Equity and Inclusion

TITLE IX and HARASSMENT

Wesleyan is an institution devoted to learning, openness, and the life of the mind; it follows that its character can be measured in part by the kind of human relationships built and sustained within this small but complex environment. The community itself will flourish only to the degree that the virtues of mutual respect, generosity, and concern for others are maintained. It is vitally important, therefore, that harassment and discrimination in all their forms not be tolerated.

Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972  states that no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity.   

The Vice President for Equity & Inclusion and has been named as Wesleyan’s Title IX Officer to ensure campus-wide Title IX protocol is implemented and is the central, one-stop person to whom all complaints or notice related to sex/gender misconduct and disability discrimination is directed to. VP for E&I and his staff have the following responsibilities:

  • Ensure prompt response to stop the harassment/discrimination
  • Implement immediate remedial support for the survivor (victim)
  • Initiate the preliminary investigation
  • Oversee action to reasonably prevent the recurrence
  • Conduct ongoing educational campaigns and climate monitoring of sexual misconduct allegations.

Harassment of students, staff and faculty that can be construed as discriminatory violates federal and state law. The courts and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission interpret federal civil rights laws to prohibit harassment based on race, gender, religion, national origin, age, disability, or any other protected class. The University is required to act promptly so as to assure that if such harassment is, in fact, occurring, or has occurred, the problem will be dealt with effectively.

The University itself prohibits any form of harassment based on race, color, religion, gender, disability, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, ancestry, national origin, gender identity, gender expression, or any other class protected by applicable law. All complaints will be taken seriously and investigated as appropriate. An investigation will be initiated within 30 days of notice of a complaint and will be completed within 60 days. The time frames listed here are guides and may be extended because of extraordinary circumstances. Each case is unique and the process for handling the incident will be impacted by factors such as the complexity of the investigation, the scope of the allegation, the parties’ schedules and availability, and the academic calendar. The totality of the circumstances and the context in which the behavior is alleged to have occurred will be considered in determining whether this policy has been violated.

Wesleyan University will not tolerate retaliation against individuals bringing a complaint or participating in an investigation. The ultimate responsibility for maintaining an environment free of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation rests with all members of the University community. 

SEXUAL HARASSMENT

Sexual harassment is a form of discriminatory harassment occurring within an employment or educational context that federal and state law addresses with very specific provisions. In cases where sexual harassment is alleged, the University has a duty to act promptly, so as to assure that if such harassment is, in fact, occurring or has occurred, corrective action is taken, and further harm is prevented. 

The University does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs and activities or in the context of employment. Sexual harassment, including all forms of sexual misconduct as defined in this policy, is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Title IX requires that: No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.  Sexual harassment is also prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Connecticut law, and other applicable laws. 

Sexual harassment is defined as:

  • Unwelcome sexual advances, requests of 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, (2) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such an individual, or (3) such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment. The effect will be evaluated based on the perspective of a reasonable person in the position of  a complainant.
  • A single or isolated incident of sexual harassment 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 provide a hostile environment, particularly if the harassment is physical.

  • Additional information regarding sexual miscomduct and assault can be found in the student handbook , page 32.  For faculty and staff, information regarding policies and complaint resolution can be found at Human Resources.

 

Title IX Staff:

Antonio Farias
Vice President for Equity and Inclusion / Title IX Officer
317 North College
860-685-4771
afarias@wesleyan.edu 

Debbie Colucci
Equity Compliance Director & Deputy Title IX Coordinator
121 North College
860-685-2456
dcolucci@wesleyan.edu