Discriminatory Harassment and Sexual Misconduct
A community will flourish only to the degree that the virtues of mutual respect, generosity, and concern for others are maintained. Therefore, it is vitally important that harassment and discrimination in all their forms not be tolerated. As noted in University Policy, members of the University community have the right to a safe and welcoming campus environment.
Wesleyan University will not tolerate discriminatory harassment and/or sexual misconduct (whether it comes in the form of intimate partner violence, non-consensual sexual activity and sexual assault, sexual exploitation, stalking or sexual harassment) against students, faculty, staff, trustees, volunteers, and employees of any university contractors/agents.
In an ongoing effort to prevent sexual misconduct on the Wesleyan campus, the University provides education and prevention programs for all members of the Wesleyan community and pursues available administrative and/or criminal remedies for complaints of sexual misconduct as appropriate.
All acts of sexual misconduct threaten personal safety and violate the standards of conduct -- mutual respect, generosity, and concern for others -- expected of all community members.
Wesleyan University prohibits all forms of discriminatory harassment and sexual misconduct. Wesleyan University is committed to ensuring that each member of the university community has the opportunity to participate fully in the process of education and development. Wesleyan strives to maintain a safe and welcoming environment free from acts of discriminatory harassment and sexual misconduct. However, when incidents occur, it is the University is committed to respond in a manner that provides safety, privacy and support to those affected.
Individuals and Entities Affected by this Policy
This policy shall apply to all individuals affiliated with Wesleyan University, including but not limited to students, faculty, staff, trustees, volunteers, and employees of contractors/agents. It is intended to protect the rights and privacy of the complainant, respondent and other involved individuals, as well as to prevent retaliation or reprisal. Individuals who violate this policy may be subject to disciplinary or other corrective action.
This policy applies to anyone on the property of Wesleyan University and anyone present at Wesleyan-sponsored programs or events. This policy extends to off-campus violations by both students and employees in limited circumstances.
Wesleyan University is committed to maintaining learning and work environments as free as possible from conflicts of interest, exploitation, and favoritism. Where a party uses a position of authority to induce another person to enter into a relationship, the harm both to that person and to the institution is clear. Even where the relationship is consensual, there is significant potential for harm when there is an institutional power difference between the parties involved, as is the case, for example, between supervisor and employee, faculty and student, or academic advisor and advisee.
All members of the university community must be aware that romantic relationships with students are likely to lead to difficulties and have the potential to place faculty and staff at great personal and professional risk. Any member of the university community who participates in decisions concerning the person with whom they have or have had a romantic relationship creates the potential for conflicts of interest, exploitation, and favoritism in those situations. In the event of a charge of sexual harassment arising from such circumstances, the University will in general be unsympathetic to a defense based upon consent when the facts establish that a power differential existed within the relationship.
Rights of Those Who Report Policy Violations
Those who report any type of discriminatory harassment or sexual misconduct, to a University employee will be referred to the Office of Equity & Inclusion / Title IX Office and informed of all their rights and options, including the necessary steps and potential outcomes of each option.
The University will provide assistance to those involved in a report of sexual misconduct or discriminatory harassment, including but not limited to reasonably available accommodations and modifications for academic, transportation, housing or working situations as well as honoring lawful protective or temporary restraining orders.
Sexual Misconduct Support Services
Whenever the Title IX Coordinator or another employee receives a report that students, faculty, staff, trustees, volunteers, and employees of contractors/agents has been subjected to sexual misconduct, the Title IX Coordinator or other employee shall immediately provide the student, faculty or staff member with contact information for and assistance in accessing and using campus, local advocacy, counseling, health, and mental health services.
Those who report being subjected to sexual misconduct shall be provided information about their right to notify law enforcement and receive assistance from campus authorities in making the notification.
Procedures for the investigation and resolution of complaints are specific for students, faculty and staff and are outlined in respective handbooks. Each process provides an equal, fair, and timely process for both complainants and respondents. Click here for an overview of Current Faculty Complaint Procedures / Flowchart.
Accountability, Investigation and Resolution
In determining whether alleged conduct constitutes discriminatory harassment or sexual misconduct, the University looks at the totality of circumstances including the nature of the conduct and the context in which the alleged incident(s) occurred.
The determination that the conduct violates University policy will be made on a case-by-case basis using the “preponderance of the evidence” standard. Violations of this policy may lead to disciplinary action up to and including academic dismissal or termination of employment. The University will take immediate and appropriate corrective action based on the findings in each case as outlined in the respective handbooks:
- Student Handbook/Dean of Students Office link
- Staff Handbook/Human Resources Office link
- Faculty Handbook/FCRR link
Any individual subject to this policy who intentionally engages in retaliation may be subject to disciplinary or other corrective action as appropriate.
The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has published clear guidance that instructs and directs the Office of Equity & Inclusion and the Title IX Officer to ensure campus-wide protocol is implemented and serve as the central person to whom all complaints or notice related to discriminatory harassment, sex/gender bias, sexual misconduct and disability discrimination is directed.
The Vice President for Equity & Inclusion serves as Wesleyan’s Title IX Officer and has the following responsibilities:
- Ensure prompt response to stop the harassment/discrimination
- Implement immediate remedial support for the victim
- Initiate the preliminary investigation
- Oversee action to reasonably prevent the recurrence
- Conduct ongoing educational campaigns and climate monitoring of sexual misconduct allegations.
Wesleyan Equity & Inclusion / Title IX Staff
Vice President for Equity & Inclusion / Title IX Officer
317 North College
Equity Compliance Director / Deputy Title IX Coordinator
121 North College