Sexual Harassment Policy Statement

It is the policy of Villanova University to maintain an employment and educational atmosphere free of any pressures on employees and students relating to sexual harassment. Consistent with applicable federal and state laws, the University endorses the objective that employees and students be free of situations where sexual considerations form the basis for business or educational decisions.

Sexual harassment may be described as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other physical, visual, or verbal behavior of a sexual nature where:

  1. Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment or education;
  2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or academic decisions affecting the individual; or,
  3. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's academic or professional performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or demeaning employment or educational environment.

A single incident of sexual harassment may create a hostile environment if the incident is sufficiently severe. The more severe the conduct, the less need to show a repetitive series of incidents to provide a hostile environment, particularly if the harassment is physical.

Examples of potentially sexually harassing behaviors include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Unwelcome sexual advances, sexual innuendo, or requests for sexual favors in person, by phone, by electronic message or photo, written words or images such as graffiti, and social media postings;
  • Unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature by a faculty member, coach, or other staff member directed towards a student, a colleague, or other community member;
  • A person in a position of authority (such as a faculty member, coach, supervisor) suggesting that an educational or employment benefit will result from submission to some unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature or will be denied for refusal to engage in sexual activity;
  • Repeated sexual remarks, offensive stories, remarks about sexual activity or experiences, sexual innuendoes or other suggestive comments that are unwanted and unwelcome by another; 
  • Displaying or showing pictures, cartoons, or other printed materials of a sexual nature in the workplace or in an educational setting where there is insufficient academic relevance;
  • Exposing the private parts of one's body to another person, or in public forums.

Sexual harassment will not be tolerated at Villanova University, and employees or students who engage in such conduct are subject to the full range of the University's disciplinary policies.

Anyone making a report, filing a complaint, or participating in the investigation or resolution of an allegation of sexual harassment is protected by law and this policy from retaliation.

For more information on sexual harassment, including a detailed description of prohibited conduct, definitions of important terms, how to report an incident, available confidential and non-confidential campus and community resources and interim measures to protect safety and well-being, see the Sexual Assault, Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Policy.  For the Sexual Harassment Complaint Procedures, please click here.

If you have any questions, concerns or wish to report an incident, please contact the University's Complaint Officer:

Kathleen Byrnes
Associate Vice President for Student Life
202 Dougherty Hall
800 Lancaster Avenue
Villanova, PA 19085
Phone: 610-519-4550
Email: kathleen.byrnes@villanova.edu