Special Issues in Graduate School
Graduate and college students share some of the same concerns. However, graduate and professional students have several specific concerns that do not overlap:
- The variable issue: Graduate students are often partially students and partially employees. This puts them in variable positions regarding Title VIII and Title IX. The variable options turn issues of reporting complicated: where should victims report? How are cases involving faculty handled?
- The “being locked in” issue: Graduate and professional students are often more locked into their university than undergraduates. Transferring is never easy, but for graduate students transferring can mean abandoning years of research, funding, healthcare and possibly even the field of study.
- Loosing benefits: Reporting or taking action can risk a victim’s funding, healthcare, goodwill of the program and professional opportunities.
- The reputation issue: Graduate and professional students are encouraged to “build a reputation” and “network” with their peers. Reporting sexual assault and taking action can be seen as jeopardizing those professional relationships and opportunities.
Article describing the problems here, and more information at: www.ixgrads.org (Sexual Assault Network for Grads is in the early stages of discussing and coordinating campus reform around the issues of sexual violence and sexual harassment, particularly where they pertain to graduate and professional students).
Sexual Harassment is any unwelcome sexual advance, request for sexual favors, or other unwanted conduct of a sexual nature, whether verbal, non- verbal, graphic, physical, electronic, or otherwise, when one or more of the following conditions are present:
- Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly as a term or condition of an individual’s education or employment; b. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for academic or employment decisions affecting the individual’s welfare; or c. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s welfare, academic or work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, offensive education or work environment (Brown University’s Graduate StudentSexual Harassment Resource Guide).