Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment and Related Misconduct
The University is committed to providing a safe, diverse, and equitable environment to all members of the Carolina community. This policy addresses acts that are contrary to these values. These acts include discrimination, harassment, sexual assault or sexual violence, interpersonal (relationship) violence, sexual exploitation, stalking, and retaliation.Access the Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment and Related Misconduct
What you need to know about this Policy:
Key points about the Policy are addressed in the three sections below – (1) the Policy and the types of conduct the Policy prohibits, (2) how to report the incident and get help, and (3) what happens after a report is made.
(1) THE POLICY AND PROHIBITED CONDUCT
What it’s about:
The Policy is about providing a safe and equitable campus community. The following behaviors are prohibited: discrimination and harassment based on any protected status, sexual assault or sexual violence, sexual exploitation, interpersonal (relationship) violence, stalking, complicity for knowingly aiding in acts of prohibited conduct, and retaliation. The Policy covers a broad range of conduct because any of these behaviors can impact the ability of campus community members to successfully and comfortably live, learn and work.
Who it applies to:
- University students (undergraduate, graduate, professional and doctoral students)
- University employees (faculty members, EHRA (EPA) non-faculty members, SHRA (SPA) employees, student employees)
- Post-doctoral scholars
- Others connected to the University (contractors and those under circumstances within the University’s control)
Where it applies:
- On campus conduct
- Off campus conduct (including on-line or electronic conduct such as emails, text messages, and social media) under certain circumstances
*See the Policy for more information.
Statuses that are protected from discrimination and harassment:
Age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status.
*See the Policy for more information.
The descriptions below are short summaries of the full definitions of prohibited conduct, which can be accessed on the Policy.
- Discrimination: Treating a person differently than others based on that person’s protected status when it is sufficiently serious to unreasonably interfere with or limit the ability to participate in, access, or benefit from the University’s programs and activities. Discrimination can include failing to provide reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities.
- Harassment: A type of discrimination that happens when verbal, physical, electronic, or other behavior based on a person’s protected status interferes with their participation in the University’s programs and activities and it either creates an environment that a reasonable person in similar circumstances and with similar identities would find hostile, intimidating, or abusive; or where submitting to or rejecting the conduct is used as the basis for decisions that affect the person’s participation in the University’s programs and activities.
- Sexual or gender-based harassment: Conduct that may include: unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal, physical, or electronic conduct of a sexual nature that creates a hostile, intimidating, or abusive environment; involve verbal, physical, or electronic conduct based on a person’s sex, gender, sexual orientation, or sex-stereotyping that creates a hostile, intimidating, or abusive environment, even if those acts do not involve conduct of a sexual nature; or include harassment for displaying what is perceived as a stereotypical characteristic for one’s sex or for failing to conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity and femininity, regardless of the actual or perceived sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression of the person(s) involved.
- Sexual assault or sexual violence: Having or trying to have sexual contact with another person without that person’s consent. Sexual contact is intentional touching or penetration of another person’s clothed or unclothed body by another person with any part of their body or any object in a sexual way. It can also include causing another person to touch their own or another person’s body in this manner. Think A.C.E. for consent – 100% agreement (freely made and conscious decision), communicated clearly (words and/or actions), every time. See the policy for more information about consent.
- Sexual exploitation: Taking sexual advantage of another person without their consent (see consent above), taking advantage of another person’s sexuality, or going beyond the consensual sexual contact you both agreed to without the knowledge of the other person, for any purpose. Here are just a few examples (see the Policy for more information):
- threatening to disclose a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression
- observing another person’s nudity or sexual contact, or allowing another person to do so, without the knowledge and consent of everyone involved
- streaming images, photography, video, or audio recordings of sexual contact or nudity, or distributing these things, without the knowledge and consent of everyone involved
- Interpersonal violence: Encompasses a broad range of abusive behavior committed by a person who is or has been in a romantic or intimate relationship with the person reporting the conduct or who is a spouse or partner, family member; or a roommate. Interpersonal violence includes physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that a reasonable person in similar circumstances and with similar identities would find intimidating, frightening, terrorizing, or threatening.
- Stalking: Repeated, unwanted attention; contact that is either physical, verbal, or electronic (e.g.,email, social media, text messages); or any other conduct directed at a person that is sufficiently serious to cause physical, emotional, or psychological fear or to create a hostile, intimidating, or abusive environment for a reasonable person in similar circumstances and with similar identities.
- Complicity: Knowingly aiding, assisting, promoting, or encouraging another person through your actions to commit an act of conduct that is prohibited by this Policy.
- Retaliation: Acts or words taken (e.g., intimidation, threats, coercion, or unfavorable employment or educational actions) against a person because the person participated in good faith in:
- the reporting, investigation or resolution of an alleged violation of the Policy
- opposing policies, practices, or actions that the person reasonably believes are in violation of the Policy
- requesting accommodations on the basis of religion or disability
(2) HOW TO REPORT AN INCIDENT AND GET HELP
Reporting an incident:
*In emergencies, call 911 for immediate assistance from local law enforcement.*
Everyone is encouraged to report prohibited conduct to the University so that they can learn about options to address the incident under the University’s Policy and to receive interim protective measures (e.g., changes to housing or work schedules, no-contact orders, changes to housing) by contacting the resources below, either in person, by phone, in writing, or by email:
- Report and Response Coordinators (a resource for all types of reports)
- email@example.com | 919-445-2759
- Director of Report and Response (a resource for all for reports of sex discrimination, harassment, sexual assault or sexual violence, sexual exploitation, interpersonal (relationship) violence, and stalking)
- Rebecca Gibson – firstname.lastname@example.org or (919) 445-1578
- Online report submission form (a resource for all types of reports)
- Report and Response Coordinators (a resource for all types of reports)
- Office of the Dean of Students (a resource for students for all reports)
- University’s Department of Public Safety (a resource for all reports involving criminal conduct)
You are not required to decide whether to request any particular course of action at the time a report is made. The University recognizes that deciding how to proceed is a process that unfolds over time. The University will make every effort to respect your decision about how to move forward and will keep you updated throughout the process. Resources and interim protective measures are available to you regardless of the course of action chosen.
