Sexual Harassment Policy

William Paterson University of New Jersey is committed to developing and sustaining a community where all can learn and work together free from harassment and exploitation. This policy is intended to address all members of the university community including students, faculty, librarians, professional staff, clerical staff, maintenance, campus police and security, managers, administrators, and the Board of Trustees as well as any vendors doing business with the University. 

Sexual harassment encompasses any sexual attention that is unwanted. Sexual harassment can be verbal, visual, or physical. It can range from repeated unwelcome sexual flirtation and inappropriate, gender-based, put-downs of individuals or group of people to physical abuse, such as sexual assault or rape. Whether particular verbal, non-verbal, or physical conduct constitutes harassment in violation of this policy will depend upon all the circumstances, the context in which the conduct occurs, and the frequency, severity, and pattern of the conduct. 

The University recognizes that even the possibility of harassment is destructive to individuals, to groups and to the community. While sexual harassment most often takes place in situations where there is a power differential between the persons involved,  

the University recognizes that sexual harassment may occur between persons of the same status. Sexual harassment may also occur between persons of the same sex. Sexual harassment contaminates teacher/student and supervisor/subordinate relationships as well as those among student peers and faculty or staff colleagues. When, through fear of reprisal, a student, staff member, or faculty member submits, or is pressured to submit, to unwanted sexual attention, the entire community is undermined. The University will not tolerate behavior among members of the community which creates an unacceptable working or educational environment, and it will initiate appropriate sanctions against the offender. 

Effective September 1, 1993, all New Jersey State departments, colleges/universities, and authorities have been required to abide by the State's Sexual Harassment Policy. This policy follows federal and state laws as outlined in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended; N.J.S.A. 10:5-1 et. Seq.; Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments; N.J.S.A. 11A: 1-1 et.seq. N.J.A.C. 4A:7-1.3. 

Consensual Relations 

Consensual Relations

The University's educational mission is promoted by professionalism in employee/student relationships. Consensual relationships are romantic and sexual relationships between two or more individuals entered into with the consent of both parties. 

Consensual, amorous relationships between supervisors and their subordinates, or faculty and students undermine the ethical integrity of the University community. Such relationships are problematic for the people involved as well as having a negative impact on others in the work environment. 

Moreover, other students and employees may be affected by such unprofessional behavior because it places, or may be perceived to place, the staff/faculty member in a position to favor or advance one person's interest at the expense of others and implicitly makes obtaining benefits contingent on amorous or sexual favors. 

Therefore, no staff member shall have an amorous relationship (consensual or otherwise) with a student who is enrolled in their course and/or whose academic work is being evaluated by the faculty member. No staff member shall have an amorous relationship with a student whom the staff member has the power to penalize or reward. 

A staff/faculty member who fails to withdraw from participation in activities or decisions that may reward or penalize a student with whom the staff/faculty member has or has had an amorous relationship will be deemed to have violated their ethical obligation to the student, other students, colleagues, and the University. 

Supervisory staff/faculty who engage in consensual relationships with individuals they supervise or their students should be aware that they are violating University policy and are subject to formal disciplinary action, up to, and including, removal. 

Processing Complaints 

Copies of the Sexual HarassmentPolicies and Complaint Procedure can be also obtained from these offices: 

Dean of Student Development 


Counseling, Health and Wellness Center 

Ext. 2946 

Associate VP for Human Resources 

Ext. 2887 

Associate VP & Dean of Graduate Studies, Research & Academic Administration 

Ext. 2121 

Director of Institutional Equity & Compliance & Title IX Coord. 

Ext. 2389 

A more inclusive list of persons serving as sexual harassment contact persons is available through the offices listed above.