OP 03.04: Sexual Misconduct
Mississippi State University
Sexual Harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that is sufficiently severe, pervasive, or persistent and objectively offensive that it denies or limits or is likely to deny or limit a reasonable person’s ability to participate in or benefit from university programs, services, opportunities or activities.
Sexual Harassment can include verbal or non-verbal communication or physical conduct. Examples of prohibited sexual harassment include, but are not limited to (a) repeated sexual solicitations toward a person who has indicated they are unwelcome; (b) conditioning favorable treatment in connection with any university program upon sexual favors; (c) threats of a sexual nature that do not rise to the level of sexual assault or domestic violence; and (d) insults or derisive comments related to sex, gender, or sexual orientation directed at a specific individual that are sufficiently severe, pervasive, or persistent and objectively offensive that they deny or limit a reasonable person’s ability to participate in or benefit from university programs.
Whether sexual harassment is sufficiently severe, pervasive, or persistent and objectively offensive to violate this policy may depend on multiple factors. Thus, a person should not be deterred from reporting unwelcome sexual conduct simply because they are not certain whether it constitutes a policy violation. That is a determination for the university to make, and a person reporting harassment will never be penalized or retaliated against for any report made in good faith.