Harassment, Sexual Harassment and Stalking Policy

The IIRP is committed to providing a campus community in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity and that is free from all forms of discrimination and conduct that can be considered harassing, coercive or disruptive. Gender discrimination and sexual harassment within the community is unlawful, as is harassment based upon race, color, religion, national origin, disability, age or membership in any other protected group. It is also unlawful to retaliate against a member of the campus community for filing a complaint of harassment or other inappropriate conduct, or for cooperating in an investigation of harassment under this policy. Examples of retaliation include, but are not limited to, the accused or others making physical threats, engaging in verbal harassment and sending intimidating messages – including electronic messages and phone messages.

The institution will not tolerate harassment of or retaliation against its employees, students or any other members of the campus community by anyone, including other members of the community. Furthermore, the institution will also attempt to protect its community members from harassment by other individuals who may be encountered within the community, such as vendors, customers, service employees, etc.

Any person who feels they have been harassed or retaliated against as a result of a report under this policy should contact the Vice President for Administration immediately.

The policy prohibiting harassment and retaliation applies to all members of the community, which for purposes of this policy includes, but is not limited to, employees, students, independent contractors, consultants, leased employees, visitors and others working at the IIRP’s premises or with IIRP employees or students. The scope of this policy includes, but is not limited to, all settings in which members of the campus community may find themselves in connection with their employment, education or other institutionally related activities, such as off-site meetings, conferences, social events, etc., including time spent traveling and socializing on the way to and from, and while at, such events. It also extends to other interactions between or among members of the campus community to the extent that a community member’s right to a campus community free from harassment or other inappropriate conduct is involved.

The Vice President for Administration or his or her designee is responsible for overseeing the implementation of this policy in the case of administrators, support staff and students. In the case of faculty, the President will provide oversight.

In all cases the IIRP, its staff, faculty and administration will respond quickly, respectfully and with appropriate support for victims of harassment.

Harassment

The institution will not tolerate harassment of any community member based upon membership in a protected class by any other member of the community or other individuals with whom community members interact in connection with their employment, education or other institutionally related activities.

Harassment consists of unwelcome conduct, whether verbal, physical or visual, that is based on a person’s protected status, such as race, color, gender, national origin, religion, disability, age or any other basis prohibited by federal, state or local law and which has the effect of interfering unreasonably with another’s work or academic performance, or creating an intimidating, offensive or hostile environment. A hostile environment is one that is permeated with discriminatory intimidation, ridicule, offensiveness or insult that is sufficiently severe or pervasive to interfere with an individual’s academic or work performance.

Harassing conduct includes, but is not limited to: slurs; negative stereotyping; ethnic jokes; offensive written or graphic material; display of offensive objects; stalking or cyberstalking; threatening, intimidating or antagonistic acts that denigrate or show hostility or aversion toward an individual or group because of membership in a protected group. This applies not only to actions that occur in-person, but also to conduct that is perpetrated via phone, email, text messages, social media, websites and by any other means or method of any kind.

Note that conduct as described above may not be sufficiently severe or pervasive to constitute harassment in the legal sense. However, the institution considers any conduct of this nature to be inappropriate within the campus community, and complaints concerning such conduct should be brought to the institution’s attention as set forth below.

In addition to harassment on the basis of legally protected status, the IIRP prohibits harassment on any basis, which the institution defines to include persistent, severe, pervasive, unwelcome or inappropriate conduct that actually or potentially interferes with a student’s ability to work or learn. The institution reserves the right to take disciplinary action based on such conduct whether or not it meets the legal standards of discrimination or harassment.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment falls under the category of sexual violence. It is a form of sexual discrimination and is illegal. Sexual harassment can occur between people of the same gender or different genders and is prohibited, regardless of the sexual orientation and gender identity of the people involved. Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome or unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal, physical or visual conduct of a sexual nature when: submission to such conduct is made, explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of a community member’s employment, education or other participation in the community; submission to or rejection of such conduct by a community member is used as the basis for decisions affecting the community member’s employment, education or other participation in the community; or such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonable interference with a community member’s work or academic performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive working or academic environment.

It is not possible to list all the circumstances that may constitute sexual harassment. However, the following are examples of conduct that, if unwelcome, may constitute sexual harassment, depending upon the totality of the circumstances, including the severity of the conduct and its frequency or pervasiveness.

