1.6 PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT
- 1.6.1 Statement on Harassment
- 1.6.2 Academic Professionalism / Faculty-Student Relationships
- 1.6.3 Sexual Harassment
- 1.6.4 Substance Abuse / Drug-Free Workplace
(Based on Race, Sex, Sexual Orientation, Age, Handicap, Religion, National Origin) (See sections 1.6.3 and 2.6.0.) (approved December 1990)
The College seeks to protect and preserve the dignity and integrity of all its members. In seeking to make real the promise of equal opportunity and racial diversity, Kenyon faces the need to make absolutely clear its commitment to a community of mutual respect for difference, of racial understanding and tolerance and, concomitantly, its absolute rejection of racial bigotry and persecution. The following statement is universal; it covers a wide array of forms of group-based discriminatory harassment, because that which makes racial harassment wrong makes all such harassment wrong. The particular concern which has brought forth this statement is racial harassment.
B. Statement of Principle
All members of the Kenyon College community, whether students or employees, incur special responsibilities. The objectives of the College include the discovery of new knowledge, the communication of knowledge through education, and the creation and sustenance of a community of scholars and students. By accepting membership in this community, students and employees assume a responsibility for and a commitment to free expression, free inquiry, honesty, tolerance, and respect for the rights and dignity of others.
Students, in particular, come to Kenyon to study the liberal arts. These treat in various ways what it is to be human as such. As a consequence, Kenyon students live under an expectation which goes beyond even the ordinary expectations of civil life to seek out and recognize the common humanity of those they meet and deal with. This entails the responsibility of learning what others understand to be slurs against groups which implicitly deny their members the status of common humanity, so that they do not offend in ignorance. It entails as well the responsibility of educating others in a courteous spirit about what is offensive so that they do not offend in ignorance. It entails furthermore the responsibility of engaging in mutual and respectful discussion and education. These expectations of sensitivity are enforced in general by praise and blame.
Harassment, however, as properly defined below, is a very serious offense which 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. It is unacceptable under any circumstances and will not be tolerated. 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 the Student Affairs Center, to their immediate supervisor, or to the Equal Opportunity Officer (EOO). A fair hearing will be held, as on other charges of social infractions. No member of this community should tolerate harassment.
C. Definition of Harassment
Speech or other expression constitutes harassment by personal vilification if it:
- is intended to insult or stigmatize an individual or an identifiable group of college-related individuals on the basis of their race, sex, age, handicap, religion, sexual orientation, or national and ethnic origin, and
- is addressed directly to (though not necessarily in the presence of) the individuals whom it insults or stigmatizes, and
- makes use of words or non-verbal symbols that convey hatred or contempt for human beings on the basis of their race, sex, age, handicap, religion, sexual orientation, or national and ethnic origin.
Harassment may also be constituted by non-verbal acts which would also be punishable as, for example, vandalism, physical assault, or destruction of property. Other examples of harassment include epithets or "jokes" referring to an individual's group-based attributes; placement of offensive written or visual material on another's living quarters or work area; offensive messages sent through electronic mail; undesired physical contact, physical violence or threat of same.
D. Explanatory Notes
- For verbal utterances to be punishable as harassment they must fall under the precise definition stated above. They must be directed at an individual or an identifiable group of college-related individuals, (for example, the Black Student Union), must be uttered with an intent to insult or stigmatize, and must not be protected under any of the exempt categories which are listed and described below. For example, however lamentable, the telling of racist jokes is not harassment unless directed at a member of the scorned group for the purpose of insulting or stigmatizing that person by his or her group membership. Similarly, group libel (e.g., "all Jews are thieves"), however revolting, is not harassment by this definition if it is not directed at particular individuals or an identifiable group of college-related individuals.
- The intention, design, or reason of the person charged with violating this policy may be inferred from that person's contemporaneous conduct or statements, before, during, and after the conduct or expression which is the subject of a complaint or grievance, including any racial, sexist, or similarly offensive slurs or epithets, and by the totality of the facts, circumstances, and conduct surrounding the subject conduct or expression. While the mere fact that some particular thing was uttered does not determine intention, prior knowledge that an expression or action is offensive is an indication of intent.
- Because harassment can take the form of speech, it is therefore necessary to distinguish such forms clearly from the protected speech which is vital to the intellectual enterprise of the College. Thus:
- Speech which conveys reasoned opinion, principled conviction, or speculation is not harassment. For example, the assertions that "all whites are racist" or "affirmative action is wrong," or "Christians are fools to believe in a nonexistent God, " are not harassment. Of course, the mere claim of engagement in reasoned opinion is not sufficient to lift the charge of harassment. For example, shouting racist insults under a dormitory window at night cannot disguise itself as "reasoned opinion." However, debates, discussions, arguments, however lively, do not give grounds for harassment charges.
