Updated November 2020

The right of free speech and the open exchange of ideas and views are essential, especially in a learning environment, and Colby College upholds these freedoms vigorously. The College is committed to assuring dignity for all and desires to be welcoming to every member of the campus community. In furtherance of that aim, Colby has developed this policy, which prohibits harassment. Harassment directed against some categories of individuals expressly protected by the Maine Civil Rights Act and the Maine Human Rights Act, including sexual harassment, may also qualify as unlawful discrimination.


Harassment

Harassment is defined as unwelcome hostile or intimidating remarks, spoken or written (including, for example, e-mails, text messages, postings on electronic message boards, voicemail messages), or physical gestures directed at a specific person based on that person’s race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, religion, age, ancestry or national origin, disability, military status, or genetic information.

Because harassment results in, among other things, loss of self-esteem for the victim and in the deterioration of the quality of the classroom, campus life, athletic, social, or workplace environment, the College prohibits harassment, including sexual harassment. Harassment by any student or by any employee of the College will not be tolerated. It also is a violation of this policy for any person accused of harassment to retaliate against any person who reports an incident of harassment. Students and employees should feel free to report such incidents without fear of reprisal.

 

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. It can include sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, sexual violence, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when this conduct is unwelcome. When sexual harassment is sufficiently severe or pervasive that it denies, limits, or adversely affects a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the Colby educational experience, a student’s employment at Colby, or the employment of faculty or staff, then the sexual harassment creates a hostile environment. A single instance of sexual harassment can constitute a hostile environment. The College will investigate incidents of sexual harassment promptly, including under the Title IX Policy if applicable, and will take corrective action to prevent its recurrence and correct its discriminatory effects.

 

Harassment in the Classroom

Colby believes that academic freedom is the cornerstone of a college education, and faculty members have wide latitude to conduct classroom sessions in creative and intellectually stimulating ways. A true and valued learning experience may cause discomfort, as students are challenged and exposed to new and perhaps disquieting ways of thinking or living. Nonetheless, students have the right to participate in the classroom without being subjected to harassment in violation of this policy. It is incumbent on faculty members to balance the demand of rigorous and thought-provoking teaching with the expectation that students will not be personally harassed or singled out in the learning process on the basis of group membership. Instructors have the special responsibility to explain to their students, when necessary, the educational purpose of any classroom technique or practice.

 

Procedures for Harassment Complaints Against a Student or Involving a Student

Harassment by a student of another student, a faculty member, a staff member, a volunteer, or a third party (in circumstances directly affecting the College community) is a violation of Colby’s Code of Student Conduct and should be reported to Assistant Dean of Students at 207-859-4256; conduct@colby.edu. The Student Disciplinary Procedures set forth in the Colby Student Handbook will apply to the report. The Student Handbook can be found online on the Dean of Students webpage http://www.colby.edu/studentlife/. Possible sanctions for a student found responsible for harassment include, but are not limited to, disciplinary probation, community service, suspension, or expulsion. In addition, the Office of the Dean of the College will consider, and if appropriate, impose interim measures to protect a student who claims they have been a victim of harassment, including sexual harassment.

Sexual harassment involving a student that falls under Title IX will follow the College’s Title IX policies and procedures [1], which are available online at www.colby.edu/sexualviolence, and should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator Megan Hatch (207-859-4266, titleIX@colby.edu, Eustis 210A). When a student is reporting alleged sexual harassment by an employee, volunteer, or third party, the Title IX Coordinator will work with appropriate administrators to process the complaint in accordance with the applicable faculty, staff, and/or College policies.

 

Procedures for Harassment Complaints Against a Faculty or Staff Member

A complaint of harassment against a member of the faculty or staff by a faculty member, staff member, or third party (in circumstances directly related to the faculty or staff member’s position with the College) should be made to the College’s Director of Recruitment and Employment, Cora Clukey (207-859-5511, cora.clukey@colby.edu, 122 Roberts). The Director of Recruitment and Employment will investigate the complaint promptly, either directly or through a designee. The investigator will issue a report of the investigation. If the investigator concludes that harassment has occurred, they will include in the report the remedial action to be taken, including recommending sanctions against the accused faculty or staff member as appropriate.  Except in cases involving sanctions of suspension or dismissal of the accused faculty or staff member, the decision of the investigator is final.

Sexual harassment that falls under Title IX involving a faculty or staff member will follow the College’s Title IX policies and procedures, which are available online at www.colby.edu/sexualviolence, and should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator Megan Hatch (207-859-4266, titleIX@colby.edu, Eustis 210A).  Alternatively, reports relating to faculty can be submitted to Deputy Title IX Coordinator Carol A. Hurney (207-859-4787, carol.hurney@colby.edu, Eustis 203A), reports relating to Athletics can be submitted to Deputy Title IX Coordinator Jacqui Schuman (207-859-4941, jacqui.schuman@colby.edu, Harold Alfond Athletic Center D321), and reports relating to staff can be submitted to Deputy Title IX Coordinator Cora Clukey (207-859-5511, cora.clukey@colby.edu, 122 Roberts).

Members of the Colby community are encouraged to use the complaint procedures outlined above. Complaints may also be filed with the Maine Human Rights Commission (207) 624-6290, 51 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333.

[1] For an explanation of when harassment falls under Title IX, please review the College’s Title IX Policy at http://www.colby.edu/sexualviolence/wp-content/uploads/sites/160/2020/09/Title-IX-Sexual-Harassment-Policy.pdf. Questions may be directed to Title IX Coordinator Megan Hatch (207-859-4266, titleIX@colby.edu, Eustis 210A).