Employee Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, and Sexual Assault Policy
Sarah Lawrence College is an intellectual community founded on mutual respect and is committed to providing a living, learning, and working environment that is free from sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, and sexual assault. Sexual Harassment, sexual misconduct, and sexual assault have no place in this community. Such offenses can impair or limit the educational and occupational opportunities of individuals at Sarah Lawrence. This policy applies to all employees: faculty, staff, and student employees as well as vendors and contractors who come onto College premises with permission, a similar policy for students can be found in the student handbook and on the student website. This policy defines unacceptable behavior; describes the College’s prevention and education efforts and identifies resources for individuals who have experienced a sexual offense. The discipline process for alleged violations of this policy can be found in the Personnel Manual and on our Policies and Procedures page.
The College will promptly investigate all complaints of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, or sexual assault and take necessary steps to remedy such situations. All students and employees are expected to cooperate fully with any sexual offense investigation. Sexual offenses are prohibited under New York state and federal laws and may be prosecuted in the criminal justice system. Pursuing campus resolution does not preclude one from pursuing legal action now or in the future, and vice versa. Please see the student handbook or the college website for a list of relevant local, state, and federal laws.
Anyone can experience or be a perpetrator of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct or a sexual assault regardless of gender or sexual orientation.
The College has named Dean Allen Green as its Title IX Coordinator; his role is to oversee College compliance with Title IX regulations. Dean Green will:
- Serve as a resource for students wishing to report any acts of sexual violence or sexual harassment, i.e. violations of Title IX.
- Provide oversight for all Title IX complaints and identify patterns, issues or problems re: those same complaints. The Coordinator does not have a role in the Sexual Assault/Harassment Process, which is described Sexual Assault Reporting Procedures and in the Student Handbook.
- Review and support the informational initiatives enabling students, staff and faculty to fully understand sexual violence and sexual harassment as forms of sexual discrimination and further educate the community about College policy and procedures.
Dean Green’s office is located on the second floor of Westland. His extension is 2252 and his e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Definitions of Prohibited Conduct
Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors or other unwelcome verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when submission to or rejection of such advances, requests, or conduct is made, either explicitly or implicitly, (i) a term or condition of educational benefits, privileges, or placement services or as a basis for the evaluation of academic achievement of a student or (ii) a term or condition of employment or a basis for employment decisions concerning any employee.
Sexual harassment is also defined as unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors or other unwelcome verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that are so severe or pervasive that they have the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with a student’s education or an employee’s work performance or of creating an intimidating, hostile, humiliating, or sexually offensive educational, living, or working environment, when judged by the standards of a reasonable person.
Sexual harassment also includes stalking, as defined by the Violence Against Women Act.*
Sexual harassment does not refer to compliments or other behavior of a socially acceptable nature. It does not refer to discussions of material with a sexual component which might offend some individuals but which was introduced in class or conference for intellectual purposes.
Sexual misconduct is the deliberate contact with an intimate body part of another person without that person’s consent. Intimate body parts include the genitalia, the anus, the groin, the buttocks, or the breasts of a female.
Sexual misconduct includes Domestic Violence and Dating Violence, as defined by the Violence Against Women Act, if the violence involved fits the definition above.*
Sexual assault is the penetration, however slight, of another person’s vagina or anus with any object or body part, or of the mouth with a penis or sexual object, without that person’s consent.
Sexual assault also includes Dating Violence and Domestic Violence, as defined by the Violence Against Women Act, if the violence involved fits the definition above.*
*2013 Violence Against Women Act Section 304
Dating violence: The term “dating violence: means violence committed by a person (A) who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim; and (B) where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors: (i) The length of the relationship. (ii) The type of relationship. (iii) The frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
Domestic violence: The term “domestic violence” includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by current or former spouse of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction receiving grant monies, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction.
Stalking: The term “stalking: means engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to (A) fear for his or her safety or the safety of others; or (B) suffer substantial emotional distress.
Statement about relationships between Students and Employees
The College considers it unwise for the faculty, staff, vendors, or contractors to engage in sexual relationships with students, or for department heads or supervisors to engage in sexual relationships with employees who are under their supervision and potentially subject to their judgment concerning personnel actions, and therefore strongly advises against such behavior. While both parties may consider the relationship a matter of mutual consent, the imbalance of power and authority and the potential for manipulation and misunderstanding inherent in such relationships can undermine the freedom and equity of the academic and work setting. All members of the Sarah Lawrence community should be aware that initial consent to a sexual relationship does not preclude the potential for charges of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, or sexual assault should consent be withdrawn by either party.
