It is the policy of Nyack College to prohibit sexual harassment of its employees and students in any form. In maintaining this policy the College seeks to assert basic Christian precepts, to affirm ethical standards universally accepted in the work place/community, and uphold existing laws. Any practice or behavior that constitutes sexual harassment will not be tolerated.
Sexual harassment is primarily a desire for a locus of control over the victim, intended to intimidate, coerce, embarrass, or degrade another person. Usually the aggressor has implied power over the victim such as a supervisor of an employee, faculty to student, or student to student. However, the roles could be reversed such that a student could attempt sexual harassment of faculty or staff. The result of this harassment is exploitation of power. In any form, such behavior undermines the atmosphere of trust and collegiality which Nyack College seeks to foster and is unacceptable.
While harassers may think that their words/actions are meaningless, the victim may be emotionally distraught or even internalize the events into physical symptoms. Emotive responses may include anger, embarrassment, fear, feeling intimidated, powerless, and degradation. Physical responses may include physical illnesses, withdrawing from social situations, drug and alcohol use to ease/lessen emotions and tension, and also distrust of previously trusted individuals. It is imperative that if you have been harassed, to contact the Department of Safety, Director of Human Resources, Health Services, Dean of Students, or your RD (if a student).
Definition of sexual harassment
Sexual harassment in the workplace/campus is prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Guidelines were issued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 1980 incorporating sexual harassment in the workplace as a violation of Title VII. Under Title IX of the Educational Amendments Act of 1972, as clarified by the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1988, gender may not be a basis for exclusion from participation, denial of benefits, or discrimination in any educational programs or activity.
The following conduct, as outlined in the Equal employment Opportunity Commission Sexual Discrimination Guidelines and state law, is illegal:
“Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when (1) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment, (2) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting an individual, (3) such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment.”
Examples of behavior that may constitute sexual harassment include (but not limited to) the following:
- subtle pressure for sexual activity
- unnecessary brushes or touches
- offensive sexual graffiti
- disparaging remarks about one’s gender
- physical aggression such as pinching and patting
- sexual innuendos
- verbal sexual abuse disguised as humor
- obscene gestures
- sexist remarks about a person’s clothing, body, or sexual activities.
Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when (1) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of a student’s employment or academic progress; (2) submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as a basis for academic or employment decisions affecting the student, or (3) such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with a student’s work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or academic environment is illegal and immoral.
Any student who believes that he/she has been the recipient of harassment is strongly encouraged to report the alleged occurrence(s) as soon as possible to a representative of the College with whom the student feels comfortable discussing the matter (e.g., Residence Hall Director, Advisor, Student Development Staff member, etc.). The representative will then contact the Dean of Students if the alleged harasser is a student. If the alleged harasser is an employee of the College or a vendor/contractor of the College, the representative will contact the academic head at the respective campus.
Every effort will be made to ensure confidentiality in dealing with the situation, although a strict confidentiality cannot be guaranteed. All allegations of sexual harassment will be taken seriously and thoroughly investigated, with appropriate support for and respect of the alleged victim. If it is determined that an intentionally false accusation of sexual harassment has been made, this too will be investigated thoroughly and treated seriously.
Counseling and other support services are available to any victim of sex offenses through the Counseling Services Department in Boon Campus Center on the Nyack Campus and numerous public and private agencies in Rockland County. Informational resources and materials may be obtained at the Campus Safety Office, Counseling Services Department and Health Services Department.
Any violation of this policy shall result in disciplinary action including, but not limited to, warning, reprimand, probation, suspension, expulsion or dismissal. Retaliation against an individual for bringing a sexual harassment complaint is prohibited by law and will lead to further disciplinary action. Nothing in this policy shall preclude a student from seeking redress through external legal proceedings.