Campus harassment prevention guideline

Ritsumeikan Graduate School of Core Ethics and Frontier Sciences
Guidelines for the Prevention of Harassment on Campus

Table of Contents

0. Introduction

1. Aims of Establishing the Guidelines

2. Responsibilities of the Department and Duty of Departmental Members

3. Guideline Targets

4. The Definition of Harassment

5. The Foundations of Partnership and Trust Relationship

  1) Faculty / Department Duties
  2) Prohibited Acts

6. Partnership Committee

  1) Establishment of Committee
  2) The Structure of the Committee
  3)Duties of the Committee

7. About Establishing a Consultation Room


0. Introduction

 It is a consensus among educators and researchers both inside and outside the university, that the capacity of a university’s research depends on keen consciousness of problems and the diverse, free thinking of the young researchers and students gathered at the graduate school.
 In particular, while on their way to becoming researchers, graduates students should not be bothered by harassment and other human rights violations. Instead, they should actively devote themselves to their research in an “attractive graduate school”. Only then will their research capacity grown.Ritsumeikan University’s policies towards sexual harassment and academic harassment (termed campus harassment below), was slightly behind national and universal standards, but there are reformations now put in place for campus-wide harassment policy system.
 At the Ritsumeikan Graduate School of Core Ethics and Frontier Sciences (below called the department), there is frank, transparent discussion at conferences about campus harassment issues raised by the department graduate student body. After considering these issues at the conference, the department has come up with guidelines on the prevention of campus harassment. In order to establish the facts in these anti-harassment guidelines, it is necessary to have a consulting service that can quickly and effectively deal with harassment victims, while at times it is necessary to establish a school-wide body with the authority to mediate and deal with specific cases. The department, which aims to develop researchers, must take into account the serioiusness and necessity for quick implementation. While we must continue to establish a consulting service at each and every department, we will also aim to establish a school-wide body. Concerning this issue, the launch of the “Partnership Committee”(refer to 6.) continues the intentions of the conference which created these guidelines.

1. Aims of Establishing the Guidelines

 All members of this department have the right to research, education and employment in safe and comfortable environment with equality. This applies to all members of the department:l faculty (both full and part-time) as well as administrative staff and graduate students (all members related to the department projects will be termed “graudate students” below). The department condemns human rights violations such as sexual and academic harassment and other acts that violate individual dignity. Going beyond just preventing various forms of harassment, the smooth progression of projects requires the establishment of mutual trust. This project refers to the basic research / educational stance of the department and also includes in narrow sense “research projects” and activities such as jointly organized symposiums. These guidelines will be used in the case of harassment in such research / educational activities.
 We recognize the need for graduate students to have their own creative perspective, and they are project partners surpass others, including faculty members. Faculty will accept the potential of graduate students and must retain a posture of learning from that potential and also helping to develop it. Furthermore the positive relationship between university administration staff and students is indispensable to promote their research, and graduate students, faculty and administration staff must work together on a department-wide basis to build a new organic research system to pave the way for new fields.
 The department is a reformation and combination of social sciences and humanities, and from an origin in “core ethics”, it accepts work in the natural sciences, a reformation and combination of social sciences and humanities, and our mission is to promote a reconstruction of knowledge to improve life. In order to create a suitable research environment, we declare a determination to not have words or deeds that disrespects others, and we pledge to give the utmost consideration, persistence, and effort in order to prevent these words and deeds.

2. Responsibilities of the Department and Duty of Departmental Members

 All members of the department must respect the position of others and must not damage the relationship of mutual trust or carry out harassment and other acts that violate the dignity of people. They must also work to prevent harassment from taking place. At the departmental faculty meetings, we will tackle harassment and other human rights violations with a strict attitude and work to create a comfortable research, educational and working environment. The department head, who is responsible for the general educational and learning policies of the department, will be also responsible for the prevention policies of entire department. Mmebers such as faculty responsible for their respective fields will be responsible for the detailed implementation of policies.

