Buffalo State is committed to ensuring a safe learning environment free of acts of violence, harassment and other forms of sexual misconduct that serve to threaten and undermine our mission and character as an educational institution. It should be noted that sex discrimination includes sexual harassment and sexual assault.
It is the policy of Buffalo State College to provide an employment and educational environment free of unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct or communication, constituting sexual harassment as defined and otherwise prohibited by state and federal statutes.
This policy applies to all students, administrators, faculty, staff and guests. It is everyone’s responsibility to report any incidents of sexual assault or harassment of which they become aware that compromise the wellbeing of an individual or the campus community.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued guidelines interpreting Section 703 of Title VII as prohibiting sexual harassment (29 CFR 1604.11). Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when:
Examples of sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:
Sexual assault: A sexual act against the will and without the consent of the victim. While defining consent in sexually intimate relationships can be difficult, some examples of sexual assault include, but are not limited to:
Other forms of sexual misconduct: Other forms (in addition to sexual harassment and sexual assault) of sexual misconduct that compromise the well-being of a student is also subject to review at the college. Examples of such misconduct may include, but are not limited to, actions that are sexually exploitative or degrading, retaliatory and/or abusive acts directed toward former relationship partners, or retaliatory/abusive actions directed toward someone who has rejected the efforts of another to establish a relationship. (For additional information please see ConductRelated Policies, Dean of Students)
It shall be a violation of college policy for anyone who is in a position of authority to recommend or take personnel actions affecting an employee, or who is otherwise authorized to transact business or perform other acts or services on behalf of the college:
It shall also be a violation of this policy for any member of the college community to abuse another through conduct or communication of a sexual nature and constituting sexual harassment as defined in Section III above. Whenever such misconduct exists, prompt and corrective action consistent with the discipline provisions of the college policy is required.
Whenever there is an abuse of authority or neglect of responsibility, the supervisor or other responsible individual is required to take prompt and corrective action consistent with the discipline provisions of the college policy.
The violation of this policy can result in discipline and discharge for employees; and such penalties, sanctions and impositions against other individuals or parties as may be available to the college, given the nature of the contractual or business relationship that may be established with such parties or individuals. Reporting an incident of sexual harassment, sexual assault, or other sexual misconduct is the responsibility of all campus employees.
Employees or other individuals who feel aggrieved because of sexual harassment have several ways to make their concerns known:
All formal complaints of sexual harassment will be handled by the SUNY Grievance Procedure for the Review of Allegations of Unlawful Discrimination. The Buffalo State Grievance Procedure for the Review of Allegations of Unlawful Discrimination has specific timetables for filing complaints and a process for adjudicating the complaint. A copy of the procedure is available through the vice presidents, deans and the Equity and Campus Diversity Office.
Regardless of the means selected for resolving the problem, the initiation of a complaint of sexual harassment will not cause any reflection on the complainant nor will it affect such person’s future employment, education, compensation or work assignments.
Responsibility of Management and Other College Personnel
All levels of management have a special responsibility for implementation of this policy. If behavior is observed which violates this policy, the person observing such behavior shall bring the matter to the attention of the supervisor responsible for that area and the officer responsible for affirmative action. If an employee or other individual files a complaint, the management representative with whom the complaint is filed shall inform the complainant of his or her right under this policy and attempt corrective action. When a problem is beyond the capability of such representative to effectively correct the action, the matter shall be referred to the Chief Diversity Officer, who also serves as the Title IX Coordinator.
In all cases and regardless of the individuals’ remedial measures that have been undertaken, the management representative to whom the written complaint has been referred shall provide the officer responsible for affirmative action with a complete written report of each complaint.
This report must be submitted within ten (10) days of the date the complaint was first filed with the management representative. Such report shall minimally include:
Education and Training
Sexual harassment may range from sexual innuendoes made at inappropriate times, perhaps in the guise of humor, to coerce sexual relations. Harassment at its extreme occurs when a person in control, influence, or position to affect another person’s job or career uses his or her authority and power to coerce the other person into sexual relations or to punish such person’s refusal. It may include:
Because sexual harassment is tied so closely to learned role models, it is necessary for men and women to learn more about this issue and the means for addressing problems as they arise. The college sponsors educational workshops on the subject of sexual harassment. Attendance at one of these programs or an approved substitution is mandatory for all persons in a supervisory or executive capacity. Each is also encouraged to hold educational workshops and otherwise seek to sensitize persons within their areas of responsibility as to the importance of providing an employment and business environment free of sexual harassment. Although there are various approaches one may take to offset potential problems, several measures are recommended:
In the implementation of this policy, it is expected that questions may arise concerning the interpretation of the prohibitions against sexual harassment, grievance procedures, the methods and procedures to be followed in the investigation of complaints, and the appropriateness of specific solutions in disposition of complaints. For assistance in these matters, please contact Crystal Rodriguez, Chief Diversity Officer, Equity and Campus Diversity Office, Cleveland Hall, Room 415, (716) 878-6210.
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