Policy on Harassment

Union College is committed to maintaining a community free from all forms of harassment on the basis of age, disability, ethnicity, national origin, gender, race religion, gender identity and expression, or sexual orientation. Harassment violates College policy as well as federal, state, and local legislation. It is neither permitted nor condoned. The coverage of this policy extends to all faculty, administrators, staff, students and visitors to the campus.

It is also a violation of Union's policy against harassment for any employee or student at Union to attempt, in any way, to retaliate against another person who makes a claim of harassment.

Union College has established informal and formal harassment grievance procedures. These can be found in the Student Handbook, the Faculty Manual, the Administrators Manual and the Staff Manual.


Racial (race, color, or national origin) harassment is a form of discrimination which is illegal under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Harassment based upon an individual's disability is a form of discrimination that is illegal under Section504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1972. Other forms of harassment fall under NY State Acts and Union College's policy.

Sexual Harassment is a form of discrimination which is illegal under Title IX of the Elementary/Secondary Education Act of 1972 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Sexual Harassment is generally defined as any unwelcome sexual advance, request for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

1. Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly as a condition of employment or academic success.
2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or academic decisions; or
3. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of: unreasonably interfering with an individual's professional or academic performance; or creating an intimidating, hostile, demeaning or offensive employment or academic environment.

Harassment most often takes place where there is a power differential between the persons involved. It also may occur between persons of the same status. Harassment can occur between members of the same gender as well as between members of different genders. Harassment can also be combined with comments about an individual's race, age, gender, disability, gender identity or sexual orientation.

Examples of unacceptable behavior that might be found to be harassment would include repeated, unwanted touching or kissing; locking up or physically restraining someone against his or her will; forcing oneself into someone's dorm room; degrading, public tirades from a student, faculty member, administrator or staff; deliberate, repeated humiliation, including deliberate humiliation on the basis of sexual orientation, religion, nationality, age, disability, gender, gender identity or race; continued use of a disability railing or a disability ramp to lock a bicycle or other object after warning or other deliberate interference with the life or work of a disabled person; deliberate desecration of religious articles or places; repeated unwanted proselytizing; repeated interference with the reasonable pursuit of religion; and repeated insults about loss of personal and professional competence addressed to an older person.

If you feel you have been harassed or subjected to an intimidating, demeaning, or hostile educational or work environment, you have the right, and are encouraged, to contact any of the resources listed on the back of this document. Any faculty, administrator, staff, or student member who believes she or he has been harassed should contact the Affirmative Action Director, a Vice President, Department Chair, Dean, Director, Supervisor, or the Human Resources Director.

At Union College, all complaints will be given serious, impartial, and timely consideration. While every effort will be made to protect the privacy of all parties, confidentiality cannot be guaranteed.

Any individual who, after a thorough investigation, is found to have violated Union College's policy against harassment will be subject to disciplinary action. The disciplinary action taken will depend upon the severity of the offense.

Dishonesty in the context of an investigation of harassment or reprisal for bringing a complaint will be treated as a serious offense.