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Feb. 27, 2014

New harassment policy open to comment at CSU

By Mara Biggs

Cleveland State University’s discrimination/harassment draft policy is currently in the comment period. During the comment period, the university community may provide feedback on draft policies via email to policycomments@csuohio.edu.

The proposed policy would advance the prohibition of sexual harassment by delineating it in terms of sexual violence and exploitation. Sexual violence and exploitation are defined by non-consensual sexual activity and instances of incapacitation during sexual activity within the draft.

“I am totally supportive of allowing the university community to comment on important policies as [they relate] to the university,” said Yulanda McCarty-Harris, director of the Office of Institutional Equity. “The more inclusive, the better implementation and also adherence.”

Comments will be accepted for the discrimination/harassment draft policy until March 15.

The discrimination/harassment draft policy, along with other policies up for comment, can be viewed at www.csuohio.edu/general-counsel/draft-policies-for-comment.

The ordinances concerning sexual violence and exploitation would comply with recent White House initiatives to better police sexual assault on university campuses, and to raise awareness and prevention of sexual assault and sexual violence among the college-age population.

McCarty-Harris said the proposed discrimination/harassment policy is “a step in the right direction regarding educational awareness and prevention.”

McCarty-Harris reported that the Office of Institutional Equity is also pushing to make sexual violence education part of the curriculum for the Introduction to University Life course (ASC 101), which is required for freshmen.

The discrimination/harassment draft policy also prohibits discrimination and harassment toward individuals of the university community on the basis of race, sex (including pregnancy), religion, gender identity and expression, color, age, national origin, veteran or military status, genetic information or disability, marital status and parental status.