Did you know that information about the role of the Ombudsperson is part of the larger FA Website? Please visit our newly updated Office of the Ombuds site. There you will find a wealth of materials about the role of the Ombudsperson, some FAQs, bios of the Ombuds Advisory Committee members, and additional resources to assist you should you ever need my assistance.
Part of my role as your Ombudsperson involves educating and providing information and resources to faculty regarding their working conditions rights and responsibilities. Much of this is detailed in our Contract, but a number of BP and AP’s are also relevant. In this article, I would like to highlight AP 3430: Prohibition of Harassment. This AP defines harassment, including sexual harassment, and provides the procedure for the investigation and resolution of harassment complaints by or against any staff, faculty, or student within the district. I recommend all faculty take the time to review the various definitions and descriptions of the types of harassment detailed including verbal, physical, environmental, and/or sexual.
Clarification on Consensual Relationships
Recently, the AP was updated to clarify the District’s position on Consensual Relationships. The AP now reads that romantic or sexual relationships are PROHIBITED (a) between a supervisor and his/her subordinate employee, (b) between any classroom faculty member and an MCC student who is CURRENTLY enrolled in a class taught by the faculty member or who is working as a student employee under his/her supervision and (c) between any non-classroom faculty member and students whom they are currently advising. It goes on to DISCOURAGE romantic or sexual relationships (a) between a supervisor and an employee or (b) between any employee (administrator, faculty member, or classified staff member) and a student. The AP then explains that such relationships contain “an inherent imbalance of power and potential for exploitation in such relationships.” It further reads, “A consensual sexual relationship may change, with the result that the sexual conduct that was once welcome becomes unwelcome and harassing.”
It is important that all faculty know about these changes and if violations occur and/or a Title IX or Title V complaint is filed, an investigation will be initiated. AP 3435 details the process for making a Discrimination or Harassment Complaint as well as the ensuing Investigation Procedures.
If you have a complaint and/or find yourself the subject of an investigation, please contact me immediately for a confidential meeting.