Harassment based on any protected category, including race, color, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, religion, national or ethnic origin, disability, military status, or genetic information is an affront to the target of such harassment and degrades the classroom, social, or workplace environment; harassment, as defined below, is therefore prohibited.
Harassment includes conduct specifically directed at an individual or a group of individuals and expresses hatred or contempt on the basis of stereotyped group characteristics or because of a person’s identification with a particular group. Harassment also includes any action or speech directed toward members of the protected category that reasonably can be determined to be threatening in content or is spoken in a manner that suggests violence toward such persons is imminent. Harassment is deemed to have occurred when harassing conduct is sufficiently severe, pervasive or persistent that it interferes with or limits a student’s or employee’s ability to participate in or gain the privileges of programs and services of the College.
Because of the uncertainty as of the date of this publication regarding the scope and breadth of gender-based harassment as a matter of federal law, the following section includes a definition and explanation of prohibited gender-based harassment at Colby College. Specifically, such gender-based harassment includes harassment based on a person’s actual or perceived gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or gender stereotypes which may include acts of aggression, intimidation, or hostility, whether verbal or non-verbal, graphic, physical, or otherwise, even if the acts do not involve conduct of a sexual nature, when … Such conduct creates a hostile environment. A hostile environment exists when the conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it unreasonably interferes with, limits, or deprives an individual from participating in or benefiting from the College’s educational or employment programs and/or activities. Conduct, which can include expression—that is, verbal statements rising to the level of sexual harassment—must be deemed severe, persistent, or pervasive from both a subjective and an objective perspective.