Policy Number: C6.0

Policy Name: POLICY PROHIBITING DISCRIMINATION AND HARASSMENT

Scope: All members of the RIT Community shall comply with this Policy. This Policy is considered part of the conditions of employment, enrollment, or participation in RIT sponsored events or programs.

I. POLICY STATEMENT

The RIT community is committed to a diverse and dynamic learning, working, and living environment. It is committed to an environment which encourages, promotes and protects free inquiry and free expression. Members of the RIT community have the right to hold, express vigorously, defend and openly promote their ideas and opinions. The RIT Policy Prohibiting Discrimination and Harassment is not intended to restrict freedom of speech or any form of artistic or visual expression. The policy is also not intended to restrict discussion and debate in the classroom or academic forum. Protecting these values, however, does not include protecting acts of discrimination or harassment.

RIT will not discriminate in terms and conditions of employment, admission, and participation in programs or residential life. It prohibits discrimination and harassment on campus, or at any RIT activities off campus, by its administrators, faculty, staff, students and student organizations, and external organizations and individuals in their operations with RIT.

The initiation of an investigation of a potential violation of C6.0 precludes an individual from later requesting the use of policy C6.1 to investigate the same issue. In addition, once a C6.0 investigation is initiated, it must be fully investigated. Confidentiality will be maintained as described in the definition section of this policy.

Making an intentionally false charge of discrimination or harassment or retaliating against someone who has made a charge is as serious an offense as discrimination and harassment and is prohibited. Nothing in this policy relieves RIT of the obligation of adhering to federal, state, and local laws.

II. DEFINITIONS

Terms not defined elsewhere in this policy are defined below.

  1. Accused means any member of the RIT community alleged to have engaged in conduct in violation of this Policy.

  2. Business Day means Monday through Friday and does not include official RIT holidays.

  3. Complainant means any member of the RIT community alleging a violation of this Policy, RIT, or the individual against whom the alleged acts occurred.

  4. Discrimination means the treatment of an individual based on that individual's group, class, or category except where distinctions are bona fide or otherwise permitted or required by law.

  5. Group, class or category includes, but is not limited to, race, religion, age, citizenship, color, creed, culture, including deaf culture, actual or perceived disabilities, gender, marital status, ethnic or national origin, political affiliation or preference, military or veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or genetic predisposition.

  6. Harassment means abuse, threats, intimidation, assault, coercion and/or unwelcomed conduct based on that individual's group, class, or category by any means, including but not limited to, physical, verbal or signed communication, written, photographic or electronic means which has the purpose or effect of:

    1. unreasonably interfering with an employee's or student's work, academic performance or activities, residential life at RIT, or participation in RIT sponsored programs or events, or

    2. creating an intimidating, hostile or abusive environment for an employee or student at RIT or in RIT sponsored or supervised programs or events.
  1. Hostile Work Environment means a workplace situation where an employee cannot reasonably perform his/her work, due to unwelcomed conduct by members of the RIT community which is based on that individual's group, class, or category.

  2. Preponderance of the Evidence means more likely than not to have occurred. It is that amount of evidence which would allow a decision maker to conclude that an event probably happened as described.

  3. RIT Community means any individual authorized to be on the RIT campus including administrators, faculty, staff, students and student organizations, and external organizations and individuals in their operations with RIT.

  4. RIT Supervisor means any person in a position at RIT which requires him or her to supervise other individuals and to write performance evaluations on them, whether or not this Supervisor supervises any of the parties involved in an allegation of discrimination or harassment.

  5. Sex Discrimination means the treatment of an individual based on that individual's gender. Sex discrimination includes sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, and sexual violence.

  6. Sexual Harassment means a form of harassment based on unwelcomed conduct of a sexual nature which is made a condition of employment or academic status, or unreasonably interferes with the work or educational environment.

  7. Sexual Misconduct means any form of unwelcomed sexual contact. Unwelcomed sexual contact means against a person's wishes or without consent, including those instances in which the individual is unable to give consent because of unconsciousness, sleep, impairment, incapacitation, or intoxication due to alcohol or other drugs.