- Political commentary and satire are not harassment. For example, satirical comments about "denim day" are not harassment. Putting a Confederate flag on one's own door would also not be harassment, however insensitive it might be deemed by many. Again, the mere claim of political commentary or satire cannot excuse what is really harassment.
- Speech which occurs in the ordinary course of classroom discussion and teaching is especially sacrosanct. That is, any opinion, including that of Hitler, for example, has to be allowed for discussion and even advocacy in the classroom. An outburst of racial invective directed against a particular student or students, and unrelated to the academic content of the class, might however be deemed harassment.
(approved May 1989)
The faculty/student relationship, however warm or collegial, inherently involves disproportionate power and influence on one side and is thus liable to abuse. A sexual or dating relationship between a faculty member and a student not only exploits this imbalance but also distorts and inhibits the learning environment. For these reasons it is the consensus of the Kenyon College community that sexual and dating relationships between Kenyon College faculty and Kenyon College students are unacceptable and constitute personal and professional misconduct.
(amended May 1998) (See sections 1.6.1 and 2.6.0.)
Kenyon College is committed to providing its students, faculty, and staff a community and place of study and work which is free of sexual harassment and all forms of sexual intimidation and exploitation. The following "Definition and Examples of Sexual Harassment" is adopted from the Kenyon College Student Handbook in uniformity with current government recommendations and legal practice. It is subject to change in these contexts.
A. Definition and Examples of Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination and refers to a wide range of unwanted behaviors that have sexual implications. Sexual harassment is generally any use of privilege or power to impose sexually upon another, e.g., faculty-student or supervisor-employee relationship. It may include coercive behaviors which suggest that academic or employment reprisals will follow the refusal or granting of sexual favors. It also may include: repeated and unwanted invitations to date or to engage in sexual activity; stalking; unwanted letters or e-mail messages that have sexually explicit content; and unwanted jokes or comments about sex aimed at ridiculing or demeaning another individual. According to the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, sexual harassment exists when any of four conditions are met:
1) The conduct has either the purpose or effect of "substantially interfering" with a person's education or employment; OR
2) The conduct creates an "intimidating, hostile or offensive" educational or work environment; OR
3) Submission to the conduct is made a term or condition, either implicitly or explicitly, of obtaining education or employment; OR
4) Submission or rejection of the conduct is used as a factor in decisions affecting a person's education or employment.
It is important to note that incidents of sexual harassment may be against the law and in violation of Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972. The same government office has issued the following statement.
Sexual harassment in educational institutions is not simply inappropriate behavior, it is against the law. Sexual harassment of students [employees] is a violation of Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendment in that it constitutes differential treatment on the basis of sex. Title IX applies to any education program or activity that receives federal funds and protects both students and employees.
B. Sexual Misconduct Advisors
All members of the College, including students, faculty and staff, who think they have been subjected to sexual harassment are encouraged to contact a Sexual Misconduct Advisor. All conversations will be held in confidence; neither the College administration nor legal authorities will be notified without the permission of the complainant.
Sexual Misconduct Advisors are recruited by the Kenyon College EOO and are specifically trained to assist persons who need support or who need clarification regarding sexual harassment issues.
The Misconduct Advisors will listen actively to the person's concerns and be available to discuss all forms of sexual harassment with anyone concerned, including the persons offended, the person accused, and concerned associates and friends. Sexual Misconduct Advisors offer support to the persons involved by:
1) Listening to the person's concerns.
2) Addressing the need for assistance sought.
3) Exploring alternatives that might enable the person to resolve the problem or difficulty by herself or himself.
4) Advising the person about the relevant mediation and adjudication procedures of the preparation of a complaint.
5) Informing the person about other options, including reporting the case to civil authorities. Lists with the names and office and home telephone numbers of the Sexual Misconduct Advisors are widely published on campus and may obtained from any Dean or other official of the College.
C. Sexual Harassment Incident Reports
Sexual Misconduct Advisors do not keep any personal record or documentary evidence associated with incidents about which they have been consulted. However, they do submit Sexual Misconduct Incident Reports to the EOO. These reports do not contain any information that might lead to the identification of the parties involved in the incident. The EOO collects these reports for statistical purposes only and publishes an annual summary to the College community indicating the general types of incidents reported and their results.
(effective April 1989)
Kenyon College is committed to a drug-free school and work environment for its students and employees. Furthermore, Kenyon College is committed to and supports the applicable laws governing the use of alcohol and illicit drugs.
