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American Mathematical Society
Policy Statement on Anti-Harassment

In all its activities, the AMS strives to foster a welcoming environment that encourages the free expression and exchange of ideas. The AMS supports equality of opportunity and treatment for all participants, regardless of gender, gender identity or expression, race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion or religious belief, age, marital status, sexual orientation, disabilities, or veteran status.

Harassment, sexual or otherwise, is a form of misconduct that undermines the integrity of AMS activities and mission. The AMS endeavors to maintain an environment that is free of harassment. Any person aware of inappropriate conduct may file a report confidentially and anonymously to +1-855-282-5703 or at www.mathsociety.ethicspoint.com. The reporting mechanism ensures the respect of privacy while alerting the AMS to the situation.

Understanding Harassment

Harassment is belittling or threatening behavior directed at an individual or a group of people. This conduct may include, but is not limited to: epithets, slurs or negative stereotyping; threatening, intimidating or hostile acts; denigrating jokes and display or circulation of written or graphic material that disparages or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual or group.

Harassment also refers to bullying or coercion of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment can include offensive remarks about a person’s gender, gender identity, or sexual preference. Harassment may include unwelcome or inappropriate promises of rewards in exchange for sexual favors. The following are examples of behavior that, when unwelcome, may constitute sexual harassment: sexual flirtations, advances, or propositions; unnecessary touching; verbal comments or physical actions of a sexual nature; sexually degrading words used to describe an individual; a display of sexually suggestive objects or pictures; sexually explicit jokes.

It is important to be aware of discomfort or offense that words or actions may cause. A teasing comment or offhand remark that may be inoffensive to some may be perceived as harassment by others. Consequently, individuals must act to ensure that their words and actions communicate respect for others, in light of the international and multicultural nature of the mathematical community. Those in positions of authority must be especially mindful of this policy since individuals with lower rank or a subordinate position may be reluctant to express their objections or discomfort regarding unwelcome behavior.

Applicability to the Profession

The AMS believes that harassment has no place in mathematics, whatever the setting. Members of the profession should refrain from such behavior as well as work towards preventing it.

Adopted by the Council in April 2016 so as to speak in the name of the American Mathematical Society.

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