The American University of Rome is committed to maintaining a supportive learning and working environment in which all persons are treated with respect and dignity. Discrimination, harassment, and sexual harassment subvert the mission of the University and compromise the campus environment. It is unacceptable and unlawful conduct and will not be tolerated. Also, the University will not tolerate retaliation against persons who complain about or cooperate in the investigation of alleged acts of discrimination, harassment or sexual harassment.
Members of the University community shall not engage in acts of discrimination, harassment or sexual harassment. This policy applies in all university-related settings and is not limited to the campus. This policy also prohibits the harassment of non-employees by a University student, faculty or staff while on the campus or in such University-related settings. Members of the university community who do so are subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination for employees and expulsion for students. In addition, the University will not tolerate students, faculty or staff being discriminated against or harassed by non-employees while in university-related settings.
The international, cross-cultural nature of AUR is its strength. The University encourages diversity among the student population, the faculty and other employees. Respect for, and sensitivity towards all members of the community is a prerequisite for a harmonious and productive campus. AUR does not discriminate nor will it tolerate discrimination in any of its programs, procedures, or practices against any person on the basis of age, citizenship, color, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
Definition of Discrimination
The unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex.
AUR is a small university that aims to provide a warm and supportive environment for all students, faculty and employees. Harassment undermines this objective and is not acceptable behavior. It is a destructive force in any environment and has no place in an academic institution that promotes and respects the dignity and worth of every individual. It is also illegal under Italian, as well as European, law.
Definition of Harassment
Harassment is defined as words or gestures that intimidate, alarm or abuse another person and cause that person emotional and/or psychological stress. Such actions may include, but are not limited to:
- Humiliation, ridicule or belittlement
- Intimidation of either a verbal, written or visual nature including inappropriate use of social media, email or any other form of virtual communication (cyber bullying)
- Spreading of malicious rumors
- Excessive supervision or total lack of support
- Interfering in the person’s ability to perform his/her work
The American University of Rome encourages all students and employees to be sensitive to different cultures, lifestyles, and viewpoints. Mean-spirited words, such as racial epithets, sexual innuendo, and gratuitous references to lifestyle, or actions demeaning to human beings are unacceptable and will not be tolerated. All members of The American University of Rome community must be aware of their right to work and study in an environment free from the pressures of harassment and intimidation.
SEXUAL HARASSMENT (Title IX)
AUR adheres to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, protecting people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance.
Title IX states that:“no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance”.
Definition of Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment is unlawful discrimination under applicable law. Prohibited conduct may involve harassment of women by men, harassment of men by women, and harassment between persons of the same sex. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when:
- submission to such conduct is made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of an individual’s employment or participation in a university-sponsored education program or activity;
- submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or academic decisions affecting such an individual; or
- such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s employment or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or educational environment.
Examples of Sexual Harassment
The following are some examples of conduct which, if unwelcome, may constitute sexual harassment depending upon the totality of the circumstances, including the severity of the conduct and its pervasiveness. This list is intended to illustrate unacceptable behaviors and should not be considered comprehensive or exclusive:
- Unwanted physical contact such as hugging, patting, pinching, or constant brushing against a person's body
- Lewd remarks, lewd whistles, or lewd references to one's own or another person’s anatomy
- Obscene or offensive gestures
- Display of graphic materials or web sites with sexually suggestive material
- Subtle or overt pressure for sexual favors
- Persistent and offensive sexual jokes and comments
- Persistent and unwanted requests for dates
- Sexually explicit or sexually suggestive mail, email and voice mail
The Title IX Coordinator at AUR is Dru Burtz, Associate Dean of Academic Administration. She can be contacted at email@example.com, tel. 06 58330919, extension 206 and is responsible for addressing any inquiries concerning the application of Title IX at AUR.
Responsible Employees support the Title IX Coordinator in providing information on Title IX or receiving reports of incidents of sexual misconduct. Like the Title IX Coordinator, Student Life staff members are available to guide students in responding to sexual discrimination, harassment or violence.
