Policy Prohibiting Harassment and Discrimination

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(MUPIM 3.6/OAC 3339-3-06/Student Handbook 5.14/Graduate Handbook 2.16)

Harassment and Discrimination Are Prohibited (MUPIM 3.6.A)

Respect for human diversity is an essential element of the Miami University community. Miami University strongly opposes and will not tolerate harassment or discrimination on the basis of age, color, disability, gender identity or expression, genetic information, military status, national origin, pregnancy, race, religion, sex (including sexual harassment, sexual violence, sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking), sexual orientation or protected veteran status in its activities, programs, admission, and employment. This prohibition extends to harassment or discrimination, based on the protected status listed above, including the creation of an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working, educational, or living environment.

Harassment and discrimination are illegal. This policy is not intended to impair or limit the right of anyone to seek a remedy available under state or federal law. Legal remedies may be pursued outside Miami University by contacting the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, the United States Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, or by consulting an attorney at the person’s own expense. Under the law, there are various time limits for filing charges outside the University. Persons should contact the agencies listed above or an attorney to determine the applicable time limits.

This policy may in some respects exceed the requirements of applicable law. However, this policy will not be enforced so as to infringe upon First Amendment rights, including the right to academic freedom.

Definitions (MUPIM 3.6.B)

For the purpose of determining whether particular conduct constitutes a violation of this policy, the following definitions will be used:

Discrimination:  conduct that is based on a person’s age, color, disability, gender identity or expression, genetic information, military status, national origin, pregnancy, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or protected veteran status in its activities, programs, admission, and employment that:

  1. adversely affects a term or condition of a person’s employment, education, living environment or participation in a University activity; or
  2. is used as a basis for or a motivating factor in decisions affecting the person’s employment, education, living environment or participation in a University activity.

Harassment: conduct that is based on a person’s age, color, disability, gender identity or expression, genetic information, military status, national origin, pregnancy, race, religion, sex (including sexual harassment, sexual violence, sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking), sexual orientation or protected veteran status in its activities, programs, admission, and employment that has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with a person’s employment or educational experience or creates an intimidating, hostile, offensive working, educational or living environment.

The University will provide, consistent with state and federal law, reasonable accommodations to persons with disabilities and reasonable accommodations for religious practices.

Examples of conduct prohibited by this policy include but are no means limited to taking any of the actions listed below based on a person’s age, color, disability, gender identity or expression, genetic information, military status, national origin, pregnancy, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or protected veteran status:

  1. Denying a person access to an educational program.
  2. Denying salary increases and/or promotions.
  3. Preventing a person from participating in any activity or program or using University facilities or services.
  4. Instigating or perpetuating an environment that is unwelcome or hostile.
  5. Subjecting a person to offensive and unwelcome conduct.
  6. Basing decisions about employment or educational opportunities.

The more severe the conduct the less need there is to show a repetitive series of incidents to demonstrate a hostile environment. In fact, a single severe incident may be sufficient to create a hostile environment.

Coverage (MUPIM 3.6.C)

This policy applies to all aspects of Miami University’s operations and programs, including regional campuses. It applies to all University students and employees, including faculty, administrators, classified non-bargaining staff, bargaining unit staff, and student employees. It also applies to all vendors, contractors, subcontractors, and others who do business with the University. It applies to all visitors or guests on campus to the extent that there is an allegation of harassment or discrimination made by them against University students or employees. This policy also applies to harassment or discrimination that occurs outside the educational program or workplace if the conduct negatively affects a person’s educational or work environment.

Sexual violence, sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking are forms of sexual harassment and are prohibited by this policy. These are also crimes and should be reported to the Miami University Police Department (911, 9-911 from an on-campus phone, or 513-529-2222) or other local law enforcement. For information on reporting to the police or other local law enforcement, evidence collection and preservation, resources, and support services (including medical, counseling and advocacy services, protection orders, and immigration services), as well as the legal definitions of offenses, see Miami University’s Title IX Protocol at http:/www.miamiOH.edu/campus-safety/sexual-assault/protocol.html.

