University sexual harassment policy revised

Western Today staff

Earlier this month, Western Washington University’s policy on preventing sexual harassment was revised to incorporate requirements of the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act and guidance from the Office for Civil Rights of the Department of Education regarding implementation of Title IX.  The revised policy on Preventing and Responding to Sex Discrimination, Including Sexual Misconduct makes clear that “all students and employees have a right to work and educational environments free from sex discrimination.” It explicitly prohibits gender-based harassment; sexual violence such as sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking; and other sexual misconduct. The policy covers all students and employees, as well as others who use Western’s facilities and participate in Western’s programs, and protects individuals regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

The policy outlines confidential and non-confidential resources and reporting options both on and off campus for students, faculty and staff affected by sexual violence and other sexual misconduct.  Employees other than confidential counselors and health care providers who are aware of incidents of sexual misconduct that may violate the policy are required to report them to the Title IX Coordinator, Sue Guenter-Schlesinger, vice provost for Equal Opportunity and Employment Diversity, Equal Opportunity Office.

The policy recognizes that “sex discrimination, on or off campus, can have a serious impact on the quality of the educational and/or work experience.” Therefore, the policy applies to behavior occurring on main campus, at other WWU locations (for example Lakewood and satellite locations), as well as at non-Western venues where the conduct has the potential to create a hostile learning or working environment at Western.

All members of the University community are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the revised policy, which is available online.

Thursday, October 9, 2014 - 8:49am