A. Standards of Conduct
The manufacture, possession, use, distribution, sale, purchase, or transfer of, or being under the influence of, alcohol or illegal drugs is strictly prohibited while on Kenyon premises or while performing College business. The use of alcohol when authorized by the College for approved College functions is not prohibited. For purposes of this policy the term "drug" shall include any illicit drug, controlled substance, intoxicating substance, inhalant, counterfeit substance, look-alike substance, marijuana, cannabis, opiate, hallucinogen, narcotic, or other unlawful drug for purposes of federal or state law, including but not necessarily limited to the Drug-Free Workplace Act and the Drug-Free Schools and Community Act.
The use of alcohol by an employee while on College-owned or College-controlled grounds or as a part of a Kenyon College activity, including meal periods and breaks, is prohibited except when authorized by the College for approved College functions. No employee shall report to work while under the influence of illicit drugs or alcohol.
With regard to the consumption of alcohol by students, it is the College's intention that its policies comply with state and local laws governing the use, distribution, and consumption of alcohol. For example, state law prohibits: 1) persons under twenty-one from buying, being furnished with, and consuming alcoholic beverages or possessing them in a public place, with limited exceptions; 2) the misrepresentation of age or falsification of identification cards or use of another person's identification; and 3) the opening or consumption of alcoholic beverages in a moving vehicle. The College recognizes that some of its students are twenty-one or older and therefore are permitted to consume alcohol under state law. In order to regulate the availability, furnishing, and consumption of alcohol by those students who are twenty-one or older, the College has promulgated specific rules and regulations regarding the limitations and restrictions about drinking on College-owned or College -controlled property or as a part of any College off-campus activity. These regulations are set forth more specifically in the Student Handbook, which is distributed annually to each student.
Off-the-job illegal drug use which could adversely affect an employee's job performance or which could jeopardize the safety of other employees, the public, or College facilities, or where such usage could jeopardize the security of College finances or business records, or where such usage adversely affects students, customers, or the public's trust in the ability of the College to carry out its responsibilities, will not be tolerated. Employees who are involved in or suspected of involvement in off-the-job drug activity will be considered in violation of this policy.
B. Applicable Legal Sanctions
For both students and employees, federal, state, and local laws provide a variety of penalties for the unlawful possession or distribution (i.e., trafficking) of illicit drugs or alcohol.
C. Counseling/Treatment Program Availability
Kenyon College recognizes that alcoholism / drug abuse is a form of illness that is treatable in nature. The College shall not discriminate against employees based on the nature of their illness. No employees shall have their job security threatened by their seeking assistance for a substance-abuse problem. The same consideration for referral and treatment that is afforded to other employees having non-drug / alcohol related illnesses shall extend to them.
- Every effort shall be made to provide an early identification of a substance abuser, to work with and assist the employee in seeking and obtaining treatment without undue delay.
- Early identification of the substance abuser shall be based upon job performance and related criteria, as well as resulting impairment on the job from the job activities. The supervisor of the employee shall bring such information to the attention of the designated representative for further evaluation. An employee who voluntarily seeks treatment for a substance-abuse problem which requires a leave of absence for treatment shall be granted such leave of absence and further shall be eligible for benefits under the specifications of the existing paid and unpaid leave and insurance policies.
D. Sanctions for Violation of Standards of Conduct
Nothing in this policy is construed to prohibit the College from its responsibility to maintain a safe and secure work environment for its employees or from invoking such disciplinary actions as may be deemed appropriate for actions of misconduct by virtue of their having arisen out of the use or abuse of alcohol or drugs or both. Depending on the nature and seriousness of the infraction, an employee may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal and may be further required to participate in and/or successfully complete a drug or alcohol evaluation, assistance, or rehabilitation program in conjunction with such discipline or otherwise. Depending on the nature of the violation, the authorities may be contacted for criminal prosecution.
Any Kenyon College student determined to have violated the standards of conduct applicable to students will be subject to disciplinary action. Penalties may include suspension or expulsion. Depending on the nature and seriousness of the infraction, the authorities may be contacted for criminal prosecution. Students also may be required to participate in and/or successfully complete a drug or alcohol evaluation, assistance, or rehabilitation program in conjunction with such discipline or otherwise.
E. Program Review
In accordance with federal law, Kenyon College will conduct a biennial review of its drug and alcohol abuse prevention program to determine the program's effectiveness.
Through this program of providing the above information each year to each student and employee, the College is making a good-faith effort to implement an alcohol-drug program as required by the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act amendments of 1989 and the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988