Harvard Launches New Sexual Assault Policy

Under the policy, the university will create the Office for Sexual and Gender-Based Dispute Resolution (ODR) to investigate reports of sexual harassment.

Harvard University plans to launch a university-wide Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment Policy to prevent sexual harassment at the school at the beginning of the 2014-2015 academic year.

Under the policy, the university will create a centralized office called the Office for Sexual and Gender-Based Dispute Resolution (ODR) to investigate reports of sexual harassment, Harvard Gazette reports.

A group of trained investigators, who will report to Harvard’s Title IX officer, will run the office. As part of their duty, the administrative body will work closely with a school representative to investigate sexual and gender-based harassment complaints against students.

The office will then determine whether the new policy was violated, determine whether there was a hostile environment and recommend measures to correct any hostile environment.

University officials began working on the new policy and procedures more than a year ago. In April, Harvard forwarded the new policy and procedures to the U.S. Department of Education’s Officer for Civil Rights (OCR), which oversees compliance with Title IX.
The university is awaiting a response.

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