Policy Against Discrimination & Harassment
It is the policy and commitment of Augustana College to provide an environment free from discrimination based upon race, color, religion, national origin, service in the uniformed service (as defined in state and federal law), veteran status, sex, age, political ideas, marital or family status, pregnancy, disability, genetic information, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, or any other classification protected by law in matters of admissions, employment, housing, or services or in the educational programs or activities operated by the College.
Harassment, whether verbal, physical, or visual, that is based on any of these characteristics is a form of discrimination. This includes harassing conduct that impacts job benefits, or interferes unreasonably with an individual’s academic or work performance, or creates what a reasonable person would perceive to be an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment. Prohibited sex discrimination includes sexual harassment and sexual violence (see Policy Against Sexual Misconduct and Title IX Sexual Harassment).
Some examples of what may be considered discrimination or harassment, depending on the facts and circumstances, include the following:
• Verbal behaviors: derogatory comments regarding a person’s race, color, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ancestry, ethnic heritage, mental or physical disability, age, appearance or other classification protected by law; threats of physical harm or distribution of written or graphic material having such effects. Derogatory gestures or the display of signs or pictures that may be offensive to others may also be examples of harassment.
• Physical behaviors: physical contact including touching, hitting, pushing or other aggressive contact.
• Sexual behaviors: unwelcome verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature such as sexual advances, demands for sexual favors or other unwelcome verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.
Conduct may be considered harassment if:
• Submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis of an academic or employment decision or is either an explicit or implicit term of employment or admission to any college program or college-related activity; or
• Such conduct is sufficiently serious (i.e., severe, pervasive, and/or persistent) and objectively offensive so as to deny or limit a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from the College’s programs, services, opportunities, or activities; or
• Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance.
It is expected that each and every member of the Augustana community will assist and support the College in its prohibition of discrimination and harassment. All employees of Augustana College are required to promptly report suspected violations of this Policy, even if the individual who was or is the victim has not filed a complaint. The report can be made to a supervisor, the Director of Human Resources, the Dean of Students Office, or in the case of sex discrimination, a Title IX Coordinator.
SCOPE OF POLICY
This Policy applies to all employees, including faculty, staff and administrators, of the College, as well as all students, guests and visitors of the Augustana community.
Sexual or other harassment can occur intentionally or unintentionally. A member of the Augustana community who feels harassed by an employee of the College, a student, guest or visitor or any other third-party (such as a supplier or vendor) should make this concern known by:
• If possible, telling the person who is engaging in the conduct or communication that their actions are offensive to you and that those actions must stop.
• If the offensive behavior does not stop, or if you are not comfortable communicating directly with the person, you should advise your manager, or any member of the Office of Human Resources, a Title IX Coordinator, the Dean of Students Office, or a member of the Residential Life staff of the offensive behavior. This can be done by meeting in person or in writing.
• Follow up a verbal complaint with a written report of the complaint. It is helpful for allegations of improper behavior to be put in writing to assure a clear understanding of the behaviors and the issues raised. The written report should contain as much specific information as possible.
• Please see the College’s Policy Against Sexual Misconduct and Title IX Sexual Harassment for additional options in reporting sex discrimination, including sexual and interpersonal misconduct.
All complaints of harassment or discrimination will be kept as confidential as possible. The College will promptly and thoroughly investigate alleged behavior that would constitute a violation of this Policy Against Discrimination and Harassment and will take steps necessary to stop behavior that violates this Policy. The investigation and grievance procedures may vary depending on the type of discrimination reported, the nature of the allegations reported and where they occurred, as well as the classification of the individual accused of a violation (i.e, student, employee or faculty member). If you feel that your complaint has not received appropriate attention, you should discuss your concern with the Director of Human Resources, a Title IX Coordinator, the Dean of Students Office, or the General Counsel of the College.
It is central to the values of Augustana College that any individual who believes they may have been the target of prohibited discrimination or harassment feel free to report their concerns without fear of retaliation or retribution. The College strictly prohibits retaliation against an employee or any other individual who opposes or reports in good faith any practices prohibited under this Policy, including bringing a complaint of discrimination or harassment, assisting someone with such a complaint, attempting to stop such discrimination or harassment, or participating in any manner in an investigation or resolution of a complaint of discrimination or harassment. Any individual who believes they have been subjected to or affected by retaliatory conduct for reporting a suspected violation of this Policy or participating in an investigation should report the concern immediately to the Director of Human Resources, the General Counsel, the Dean of Students Office or a Title IX Coordinator.