Responding to Harassment of Graduate/Professional Students: A Quick Reference Guide
The University of Minnesota is committed to a working and learning environment that is respectful, collegial, and free of harassment.
Harassment can include offensive, intimidating, or hostile behavior that interferes with your students’ abilities to work or study, such as threatening or demeaning language.
If a student approaches you expressing concern about having observed or experienced harassing or uncivil behavior, consider the following suggestions/recommendations:
Take the student seriously and listen to their concerns.
Ask questions to get a better idea about the scope and nature of the student’s concerns regarding this experience and its impact on the work/learning environment.
Check with the student to ensure that you understand the specific concerns from the student’s point of view.
Assist the student with developing ideas about how to address the concerns and in listing possible resources/options to begin resolving concerns.
As a general rule, obtain the student’s permission before contacting anyone else about the issues and concerns. Some resources including those below can be consulted confidentially.
If you need assistance with framing your response to a student’s concerns, you may want to consult your department chair or a first-step contact listed below.
Schedule follow-up meetings as needed to hear about and assess progress toward resolving the student’s concerns.
Office for Conflict Resolution (OCR)
The Office for Conflict Resolution addresses employment conflicts. It is a neutral and independent office where faculty and staff can raise concerns. Consultations are confidential (with a few exceptions). Student workers (including research and teaching assistants) are eligible to use the services of OCR.