Spoken, Written and Symbolic Harassment
Definition: Spoken, written or symbolic harassment occurs when people insult, stigmatize or denigrate individuals or groups on the basis of race, religion, creed, national origin, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age or physical ability. Examples of harassing behavior are cited below. The listing is not exhaustive, but is intended to inform the campus community about behaviors which cannot be condoned.
- The use of racial slurs or derogatory names directed at individuals which convey hatred to contempt for persons on the basis of the attributes listed above
- The creation of graffiti which conveys hatred or contempt for persons on the basis of the attributes listed above
- The display of symbols which are commonly understood to convey hatred or contempt for persons on the basis of the attributes listed above
- The use of telephone, electronic mail or paper mail (whether signed or anonymous) to convey hatred or contempt for persons on the basis of the attributes listed above.
Procedures for Addressing Spoken, Written and Symbolic Harassment
- It is the primary goal of the university to use its expertise at educating and counseling to correct the unacceptable behavior of those who act in ignorance and prejudice.
- It is understood that the university has limited means for addressing individuals who continue such behavior in those spoken, written or symbolic forms which are protected by the First Amendment. In such cases, the university will persist both in its efforts to educate and counsel people who evidence the behavior and in its support for the victims of the behavior.
- Whenever such expressions exceed the bounds of protected speech — i.e., are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory — the university will pursue the matter to the extent allowed by institutional policies and/or civil law.