Student Handbook: Policy Prohibiting Discriminatory Harassment & Sexual Misconduct

Wesleyan University

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Unwelcome sexual advances, requests of sexual favors, and/or other verbal or physical contact of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when: ... such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s work performance, or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive living, learning, or work environment (also known as the creation of a hostile environment).

The effect of sexual harassment will be evaluated based on the perspective of a reasonable person in the position of a Reporting Party. A single or isolated incident of sexual harassment may create a hostile environment if the incident is sufficiently severe. The more severe the conduct, the less need there is to show a repetitive series of incidents to provide a hostile environment, particularly if the harassment is physical. However, under the new federal regulations, behavior must be severe and pervasive, as well as subjectively and objectively offensive. That is, not only must the Reporting Party feel that the behavior is offensive, but a reasonable person similarly situated must also consider such behavior to be offensive.