The University of Cincinnati is committed to a professional and academic environment free of illegal discrimination. Illegal discrimination, including sexual harassment will not be tolerated. It is the responsibility of the university administration, faculty, staff, and students to ensure an environment free of harassment and discrimination.
The policy of the University of Cincinnati prohibits members of the university community from engaging in conduct that may constitute sexual harassment. The university community includes: management personnel; staff members; faculty members; students; and customers, vendors, or contractors associated with the university. Anyone who violates this policy is subject to disciplinary action, which may include suspension or termination.
If you learn of an unreported felony (including sexual violence), Ohio law requires you to report it to the police.
If you learn of a felony against a university employee or student, report it to the university’s Office of Public Safety. If you know about a suspected crime and you aren’t sure what to do, contact the university’s Office of General Counsel at 513-556-3483.
Sexual harassment refers to behavior on the basis of sex, is not welcome, is personally offensive, debilitates morale, and/or interferes with the work or academic effectiveness of its victims. It is a form sex discrimination covered under Title VII, the 1964 Act, which prohibits sex discrimination in employment; and Title IX, the 1972 Education Amendments, which prohibits sex discrimination against students and employees in educational institutions.
Sexual harassment may be an issue of power. It reflects a need to enhance one's self esteem by exercising power over others. Both men and women in positions of power can be guilty of harassment. In the academic community, power relationships can exist between professor and student.
Often differences in the ways professors treat male vs. female students may seem so "normal" that the particular behaviors go unnoticed. Nevertheless, taken cumulatively, behaviors which overlook or single out students because of their sex can leave many feeling less confident about their abilities, their places in the university community, and/or their potential for academic success. Besides undermining confidence, such behaviors can have a negative impact on academic development. by discouraging participation, minimizing individual learning relationships crucial for future professional development, and dampening career aspirations.
The solution to the problem of sexual harassment requires changes in the everyday behaviors, some of which are inadequate and/or subconscious. Though it may be difficult, change is possible.
Consensual romantic and sexual relationships between a university administrator or supervisor and subordinate employee, and between a faculty member and a student are strongly discouraged. Such relationships may raise issues of forced consent, and not contribute to the pursuit of academic endeavors and the application of fair employment practices for all employees.
Sexual harassment can vary depending upon the circumstances. The following examples may constitute sexual harassment.
Students who believe they have been the victims of discrimination, including sexual or other discriminatory harassment, should promptly report the incident or behavior to one of the persons designated to receive such complaints.