Gender-Based Misconduct Policy and Procedures for Students

Category: Harassment Policies School: Columbia University Statement Rating: Yellow Last updated: October 4, 2018

Relevant excerpt

Sexual harassment

Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual contact, and other verbal, physical, or visual conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when: :

  • When the behavior is for the purpose of gratifying the actor’s sexual desire
  • Such conduct has the effect of unreasonably interfering with another student’s education or participation in educational programs or activities or such conduct creates an intimidating, hostile, demeaning, or offensive academic, campus, work or living environment.

The following describes some of the acts that may be sexual harassment:

  • Unwanted sexual advances, propositions or other sexual comments, such as: (1) subtle or obvious pressure for unwelcome sexual activities; or (2) sexually oriented gestures, noises, remarks, jokes or comments or questions about a person’s sexuality or sexual experience which are sufficiently severe or pervasive to create a hostile environment;
  • Threats or non-consensual disclosure of a person’s sexual orientation (i.e. “outing”); or
  • Displaying pictures, posters, calendars, graffiti, objects, promotional material, reading materials, or other materials that are sexually demeaning or pornographic in nature and which are sufficiently severe or pervasive to create a hostile environment.

“Hostile Environment” in the Context of Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment

A hostile environment may arise when unwelcome conduct of a sexual or gender-based nature unreasonably interferes with a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from an education program or activity, or creates an intimidating, threatening, demeaning, or offensive academic, campus, work or living environment

In evaluating whether there is evidence of a hostile environment, the University will consider the totality of the known circumstances from the point of view of a reasonable person …

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