3. Guideline Targets

 1)These guidelines apply to all members of the department. For faculty and administration staff who leave their jobs, or graduate students who have graduated, or left their posts after dropping out and so on, these persons may report any damage or harm they have suffered while employed or studying at the department.
 2)In the case of harassment between two members of the department, these guidelines will apply regardless of whether the incident took place in/outside school, in/outside class, during or outside extracurricular activities, during or outside working hours, and so on.
3)In the case of harassment between members of the department and non-members of the department, these guidelines will be limited to the persons involved during the course of their duties. Therefore, these guidelines shall apply to cases where faculty are giving lectures and lessons outside of school, or in cases whether graduate students are working part-time jobs. However, in the case where the perpetrator is a non-member of the department, the department will make necessary efforts to resolve the problem and modify the procedure of the guidelines.

4. The Definition of Harassment

 Harassment refers to making others uncomfortable or disadvantaged through words and actions in regards to gender, social status, race, nationality, belief, age, employment, physicality, and other attributes of personal character; it also refers to human rights violations that damage personal dignity. Academic harassment and sexual harassment refers to the human rights violations that cause negative influence in later life or the inhibition of research ambition and environment of others through the continuous making of others uncomfortable or disadvantaged through words, actions, and leadership by persons of superior standing in the educational environment. In this case, sexual harassment refers to the sexual words or actions that violate human rights and feelings of others. Although the circumstances and content may be different, in a wider sense, power harassment refers to the taking advantage of a superior position, and issues occurring from a relationship of power. The definition of harassment will be judged by the standards of the victim.

5. The Foundations of Partnership and Trust Relationship

 A relationship of trust and understanding will be made between graduate students, who are project partners, and faculty, who are project leaders. In particular, the building of trust is important at the early stages when a research activity is beginning. This supposes that in order to prevent and eliminate harassment, we must build the necessary environment. Faculty must listen closely to what graduate students say, understand the core of their subject, and careful monitor their development and points of difficulty. Where necessary, the standard position should be clearly demonstrate a willingness to work with graduate students to further their quest. More specifically, a code of conduct that must be observed is the building of a mutual trust relationship, its maintenance, and to suggest a model for development. As a general classification, there are duties that the faculty and the department must actively fulfill and acts that are prohibited.

1) Faculty / Department Duties
Contribute to the improvement of graduate student abilities
 1.Where necessary, give advice to graduate students
 2.Introduce appropriate books, academic conferences, research conferences, magazines and so on.
 3.Write letters of recommendation for graduate students
 4.Secure the appropriate opportunities for graduate students to present their research results and assist them to improve their abilities

Guaranteeing the equal opportunity for education
 5.Give consideration where necessary for students whose native language is not Japanese
 6.Guarantee guidance through email and other media for students living far away from the university or those who cannot regularly come to university due to long working hours
 7.Give consideration and guidance for physically-challenged students
 8.Contribute to the maintenance of a good relationship within the department, at seminars and preparatory seminars

Consideration for the Execution of Projects
 9.Contribute to the improvement of graduate student abilities through research planning practice and give consideration to that end
 10.Give advice and recommend resources to faculty and publically announce the names of graduate students who have contributed to the project
 11.For the execution of the project, give ample explanation before and after to the graduate student, and adjust research plan where necessary
 12.In the case of a problem arising in the execution of the project, course correction of the project where necessary so that the efforts of the graduate student will not be wasted.

Items Relating to the Entire Department
 13.Ensure the transparency of literature reviews and lecture evaluation and to sincerely accept petition of objection from graduate students
 14.Prepare necessary arrangements and systems in the department to promote the project

