Nondiscrimination and Student Rights, as defined by Board Policy 2130 and Regulation 2130.
At Harris-Stowe State University, sexual harassment of a student consists of sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, sexually-motivated physical conduct, or other verbal or physical conduct or communication of a sexual nature when:
- A school employee causes a student to believe that he or she must submit to unwelcome sexual conduct in order to participate in a school program or activity or when an employee or third-party agent of the University causes a student to believe that the employee will make an educational decision based on whether or not the student submits to unwelcome sexual conduct
- The unwelcome sexual conduct of a school employee or classmate is so severe, persistent, or pervasive that it affects a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from an educational program or activity or creates an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment.
Examples of conduct which may constitute sexual harassment include:
- Sexual advances
- Touching, patting, grabbing, or pinching another person’s intimate parts, whether that person is of the same sex or the opposite sex
- Coercing, forcing, or attempting to coerce or force the touching of anyone’s intimate parts
- Coercing, forcing, or attempting to coerce or force sexual intercourse or a sexual act on another
- Graffiti of a sexual nature
- Sexual gestures
- Sexual or dirty jokes
- Touching oneself sexually or talking about one’s sexual activity in front of others
Upon receipt of a report or complaint alleging unlawful discrimination, sexual harassment or harassment based upon race, color, sex, national origin, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, or perceived sexual orientation, the compliance officer shall immediately undertake or authorize an investigation. That investigation may be conducted by University officials or by a third-party designated by the University.
The investigation may consist of personal interviews with the complainant, the individual against whom the complaint is filed, and others who have knowledge of the alleged incident or circumstances giving rise to the complaint. The investigation may also consist of the evaluation of any other information or documents, which may be relevant to the particular allegations.
In determining whether the alleged conduct constitutes a violation of this regulation, the University shall consider:
- The nature of the behavior
- How often the conduct occurred
- Whether there were past incidents or past continuing patterns of behavior
- The relationship between the parties involved
- The race, national origin, ethnicity, sex, and age of the victim
- The identity of the perpetrator, including whether the perpetrator was in a position of power over the student allegedly subjected to harassment
- The number of alleged harassers
- The age of the alleged harassers
- Where the harassment occurred
- Whether there have been other incidents in the school involving the same or other students
- Whether the conduct adversely affected the students education or educational environment
- The context in which the alleged incidents occurred
Whether a particular action or incident constitutes a violation of this regulation requires a determination based on all the facts surrounding the circumstances. The investigation shall be completed no later than 14 days from receipt of the report. The University compliance officer shall make a written report to the president upon completion of the investigation. If the complaint involves the president, the report may be filed directly with the Board of Regents. The report shall include a determination of whether the allegations have been substantiated as factual and whether they appear to be violations of this regulation. The compliance officer’s obligation to conduct this investigation shall not be extinguished by the fact that a criminal investigation involving the same or similar allegations is also pending or has been concluded.
Upon receipt of a report that a violation has occurred, the University will take prompt, appropriate formal or informal action to address and, where appropriate, remediate the violation. Appropriate actions may include, but are not limited to, counseling, awareness training, warning, suspension, exclusion, expulsion, transfer, remediation or discharge. University action taken for violation of this Harassment Regulation shall be consistent with the requirements of applicable collective bargaining agreements, state and federal law and University policies for violations of a similar nature of similar degree of severity. In determining an appropriate response to a harassment violation has occurred, the University shall consider:
- What response is most likely to end any ongoing harassment
- Whether a particular response is likely to deter similar future conduct by the harasser or others
- The amount and kind of harm suffered by the victim of the harassment
- The identity of the party who engaged in the harassing conduct
- Whether the harassment was engaged in by school personnel. (If so, the University will consider how it can best remediate the effects of the harassment)
In the event that the evidence suggests that the harassment at issue is also a crime in violation of a Missouri criminal statute, the Board shall also direct the University compliance officer to report the results of the investigation to the appropriate law enforcement agency charged with responsibility for handling such crimes.
The results of the University’s investigation of each complaint filed under these procedures will be reported in writing to the complainant and other parties by the University in accordance with state and federal laws regarding data or records privacy and consistent with the privacy rights of the alleged harasser.
If the University’s evaluation of a complaint of harassment results in a conclusion that an individual has engaged in unlawful discrimination or harassment in violation of this regulation, or that school personnel have failed to report harassment as required herein, that individual may appeal this determination by use of established Board procedures for appealing other adverse personnel and or education-related actions. If the University’s evaluation of a complaint of harassment results in a conclusion that no unlawful harassment has occurred, an individual who was allegedly subjected to harassment and believes that this conclusion is erroneous may appeal this determination by use of established Board procedures for appealing other adverse personnel and/or education-related actions. An individual who was allegedly subjected to unlawful discrimination or harassment may also file a complaint with the Missouri Commission for Human Rights, the United States Department of Education Office for Civil Rights or the United States Department of Justice. In addition, such individual may choose to file suit in either the United States District Court or the Missouri Circuit Court.
Copies of all complaints of harassment and the investigations conducted pursuant to them shall be maintained at the main administrative offices of the University.
Submission of a good-faith complaint or report of unlawful discrimination, sexual harassment or harassment based upon race, color, disability, national origin, ethnicity or sexual orientation will not affect the complainant or reporter’s future employment, grades, learning or working environment, or work assignments. The University will discipline or take appropriate action against any student, teacher, administrator or other school personnel who retaliates against any person who reports an incident of alleged sexual, racial, ethnic, sexual orientation discrimination, disability-related harassment or violence, or any person who testifies, assists or participates in a proceeding, investigation or hearing relating to such harassment or violence. Retaliation includes, but is not limited to, any form of intimidation, reprisal or harassment.