University Policies: General Policies- Policy on Discrimination and Harassment

Rice University

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    Harassment Policies
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Harassment is unwelcome conduct (whether physical, verbal, written, or via technology) that is based on a protected class. Harassment has the purpose or potential effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or educational participation. Harassment violates this policy and is subject to disciplinary action when 1) enduring the offensive conduct becomes a condition of continuing in or receiving benefits in one’s employment or educational program, or 2) the conduct is severe or pervasive enough to create a work or educational environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile, or abusive. Behaviors that could support a finding of harassment, if pervasive or severe, may include, but are not limited to: epithets or slurs, negative stereotyping, threatening, intimidating or hostile acts, bullying, denigrating jokes and display or circulation (including through e-mail) of written or graphic materials that are based on protected class and occurring within the learning, living, or working environment.

  • Hate speech is any act of harassment that incites imminent criminal activity or consists of specific threats of violence targeted against a person because of that person’s membership to a protected class. Hate speech does not cover speech that is ordinarily considered constitutionally protected speech or expression in the educational or public sphere.

Sexual Harassment encompasses unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical behavior of a sexual or gendered nature. It can include such behaviors as unwanted touching or unwelcome conduct (whether physical, verbal, written, or via technology) of a sexual or gendered nature. Sexual harassment occurs when:

A. submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's education or employment; or
B. submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for educational or employment decisions affecting that individual; or
C. such conduct is reasonably regarded as offensive and has the purpose or effect of interfering with an individual's work performance or educational participation, or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational or working environment.