Equal Opportunity

Sexual Harassment

Overview

It is the responsibility of all members of the UMass Lowell community to prevent sexual harassment and all forms of sexual violence, including sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. Supervisors have additional responsibilities. Please regularly review the guidelines: Sexual Harassment / Title IX / VAWA Guidelines (pdf).

The definition of sexual harassment is broad and includes sexual violence.  All forms of sexual harassment, sexual violence, and sexual misconduct are prohibited under Title IX and by UMass Lowell.

Please note, reporting sexual violence to a UMass Lowell staff member, including a University Counselor (for anonymous reporting), Student Affairs staff member, coach, a Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Coordinator, or to the UMass Lowell Police Department will provide the opportunity of providing information on available resources. 

For additional specific information regarding sexual violence, please see www.uml.edu/Prevent.  

The Sexual Harassment / Title IX / VAWA Procedure (pdf) provides the procedure used to respond to concerns or complaints regarding Title IX, sexual harassment, or the Violence Against Women Act. 

In addition, it is unlawful to retaliate against any person who brings a complaint of sexual harassment, sexual violence, or other forms of sexual misconduct. For example, even if, after an investigation, it is found that a person's claim of sexual harassment is not substantiated, it is improper and unlawful to take any action to "get even" with the complaining party, whether through his or her employment or academic status, by any threats, or by any other means. The University of Massachusetts Lowell expressly prohibits individuals from taking any retaliatory action against individuals who have complained about sexual harassment and/or individuals who have cooperated with an investigation of a complaint of sexual harassment. These activities, if substantiated, will be subject to discipline up to and including termination.

UMass Lowell is required to take every measure to prevent sexual harassment and retaliation, and if it occurs, to appropriately respond.  

Frequently Asked Questions

  What is sexual harassment?

For terms in bold, please see Definitions.

Sexual harassment is:

Gender-based verbal or physical conduct that is, 

  • unwelcome or without consent
  • sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that it, 
  • has the effect of unreasonably interfering with, denying or limiting someone’s work performance or ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s educational program and/or activities, regardless of whether it occurs on or off campus, and is:
    • based on the creation of a hostile environment, or 
    • based or retaliation, or 
    • based on power differentials (quid pro quo). Conduct constitutes quid pro quo sexual harassment when 1) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment or academic performance, 2) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or academic decisions affecting such individual. 
The unwelcome behavior must be considered an unreasonable interference both to a reasonable person and to the person impacted.

The term sexual harassment is used in this context to indicate the full scope of prohibited sexual behaviors including sexual violence. Examples of prohibited sexual behaviors include, but are not limited to, the following: sexual assault; intimate partner or dating violence; domestic violence; stalking; or gender-based bullying; to purposefully view or record (by photograph, audio or video) nudity or sex without consent; to attempt to transmit a sexually transmitted infection; to attempt to coerce an unwilling person into a sexual relationship; to repeatedly subject a person to egregious, unwelcome sexual attention; to punish a refusal to comply with a sexual based request; to condition a benefit on submitting to sexual advances. Many other behaviors may constitute prohibited sexual harassment when they are sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive, including, but not limited to, sexual emails; sexual “kidding” or jokes; sexual comments, images, or questions; physical contact such as patting, pinching, or purposely rubbing up against another person's body.

Sexual harassment is specifically harassment of a sexual nature.  Sexual assault, (including rape and unwelcome fondling, or attempts to commit the same), domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, and other forms of sexual misconduct are forms of sexual harassment, which is discrimination, and which is prohibited by under Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972.

Disrespectful or offensive sexual behavior by faculty, staff or students is inappropriate and, in some cases, may be an abuse of authority. The involved parties can be men or women; supervisors, subordinates or peers.

Where can I receive confidential support or assistance?

For confidential support or assistance, you may contact:

Counseling Services
978-934-4331
Wellness Center, University Crossing, 3rd floor

Student Health Services
Wellness Center, University Crossing 3rd floor
978-934-4991 

Additionally, there are a number of off-campus organizations which may be of assistance.  Please see Part VIII of the Sexual Harassment / Title IX / VAWA Procedure.

How do I report sexual harassment, sexual violence, or other sexually inappropriate behavior?

If you have a question about the implementation of Title IX, or to file a Title IX complaint, contact Clara I. Orlando, Title IX Coordinator, Director, Equal Opportunity and Outreach, Wannalancit Mills, 3rd Floor, Clara_Orlando@uml.edu, 978-934-3565.

A report can be filed through the Office of Student Conduct, the Student Affairs Office, or UMass Lowell Police Department. 