  8. Sexual Violence means any act of a sexual nature prohibited by applicable federal, state, or local laws including, but not limited to, rape, sexual abuse, sexual assault, sexual battery, and sexual coercion.

  9. Unwelcomed Conduct means conduct that is not initiated by the recipient or which is regarded as offensive to the recipient, without regard to the intent of the individual engaging in the conduct. Unwelcomed conduct can be persistent, pervasive, or severe and can include sexual misconduct or sexual violence and must be based upon an individual's group, class or category.

 

III. GENERAL PROVISIONS

 

  1. Prohibition. RIT does not discriminate and shall take reasonable steps to prevent Discrimination and Harassment, to prevent the recurrence of Discrimination and Harassment, and to remedy the discriminatory effects on members of the RIT Community, if appropriate. Except where distinctions are bona fide or otherwise permitted or required by law, the university prohibits Discrimination and/or Harassment as a basis for:

    1. making admissions or hiring decisions at RIT, or

    2. determining participation in programs at RIT or sponsored by RIT, or

    3. making decisions affecting the terms and conditions of an individual's employment or advancement, grade or academic standing, or access to any benefit or privilege at RIT, or

    4. administering disciplinary processes.

  2. Confidentiality. Confidentiality will be maintained consistent with a thorough investigation and resolution of any allegation of a violation of this Policy and in accordance with applicable federal, state, and local laws. It should be understood that in order to investigate an allegation of Discrimination or Harassment and in order to take action to resolve any wrongdoing or misunderstanding, it will be necessary to share information with a limited number of other people. Information concerning an allegation of Discrimination or Harassment will be shared only as necessary in order to resolve the situation successfully. Others who may be informed of some information about the allegation include people who are possible sources of information concerning the facts and RIT Supervisors. Following a determination in response to an allegation that this Policy was violated, the Complainant and the Accused shall be informed, in writing, of the outcome of the investigation. Should the Complainant or the Accused believe that proper procedures were not followed or if followed, were not fairly administered, he or she may grieve this process, consistent with the provisions of E24.0 or E30.0.

  3. Records of Allegations. Allegations of discrimination or harassment will be recorded in the Central, Confidential Employee Relations File for employees and in Student Conduct Files for students. The Central, Confidential Employee Relations Files are separate from the employees' personnel files. The Student Conduct Files are separate from the students' official records. The Student Conduct files are maintained in the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for those records, as specified in this Policy, which result when a student is the Accused. The Central Confidential Employee Relations files are maintained in the Office of the Assistant Vice President of Human Resources for those records, as specified in this Policy, which result when an employee is the Accused.

  4. Access to entries in the Student Conduct and Central, Confidential Employee Relations files will be controlled by the vice president for Student Affairs and the assistant vice president of Human Resources respectively.

  5. RIT Supervisors or vice presidents may request that the files be examined for entries regarding an individual student or employee when such information is relevant to the resolution of a pending case. Examination will be conducted by representatives from the Office of Student Conduct for students and by representatives from the department of Human Resources for employees.

  6. Individual students or employees may also request that the files be examined and that they be informed of any entries pertaining to themselves as an Accused, provided that the names, but not the existence of, Complainants be withheld if not previously disclosed to the Accused. Examination will be conducted by representatives from the Office of Student Conduct for students and by representatives from the department of Human Resources for employees.

  7. The records in the Student Conduct files and the Central Confidential Employee Relations files will be reviewed annually by the vice president for Student Affairs and the assistant vice president of Human Resources in accordance with the provisions of the RIT Records Management Policy (C22.0).

  8. Records of Violations. Violations of this Policy and any disciplinary sanctions imposed will be recorded in the official personnel file for employees or in the student’s record if the person is found to have violated this Policy.

  9. Notes. Individuals involved in investigation may take notes of meetings, actions, or any other aspect of the process. These notes may be requested as evidence by either party and because they are RIT Records, they shall be maintained in accordance with the Records Management Policy (C22.0).

