Anti-Harassment Policy

Briercrest College and Seminary Anti-Harassment Policy
Revised December 2014

1. Preamble

At Briercrest College and Seminary, we value the diversity that we have as God's image-bearers. We commit to love and respect our students and associates as well as all others who enter our learning community. As such, we will not condone any bias, prejudice, harassment, or disrespectful behaviours. Nor will promotion of such behaviours be tolerated. All students and associates are entitled to a harassment-free study and work place.

All harassment complaints shall be taken seriously. When acts of harassment are reported or observed, remedial measures and appropriate corrective actions shall be applied. All complainants should be confident that retaliation against them for any complaint will not be tolerated. This policy applies to anyone who provides or uses the services of Briercrest College and Seminary as well as anything that happens on the premises of Briercrest College and Seminary. Each associate and student has an affirmative duty to maintain a school free of harassment and intimidation.

2. Overarching Goals Related to Anti-Harassment

Safety:freedom from harm (physical, emotional, spiritual, psychological) as a result of intentional malice or undue carelessness.

Wholesomeness:freedom to grow and change in an environment of care acknowledging that care, growth, and change often include pain.

Inclusion:freedom to be heard and to participate in the community of Briercrest College and Seminary.

Truthfulness:freedom to be forthright, to be accurate, to participate in wholesome talk and to be surrounded by forthrightness, accuracy, and wholesome talk.

3. Roles and Responsibilities of Leadership

All of our leaders (managers, faculty, and deans), through their actions, shall model respectful behaviour as follows:

  • providing harassment prevention training opportunities for associates and students
  • encouraging reports of harassment and/or discrimination incidents
  • conducting prompt investigations and taking effective remedial measures to stop harassing behaviour whenever reported or observed
  • notifying the appropriate supervisor and either the director of human resources for associates or the dean of students for students of all allegations or incidences of harassment
  • ensuring that retaliatory behaviour is not allowed
  • taking appropriate measures to avoid harassment

4. Roles and Responsibilities of Associates and Students

It is the desire of leadership that associates and students

  • recognize harassment and discrimination
  • avoid harassment and discrimination
  • learn to respond to/confront harassment and discrimination
  • report harassment and discrimination

5. Harassing Behaviour

General school/workplace harassment is a form of offensive treatment or behaviour that, to a reasonable person, creates an intimidating, hostile, or abusive work and study environment.

Harassment is is defined as behaviour that

  • degrades or shows hostility toward an individual because of the individual's characteristics, associations, social or economic status, abilities (including but not limited to race, creed, religion, colour, sex, sexual orientation, family status, marital status, disability, age, nationality, ancestry, place of origin, or receipt of public assistance), or because of retaliation for opposition to prohibited discrimination.
  • creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work/study environment through graphics, written, spoken or non-verbal communications including comments, voicemail, email, jokes, slurs, bullying, gestures, or negative stereotyping
  • constitutes physical violence, restraint, coercion or a threat to the health or safety of a student or associate
  • interferes with an individual's ability to complete her or his work or studies

Sexual harassment is specifically prohibited and defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favours, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature inappropriate in the work or study environment. Examples of sexual harassment include but are not limited to the following:

  • demeaning and/or derogatory communication about one's gender
  • staring, pinching, touching or blocking the movements of another person
  • unwelcome sexual comments, innuendoes, or jokes about one's dress or body
  • sexual horse-play or pranks
  • sexually explicit displays or distribution of pictures, materials, or objects in the work or study area
  • offering or implying a reward or threat concerning work/class assignments, performance review, discipline, promotions, or other terms or conditions of employment in exchange for sexual favours
  • unwelcome amorous advances, sexual propositions, or obscene gestures
  • obscene letters, phone calls, emails, or unwelcome words or comments with sexual meanings
  • unwelcome repeated social contact
  • nonconsensual sexual contact

6. Retaliation Prohibited

Students or associates who complain of harassment or discrimination, who provide information related to such complaints, or who oppose harassing and/or discriminating behaviour shall be protected against retaliation. Retaliation is considered as serious as prohibited harassment, and immediate and appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal shall be instituted. During the complaint investigation, all parties shall be reminded that retaliation is prohibited.

