The University of Puget Sound values and celebrates a diverse educational community based on mutual respect, trust, and responsibility. The university believes its students, faculty members and all other staff members should learn, teach, work, serve and lead in an environment free from harassment and sexual misconduct.
The university is a community that encourages a rich knowledge of self and others, an appreciation of commonality and difference, the full, open, and civil discussion of ideas, thoughtful moral discourse, and the integration of learning. This community recognizes the importance of academic freedom, open exchange of ideas and creative, intellectual expression. The Campus Policy Prohibiting Harassment and Sexual Misconduct provides a means for investigation of and response to harassment and sexual misconduct concerns, resolution of issues, and corrective action when necessary. The university encourages any person who believes he or she has been harassed or subject to sexual misconduct to seek prompt assistance under this policy.
The University of Puget Sound prohibits discrimination in education or employment on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, religion, creed, age, disability, marital or familial status, sexual orientation, veteran or military status, gender identity or any characteristic that is legally protected under applicable local, state or federal law. This Campus Policy Prohibiting Harassment and Sexual Misconduct explicitly defines harassment, including sexual harassment, as a prohibited form of discrimination. In addition, the university prohibits consensual sexual relationships between a faculty or staff member and a student whenever the faculty or staff member is in a position of professional responsibility with respect to the student.
The University of Puget Sound also prohibits sexual misconduct in any form including sexual assault and other forms of nonconsensual sexual conduct. Sexual misconduct will not be tolerated within the college community as it is harmful to both the learning environment and the sense of community the college fosters among students, faculty, staff, and administrators.
This policy is intended to meet and may generally exceed the requirements of applicable federal, state and local law. However, this policy does not provide a substitute procedure for redressing any person's legal rights, or create legal rights separate from applicable laws. Additionally, the university is not prevented by this policy from acting to remedy a problem that could also be remedied by resort to legal action. The university may take appropriate protective and administrative action even in situations where the complainant is absent.
A. Policy Scope
This policy applies when the conduct prohibited by this policy occurs between any member of the student body, faculty, or staff and any other member of the student body, faculty, or staff. This policy also applies when the prohibited conduct occurs between a member and a nonmember of the student body, faculty, or staff, such as an off-campus visitor, vendor, independent contractor, work-study employer, internship supervisor, prospective student, or volunteer.
The university may impose sanctions if the prohibited conduct occurs on university premises or in connection with a person's participation in a university-sponsored organization, program, or activity, or if the conduct poses a risk of harm to any member of the campus community, including but not limited to any of the harmful effects encompassed by the definitions of discriminatory harassment, sexual harassment or sexual misconduct.
This policy emphasizes the importance of information and education in preventing sexual misconduct and discriminatory harassment, including sexual harassment. This policy will be made available to all members of the faculty, staff, and student body. In addition, all faculty, staff, and students should be regularly encouraged to participate in educational programs concerning the prevention and reporting of sexual misconduct and discriminatory harassment including sexual harassment. Participation in such programs will be expected of academic and administrative department heads. This policy authorizes the President to appoint such advisory groups as may be needed to assist in developing appropriate educational programs and informational materials.
B. Discriminatory Harassment
Discriminatory harassment consists of conduct of any type (e.g., oral, written, graphic, or physical) directed against a person (or group of persons) because of his or her (or their) race, color, national origin, religion, creed, age, disability, marital or familial status, sexual orientation, veteran or military status, gender identity or any protected characteristic, which is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive as to limit or deny a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from an educational program or a faculty, staff or student staff member’s ability to perform or participate in a work environment. Questions may arise about the balance between freedom of expression and the right of individuals to be free from harassment. For example, in the classroom or in co-curricular discussion, the university emphasizes critical and analytical thinking, the testing of opinions, and rich debate about texts and artifacts, ideas and values. Students engaged in the process of liberal arts education will likely confront uncomfortable moments and ideas that are disquieting, or even offensive to them. Discriminatory harassment, as defined above, includes something beyond the mere expression of views, words, symbols or thoughts that some person finds offensive. To engage in harassing behavior is to treat someone unfairly. Students should expect to be challenged by their education, but they also have the right to participate in educational discussion without being unfairly singled out by race, national origin, age religion, sexual orientation or other protected characteristics or status recognized by the university or applicable law.
C. Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment is a form of discriminatory harassment and is defined by this policy to include unwelcome verbal or physical conduct of a sexual or nonsexual nature that is directed toward a person because of the person's sex, when:
For additional information relating to the application of this policy, see Appendix B.
D. Sexual Misconduct
Sexual misconduct is defined as actual or attempted sexual activity that is forced upon another without the clear consent of that person. Sexual misconduct may vary in its severity and can range from unwanted touching or physical contact of a personal nature to unwanted, coerced or forced penetration Sexual misconduct can include, but is not limited to, indecent liberties, rape and sexual exploitation.
Indecent liberties is the knowing sexual contact with another person by forcible compulsion or without that person’s consent. Sexual contact includes but is not limited to, sexual intercourse, penetration of an orifice (anal, oral or vaginal) with the penis, finger or other object, intentional touching of the genitals, buttocks or breasts, or coercion to force someone else to touch one’s genitals, buttocks or breasts. Sexual contact can occur over clothing.
Rape is any sexual intercourse (anal, oral or vaginal), however slight, with any object, by a man or a woman, without consent.
Sexual exploitation involves taking non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to, prostitution, electronic recording or photography without knowledge and consent of all parties, voyeurism, transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or sexually transmitted infection (STI), and inducing incapacitation with the intent to rape or sexually assault.
See Appendix C for additional information relating to the application of this policy.
E. Consensual Sexual Relationships
Consent is defined as verbal agreement and positive physical cooperation in the course of mutually agreed upon sexual activity. The person giving consent must act freely, voluntarily and understand the nature of consent. Consent may not be given by a minor or by a person who suffers from mental incompetence or intoxication. Lack of protest or silence does not imply consent. The person who wants to engage in the specific sexual activity or conduct is responsible for obtaining consent to make sure that he or she has consent from the other party(ies). A prior relationship is not sufficient to indicate consent. Consent must be present throughout and can be revoked at any time.
A consensual sexual relationship between a faculty or staff member and a student does not necessarily involve sexual harassment or misconduct. However, the university's educational responsibilities to its students are potentially compromised in all such cases by the likelihood or even the appearance of a conflict of interests. Consequently, this policy prohibits consensual sexual relationships between a faculty or staff member and a student whenever the faculty or staff member is in a position of professional responsibility with respect to the student. A faculty or staff member has a professional responsibility when he or she is currently or potentially in a position to make or influence a decision or to confer or withhold a benefit relating to the student's education or employment.
In accord with the university’s conflict of interest provisions, this policy prohibits faculty or staff members from exercising supervisory responsibility with respect to another faculty or staff member with whom they are involved in a consensual sexual relationship. A faculty or staff member who enters into a consensual sexual relationship with a subordinate is required to promptly disclose the relationship to his/her superior(s) so that reassignment, alternative supervision processes, or other arrangements can be facilitated and documented.
F. Other Behaviors of Concern
Some complaints that students, staff members or faculty members may bring forward to designated officials may not constitute harassment or sexual misconduct. The reported behaviors may nonetheless be of concern and may constitute lack of compliance with campus expectations outlined in other published campus policies and codes. Such complaints will be addressed through the appropriate resolution procedures of the Student Integrity Code, the Staff Policies and Procedures Manual, or the Faculty Code.
All members of the campus community have a responsibility to govern their own conduct in accordance with this policy. In addition, any person who knows about a discriminatory harassment or sexual misconduct problem, including sexual harassment, is strongly encouraged to report it to a designated university official.
