Equal Opportunity, Non-Discrimination, and Anti-Harassment Policy: Prohibited Conduct and Definitions- Harassment

Relevant excerpt

The college reserves the right to address offensive conduct that does not rise to the level of creating a hostile environment or that is not based on a protected status.  Addressing such conduct will not result in the imposition of discipline under this policy, but may include respectful conversation, education and training, remedial and supportive actions, effective Alternate Resolution, and/or other Informal Resolution mechanisms.

Discriminatory harassment refers to verbal, written, visual, or physical conduct based on or motivated by an individual’s actual or perceived protected characteristic or activity as described in Section III of this policy.  Harassment is unwelcome conduct or behavior which is personally and objectively offensive or threatening behavior and which has the effect of unreasonably interfering with, limiting, or effectively denying an individual’s educational or employment access, benefits, or opportunities. This conduct may be severe or pervasive and has the effect of impairing morale, interfering with academic or work performance, or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment.

Examples of harassment include but are not limited to:

  • Conduct or comments that threaten physical violence;
  • Unsolicited offensive remarks;
  • Unwelcome gestures or physical contact;
  • Display or circulation of written materials, visual items, or pictures degrading to any person’s protected characteristic or activity;
  • Verbal abuse or insults about or directed at any student, employee, or other individual, or groups of students, employees, or other individuals;
  • Repeated use of slurs or taunts in the guise of jokes, or disparaging references to others; and
  • Negative references to customs or cultural practices.

The foregoing defintion [sic] complies with federal and state anti-discrimination laws designed to protect employees (Title VII and the Maine Human Rights Act).  Discriminatory harassment could apply to harassing conduct on the basis of sex or gender that does not meet the “severe and pervasive” definition under Title IX, but may meet the hostile environment threshold included in this definition.

The college recognizes that a robust learning environment often challenges community members to engage in conversations about difficult, sensitive, and sometimes controversial subjects.  This policy shall not be construed to inhibit or prohibit educational content or discussions inside or outside of the classroom that are protected by academic freedom and/or the First Amendment.  The college does, however, reserve the right to address the impact of such speech, including community and individual training and education and providing supportive measures to those who may feel they are negatively affected by such speech.

Download PDF