  • Unwelcome sexual advances or propositions (whether or not they involve unwelcome physical touching).
  • Explicitly or implicitly conditioning any terms of employment or education (e.g., continued employment, wages, evaluation, advancement, assigned duties, grades) on the provision of sexual favors.
  • Inquiries into another’s sexual experience, discussions of one’s sexual activities, comments on an individual’s body or comments about an individual’s sexual activity, deficiencies or prowess.
  • Sexual innuendo, sexually suggestive comments or use of sexually explicit or vulgar language.
  • Sexually oriented teasing or practical jokes; “humor” about gender-specific traits.
  • Suggestive body language or gestures.
  • Display or transmission of sexually suggestive objects, pictures, posters, cartoons or other printed or visual material.
  • Leering, whistling or physical contact such as unwelcome touching, patting, pinching or brushing against another’s body.
  • Continued requests to socialize, on or off duty, on or off campus, when a community member has indicated he or she is not interested.
  • Continued writing of sexually suggestive physical or electronic messages, making phone calls or leaving phone messages when it is known or should be known that the recipient does not welcome them.
  • Derogatory or provocative remarks relating to an individual’s gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

The IIRP recognizes that sometimes in the conduct of courses and events there may be controversial or uncomfortable material presented that is appropriate in the context of the course or the event. The IIRP also reminds students that an isolated or stray remark or incident may be unwelcome but does not necessarily rise to the level of harassment or discrimination. It is, however, important to communicate that even stray remarks may be unwelcome and hurtful.

Stalking

Stalking is a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety or the safety of others, or to suffer emotional distress. Stalking or cyberstalking may include repeatedly following, harassing, threatening or intimidating someone, either in-person or by telephone, mail, electronic communication, social media or any other action, device or method. Stalking may or may not be sexual in nature.

Complaints of Harassment or Retaliation

Because the IIRP takes allegations of harassment, stalking and retaliation seriously, it will respond swiftly to complaints of such behavior. The Institute strongly encourages any member of the community who believes he or she has been the target of harassment or inappropriate conduct to report the incident promptly, verbally or in writing, to any faculty member or any administrator. In addition, every member of the community is strongly encouraged to report, in writing, any such conduct observed, no matter who the target. A timely report will enable the institution to respond rapidly in investigating the allegations and, where it is determined that harassment or inappropriate conduct has occurred, take the necessary steps to eliminate objectionable conduct or conditions and impose corrective action, where appropriate.

Should any community member believe that he or she is being harassed or subjected to inappropriate behavior, he or she may wish to notify the offender directly and immediately that the behavior is unwelcome and offensive and must stop. In many instances, such informal discussions successfully resolve the issue. However, if for any reason a community member does not wish to discuss the matter directly with the offender or if the discussion does not successfully end the behavior, it is the community member’s duty to report the conduct immediately. The institution is committed to taking action if it learns of potential harassment or inappropriate conduct. The institution may be required by law to take such action, even if the aggrieved party does not wish to file a formal complaint.

All administration and faculty are prepared to deal with reports of harassment. All complaints must be reported to the Vice President for Administration, either directly by the complainant or through a member of the IIRP staff or faculty to whom the complainant reports the conduct. If the accused is the Vice President for Administration, then the report will be made to the President.

Consistent with its name and mission, ideally concerns would first be addressed informally, through informal discussions or a restorative circle. If a solution is reached it should be put in writing, signed and dated by both parties, and copied to the Vice President for Administration. However, persons choosing not to do so should report the incident in writing to the Vice President for Administration.

Investigation

A complaint of harassment will be investigated promptly and fairly. To the extent practicable, care will be taken to protect the identity of all parties to the complaint, consistent with a thorough and appropriate investigation.

Investigation will be completed as quickly as is practicable and will include private interviews with the person reporting the incident, any witnesses and the person alleged to have engaged in the harassment or inappropriate conduct. Should any individual responsible for any task related to the investigation process have a conflict of interest, that person will be replaced by a neutral party. It is vital for all parties to the investigation to refrain from discussing any and all aspects of it, on or off campus. If the investigation determines that harassment or inappropriate conduct has occurred, the institution will act promptly to eliminate the offending conduct and impose corrective action where appropriate.

The person who filed the complaint and the person alleged to have committed the offense will be informed at the same time of the results of the investigation. However, the complainant may not be informed of the specifics of any disciplinary action imposed upon the perpetrator to the extent that this might invade his or her privacy.

False statements made by any party in connection with a complaint of harassment or inappropriate conduct or during an investigation will constitute the occasion for appropriate corrective action, up to and including termination of the person’s relationship with the institution.

Corrective Action

The person who filed the complaint and the person alleged to have committed the offense, consistent with the philosophy of restorative practices, will be offered the opportunity to participate in a restorative process before any decisions are made. This is especially appropriate if the offender has admitted to the offense. Participation by either party is strictly voluntary. If either party refuses participation before a decision, all parties will be informed of the decision when it is made and again offered the opportunity to participate in a restorative conference. Should the complainant or offender refuse, there may still be a restorative process for the benefit of either party and others affected by the offense.

If it is determined that harassment or inappropriate conduct has occurred, corrective action may range from a written warning and disciplinary probation to expulsion and may include such other forms of corrective action as the institution deems appropriate.

This is a general statement of policy and no more. While this policy sets forth institutional goals of promoting a community free of harassment and other inappropriate conduct, it is not intended to limit the institution’s authority to discipline or take remedial action for conduct it deems unacceptable. It does not constitute a term or provision of any contract of employment or implied contract of employment between the IIRP and an individual employee, nor does it create contractual obligations on behalf of the institution to any person. Likewise, it does not constitute a guarantee of continued student status to any person or otherwise create any obligation on the part of the institution.