University Policy Number 1202: Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment and Other Interpersonal Violence

Category: Harassment Policies School: George Mason University Statement Rating: Green Last updated: September 20, 2018

Relevant excerpt

a) Definition of Harassment

Harassment is a type of Discrimination that occurs when verbal, physical, electronic, or other conduct based on an individual’s Protected Status (Protected Statuses are listed in University Policy 1201, Non-Discrimination) interferes with that individual’s (a) educational environment (e.g., admission, academic standing, grades, assignment); (b) work environment (e.g., hiring, advancement, assignment); (c) participation in a University program or activity (e.g., campus housing); or (d) receipt of legitimately-requested services (e.g., disability or religious accommodations).  In order for conduct to constitute Harassment it must either rise to the level of Hostile Environment Harassment or be Quid Pro Quo Harassment, as defined below.

i. Hostile Environment Harassment

Unwelcome conduct based on Protected Status that is so severe, persistent, or pervasive that it alters the conditions of education, employment, or participation in a University program or activity, thereby creating an environment that a reasonable person in similar circumstances and with similar identities would find hostile, intimidating, or abusive. An isolated incident, unless sufficiently severe, does not amount to Hostile Environment Harassment.

ii. Quid Pro Quo Harassment

Unwelcome conduct based on Protected Status where submission to or rejection of such conduct is used, explicitly or implicitly, as the basis for decisions affecting an individual’s education, employment, or participation in a University program or activity.

b) Sexual or Gender-Based Harassment

This policy prohibits Sexual or Gender-Based Harassment (other University policies prohibit Harassment based on other protected statuses).  Sexual or Gender-Based Harassment is harassment, as defined above, involves:

  1. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal, physical, or electronic conduct of a sexual nature;
  2. Verbal, physical, or electronic conduct based on Sex, Gender, Sexual Orientation, or sex-stereotyping, even if those acts do not involve conduct of a sexual nature, or
  3. Harassment for exhibiting what is perceived as a stereotypical characteristic for one’s Sex or for failing to conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity and femininity, regardless of the actual or perceived Sex, Gender, Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, or Gender Expression of the individuals involved.

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