  10. Filing Complaints. Any member of the RIT Community may file a complaint alleging a violation of this Policy based on group, class or category. Complaints may be made, in person or in writing, to the RIT Human Resources Department, Office of Legal Affairs, Office of the Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion, RIT's chief risk and compliance officer, RIT's Public Safety Department, the RIT president, any RIT vice president, or any RIT Supervisor; members of the RIT Community alleging issues based on gender are also encouraged to bring complaints to the Title IX Coordinator and/or Deputy Title IX Coordinators. (See, Contact Information, section E below). Once a complaint is filed, an investigation will be initiated.

  11. Retaliation. The university prohibits retaliation against any member of the RIT Community because they have filed a complaint alleging a violation of this Policy, have participated in the processes described in this Policy, or opposed any practice in violation of this Policy or applicable federal, state, or local laws. Complaints alleging retaliation shall utilize the same procedures for filing complaints alleging violations of this Policy.

IV. PROCEDURES

  1. RIT Students

    1. Any RIT student accusing a non-RIT student of violating this Policy shall be subject to the procedures set forth in this section.

    2. Any RIT student accusing another RIT student of violating this Policy shall be subject to the procedures set forth in the RIT Student Conduct Process (D18.0.

    3. Any RIT student accused of violating this Policy, by any member of the RIT Community, shall be subject to the procedures set forth in the RIT Student Conduct Process (D18.0).

  2. All Other RIT Community Members

    1. The Office of Human Resources is required by law to perform an investigation for all cases of alleged violation of this Policy.

    2. The investigation shall be prompt, adequate, reliable and impartial. It may be utilized whenever violations of this Policy are alleged by or against any member of the RIT community.

    3. A representative from Human Resources shall commence his/her investigation within five (5) Business Days after receipt of the request for an investigation. The investigation shall be concluded within ninety (90) Business Days of the receipt of a request for an investigation. This time frame may be expanded based on the facts and circumstances of the specific investigation only with the approval of the assistant vice president, Human Resources.

    4. A representative from Human Resources shall review appropriate documentation and interview those individuals believed to have actual knowledge of facts and circumstances relevant to the violation alleged. The documentation reviewed and individuals interviewed shall be within the sole discretion of the representative from Human Resources tasked with the investigation.

    5. A representative from Human Resources shall evaluate and resolve allegations of violations covered by the Discrimination and Harassment Policy using a Preponderance of the Evidence standard.

    6. Upon conclusion of the investigation, the Complainant and the Accused shall receive written notice of the outcome of the investigation. In cases where an investigation determines that a violation of this Policy has occurred, the written notice provided to the Complainant shall include the outcome of the investigation but not any specific disciplinary action that may have been recommended.

    7. Within five (5) Business Days of receipt of the written notice of the outcome of the investigation, the Complainant or the Accused may grieve the process in accordance with the provisions of RIT's Staff Grievance Procedure (E30.0) or RIT's Faculty Grievance Procedure (E24.0).

  3. Appropriate Action. Complaints investigated in accordance with the provisions of this Policy may be subject to appropriate action, including, but not limited to, notations in personnel files, written reprimands, final written warnings, imposition of training or counseling requirements, suspensions with or without pay, or dismissal.

    1. All members of the RIT Community are subject to appropriate action for violations of this Policy.

    2. The university shall consider the severity and pervasiveness of the violation when determining the appropriate action to be taken. The determination of an appropriate action shall be the responsibility of the vice president of the division in which the Accused is employed, in consultation with the assistant vice president, Human Resources.

    3. The dismissal of a tenure-track or non-tenure-track faculty member before the expiration of an appointment is not an appropriate action under this Policy and shall only occur in accordance with the Dismissal of a Faculty Member for Cause policy (E23.0). If there is a grievance related to this Policy, the grievance process must conclude before the dismissal for cause process commences.

