Respectful Workplace and Anti-Harassment Policies
Effective Date: September 1, 2020
The University is committed to creating and maintaining a safe and respectful environment in which all officers, employees, students, and visitors are treated with dignity and respect, in accordance with the Respectful Workplace Policy. The Respectful Workplace Policy is a core value of the University and the University will not tolerate disrespectful communication, discrimination, harassment, or bullying, in any form.
1.1. The University takes all harassment claims seriously and handles them in confidence. For allegations relating to violations of Respectful Workplace and Anti-Harassment policies, the University has a process for students. When a violation of the Respectful Workplace Policy or an act of harassment is reported, the University takes remedial measures and appropriate corrective actions.
1.2. If a student experiences or witnesses a violation of the Respectful Workplace Policy, or sexual, power, or other harassment, the student should consider taking action to inform the University of the situation by any of the following procedures.
1.3. To report such disputes or incidents of harassment, students should contact either the confidential external Respectful Workplace and Anti-Harassment hotline (RWAH hotline), designated contact staff in the Graduate School, or the Dean of the Graduate School (DGS).
1.4. For students who need advice and counseling, the Ganjuu Wellbeing Service is available to all OIST community members. The Ganjuu Wellbeing Service offers consultation, advice, and intervention in relation to a range of problems including harassment and other behaviors inconsistent with the OIST Respectful Workplace Policy.
1.5. Protection from Retaliation
The University will not tolerate retaliatory action against any student for making a good faith report of incidents of harassment based on the procedures in this chapter. Similarly, the University will not tolerate any direct or indirect use (or attempted use) of official authority or official influence for the purpose of interfering with the rights of a student making a protected disclosure.
All students of the University are eligible to seek both informal and formal resolution of violations of Respectful Workplace and Anti-Harassment Policies using the procedures set out in this Chapter.
A student who wishes to make a claim of harassment or violation of the Respectful Workplace Policy may seek informal resolution by consulting with the designated contact staff in the Graduate School (Student Early Intervention Coordinator) or contacting the confidential external RWAH hotline.
Alternatively, the student may seek a formal harassment resolution process by submitting a written claim of harassment or violation of the Respectful Workplace Policy to the Graduate School.
2.1 Consulting Designated Contact Staff in the Graduate School
A student (claimant) may consult with one of the designated contact staff in the Graduate School for an explanation of the process and for confidential support and advice.
Contact staff must arrange a meeting with the claimant within three working days of the request, or within one working day if the request is marked urgent. The meeting with the Graduate School contact staff must be logged by the designated contact staff. After understanding the situation, the designated contact staff will outline, or implement, some of the possible choices from among the following alternatives:
2.1.1 Monitoring and Review for Informal Resolution
The claimant may decide to register a claim with the Graduate School and seek an informal resolution. The designated contact staff is required to log the claim and then monitor and review. Informal resolution may involve consulting with, for example, the Academic Mentor, Thesis Supervisor, Thesis Committee, Chair of Faculty Assembly, the Provost, the Dean of Research, or the Dean of Faculty Affairs. In all cases the Graduate School will check back with the claimant to see if the issue is resolving satisfactorily. If it is not resolving satisfactorily, other options such as proceeding to a formal claim process will be suggested. Formal options may also be suggested in the first instance if appropriate.
2.2 Contacting the External Hotline
At any point in the process (including before deciding whether to file a claim with the Graduate School), every student is entitled to use the external RWAH hotline to consult with OIST-designated outside independent mediators.
2.3 Filing a Claim with the Graduate School for Formal Resolution
A student may seek a formal resolution by filing a written claim to the Graduate School. A student making a claim (claimant) may initiate a formal resolution process as a first option, or be advised to take this option by RWAH hotline. The designated contact staff in the Graduate School can assist in preparing the written statement; however, the document must be based on the claimant’s statement.