Romantic and Sexual Relationships in the Instructional and Supervisory Contexts (MUPIM 3.6.D)

The University discourages romantic and sexual relationships between supervisor and employee or faculty and student. In the event of an allegation of sexual harassment, the University will carefully scrutinize any defense based on a claim that the relationship was consensual when the facts establish that an academic or employment power differential existed within the relationship.

Information and Assistance (MUPIM 3.6.E)

General information regarding this policy is available at the Office of Equity and Equal Opportunity, Hanna House, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio 45056, 513-529-7157.

Title IX Coordinator- Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a federal law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex in higher education. Sex discrimination includes sexual harassment and sexual violence.  The University’s Title IX Coordinator is Ms. Kenya Ash, Director of the Office of Equity and Equal Opportunity, Hanna House, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio 45056. Ms. Ash may be reached at 513-529-7157 or ashkd@MiamiOH.edu.

Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Athletics- Ms. Jennifer A. Gilbert, Associate Athletic Director/Senior Woman Administrator/Director of NCAA Compliance is the University’s Deputy Title IX Coordinator for matters related to equality of treatment and opportunity in Intercollegiate Athletics. This includes athletic financial assistance, accommodation of interest and abilities and equity of athletic program benefits. Ms. Gilbert may be reached at Millett Assembly Hall, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio 45056, 513-529-3113 or gilberj2@MiamiOH.edu.

Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Students- Ms. Rebecca Getson, Sexual Assault Response Coordinator, is the University’s Deputy Title IX Coordinator for matters related to student sexual violence. This includes sexual misconduct, sexual violence, and sexual coercion of students. Ms. Getson also serves as the coordinator for matters relating to student domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.  Ms. Getson may be reached at Student Health Services, 104 Health Services Center, 421 S. Campus Avenue, Oxford, Ohio 45056, 513-529-1870 or getsonra@MiamiOH.edu.

Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Regional Students- Ms. Bennyce Hamilton, Regional Director of Diversity and Multicultural Services, is the University’s Deputy Title IX Coordinator for matters related to regional student sexual violence. This includes sexual misconduct, sexual violence, and sexual coercion of students. Ms. Hamilton also serves as the coordinator for matters relating to regional student domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.  Ms. Hamilton may be reached at 117 Rentschler Hall, 1601 University Boulevard, Hamilton, Ohio 45011, or 144 Johnston Hall, 4200 N. University Boulevard, Middletown, Ohio 45042, 513-785-3283 or hamiltbe@miamioh.edu.

Sections 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act Coordinator- Section 504 and the ADA are federal laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability.  The University’s Section 504 and ADA Coordinator is Ms. Kenya Ash, Director of the Office of Equity and Equal Opportunity, Hanna House, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio 45056. Ms. Ash may be reached at 513-529-7157 or ashkd@MiamiOH.edu.

Retaliation is Prohibited (MUPIM 3.6.F)

Any retaliatory action or conduct taken by any person against a person who has sought relief under this policy is strictly prohibited and will be regarded as a separate and distinct violation of this policy. Examples of retaliatory action include assigning low grades, assigning undesirable teaching or work schedules, and/or giving deflated performance evaluations. This protection against retaliation extends to any person who opposes acts of harassment or discrimination or who testifies, assists, or participates in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing relative to harassment or discrimination.

Action (MUPIM 3.6.G)

Any person who believes he or she has been subjected to or witnessed harassment, discrimination, or retaliation is strongly encouraged to make a report. Immediate assistance and options are available, including changes to  academic and working situations, changes in student living situations, no-contact orders, and academic support services.

If the University determines that there is reasonable cause to believe that a violation of this policy has occurred, the University will take action to provide appropriate additional relief. This policy provides for reliable and impartial investigation of harassment or discrimination. When harassment or discrimination does occur, the University will take appropriate steps to prevent its recurrence and remedy the discriminatory effect on the reporter (and alleged victim if different from the reporter) and others, as appropriate.

