Harassment & Discrimination Policy


a. Philosophy

Gonzaga recognizes the inherent dignity of all individuals and promotes professional conduct for all people in its activities and programs and in the relationships it shares with students, faculty, staff and the public. Further, Gonzaga expects all community members to promote dignity and professionalism in their daily interactions with each other.

Harassment, discrimination, and sexual misconduct will not be tolerated at Gonzaga. Such acts are counter to our mission, values, Student Code of Conduct and are against Gonzaga policy. Acts of harassment, discrimination, and/or sexual misconduct interfere with an individual’s ability to benefit from the Gonzaga experience. Gonzaga is committed to taking all appropriate steps to eliminate harassment, discrimination, and sexual misconduct, prevent its recurrence and address its effects.

Gonzaga seeks to cultivate a campus culture of prevention and awareness surrounding harassment, discrimination and/or sexual misconduct. All members of the Gonzaga community are encouraged to report any incident of harassment, discrimination, or sexual misconduct. Gonzaga will take steps to resolve complaints promptly and equitably. Gonzaga does this by providing counseling and support services for individuals and groups who have been affected by harassment, discrimination, and/or sexual misconduct, by holding individuals who violate this policy accountable, and by providing education and training to the Gonzaga community.

It is a violation of Gonzaga policy to threaten, intimidate or retaliate in any way against an individual for raising allegations of harassment or discrimination, participating in an investigation, complaint process or hearing, filing a complaint alleging harassment or discrimination, or encouraging others to report. Retaliation includes, but is not limited to, any form of intimidation, reprisal, or harassment. Gonzaga will take immediate and responsive action to any retaliation. Anyone found to have acted in a retaliatory manner may be subject to appropriate disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.

b. Notice of Non-Discrimination

Gonzaga's Policy on Non-Discrimination

Gonzaga University does not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, military status, or any characteristic protected by local, state, or federal law, or any other non-merit factor in employment, educational program, or activities that it operates.

Policies and procedures (collectively referred to as “policies”) are written consistent with Gonzaga’s Mission Statement. Our non-discrimination policies comply with federal and state regulations, including Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.

c. Scope of Policy

This policy applies to harassment and discrimination based on legally protected classes or characteristics. It applies to all Gonzaga community members, including employees and students. All students and employees of Gonzaga are responsible for their actions and behavior, whether the conduct in question occurs on or off campus. As such, this policy applies to both on campus conduct and relevant off campus conduct which affects the Gonzaga community.

Vendors, independent contractors, visitors, and others who conduct business with Gonzaga or on Gonzaga property are also expected to comply with this policy Gonzaga’s Office of Human Resources is responsible for oversight of complaints made pursuant to this policy for all forms of harassment and discrimination prohibited by law. However, gender-based complaints made by students against other students, faculty, staff, other community members or visitors, are overseen by the Title IX Coordinator.

This Policy and the procedures contained herein are separate and different from the procedures in Gonzaga’s Title IX – Sexual Harassment Policy, which is a separate component of this policy. This Policy applies only to conduct that falls outside of the scope of the Title IX – Sexual Harassment Policy and the procedures outlined therein.

When the University receives any report of sexual harassment, gender-based harassment, gender discrimination, and/or sexual misconduct, it will determine whether the report falls within the scope of this Policy and the procedures outlined below, or whether it falls within the scope of Gonzaga’s Title IX – Sexual Harassment Policy and the procedures outlined therein. Such determinations will be made on a case-by-case basis and will take into account various factors, including, but not limited to, the nature of the report and the location of the alleged incident(s).

d. Harassment and Discrimination Defined Under this Policy

Harassment and discrimination against individuals in protected classes can take many forms. It can include verbal or physical conduct, name-calling, slurs, comments, rumors, jokes, innuendos, unwelcome compliments or touching, cartoons, pranks, graphic and written statements, communications via cell phones or the internet, or other conduct which may be physically or emotionally threatening, harmful or humiliating.

Generally, physical and verbal conduct is considered harassment when it meets one or more of the following criteria:

i. Submission to the undesirable conduct or communication is made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of one’s employment or academic status, or
ii. Submission to or rejection of the conduct or communication by an individual is used as a factor in decisions affecting the individual’s employment or education, or
iii. The conduct or communication has the purpose or effect of substantially or unreasonably interfering with an individual’s employment or education, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive employment or academic environment, and
iv. The conduct or communication would not have occurred but for the protected category of the individual(s) or group to whom it is directed or who are affected by it.

