Sexual Harassment

Student-On-Student Sexual Harassment and Grievance Procedures

Simmons College strives to maintain an academic and social environment for students that are free from sexual harassment. Under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, sexual harassment is considered a form of sex discrimination and prohibited on all academic, residential, and other college-related settings and activities, whether on or off-campus.

Simmons College has designated a Deputy Title IX Coordinator for overseeing all investigations regarding student-on-student sexual harassment:

Sarah Neill, Vice President for Student Affairs & Associate Provost  MCB-C-211, 617-521-2123   
300 The Fenway
Boston, MA 02115

The Deputy Title IX Coordinator will work closely with student affairs deans and directors of the schools in overseeing all investigations. Concerns should be reported to the following individuals:

College of Arts and Sciences  Raymond Ou 


Graduate School of Library Sciences Em Claire Knowles


School of Nursing and Health Sciences Anne-Marie Barron


School of Management Mary Dutkiewicz


School of Social Work Suzanne Sankar




The College's policy against sexual harassment prohibits unwelcome verbal or nonverbal sexual advances or requests for sexual favors or other conduct of a sexual nature that creates a hostile and intimidating environment that interferes with a student's performance in academic or non-academic settings. Sexual harassment may involve behavior of a person of either sex against a person of the opposite or same sex.

The following are examples that may constitute sexual harassment between students:

  • Use of sexual epithets, jokes, written or oral references to sexual conduct, or gossip regarding one's sex life 
  •  Sexually oriented comments about an individual's body, sexual activity, deficiencies, or prowess 
  •  Displaying sexually suggestive objects, pictures, or cartoons 
  •  Unwelcome leering, whistling, deliberate brushing against the body in a suggestive manner, sexual gestures, and suggestive or insulting comments 
  •  Inquiries in one's sexual experiences 
  •  Discussion of one's sexual activities 
  •  Unauthorized video or audio taping of sexual activity


Grievance Procedures

Simmons students who believe that they are victims of sexual harassment by another student have the following options in filing a grievance:

Informal Resolution

Informal resolutions are NOT an appropriate form of intervention for sexual misconduct or assault, which includes unwelcomed and inappropriate touching.

  1. Student reports the alleged sexual harassment to the appropriate student affairs director or dean and commits to writing the desire to pursue an informal resolution process. The administrator will consult closely with the Deputy Title IX Coordinator throughout the informal process. 
  2. If complainant is satisfied with the resolution, a written summary of the resolution will be filed with the Deputy Title IX Coordinator. 
  3.  If the matter is not resolved, the student may choose to initiate a formal resolution process.

Formal Resolution

  1. Student submits a written request for formal resolution to the appropriate student affairs director or dean in order to initiate an investigation. Simmons College encourages the reporting individual to submit the complaint within 30 business days of the alleged sexual harassment conduct. 
  2. The student affairs administrator, in consultation with the Deputy Title IX Coordinator, will investigate the allegations, which may include interviewing the complainant, the respondent, witnesses, and other relevant parties; thoroughly review all relevant facts and institutional polices; provide documentation of all steps taken to conduct a comprehensive investigation of allegations. 
  3. The investigation is typically completed under 60 calendar days. If extenuating circumstances warrant additional time, the student affairs administrator must communicate to the complainant any changes to the expected timeline for concluding the investigation. 
  4. At the conclusion of the investigation, the student affairs administrator consults with the Deputy Title IX Coordinator, who may refer the matter to the Simmons College Honor Board for a formal hearing.