The University may also initiate appropriate disciplinary action, under Section 3.6.O of this policy.

Reporting Harassment, Discrimination, or Retaliation (MUPIM 3.6.H)

Any person who believes he/she has been subjected to discrimination, harassment (including sexual violence, sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking), or retaliation may report the behavior directly to the Office of Equity and Equal Opportunity (OEEO). Reports may be filed by the victim or others on their behalf.

Within 24 hours of receiving information he/she has about alleged or possible discrimination, harassment (including sexual violence, sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking), or retaliation, the following employees must report the information to the Office of Equity and Equal Opportunity:

  • President, Vice Presidents, Associate Vice Presidents, Assistant Vice Presidents
  • Provost, Associate Provosts, Assistant Provosts
  • Department Chairs, Regional Campus Academic Coordinators and Program Directors
  • Unclassified staff members who have supervisory responsibilities
  • Academic Deans, Associate Deans, Assistant Deans
  • Directors, Associate Directors, Assistant Directors, and other administrative heads of offices
  • Human Resources staff
  • Academic Personnel Services staff
  • Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and coaches
  • Residence Life staff, including central and professional staff and Resident Assistants

OEEO will conduct a preliminary assessment of the report. The report should not be made to the person who is engaging in discrimination, harassment, or retaliation. A person who believes that he or she has been the victim of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation by someone listed in the preceding paragraph should make the report to someone else on the list.

Anonymous reports will be accepted; however, the University’s options for investigating or resolving anonymous reports may be limited because of the unique challenges presented. However, OEEO reviews and take appropriate action on all reports including anonymous reports.

Advisors (MUPIM 3.6.I)

Any person who reports alleged harassment, discrimination, or retaliation, (and alleged victim if different from the reporter) any person against whom such an allegation is made may be accompanied at all stages of the process described in this policy by an advisor. Advisor means any individual who provides support, guidance, or advice to the accuser or the accused.

Making a Report of Harassment, Discrimination, or Retaliation (MUPIM 3.6.J)

OEEO may facilitate an informal resolution of the report. An informal resolution of the report does not bar a subsequent formal resolution. The University does not use mediation to resolve reports.

A report may be filed at any time regardless of the length of time between the alleged occurrence and the decision to report. However, the University strongly encourages persons to report promptly in order to facilitate an effective investigation and access to information. A delay in reporting may compromise the investigation, particularly if neither the reporter (and alleged victim if different from the reporter) nor the accused is employed by the University or enrolled as a student at the time.

Interim Measures. Upon receipt of a report, and upon the request of the reporter (and alleged victim if different from the reporter), the University will provide the reporter (and alleged victim if different from the reporter) with support services. Support services include:

  • Providing the reporter (and alleged victim if different from the reporter) with a temporary safe space within the University residence halls (available to Oxford residential students);
  • Moving the accused or the reporter (and alleged victim if different from the reporter) so he/she does not share the same residence and/or dining hall (available to Oxford residential students) or workspace (available to students and employees);
  • Changing class or work assignments so that the accused and the reporter (and alleged victim if different from the reporter) do not share the same classes (available to instructional staff and students) or workspace (available to students and employees);
  • Providing the reporter (and alleged victim if different from the reporter) with academic support services including tutoring (available to students); and/or
  • Prohibiting the accused from having any contact with the reporter (and alleged victim if different from the reporter) (available to employees and students).

OEEO will treat as confidential any accommodations or protective measures provided to the reporter (and alleged victim if different from the reporter), to the extent that maintaining such confidentiality will not impair the ability of the institution to provide the accommodations or protective measures or as required by law.

Confidentiality and Initial Assessment of Report (MUPIM 3.6.K)

Miami University will preserve confidentiality to the extent possible and allowed by the law.

