Preventing Harassment: Behavior Checklist

General Guidelines

  • Understand differences;
  • Accept the uniqueness of others;
  • Know your audience;
  • Understand and modify (as needed) your biases, beliefs, behaviors;
  • Role model the behavior;
  • Respond to concerns when they arise.

Specific Guidelines

  • Make an effort to know those around you.
  • Keep compliments casual and impersonal, especially in power relationships. If in doubt, avoid personal compliments and focus on the person's professional accomplishments.
  • Avoid repeating jokes, words, phrases, and gestures with sexual or racial connotations.
  • Each person has "personal space." Watch for signs that tell you when you are infringing on that space.
  • Avoid making assumptions and comments about an individual's ability, religion, sexual orientation, etc.
  • See Project SAFE for information about sexual orientation.
  • Be sensitive to situations where harassment is most likely to occur, such as non-traditional working and learning environments.
  • If you are uncertain about how others may be interpreting your behavior, check with a colleague or your supervisor.

Faculty Guidelines: Inside the Classroom

  • Be a role model: Set the tone as to what behavior will be tolerated in the classroom. Confront sexist or racist remarks.
  • If controversial material will be reviewed in class, let the students know in advance. Include specific information in the syllabus about the material.
  • Having students write about or answer test questions on the material helps to show that the material is pedagogically valuable.

Faculty Guidelines: Outside the Classroom

  • When possible, conduct meetings with students with your door slightly ajar. If you feel that the meeting calls for more privacy, ask for permission to completely shut the door.

  • Avoid giving your home contact information to students. If it is your normal practice to conduct some business from home, then give the information to all students via the syllabus.

  • Remember that students perceive an enormous power differential between faculty and students. Casual comments may be taken more seriously than intended; suggestions may be taken as directives.