B. Supervisors Responsibilities
Supervisors are particularly responsible for helping to prevent and eliminate discriminatory harassment and sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment, in the areas they oversee. A supervisor who believes as a result of direct observation or from a report brought to him or her that discriminatory harassment or sexual misconduct including sexual harassment, as defined in Sections II.A., II.B., II.C., II.D., is or may be occurring must report the problem to a designated official even if the problem is not within his or her area of responsibility. All faculty members likewise have a supervisory responsibility to report a discriminatory harassment or sexual misconduct including sexual harassment problem. Requests for confidentiality will be respected if at all possible (see Section IV.B.). Supervisors must also help to ensure that no retaliation occurs against persons who complain of sexual misconduct or other harassment or who cooperate with a complaint investigation. Failure to comply with these supervisory responsibilities may subject the supervisor or faculty member to disciplinary action.
C. Retaliations and False Complaints
This policy prohibits threats, other forms of intimidation, or retaliation of any kind against a person who reports a discriminatory harassment or sexual misconduct including sexual harassment problem or who cooperates with a harassment or sexual misconduct investigation. Any such conduct will itself constitute a violation of this policy and may subject the offender to disciplinary action.
An intentionally false complaint will also constitute a violation of this policy and may subject the offender to disciplinary action. A complaint is not considered to be falsely reported merely because the evidence does not suffice to support a formal charge.
Anyone who perceives himself or herself to be a victim of discriminatory harassment or sexual misconduct including sexual harassment is strongly encouraged to use this complaint procedure.Immediate response procedures for instances of sexual assault are outlined in Appendix C.
Complaints may be handled informally as described below or by means of the formal procedures as provided by the Faculty Code, the Staff Policies and Procedures Manual, or the Student Integrity Code depending on whether the person charged is a member of the faculty, staff, or student body, respectively. Formal resolution procedures for alleged violations of the Student Integrity Code are required to be referred to the Sexual Misconduct Board. See Appendix E for a more complete description of the Sexual Misconduct Board. See Appendix F for additional information relating to the application of this policy.
The university will make every reasonable effort possible to preserve an individual’s privacy and protect the confidentiality of information. Complaints will be treated confidentially to the extent permitted by this policy's reporting requirements and the university's need to investigate and resolve the reported problem. If at all possible, especially during the investigation of the complaint, the complainant's identity will not be disclosed without the complainant's consent. However, disciplinary action cannot be taken without informing the respondent of the complainant's identity, unless the charges could be effectively rebutted without knowing who made them. The university may need to initiate a disciplinary action, even if the complainant does not request it, because the university has an obligation to resolve any reported discriminatory harassment or sexual misconduct including sexual harassment problem.
The degree to which confidentiality can be protected, however, depends upon the professional role of the person being consulted. An individual can speak confidentially with certain persons in legally protected roles. They include counselors and medical providers at Counseling, Health, and Wellness Services, the University Chaplain and sexual assault counselors. However, physicians, nurses, psychologists, psychiatrists and social workers must report a sexual assault committed against a person under 18 years and vulnerable adults.
Information shared with individuals who are not in legally protected roles may be disclosed. For example, the Dean of Students, a Resident Director or a Resident Advisor may need to inform other individuals to protect their safety or rights, in fairness to the persons involved, or in response to legal requirements. Additionally, the university is required by law to disclose all reports of on-campus sexual misconduct for statistical purposes to Security Services, without personal identifying information. In compliance with federal law, these statistics and other mandated crime statistics are reported annually.
C. Resource Persons
D. Initiation of Complaint Procedure
A faculty, staff, or student complaint may be brought to any of the university officials designated by the President.
The university’s general practice for handling complaints is as follows, recognizing that circumstances of a particular case may require some flexibility of process: The official will interview the complainant and make a written summary of the interview, including the specific nature and effects of the conduct in question, the time and circumstances in which it occurred, and the names of other persons who may have relevant information. The complainant will have an opportunity to review, amend and affirm by signature the accuracy of the interview summary. The investigating officer will also advise the complainant of the likely scope and nature of the complaint investigation and the procedures that will apply if formal charges are brought. In addition, the complainant will receive a copy of this policy and the appropriate faculty, staff, or student procedures.
