• Sexual Harassment

    Sexual harassment, which includes acts of sexual violence, is a form of sex discrimination that violates New School policy and is prohibited by federal and state laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. For complete information, refer to The New School’s policy on sexual harassment.

  • What is Sexual Harassment?

    Federal law recognizes two types of Sexual Harassment:

    Quid pro quo

    Quid pro quo is a Latin phrase meaning “this for that”. Quid pro quo is established when an individual exploits power or authority in order to elicit sexual submission from others. It is usually perpetrated by a person in a position of power, such as a professor, employer, or teaching assistant.

    For example, sexual harassment occurs when a teacher or school employee offers a student a better grade or preferential treatment in return for sexual favors, or if a teacher threatens to lower a grade if sexual contact is refused.

    Hostile Environment

    A hostile environment is created when a person uses sexualized words, materials, or behaviors/inappropriate touch to create an intimidating, hostile, or abusive environment that impedes students from working, learning, or enjoying activities. This can involve harassment related in various ways to a person’s sex and/or gender, including nonconformity to gender stereotypes and gender identity or expression.

    Sexual harassment is very different from flirting and other behaviors you might enjoy. Sexual harassment is unwelcome, and either severe, or persistent enough, to make you feel uncomfortable, scared, and/or confused.

    Sexual harassment can happen to anybody. The person or people doing the harassing can be of any gender and can be fellow students, teaching assistants (TAs), professors, deans, school staff, school officials, employers, and/or supervisors.


    • Eight in 10 students experience some form of harassment during their school years, and more than 25% of them experience it often.
    • Women are more likely than men to experience sexual harassment (56% versus 40%), but men today are more likely to be harassed today than they were in 1993.
    • Women and men who experience sexual harassment say that it caused them to not want to go to school, changed the way they go home from school, and caused then to have trouble sleeping.
    • Young people from lower-income families reported more severe effects.
    • 87% of those who experience harassment reported negative effects such as absenteeism, poor sleep, and stomachaches.
    • Typical harassment complaints include making sexual comments, jokes, gestures, or looks; claiming that a person is gay or lesbian; spreading sexual rumors about a person; touching, grabbing, or pinching someone in a sexual way; intentionally brushing up against someone in a sexual way; and flashing or "mooning" someone. It may also include cyber bullying.

    Nearly all states have anti-bullying laws that increase protections for students. Check state anti-bullying laws, the Human Rights Campaign website, and the National Women’s Law Center document on Title IX Protections from Bullying and Harassment in Schools: FAQs for LGBT or Gender Nonconforming Students and Their Families for more information.

  • Sexual harassment can happen to and be perpetrated by women, men, transgender and intersex persons, and those who are gender-nonconforming.

    It should be stressed that some behaviors considered offensive, unprofessional, or against university policy may not be deemed sexual harassment. For example, general use of profanity and vulgar language may not be sexual harassment unless it is sexually oriented or overused to the point that a hostile work environment is created.

  • Examples of Sexual Harassment


    • Placing subtle or overt pressure on you to engage in a dating, romantic, intimate, or sexual relationship
    • Subjecting you to sexual profanity, innuendoes, stories, or humor (e.g., jokes about sex or gender)
    • Spreading sexual rumors or accusations about you, using email, social media, or other Web-related technology
    • Sexual slurs and other comments about a person’s clothing, body and/or sexual activities
    • Suggestive or insulting sounds such as whistling, cat calls or kissing sounds
    • Asking about sexual fantasies, preferences, or history


    • Touching, kissing, hugging, massaging, grabbing, pinching, rubbing, and brushing up against someone Sexual assault – Unwanted sexual contact can range from offensive behavior to criminal acts;Physical assault
    • Coerced sexual relations
    • Sexually touching or rubbing one’s own body around another person
    • Pranks such as exposing parts of the body


    • Lewd gestures such as hand or sign language to denote sexual activity; winking; throwing kisses
    • Persistent and unwelcome flirting
    • Staring at a person or looking them up and down (“elevator eyes”)
    • Displaying sexually suggestive pictures, calendars, posters, statues, etc.
    • Exposing you to offensive sexual graffiti, images, videos, or objects
    • Blocking your way, cornering you, or following you in a sexually threatening manner

  • If You Are Experiencing Sexual Harassment

    The decision to report sexual harassment and/or seek help is very personal and complex. Seek support as soon as you are ready. Even if you feel your safety may be compromised, you can still take steps, including using university reporting systems that address sexual harassment.

