Policy 1-93: Sexual Harassment Policy

Centenary College seeks to cultivate a spirit of community in which each individual may participate without fear of intimidation. The College does not tolerate discrimination in any form.* All employees and students are expected to avoid any action or conduct which might be construed as sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is defined as follows:

Unwelcome sexual advances, request for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when (1) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a requirement of employment or participation in an academic program or activity, (2) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for employment or academic decisions affecting such individual, or (3) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working, academic or campus environment.

Any behavior deemed to be sexual harassment by a member of the staff or faculty may be reported directly to the aggrieved party's supervisor (immediate or higher); a student shall report to the Dean of Student Life of to the Assistant Dean of Student Life. (Hereafter, the individual who receives the information from the complainant will be referred to as the facilitator.) After consultation with the facilitator, the matter of alleged harassment may be pursued further following the sequence outlined below. However, upon the request of the complainant, this process may be terminated at any step, whereupon all documentation would be destroyed. A fair process shall be observed in which the rights of both the complainant and the accused are respected. The investigation of the complaint will proceed as follows:

  1. To encourage that the issue be resolved informally, a meeting of the facilitator, the complainant, the complainant's advocate (if so desired by the complainant), the accused and the accused's advocate (if so desired) shall be called by the facilitator who shall encourage open discussion, in which both parties involved in the complaint may hear a description of the situation from the other's point of view in an effort to resolve the complaint. This meeting shall remain confidential without documentation and is an option to the complainant initiating a formal complaint..
  2. Should the complaint not be resolved informally, the complainant may formalize the complaint; a written and signed complaint should be filed with the appropriate official within one (1) calendar year as follows:
    1. If the accused is a student, a "Report of Suspected Student Misconduct" shall be filed with the Dean of Student Life, who shall, in turn, refer the case to the Judicial Referral Board for review. The Judicial Referral Board, responsible for the referral of cases of alleged student misconduct, will refer the complaint to the Conduct Review Subcommittee. Appeals to the Conduct Review Subcommittee are referred to the President of the College.
    2. If the accused is a faculty member, the complaint shall be filed with the Provost and Dean of the College who shall forward the complaint to the Personnel Committee, which shall make a recommendation for action to the Provost. Decisions of the Provost may be appealed to the President of the College.
    3. If the accused is a staff member, then a complaint shall be filed with his or her immediate (or higher) supervisor, who shall refer the complaint to the Vice President for Finance and Administration. Appeals to decisions of the supervisor and Vice President for Finance and Administration should be made to the President of the College.
    4. If the accused is a member of the senior administration, then the complaint shall be filed with the President of the College. If the complaint is against the President, it shall be filed with the Provost. Any such complaints shall be referred to the Chairman of the Board.
  3. When a violation of College regulations and policies has occurred, action through the investigative process may be the best remedy. Therefore, action may include, but is not limited to, the following: no action taken, a warning, documentation in the individual's permanent personnel record, or dismissal of the student or employee. All paperwork associated with investigation of the complaint shall be destroyed after a period of six months unless there is a judgment of guilty. In such cases, records relating to the case shall be maintained in a confidential file in the Office of the President.
  4. The institution will make every effort to ensure any complainant, or accused, is protected from any actions of harassment or abuse during the investigative and hearing processes outlined above. If such action does occur, it should be reported to the appropriate official as indicated previously.

Unless specifically addressed in this document, this policy does not supersede any existing provisions of the Faculty Handbook or administrative policies of Centenary College.

Last updated May, 2003

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