Regimental Manual - APPENDIX D

APPENDIX D
Reviewed 22 February 2018

SEXUAL HARASSMENT, TITLE IV AND CLERY ACT

In accordance with Law of the Commonwealth and the policy of the Academy, the hazing of any student is prohibited.  No person or organization shall create a situation that recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental or physical health of a cadet.  Such conduct shall include whipping, beating, branding, forced calisthenics, exposure to the weather, forced consumption of any food, liquor, beverage, drug or other substance, or any other brutal treatment of forced physical activity that is likely to adversely affect the physical health or safety of any cadet or other person, or which subjects the cadet to extreme mental stress, including extended isolation.  Any cadet who violates this policy shall be subject to disciplinary action that may include dismissal.

What is Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment is an abuse of power that demeans a person and interferes with that person’s ability to participate in an educational setting.  Sexual harassment includes sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other physical and non-physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
     1. Submission to or rejection of such advances, requests, or conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly as a basis for educational decisions.
     2. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, humiliating, or sexually offensive educational environment.

Types of Sexual Harassment

Blatant forms of sexual harassment include sexual propositions, inappropriate touching, unsolicited embracing or kissing, and assault or rape.  Subtle, inappropriate behavior includes obscene jokes, sexual innuendoes, leering, and intimate language, such as “dear,” “sweetheart,” “darling,” and “stud.”

Peer Harassment
Peer harassment is a form of unwanted sexual attention often used to exhibit power or to create an image of power among peers.  Sexist jokes, remarks, whistling, unsolicited touching, and physical assault are all forms of peer sexual harassment.  Additionally, pornography in the workplace, dormitory, or study area, comments about a person’ body or clothing, are all considered to be forms of sexual harassment.  Peer harassment usually involves male students harassing female students, though it may involve female students harassing male students, individuals harassing a member of the same sex, or harassment based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

The most common form of peer sexual harassment consists of sexist comments, jokes, and innuendoes.  The most extreme form of peer harassment is rape, including “date” or “acquaintance” rape.

The effects of peer harassment can cause a victim to feel angry, frightened, confused and/or guilty.  Some victims of peer harassment express fear for their personal safety and fear of retaliation, as many students live in dormitories, often in close proximity to the harasser.

Sexual harassment situations in the academic setting may involve a student being harassed by a faculty member, administrator, or other person in a position of authority. It can occur with an imbalance of power in a relationship when a person in authority threatens adverse action if a subordinate does not agree to conduct of a sexual nature. This is quid pro quo sexual harassment and it is not limited to students; it can happen in the workplace when an imbalance of power exists.

Students who are sexually harassed in this setting often feel vulnerable and uncertain about how to handle the situation.  Many students are developing a self-identity and are experiencing independence for the first time.  Unless a student has friends or professors whom he/she trusts, the student may feel isolated.  Occasionally, peers may be insensitive to the seriousness of sexual harassment and may suggest that the student ignore the behavior.

Students are concerned about their grades, and naturally they may be reluctant to file sexual harassment charges against a professor or supervisor.  If that professor or supervisor is an advisor, a mentor, or teaches a course of particular interest to a student, a student may decide to change his/her course of study to avoid the harassment or may opt out to somehow deal with the harassment.  The laws in Massachusetts are especially strict with quid pro quo harassment.  It is illegal, and it will not be tolerated at MMA. Retaliation against someone for making a complaint, reporting an incident, or cooperating in an investigation is also illegal and a violation of MMA policy.

Effects of Sexual Harassment
The effects of sexual harassment can be emotionally and physically devastating.  Victims may experience a variety of reactions to the harassing behavior.  Anger, depression, self-blame, denial and decreased self-esteem are common emotional reactions to sexual harassment.  Headaches, stomach disorders, inability to concentrate, insomnia, and backaches can be physical symptoms experienced due to the stress a victim experiences.

Sexual Harassment Laws

Sexual harassment of students is a violation of Title IX of the United States Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits sex discrimination in education.  As described above, academic sexual harassment can be a hostile environment harassment in which the sexuality of a student is emphasized in a manner which prevents or impairs that student’s full enjoyment of educational benefits, climate, or opportunities.  Again, quid pro quo harassment occurs when unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature occurs and grades or educational progress are made contingent upon submission to such conduct.  Within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, sexual harassment in an educational setting is a form of sex discrimination and is illegal under the provisions of Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 151C, Section 2 (g).

What to Do if Sexual Harassment Occurs

A. Communicate: Be Assertive
Tell the offender firmly and politely, verbally or in writing, that the behavior is unwelcome, offensive, inappropriate, and creates an intimidating environment for you.  Stress that you are not interested in his/her suggestions and that you want the behavior to stop immediately. Label the harasser’s conduct to him/her as soon as it happens.  Sometimes a harasser may claim that the victim did not tell the harasser he/she was doing anything wrong.  Firmly say, “That is harassment, and it is interfering with my studies.”

