President Schapiro's Statement on Sexual Harassment
Northwestern University is committed to maintaining a campus environment free from all forms of coercion and harassment that impede the academic process and adversely affect the lives of those who work, study, and live here. This commitment includes the prevention – and, where it occurs, the punishment – of sexual harassment, as well as harassment on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.
Our policy on sexual harassment is clear and explicit; sexual harassment in any form is unacceptable, and it will not be tolerated at Northwestern. Further, the University prohibits retaliation against any individual who makes a good-faith complaint of sexual harassment or who participates in a sexual harassment investigation.
The University is committed legally and philosophically not only to dealing firmly with all instances of sexual harassment brought to its attention, but also to developing awareness and an environment that discourages such behavior. The University has a long history of taking measures to prevent sexual harassment – indeed, the University’s sexual harassment policy has been in place for more than twenty years. In addition, the University Sexual Harassment Prevention Office, the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access, the Women’s Center, the Sexual Assault Education and Prevention Program, the Division of Student Affairs, the LBGT Resource Center, and the Campus Coalition on Sexual Violence devote considerable attention to educating the campus community about the destructive consequences of gender-based misconduct. The University also offers counseling and other support services through its faculty and staff assistance program and through Counseling and Psychological Services for students. We are committed not only to broad-based educational efforts to address the issue of sexual harassment on campus but also to pursuing disciplinary action against those who choose to violate the rights of others.
Eradicating sexual harassment and fostering a respectful environment requires a continuing commitment from all members of the University community. Additionally, supervisors, managers, academic administrators, teaching assistants, and all members of the faculty share a special responsibility for taking prompt action, including notifying the appropriate resource people, if they become aware of conduct that they reasonably believe may violate the University’s sexual harassment policy.
We encourage you to review the University’s policies and to take advantage of the numerous resources on campus to prevent and address sexual harassment. Through these efforts, we can achieve our goal of fostering a respectful, harassment-free environment that furthers the educational and professional endeavors of all members of the Northwestern community.