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MES Department Statement on Sexual Harassment

The department of Middle East Studies is invested in creating and sustaining an environment for learning, research, and collaboration that is free from sexual harassment in or outside of the classroom. We assert that we have a responsibility to pay attention to all reported or observed instances of unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, including those that may not rise to the level of illegality. The negative effect of such conduct on the workplace environment, particularly for those in the gender targeted by the behavior and/or where inequities of power are involved, is not determined only by that behavior’s legality.

To that end, we commit ourselves to listen to, to document, and to respond to complaints that may come from students, staff, or faculty about unwelcome instances of verbal or non-verbal behavior such as sexual “jokes” or general sexual observations about bodies; sexual advances, whether verbal or physical; or the circulation of written or visual material that demeans or denigrates an individual or group. With this statement we are making ourselves responsible to take action about reported behavior or behavior that we observe that occurs in Middle East Studies classes, in our faculty offices and professional spaces, whether on campus or elsewhere, and at our events.