Sexual Harassment Frequently Asked Questions

What is Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment is defined as conduct that:

  • Is sexual in nature
  • Is unwelcome/ uninvited
  • Denies or limits your ability as a student or employee to participate in or benefit from Everett Community College's education program or a safe workplace environment

Sexual harassment can take different forms. The conduct can be carried out by college employees, students, or visitors. Males and females can be subject to sexual harassment. The harasser and the survivor can be of the same gender. Sexual harassment also includes conduct that is criminal in nature, such as rape, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking. The conduct can occur in any college program, event, or activity, on and off campus. The conduct can be physical, verbal, or non-verbal.

What are some examples of sexual conduct?

  • Pressure for dates
  • Persistent and unwelcome flirtation of a sexual nature
  • Sexual phone calls, voice messages or emails
  • Leering, ogling, or staring
  • Pressuring persons for sexual favors
  • Unwelcome touching or brushing
  • Displaying or distributing sexually explicit drawings, pictures or written materials
  • Touching oneself sexually in front of others
  • Telling sexual or dirty jokes
  • Spreading sexual rumors
  • Requests for sex in exchange for higher grades or favorable employment decisions
  • Rating persons as to sexual activity or performance
  • Circulating or showing websites of a sexual nature

Are gay, lesbian and transgender students protected from sexual harassment?

Yes. Sexual misconduct can happen to anyone regardless of gender, gender expression, or sexual orientation. Title IX also prohibits discrimination based on a persons identity as LGBTQIA+. Sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment, can be conducted by anyone against anyone, regardless of how they identify.

Who should report?

Report if you:

  • Are the person who experienced sexual violence, 
  • Witnessed sexual violence, or
  • Are aware of sexual violence that took place. 

Does the College have an official grievance procedure?

Yes. The College has an official grievance procedure. It covers informal and formal complaints. It is part of the Washington Administrative Code (WAC), entitled, "Illegal Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Complaint Procedures," and is numbered WAC 132E-120-385. It is available on the Washington State Legislature pageExternal Site Link

How does the College respond to a complaint?

The College takes any complaint about sexual harassment or other forms of sexual misconduct very seriously. The College follows all of the guidelines published by the U.S. Department of Education and Office of Civil Rights (OCR). The College will investigate the complaint in a prompt, reliable, adequate, and impartial manner. The purpose of the investigation is to determine whether sexual misconduct or violence occurred. The College respects the rights of both the complainant and the person or persons addressed in the complaint. Depending on the facts of the individual situation, the College may proceed with actions consistent with its due process procedures, OCR guidance, personnel policies, collective bargaining agreements and student rights and responsibilities. While an investigation is under way and/or part of its resolution, the College may take steps to prevent the person(s) addressed in the complaint from contact with the complainant. If the behavior may be criminal, you have the right to file a criminal complaint. This will not delay the College in doing its own work to resolve the complaint promptly and equitably.

Suppose drugs or alcohol are involved?

Sometimes people are afraid to report sexual misconduct because drugs or alcohol are involved. The College's highest priority is the safety of everyone on campus. Any other rule violations will be handled separately from the sexual harassment complaint. The use of alcohol or drugs never makes the person who experienced the misconduct at fault for sexual violence.

Everett Community College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religious belief, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national or ethnic origin, disability, genetic information, veteran status, or age.