Human Resources

 
 
 

IV. Discrimination, Harassment (Including Sexual Misconduct, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, Stalking), and Retaliation

  1. Definitions
      1. Discrimination

        Actions that deprive individuals of educational or employment access, benefits or opportunities on the basis of the individual’s actual or perceived protected status (as protected status is described in Section I above).

      2. Harassment

        Harassment prohibited by this Policy includes, but is not limited to, conduct which constitutes sexual misconduct or other unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, which includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or any other visual, verbal, non-verbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature.

        Sexual harassment shall also include, but not be limited to, sexual violence, which refers to sexual acts and/or sexual contact that occurs without affirmative consent or where a person is incapable of giving informed consent as a result of drugs or alcohol, intellectual or other disability, or age.

        Harassment prohibited by this Policy also includes dating violence, domestic violence and stalking as defined herein.

        Harassment may also include derogatory visual, verbal, non-verbal, or physical conduct that demonstrates bias based on an individual’s actual or perceived protected status (as protected status is described in Section I above) when:

        • Submission to the conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of the individual’s academic or employment status or advancement; or
        • Submission to or rejection of the conduct is used as the basis for academic or employment decisions affecting the individual; or
        • The conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with the individual’s academics (including social and residential experiences) or work performance by creating a hostile environment, regardless of whether it is directed toward that or any specific individual.

        Examples of prohibited conduct that constitutes harassment include, or may include, but are not limited to:

        • Verbal or non-verbal repeated and unwelcome sexual advances, innuendoes or propositions, racial or sexual epithets, derogatory slurs, off-color jokes, threats, or suggestive or insulting actions and/or sounds;
        • Unwanted physical contact including touching, interference with an individual’s normal movement or assault;
        • Derogatory visual posters, cartoons or drawings; suggestive objects or pictures; graphic commentaries; leering; or obscene gestures;
        • Threatening, intimidating or causing physical harm, or other conduct that threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person on the basis of their actual or perceived membership in a protected class;
        • The intentional recording, disseminating or viewing another person’s sexual activity, intimate body parts or nakedness without their consent;
        • Hazing, defined as acts likely to cause physical or psychological harm or social ostracism to any person, when related to the admission, initiation, pledging, joining, or any other group-affiliation activity (as defined further in the University Hazing Policy) on the basis of actual or perceived membership in a protected class;
        • Bullying, defined as repeated and/or aggressive behavior likely to intimidate or intentionally hurt, control or diminish another person, physically or mentally, on the basis of actual or perceived membership in a protected class;
        • The intentional use or threatened use of violence between those in an intimate relationship to each other (this includes romantic relationships, dating and/or domestic violence);
        • Stalking, defined as a course of conduct directed at a specific person designed for no legitimate purpose and which causes a reasonable person to be in fear for his or her safety or the safety of others, or to suffer substantial emotional distress.
      3. Hostile Environment

        A hostile environment exists when: conduct is severe, pervasive or persistent, and is on the basis of actual or perceived membership in a protected class, and limits, denies or unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work or academic experience (including social and residential participation.)

        A single or isolated incident of sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence or stalking may create a hostile environment if the incident is sufficiently severe. The more severe the conduct, the less need there is to show a repetitive series of incidents to prove a hostile environment, particularly if the harassment is physical.

      4. Prohibited Relationships as Sexual Harassment

        The relationship between faculty and students is central to the academic mission of the University. Personal ties should not be allowed to interfere with the academic integrity of the faculty/student relationship. With respect to sexual, amorous or romantically intimate relations in particular, what might appear to be consensual, even to the parties involved, may in fact not be so, due to the inherent imbalance of power.

        Therefore, professors, instructors, coaches and/or graduate assistants, are prohibited from having sexual relations and/or romantically intimate or amorous relationships with any student they teach, supervise, coach or advise. Similarly, any administrator or employee in a supervisory role may not have sexual relations and/or romantically intimate or amorous relationships with any student or employee they supervise directly or indirectly. Examples include, but are not limited to: sexual relations between a student and an administrator, coach, advisor, program director, counselor, or professional residential staff member who has oversight responsibility for a student. The University will respond to all reports of prohibited or inappropriate sexual, amorous or romantically intimate behavior.

