Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.)
1. What conduct is considered sexual harassment/violence?
Sexual harassment, including sexual violence, means unwelcome sexual advances, unwelcome requests for sexual favors, and other behavior of a sexual nature. Sexual violence is a form of sexual harassment and means physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person cannot give consent. Sexual violence encompasses rape, sexual assault, sexual battery and sexual coercion.
The following conduct, as well as others which are not listed, can constitute sexual harassment/violence:
- Harassment through public or private insult, sexually suggestive comments concerning a person’s body or behavior, and sexual demands;
- Subtle or overt pressure to comply with demands of sexual activity;
- Remarks about another person’s clothing, body, sexual activities, sexual preferences, or sexual orientation, as well as teasing, jokes, remarks or gestures which are sexual in nature;
- Unnecessary touching, pinching, patting or exposure to another person’s body;
- Unwanted communications of a sexual nature in writing, by telephone, or by other means;
- Requests or demands for sexual favors accompanied by implied or overt threats about grades, clinical assignments, class academic assignments, recommendations, student employment, etc.;
- Repetition of unwanted invitations for dates; and
- Physical assault of a sexual nature, up to and including attempted or actual rape.
2. What can I do if I have been or am being subjected to sexual harassment/violence?
If it is a health emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. You may also go to University Police, located at the Pine Street Station, at any time of the day or night to report an incident and to receive assistance. University Police must be notified if the sexual harassment/violence involves threatening, aggressive or violent behavior and there is a risk of danger to yourself or others. Reports to University Police can be made in person, by phone, in writing, via email, or using the University Associate’s Report form, available at:
Regardless of whether a report is made to University Police, you should report any incident of sexual harassment/violence to Roger Ward, Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs, who is the University’s Title IX Coordinator, as soon as reasonably possible after the incident. The Title IX Coordinator is trained in receiving reports of sexual harassment/violence and will be able to guide you to the appropriate campus support services and assist in eliminating the harassment and preventing recurrence. A list of campus support resources is provided in the UMB Policy on Sex-Based Discrimination of Students [VI-1.20(B)] as well as the link below:
3. What if I am afraid of continued harassment where I live, study or work?
The Title IX Coordinator, in conjunction with your School or program, will help formulate a plan of interim steps to protect you while a complaint is being investigated. Steps may include:
- A change of living arrangements;
- A change in course or class selection;
- A short term leave of absence;
- University notice to the parties to refrain from contact pending the outcome of the investigation; and
- Information about campus support services.
4. What should I do if I observe an incident of sexual harassment/violence?
Members of the University community are expected to promptly report incidents of sexual harassment/violence involving the University community to the Title IX Coordinator in person, by phone, in writing or via email. A report should be made to the Title IX Coordinator even if you do not have complete information.
If the behavior you observed involved threatening, aggressive or violent behavior, in addition to notifying the Title IX Coordinator, one should also immediately make a report to University Police.
5. What should I do if someone informs me of an alleged incident of sexual harassment/violence?
You can remind the individual that the University has campus support services that are available to him/her, and encourage and assist him/her, as needed, to connect with appropriate support services and to make reports to University Police and the Title IX Coordinator. Even if the individual does not wish to make a formal report or pursue an inquiry, you are expected to promptly report the allegation of sexual harassment/violence to the Title IX Coordinator. Reports to the Title IX Coordinator can be made in person, by phone, in writing, via email. Reports should be made even if you do not have complete information and even if the individual requests confidentiality.
6. Will my report to the Title IX Coordinator be confidential?
You may request partial or complete confidentiality; however, a request for confidentiality may limit the University’s ability to respond. The University will take reasonable steps to investigate and respond to a complaint consistent with a request for confidentiality as long as doing so does not prevent the University from responding effectively to a hostile environment and preventing hostile behavior that may be directed towards others.
7. What if I don’t want anyone to know that I have experienced sexual harassment/violence?
Even if you do not wish to identify yourself or pursue an investigation, you should make a report to the Title IX Coordinator who will be able to provide you with information about the campus support services that are available to you and work with you and your school on steps to eliminate the harassment and prevent recurrence. You may make an anonymous report, however this may limit the University’s ability to respond to the complaint.
8. Can I pursue criminal charges?
You may always contact the police about filing a criminal complaint. Regardless of whether the hostile behavior is part of a criminal investigation or proceeding, the University will conduct its own investigation and take reasonable steps to end sexual harassment/violence and prevent recurrences.
9. If the harassment/violence occurred off campus can I still report to the University?
Yes. Incidents of sexual harassment/violence involving a member of the campus community that occur off campus should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator. Behavior that is threatening, aggressive or violent should be reported to law enforcement in the jurisdiction where the incident occurred, as well as to University Police. The University will investigate and take reasonable steps to resolve such complaints to the extent necessary to protect the complainant and prevent harassment directed toward others.
10. What if I am accused of sexual harassment/violence?
If you have been accused of sexual harassment or sexual violence, be aware that University policy does not presume an accused individual is responsible for the alleged conduct. The University will investigate and take reasonable steps to end sexual harassment/violence and prevent recurrences. Both the complainant and the respondent have equal opportunity to due process.
11. What support services are available on campus?
The University offers many campus support services. A list of campus resources is available in the UMB Policy on Sex-Based Discrimination of Students [VI-1.20(B)] and also at: http://www.umaryland.edu/offices/accountability/sexual_harassment/campus_resources.html
If you have any questions or need guidance regarding campus resources, contact the University’s Title IX Coordinator.
12. What is the BETA Team and when should I make a BETA Team report to University Police?
The University’s Behavioral Evaluation and Threat Assessment (BETA) Team coordinates activities in response to reports of threatening, aggressive or violent behavior or warning signs of such behavior. Warning signs are described in the UMB Behavioral Evaluation and Threat Assessment Policy [XI-3.00(A)] available at http://cf.umaryland.edu/umpolicies/usmpolicyInfo.cfm?polid=369§ion=all. The BETA Team can be reached through a report to University police. If an incident of sexual harassment/violence involves threatening, aggressive or violent behavior and you believe there is risk of continuing or recurrent danger to members of the University community, immediately report the matter to University Police in person, by phone, via email, or using the University Associate’s Report form, available at the above-referenced BETA policy link. Reports of sexual harassment/violence, regardless of whether or not reported to University Police and the BETA Team, should also be made to the Title IX Coordinator. The Title IX Coordinator may consult with the BETA Team if a report of sexual harassment/violence presents a risk of danger to the individual making the report or others.
13. What if I am afraid of retaliation based on my report or participation in an investigation?
The University does not tolerate or condone any form of retaliation against an individual whose report or complaint is made in good faith or against any person who participates in good faith in an inquiry or investigation of a complaint under the applicable University policies and procedures.