Discrimination and Sexual Misconduct Policies

William & Mary is committed to providing students an environment that is free from discrimination based on any irrelevant personal factor and to preventing sexual misconduct. The university has policies that establish expectations around these matters and procedures designed to address discrimination and sexual misconduct.

The most important policies are

  1. the Policy on Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation (the Discrimination Policy)
  2. the Policy on Sexual Misconduct, Relationship Violence, and Stalking (the Sexual Misconduct Policy); and
  3. Consensual Amorous Relationships Policy.

These policies prohibit specific types of conduct, and establish reporting obligations. 

Discrimination Policy

The Discrimination Policy prohibits discrimination on the basis of any irrelevant personal factor.  Irrelevant personal factors include (without limitation) race, gender and gender identity, national origin, religion, sex and sexual orientation, and physical or mental disability. The Discrimination Policy applies to students: it protects students from discrimination and prohibits them from discriminating against or harassing others. 

The Discrimination Policy prohibits sexual harassment, including sexual violence and other forms of sexual misconduct, and mandates reporting in certain circumstances. The forms of and sexual misconduct are defined in detail in the Sexual Misconduct Policy.

The Discrimination Policy also requires almost all W&M employees to report incidents of sexual misconduct, including sexual violence, relationship violence, and stalking when they become aware of them. This reporting obligation does not require survivors to report or other students to report information they learn from a friend or contemporary; it requires Responsible Employees, including student employees in their employment capacity, to report incidents involving other people.

Sexual Misconduct Policy

In addition to sexual harassment, the Sexual Misconduct Policy prohibits the following types of sex- and gender-based misconduct:

  • sexual assault – non-consensual sexual intercourse and fondling
  • relationship violence
  • stalking
  • sexual exploitation. 

The Policy defines each of these types of misconduct and defines consent, force incapacitation, and retaliation. 

The Policy applies to students: it protects students from sexual misconduct and prohibits them from engaging in sexual misconduct. 

Consensual Amorous Relationships Policy

The Consensual Amorous Relationships Policy prohibits faculty from engaging in romantic or sexual relationships with undergraduate students.  It also prohibits faculty from engaging in such relationships with graduate students for whom the faculty member has direct professional responsibility. There are mechanisms to obtain an exception to the Policy. 

The Consensual Amorous Relationships Policy is designed to avoid relationships between people without equal power and to avoid conflicts of interest. Violations of this policy will be considered misconduct on the part of the faculty member, but it is not used to discipline students.  Reports of violations of this policy may be made to the department chair or academic Dean.

Reporting Options, Resources and Other Information

The Dean of Students Office helps students, and receives reports of discrimination, harassment, retaliation and sexual misconduct from students:
Marjorie Thomas, Dean of Students, Campus Center 109, 221-2510. 

William & Mary’s Sexual Violence website provides information about reporting options, resources for students experiencing sexual violence, tips to help a friend, and other resources for students.  Reporting options include anonymous reporting, reporting for criminal action, reporting for internal (administrative) investigation, and many other types of reporting.