        In acting on complaints that come to the University’s attention, sexual harassment will be presumed to have occurred in violation of this Policy if the employee has engaged in sexual, amorous or romantically intimate relations with a student while the individual was teaching or otherwise had, or is likely to have, supervisory responsibility or academic or professional influence over the student regardless of whether the sexual, amorous or romantically intimate relations were consensual or not.

        If, after the commencement of a consensual sexual, amorous or romantically intimate relationship, that is not prohibited by this Policy, the parties learn that due to a change in their duties, responsibilities, assignments or positions, their relationship will now be prohibited, both parties are required to notify the Title IX Coordinator as soon as possible in order to determine how to proceed. Notification is required regardless of whether the consensual relationship still exists.

        Persons involved in consensual sexual, amorous or romantically intimate relationships outside of the faculty/student, supervisor/subordinate, or others previously noted, must exercise caution to prevent the development of harassing behavior or use of authority inappropriately. Consensual relationships can change and conduct once welcomed by both, may become unwelcome to one. The fact that there is initial consent to forming a romantic relationship or a specific sexual encounter does not preclude a charge of harassment in the future or transform unethical behaviors into acceptable conduct.

      5. Sexual Misconduct Violations
        1. Sexual Harassment
          See definition provided above
        2. Sexual Assault

          Sexual assault as it pertains herein is sexual activity (which includes sexual acts and/or sexual contact) that occurs without affirmative consent (see definition below) to engage in the activity.

          Sexual Act means:

          1. Contact between the penis and the vulva or the penis and the anus, and for the purposes of this subparagraph, contact involving the penis occurs upon any penetration, however slight;
          2. Contact between the mouth and the penis, the mouth and the vulva or the mouth and the anus;
          3. Penetration however slight of the anal or genital opening of another by a hand or finger or by any object, with the intent to abuse, humiliate, harass, degrade or arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person.

          Sexual Contact means:
          The intentional touching, either directly or through the clothing, of the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh or buttocks of any person with the intent to abuse, humiliate, harass, degrade or gratify the sexual desire of any person.

        3. Sexual Exploitation

          Sexual Exploitation refers to a situation in which a person takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another, and situations in which the conduct does not fall within the definitions herein of Sexual Harassment or Sexual Assault.

          Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to:

          • Sexual voyeurism (such as watching a person undressing, using the bathroom or engaged in sexual acts without the consent of the person(s) observed).
          • Taking pictures or video or audio recording another in a sexual act, or in any other private activity without the consent of all involved in the activity, or exceeding the boundaries of consent (such as allowing another person to hide in a closet and observe sexual activity, or disseminating sexual pictures without the photographed person’s consent).
          • Prostitution, which includes acts of engaging in, soliciting, patronizing, facilitating and promoting prostitution.
          • Sexual exploitation also includes engaging in sexual activity with another person while knowingly infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or other sexually transmitted disease (STD) and without informing the other person of the infection, and further includes administering alcohol or drugs (such as “date rape” drugs) to another person without his or her knowledge or consent for the purpose of sexual activity.
          • Sexual exhibitionism

     

    1. Dating Violence

      Violence or the threat of violence or physical restraint committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim; and where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the victim’s statement and consideration of the following factors: the length of the relationship; the type of the relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. Two people may be involved in a romantic or intimate relationship regardless of whether the relationship is sexual.

    2. Domestic Violence

      Violence or the threat of violence or physical restraint committed by a current or former spouse of the victim, a person who shares a child in common with the victim or a person who is cohabiting romantically with the victim.

      Both dating violence and domestic violence can be defined as a pattern of abusive behavior used by an intimate partner to gain or maintain control over an intimate partner. Dating and domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This can include behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure or wound someone.

    3. Stalking

      A course of unwanted and repeated conduct directed at a specific person designed for no legitimate purpose, and which causes a reasonable person to be in fear for his or her own safety, or the safety of others or to suffer substantial emotional distress. Stalking may include, but is not limited to unwanted following, communication (including electronic), visits and gifts.

