The Pennbook: Sexual Misconduct Policy, Resource Offices and Complaint Procedures

University of Pennsylvania

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    Harassment Policies
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For the purposes of University policy, the term “sexual harassment” refers to any unwanted conduct that is based on an individual’s sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression and that: ... A reasonable person would determine is so severe, pervasive, and/or objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to an educational or employment program or activity.


Not every act that might be offensive to an individual or a group necessarily will be considered a violation of the University’s standards of conduct. In determining whether an act constitutes sexual misconduct, the totality of the circumstances surrounding the conduct must be carefully reviewed. Due consideration must be given to the protection of individual rights, open expression, and academic freedom.