Title IX Coordinator:

  • Clara I. Orlando, J.D., Director of Equal Opportunity and Outreach & Title IX Coordinator, Wannalancit Mills, 600 Suffolk Street, Suite 301, Lowell, MA 01854, 978-934-3567. 
For Title IX questions or complaints between students:
  • Ann Ciaraldi, Assoc. Dean of Student Affairs, Deputy Title IX Coordinator, University Crossing, 220 Pawtucket Street, Suite 200, Lowell, MA 01854, 978-934-2100.   
  • Bo Zaryckyj, Director of Student Conduct, Deputy Title IX Coordinator, University Crossing, 220 Pawtucket Street, Suite 200, Lowell, MA 01854, 978-934-2100.  

For Title IX questions or complaints involving faculty, staff, vendors, contractors or any other third party:

  • Clara I. Orlando, J.D., Director of Equal Opportunity and Outreach & Title IX Coordinator, Wannalancit Mills, 600 Suffolk Street, Suite 301, Lowell, MA 01854, 978-934-3567.
  • Rebecca Hall, Senior EOO/Employment Specialist Human Resources and Equal Opportunity & Outreach, Deputy Title IX Coordinator, Wannalancit Mills, 600 Suffolk St, Suite 301, Lowell, MA 01854, 978-934-3563.  
  • Donna Vieweg, Senior EOO/Employment Specialist Human Resources and Equal Opportunity & Outreach, Deputy Title IX Coordinator, Wannalancit Mills, 600 Suffolk St, Suite 301, Lowell, MA 01854, 978-934-3566.

University Police

If the incident is a crime, you may contact the UMass Lowell Police Department or the local police department.

UMass Lowell Police: The UMass Lowell Police Department strongly advocates that a victim of sexual assault report the incident in a timely manner. Time is a critical factor for evidence collection and preservation. An assault should be reported directly to the UMass Lowell Police Department; filing a police report will not obligate the victim to prosecute, nor will it subject the victim to scrutiny or judgmental opinions from officers. 

Filing a police report will: 
  • Ensure that a victim of sexual assault receives the necessary medical treatment and tests, at no expense to the victim; 
  • Provide the opportunity for collection of evidence helpful in prosecution, which cannot be obtained later (ideally a victim of sexual assault should not wash, douche, use the toilet, or change clothing prior to a medical/legal exam)
  • Ensure the victim has access to free confidential counseling from counselors specifically trained in the area of sexual assault crisis intervention. 
Lowell Police : 978-937-3200

External Agencies

You may also contact the following regarding filing a formal complaint:

  1. The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)  
    John F. Kennedy Federal Building
    Boston, MA  02203
    800-669-4000
    TTY: 800-669-6820
  2. The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD)
    One Ashburton Place
    Sixth Floor, Room 601
    Boston, MA  02108
    617-994-6000
    TTY: 617-994-6196
  3. Office for Civil Rights
    Boston Office
    U.S. Department of Education
    33 Arch Street, Suite 9000
    Boston, MA  02110-1491
    617-289-0111
    TDD: 877-521-2172

Please see Reporting for additional contact information.

  If someone tells me he or she has been subjected to sexual harassment, sexual violence, or other inappropriate sexual behavior, what should I do?  

Please see the Responsible Employees page.

If you are not considered a Responsible Reporting Employee such as a supervisor, please tell a supervisor or contact Equal Opportunity and Outreach at 978-934-3565 for more information.

How can I help prevent sexual harassment and sexual violence?  

Please see the Be an Active Bystander page.

What should I know about sexual or dating relationships between employees and their supervisors, or between faculty and their students? 

Consensual relationships exist when there is a welcome relationship of a dating, romantic, intimate or sexual nature, where one of the parties has institutional responsibility for or authority over the other, or is involved in evaluation of the other.  Examples of such relationships are dating between a faculty member or advisor and a student when those relationships are welcome to both parties, or an intimate or sexual relationship between a supervisor and his/her reporting employee when that is welcome to the both parties.

Romantic or sexual relationships between people with this type or reporting or evaluating responsibility can compromise the integrity of the exercise of responsibility, create the potential for abuse of authority, or cause problems due to the perceptions or misperceptions of others.

The integrity of the faculty-student relationship is the foundation of the UMass Lowell's educational mission.  Whenever a faculty member is responsible for academic supervision of a student, a personal relationship between them of a romantic or sexual nature, even if consensual, is inappropriate.  Any such relationship jeopardizes the integrity of the educational process.

If any member of the University community wishes to engage in a consensual relationship, he/she should notify
Human Resources and Equal Opportunity and Outreach (HR/EOO), at 978-934-3565.  HR/EOO will confer with the relevant administrators regarding options for reassignment so that a supervisory or evaluation relationship no longer exists.