  • Reporting Sexual Harassment

    Sexual harassment is widely under reported, mainly because:

    1. Victims often believe that no one will do anything about the problem.
    2. Victims are afraid they will be blamed.
    3. The harasser is someone the victim must continually interact with, someone in a position of authority over the victim, or someone the victim does not wish to hurt.

    The New School has specific policies in place to address these concerns if you choose to report sexual harassment.

  • Reporting to The New School

    If you have been sexually harassed, you are encouraged to report it by email, in person, or by phone to any of the following university offices:

    Student Conduct and Community Standards

    72 Fifth Avenue, room 406
    Email: studentconduct@newschool.edu
    Phone: 212.229.5349
    Director: Gene Puno-DeLeon

    Title IX Coordinator

    72 Fifth Avenue, room 402
    Email: titleixcoordinator@newschool.edu
    Phone: 212.229.5900 x3655
    Title IX Coordinator: Emily Ralph

    Campus Security

    68 Fifth Avenue
    Email: ilicetot@newschool.edu
    Phone: 212.229.7001 (24 hours)
    Director: Tom Iliceto

    Student Support and Crisis Management

    72 Fifth Avenue, room 404
    Email: studentsupport@newschool.edu
    Phone: 212.229.5900 x3189 or x3710

      Once a report is filed, a university official will provide you with the following information:

      • A clear explanation of the university’s investigative and hearing procedures
      • Information on where to access medical care if needed
      • Information about your legal options
      • Information about where to access support services on and off campus

      Privacy and Disclosure

      Students who want to talk to a university staff member about sexual harassment while maintaining strict confidentiality can visit Medical and Counseling Services at 80 Fifth Avenue, 3rd floor, or call 212.229.1671.

      All university employees who are not bound by confidentiality laws (this includes any employee who is not medical staff or counseling staff) are required to share information about a disclosure of sexual harassment, sex discrimination, or sexual violence that is occurring on campus, whether you want them to or not. The New School makes every reasonable effort to handle inquiries, complaints, and related proceedings in a manner that protects the privacy of all parties. Although the university cannot promise complete confidentiality in its handling of harassment complaints, each situation is resolved as discreetly as possible, with information shared only with those who need to know in order to investigate and resolve the matter.

      Most situations require the disclosure of the reporting party’s identity in order to fully investigate the matter and/or to enable the responding party to respond fully to the allegations. The university has a compelling interest in addressing all allegations of sexual harassment brought to its attention and reserves the right to take appropriate action even in cases when the reporting party is reluctant to proceed.

      Taking Legal Action

      Sexual harassment is not itself legally classified as a crime in most jurisdictions in the United States (unless the harassment includes sexual assault); therefore, it can be addressed through civil action and/or through the university disciplinary procedures. The Student Conduct and Community Standards staff and the Title IX Coordinator are available to provide support and advocacy throughout this process. The university is committed to providing full and prompt assistance in connecting with legal resources if you choose to take legal action.

    • The Emotional Impact of Sexual Harassment

      If you have been sexually harassed, you are not alone. Sexual harassment is very common and deeply embedded in our culture. Many people are embarrassed or afraid to report harassment, don’t know where or how to safely report harassment, or don’t even realize that what they’ve experienced is a violation.

      The Student Health Services counseling staff is trained to treat people who have experienced sexual harassment and/or sexual violence and other forms of sex discrimination. You are encouraged to speak with a counselor in confidence if and when you are ready. If you have experienced sexual violence or other types of physical abuse, consider seeking medical attention. See the ”Resources” section for time-sensitive medical and legal information.

    • Emotions and Concerns

      Sexual harassment affects both the victim and those around them, creating a hostile and unsafe environment.

