UW-Whitewater University Handbook
Last policy revision: 11/27/95
Sexual Harassment Policy
SOURCE: Office of the Chancellor
DEFINITION BY UW-SYSTEM
Sexual harassment is defined by the University of Wisconsin System
Board of Regents as follows:
Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination. It occurs in a variety
of situations which share a common element: the inappropriate introduction
of sexual activities or comments into the work or learning situation.
Often, sexual harassment involves relationships of unequal power, and contains
elements of coercion--as when compliance with requests for sexual favors
becomes criterion for granting work, study, or grading benefits. However,
sexual harassment may also involve relationships among equals, as when
repeated sexual advances or demeaning verbal behavior have a harmful effect
on a person's ability to study or work in the academic setting. For general
purposes, sexual harassment may be described as unwelcome sexual advances,
requests for sexual favors, and other physical conduct and expressive behavior
of a sexual nature where:
Any of the forms of sexual harassment (as defined above) may be grounds
for disciplinary action. Discretion must be used in each situation and
action taken within the established procedures. The definition provides
a base of understanding for all.
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 academic or employment decisions affecting that individual;
Such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with
an individual's academic or professional performance or creating an intimidating,
hostile or demeaning employment or educational environment.
When any employee or student has reason to believe that they have been
sexually harassed, they should contact the Assistant Vice Chancellor for
Any employee or faculty member who comes to know that another student,
employee or faculty member is concerned about, or knows another who is
concerned about, being sexually harassed, should refer that individual(s)
to the Assistant Vice Chancellor, or contact 472-4672.
Assistant Vice Chancellor is prepared to discuss the events, feelings or
perceptions creating the concern. These informal discussions may lead to
four possible actions depending on the facts presented and the wishes of
the offended individual. Identities of complainants do not have to be made
known without their prior approval in the informal action.
The Chancellor will be informed at the informal stage. The Chancellor may
request specific information at this time, and will be provided with updates.
The Assistant Vice Chancellor can seek to determine, after any initial
complaints, whether retaliation or further harassment has occurred.
The actions fall outside the definition of sexual harassment, or
The offended individual decides against, or the Assistant Vice Chancellor
does not consider further action appropriate.
Informal Indirect Action
When there has been no education of the unit in which the offending individual
works, the Assistant Vice Chancellor will arrange to provide education
on sexual harassment, what it is and why it is illegal in the work place.
The goal will be to "send a clear message" to the offending individual
without confronting him or her nor assuming knowledge that offense has
Informal Direct Action
A "friendly" meeting is arranged to permit the Assistant Vice Chancellor
to convey the concerns of the offended individual to the offender with
the goal of stopping the behavior.
The Assistant Vice Chancellor will present the problem, gather any additional
information, attempt to resolve the situation and/or provide education
on sexual harassment.
The offending individual may have a third person present at the informal
meeting, will be informed of possible subsequent actions and also has the
right to confidentiality during the initial informal phase.
This is the formal complaint stage, and commences at the request of
the offended individual and
The informal indirect action did not stop the harassment or retaliation
the case is deemed serious enough, after investigation, by the Assistant
Vice Chancellor, or
punitive action is sought by the offended individual.
If the complaining individual is a student, procedures for Wisc. Stat.
36.12, Non-Discrimination Against Students, applies (see U.H. IV-K, p.
1-3); if a faculty member or academic staff member, Affirmative Action
Grievance Procedure, Unclassified Personnel, U.H. VI-D, p. 5; if classified
staff, Affirmative Action Grievance Procedures, Classified Personnel, U.H.
ROLE OF THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR FOR EQUAL OPPORTUNITY
Will act as advisor and counselor to offended or complaining individuals;
Will act as an information and education resource on the policy and procedures
of sexual harassment;
Will seek to mediate or otherwise resolve informal complaints; will investigate
and report out findings on formal complaints.
Will maintain all files regarding sexual harassment actions, complaints,
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