Each of us sometime in our lives has been in a situation in which we have been intimidated, humiliated, or indeed hurt by another person or other persons. It is possible that we even recollect these moments as being some of the most discouraging and unhappy ones of our lives. When the behavior of another toward us or one in our company persists and results in feelings of intimidation, humiliation, or discrimination, we have harassment. As teachers, we know that such a hostile situation creates an environment that is antithetical to the conditions needed to teach, learn, and work. For the student, such a hostile environment makes it difficult to concentrate on the purpose of being in a class, which is to work and learn. We must guard against such hostile environments in our classrooms, offices, workshops, rehearsal halls, and theatres. The proper conditions for theatre training and the practice of theatre are to be found in an environment of mutual respect and collaboration.
Indiana University and the Department of Theatre and Drama will not countenance any faculty, staff, or student behavior that creates a workplace or academic climate that unreasonably interferes with the performance of an individual or group. If you are not sure whether certain behavior creates a hostile work environment, ask yourself whether a "reasonable person" could be offended by such behavior. The "reasonable person" is the test used at Indiana University. Harassment, therefore, can be defined as persistent behavior that creates a workplace or academic climate that is hostile, counter-productive, and interferes with the reasonable execution of work and learning.
In the case of sexual harassment, we are referring to a pattern of behavior which is sexual in nature and creates a workplace or academic climate that "unreasonably interferes" with performance. "Sexual in nature," refers not only to "amorous" behavior but also to hostile conduct directed at a particular gender or sexual orientation.
Each of us must accept the responsibility of the stewardship of this policy as we guard against the practice of harassment. We must not only be good role models, but proactive when we determine that our teaching and learning environment is being perverted by the actions and/or behavior of others. As a faculty, student, or staff member, we must take the proper steps to put a stop to the behavior.
The hurt party or parties have rights. Women and men who believe they are victims of harassment, as well as non-victims who have, in some way, been impacted by harassment, are encouraged to report such incidents. The Department of Theatre and Drama and Indiana University will promptly investigate every harassment complaint, respond, and where deemed necessary, take corrective action to stop the harassment. Investigations of these complaints will be conducted in a fair and thorough manner, which — to the extent possible — protects the privacy and reputation of both the complainant and the accused.
Where to go: A faculty member or Area Head (Dale McFadden, Rob Shakespeare, Ron Wainscott), Arts Administrator (Drew Bratton), Chairperson (Jonathan Michaelsen), Student Ethics and Anti-Harassment Programs, Office of Affirmative Action, Human Resources Management, Office of Women's Affairs, Dean of Students, Dean of Faculties.
More information can be found in the Indiana University Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct, available at http://www.indiana.edu/~code.
More information can be found in the Indiana University Academic Handbook, June 1997, page 116, "Sexual Harassment", and the publication, Understanding Sexual Harassment, available from the Office of Women’s Affairs.