Those employees who are Responsible Employees are required to report prohibited conduct under the Policy. View information on reporting incidents for Responsible Employees
You can make a report to the University without telling us who you are; however, please keep in mind that the University’s ability to respond to an anonymous report may be limited depending on the level of information available about the incident. Here is an option for anonymous reports:
Other resources (e.g., confidential, emotional, medical, law enforcement):
There are additional resources that are available to you on campus and in the community, including law enforcement reporting options for the purpose of pursuing a criminal investigation, confidential medical care (e.g., evidence preservation, pregnancy prevention, treatment of STIs), and confidential psychological and emotional support.
For any report under this Policy, every effort will be made to respect the privacy of all people involved in a way that is consistent with the need to carefully assess the report and to take any necessary steps to stop the conduct, prevent it from happening again, and address its impact. Information will only be shared with those people who have a need to know in order to protect the safety and well-being of those involved. See the Policy for more information.
Good samaritan reporting/disciplinary leniency for reporting:
Any person who makes a report will not be subject to disciplinary action by the University for their own personal consumption of alcohol or other drugs at or near the time of the incident, provided that the consumption did not harm or place the health or safety of any other person at risk. The Office of the Dean of Students may require a follow up meeting in which support, resources, and educational counseling options may be required for a person who has engaged in the illegal or prohibited use of alcohol or drugs.
(3) WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A REPORT IS MADE
After a report is made:
- A small response team consisting of EOC staff and partner departments who have a need to know will meet to conduct an initial assessment of the incident, any risk of harm to those involved or to the broader campus community, and the need for any interim protective measures for the safety and protection of those involved.
- An EOC staff member will contact the affected person to discuss the report, advise about potential next steps based on the procedures that apply to the particular situation (see below), and to offer appropriate resources and interim protective measures (e.g., medical care, counseling resources, safe housing).
- At the conclusion of the initial assessment, EOC staff will work with the person who reported the incident to determine how to address the conduct. If the person requests that their name or other identifiable information not be shared with the person who they reported committed the conduct or that no formal action be taken, EOC will consider this request along with several factors, including the nature of the conduct and the risk posed to the campus community. The University will make every effort to respect the decision of the affected person about how to move forward.
- If a report has been made against you and an investigation is pursued, the University will notify you of the investigation in writing and will reach out to you to schedule a time for you to meet with an investigator.
Support persons and attorneys:
At any meeting or hearing related to the resolution of a report under the Policy, both the affected person and the person responding to allegations of prohibited conduct may have a support person present. In addition, each may have a second person present: an additional support person, a non-attorney advocate, or, at the party’s own initiative and expense, an attorney.
Procedures for addressing reports:
There are specific procedures for responding to reports under the Policy based on the relationship of the people involved to the University. Here are a few highlights.
|Procedures for Reporting and Responding to Complaints Involving a Student as a Responding Party||Reports can be made at any time regardless of when the conduct took place. EOC will seek to resolve all reports within one academic semester.
Resolution may include (1) no further action, (2) voluntary resolution when appropriate to address the conduct without disciplinary action, or (3) an investigation and adjudication that may lead to disciplinary action.
Where an investigation and adjudication are pursued, sanctions may include educational, restorative, rehabilitative, and punitive components. Some behavior is so egregious in nature, harmful to the people involved, or so detrimental to the educational process that it requires severe sanctions, including suspension from the University or expulsion from the UNC System.
|Procedures for Reporting and Responding to Complaints Involving an Employee as a Responding Party||Reports can be made at any time regardless of when the conduct took place. EOC will seek to resolve all reports within forty-five to sixty business days of the EOC’s determination of the appropriate course of resolution.
Resolution may include (1) no further action, (2) informal resolution when appropriate to address the conduct without disciplinary action, or (3) an investigation that may lead to disciplinary action.
Where an investigation is pursued, resulting recommendations may include corrective measures, such as educational, restorative, or rehabilitative components, and/or disciplinary actions. Some behavior is so egregious in nature, harmful to the people involved, or detrimental to the safety of our campus community that it requires severe disciplinary actions, up to and including termination of employment with the University.
|Procedures for Reporting and Responding to Complaints Involving a Third Party as the Responding Party||Reports can be made at any time regardless of when the conduct took place. EOC will seek to resolve all reports within forty-five to sixty business days of the EOC’s determination of the appropriate course of resolution.
Following an Initial Assessment, the Director of Equal Opportunity and Compliance or Title IX Compliance Coordinator may: (1) take no further action; (2) initiate an inquiry that may include providing resources, accommodations, or other remedial measures to the Reporting Party, and may also lead to corrective measures that involve the Responding Party; and/or (3) take other measures tailored to address the reported conduct.
Corrective measures that may be implemented include, but are not limited to:
Learn more about the development of this Policy and procedures