Specific examples of Harassment and Discrimination are provided in Section 2 of this policy.

e. Verbal and Other Expressive Behaviors in Instruction Settings

The College and University Personnel Association and the American Association of Gonzaga Professors have developed guidelines for addressing allegations of harassment arising in an instructional setting. The types of expressive behavior which are acceptable within the instructional setting are defined below. Complaints received concerning behaviors outside of these protected behaviors are handled through the applicable procedures described in the Gonzaga University Policies and Procedures Manual, the Faculty Handbook and the Student Code of Conduct, as determined by the classification of the respondent (employee, student or faculty).

i. Definitions:

  • “Instructional setting:” An instructional setting is a situation in which a member of the faculty or academic staff is communicating with a student(s) concerning matters the faculty or academic staff member is responsible for teaching the student(s). These situations include, but are not limited to, such communication in a classroom, laboratory, during a field trip or in a faculty or academic staff member’s office.
  • “Expressive behavior:” Expressive behavior is conduct in an instructional setting whenever a faculty or academic staff member seeks to communicate with students.
    It includes, but is not limited to, the use of visual materials, verbal or written statements, and assignment of visual, recorded or written materials.

ii. Protected Expressive Behavior:

  • Expressive behavior related to subject matter:
    • A faculty or academic staff member’s selection of instructional materials shall not be the basis for discipline if the material selected is germane to the subject of the course. However, if the Faculty Harassment/Discrimination Committee finds, at a formal hearing, that the faculty or academic staff member’s claim that the materials are germane to the subject of the course is unreasonable, it shall not be an acceptable defense to the use of such material.
    • A faculty or academic staff member’s expressive behavior shall not be the basis for discipline if the behavior constitutes an opinion or statement germane to the subject matter of the course. However, if the Faculty Harassment/Discrimination Committee finds, at a formal hearing, that the faculty or academic staff member’s claim that the expressive behavior is unreasonable, it shall not be an acceptable defense to the use of such behavior.
  • Expressive Behavior related to pedagogical strategies: A faculty or academic staff member’s selection of pedagogical strategies shall not be the basis for discipline unless the Faculty Harassment/Discrimination Committee finds, at a formal hearing, that the faculty or academic staff member’s claim that the objective cannot be accomplished as effectively by techniques less likely to cause harm is unreasonable.

f. Statement of Privacy and Confidentiality

Gonzaga is committed to protecting the privacy and confidentiality of all individuals involved in a report of harassment or discrimination to the extent possible. Gonzaga will balance privacy and confidentiality with its obligation to conduct a thorough review of the allegation for the purpose of protecting the parties and the broader campus community and maintaining an environment which is free from harassment and discrimination.

i. Privacy generally means information related to a report of misconduct will only be shared with a limited circle of individuals. The use of this information is limited to those Gonzaga employees who “need to know” in order to assist in the active review, investigation or resolution of the report. While not bound by confidentiality, these individuals are required to be discreet and respect the privacy of all individuals involved in the process.

ii. Confidentiality means information shared by an individual with designated campus or community professionals cannot be revealed to any other individual without the express permission of the individual. These professionals include those licensed by the State as a medical professional, mental health clinician or clergy serving in their capacity as a sacramental confessor or any ordained religious serving in the sacred confidence role.

When Gonzaga has received a report of harassment or discrimination, but the Complainant requests his/her identity remain private or confidential, or that Gonzaga not pursue an investigation, Gonzaga must balance this request for privacy with its responsibility to provide a safe and non-discriminatory environment for all members of the Gonzaga community.
Decisions regarding privacy requests will be made by the Title IX Coordinator for gender- based harassment, discrimination, and/or sexual misconduct. Decisions regarding privacy of all other equal opportunity complaints will be made by appropriate Gonzaga officials.
Gonzaga will take all reasonable steps to investigate and respond to the report consistent with the Complainant’s request, but its ability to do so may be limited by the request for privacy. However, with the presence of circumstances (including without limitation the seriousness of the alleged harassment and the age of the parties) or evidence of a pattern of repetitive behavior, Gonzaga may conduct further investigation, or take other appropriate measures without the Complainant’s consent. A Complainant will be informed whenever legally permissible of any action taken by Gonzaga to resolve the complaint, including further investigation and corrective or disciplinary steps.

If circumstances alleged in a report of misconduct pose an immediate threat to the Gonzaga community or when timely notice must be given to protect the health or safety of the community, Gonzaga may not be able to maintain the same level of privacy. Immediately threatening circumstances include, but are not limited to, reported incidents of sexual misconduct which include the use of force, a weapon, or other circumstances which represent a serious and ongoing threat to Gonzaga students, faculty, administrators, staff, or visitors.

All resolution proceedings are conducted in compliance with the requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the Clery Act, Title IX, other applicable federal and state laws, and Gonzaga policy. No information shall be released except as required or permitted by law and Gonzaga policy.