Harassment – A form of discrimination consisting of unwanted conduct that is so severe, pervasive, or persistent that it creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment that would cause a reasonable person substantial emotional distress and undermine the ability to work, study, learn, or participate in regular life activities or in the activities of the University, and actually does cause the harassed person(s) these difficulties. Harassing conduct may be verbal, written, visual, electronic or physical in nature.
Hostile Environment – An environment created through conduct that is so severe, pervasive, or persistent that it interferes with or limits a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from Boise State’s programs and services. The more severe the conduct, the less need there is to show a repetitive series of incidents to prove a hostile environment, particularly if the harassment is physical. A single or isolated incident of sex or gender-based harassment or discrimination may create a hostile environment if the incident is sufficiently severe. Additionally, use of personal social networking programs may create a hostile environment if the use is intimidating or offensive and is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it interferes with an individual’s ability to participate or benefit from programs and services.
Sexual Harassment – Harassment on the basis of sex or gender includes, but is not limited to:
- an attempt to coerce an unwilling person into a sexual relationship;
- to repeatedly subject a person to unwelcome sexual attention, unwanted comments, or communications or jokes of a sexual nature or about their sexual experiences or orientation;
- to punish a refusal to comply with a sexual request;
- to condition a benefit on submitting to sexual advances;
- stalking, if predicated on a target’s sex or gender;
- threatened or actual sexual violence; and
- bullying someone on the basis of sex or gender including for exhibiting what is perceived as a stereotypical characteristic for their sex or for failing to conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity and femininity, including repeated use of degrading words, gestures, or sounds to describe a person.