Sexual Harassment Policy

Asbury University is committed to providing an environment free of unlawful discrimination or harassment. Asbury University does not condone harassment or discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender, age, national or ethnic origin or disability.

Sexual harassment by or toward any member of the Asbury University community, whether student or employee, is prohibited by law and will not be tolerated. Individuals who fail to comply with this policy will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal (student) and termination (employee).

Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances; requests for sexual favors; and/or verbal, visual or physical conduct or written communications of an intimidating, hostile or offensive nature; or action taken in retaliation for reporting such behavior, regardless of where such conduct might occur, when:

1. Submission to such conduct is made a term or condition of person’s employment or academic progress; or

2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by a person is used as a basis for academic or employment decisions affecting the person; or

3. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with a person’s work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work or academic environment.

Sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to, unwelcome verbal, visual or physical behaviors. These behaviors may occur as sexual comments or advances, sexual slurs or jokes, leering, displays of sexually suggestive objects or pictures, sexually suggestive gestures, touching, pinching, physical abuse or sexual assault. The difference between voluntary sexual relationships and sexual harassment are the elements of coercion, threat and/or unwanted attention that exist in a non-reciprocal relationship. Individuals should be aware that comments or conduct that one person finds merely amusing may offend or upset another person.

Reporting Procedures
Any person who believes that he/she has been the recipient of, or witness to, harassment is strongly encouraged to report the alleged occurrence(s) as soon as possible to institutional complaint coordinators listed below and, if they so desire, to the local law enforcement authorities. If a student is more comfortable reporting the incident to a resident director, associate dean or faculty member, he/she is encouraged to do so immediately and then that person should inform the appropriate complaint coordinator. If the appropriate complaint coordinator is unavailable, incidents should be reported to any available coordinator.

Complaints against Asbury University students:
Vice President for Student Development, ext. 2116

Complaints against Asbury University faculty:
Provost, ext. 2500

Complaints against Asbury University staff or vendor:
Vice President for Business Affairs, ext. 2106

Resolution Process
Complaints about sexual harassment will be responded to promptly, thoroughly and equitably as the law requires. The right to confidentiality of all members of the University community will be respected insofar as possible. This policy explicitly prohibits retaliation against individuals for bringing complaints of sexual harassment.

Formal Complaint Process
1. The complaint coordinator will request that the person provide a detailed written complaint that describes the circumstances and facts, including witnesses, surrounding the complaint.

2. The complaint coordinator will take appropriate steps to attempt to ensure that no further contact occurs between the complainant and the accused.

3. Upon receiving a written formal complaint, the complaint coordinator will convene a three-member committee. Both genders must be represented on the committee. A committee investigating a complaint against a student will include a student representative.

a. The committee will appoint one of its members to assist the complaint coordinator in conducting an investigation in a manner appropriate under the circumstances.

b. After a timely and thorough investigation is completed, the committee will review the results and determine whether the complaint has merit. If the complaint is without merit, the accused will be promptly notified of such determination. If the complaint is determined to have merit, the committee will recommend appropriate disciplinary action to the complaint coordinator. The complaint coordinator will then determine the disciplinary action to be imposed and promptly advise the accused of such decision. Such disciplinary action may range from a formal written reprimand to dismissal or termination.

4. The accused individual has the right to appeal the disciplinary action imposed by following the appropriate appeals process provided by the institution.

5. The individual who brings the complaint will be informed of the outcome of the complaint to the degree permitted by law.