Harassment and Discrimination-Free Workplace

Introduction

Gettysburg College is committed to maintaining an environment conducive to learning for all students and a professional workplace free from harassment and discrimination for its employees. Gettysburg College will not tolerate harassment or discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or any other trait or characteristic protected by any applicable federal, state, or local law or ordinance. Harassment or discrimination on the basis of sex or any other protected characteristic may affect the terms and conditions of employment or interfere with a student’s work or academic performance and create an intimidating or hostile environment for that employee or student. As such, harassment or discrimination on the basis of any protected trait or characteristic is contrary to the values of Gettysburg College, is a violation of College policy applicable to faculty, administration, and staff and is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct.

Harassment is a form of discrimination. There is a broad range of behavior that could constitute harassment. In general, harassment is any verbal or physical conduct that:

  • has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment;
  • has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance; or,
  • adversely affects an individual’s employment opportunities.

Employees are expected to maintain the highest degree of professional behavior. All harassment or discrimination by employees is strictly prohibited. Further, harassing or discriminatory behavior of non-employees directed at College employees or students also is condemned and will be promptly addressed.

Examples of unacceptable behavior include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • physical, emotional, or mental abuse
  • racial, religious, ethnic, or gender-based or sexual insults
  • derogatory ethnic, religious, or sexual jokes or slurs
  • unwelcome sexual comments or advances
  • taunting intended to provoke an employee
  • requests for sexual favors used as a condition of employment or affecting any personnel decisions such as hiring, promotion, or compensation
  • unwanted physical contact such as pinching, grabbing, rubbing, etc

  • stalking, bullying, cyber-bullying, etc.

Employee and Student Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct and Sexually Inappropriate Behavior

All members of Gettysburg College have the right to work and study in an environment free of discrimination, including freedom from sexual harassment, sexual misconduct and other sexually inappropriate behavior. The intent of this policy is to foster responsible behavior in a working and academic environment free from discrimination and harassment. Thus, Gettysburg College strongly disapproves of and forbids the sexual harassment of employees or students, and will not tolerate sexual assault, sexual misconduct and other sexually inappropriate behavior.

Sexual harassment, sexual misconduct and other sexually inappropriate behavior towards an employee by another employee can include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when (1) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment, (2) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such an individual, or (3) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.

Sexual harassment, sexual misconduct and other sexually inappropriate behavior towards a student by an employee can include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when (1) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a factor or condition of the employee’s evaluation of the student or of any decision by the employee concerning the student’s academic, co-curricular, or residential status at the College or (2) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with the student’s performance or participation in the academic, co-curricular, residential, or other programs of the College. Where a student is a party to any incident (either as the respondent or the complainant) involving a Gettysburg College employee, the Co-Directors of Human Resources and/or the Vice Provost will work collaboratively with the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities to investigate and appropriately address the concerns.  The Co-Directors of Human Resources, the Vice Provost and the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities serve as Deputy Title IX Coordinators.

Sexual harassment, sexual misconduct and other sexually inappropriate behavior towards a student by a student is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct and consists of unwelcome sexual advances or threats, deliberate or careless use of offensive or demeaning terms that have sexual connotations or are gender-based, repeated and unwelcome requests for sexual favors or a romantic relationship, repeated and unwelcome letters, phone calls, or e-mails of a sexual or romantic nature, sexually motivated physical contact, or other verbal, electronic, or physical conduct or communication of a sexual nature. 

Sexual harassment, sexual misconduct and other sexually inappropriate behavior towards an employee or student by a visitor, guest, or other non-College individual can include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Where a student is a party to any incident (either as the respondent or the complainant) involving a visitor or guest of the College, the Co-Directors of Human Resources and/or the Vice Provost will work collaboratively with the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities to investigate and appropriately address the concerns.  The Co-Directors of Human Resources, the Vice Provost and the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities serve as Deputy Title IX Coordinators.

All members of the faculty, administration and supervisors who have information regarding, are witness to, or become aware of by any means any form of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct,  inappropriate sexual behavior, and/or criminal activity involving students, are required to report the incident. All other employees are strongly encouraged to report such incidents.  Information on how to make a report can be found below in the section entitled Reporting, Investigation, and Resolution of Sexual Misconduct, Harassment and Discrimination Violations.

Policy Definitions

Sexual Misconduct

Sexual misconduct, including sexual assault, is defined as deliberate physical contact of a sexual nature without the other person's consent.