2) Prohibited Acts
 Detailed examples are taken from the “Network for the Action Against Academic Harassment” and other resources.
1.Interfering with education and research(any breach of contract or directly or indirectly interfering with legal activities related to research and educational institutions)
 Examples: Refusing to grant permission to attend conferences, etc., in cases of invalid reason / Not giving proper explanation before and after in order to execute the project and stealing research time, etc…
2.Interfering with graduation, completion and promotion(Not recognizing valid reasons for student promotion, graduation, and completion; not giving credits by not recognizing valid reasons)
 Examples: Not providing reasons when failing students, etc…
3.Interfering with the freedom of choice(interfering with employment, academic promotion, forcing unwanted changes)
 Examples: Rejecting research wishes of the individual, forcing particular research plans and themes, etc…
4.Neglecting guidance duties and discriminating during guidance(neglect in research guidance, one of the duties of faculty. Discriminating students under guidance.)
 Examples: Not holding seminars or classes due to “principle of laissez-faire”, not giving guidance or advice / discriminating against students by guiding only those of interest to the faculty member, etc…)
5.Forcing unfair financial burden on students(making graduate student pay for expenses which should be covered by research budget)
6.Exploiting research results(violating international rules to decide authorship of research papers, stealing ideas, etc…)
Examples: Using graduate student ideas in secret for papers and presentations
7.Mental abuse(inappropriate email, ridiculing student opinions. Negative words and actions that hurt graduate students regardless if they are present or not. Using means of arousal in an inappropriate manner.
 Examples: “You’re not eligible to take my class, get out of here”, “Harsh words are a form of affection”, “Women are unsuitable for researchers” etc…
8.Physical violence (striking and kicking)
9.Slander and defamation
 Examples: Sharing personal information of graduate students taken during duty and sharing it with other graduate students or faculty, causing the student to not want to be at university
10.Forcing student to be guided in inappropriate environments
 Examples: Calling students to a hotel room with the excuse of guidance
11.Abuse of superior position, power relationship
 Examples: Forcing invalid rules such as threatening to fail a student if they do not come to class on Sunday / Forcing intimate relationships such as refusing guidance if the student does not accompany faculty to dinner / Forcing illegal actions such as fabricating and forging research themes
12.Violation of Privacy
 Examples: Persistently asking about lovers regardless if the graduate student condones it or not
 Examples: Not changing behavior and making excuses for inappropriate words and actions (potential for the problem to get worse) / Taking out resentment due to private struggles between faculty on students / Letting power struggles between faculty influence graduate students (students of less powerful faculty may be negatively influenced), etc…

6.Partnership Committee

1) Establishment of Committee
 At the department, we have established a “Partnership Committee” (called “the committee” below) to cooperate with the collection and analysis of harassment-related information and harassment-related bodies inside and outside of the university, etc… Faculty meetings will take on the duty to respect the opinions of the committee and will discuss and the opinions of the committee and give a reply to the committee.

2) The Structure of the Committee
 The committee is made of up four members: two representative graduate students, one member of the faculty meeting, and the vice head of the research department (with a male to female ratio of 1:1).
 The representative of the faculty meeting will be decided by the faculty meeting after receiving recommendations by the graduate students. Where necessary, a member of the university administration staff will participate. Where necessary, the committee may decide the necessity of asking an expert outside of university or their participation in meetings.

3)Duties of the Committee
1. Activities to Enforce Awareness of the Protection of Human Rights
 Raise the awareness of harassment issues: explanation at the orientation for new school entrants (graduate student committee), make leaflets, to plan continuous seminars targeting all members of the department (led by non-departmental experts), create student handbooks, etc… (where necessary, with the cooperation of university administration staff), investigation into how to incorporate human rights education in the curriculum (all of the committee), etc… Establish continuous consultation services at campus-wide and departmental level.
2.Regular Revision of the Guidelines
 The guidelines will be continually re-examined, at least once every half semester.
 In case of a request by the representative of the Graduate Student Committee or representative of the Faculty meeting, the committee will be held immediately.

7.About Establishing a Consultation Room

 At the department, the principle is to develop researchers by having graduate students participating in projects that further their research. For the smooth execution of the project, it is necessary to build, maintain and develop a trust relationship between graduate students, who are project partners, and faculty, who are project leaders. In order to better this relationship, there is a goal to establish a consultation room for harassment and other issues. For more detailed information about the consultation room, more work will be carried out with the “Partnership Committee” at the center. At the present stage, the plan is as follows:
 Experts on human rights protection who do not benefit from the department will be deployed at the consultation room.
The consultant will respect all intentions and individualities of victims of harassment and other issues. While a duty of confidentiality, privacy will be protected. Furthermore, secondary trauma will be prevented for those coming for consultations. More detailed duties of the consultants include: listening to the complaints of all members of the department, preparing and affirming the rescue methods for victims, victim counseling, giving references and options of other consultation rooms, accepting consultations with third parties, etc… If the victim wishes, consultation with administration staff can be arranged through the consultation room.

 These guidelines were accepted by the faculty meeting on March 28th, 2006 and are effective as the inaugural conditions of the “Partnership Committee”. The Partnership Committee will continually re-examine and update the guidelines at that time.

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Ritsumeikan University Graduate School of Core Ethics and Frontier Sciences
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56-1 Toji-in Kitamachi, Kita-ku, Kyoto, Japan 603-8577

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