STUDENT POLICY AND PROCEDURE ON SEXUAL HARASSMENT
The university is committed to creating and maintaining an environment for students that is free of objectionable and disrespectful conduct. Sexual harassment will not be tolerated at Kingswood University. Such behaviour is a violation of university policy and will be subject to a range of sanctions, up to and including dismissal.
A complaint of sexual harassment brought to the university's attention by a student will be treated as a serious matter and shall be acted upon promptly, fairly, judiciously, and with due regard to confidentiality for all parties concerned. It is a violation of university policy for anyone who is authorized to recommend or take action regarding complaints of sexual harassment to disregard or fail to investigate allegations or, in the event that sexual harassment has occurred, to fail to take timely corrective action.
Retaliation against a student for filing a complaint of sexual harassment will constitute grounds for a subsequent disciplinary action up to and including dismissal by the university.
Although this policy and the procedures detailed below have been designed to provide a means by which an individual may have her/his complaint addressed within the framework of the university, it does not preclude an individual from taking other courses of action, such as taking legal action, contacting the police, or taking the matter to the N. B. Human Rights Commission. Complaints to the New Brunswick Human Rights Commission must be made within one year from the date of the alleged harassment. Note: Sexual assault is covered under the Criminal Code of Canada and should be reported to the police.
A false and malicious complaint under this policy is a violation of the policy and the responsible person or persons will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.
280.200 DEFINITION OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT
Conduct of a sexual nature such as but not limited to, verbal abuse or threats of a sexual nature, unwelcome sexual invitations or requests, demands for sexual favours, or repeated innuendos or taunting about a person's body, appearance or sexuality, constitutes sexual harassment when:
(a) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's academic evaluation or employment,
(b) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for academic evaluation or employment performance,
(c) such conduct interferes with an individual's academic or work performance,
(d) such conduct creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive academic or working environment.
University Sexual Harassment Advisors are available to all students of the university who wish to be informed about any aspect of the university Policy and Procedure on Sexual Harassment. Currently the Campus Pastor and Campus Counselors serve as Sexual Harassment Advisors.
The Advisors provide information, advice, assistance and support (on a confidential basis). A Sexual Harassment Advisor is not compelled to provide information or evidence in any formal procedures under this policy.
The options that are available to students who believe that they are victims of sexual harassment are described below:
280.410 Informal Resolution
a) Direct Approach
Complainants, either on their own or in consultation with a Sexual Harassment Advisor, may speak or write to the person perceived as the harasser to make him/her aware that his/her behaviour is offensive or they may ask the Sexual Harassment Advisor to intervene on their behalf.
b) Mediation Procedure
In the mediation procedure, a neutral third party that is acceptable to all parties will help the complainant and the alleged harasser to negotiate a solution. The procedures to initiate the mediation process are outlined in section 280.500 and 280.600.
Even under informal resolution, it is mandatory that all Sexual Harassment Advisors file a written incident report of any alleged sexual harassment with the Dean of Students.
280.420 Formal Investigation
This procedure includes an investigation of the complaint and recommendation for disciplinary action by the Dean of Students. This recommendation will be reviewed by the university President and he/she will determine, in his/her absolute discretion, if there should be a formal hearing before an adjudication committee. The procedures to initiate the formal investigation are outlined in section 280.700.
Complainants may request a formal investigation without having attempted an informal resolution (the direct approach and/or mediation). Complainants may decide not to request a formal investigation even if the informal resolution (the direct approach and/or mediation) has proven to be unsuccessful.
280.500 INITIATING A COMPLAINT
If complainants wish to pursue either the mediation process or a formal investigation, they or their Advisor should contact the Dean of Students as soon as possible. Complainants may be accompanied by any supportive person, including their faculty Advisor.
The Dean of Students shall arrange an appointment with the complainant(s) at the earliest convenience. This appointment shall be strictly confidential, but complainant(s) should be prepared to discuss the basic facts of the incident(s) of sexual harassment.
280.510 Role of the Dean of Students
The Dean of Students shall not initially judge the merits of the case but shall be a contact person who can neither act without complainants' consent nor refuse to aid complainants. The Dean of Students shall ensure that complainants are aware of all options available to them under the University Policy and Procedure on Sexual Harassment, including direct approach, mediation and a formal investigation. The Dean shall provide complainants with a copy of this policy and procedures statement.
