Office of Inclusion addresses allegations of harassment to ensure safe learning environment

September 23, 2013 | UToday
By Staff

The University of Toledo takes all allegations of harassment seriously and investigates all complaints, whether formal or informal, to ensure a safe and secure learning environment.

The UT Office of Inclusion receives and fully investigates any complaint and takes the appropriate actions.

“This institution takes harassment of any type very seriously and has no tolerance for it,” said Kevin West, the University’s inclusion officer who leads the investigations. “UT recently had an incident where a sizable portion of the UT community received an email alleging harassment that ultimately turned out to be inaccurate and unfounded.”

The incident is an opportunity to inform the campus community about UT’s harassment policy and the process for reporting harassment of any kind, West said.

The University inclusion officer serves as the Title IX coordinator for UT charged with institutional monitoring, education and investigating of sex discrimination, harassment and sexual violence. The single most important responsibility of the University inclusion officer is the protection against sexual harassment or assault. Notification of any type of allegations of this nature, including but not limited to physical harassment or quid pro quo harassment, are taken seriously and investigated.

Following a formal or informal complaint, a member of the office meets with the person who filed the complaint to initiate an investigation. Any additional witnesses then are interviewed as necessary. Confidentiality is a priority for the office and it will be given the utmost respect, West said.

Unfortunately, there are on occasion individuals who knowingly report false allegations and false information to the office, West said, adding that it is against UT policy 3364-50-01(D)(3) to do so. The University may impose sanctions on those who knowingly file a false report or knowingly offer false information in regard to such a claim.

“The University of Toledo believes in providing a safe and secure learning environment,” West said. “The policies and processes followed by the Office of Inclusion help to ensure that the learning experience of all students, faculty and staff are of the highest quality.”

If any student, staff or faculty member feels that they have experienced or have been subjected to any form or harassment or other prohibited activity, contact the Office of Inclusion at 419.530.2508.

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