In July, Harvard University announced a new university-wide policy aimed at preventing sexual harassment and sexual violence based on gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity.
The new policy, which applies to all schools within the university and to all Harvard faculty, administrators, and students, sets up the Office for Sexual and Gender-Based Dispute Resolution to process complaints against students. Both the definition of sexual harassment and the procedures for disciplining students are new, with the policy taking effect this academic year. Like many universities across the nation, Harvard acted under pressure imposed by the federal government, which has threatened to withhold funds for universities not complying with its idea of appropriate sexual harassment policy.
In response, 28 members of the Harvard Law School Faculty have issued the following statement:
AS MEMBERS of the faculty of Harvard Law School, we write to voice our strong objections to the Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedures imposed by the central university administration and the Corporation on all parts of the university, including the law school.
We strongly endorse the importance of protecting our students from sexual misconduct and providing an educational environment free from the sexual and other harassment that can diminish educational opportunity. But we believe that this particular sexual harassment policy adopted by Harvard will do more harm than good.
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