B. Record the Incident
Document the incident as precisely as possible.  Keep a written record detailing the incident.  Include names, times, location, and any specific language or conduct involved.  It is important to list witnesses, if any, and to obtain a written confirmation of the harassment witnessed. Save any potential evidence including text messages, voice messages, emails or social media.

C. Tell Someone
Most sexual harassment can be stopped by “Step A” listed above. The Academy has a responsibility to make sure that co-workers and students, as well as supervisors or managers, do not engage in any form of sexual harassment.  Do not accept sexual harassment as “this is just the way it is”.  If harassment cannot be resolved by “Step A” and it continues, you must tell someone.  For personal support, counseling, or to follow through with an informal or formal complaint, notify the following Academy staff for consultation and resolution:

Contact Contact
Title IX Coordinator Affirmative Action Officer
Director of Human Resources Commandant of Cadets
Deputy Commandant of Cadet Counseling Center
Health Services  

A copy of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts' State College Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Diversity Plan which includes state-wide policy prohibitions against sexual harassment is available in the following locations:

          Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity, Harrington Building 
          Human Resources, Harrington Building
          Massachusetts Maritime Academy website: maritime.edu/title-ix

TITLE IX and Clery Act

      In accordance with the laws of the Commonwealth, The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act,  20 U.S.C. § 1092(f) (“Clery Act”), and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. § 1681, and the Violence Against Women Act, 42 U.S.C. § 14045(b) (“VAWA”) and the policy of the Academy, all faculty members, students, cadets, cadet candidates and  employees of the Academy, to include persons employed in a temporary status or sub contracted; to include the delivery of goods and services and those acting in any official capacity whether temporarily are subject to the laws governing the prohibition of Domestic Violence, Dating Violence and Stalking. The Academy also recognizes the lesser offense of Criminal Harassment.

     In Massachusetts, “domestic violence” refers to abuse committed by a member of a family, a household, an intimate partner or substantial dating partner against another member of the family, household, or against the intimate partner.  “Abuse”, the occurrence of one or more of the following acts:  (a) attempting to cause or causing physical harm; (b) placing another in fear of imminent serious physical harm; (c) causing another to engage involuntarily in sexual relations by force, threat or duress.  “Family or household members” are persons who: (a) are or were married to one another; (b) are or were residing together in the same household; (c) are or were related by blood or marriage; (d) having a child in common regardless of whether they have ever married or lived together; or (e) are or have been in a substantive dating or engagement relationship, which shall be adjudged by district, probate or Boston municipal courts in consideration of the following factors:  (1) the length of time of the relationship; (2) the type of relationship; (3) the frequency of interaction between the parties; and (4) if the relationship has been terminated by either person, the length of time elapsed since the termination of the relationship.   Mass. Gen. Laws c. 209A, § 1.

     In Massachusetts, rape is the penetration of any bodily orifice by any part of the body, or by an object, performed against the victim's will, without consent, and with the threat of or actual use of force.  Mass. Gen. Laws c. 265, § 22.

Sexual assault is charged as indecent assault and battery in Massachusetts.  It is defined as a crime that occurs when the offender, without the victim's consent, intentionally has physical contact of a sexual nature with the victim. Mass. Gen. Laws c. 265, § 13H.

     In Massachusetts, stalking is a willful and malicious pattern of conduct or series of acts over a period of time directed at a specific person which seriously alarms or annoys that person and would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress, or the making of a threat with the intent to place the person in imminent fear of death or bodily injury.  Mass. Gen. Laws c. 266, § 43.

      In Massachusetts, criminal harassment is a knowing pattern of conduct or series of acts over a period of time directed at a specific person, which seriously alarms that person and would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress.  Such conduct or acts described in this paragraph shall include, but not be limited to, conduct or acts conducted by mail or by use of a telephonic or telecommunication device including, but not limited to, electronic mail, internet communications or facsimile communications. Mass. Gen. Laws c. 266, §43A.

     There is no specific statutory definition or crime of “dating violence” in Massachusetts other than what might exist under the ambit of Chapter 209A.

      There is no statutory definition of consent in Massachusetts.  A person, however, cannot lawfully consent to sexual contact if she or he was using drugs or alcohol to the point of incapacitation, or if she or he was drugged, asleep, unconscious, or underage.

     All cadets and cadet candidates are subject to the Regulations and Standards of the Academy and any such reported offense(s) described above shall be categorized/classified utilizing the guidelines of the Academy Rules and Regulations and reported to the District Attorney of jurisdiction and as such may be subject to any and all criminal proceedings.

    All cadets and cadet candidates shall familiarize themselves with the above acts and seek clarification when needed.

Victim Rights

     A. Victims have a right to seek assistance from campus authorities and law enforcement.
     B. Victims can seek institutional or judicial response to include no contact order, restraining order or protective orders.
     C. Victims have a right to protective measures.  Protective measures can be interim such as restrictive access to campus facilities.  Institution may implement protective measures such as restricting alleged perpetrator access to campus, facilities or events.
     D. Accuser and accused must be notified simultaneously and in writing of the outcome of proceedings, appeal procedures, any change to result before it becomes final, an when the result becomes final.