    4. In the event of a factual finding that the RIT Policy Prohibiting Discrimination and Harassment has been violated by a tenure-track or a non-tenure-track faculty member, and a dismissal for cause proceeding is commenced, the appropriate Dismissal Review Committee shall accept the factual finding made pursuant to this Policy and shall limit their consideration to whether or not the conduct found to have occurred merits dismissal.

    5. The dismissal of a staff member can occur directly as an appropriate action under this Policy.

  4. Resources

    RIT's primary concern is with the health, safety, and well-being of its faculty, staff, and students.  If any member of the RIT Community has, or is aware of someone who has, experienced any form of gender based discrimination or sexual harassment, they are urged to seek immediate assistance.  Assistance can be obtained from:

RIT Counseling Center
475-2261 (V)
475-6897 (TTY)
http://www.rit.edu/studentaffairs/counseling/

RIT Public Safety (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
475-2853 (V) or 475-6654 (TTY)
http://finweb.rit.edu/publicsafety/

The Center for Women and Gender/CARES Program (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
475-7464 (V/TTY)
http://www.rit.edu/studentaffairs/womenandgender/

RIT Center for Student Conduct
475-5662 (V/TTY)
http://www.rit.edu/studentaffairs/studentconduct/

RIT Human Resources
475-2424 (V/TTY)
http://finweb.rit.edu/humanresources/

RIT Advocacy Program
475-7668 (V/TTY)
http://www.rit.edu/studentaffairs/studentconduct/advocacy.php

Office of Diversity and Inclusion

475-6546

http://www.rit.edu/diversity/diversity-inclusion

 

The Ombuds office

475-7200

http://www.rit.edu/ombuds/


Generally, the resources identified above will maintain confidentiality consistent with this policy and in accordance with applicable federal, state, and local laws. More information relating to confidentiality can be found in Policy C6.1, at the resources' website or by calling the resource directly. 

In addition to the RIT resources identified above, the below government agencies may provide additional resources for anyone dealing with or wishing to file a complaint of gender based discrimination or harassment:

Monroe County Sheriff’s Department (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)

585-753-4178

http://www.monroecounty.gov/sheriff-community


Alternatives for Battered Women

24-Hour Hotline

585-232-7353 l TTY 585-232-1741

www.abwrochester.org

Advocacy Services for Deaf Abused Victims

(Hotline) ASADVhope@gmail.com

585-232-2854 TTY/FAX

www.asadv.org

 

Lifeline

585-275-5151

http://www2.monroecounty.gov/mh-emergency-resources

 

United States Department of Education Office of Civil Rights
http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/howto.html

 

  1. Contact Information

    The following individuals have been designated by RIT to accept Title IX complaints and ensure that these Complaints are forwarded to the appropriate departments for investigation.

 

Judy Bender

Title IX Coordinator
2 Lomb Memorial Drive
Eastman Building, Suite 5000

Rochester, NY 14623
585-475-4315

jebpsn@rit.edu

Sandra Woodruff Whitmore
Deputy Title IX Coordinator
2 Lomb Memorial Drive
Eastman Building, Suite 1120

Rochester, NY 14623
585-475-5453
swwpro@rit.edu

 

Donna Rubin
Deputy Title IX Coordinator
117 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, NY 14623
585-475-6402
donna.rubin@rit.edu

 

Lex Sleeman
Deputy Title IX Coordinator
113 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, NY 14623
585-475-7372
atsped@rit.edu

 

Dawn Soufleris
Deputy Title IX Coordinator
44 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, NY 14623
585-475-2574
dawn.soufleris@rit.edu

 

Susan Provenzano

Deputy Title IX Coordinator

2109 George Eastman Hall
12 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, NY 14623
(585)475-5572
stp1031@rit.edu

 

Linda Bryant

Deputy Title IX Coordinator
52 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, NY 14623
(585)475-6597
LMBNCA@rit.edu


Responsible Party: Human Resources Department and Office of Legal Affairs

Effective Date: October 15, 1997

Policy History
2002-2003 Edited to reflect department name changes
Edited May 13, 2009
Edited August 2010
Edited October 2010
Revised August 2012
Edited October 2013
Edited March 2014