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Sexual Harassment Protocol

It is the policy of Eastern Illinois University that sexual harassment of one member of the campus community by another will not be tolerated.

What is sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment encompasses a wide range of unwelcome sexual conduct. The University relies on current legal definitions used by state and federal agencies when assessing allegations of sexual harassment. The following definition is based on guidelines established by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission:

Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical contact 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 academic advancement.

  • 2. submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or academic decisions affecting such individual, or

  • 3. such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual's work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working or learning environment.

In addition, the Illinois Human Rights Act addresses sexual harassment in higher education as follows:

Sexual harassment is defined as any unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors made by a higher education representative to a student, or any conduct of a sexual nature exhibited by a higher education representative toward a student, when such conduct has the purpose of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational environment, or when the higher education representative either explicitly or implicitly makes the student's submission to or rejection of such conduct a basis of determining:

  • 1. whether the student will be admitted to an institution of higher education,

  • 2. the educational performance required or expected of a student,

  • 3. the attendance or assignment requirements applicable to the student,

  • 4. to what courses, field of study, or programs, including honors and graduate programs, the student will be admitted,

  • 5. what placement or course proficiency requirements are applicable to the student,

  • 6. the quality of instruction the student will receive,

  • 7. what tuition or fee requirements are applicable to the student,

  • 8. what scholarship opportunities are available to the student,

  • 9. what extracurricular teams the student will be a member of, or in what extracurricular competitions the student will participate,

  • 10. any grade the student will receive in any examination of any course or program of instruction in which the student is enrolled,

  • 11. the progress of the student toward successful completion of or graduation from any course or program of instruction in which the student is enrolled, or

  • 12. what degree, if any, the student will receive.

What do I do if I've been sexually harassed?

The first step in dealing with a sexual harassment incident is to take direct action. If you feel able to do so, inform the harasser that you disapprove of this type of inappropriate conduct and that you will not tolerate any further advances, suggestions or any form of harassment. It is also important to record the time, date, place, names, witnesses and a description of the incident(s), as well as what transpired when you confronted the harasser. Remember, sexual harassment is against University policy and against the law.

What to do if you cannot confront the harasser or if the harassment continues?

At the University Office of Civil Rights, you may file a formal complaint or seek informal assistance. You may also seek assistance from other appropriate University personnel such as deans, chairpersons, directors or supervisors.

Written Discrimination Complaint Process

If you feel that you have been sexually harassed, or discriminated against on the basis of gender, you may file a discrimination complaint with the Office of Civil Rights (581-5020). The written complaint should describe the incident(s) and provide a statement confirming the redress desired by the complainant. In order to promptly and equitably address the issue(s), a complaint should be submitted as soon as possible following the alleged incident(s). Ordinarily, an investigation of a complaint will be completed within 60 days, exclusive of holidays.

A Civil Rights Officer will investigate the discrimination complaint and compile an Investigative Report. The appropriate Vice President will then make the final decision concerning actions to be taken by the University on the complaint. The investigative process includes an in-depth interview of the alleged harasser, interviews of appropriate witnesses, and a review of other documentation.

A detailed description of the Complaint Process appears in the University's Internal Governing Policies and will be provided to the complainant and to the alleged harasser.

For Students there are alternatives.

Even if you are unsure that what you are experiencing is harassment, seek assistance.

Informal discussions or mediation can often resolve problems. Such inquiries can also serve as an appropriate first step toward filing a written complaint. Depending upon the nature of the situation, various actions can be taken to assist you in resolving it. Additionally, you will be taken seriously and there will be appropriate follow-up to your concerns. To initiate informal discussions or mediation contact the Office of Civil Rights (581-5020). You may be accompanied by a friend, fellow student, staff member, or faculty member, if you feel that you need personal support.

You may also seek assistance from Deans, Department Chairpersons, Directors, and other Supervisory Personnel. All University administrators and supervisors are responsible for ensuring that the University's Policy on Sexual Harassment is carried out in their areas. Failure to do so could itself be considered a violation of this policy.

University Counselors (581-3413), Residence Hall Counselors, as well as the staff from the Women's Resource Center (581-5947), provide students with opportunities to discuss the situation and can refer them to other departments for appropriate assistance.

For Employees there are alternatives.

Even if you are unsure that what you are experiencing is harassment, seek assistance.

Informal discussions or mediation can often resolve problems. Such inquiries can also serve as an appropriate first step in filing a written complaint. Depending upon the nature of the situation, various actions can be taken to assist you in resolving it. Additionally, you will be taken seriously and there will be appropriate follow-up to your concerns. To initiate informal discussions or mediation contact the Office of Civil Rights (581-5020). You may be accompanied by a friend, colleague or faculty member, if you feel that you need personal support.

You may also seek assistance from administrators or supervisory personnel. All University administrators and supervisors are responsible for ensuring that the University's Policy on Sexual Harassment is carried out in their areas. Failure to do so could itself be considered a violation of this policy.

Staff in the Employee Assistance Program (1-866-659-3948) and the Women's Resource Center (581-5947) may also provide faculty and staff with opportunities to discuss the situation and can refer them to other departments for appropriate assistance.

Neither overt nor subtle retaliation against complainants or witnesses will be tolerated.

All University employees must complete training on sexual harassment approved by the University Office of Civil Rights within six months of employment.

Any questions regarding the policy can be referred to the Office of Civil Rights, 108 Old Main, 581-5020.



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