•  ()
  •  ()
  • Print this Story
  • Email this Story

What You Should Know About Discrimination, Harassment and Sexual Harassment

October 21, 2009 | by Stephen Anzaldi

Policy on Discrimination and Harassment

Northwestern University does not discriminate or permit discrimination by any member of its community against any individual on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, parental status, marital status, age, disability, citizenship, or veteran status in matters of admissions, employment, housing, or services or in the educational programs or activities it operates.

Harassment, whether verbal, physical, or visual, that is based on any of these characteristics is a form of discrimination. This includes harassing conduct affecting tangible job benefits, interfering unreasonably with an individual's academic or work performance, or creating what a reasonable person would sense is an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment.

While Northwestern University is committed to the principles of free inquiry and free expression, discrimination and harassment identified in this policy are neither legally protected expression nor the proper exercise of academic freedom.

Examples of discrimination and harassment may include:

› Demoting, terminating, or refusing to hire or promote someone because of the person's protected status

› Jokes or epithets about a person's protected status

› Teasing or practical jokes directed at a person based on his or her protected status

› Displaying or circulating written materials or pictures that degrade a person or group

› Verbal abuse or insults about, directed at, or made in the presence of an individual or group of individuals in a protected group

Policy on Sexual Harassment

It is the policy of Northwestern University that no member of the Northwestern community (students, faculty, administrators, or staff) may sexually harass any other member of the community. Sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute harassment when

› Submission to such conduct is made or threatened to be made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of an individual's employment or education;

› Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used or threatened to be used as the basis for academic or employment decisions affecting that individual; or

› Such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual's academic or professional performance or creating what a reasonable person would sense is an intimidating, hostile, or offensive employment, educational, or living environment.

Examples of sexual harassment may include:

› Pressure for a dating, romantic, or intimate relationship

› Unwelcome touching, patting, kissing, or hugging

› Pressure for or forced sexual activity

› Unnecessary and unwelcome references to various parts of the body

› Belittling remarks about a person's gender or sexual orientation

› Obscene gestures; inappropriate sexual innuendoes or humor; offensive sexual graffiti, pictures, or posters

› E-mail and Internet use that violates this policy

Where to Get Advice and Help

The following people will take complaints of discrimination, harassment, or sexual harassment; explain complaint procedures; answer questions; and ensure that appropriate action is taken:

Office of Equal Opportunity and Access
(discrimination and harassment complaints)
Pamela Pirtle, Director
720 University Place, Evanston Campus
847-491-7458, eeo@northwestern.edu

Sexual Harassment Prevention Office
(sexual harassment complaints)
Joan E. Slavin, Director
633 Clark Street, Room 2-636, Evanston Campus
847-491-3745, sexual-harassment@northwestern.edu

Division of Student Affairs
(student-to-student incidents)
Jim Neumeister, Director of Judicial Affairs
601 University Place, Room 7, Evanston Campus
847-491-4582, neumeister@northwestern.edu

Title IX Coordinators
For current year appointments, please contact the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access or the University Sexual Harassment Prevention Office.

Discrimination and Harassment Prevention Advisors
In addition to the people listed above, each school or unit of the University has advisors on the faculty or staff who have been trained to answer questions about the University's discrimination and harassment policies and to receive complaints. To find an advisor, consult www.northwestern.edu/sexual-harassment/advisors.

Confidential Counselors
If you wish to speak with someone who is legally privileged to keep communications confidential, you may contact a confidential counselor. For the confidential counselor privilege to apply, a complainant must have initiated the discussion for the purpose of seeking confidential counseling, and the discussion must be conducted confidentially. After consulting with a confidential counselor, a complainant may decide to take no further action; such a decision is completely at the complainant's discretion. Seeking advice from a confidential counselor does not constitute reporting an incident. To find a confidential counselor, consult www.northwestern.edu/sexual-harassment.

EthicsPoint provides another means of reporting discrimination, harassment, and sexual harassment. Any complaints reported via EthicsPoint will be reviewed in acccordance with current University procedures. You may file a report by phone at 866-294-3545 or online at www.northwestern.edu/ethics.

Topics: University News