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Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence
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.
University Policy Prohibiting Sexual Harassment
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 Office of Equity and Inclusion responds to violations of the Student Conduct Code involving sexual harassment and/or discriminatory harassment as well as to allegations of unwanted sexual contact of any kind.
Sexual contact shall be considered "unwanted" or without consent if no clear consent is freely given; if inflicted through force, threat of force, or coercion; or if inflicted upon a person who is unconscious or otherwise without the physical or mental capacity to consent. If sexual contact is inflicted on someone who is intoxicated or impaired in the exercise of their judgement by alcohol or drugs, it may be considered without consent.
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.
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: 327/330 Snell Hall Web: Office of Equity and Inclusion (OEI) Hours: 8am-5pm, Monday-Friday
The OEI responds to allegations by OSU community members of sexual harassment, including sexual violence, discriminatory harassment, and allegations of unwanted sexual contact of any kind. In addition to providing informal and formal reporting options, 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.
*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.
All Oregon State University employees must consult with the University Title IX Coordinator, Angelo Gomez, or his designee in the Office of Equity and Inclusion when they are made aware or have reason to believe that a violation of the University Policy Prohibiting Sexual Harassment has occured. Employee responsibilities are detailed in the Oregon State University Policy on Responding to Disclosures of Sexual Harassment or Sexual Violence (.pdf). Exemptions from consultation with the University Title IX Coordinator or designee exist only for employees who serve in a professional role in which communication is privileged under Oregon law (e.g., medical provider, licensed professional counselor).
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.
Office of Equity and Inclusion's Sexual Harassment Prevention educational program
Student Health Service's Sexual Violence Awareness and Prevention
Oregon State University's Sexual Assault Response and Prevention Alliance