Sexual Harassment in Higher Education is Illegal; Sexual Assault Awareness Education

Sexual Harassment in Higher Education is Illegal; Sexual Assault Awareness Education

SEXUAL HARASSMENT IN HIGHER EDUCATION IS ILLEGAL

Under the Illinois Human Rights Act, 775 ILCS 5/1-101 et seq., the Illinois Human Rights Act (“Act”) prohibits unwelcome advances or conduct of a sexual nature, and requests for sexual favors of students by an executive, faculty member, administrative staff member, or teaching assistant in an institution of higher education when such behavior interferes with the student’s performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment. Institutions of higher education include public or private universities, colleges, community colleges, junior colleges, business schools, and vocational schools. The Act prohibits retaliation against a student for opposing sexual harassment in higher education or for participating in an investigation (internal or external) of sexual harassment in higher education or for filing a charge. “Sexual harassment in higher education” is defined in Section 5A-101(E) of the Act.

Following are examples of sexual harassment in higher education: 1) a professor who continually makes jokes of a sexual nature in the classroom; 2) a registration advisor who tells a student the student might be able to get a class if the student dates the advisor; 3) a coach who tells a prospective student that they will play more if the student dates the coach; and 4) a financial assistance advisor who tells a student that “if you have sex with me, I can look out for scholarships for you”.

Any student who believes he or she is being subjected to sexual harassment, including sexual advances, should contact Jill Cranmore, our Title IX Coordinator, at 443-8756. The student/person may also contact the Illinois Department of Human Rights for further information or to file a charge at 312-814-6200 or 217-785-5100. Charges must be filed within 180 days of alleged sexual harassment. The charge and complaint process is described in more detail at https://www.illinois.gov/dhr/FilingaCharge/Pages/default.aspx.

Freedom of a student to protest by lawful means must and shall be protected by all the authority available to the College. However, when actions of individuals interfere with the legitimate rights of others and are directed at the disruption of the normal processes of college life, appropriate disciplinary action shall be taken.

If interference with the normal function and proper conduct of the College occurs, the College may take appropriate disciplinary action including suspension and/or expulsion, and notification of civil authorities when Local, State or Federal laws are broken.

SEXUAL ASSAULT AWARENESS EDUCATION (Public Act 095-0764 Health Education Act)

Section 55. The Public Community College Act is amended by adding Section 3-29.3 as follows: (110 ILCS 805/3-29.3 new) The Illinois General Assembly amends the Critical Health Problems and Comprehensive Health Education Act, various Acts relating to the governance of public universities in Illinois, and the Public Community College Act. Provides that a comprehensive health education program shall include sexual assault awareness in secondary schools. Requires each public university and community college to provide some form of sexual assault awareness education to all incoming students, whether through a seminar, online training, or some other way of informing students. Amends the State Mandates Act to require implementation without reimbursement.

DACC provides FREE, online training on Bystander Intervention for Students, Creating a Respectful Campus for LGBTQ+ Students, Intimate Partner Violence (VAWA), Sexual Violence Awareness (Campus SaVE Act), and Title IX Rights and Protections. It can be found on the Current Students webpage at https://dacc.edu/currentstudents. The training link is under the Student Development & Training section. The College has also established extensive policies and procedures to stop sexual misconduct which includes sexual violence, harassment, and related misconduct. The policies and procedures are noted above.

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