Kenyon aspires to create an environment where the worth and dignity of every individual is recognized and where individuals’ unique experiences and backgrounds are respected. Respect for difference and equality of opportunity are values to which the College strongly adheres.
In today’s environment, Kenyon faces the need to make absolutely clear its commitment to a community of mutual respect for difference, of understanding and tolerance and, concomitantly, its absolute rejection of bigotry and persecution. The following statement is universal; it covers a wide array of forms of discriminatory harassment. Note however that discrimination and/or harassment on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or gender expression that is prohibited under the College’s Title IX and Intimate Partner Violence Policy will be handled pursuant to that policy.
The objectives of the College include the discovery of new knowledge, communication of knowledge through education, and the creation and sustenance of a community of scholars. All members of the Kenyon community, whether students or employees, incur additional civic responsibilities by choosing to belong to this community. By accepting membership in this community, students and employees not only retain a right to free expression and free inquiry, but also accept a responsibility for honesty, tolerance and respect for the rights and dignity of others.
Students, in particular, come to Kenyon to study the liberal arts. These address, in various ways, what it is to be human. As a consequence, Kenyon students live under an expectation to seek out and recognize the common humanity of those they meet and with whom they deal. This entails several responsibilities. First among these is the responsibility of engaging in mutual and respectful discussion and education. It also includes the responsibility of becoming aware of offensive language and ceasing to use it. It entails as well the responsibility of educating others in a courteous spirit about what is offensive so that fellow students do not offend in ignorance.
In the context of this expectation for behavior, harassment and discrimination will not be tolerated. Harassment is a very serious offense and can result in the imposition of severe disciplinary measures. Harassment, as defined below, is offensive to the principles of appropriate discourse and civil conduct. Indeed, it is a form of persecution which can cause extreme anguish and humiliation. An individual, whether student or employee, who engages in harassment may be made subject to the applicable student or employee grievance and disciplinary procedures. Students or employees who experience harassment, as defined below, should report this experience to a diversity advisor and discuss with this person strategies for responding. No member of this community should tolerate harassment.
Speech or other expression constitutes harassment if it:
Other examples of harassment include:
Approved by Campus Senate May 1990; last revised January 2011.
The College has two groups of advisors on campus who assist students and others with issues of discrimination. They are the diversity advisors and the sexual misconduct advisors. The sexual misconduct advisors assist with cases of sexual harassment and they are specifically trained to do so; the diversity advisors assist with cases of group-based discriminatory harassment. The Office of Diversity Equity and Inclusion recruits and directs the training of the diversity advisors, and the College Counseling Center recruits and directs the training of the sexual misconduct advisors. Any person who believes he or she is a victim of discriminatory harassment should consider bringing the situation to the attention of one of the advisors or to the civil rights/Title IX coordinator to explore options.
The responsibilities of the diversity advisors include:
A student who wishes to file a formal complaint needs to submit a written and signed complaint to the civil rights/Title IX coordinator. The civil rights/Title IX coordinator will refer the written and signed complaint to:
Ordinarily, no action or investigation can be undertaken unless the individual chooses to file a formal, written complaint. However, in serious cases such as those that appear to be criminal in nature, or that pose a serious physical or emotional threat to students or members of the administration, faculty or staff, or in cases of repeated allegations by the same individual, an advisor may request that an investigation be undertaken. The request will be submitted to the civil rights/Title IX coordinator, who in consultation with the president will refer it to the appropriate grievance committee or senior staff officer.
At the end of each academic year, the sexual misconduct and diversity advisors will provide the president with a written report of the number and nature of complaints of harassment that were made during the year. To ensure confidentiality, this report will not contain names of individuals involved or details that would enable identification of individuals.