Violations of this policy include, but are not limited to:

1)       Non-consensual sexual contact.  Non-consensual sexual contact is any sexual touching, with any object, by a man or a woman upon another person without consent or making any person touch you or them in a sexual manner.

2)       Non-consensual intercourse.  Non-consensual intercourse is any sexual intercourse (anal, oral or vaginal), with any object, by a man or woman upon another person without consent.

3)       Disrobing or exposure of one's self or another person that occurs in a public area and/or is unwanted by an involved person.

Sexual harassment and other sexually inappropriate behaviors

Unwelcome sexual advances or threats, deliberate or careless use of offensive or demeaning terms that have sexual connotations or are gender-based, repeated and unwelcome requests for sexual favors or a romantic relationship, repeated and unwelcome letters, phone calls, or e-mails of a sexual or romantic nature, sexually motivated physical contact, or other verbal, electronic, or physical conduct or communication of a sexual nature.

Consent

All sexual interaction between two people must be consensual.  Effective consent is informed, freely and actively given, using mutually understandable words or actions which indicate a willingness to participate in mutually agreed upon sexual activity.  Consent is not effective if it results from the use of physical or perceived physical force, if there is intimidation or coercion, or if the recipient party is incapacitated.  Silence or non-communication should never be interpreted as effective consent. The initiator of the sexual activity will be found in violation of the policy if he or she did not receive effective consent.

Coercion

Coercion exists when a sexual initiator engages in sexually pressuring and/or oppressive behavior that violates the norms of the community, such that the application of pressure or oppression causes the object of the behavior to engage in unwanted sexual behavior.  Coercion may be differentiated from seduction by the repetition of the coercive activity beyond what is reasonable, the degree of pressure applied, environmental factors such as isolation and the initiator's knowledge that the pressure is unwanted.

Sexual exploitation

Sexual exploitation occurs when an employee or student takes non-consensual, unjust or abusive sexual advantage of another for his/her own advantage or to benefit others.  Examples include, but are not limited to, non-consensual audio or video taping of sexual activity, voyeurism, and prostitution of self or others.

Retaliation

Retaliation or intimidation against anyone involved in the Complaint process or anyone who pursues legal action, including the Complainant, Respondent, or anyone participating in the investigation.  Such behavior and may also violate the College's Harassment and Discrimination-Free Workplace Policy and will be adjudicated.

Complainant

The person filing a complaint with the College regarding an incident of an alleged violation of the Harassment and Discrimination-Free Workplace Policy.

Respondent

The person who allegedly violated the Harassment and Discrimination-Free Workplace Policy.

Reporting, Investigation, and Resolution of Sexual Misconduct, Harassment and Discrimination Violations

Any employee who believes he or she has been a victim of sexual misconduct, harassment and/or discrimination in any form should bring the matter to his/her supervisor, manager, and/or a Co-Director in the Human Resources Office and/or the Vice Provost. Alternatively, the individual may complete the on-line Community Concern Webform located at: www.gettysburg.edu/reportconcern.

All members of the faculty, administration and all supervisors are required to report incidents of harassment and/or discrimination, including sexual harassment and gender discrimination, sexual misconduct, and sexually inappropriate behavior, that they observe, that they are informed about, or of which they become aware by any means, to a Co-Director of Human Resources and/or the Vice Provost, who are the Title IX deputy coordinators. The College also encourages other staff members and students to report incidents of harassment and/or discrimination that they observe or of which they become aware, to a Co-Director of Human Resources and/or the Vice Provost. Alternatively, the individual may complete the on-line Community Concern Webform located at: www.gettysburg.edu/reportconcern.

If you, or another individual, are in need of immediate assistance, please call the Department of Public Safety (DPS) at 717-337-6911 or the Gettysburg Police Department by calling 911.  You should call DPS in the following circumstances:

  • The health, safety or well-being of any individual is in jeopardy
  • An individual is in need of immediate medical assistance
  • Criminal or questionable activity is in progress

All members of the community may also submit a concern using the Community Care Webform (www.gettysburg.edu/reportconcern).  Information provided on this form will be sent to the appropriate College official for review and follow-up.  Generally, this form is used for non-emergency information (incident of concern is not in progress) for the following types of incidents:

  • Bias incidents
  • Crime tips
  • Discriminatory Conduct
  • General student, employee or faculty concern
  • Hazing
  • Sexual assault, sexual harassment, or sexual misconduct
  • Child abuse

All concerns will be taken seriously and directed to an officer of the College who will then inform the alleged respondent about the College’s policy regarding such behavior, and advise the respondent that retaliation is prohibited.

