4.1 Nature of Prohibited Conduct

4.1.1 Definition of Harassment at Xavier University

  • For the purposes of this policy, harassment is the creation of a hostile or intimidating environment, in which conduct, because of its severity and/or persistence, is likely to interfere significantly with an individual's life by affecting the person physically or emotionally. Such harassment will not be tolerated.
  • Harassment can be uninvited or unwelcome verbal, physical or visual conduct. Harassing conduct is often, but not always, in reference to the individual's or a group of individuals' sex, gender identity, race, color, economic status, class, religion, culture, national origin, citizenship, veteran status, ethnicity, sexual orientation, position, age, handicap, or disability.
  • Verbal conduct may be either oral or written words, such as epithets. Physical conduct may include assault or battery, physically interfering with, blocking or impeding an individual's normal movement. Visual conduct may include drawings, pictures, cartoons or derogatory posters. (None of these descriptions is intended to describe all manners of the particular type of conduct.)
  • Examples of harassing conduct include, but are not limited to:
    • Any intentional, willful or malicious abuse, mocking, or disparaging of a person or persons so as to affect their educational performance or living or working environment at Xavier.
    • Actions or expressions that might cause or contribute to violent situations, or that create a clear and present danger of violent situations.
    • Phone calls, Instant Messenger sessions or other electronic communications that violate the Ohio Telecommunications Harassment Statute, O.R.C. §2917.21
    • Acts of violence, stalking, unwelcome physical touch, physical, verbal or written threats, and/or other inappropriate communications.
    • Incidents of Sex Discrimination, as defined below.
  • Individuals of any sex, sexual orientation, and/or gender identity may be the victim of and engage in harassment. The conduct alleged to constitute harassment under this policy is evaluated from the perspective of a reasonable person similarly situated to the Reporting Party and considering all the circumstances.

4.1.2 Duty to Report Harassment Not Sex Discrimination

  • To assist Xavier in preventing harassment, all members of the University Community are encouraged to report all incidents of harassment which they witness or which are known to them.
  • Any member of the University Community who witnesses harassment or is made aware of a harassment situation is encouraged to urge the Reporting Party to report the harassment situation to Xavier's Affirmative Action Officer for further advice or action.
  • Any member who has any knowledge of conduct that could be in violation of this policy is encouraged to report such information to the Affirmative Action Officer or another University official.
  • Vice presidents, deans, department chairs, administrators, managers, and supervisors of the University have a duty to report incidents of harassment as follows: (1) to promptly report to the Affirmative Action Officer any conduct he or she observes that he or she believes constitutes harassment in violation of this HCAP; and (2) to promptly inform the Affirmative Action Officer of any report of, complaint of, or request for assistance with a harassment situation. These duties may apply even when the intention is to resolve the situation through informal procedures.
  • The Affirmative Action Officer will promptly, upon the filing of a complaint alleging harassment by a Xavier student, report such filing and related information to the Dean of Students. The Affirmative Action Officer may report to the Dean of Students any other information regarding a potentially harassing situation involving a Xavier student, only with the consent of the person alleging the harassment.
  • Anyone who perceives an imminently dangerous situation should immediately report the situation to the Campus Police.

4.1.3 Confidentiality of Harassment Complaints

  • Nothing provided herein is intended to restrict the ability of any party from discussing or disclosing information to others or gathering evidence that is necessary within the parameters of preparation for and participation in the complaint resolution process. However, because of the sensitive and private nature of these matters, all persons involved any  aspect  of  an  allegation  of Sex Discrimination should respect the privacy of the parties involved and keep the matter confidential within the parameters of preparation for and participation in the complaint resolution process unless otherwise required by law. All communication by parties and witnesses should be respectful and comply with this HCAP. Information will only be disclosed to the extent required by law, and to the extent that such disclosure is necessary and permitted under this HCAP for the investigation and adjudication of any claim of Sex Discrimination. Failure of any individual to maintain these parameters may result in disciplinary action in accord with the applicable University policies and procedures.
  • Failure of any individual to maintain this confidentiality may result in disciplinary action in accord with the applicable University procedures (Student Handbook, Xavier University Faculty Handbook, or University's Policy and Procedures.)
  • Any Responding Party identified in a complaint that has been filed may, at his or her option, inform his or her supervisor or academic advisor that such a complaint has been filed.
  • See Section 4.4.1 Confidentiality of Sex Discrimination Reports for a full description of policies and procedures that apply when a complaint concerns these issues.
  • For reports concerning matters that do not involve Sex Discrimination, if a Reporting Party requests that their identity not be disclosed, the University representative shall honor the request to the extent it is possible so long as the informal resolution procedures apply. However, once formal procedures are pursued, the Reporting Party's identity must be disclosed to the Responding Party. In any event of disclosure of the Reporting Party's identity where the Reporting Party has sought anonymity, the Reporting Party shall be notified in advance of the disclosure.
  • A complaint alleging an intentional breach of confidentiality may be pursued using the steps followed for a complaint of harassment. Such a breach may also constitute an act of retaliation. A breach of confidentiality may be grounds to amend or void the outcome of any previously agreed-upon resolution to a complaint.