Complaints may also be brought to the head of the complainant's academic or administrative department, to the department head of the person behaving objectionably, or to a discriminatory harassment complaint ombudsperson who shall be a tenured member of the faculty appointed by the President in consultation with the Chairs of the Professional Standards and Student Life Committees of the Faculty Senate.
The role of a department head or complaint ombudsperson will be to counsel the complainant about sources of further information and assistance. If requested by the complainant, the department head or ombudsperson may assist with informal resolution efforts, or he or she may refer the complainant to one of the above designated officials. In any event, the department head or ombudsperson must promptly report the complaint to a designated official, even if the complainant wishes to proceed informally or decides not to pursue the matter.
E. Informal Resolution Procedure
F. Formal Resolution Procedure
b. Faculty or Staff Sanctions
Sanctions that may be imposed upon a faculty or staff member include but are not limited to:
G. Records Retention and Disclosure
The university will retain a confidential record of any discriminatory harassment or sexual misconduct including sexual harassment complaint and its final disposition. The existence and contents of this record may not be publicly disclosed by the university without the written consent of the person about whom the information is sought, except as permitted by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act or as required by legal process, including valid court order. The complaint record may otherwise be used by the university for legitimate internal purposes relating exclusively to the enforcement of this policy.
This Campus Policy Prohibiting Harassment and Sexual Misconduct and any subsequent amendments shall be adopted by the Board of Trustees upon recommendation by the President. This policy as approved or amended shall supersede any prior policy statements concerning discriminatory harassment or sexual misconduct including sexual harassment. Appendices to the Campus Policy Prohibiting Harassment and Sexual Misconduct provide explanatory guidance for the policy and may be amended administratively, consistent with the provisions of the policy.
Origination Date: 1/1983
Revised: 2/6/98; 5/13/05; 1/26/08
Owner: President's Cabinet
Contact: Assistant to the President/Secretary of the Corporation
Discriminatory Harassment Comments and Examples
Discriminatory harassment denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual or group because of a legally protected status or characteristic. Such conduct is often motivated by strong feelings against a group of persons. To be a victim of any harassment or violence is unacceptable, but to suffer such abuse because of one’s identity compounds the victimization. The impact of discriminatory harassment extends beyond the individual who is targeted to all members of the group.
The purpose of this policy is to protect students, faculty members and all staff members from discrimination, not to regulate the content of speech. The policy is not a speech code and does not proscribe particular words or viewpoints. A particular expression, standing alone, need not establish a hostile environment. Rather, conduct of concern under this policy will be evaluated in terms of (1) whether a reasonable person in the complainant’s position, considering all of the circumstances in which the conduct occurred, would find the environment hostile and (2) whether the complainant actually perceived the environment to be hostile. Both tests must be met in order for the complainant to establish a severe or pervasive hostile environment.
Discriminatory harassment generally involves repeated behavior or a pattern of offensive conduct that interferes with the victim’s access to the educational or employment opportunities of the institution. However, the university may remedy any improper conduct, and a single instance of discriminatory harassment, if sufficiently serious, could result in the dismissal of a faculty or staff member or the expulsion of a student.
Examples of behavior that could be reported for review under this policy include:
(a) Directing racial or ethnic slurs at someone.
(b) Telling someone repeatedly that they are too old to understand new technology.
(c) Teasing or mocking a person with a disability.
(d) Ridiculing a person's religious beliefs.
(e) Vandalizing or defacing property.
(f) Placing written or visual material, such as a swastika or a homophobic epithet, on the door of an individual's living or work area.
(g) Chalking anti-Semitic language on a campus sidewalk or parking lot.
(h) Stalking or physically assaulting someone.
(i) Making threatening telephone calls, writing threatening e-mail messages, or leaving threatening voice mail messages.
Sexual Harassment Comments and Examples
Sexual Assault Response Procedures
This Sexual Misconduct Policy prohibits all forms of rape, indecent liberties, and other forcible and nonforcible sexual offenses of a criminal nature. Following is an outline of the university's procedures for reporting and responding to a criminal sex offense:
For additional information about these procedures, contact any of the designated officials as provided by the Campus Policy Prohibiting Harassment and Sexual Misconduct. The University of Puget Sound provides various educational programs to promote the awareness of rape, acquaintance rape, and other forcible and nonforcible sex offenses. Contact the Office of the Dean of Students for information about these programs.
