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Department of English Statement on Sexual Harassment

Recent, high-profile occurrences of sexual harassment and assault have empowered survivors of such offenses to come forward and share their stories. In light of this, the faculty of the English Department want to reaffirm that sexual harassment, always a misuse of power, is a morally and ethically reprehensible violation of acceptable standards of conduct. It may also constitute a criminal offense. The English Department is committed to creating a non-discriminatory, hospitable, and secure intellectual space for all students, staff, faculty, and other community members, where everyone’s dignity and emotional well-being are recognized and respected. The department stands in solidarity with anyone who has experienced gender discrimination (including discrimination based on gender identity and expression), sexual harassment, sexual violence, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, cyber-stalking, bullying or cyber-bullying or any other misconduct or discrimination related to one’s sex or gender identity. Such acts may include anything from unwelcome sexual innuendo, propositions, sexual attention, or suggestive comments, jokes, and gestures, to slurs, insults, physical aggression, intimidation, or hostility based on sex, sexual orientation, sex-stereotyping, gender identity, or gender expression. We take allegations of such sexual misconduct and crimes very seriously.

If you have been a victim of any of these violations, past or present, you may make a formal report to the The Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity (413-545-3464) or the Dean of Students Office (413-545-2684) or, of course, you may contact the campus Police Department (413-545-2121) or theAmherst Police Department (413-259-3000). Given the possible difficulty of talking about the incident, you may wish to speak with someone in the department—a teacher, an adviser, or a department administrator or staff person—but please be aware that we may be required by law to report the incident to the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity. If you are not sure you want officially to report the incident, you are entitled to counseling and support from campus organizations designated as confidential resources. These include The Center for Women & Community (413-545-0800) which provides crisis intervention and advocacy and assistance in getting medical attention for victims/survivors of all genders; The Center for Counseling and Psychological Health (413-545-2337) which provides 24-hour crisis intervention and short term psychotherapies; and University Health Services, which has a SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) Program (413-577-5000) that provides free, compassionate services for female, male, and transgender survivors. All three services are confidential resources.

Please be assured that we will do everything in our power to insure your peace and safety and to end any sort of sexual transgression.