All complaints will be promptly, thoroughly, and impartially investigated. Upon completion of the investigation, both the complainant and respondent will be advised of the outcome of the investigation. Confidentiality will be maintained throughout the investigation to the extent practical and consistent with the College’s need to undertake a full and impartial investigation.

In determining whether the alleged conduct constitutes a violation of College policy, Gettysburg College will consider all relevant information and circumstances. Upon completion of the investigation, a final determination will be made as to whether a College policy has been violated and, if appropriate, disciplinary action may be administered. If harassment or other violation is found to have occurred, immediate and appropriate action will be taken to stop the harassment or other violation, prevent its recurrence, and correct its effects.

If you would like to speak directly with a trained member of the College community, you may also contact one of the individuals listed below:

Title IX Coordinator and Deputy Coordinators (Names, Locations, Emails, phone #s)

Jane North, Executive Vice President and Title IX Coordinator, Third Floor, Pennsylvania Hall, jnorth@gettysburg.edu, 717-337-6011

Jen Lucas, Co-Director of Human Resources and Deputy Title IX Coordinator, First Floor, Pennsylvania Hall, jlucas@gettysburg.edu, 717-337-6211

Regina Campo, Co-Director of Human Resources and Deputy Title IX Coordinator , First Floor, Pennsylvania Hall, rcampo@gettysburg.edu, 717-337-6207

Jack Ryan Vice Provost and Deputy Title IX Coordinator, Third Floor, Pennsylvania Hall, jryan@gettysburg.edu, 717-337-6822

Jennifer McCary, Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities and Deputy Title IX Coordinator , Second Floor, College Union Building, jmccary@gettysburg.edu, 717-337-6998.

Bill Lafferty, Assistant Dean of College Life/Executive Director of Public Safety, Second Floor, College Union Building, wlaffert@gettysburg.edu, 717-337-6321

Andy Vogel, Assistant Director of Athletics/Head Wrestling Coach, Second Floor, Wright Building, avogel@gettysburg.edu, 717-337-6415.

Inquiries concerning the application of these policies may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Coordinators identified above or to the Office for Civil Rights, United States Department of Education. For further information, visit http://wdcrobcolp01.ed.gov/CFAPPS/OCR/contactus.cfm for the address and phone number of the U.S. Department of Education office that serves your area, or call 1-800-421-3481.

Again, all members of the faculty, administration and supervisors who have information regarding, are witness to, or become aware of by any means, any form of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct,  inappropriate sexual behavior, and/or criminal activity involving students, are required to report the incident.   All other employees are strongly encouraged to report such incidents.  Information on how to make a report can be found above in the section entitled Reporting, Investigation, and Resolution of Sexual Misconduct, Harassment and Discrimination Violations.

Retaliation

Not only College policy but also federal and state anti-discrimination laws prohibit retaliation against anyone involved (complainant, respondent, witness, etc.) in the investigation of a claim of harassment and/or discrimination. No person will retaliate against any person who reports alleged sexual or other unlawful harassment and/or discrimination or who testifies, assists, cooperates, or participates in an investigation or other proceeding related to making a sexual or other unlawful harassment and/or discrimination complaint. Retaliation includes, but is not limited to, any form of intimidation, reprisal, or harassment.

Misuse of Harassment and Discrimination-Free Policy

In dealing with complaints of harassment and/or discrimination, the College will protect the rights of all parties. The College’s commitment to eliminate harassment and/or discrimination from the workplace should not be viewed as a license for employees to engage in unfounded, frivolous, or vindictive actions that are not made in “good faith” in violation of the intent and spirit of this policy.

Grievance Procedure

This College Grievance Procedure is available to employees and students after a determination has been made by a Co-Director of Human Resources and/or the Vice Provost, Title IX Deputy Coordinators, as discussed above.

Purpose

The College Grievance Procedure exists as a means to contest a determination that has been made regarding an alleged violation of the College’s Harassment and Discrimination-Free Workplace Policy. There are three grounds for which the College Grievance Procedure can be applied:

  1. The complainant or the respondent believes that the discipline/sanction imposed was inappropriate for the violation of policy for which he or she was found responsible;
  2. An error occurred during the investigative stage preventing either the complainant and/or the respondent a reasonable opportunity to prepare and present information to the investigator(s); or
  3. There is a discovery of new information that was not available at the time of the investigative process and could have affected the outcome of the matter.

