Waseda University Harassment Prevention Committee
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Questions & Answers for Harassment Prevention and Understanding
  1. Why is Waseda University addressing the issue of harassment?
  2. Does harassment mean sexual harassment?
  3. I am not sure whether my concern is a harassment case or not@but is it all right if I visit the consultation desk? I wonder if I should just tolerate it because it seems trivial.
  4. My friend has consulted me about harassment. What should I do?
  5. I would like to visit the consultation desk, but I feel uneasy because I don't understand the process following consultation. Please explain the flow of what happens after consultation.
  6. I am afraid that if I visit the consultation desk other people will find out and that this will cause problems for me.
  7. Is the counselor referred to as an in-taker a member of the university staff?
  8. I am thinking of visiting the consultation desk but I am not sure whether lodging a complaint is necessary or not. May I visit the consultation desk anyway?
  9. I am an international student and only know a few expressions in Japanese. Can I consult someone in English? Are consultations in any language besides English possible?
  10. It is impossible for me to visit the consultation desk during regular office hours. Is consultation possible outside of regular office hours?
  11. Please explain about the organization of the Harassment Prevention Committee.

  1. Why is Waseda University addressing the issue of harassment?

    In April 2005, Waseda University established the Waseda University Guidelines for Harassment Prevention and declared our determination to pay due consideration to the problem of harassment and take necessary measures to create a harassment-free environment in which all students, faculty, and staff can study and work as respected individuals. This is because the university considers it to be its responsibility to prevent the violation of human rights in the form of harassment and to build a comfortable academic, educational and working environment for all members of the university community.

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  2. Does harassment mean sexual harassment?

    The Waseda University Guidelines for Harassment Prevention define harassment as all remarks and/or behavior relating to a person's sex, social status, race, nationality, principles, age, occupation, physical features or personality that may result in disadvantage and/or discomfort to that person, or damage his/her dignity. Therefore, the university policy covers general harassment cases which degrade the academic, educational or working environment by making use of professional or academic relationships against a person's will. At the university, harassment can be categorized as below:
    1. Sexual harassment: any offensive sexual behavior or remark
    2. Academic harassment: any offensive behavior or remark relating to education and research activities
    3. Power harassment: any offensive behavior or remark by a person who is in a position of academic or professional authority


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  3. I am not sure whether my concern is a harassment case or not but is it all right if I visit the consultation desk? I wonder if I should just tolerate it because it seems trivial.

    Harassment is defined as a behavior gagainst the will or agreement of other individualsh in the guidelines, and so subjective feelings are an important element. Of course, human feelings vary from individual to individual and it is natural that someone may consider certain behaviors or remarks as harassment, while other people do not care about them at all. Therefore, when you feel uncomfortable or harassed, please do not worry. Instead, consult the Harassment Prevention Committee, which is a third party to the case. However, the committee cannot make judgments based only on subjective feelings as to whether behavior needs to be dealt with as harassment or not.

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  4. My friend has consulted me about harassment. What should I do?

    When your friend consults you, please listen carefully to him/her. Please be careful not to be too eager to give advice or ask questions one-sidedly. It is important to confirm what he/she would like you to do. Please encourage him/her to consult the Harassment Prevention Committee because it may be dangerous for you to deal with the situation on your own. In the event that he/she hesitates to consult the committee, you can visit the consultation desk instead. But please note that it is necessary to listen to the person in question when he/she would like to take procedures to lodge a complaint.

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  5. I would like to visit the consultation desk, but I feel uneasy because I don't understand the process following consultation. Please let me know the flow of what happens after consultation.

    When you would like to seek a consultation, you are requested to come to the consultation desk and talk about the issue yourself. In the event that you wish to request a specific action, you need to apply to receive an official resolution to your complaint. The committee will then examine the case to determine whether or not to file a complaint. There may be some cases in which it is not considered appropriate for the committee to take up the complaint. In the event that your complaint is accepted, the next step is mediation procedures. During the procedure, mediators in charge will go through the actual mediation process while meeting with you.



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  6. I am afraid that if I visit the consultation desk other people will find out and that this will cause problems for me.

    Confidentiality is strictly imposed on all the staff of the Harassment Prevention Committee, the mediators in charge of complaint processing procedures, counselors, and in-takers in charge of consulting. Your visit to the consultation desk and the contents of the consultation are never discussed with others without your consent or approval.

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  7. Is the counselor referred to as an in-taker a member of the university staff?

    The in-taker is a professional counselor stationed full-time with the Harassment Prevention Committee. The status is different from that of the general university staff.

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  8. I am thinking of visiting the consultation desk but I am not sure whether lodging a complaint is necessary or not. May I visit the consultation desk anyway?

    Of course. In principle, consultation will proceed in accordance with your wishes. Consultation at this stage may put you at ease and you may come to terms with the situation. In such cases, the consultation process will end there. However, in the consultation step, concrete responses cannot be made, so in the event that you wish to request a specific response, you need to take procedures to apply to receive an official resolution to your complaint. (Please note that there may be some cases in which it is not considered appropriate to take up a complaint as described in the answer to Q5.)

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  9. I am an international student and only know a few expressions in Japanese. Can I consult someone in English? Are consultations in any language besides English possible?

    As a general principle, consultations are in Japanese. In the event that you have communication problems in Japanese, please bring an interpreter. If you cannot find an interpreter, the Harassment Prevention Committee will look for a person who can serve as your interpreter.

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  10. It is impossible for me to visit the consultation desk during regular office hours. Is consultation possible outside of regular office hours?

    Basically, consultation with a visit to the consultation desk is limited to office hours. However, the committee accepts inquiries and counseling via e-mail, fax, regular mail and telephone.

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  11. Please explain about the organization of the Harassment Prevention Committee.

    Please refer to the following organizational chart of the Harassment Prevention Committee.



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