Harassment means verbal or physical conduct related to one’s protected class that unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work or academic performance or creates an intimidating or hostile work or educational environment.
Hostile Environment. Whether a hostile environment exists is determined from both a subjective and an objective perspective. The subjective perspective evaluates whether or not the reporting party experienced unwelcome conduct [based on a protected characteristic]. The objective perspective evaluates whether or not the unwelcome conduct was, from the perspective of a reasonable person in the alleged reporting party’s position, sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that it unreasonably interferes with, limits or deprives an individual from participating in or benefiting from the University’s education or employment programs and/or activities. [Harassment becomes prohibited by this policy where enduring the offensive conduct becomes a condition of continued participation or receipt of benefits from the University’s education or employment programs and/or activities.] Mere offensive conduct, such as petty slights and annoyances, such as stray negative comments in an otherwise neutral evaluation, “snubbing a colleague,” or negative comments that are justified by an individual’s poor performance or history are not enough to create a Hostile Environment.