Sexual Harassment is defined as any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, including sexual advances, request for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual or gender-based nature when: … Such conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance, denying or limiting an individual’s ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s education programs, or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for work or academic pursuit.
A hostile or offensive environment exists when conduct is severe or pervasive. Factors to be considered in determining whether conduct is severe or pervasive include the nature, scope, frequency, and duration of the conduct and the number of persons involved. Simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that are not severe or pervasive do not create a hostile or offensive environment.
To constitute sexual harassment, the conduct in question must be objectively intimidating, hostile or offensive, and must interfere with a person’s ability to participate in employment or educational programs or activities of the University. The victim’s perception of the offensiveness of the alleged conduct, standing alone, is not sufficient by itself to constitute sexual harassment.