|SEXUAL HARASSMENT AND RELATED UNPROFESSIONAL CONDUCT
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In our academic community, we seek to foster the fullest development of peoples' abilities and aspirations. The mission of Trident Technical College can be realized only in an atmosphere of civility, mutual trust, and respect. Actions which diminish such an atmosphere shall not be condoned or tolerated.
The purpose of this policy is to inform all Trident Technical College students and employees that sexual harassment as defined below is prohibited. The policy applies to all forms of sexual harassment, which may include faculty-to-faculty, student-to-faculty, and student-to-student harassment. The policy also serves to inform the Trident community that sexual harassment also violates federal and state laws. The College will not tolerate sexual harassment of its students or employees, nor will the College tolerate unprofessional conduct which leads to sexual harassment.
TTC Procedure 8-2-1 provides for reporting and investigating sexual harassment complaints made by students, faculty, or staff in a timely manner and also describes the sanctions for acts which constitute sexual harassment.
AVAILABILITY AND TRAINING
The College makes available copies of the policy and related college procedures for students and employees. The College also provides appropriate educational materials and programs related to understanding and following this policy and procedure for all students and all employees.
Sexual harassment is any form of unwanted sexual attention. The term "sexual harassment" may be used to describe a wide range of behavior between students, between students and employees,between employees, or possibly between students. These behaviors are described in the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission guidelines below. For students, the references to "employment" or "work" in the EEOC guidelines include the entire range of academic and non-academic functions of the college community.
The EEOC defines sexual harassment as:
Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when
(1) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's
employment, or other student opportunities.
(2) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for decisions affecting that
individual's employment, academic standing, or student standing, or other student opportunities.
(3) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work performance,
professional or academic performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working, learning, or
Sexual harassment is also a form of sexual discrimination and is prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
and Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972.
In determining what conduct constitutes sexual harassment, the question shall be determined from the perspective of a reasonable person of the gender and position of the person filing the complaint. The fact that an alleged offender of this policy did not intend to sexually harass an individual is not a defense to a complaint of sexual harassment. Regardless of intent, it is the effect and characteristics of the behavior, from the perspective of a reasonable person, that determine whether the behavior constitutes sexual harassment.
Consistent with principles of academic freedom, course content and teaching methods remain the province of individual faculty members. At the same time, faculty members shall refrain from classroom/clinical etc. behavior that unnecessarily focuses attention on sex characteristics.
Related Unprofessional Conduct
Relationships between a student and an individual with professional responsibility for that student deserve particular attention. A college employee with professional responsibility for a student has real or potential power and authority over that student in a variety of roles including but not limited to instructor, academic advisor, student organization advisor, work study supervisor, counselor, committee member, etc. To ensure that employees shall not abuse that power no employee shall have engaged in, shall engage in, or shall solicit an amorous or sexual relationship (consensual or otherwise) with a student
(1) who is enrolled in a class being taught by the employee;
(2) whose academic work is being supervised by the employee or;
(3) who is a member of a college group which is supervised or advised by the employee.
Amorous and/or sexual relationships between a student and an individual with professional responsibility for that student are presumed to be exploitative, and constitute unprofessional conduct. The consensual nature of such a relationship does not necessarily constitute a defense to a charge of sexual harassment or related unprofessional conduct.
Any member of the College community who has been sexually harassed should immediately conduct one of the College staff members designate as a contact to help students, faculty, and staff with sexual harassment concerns (see Sexual Harassment Contact List link below). The College encourages the prompt reporting of instances of sexual harassment. Additionally, any employee who is made aware of a complaint shall notify immediately one of the designated contact people who will notify the Human Resource Director (policy coordinator). If the individual reporting an instance of sexual harassment files a formal complaint, the policy coordinator will supervise an investigation to be conducted with sensitivity to all involved and with as much confidentially as possible.
RIGHTS AND PENALTIES
Any person who violates this policy by engaging in sexually harassing conduct either on-campus or off-campus shall be subject to prompt and firm disciplinary actions as determined by the College. Such discipline may range from reprimand to dismissal.
Any student or employee may also seek other relief to which he/she is entitled by law.
Employees could be held personally liable for participation in or condoning sexual harassment.
An employee of the College must not refuse to cooperate in the investigation of a sexual harassment complaint, but the employee may assert whatever testimonial or evidentiary privileges that are available to the employee by law.
If the circumstances of the complaint warrant, the college may take necessary action to alleviate the situation while the complaint is being resolved as outlined in this policy.
No employee or student who files a complaint in good faith shall suffer retaliation for filing the complaint. The college shall take necessary action to assure that there is no retaliation against persons who file complaints in good faith.
BAD FAITH OR FRIVOLOUS COMPLAINTS
The policy shall not be used to bring frivolous or malicious complaints. Disciplinary action shall be taken against any person bringing a sexual harassment complaint in bad faith.
ADDITIONAL RELATED POLICY AND PROCEDURES LIST
Updated October 22, 2004
Updated August 25, 2010