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Sexual Harassment and Violence Policy
Oregon State University is dedicated to promoting and fostering a safe environment for all students, staff, and faculty. As an employer and educational institution, OSU has a responsibility to take reasonable steps to eliminate sexual harassment and sexual violence, prevent their recurrence, and to address their effects. The office charged with investigating complaints of harassment is the Office of Equity and Inclusion and the office's Executive Director, Angelo Gomez, is the university's Title IX Coordinator.
In addition to the legal obligations to ensure that all employees and students are provided an environment free from sexual harassment and sexual violence, our broader goal is the creation of a working and learning environment that is inclusive, equitable, and seeks to value diversity. OSU is a campus community that does not condone and actively opposes sexual or gender-based violence in any form. The University provides resources for prevention, awareness, and response. OSU honors survivors of sexual harassment and sexual violence by having policies that emphasize privacy to the highest level possible. OSU is dedicated to due process and appropriate response to each case of sexual harassment and sexual violence.
Sexual harassment includes sexual or gender-based behavior that is unwanted and/or nonconsensual, and has the effect, intended or unintended, of producing harm. It includes behavior along a continuum of severity, from offensive talk to physical violence, including but not limited to rape. Underlying the continuum are the sexist beliefs and attitudes about the inferiority or lesser value of another, and a sense of entitlement and the right to impose the behavior on another. Such actions do violence to the liberty and freedom of another being. The policies, procedures, and resources below are designed to address such problem behavior. While it is critically important that we take action against such problem behavior, it is equally important that we promote the best antidote, namely, attitudes, beliefs and behavior that honor and respect the personal liberty, freedom and equality of all.
To request printed copies of the Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence brochure, please contact the Office of Equity and Inclusion.
Learn more about the Sexual Assault Response and Prevention at Oregon State University
Sexual harassment is defined as:
Unwelcome* sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
- Submission to such conduct is 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 as the basis for employment or education-related decisions affecting such an individual; or
- Such conduct is sufficiently severe or pervasive that it has the effect, intended or unintended, of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work or academic performance because it has created an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment and would have such an effect on a reasonable person of that individual’s status.
*Employee conduct directed towards a student--whether unwelcome or welcome--can constitute sexual harassment under OAR 580-015-0010(2).
Student Conduct Code
A Student or Student Organization found to have committed any of the proscribed acts outlined in Oregon State University's Student Conduct Code is subject to sanctions. Offenses proscribed by the University include rape, sexual assault, or unwanted contact of any kind, and the threat of such contact; see the Student Conduct Code for additional details. The Student Conduct and Community Standards office responds to violations of the Student Conduct Code by an internal university disciplinary process when the alleged perpetrator is a student.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972
Title IX and its implementing regulations prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs or activities operated by recipients of Federal financial assistance. Sexual harassment of students, which includes acts of sexual violence, is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX. According to the United States Department of Education's "Dear Colleague" Letter issued on April 4, 2011, sexual violence refers to physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person's will or where a person is incapable of giving consent due to the victim's use of drugs or alcohol. An individual may also be unable to give consent due to an intellectual disability. A number of different acts fall into the category of sexual violence, including rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, and sexual coercion. All such acts of sexual violence are forms of sexual harassment covered under Title IX.
If you have experienced sexual harassment or sexual violence, you have the right to access the following:
Confidential support, counseling, and advocacy
- Center Against Rape and Domestic Violence (CARDV)
Phone: 541-754-0110 Web: Center Against Rape and Domestic Violence (CARDV) Hours: 24-hoursCARDV provides 24-7 confidential crisis response, hospital and legal advocacy, hotline support, and support groups.
- Sexual Assault Support Services (SASS)
Location: 500 Snell Web: OSU Sexual Assault Support Services (SASS) Hours: 8am-5pm, Monday-Friday (academic year); 9am-4pm, Monday-Friday (summer)
SASS provides confidential support, crisis intervention, and/or counseling for any OSU student who has experienced unwanted sexual contact or relationship violence (students only). SASS also provides confidential consultation for employees who have received a report of sexual harassment or sexual violence.
- Office of Equity and Inclusion (OEI)
Phone: 541-737-3556 Location: 526 Kerr Administration Building Web: Office of Equity and Inclusion (OEI) Hours: 8am-5pm, Monday-Friday
The OEI accepts inquiries, formal, and informal reports of sexual harassment and sexual violence. In addition to handling grievances, the staff offers consultation and advice on what procedure is likely to have the most positive outcome.
- Oregon State Police (OSP)
Phone: 541-737-3010 (non-emergency); 541-737-7000 (emergency)Location: 200 Cascade Hall Web: Oregon State Police (OSP)
The Department of Public Safety and OSP respond to safety concerns and to violations of Oregon law, which may lead to criminal proceedings.
- Student Conduct and Community Standards (SCCS)
Location: B058 Kerr Administration Building Web: Student Conduct and Community Standards (SCCS) Hours: 8am-5pm, Monday-Friday
SCCS responds to violations of the student conduct code by an internal university disciplinary process when the alleged perpetrator is a student (separate from a civil or criminal hearing). The office also administers no contact restrictions between students.
*Sexual Assault/Harassment Amnesty Clause
The university WILL NOT pursue any conduct violation against a survivor for substance use, including alcohol, at the time of sexual assault/harassment if the sexual assault/harassment is reported to Student Conduct and Community Standards or the Office of Equity and Inclusion.
We each have the responsibility to treat others with respect. The most important thing you can do is to refrain from engaging in any harassing behavior and not tolerate such behavior from others. If you stay aware of your responsibility and assert your rights to a respectful work or learning environment, you will have taken an important step toward eliminating sexual harassment. Additionally, each of us can assist the university in taking corrective action by responding appropriately when we learn of situations that may be harassment.
For additional information, see Employee Guidance for Responding to Disclosures of Sexual Violence or Harassment (.pdf)
Academic employees found to have engaged in sexual harassment may be subject to an oral or written warning or reprimand in accordance with OAR 580-21-320. Sanctions more severe than an oral or written warning or reprimand, such as removal from an assigned post and reassignment, suspension or termination shall be imposed in accordance with OAR 580-21-325 through 520-21-385.
Classified employees found to have engaged in sexual harassment may be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with current collective bargaining agreements. If a proven incident of sexual harassment occurs, sanctions in accord with the progressive discipline concept shall be instituted, including written reprimand, suspension, reductions of pay, demotion, and finally, termination of service.
Students found to have engaged in sexual harassment may be subject to sanctions under the Student Conduct Code, OAR 576-15-030. These sanctions may include a warning, required educational activities, restrictions, disciplinary probation, suspension and/or expulsion.
EDUCATION AND OUTREACH
Office of Equity and Inclusion's Sexual Harassment Prevention educational program
Student Health Service's Sexual Violence Awareness and Prevention