What Categories of Grievance Are Not Covered by the College Grievance Procedure

The College Grievance Procedure does not apply to issues concerning compensation, classification, work standards, stated College policy, matters that are beyond the control or jurisdiction of the College, or any disciplinary matter or termination unless the employee believes that such actions were the result of unlawful discrimination or harassment.

Additionally, dismissal of a faculty member for cause, non-reappointment of a non-tenured faculty member, or tenure/promotion issues may not be addressed with the College Grievance Procedure. These faculty issues, which may be addressed using procedures found in the Faculty Handbook, are under the purview of the Faculty Grievance Committee, a faculty committee that is distinct from the College Grievance Committee created under this policy.

This is not a legal proceeding but a Gettysburg College community procedure created with the health and welfare of the College’s employees in mind. The College Grievance Procedure may be used freely without fear of retaliation, and the Co-Directors of Human Resources, working with the Vice Provost and/or the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities, if appropriate, are available for assistance throughout the process.

Composition of the College Grievance Committee

Under this policy, Gettysburg College maintains a body called the College Grievance Committee. Members of this committee are appointed by the President of the College for terms of three years. The College Grievance Committee will be composed of three tenured faculty members, three administrators, and three support staff members. The Chair of the College Grievance Committee will be a tenured faculty member and may serve as one of the four voting members of a grievance hearing panel.

Grievance Process

  1. The employee must file a Notice of Grievance Form within seven (7) business days of the final determination with (1) the Co-Directors of Human Resources in the case where the grievant is an administrator or support staff member, (2) the Vice Provost in the case where the grievant is a faculty member, or (3) the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities in the case where the grievant is a student employee. This form will ask the grievant to identify which of the three grounds (or combination of the three), referred to in the Eligibility discussion above, he or she seeks to have addressed. The grievant will be asked to make a formal statement outlining the specifics of his or her grievance. The Notice of Grievance Form may be found on the Human Resources Office website at: /dotAsset/d3eebfb7-7a93-44d4-9df1-1326c9080b52.doc (on the “Forms” section of the HR website) and is also available in the Human Resources Office and the Provost’s Office.

  2. Upon receiving the Notice of Grievance Form, the Co-Directors of Human Resources, the Vice Provost, or the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities will forward the Notice to the Chair of the College Grievance Committee. From the appointed College Grievance Committee members, the Chair will select a hearing panel of an additional three members, including one staff member and one administrator.  If a student is a party to the grievance, the student may request of the Chair of the College Grievance Committee that the hearing panel include one student appointed by the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities from the student members of the Student Conduct Review Board. The Chair will endeavor to have male and female representation on the hearing panel.

  3. The hearing panel will meet to review the formal grievance within the context of the policy of the College Grievance Procedure. The hearing panel may decide on the basis of the written grievance that the challenge does not satisfy one of the three grounds for a grievance. In such cases, the hearing panel will promptly forward its decision to the Co-Directors of Human Resources, the Vice Provost, and/or the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities, as appropriate.

  4. If and only if the hearing panel decides that one or more of the three grounds for a grievance are met, the hearing panel will promptly schedule a hearing. The hearing will not revisit the entire matter, but will be limited to addressing the grounds for the grievance. At this hearing, the burden of proof will be on the grievant to establish the foundation for the grievance with clear and convincing evidence. The hearing will be a closed meeting, including only those persons whom the hearing panel deems necessary to address the grounds for the grievance. Witnesses will be present only when their testimony is being taken.

  5. The grievant may have an advisor present. The grievant may choose any current faculty member, administrator, support staff member, or student who is not directly involved in the case to serve as his/her advisor. The role of an advisor is to support the grievant, but the advisor may not represent the grievant during the hearing. The grievant may speak quietly with his or her advisor or request a short break in order to speak. There will not be attorneys present for the parties.

  6. The hearing panel will make a recommendation concerning the allegations of the grievance based on a majority vote. When the hearing panel consists of four members, a clear majority is three. Promptly after the completion of the hearing, the grievant will be advised of the recommendation of the hearing panel. The hearing panel will also advise one or more of the following persons: the Provost, if the grievant is a faculty member administrator or support staff member; or the Vice President for College Life, if the grievant is a student. If one of these administrators is the complainant or the respondent in the original hearing, the hearing panel will advise the President of the College of its recommendation instead of that administrator. The hearing panel has no restrictions upon it as to what it may recommend: from a finding that the grievance is not established, to a reprimand, to further proceedings for dismissal of the employee.

