Sexual harassment policy
Policies and procedures | Affirmative action, sexual harassment and grievances | Records retention schedule | Resources | Overview of laws | Diversity links | Reasonable accommodation forms | Equal Opportunity Terms | Reports | Contacts | Where to Go for Help
NOTE: The Office of Equal Opportunity transitioned to the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity & Access effective July 1, 2013 and the website is located at: murraystate.edu/idea. All references within campuswide documents to the Office of Equal Opportunity should be considered analogous to the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Access.
- Reporting Sexually Harassing Behavior. Murray State University is committed to maintaining an environment free from unlawful discrimination. Consistent with this, sexual harassment will not be tolerated at Murray State University. The University will continue to educate the campus with respect to sexual harassment and will continue to provide avenues for redress when issues arise. However, it is the responsibility of all Students, Faculty, Staff, and Regents to avoid sexually harassing behaviors.
- Definitions. Sexual harassment is a form of gender discrimination which violates state and federal law and University policy. Students and employees can be the victims, or perpetrators, of sexual harassment. Whether actions constitute sexual harassment depends upon the particular facts surrounding, and law applicable to, the situation in question. However, in general, sexual harassment may be present if there are unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature and:
Sexual harassment can
occur in different relationships including that of supervisor-employee,
teacher-student, and student-student. Purely voluntary personal or
social relationship without any of the discriminatory effects noted
above may not be sexually harassing behavior. However, Regents,
administrators, faculty, and staff are strongly urged to avoid
relationships of an amorous or intimate nature with individuals, such as
subordinates or students, whom they supervise, have an instructional
responsibility for, or have or may have the responsibility to evaluate.
The existence of a power differential between the parties naturally
raises the question whether the relationship is, in fact, voluntary.
- submission to such conduct is made explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or participation or performance in any course, program, or activity;
- submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for making decisions with respect to the individual’s employment or participation or performance in any course, program, or activity; or
- such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or participation or performance in a course, program, or activity, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for work or any course, program, or activity.
Victims of sexual harassment are
primarily, but not exclusively, women. Sexual harassment occurs
primarily, but not exclusively, between members of opposite sexes.
Sexual harassment takes many forms. It can include sexual innuendo, suggestive or demeaning comments, insults, hostile remarks, humor and jokes about gender or gender-specific traits, requests or demands for sexual favors, threats, or suggestive gestures. It can also include touching, pinching, brushing the body, assault, or coerced or nonconsensual sexual intercourse.
- Reporting Sexually Harassing Behavior. Murray State University encourages every member of the University community who believes he or she has been the victim of sexual harassment to report the allegations as soon as possible. Time limitations apply to the reporting of claims and the chance for remedial action may be lost by delay.
The University has formal and informal processes for resolving claims of sexual harassment. Victims of sexual harassment are encouraged to report their allegations even if they do not wish to utilize these processes. Claims of sexual harassment should be made to the following offices:
- Claims by employees against other employees including their supervisors, and claims by students including student workers against Faculty members or other employees should be made with the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Access, 103 Wells Hall, telephone number 270-809-3155.
- Claims by a student against another student should be made to the Vice President for Student Affairs, 425 Wells Hall, 270-809-6831.
- If the Executive Director of the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Access is the person against whom complaint is made, the report should be made to the President of the University.
- If the complaint is against the President or a member of the Board of Regents, the report should be made to the Chair of the Board of Regents. If the complaint is against the Chair of the Board, the complaint should be made with the Vice-Chair of the Board.
- If there is doubt about which office the allegations should be made to, or if assistance is needed with respect to a complaint, the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Access should be contacted for help.
In accordance with law, there will be no retaliation against an individual making a good faith claim of sexual harassment.
- Sanctions. Any individual charged with sexual harassment will be accorded due process in compliance with established University procedures. Sanctions for sexual harassment may range from written warning to termination (for an employee) or expulsion (for a student).
Adopted by Murray State University Board of Regents on May 12, 1990. Section 2.21
Amended by Murray State University Board of Regents on February 29, 2008. Section 2.21
Updated to reflect title change of office on July 1, 2013.
sexual harassment policy updated 2013