Confidential Reporting. A person may speak confidentially with certain persons in legally-protected roles, including:

  • Women helping Women (rape crises counselors are available 24 hours a day at (513) 381-5610 or toll free at (877) 889-5610; and
  • Medical staff at the Employee Health Clinic (513) 529-3000; and
  • Off campus with available clergy, counselors, and physicians, including a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) at McCullough-Hyde Memorial Hospital (513) 523-2111.

A confidential report does not result in a report to law enforcement or in a University investigation. It will not be reported to the Title IX Coordinator or to the Office of Equity and Equal Opportunity.

Non-Confidential Reporting. Upon the receipt of a report of harassment, discrimination, or retaliation, OEEO will make a preliminary assessment of the report. Every effort will be made to handle such reports fairly, impartially, and quickly. OEEO understands that these matters can be extremely sensitive. However, in order for the University to take action when warranted, conducting an investigation will usually be necessary. In order to protect both the reporter (and alleged victim if different from the reporter) and the accused, every effort will be made to handle the matter discreetly.

Because information relating to the reporter will be shared in the course of the investigation on a need-to-know basis, or as otherwise required by law or required under this policy, it is not possible to guarantee complete confidentiality. The reporter (and alleged victim if different from the reporter) may request confidentiality. The University takes such requests seriously; however, such requests may severely limit the University’s ability to investigate and take reasonable action in response to a report. In such cases, the Title IX Coordinator and Director of the OEEO will evaluate the request for confidentiality in the context of the University’s commitment to provide a reasonably safe and non-discriminatory environment. In cases involving student sexual violence, the Title IX Coordinator and the Director of the OEEO will consult with the Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Sexual Assault and Sexual Assault Response Coordinator.

In order to make such an evaluation, a preliminary assessment into the alleged violation will be conducted and the request will be weighed against the following factors;

  1. The seriousness of the alleged violation;
  2. Whether there have been other reports made regarding the accused;
  3. The right of the accused to access the report;
  4. The applicability of any laws requiring disclosure;
  5. The availability of other information to support the alleged violation.

If the reporter (and alleged victim if different from the reporter) insists that their privacy be protected and that their name or other identifiable information not be disclosed to the accused, the Director of OEEO or designee will advise the reporter (and alleged victim if different from the reporter) of the University’s limited ability to respond to the report. An accused has a right to know the name of the reporter (and the alleged victim if different from the reporter) and information regarding the nature of the allegations in order to defend against the report; this, the University may not be able to both investigate the report and maintain the confidentiality of the reporter (and the alleged victim if different from the reporter). The University may take other steps to limit the effects of the alleged harassment or discrimination and prevent its reoccurrence.

Police Reports. Ohio law requires those not in a legally-protected role who have knowledge of a felony to report it to law enforcement. Miami personnel including OEEO staff are required to report crimes (including sexual offenses, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking) to the Miami University Police or other appropriate law enforcement agency. Reporting to the Miami University Police or other appropriate law enforcement agency does not require the reporter (and alleged victim if different from the reporter) to file criminal charges. The staff of the OEEO will assist the reporter (and alleged victim if different from the reporter) in making a report to the police or other appropriate law enforcement agency.

Police reports are open for inspection and copying under the Ohio’s Public Records Act. The extent to which Miami University can protect the identity of victims of offenses contained in police reports is not absolute; however, the University uses its best efforts to protect the identity of the victim and the intimate details of the report. Ohio law specifically permits the University to withhold the identity of an uncharged suspect.

Crime Alerts/Emergency Notification. If a report of a Title IX Offense reveals there is an immediate threat to the health or safety of students or employees on campus or that an ongoing serious or continuing threat to the campus community exists, an Emergency Notification or a Campus Crime Alert will be issued. The purpose of a Campus Crime Alert is to enable persons to protect themselves, heighten safety awareness, and seek information that will lead to an arrest and conviction. The victims name, and other personally identifiable information will not be included in any Emergency Notification or Crime Alert. For more information on the Clery Act, Campus Crime Alerts and Emergency Notifications go to http://www.miami.muohio.edu/campus-safety/annual-report/index.html.