If the complainant wishes to proceed with mediation the following shall occur:
280.610 Role of the Dean of Students in Mediation
a) The complainant will provide the Dean of Students with a written signed complaint giving details of the alleged harassment, including dates, times, places and names of the individuals involved.
b) As soon as reasonably possible from the date of receipt of the written complaint, the Dean of Students will inform the accused of the allegation(s) and will provide the accused with a copy of the written complaint.
c) After providing the accused a written copy of the complaint, the Dean of Students will contact the accused to see whether they agree to mediation. If so, the Dean of Students will promptly consult with both the complainant and the accused on the choice of mediator.
d) The mediator will be selected from a list of potential mediators from the university community. Both the complainant and accused must agree to the choice of mediator. The mediator chosen must be unbiased and independent of both parties. The list of mediators shall be established by the university Administrative Cabinet.
280.620 Role of the Mediator
a) After the appointment of a mediator, the mediation process will proceed as expeditiously as is reasonably possible. The options for resolution will be of a voluntary nature. The work of the mediator is confidential. If resolution is achieved as a result of mediation, a written copy of the resolution will be signed by the complainant and the accused. This will be reviewed by the Administrative Cabinet to determine if the matter is resolved or if due diligence would require further action.
b) Subsequent to the mediator concluding that no resolution is reachable, the complainant may:
(I) withdraw the complaint;
(II) initiate a formal investigation.
c) If the complainant or the accused indicate in writing that the conditions of the agreement have not been met, the mediator shall ascertain whether or not, in his or her opinion, the allegation can be substantiated. A report to this effect, which may include a recommendation for further mediation, shall be submitted by the mediator to the Dean of Students. If the complainant wishes to proceed with a formal investigation, he/she shall follow the procedures outlined in section 280.700.
280.700 FORMAL INVESTIGATION
If the complainant wishes to request a formal investigation, the following shall occur:
a) The complainant will provide the Dean of Students with a written signed complaint giving details of the alleged harassment, including dates, times, places, names of the individuals involved.
b) Following receipt of the written complaint, the Dean of Students will notify the university President in writing that a request for a formal investigation has been made. If the person about whom the complaint is being lodged is a student, appropriate ministry and campus supervisors will be notified. In cases where the complaint concerns a faculty member or any staff member, the Dean of Students shall notify the supervising administrator.
280.710 Role of the Dean of Students
a) From this stage until a decision has been rendered by the President and an Adjudication Committee, the Dean of Students shall continue assisting at all stages of the processing of the complaint so that both the complainant and the accused can be reassured that action is being taken as expeditiously as possible.
b) Once the Dean of Students has informed the President of the request for a formal investigation, he/she shall be responsible for notifying in writing the individual accused of sexual harassment that a complaint has been lodged against him/her, giving a copy of the written signed complaint.
c) The Dean of Students or another appointed administrator shall investigate the allegations expeditiously and has the authority to set reasonable procedures, which shall be carried out with due regard to confidentiality for all parties concerned (the President and other administrators may be contacted for advice on these matters). The procedures shall include, at a minimum:
(I) interviews with both the complainant and the accused,
(II) interviews with any witnesses,
(III) accurate and complete documentation of the evidence concerning the complaint,
(IV) a recommendation.
d) The recommendation along with all relevant material shall be forwarded to the President.
280.720 Role of the President and Adjudication Committee
a) The President shall review all the material submitted to him/her and shall meet with the people concerned to discuss the Dean of Student’s report. The President shall decide whether or not a formal hearing is required. In the case of a formal hearing, the following procedure shall be followed:
1) The hearing shall be held in the presence of the complainant, the accused, a representative for each if they so choose, and an Adjudication Committee chaired by the university President. The Adjudication Committee will be comprised of members of the Administrative Cabinet as selected by the President.
2) The President will ask the complainant and/or the accused to state the facts and why the recommendations are not agreeable to them. The accused and the complainant may make written representations in advance of the meeting (apart from the written complaint).
3) The meeting will proceed under the direction of the President based on the responses to (#2) above.
4) Any questions of anyone present are to be directed to the President who shall determine whether the question is to be asked and, if so, of whom.
5) The accused and the complainant have the right to remain silent on any question to him/her by the President.
6) Witnesses, if any, will be excluded from the hearing until called. There will not be any swearing of witnesses. Questions may be directed by the President only. The President will require prior notice as to witnesses.
b) After the requirements of section 280.720(a) have been satisfied, the Adjudication Committee shall decide upon a course of action taking into consideration all the facts of the case, the recommendation forwarded to them by the Dean of Students, and the consistency of the current decision with decisions on sexual harassment cases previously made. Should sexual harassment be found to have occurred, the Adjudication Committee shall decide upon appropriate disciplinary sanctions, up to and including dismissal. They shall inform all the individuals concerned of the decision.