Examples of retaliation can include negative actions such as, but not limited to, unwarranted low grades or poor performance evaluations; change in duties or service opportunities as a consequence of reporting harassing behaviour; other negative education or employment decisions; gossip and breach of confidentiality; laughing at, ignoring, or failing to take seriously reports/complaints of harassment; or continuing/escalating harassing behaviour after the associate/student objects.

7. Addressing Harassment

Any complaint or observation of harassment can be reported to any member of the Anti-Harassment office (see Appendix A for names).

8. Harassment Investigation

All allegations of harassment shall be handled through the Anti-Harassment office. Allegations will be forwarded to the appropriate supervisor(s) and either the director of human resources for associates or the appropriate dean for students. Any allegation of harassment will result in immediate intervention to ensure the safety of the aggrieved.

The adviser to whom the allegation is brought will help the aggrieved determine the best course of action. Should a fact-finding investigation be deemed necessary, it will begin promptly. An investigator will be appointed to gather and consider the relevant facts. All parties are expected to be ethical and honest throughout the investigation. The confidentiality of all parties who are interviewed about the harassment allegation shall be maintained, with the information being disseminated only on a need-to-know basis. The alleged harasser shall not have supervisory authority over the individual who conducts the investigation and shall not have any direct or indirect control over the investigation.

The aggrieved and the respondent will be informed about the outcome of the investigation by the anti-harassment adviser working with the situation. This same person will also follow up with both parties within 30 days of the resolution.

All allegations of harassment will be taken seriously with the goal of encouraging, facilitating, and maintaining asafe,wholesome,inclusive, andtruthfulenvironment.

By expecting accountability and truthfulness, it is hoped that the anti-harassment office can foster an atmosphere that will promote redemption, healing, repentance, forgiveness and reconciliation. However, it is not within the anti-harassment office's scope to bring these things about. It is the office's responsibility to ensure the safety of the aggrieved and a fair investigative process and appropriate outcomes. It must be acknowledged that the outcome may or may not satisfy the aggrieved and/or the respondent.

9. Corrective Actions

If the findings of the investigation indicate that a violation of the anti-harassment policy has occurred, immediate and appropriate corrective and/or disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal, shall be administered. Corrective actions shall be proportional to the seriousness or repetitiveness of the offense. (An oral or written warning, training or counselling, monitoring the harasser, transfer or reassignment, demotion, reduction of wages, suspension, or dismissal may all be appropriate.)

10. Appeal Process

If the aggrieved or respondent have worked with the process and feel that it has failed at some point, or that the corrective action is not consistent with the incident(s) that led to the original complaint, an appeal process is in place. The appeal must be submitted in writing to the anti-harassment director who will ensure that the appeal is processed with the senior vice president or the president's designate if the senior vice president was involved in the initial decision. If the individual is not content with the appeal decision, which is the final decision of the institution, provision is made within accrediting bodies to appeal to an outside party.

CHS: Prairie South School Division at (306) 694-1200, 15 Thatcher Dr. E. Moose Jaw, SK

College: Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE) at (407) 207-0808, P.O. Box 780339 (32878-0339) Orlando, FL, USA;

Seminary: The Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada (ATS) at (412) 788-6505, 10 Summit Park Dr. Pittsburgh, PA USA 15275-1103.

Associates and students have the option of filing a complaint with the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission and associates can refer a harassment complaint to the Saskatchewan Occupational Health and Safety Division. Students and associates retain the right to exercise any other legal avenues.

11. Policy Distribution

A current copy of this policy will be posted at all times in the Public Folders on Outlook. Additionally, the anti-harassment policy shall be posted in central locations where all associates do not have access to Outlook.

Adapted from Investigating Harassment and Discrimination Complaints. Copyright © 2004 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Reproduced by permission of Pfeiffer, an Imprint of Wiley. www.pfeiffer.com

APPENDIX A

The director can be approached for confidential advice and/or to make a complaint regarding harassment.

Advisers

  • Rob Schellenberg, Interim Director Human Resources
    306-756-3342
  • Bob Krueger
    Associate VP, Resource Development
    306-756-3309
  • Sally Carter
    Student Financial Aid Adviser
    306-756-3357

Click here to download the Anti-Harassment Policy (pdf)

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