2.3.1 The DGS must review the written statement, in consultation with the claimant, and determine the next steps according to the Policy and Rules. If the matters in the claim are matters that come under the Respectful Workplace Policy or Anti- Harassment and Anti Bullying Policy, the DGS initiates the next steps in this chapter. The claimant is consulted before any steps are taken, unless the Graduate School has a duty of care to take this further. This may happen, for example, if a criminal offense is alleged to have occurred. If the complaint concerns criminal behavior, any criminal investigation will take precedence over an OIST investigation or resolution processes. However, the Graduate School and Ganjuu Wellbeing Service can still be approached for support and advice.
2.3.2 Resolution by the Graduate School Harassment Investigative Committee
The DGS will establish and convene a Graduate School Harassment Investigative Committee (GSHIC) within 15 working days after receiving the written claim.
The GSHIC consists of 3 members, one of whom is designated as the chair by the DGS. In addition, a legal counsel appointed by the General Counsel joins the committee as an observer. A Graduate School staff member provides secretarial support.
The GSHIC conducts an impartial and confidential investigation/review to determine the facts and circumstances of the case, and make recommendations to resolve the matter. In principle, the GSHIC should prepare a written response to the DGS within 20 working days from the date the GSHIC first convenes. If additional time is needed, the DGS must be informed of the expected date of response.
A written response to the claim must be given to the claimant by the DGS within 10 working days from the date the GSHIC report is received by the DGS unless additional time is needed, in which case the claimant must be informed of the expected date of response. In some cases, the claimant may only be notified that the matter has been closed, without receiving any details of the outcome.
2.3.3 Executive Committee Level Harassment Dispute Resolution
A problem that has not been resolved at the GSHIC level may be brought to a Harassment Dispute Resolution Committee (HRC). The request must be submitted, in writing, by the claimant to the DGS. For details about HRC, see PRP 184.108.40.206.
2.4 Ganjuu Wellbeing Service and Student Peer Supporters
At any point in the process (including before deciding whether to contact the Graduate School) a student can contact the Ganjuu Wellbeing Service or the Student Peer Supporters for confidential support and advice.
Appeals related to academic matters such as grading or outcomes of examinations are handled separately by an appeals process. Cases where the main issue is academic, scientific, or research misconduct or non-compliance the DGS will refer the matter to the internal contact points stipulated in PRP 220.127.116.11.
If the matter involves a non-academic employee the matter will be referred to the Vice President for Human Resource (VPHR) and follow the procedures in PRP 18.104.22.168.
In the case of allegations made against the President, regardless of the nature of the allegations, the DGS will report directly to the Chair of the Board of Governors of the University. In the case of allegations made against a Member of the Executive including Deans, regardless of the nature of the allegations, the DGS will report directly to the President. In the case of allegations made against the DGS the matter will be referred to the VPHR and follow the procedures in PRP 22.214.171.124.
Students must attempt to solve disputes in accordance with the procedures provided in this chapter.
3.2 Dean of the Graduate School
The DGS must inform students about the availability of the RWAH hotline mediators and the formal and informal procedures in this chapter. The DGS is responsible for performing the tasks and duties outlined in this chapter.
3.3 Contact staff in the Graduate School
Contact staff in the Graduate School are responsible for performing the tasks and duties outlined for them in this chapter.
3.4 Mediators of the confidential external Respectful Workplace and Anti-Harassment hotline
RWAH hotline mediators are responsible for performing the tasks and duties outlined for them in this chapter. The duties of the mediators of the confidential external RWAH hotline are detailed in PRP 126.96.36.199.
3.5 The Dean of the Graduate School, the President, Graduate School Harassment Investigative Committee (GSHIC), Harassment Dispute Resolution Committee (HRC), or their Representatives
The DGS, the President, the GSHIC, the HRC or their designated representatives, are responsible for performing the tasks and duties outlined for them in this chapter.
For definitions of sexual, power, or other harassment see PRP 39.9.