Reports of sex offenses, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking are included in the Annual Security and Fire Safety Report/Crime Statistics at http://www.miami.muohio.edu/campus-safety/crime-stats/index.html.

Investigation of a Report (MUPIM 3.6.L)

Within thirty (30) calendar days of receipt of a report, OEEO will conduct an investigation to determine whether there is reasonable cause to believe that a violation of this policy has occurred, including the extent and severity of the violation. The parties will have the opportunity to be accompanied by an advisor, to present information and respond to written reports, and to ask that witnesses be interviewed. At the completion of the investigation, OEEO will issue a written report of its investigation that includes a finding of reasonable cause or no reasonable cause and related recommendations. OEEO’s findings will be based on a preponderance of the evidence. A preponderance of the evidence is the evidence that has the most convincing force; the greater weight of credible evidence. OEEO will consider all information presented. This standard of evidence essentially asks, “Is it more likely than not that our policy was violated?”

A copy of the OEEO report will be given to both the person who made the report (and alleged victim if different from the reporter) and the accused. After the OEEO report is issued, both the reporter (and the alleged victim if different from the reporter) and the accused are permitted to review the OEEO investigation file.

Review (MUPIM 3.6.M)

If dissatisfied with the OEEO report, either the reporter (and alleged victim if different from the reporter) or the accused may request a review by a Harassment/Discrimination Review Panel Committee (the Panel Committee). A Panel Committee review of the OEEO report is only available to Miami University students and employees. The request stating the reasons must be made in writing to OEEO within ten (10) class days of the issuance of the OEEO report. (Note: class days include exam week.)

The Harassment/Discrimination Review Panel (the Panel) is appointed annually by the President to serve for the undergraduate and graduate student bodies, the faculty, and the classified and unclassified staff. The Panel Committee will consist of five (5) members selected from the Panel. Each Panel Committee will receive appropriate training on this policy.

The composition of the Panel Committee will reflect the peers of the parties involved and will depend on the status of those parties:

Parties Involved Composition of Panel Committee
Both are faculty members All faculty members
Both are staff members All staff members
One is a faculty member and one is a staff member Both faculty and staff members
One is a student and one is a faculty or staff member Two students and three faculty or staff members
Both are students All students
EXCEPT: EXCEPT:
If either student requests that one or two members be faculty or staff members One or two faculty or staff members; the rest students
If the report arises out of a graduate assistant’s teaching responsibilities Two students and three faculty members
If the report arises out of a graduate assistant’s non-teaching responsibilities Two students and three staff members

Both the reporter (or alleged victim if different from the reporter) and the accused will be presented with the list of names of all appropriate members of the Panel. Each party may disqualify up to three members from service on the Panel Committee. The President or his/her designee will select five members from the remaining names and appoint one of the five to serve as committee chair. The Panel Committee will have full access to the OEEO investigation file.

Decision of the Panel Committee (MUPIM 3.6.N)

Within ten (10) class days of its appointment, the Panel Committee will issue a written report in which a majority of its members concur. (Note: class days include exam week.)

In the report, the Panel Committee will do one of the following:

  1. Affirm or reverse the finding of no reasonable cause.
  2. Affirm or reverse the finding of reasonable cause.
  3. Remand the matter to OEEO for additional investigation and a supplementary report based on the additional investigation.
  4. Affirm or recommend modifying any recommendations made by OEEO.

If the Panel Committee concludes that reasonable cause exists to believe that this policy has been violated, it may instruct OEEO to take immediate action to eliminate the harassment or discrimination.