  7. The administrator, who is advised of the outcome of the hearing as set forth in paragraph 6 above, will review promptly the recommendation of the hearing panel. This administrator, who is not bound by the recommendation of the hearing panel, will determine any resolution of the grievance, including a sanction, within the authority of his or her position. The decision of this administrator is final.

Consensual Sexual or Romantic Relationships

In General:  There are special risks in any sexual or romantic relationship between individuals in inherently unequal positions of authority, and parties in such a relationship assume those risks.  In the Gettysburg College context, such positions include (but are not limited to) teacher and student, supervisor and employee, senior faculty and junior faculty, advisor and advisee, coach and athlete, and the individuals who supervise the day-to-day student living environment and student residents.  Because of the potential for conflict of interest, exploitation, favoritism, and bias, such relationships may undermine the real or perceived integrity of the supervision and evaluation provided, and the trust inherent particularly in the teacher-student context.  They may, moreover, be less consensual than the individual whose position confers power or authority believes.  The relationship is likely to be perceived in different ways by each of the parties to it, especially in retrospect. 

Moreover, such relationships may harm or injure others in the academic or work environment.  Relationships in which one party is in a position to review the work or influence the career of the other may provide grounds for complaint by third parties when that relationship gives undue access or advantage, restricts opportunities, or creates a perception of these problems.  Furthermore, circumstances may change, and conduct that was previously welcome may become unwelcome.  Even when both parties have consented at the outset to a romantic involvement, this past consent does not remove grounds for a charge based upon subsequent unwelcome conduct.

With Students:  Amorous, dating, or sexual relationships between faculty or staff members, and students are impermissible when the faculty or staff member has professional responsibility for the student.  It is a violation of College policy and prohibited for a faculty or staff member to engage in an amorous, dating, or sexual relationship with a student whom he/she instructs, teaches, evaluates, coaches, supervises, or advises, or over whom he/she is in a situation to exercise authority in any way.  Entering into a romantic and/or sexual relationship with any student is outside the bounds of an employee’s assigned duties, and he/she may not be eligible for the College’s liability insurance protection should he/she incur civil or criminal liability as a result of his/her actions. 

At a college, the role of a faculty or staff member is multifaceted, including serving as intellectual guide, teacher, counselor, mentor and advisor; the faculty and staff member’s influence and authority extend far beyond the classroom or work place.   Consequently, the College believes that a sexual or romantic relationship between a faculty or staff member, and a student, even where consensual and whether or not the student would otherwise be subject to supervision or evaluation by the faculty or staff member, is inconsistent with the proper role of the faculty or staff member, and should be avoided.  Gettysburg College therefore very strongly discourages such relationships.  Entering into a romantic and/or sexual relationship with any student is outside the bounds of an employee’s assigned duties, and he/she may not be eligible for the College’s liability insurance protection should he/she incur civil or criminal liability as a result of his/her actions. 

With other employees:   Amorous, dating, or sexual relationships between faculty and staff members are impermissible when the faculty or staff member has supervisory or evaluative responsibility for the other.  It is a violation of College policy for a faculty or staff member to engage in an amorous, dating, or sexual relationship with a faculty or staff member whom he/she evaluates, supervises, or over who he/she is in a situation to exercise employment authority in any way.

The College believes that sexual or romantic relationships between faculty and staff members employed within the same department, even where consensual and whether or not the faculty or staff members would otherwise be subject to supervision or evaluation by the faculty or staff member, is inconsistent with the proper role of the faculty or staff member, and should be avoided.  Gettysburg College therefore very strongly discourages such relationships. 

Where such a relationship exists by virtue of marriage or partnership within the same department, the person in the position of greater authority or power will bear the primary burden of accountability, and must ensure that he or she does not exercise any supervisory or evaluative function over the other person in the relationship.  Recusal is required and the recusing party must also notify his or her supervisor, department chair or dean in writing, so that such chair, dean or supervisor can exercise his or her responsibility to evaluate the adequacy of the alternative supervisory or evaluative arrangements to be put in place.  The chair, dean or supervisor must implement the alternative supervisory or evaluative arrangement.  Administrators and support staff must notify the Human Resources and Risk Management Office in writing when recusal is required.   Faculty members must notify the Provost’s Office in writing when recusal is required.

Responsibility:  The Provost’s Office will respond to issues arising from this policy involving faculty members. The Human Resources and Risk Management Office will respond to issues arising from this policy involving administrators and staff members.