likely to be harassed?
you know if you are being harassed?
of sexual harassment
you do if you are being harassed?
campus can you get help?
Harassment: Related Policies
Harassment: The Laws
Buffalo Policy on Sexual Harassment
|What is sexual harassment?
|Any unwelcome sexual advances, requests for
sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitutes
sexual harassment when:
||Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or
implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment or academic
||Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual
is used as the basis for employment or academic decisions affecting such
||Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably
interfering with an individual's work or academic performance, or creating
an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment
|Who is likely to be harassed?
|Although harassment of men by women exists,
the over-whelming majority of students who encounter sex-related threats,
demands, humiliating and intimidating behavior are females. Sexual harassment
of any type is considered unacceptable at the State University of New York
|Who is the harasser?
|The sexual harasser is usually a person who
is in a position of authority; someone who could affect your academic or
employment status. He/she may be in a position to evaluate your performance,
write recommendations or otherwise contribute to academic and/or career
However, the harasser could well be someone who has no authority to
affect your academic or employment status. He or she could be a co-worker,
a colleague, a class/dorm-mate, a visitor to the University, or a non-faculty
employee of the University.
The sexual harasser is anyone whose conduct has the purpose or effect
of unreasonably interfering with your academic or work performance or whose
conduct has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile
or offensive working, educational or living environment here at the University.
|How do you know if you are being harassed?
||Are comments made about my clothes, make-up and body more
than my work?
||Am I told intimate stories about marital problems and sexual
||Does the harasser tell dirty little jokes, or show me lewd
pictures that seem to imply sex with him or her is fun?
||Are there attempts to get my sympathy with sad stories
about a failing love life? Does the harasser say things about his or her
spouse that embarrass me?
||Is the harasser curious about my happiness, my dates, my
sexual and emotional fulfillment?
||Am I invited into his or her office to talk about nothing?
||Does the harasser bump into me "accidentally", or try to
fondle or kiss any part of my body?
||Have I been told I'm his or her "type"?
||Have I been whistled at in a suggestive manner?
||Has it been suggested, implied, or plainly stated that
the status and conditions of my academic standing or student employment
depend on granting sexual requests?
||Does the harasser make obscene gestures, or leer at my
||Did my academic or working conditions worsen after rejecting
the harasser's sexual advances?
||Is any of my work area decorated with centerfold-type posters
or pictures, printed quotations having a sexual connotation, or other offensive
objects or displays of a sexual nature?
||Does the course material, classroom instruction, classroom
environment, or the instructor condone and/or promote sexual harassment?
|The impact of sexual harassment
|Common reactions of persons who are subjected
to harassment include feelings of anger, guilt, helplessness, frustration,
and fear. There are often concerns about personal safety, loss of privacy
and the threat of possible retaliation if the situation is reported.
Sexual harassment undermines the self confidence, well being and peace
of mind of the individual who is offended, and it damages the spirit of
trust and collegiality that is central to our University community.
The State University of New York at Buffalo does not condone harassment
of any kind and is dedicated to eliminating both blatant and subtle forms
of sexual harassment within the University community.
Persons whose conduct is judged to be offensive or harassing or whose
conduct is considered retaliatory towards their accuser may face disciplinary
action including expulsion or loss of employment.
|What can you do if you are being harassed?
|Speak up at the time
If the sexual harassment is blatant: say NO. Say it firmly and without
smiling. You want the harasser to know you are serious. State clearly that
you don't like what was said or done and you want that behavior to stop.
Another way to confront the harasser is to write him or her a letter. The
letter should detail what the person did, how it made you feel and how
it affected your work. The letter should specifically ask him/her to stop
the behavior. In some cases, harassers don't realize that their behavior
is offensive or unwelcome. The letter is an excellent way of clarifying
your objection. A verbal or written objection is helpful but not essential
if you decide to file a grievance at a later date.
Tell someone about it
Even if you are not sure you will report the incident, tell someone
what happened. Discuss it openly with others. Find out if others have been
harassed by the same person.
Keep a diary or log of what is happening to you. Include dates, places,
direct quotes, and names of other people that were present. Save any letters,
cards, or notes sent to you. Let someone read your records. Keep everything
in a safe place.
Get a witness
Ask someone to watch you when the harasser is around. Most advances
are made when the harasser thinks no one is watching.
Seek advice or counseling
Students often feel powerless when confronted with situations described
in the How Do You Know section, but there are people here on campus who
are available and willing to help. You should seek support and advice on
stopping sexual harassment. See the section: Where on Campus You Can Get
|Where on campus can you get help?
|If the harassment is on-going or if the initial
incident is highly disturbing or humiliating or if at any time you feel
threatened, it is important for you to discuss the situation with someone
who can intervene. Students are encouraged to bring complaints of harassment
to the attention of an instructor, an advisor, the chair or unit head or
Request a meeting with the appropriate supervisory or administrative
personnel and be prepared to describe clearly and in detail the nature
of the sexual harassment and request that the harassment stop.
Another source of assistance, advice, or intervention is the staff in
the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Affirmative Action Administration,
406 Capen, (645-2266). You may speak confidentially to the Director or
to the Associate Director.
|Sexual Harassment: Related Policies
|Regardless of the options you pursue in dealing
with harassment, University policy provides for the following:
||Complaints will be handled with confidentiality. University
procedures for investigating and resolving sexual harassment complaints
ensure confidentiality for all parties to the extent possible. In each
case, the complaint handler will seek the permission of the individual
bringing the complaint before disclosing information and will discuss any
concerns regarding confidentiality.
||Complaints will be handled as quickly as possible. If an
investigation or longer resolution period is required, the parties involved
will be updated regularly on the status of the inquiry.
||Retaliatory behavior will be addressed. Retaliation for
filing a complaint is illegal and violates University policy. Retaliatory
behavior can take many forms: discriminatory action that may affect work
or grades, ostracism or further objectionable behavior by the person against
whom a complaint was made. The fear of such actions may prevent many from
reporting harassment. Be assured retaliatory actions related to a sexual
harassment complaint will be treated seriously.
|Sexual Harassment: The Laws
|Sexual harassment is a form of unlawful discrimination.
It is a violation of federal law under Section 203 of Title VII of the
1964 Civil Rights Act, as amended in 1972; under Title IX of the Education
Amendment of 1972 and under Executive Order 11246. In addition, New York
Executive Order 19 forbids sexual harassment in state agencies. The NYS
Human Rights law extends this protection to all employees within the New
|SUNY at Buffalo Policy on Sexual Harassment
|Sexual harassment of employees and students,
as defined below, is contrary to University policy and is a violation of
federal and state laws and regulations.
Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal
or physical conduct of sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when:
(1) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly
a term or condition of an individual's employment or academic advancement;
(2) submission to, or rejection of, such conduct by an individual is used
as the basis for employment or academic decisions affecting such individual;
(3) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering
with an individual's work or academic performance, or creating an intimidating,
hostile or offensive environment.
No University employee of either sex shall impose a requirement of sexual
cooperation as a condition of employment or academic advancement, or in
any way contribute to or support unwelcome physical or verbal sexual behavior.
Any member of the University community who requires additional information,
wishes to make a complaint or to receive a copy of the University procedures
to be followed for resolving complaints of sexual harassment should contact
the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Affirmative Action Administration,
406 Capen, 645-2266.
Sexual harassment of any type is considered unacceptable at the State
University of New York at Buffalo.