Faculty members may not engage in sexual relations or romantic relationships with students who are in their classes or with students with whom they are in a formal advisory relationship or with students whose academic work is currently being evaluated by the faculty member.
As a condition of employment, Public Safety, Operations & Facilities, Student Affairs and Health Services staff members may not engage in sexual relations or romantic relationships with students regardless of whether the student consents to such interaction.
As a condition of employment members of the Physical Education and Athletic Staff may not engage in sexual relations or romantic relationships with any student-athletes or any student employee of the Physical Education & Athletics Department regardless of whether the student consents to such interaction.
Prevention and Education
All members of the Sarah Lawrence community play a role in creating a culture of safety and respect and in eliminating sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, and sexual assault.
The College requires all employees to participate in an interactive online program that outlines current laws against sexual harassment and provides examples that clearly illustrate situations and behaviors to be avoided. Employees must take the program when first employed and then at least once every three (3) years thereafter throughout employment. The Program is available through United Educators.
Safe Bystander Intervention
The following are additional steps you can take to help make this a safer community:
- Call Public Safety if you witness a violent or potentially violent situation.
- Intervene if you believe someone’s boundaries are being violated or that they are in a potentially uncomfortable or unsafe situation.
- If you are aware that an incident of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct or sexual assault has taken place, encourage the person to report the incident and seek support. See the Resources section of this policy for more information about available resources on and off campus.
Enforcement of this Policy
An employee found to have violated this policy is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.
Any retaliation, discrimination or other adverse action, such as intimidation, threats or coercion, taken against a student or employee because s/he complains of sexual assault or harassment or assists an investigation of sexual assault or harassment will also result in disciplinary sanctions, up to and including suspension or permanent exclusion from the college, in the case of a student, and up to and including termination of employment, in the case of an employee.
How Employees File Complaints
If you have experienced sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, and/or sexual assault you are strongly encouraged to file a complaint with the College, with the police or with both. To file a complaint and initiate the College’s discipline process for an alleged violation of this policy contact one of the individuals indicated below. They will explain the complaint procedures and coordinate the College’s response.
- Dean of Student Affairs, (914) 395-2575.
- Dean of the College, (914) 395-2303.
- Director of Human Resources, (914) 395-2385.
If you are not comfortable speaking with one of the people listed above, you may report an incident to your own supervisor, to your department head or to the department head of any of the individuals listed above.
Reporting sexual harassment, sexual misconduct or a sexual assault incident to any College employee other than Health Services staff will initiate a campus investigation. All College employees (including faculty, staff with the exception Health Services staff, and resident advisors) who become aware of an incident of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, and/or sexual assault are required to notify the director of human resources who will initiate a campus investigation into the matter. The College is required to report incidents of sexual misconduct or sexual assault that constitute a violent felony under the New York State Campus Safety Act, to the local police. The director of public safety will coordinate such notification to the Yonkers Police.
College and Community Resources
The following resources are available to employees for information and support concerning sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, and sexual assault.
Employee Assistance Program
The Wellness Corporation provides free short-term counseling and referral services to all faculty, staff and household members. Call 1-800-828-6025 to speak to a counselor. The EAP is available 24 hours a day, including weekends and holidays.
The following organizations provide 24-hour assistance for individuals dealing with violence.
Westchester County Victims Assistance Services Crisis Helpline (for anyone)
My Sisters Place Domestic Violence Shelter and Hotline (for women)
(800) 298-SAFE (7233)
New York City Gay & Lesbian Anti-Violence Project Hotline (for the lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual, and HIV-affected communities)
In accordance with New York State law the college will appoint an Advisory Committee on Campus Security. The committee shall review current campus security policies and procedures and make recommendations for their improvement. It shall specifically review current policies and procedures for the following:
- Educating the campus community, including security personnel and those who advise or supervise students, about sexual assault
- Educating the campus community about personal safety and crime prevention
- Reporting sexual assaults and dealing with victims during investigations
- Referring complaints to appropriate authorities
- Counseling victims
- Responding to inquiries from concerned persons
The Committee shall report, in writing, to the President on its findings and recommendations at least once each academic year. The report will be available upon request.
The Advisory Committee on Campus Safety will provide upon request all campus crime statistics as reported to the United States Department of Education. The Sarah Lawrence College security report can be found here. The College’s crime statistics can also be found at the United States Department of Education’s website at http://www.ope.ed.gov/security/GetOneInstitutionData.aspx.
The Director of Public Safety and Security will also provide such statistics upon request and can be reached at (914) 395-2384. In addition the College shall provide a hard copy, free of charge, mailed to the individual within ten days of the request.