UOG President Wants Sexual Harassment and Consensual Sex Policies Updated

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The University of Guam is looking to make some changes to better protect their students.

Guam – Earlier in the week, The University of Guam served one of their professors with an adverse action after the professor allegedly performed unwanted sexual advances on two of his students. In light of concerns from the University of Guam community, President Dr. Robert Underwood is starting a committee to review and strengthen the college’s Sexual Harassment and Consensual Sex policies.
 

 
Underwood says, “Basically, after a lot of conversation and attention given to this, and our effort to try to make sure people understand that they’re safe to come to the university, I created a committee to examine two broad policies that the University has.” 
 
The two policies deal with Sexual Harassment and Consensual Sex. Underwood says the Sexual Harassment policies are always updated to comply with federal laws and are under regular review. On the other hand, he says, the Consensual Sex policy hasn’t been looked at in almost 15 years.
 
The current policy only states that “UOG discourages consenting amorous or sexual relationships between members of the UOG community when one person has the power or authority over the other”. If a relationship does ensue, the policy also states that the “faculty, administrator or staff member must remove him or herself from any decisions affecting the other person as soon as practicable. 
 
Underwood says this policy should be reviewed in light of current conditions and accepted practices in public universities. He explains how the task force will be structured. He says, “How the committee is structured is I’ve asked primary constituent groups in the university such as the Student Government Association, Faculty Senate, the Staff Council and the Administrative Council to nominate somebody to form the committee. I will nominate a 5th member from the outside, probably with a strong legal background.”
 
Underwood says he will call for the first meeting during the first week of September after the nominations for Committee membership are submitted by the units identified. He expects them to review both Sexual Harassment and Consensual Sex policies and…
 
He says, “See what needs changes, examine what the university situation is today and also examine what happens in public universities in other parts of the U.S., and then propose some changes, consult as many people as they want in the UOG community, and move it as quickly as possible.” 
 
Underwood says he expects the committee to meet regularly and to submit their proposed changes to him before the end of October in order for the Board of Regents to consider any proposal in their November meeting.