I can see this is going to be split.
I agree with Cheri.

I don't think that approaching what took place as sexual harassment even in the broadest sense would have been appropriate to the circumstances as described.  They also wouldn't have the desired effect of such an intervention, which I imagine t would be to change future behavior of the young man involved, and give both the young man and woman involved a more critical view of that behavior (since she didn't feel troubled by it).  Though I can see how calling the tutee in the office and telling him he could conceivably have violated college policy would protect the college in some way. 

I would have, however, addressed it with the young man at the end of the session or later, if he returned. He'd benefit from learning that what he thought of one way could have been interpreted another by someone within earshot-- even if the person he addressed it to thought otherwise.  It would also be good for him to learn how sexual harassment is interpreted, since we want to raise up students who understand that what he might have perceived as playful informality between him and an acquaintance would not be perceived that way in this setting (and may not be as cute as he thinks it is elsewhere).

I'd have talked it through with the tutor as well, so she understood that her personal perception and her role in the center might sometimes require different responses.  I'd want her to know that she didn't have to play something like that off-- if she did.  I'd also want her to know that it was the feel of the whole center that these policies were there to help establish, even if, as an individual, she didn't take offense. 

Robert Danberg
Coordinator, Peer Tutoring and Academic Success
Academic Enrichment Services
Ithaca College
(607) 274-5104
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