Informal Resolution Alternatives
Following are some of the possible ways in which a complainant might be assisted in resolving a policy violation on his or her own.
Sexual Misconduct Board
The Sexual Misconduct Board composed of a faculty member, a staff member, and a student, will follow the Procedures for Adjudication of Student Integrity Code Cases, Section VI.B. (Integrity Code Board) of the Student Integrity Code with the following adjustments:
City of Tacoma Code Chapter 1.29 prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, national origin or ancestry, marital status, familial status, or the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical handicap.
Washington State Law Against Discrimination (RCW Chapter 49.60; regulations in the Washington Administrative Code 162-04-10 et seq.) prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of age, race, sex, disability, marital status, national origin and creed.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000(e) et seq.; regulations in 29 C.F. R. 1604 (sex), 1605 (religion) and 1606 (national origin) prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin, as amended by the Civil Rights Act of 1991.
Civil Rights Acts of 1866 and 1871 (42 U.S.C. 1981 and 1986) provide a federal statutory remedy for certain kinds of discrimination independent of Title VII; Section 1981 applied to discrimination on the basis of race, color and probably national origin; Sections 1985 and 1986 prohibit conspiracies to deprive a person or class of persons of the equal protection of the laws or the right to vote or to support a candidate.
Equal Pay Act of 1963 (29 U.S.C. 206(d)) makes it unlawful for an employer to pay different wages for equal work based on an employee’s sex.
Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (29 U.S.C. 621 et seq.) prohibits discrimination in employment against individuals over the age of 40.
Americans With Disabilities Act (42 U.S.C. 1201 et seq.) extends broad federal civil rights protection to Americans with disabilities.
Bankruptcy Act (11 U.S.C. 525) makes it unlawful for any employer to terminate an employee or to discriminate against an employee who has been a debtor or filed for bankruptcy or failed to pay a debt that was discharged in bankruptcy under the Bankruptcy Act.
Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (38 U.S.C. 4301 et seq.) prohibits discrimination based on membership or service in the Armed Forces, the Army National Guard, the Air National Guard or the commissioned corps of the Public Health Service.
Executive Order 11246, Amended by Executive Order 11375 prohibits discrimination by government contractors on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin.
Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 prohibits employers from knowingly hiring “unauthorized aliens” from engaging in “unfair immigration-related employment practices.” It prohibits discrimination against any individual (other than an “unauthorized alien”) because of national origin or citizenship status.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 which provides that no person shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefit of or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.
Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 793 et seq.) prohibits discrimination by government contractors on the basis of mental or physical disability.
Executive Order 11141 prohibits discrimination by government contractors based on age.
Age Discrimination in Federally Assisted Programs Act of 1975 (42 U.S.C. 6101 et seq.) provides that no person shall, on the basis of age, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefit of or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.
The Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Vietnam Era Veterans) and Veterans Readjustment Act of 1974 (38 U.S.C. 2011 et seq.) which prohibits discrimination by government contractors on the basis of Vietnam era veteran status or disabled veteran status.
The Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1988 provides that if any part of a covered institution receives federal funding, then all of the operations of the institution are subject to civil rights statutes. The statutes collectively provide that such institutions must not exclude, deny benefits to, or discrimination against any person because of race, color, national origin, sex, handicap, or age.
The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) on July 29, 2003 clarified the standard for discriminatory harassment, noting that it must “include something beyond the mere expression of views, words, symbols or thoughts that some person finds offensive. Under OCR's standard, the conduct must also be considered sufficiently serious to deny or limit a student's ability to participate in or benefit from the educational program. Thus, OCR's standards require that the conduct be evaluated from the perspective of a reasonable person in the alleged victim's position, considering all the circumstances, including the alleged victim's age.”