      As a survivor of sexual harassment, you may experience a wide range of reactions

      • Stress, anxiety, isolation, depression, frustration, fear, powerlessness, helplessness, shame, and anger
      • Difficulty sleeping, eating, and/or suffering from nightmares
      • Loss of control, confidence, and/or self esteem
      • Absenteeism to avoid harassment or as a result of illness from the stress
      • Negative effects on other relationships and a desire to withdraw and isolate
        Difficulty concentrating or attending class
      • Discomfort or feeling unsafe in study spaces, office hours, work, or residence halls and other spaces
      • Physical stress-related symptoms (headaches, ulcers)
      • Feeling uncomfortable in the learning environment

    • How to Help a Friend

      Sexual violence, including sexual harassment, takes power away from the survivors. Part of the path to healing is empowering survivors. For this reason, it is important for friends to respect the wishes of survivors and not coerce them to take action they do not want to take or may not be ready to take. There are still many ways you can support a friend who has been sexually harassed.

    • Ways to Support a Friend

      • Listen and believe. Take what your friend says seriously. Sexual harassment is often a difficult and confusing experience. Providing a caring ear will help your friend feel understood.]
      • Don’t minimize your friend’s experience. Remember that sexual harassment is unwelcome sexual behavior that is bad enough or happens often enough to make a person feel uncomfortable, scared, or confused, which interferes with a person’s school/work, extracurricular activities, or education. Each person has a different threshold for what makes them feel uncomfortable and what is unwelcome.
      • Learn as much as you can about the available resources. It may be difficult for your friend to take the first step to talk to someone. You can call any of the resources and discuss the situation without identifying the people involved or filing a formal complaint. Gathering this information for your friend can help them make the best decision for their situation and can prepare you to accompany them through the process when they are ready.
      • Don't confront the harasser. Although it is normal to want to do this, it may only make matters worse for your friend. Encourage your friend to save any concrete evidence, including notes, pictures, emails, and texts. If your friend decides to file a complaint at some point, this evidence will be very important.
      • If you are a residence hall staff member or other New School employee, be sure to follow your reporting protocols.
      • Take care of yourself. Hearing about your friend’s situation could affect you in many different ways, and being aware of your reactions will allow you to provide better support.

    • Be An Empowered Bystander/Upstander

      Sexual harassment can affect more than just the victim and perpetrator. It can make work and school settings awkward, uncomfortable, or downright hostile for the other people working and learning in those environments. As a community member, you can take certain steps when you witness behavior that is offensive and possibly harmful. Remember not to take direct action for someone else; this can be disempowering and possibly harmful.

    • What to do if You Witness Something Inappropriate

      • Speak up!
        1. Let others know that their behavior is abusive and not acceptable.
        2. Remain vigilant. Don’t be a passive audience or "bystander" to abusive actions or words.
      • Take care with your language
        1. Speak from your own experience and perspective.
        2. Do not use offensive language or slurs—including homophobic, racist, sexist, or other derogatory terms—in person or by phone, email, or text.
        3. Encourage your friends, classmates, family members, colleagues, and professors to do the same. If you feel comfortable, speak up when they use offensive language.
      • Offer support
        1. Reach out to someone you know who has been harassed and offer support.


      Hollaback, a community-based organization that works both locally and globally to end street harassment, has identified the “4 Ds” of being an empowered bystander. The harassment you witness, however, may not be street harassment, in which case your role as an empowered bystander may have to be more nuanced.

      1. Direct action: Directly intervene, by asking the harasser to stop bothering their target. If something you witness is offensive to you, and you believe it offends others, you can speak to the situation from your own perspective without bringing in anyone else.
      2. Delegation: Seek outside assistance to intervene in the situation, including seeking assistance from authority figures like police, transit workers, and offices dedicated to addressing workplace harassment
      3. Distraction: Take an indirect approach by engaging the target with neutral language (say hello, ask for directions) to de-escalate the situation
      4. Delay: Wait for the situation to pass and check in to make sure the target is ok. Discuss the situation with the victim and direct them to resources if they are interested.

        Standing Up to Street Harassment on College Campuses