Harassment is generally defined by JMU as unwelcome or offensive physical, verbal, or non-verbal conduct that shows aversion or hostility towards a person that creates a hostile environment or is a term or condition of employment, education, membership, or participation in programs, services, opportunities, or activities. Under J16-100 Harassment, Bullying and/or Stalking, harassment of any kind is prohibited, including but not limited to harassment based on a person’s protected class (e.g. a person’s age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, parental status, political affiliation, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status). Harassment based on a person’s gender, gender identity, sex, or sexual orientation may also be addressed by JMU Policy 1340 and J34-100 Sexual Misconduct.
A hostile environment may be created by oral, written, graphic or physical conduct that is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive and objectively offensive in a manner that it interferes with, limits or denies the person the ability to participate in or benefit from the institution’s educational programs, services, opportunities, or activities or the individual’s employment access, benefits or opportunities. Mere subjective offensiveness is not enough to create a hostile environment.