Harassment

Southwestern is committed to providing an education and work environment that is free of discrimination. Demeaning actions or comments based on an individual’s gender, race, national origin, age, religion, disability or any other legally-protected characteristic will not be tolerated. Employees, students or other individuals who feel aggrieved because of conduct that may constitute sexual harassment should immediately inform the person engaging in such actions that the conduct is offensive and must stop.

Sexual harassment occurs when:

A. submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or academic standing.

B. submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions or academic decisions affecting such individual, or

C. such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance or creating an intimidating hostile or offensive working/academic environment.

Anyone who feels victimized by this behavior should notify their immediate supervisor and/or the Affirmative Action Officer in the Human Resources Office, Administration-101 or call (580) 774-3275 with specific written information concerning the matter.

Upon such notification the Affirmative Action Officer shall within two working days begin an investigation; said investigation shall be concluded and recommendation for actions made to the Executive Vice President within a timely manner. The Executive Vice President shall take action on the recommendation within three working days.

Note: SWOSU’s investigation is conducted independently of any action (or inaction) on the part of law enforcement and criminal justice authorities. Disciplinary sanctions for violation of this policy may include warnings, probation, suspension, termination of employment and/or expulsion.

Should the Affirmative Action Officer be named in the harassment charge and/or should the Vice President hold that the charged individual have such a relationship with the Affirmative Action Officer that a report could legitimately be contested on the grounds of bias, then an alternative investigator shall be appointed.

At every step of the procedure, confidentiality will be maintained to the extent possible to protect the individuals involved. Only individuals with a qualified “right-to-know” shall be informed of events. Employees or students failing to restrict confidential information or who knowingly provided false information will be subject to disciplinary action.

Sexual Harassment

It can be as subtle as a look or as blatant as rape. It can occur within or beyond the classroom and workplace. Although women are most often victims, both men and women can be sexually harassed. Verbal harassment may include jokes or humor about women, sex or sexual orientation. Sexual harassment will often occur in situations where one person has power over another, but it may also occur among peers.