Return to General Information
Sexual harassment is illegal. It is a form of sex discrimination in violation of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Title IX of the Education Amendments Act if 1972 and the official policy of The City University of New York. The City University of New York issued a policy in 1982 which was revised and reissued in January 2005.
The policy prohibits sexual harassment of faculty, staff and students:
It is the policy of The City University of New York to promote a cooperative work and academic environment in which there exists mutual respect for all University students, faculty, and staff. Harassment of employees or students based upon sex is inconsistent with this objective and contrary to the University’s non-discrimination policy. Sexual harassment is illegal under Federal, State, and City laws, and will not be tolerated within the University.
The University, through its colleges, will disseminate this policy and take other steps to educate the University community about sexual harassment. The University will establish procedures to ensure that investigations of allegations of sexual harassment are conducted in a manner that is prompt, fair, thorough, and as confidential as possible under the circumstances, and that appropriate corrective and/or disciplinary action is taken as warranted by the circumstances when sexual harassment is determined to have occurred. Members of the University community who believe themselves to be aggrieved under this policy are strongly encouraged to report the allegations of sexual harassment as promptly as possible. Delay in making a complaint of sexual harassment may make it more difficult for the college to investigate the allegations.
A. Prohibited Conduct
It is a violation of University policy for any member of the University community to engage in sexual harassment or to retaliate against any member of the University community for raising an allegation of sexual harassment, for filing a complaint alleging sexual harassment, or for participating in any proceeding to determine if sexual harassment has occurred.
B. Definition of Sexual Harassment
For purposes of this policy, sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other oral or written communications or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
- submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or academic standing;
- submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for employment or academic decisions affecting such individual; or
- such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’ s work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or abusive work or academic environment.
Sexual harassment can occur between individuals of different sexes or of the same sex. Although sexual harassment most often exploits a relationship between individuals of unequal power (such as between faculty member and student, supervisor and employee, or tenured and untenured faculty members), it may also occur between individuals of equal power (such as between fellow students or co-workers), or in some circumstances even where it appears that the harasser has less power than the individual harassed (for example, a student sexually harassing a faculty member). A lack of intent to harass may be relevant to, but will not be determinative of, whether sexual harassment has occurred.
To implement CUNY’s policy, Hunter College has created a Sexual Harassment Awareness and Intake Committee. The Committee is responsible for reviewing all complaints of sexual harassment; and for making efforts to resolve those complaints informally, if possible. When informal resolution is not possible, the committee coordinator will fully investigate the complaint and report the results of the investigation to the college president (and dean of students, if the accused is a student).
Any student or other member of Hunter College may report allegations of sexual harassment to any member of the Sexual Harassment Awareness and Intake Committee. The names and contact information for the committee members are available in the coordinator’s office, departments and offices in the college and the college website. The complaint will be promptly investigated and will be handled as confidentially as possible. Retaliation against complainants is specifically prohibited. Students, faculty or staff who are found, following applicable disciplinary proceedings, to have violated the CUNY Policy Against Sexual Harassment are subject to various penalties, including termination of employment and permanent dismissal from the university.
The official policy and procedures can be found in every department of the college as well as on the college’s website. Additional on the Sexual Harassment Awareness and Intake Committee is available in the Coordinator’s office. The Committee Coordinator is:
Office of Diversity and Compliance, 1706 Hunter East Building
Phone: (212) 772-4242
Fax: (212) 772-4724