    4. Affirmative Consent

      Affirmative consent to engage in sexual activity is a knowing, voluntary and mutual decision among all participants to engage in sexual activity. Consent can be given by words or actions, as long as those words or actions create clear permission regarding willingness to engage in the sexual activity. Silence or lack of resistance, in and of itself, does not demonstrate consent. The definition of consent does not vary based upon a participant’s sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. Consent to any sexual act or prior consensual sexual activity between or with any party does not necessarily constitute consent to any other sexual act. Consent is required regardless of whether the person initiating the act is under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. Consent may be initially given but withdrawn at any time. Consent cannot be given when a person is incapacitated, which occurs when an individual lacks the ability to knowingly chose to participate in sexual activity. Incapacitation may be caused by lack of consciousness or being asleep, being involuntarily restrained or if the individual otherwise cannot consent. Depending on the degree of intoxication, someone who is under the influence of alcohol, drugs or other intoxicants may be incapacitated and therefore unable to consent. Consent cannot be given when it is the result of any coercion, intimidation, force or threat of harm. When consent is withdrawn or can no longer be given, sexual activity must stop.

    5. Incapacity

      Consent cannot be given when a person is incapacitated. Incapacitation occurs when an individual lacks the ability to knowingly choose to participate in sexual activity.

      Incapacity is defined as the inability to make rational and reasonable decisions due to lack of capacity to give informed consent (e.g., the person lacks the ability to understand the “who, what, when, where, why or how” of engaging in sexual activity).

      A person cannot consent if he or she is unable to understand what is happening or is disoriented, physically helpless, asleep, or unconscious for any reason, including due to alcohol or other drugs. Incapacity can also result from a mental, intellectual or other disability or from involuntary restraint. An individual who engages in sexual activity when they know, or should know, that the other person is physically or mentally incapacitated has violated this Policy. It is not an excuse that the individual accused of sexual misconduct was intoxicated and, therefore, did not realize the incapacity of the other.

      In New York, a person under the age of seventeen cannot legally consent to sexual activity and is considered incapacitated.

    6. Retaliation

      Retaliation is an intentional action taken by an accused individual or allied third party, absent legitimate non-discriminatory purposes, that harms or attempts to harm an individual as reprisal for filing a complaint, supporting a complainant or otherwise participating in a proceeding pursuant to this Policy. Retaliation includes intimidating, threatening, coercing or in any way discriminating against an individual because of the individual’s complaint or participation in an investigation or proceeding.

      Under no circumstances will Adelphi University tolerate any retaliation against an individual or group for making a complaint of harassment or discrimination in good faith under this Policy or for participating in an investigation.

      Examples of retaliation include, but are not limited to, the following actions taken because the individual has filed or makes known plans to file a complaint pursuant to this Policy:

      • A professor fails a student or assigns a grade lower than the student earned because the student has filed or makes known plans to file a complaint against the professor.
      • A coach excludes a student from a team or limits the amount of playing time during an athletic activity of a student because the student has filed or makes known plans to file a complaint against the coach.
      • A supervisor gives deflated performance evaluations, or withholds deserved support for tenure and promotion, or requires punitive work assignments of an employee because the employee has filed or makes known plans to file a complaint against the supervisor.
      • A professor or administrator excludes a student from participation in an organization, club or activity or imposes an inequitable workload because the student or employee has filed or makes known plans to file a complaint against the professor or administrator.
      • A third party or person disparages a student or employee because the student or employee supports a complainant or any other participant in the process.
  2. Other Elements of Discrimination, Harassment (Including Sexual Misconduct, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, Stalking) and/or Retaliation

    Discrimination, harassment (including sexual misconduct, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking), and/or retaliation can occur between individuals of the same or different status, and all persons, regardless of gender, sexual orientation or gender expression, can be the subject of or perpetrator of this conduct. This conduct can involve individuals or groups; can occur during one incident or over a series of incidents that in isolation, would not necessarily constitute discrimination or harassment, but can be so by pattern or repetition over time; and can be direct or systemic.

    Each member of the University community should avoid conduct that may be perceived by a reasonable person as discrimination, harassment (including sexual misconduct, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking), and/or retaliation.

 

For further information, please contact:

Office of Human Resources
p – 516.877.3220
e – humanres@adelphi.edu

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