The University of Florida College of Medicine is committed to maintaining a supportive and productive environment for its students, staff, housestaff and faculty. Appropriate professional behavior is expected at all times by every member of the College. The College of Medicine has adopted policies and procedures for addressing a serious form of inappropriate behavior: sexual harassment.
As stated in the University of Florida Policy on Sexual Harassment: “Sexual harassment occurs when the submission or acquiescence in conduct of a sexual nature is made a term or condition of an individual’s employment or academic performance;
Conduct of a sexual nature by an individual is used as the basis for decisions such as employment, promotion, transfer, selection for training, performance evaluation or the basis of academic evaluation;
Conduct of a sexual nature creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or educational environment or interferes substantially with an employee’s work;
A sexual element is introduced into what should be a sex-neutral situation causing the boundaries when normally exist between the professional role and the personal relationship to become blurred; or
Subtle or overt coercion and threats are used to pursue a relationship.” Basically, sexual harassment is any unwelcomed sexual reference or behavior (including verbal, gesture, pictorial or physical) that can create a hostile environment.
Individuals can help discourage sexual harassment by speaking up when incidents are observed or experienced; by being aware of possible misinterpretations of behavior that may be intended as friendly; by not being intimidated by threats of retaliation; by seeking assistance with any concerns that arise; and by immediately reporting substantive issues.
In the College of Medicine, students are encouraged to seek information, advice or counseling regarding a matter of sexual harassment from the Office of Student Counseling and Development. All communication will be held confidential. A separate counselor is available for members of the staff, housestaff and faculty who wish to seek confidential advice in matters of sexual harassment.
Programs to educate the College of Medicine community on the issue of sexual harassment and professional behavior will be presented regularly throughout each academic year. A primary goal of the Sexual Harassment Committee is to develop and promote effective programs to encourage appropriate professional behavior and to prevent the occurrence of sexual harassment in the College of Medicine.