currently the Director of Human Resources.
In cases in which both the complainant and the accused are students, the RUO will refer complaints to the Vice President for Student Affairs and External Relations, or designee. Formal proceedings will be initiated upon the submission to the RUO of a signed statement from the complainant. All such complaints will be investigated by the RUO or designee in cooperation with the appropriate line of administration.
Details of these grievance procedures may be obtained from the Personnel Office or any other administrative office. The University Policy on Sexual Harassment is included in the Faculty Handbook, the University's Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual, Volume IIA, Section D, and in Title V: Rules on Student Services and Activities, of the University's Handbook of Operating Procedures.
Students may report an incident of sexual harassment to any of the Directors of the Offices of Student Affairs or to any faculty member or administrator with whom the student feels comfortable in discussing the matter.
A faculty member, administrator, supervisor or staff member may report an incident of sexual harassment to an immediate supervisor or to any other faculty member, supervisor or administrator with whom the complainant feels comfortable in discussing the matter.
For general information, reporting incidents, or consultation on grievance procedures you may contact:
Human Resources Office
Mail Station AD35
Office of Student Life
Mail Station SU21
Office of Student Affairs and External Relations
Mail Station AD31