Steps to follow if being subjected to discrimination/harassment/sexual harassment:
A discrimination/harassment/sexual harassment complaint may be initiated by:
- Submitting the Student Complaint form available on MyAUR (under the Student tab) or One Campus (under forms)
- contacting the Title IX Coordinator and Dean of Students for non-academic student complaints
- contacting the Title IX Coordinator and Dean of Academic Affairs for academic-related student and faculty complaints
- contacting the Title IX Coordinator and the HR Manager for employee complaints
The President of the University is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the policy amongst all students, faculty and staff.
The President, or a designee of the President, will assign two or more full-time members of the AUR staff to form an investigative committee.
The panel is responsible for reviewing all complaints and for mediating a solution if possible. When mediated resolution is not possible, the panel shall fully investigate the complaint and shall report to the President the results of the investigation.
Following receipt of the committee’s report of a complaint, the President shall promptly take action as he or she deems necessary to correct the effects of or to prevent further harm to an affected party or others.
The complainant and the accused will be informed of the President’s final verdict.
To the extent permitted by the Italian and European privacy laws (Art. 13 law degree of June 30, 2003, n.196, and EU law 2016/679), the confidentiality of all persons involved in a discrimination, harassment or sexual harassment investigation or complaint will be observed, except insofar as information needs to be disclosed so that the University may effectively and adequately investigate the matter or take appropriate corrective measures. It is understood that when a discrimination, harassment or sexual harassment incident is reported to any University employee, that person has a duty to convey the information to the appropriate University authority for action.
Persons who submit a complaint about discrimination, harassment or sexual harassment, or who cooperate in the university’s investigation and handling of a discrimination, harassment or sexual harassment report or complaint, shall not be subject to retaliation, whether or not the University finds the accusations to be founded.
Students who knowingly file a false complaint of discrimination, harassment or sexual harassment, or who knowingly provide false information to or intentionally mislead University officials who are investigating a complaint of alleged discrimination, harassment or sexual harassment, will be subject to disciplinary action, up to expulsion.
CRIMINAL ACTS: Assault and Sexual Assault
An assault is the act of inflicting physical harm or unwanted physical contact upon a person or, in some specific legal definitions, a threat or attempt to commit such an action. It is a crime and therefore may result in criminal and/or civil liability.
Sexual Assault Definition
Sexual assault is intentional sexual contact, characterized by use of force, threats, intimidation, abuse or when the victim does not or cannot consent.
Sexual assault is a crime, and therefore may result in either criminal and/or civil liability.
Examples of Sexual Assault
Sexual assault includes rape, forcible sodomy and other unwanted indecent contact (e.g., kissing against another person’s will) that is aggravated, abusive or wrongful (to include unwanted and inappropriate sexual contact), or attempts to commit these acts.
“Consent” means words or overt acts indicating a freely given agreement to the sexual conduct at issue by a competent person.
An expression of refusal or lack of consent through words or conduct means there is no consent (i.e., “No Means No”). Lack of verbal or physical resistance or submission, resulting from the accused’s use of force, threat of force or fear, does not constitute consent.
The victim’s lack of verbal or physical resistance or submission resulting from intoxication, from unconsciousness due to sleep or alcohol consumption, or from any other conditions which render the person substantially incapacitated or substantially incapable of understanding the nature of the sexual act, declining participation in the act or communicating unwillingness to engage in the sexual act does not constitute consent.
A current or previous dating relationship shall not constitute consent.
The manner of dress of the victim shall not constitute consent.
Steps to follow if being subjected to assault/sexual assault:
Criminal assault falls beyond the university’s jurisdiction in Italy and is subject to the laws of this country. It must be reported to the police, who will start an investigation and press criminal charges against perpetrators of the criminal offense.
However, full assistance and confidential support are available to students and members of the AUR community. The Title IX Coordinator, or the President’s Chief of Staff (for members of staff) or the VP and Dean of Academic Affairs (for faculty) should be notified and is always available for confidential support and assistance and may assist with information and contact with the local authorities.
Updated June 2022