Disciplinary Action (MUPIM 3.6.O)

If there has been a finding of reasonable cause and a recommendation that the accused be subjected to appropriate disciplinary action either in the OEEO report or as a result of a review and report by the Panel Committee, the discipline, if any, to be imposed will be determined according to the procedures described in the Student Conduct Regulations, if the person is a student; the Ohio Civil Service Law or a collective bargaining agreement then in effect, whichever is applicable, if the person is a member of the classified staff; Section 13.7 of the Miami University Policy and Information Manual if the person is a member of the unclassified administrative staff; or Section 8.3 of the Miami University Policy and Information Manual, if the person is a member of the instructional staff.

If disciplinary action is initiated, the reporter (and alleged victim if different from the reporter), the accused, the person or office initiating disciplinary action, and the hearing body will be entitled to full access to the OEEO investigation file and the file, if any, of the Panel Committee.

Both parties will have the same opportunities to have others present during any institutional disciplinary proceedings, including the opportunity to be accompanied to any related meeting or proceeding by the advisor of their choice.

The disciplinary proceedings will be conducted in a manner that:

  1. Is consistent with University policies and is transparent to both parties; and
  2. Includes timely notice of meetings at which both parties may be present; and
  3. Provides timely access to both parties and appropriate officials to any information that will be used after the fact-finding investigation but during informal and formal disciplinary meetings and hearings; and
  4. Is conducted by officials who do not have a conflict of interest or bias for, or against either or both parties; and
  5. Which has responsibility determined based on a preponderance of the evidence standard; and
  6. Does not permit the alleged victim to be asked about prior sexual history with anyone other than the accused.

The complainant (and alleged victim if other than the complainant) and the accused will receive simultaneous notification, in writing, of:

  1. The result of any institutional disciplinary proceeding that arises from an allegation of sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking;
  2. The institution’s procedures for the reporter (and alleged victim if different from the reporter) and the accused to appeal the result of the disciplinary proceeding, if appeals are permitted;
  3. Any change to the result of the disciplinary proceedings; and
  4. When such results become final.

If there has been a finding that reasonable cause exists to believe that a vendor, contractor, subcontractor, visitor, guest or other person who does business with the University has violated this policy, the matter shall be referred to the Vice President for Finance and Business Services for appropriate administrative action.

Additional Measures (MUPIM 3.6.P)

If a finding of reasonable cause has been made, either in the OEEO report or as a result of a review and report by the Panel Committee, the University will take remedial action which may include disciplinary action against the accused and remedies for the reporter (and alleged victim if different from the reporter) and others. In any instance in which the reporter (and alleged victim if different from the reporter) did not take advantage of a specific interim measure service when offered as an interim measure, the reporter (and alleged victim if different from the reporter) is still entitled to appropriate final remedies that may include services that were declined as an interim measure. The OEEO may impose additional measures without initiating disciplinary action. Additional measures include but are not limited to:

  • Counseling, required education/training for the accused;
  • Moving the accused so he/she does not share the same residence, dining hall (available to Oxford residential students) or workspace (available to employees);
  • Changing the accused’s class assignments so that the accused and the alleged victim do not share the same classes (available to instructional staff and students) or work assignments (available to employees);
  • Prohibiting the accused from having any contact with the alleged victim (available to faculty, staff, and students).

Miscellaneous (MUPIM 3.6.Q)

The University is committed to addressing all complaints of harassment and discrimination in a prompt and equitable manner. The University uses its best efforts to complete the investigation of all complaints within 60 calendar days. This timeline may be extended based upon the complexity, severity, and extent of the alleged violation. The timeline may also be affected by the winter or spring break periods and summer or winter terms. This timeline does not include appeals.

After a report of harassment or discrimination has been made, subsequent time limits specified in this policy may be extended by the Associate Vice President for Institutional Diversity. Notice of the extension will be made in writing and will include the reason for the extension. Notification of extension will be made to both the reporter (and alleged victim if different from the reporter) and the accused.

It is a violation of this policy to knowingly make a false allegation of harassment or discrimination. However, failure to prove a claim of harassment or discrimination is not equivalent to making a false allegation. It is also a violation of this policy for an accused or other person interviewed by the OEEO to knowingly make a false statement.


Revised 2016; Revised 2015

 

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