Sexual Harassment Policy

The Case Western Reserve Sexual Harassment Policy describes how the Office for Equity supports students, employees and other members of the CWRU community who have previously experienced or are experiencing sexual harassment and sexual violence. This support is equally extended to students and employees who may be the subject of rumors or reports that they committed sexual harassment or sexual violence on another person. The Office for Equity provides support and resources to those affected by sexual harassment or sexual violence, including being accused of that conduct, immediately upon being contacted by a student or employee, or other person, seeking assistance. The Sexual Harassment Policy covers student, employees, guests and visitors without regard to sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression or transgender status, or any other related identity. To obtain support or share about your experience to learn about your options, please complaint the form here

Support and resources are provided without any requirement that a student or employee, who is seeking support, participate in an investigation, share details about the experience that results in the need for support and/or resources, go to the police or take any other action that the person needing the support is not ready to or does not want to take. Some of the immediate supports available include, but not limited to:

o    No Contact Directives

o    Persona Non Grata (barring a person from a particular place, such as a residence hall or part of a residence hall, an office, a floor, or another building)

o    Alternative Work Arrangements (so someone feels safe or doesn’t come into contact with someone, or for other reasons)

o  Academic Accommodations (rescheduling exams, assignments, change in class schedule, or voluntary leave of absence) (neither sexual harassment nor sexual violence should negatively impact academic success; academic accommodations are designed to make sure a situation relating to the Sexual Harassment Policy doesn’t negatively impact a student’s academics)

o    Academic Support Services (Tutoring, etc)

o    Transportation arrangements (so someone feels safe, doesn’t come into contact with someone, or for other reasons); and/or

o    Living arrangement modifications (moving a student to a new residence, onto campus or off campus).

How do students and employees become eligible to obtain support from Equity? Equity will support students and employees in any way possible if a student answers “Yes” to this question:

The Office for Equity helps students who are experiencing discrimination and harassment, including sexual harassment and sexual violence. Do you need help because of any of these things?

No one is required to provide further information about their situation. Unfortunately, misperceptions persist about what happens when a student or other person connects with the Office for Equity. To be clear: 

·    The Office for Equity will NEVER require you to file a complaint about another student, employee or anyone else.

·       The Office for Equity will NEVER require you to provide the name of the student who hurt you or who is telling others on campus that you sexually harassed them or engaged in sexual violence towards them.

·        The Office for Equity will NEVER force you to go to the police.

·        The Office for Equity will NEVER require you to participate in an investigation.

Some people request support from the Office for Equity that includes an investigation. In some cases, an investigation is an important part of ensuring that a student or another person continues to have fair access to CWRU’s educational or employment programs and activities. For some people, an investigation is part of a person’s self-care or healing or is necessary for a person to be true that person’s selfview. To obtain support or to learn more about your options, please complete the form here

The Sexual Harassment Policy states that sexual harassment, including sexual violence, is unacceptable. Members of the CWRU community, guests and visitors have the right to be free from sexual harassment and sexual violence, including sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking. The Sexual Harassment Policy defines sexual harassment and sets out the procedures used to support persons affected by it, including investigating it.

The Sexual Harassment Policy applies to conduct that occurs in CWRU-related education programs and activities that occur on or off campus, or on property owned or controlled by CWRU, when a member of the CWRU community is impacted. Every member of the CWRU community who is affected by sexual harassment or sexual violence is entitled to support from the Office for Equity. As discussed in the Sexual Harassment Policy, investigations are conducted when the person accused of engaging in the sexual harassment or sexual violence is a member of the CWRU community.

Below is some information about the Sexual Harassment Policy

Title: Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedures for All Faculty, Students, Employees, and Third Parties
Effective date: August 22, 2023
Responsible Official: Senior Associate Vice President for Equity
Responsible University Office: Office of Equity
Revision History: 2014, 2016,2021. 2022 ,2023
Related legislation and University policies: Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972
Review Period: 5 Years
Date of Last Review: 2023
Relates to: All Faculty, Students, Employees, and Third Parties

Please read the Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedures for faculty, students, employees and third parties.

The Sexual Harassment Policy prohibits Retaliation

The Sexual Harassment Policy prohibits all forms of retaliation. Retaliation occurs when a person acts to intimidate, punish or out of a desire to cause another person to hesitate to assert the rights afforded to them to be free from sexual harassment and sexual violence, as described in the Sexual Harassment Policy. People who have reported experiencing sexual harassment or sexual violence, and people who are rumored or alleged to have engaged in that conduct may experience prohibited retaliation. Students, employees and others who complain about sexual harassment or sexual violence, share information about sexual harassment that impacted someone they know, support a person who is complaining about or being accused of sexual harassment, or participate in an investigation of sexual harassment or sexual violence are protected from retaliation. 

Anyone who believes they may be experiencing retaliation should contact the Office for Equity so that immediate action can be taken to stop the retaliation and protect the person who may be experiencing it. Information about possible retaliation is taken very seriously by the Office for Equity and promptly investigated. Otherwise, people would hesitate to seek assistance for sexual harassment or sexual violence.  

Power Relationships

Sexual relationships between students and faculty, or employees and supervisors, may or may not begin consensually, or not, and at times, become nonconsensual for one person in the relationship, before the other person recognizes how the situation has changed. For this reason, such relationships are strongly discouraged. CWRU maintains a process to ensure, as much as possible, that power dynamics relating to the different status of the individuals in the relationship, do not become abusive or coercive. Persons with questions about these kinds of relationships are encouraged to contact the Office for Equity.  See the Consensual Relationship Policy.

Laws Governing Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is prohibited in education and in the workplace by Ohio and federal law.