“Hostile environment” does not explicitly or implicitly condition a decision or benefit on submission to sexual conduct. This type of sexual harassment involves conduct that is sufficiently serious enough to interfere with an individual’s work, academic performance, or social living. Speech or conduct of a sexual or hostile nature that occurs in the context of educational instruction may constitute prohibited sexual harassment if it meets the definition of sexual harassment noted above and (1) is reasonably regarded as non-professional speech (i.e., advances a personal interest of the faculty member as opposed to furthering the learning process or legitimate objectives of the course) or (2) lacks accepted pedagogical purpose or is not related to the academic subject matter.
Sexual harassment may be coercive, unwelcome behavior, from subtle psychological force to gross physical abuse. Visual acts (such as leering and physical gestures conveying a sexual meaning), verbal actions (such as sexual innuendoes, suggestive remarks, sexually derogatory jokes), written materials (e-mail, cartoons or letters), or physical acts (such as hugging, pinching or fondling) may be considered as sexual harassment.