Student Handbook: Standards of Conduct & Policies- Sexual Misconduct

James Madison University

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  • Speech Code Category
    Harassment Policies
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Sexual Harassment: Conduct consisting of unwelcome or offensive sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other conduct of a sexual nature that can be verbal (e.g., specific demands for sexual favors, sexually suggestive comments, sexual propositions, or sexual threats); non-verbal (e.g., sexually suggestive emails or other writings; objects or pictures; suggestive, obscene or insulting sounds or gestures); or physical (e.g., unwanted touching or other physical contact; or any unwelcome or coerced sexual activity), and that meets at least one of the following definitions: ...

  • Hostile environment. Acts of sexual harassment that create a hostile environment, as defined here:  A hostile environment may be created by oral, written, graphic, or physical conduct that is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive, and objectively offensive in a manner that interferes with, limits, or denies the person the ability to participate in or benefit from the institution’s education programs or activities, including employment access, benefits or opportunities. Mere subjective offensiveness is not enough to create a hostile environment. In determining whether conduct is severe, persistent, or pervasive, and objectively offensive, and thus creates a hostile environment, the following factors will be considered: (a) the degree to which the conduct affected one or more individuals' education or employment; (b) the nature, scope, frequency, duration, and location of the incident(s); (c) the identity, number, and relationships of persons involved; (d) the perspective of a “reasonable person” in the same situation as the person subjected to the conduct; and (e) the nature of higher education.