Gender Based Conduct Policy & Procedures

Relevant excerpt

Hostile Environment Harassment is unwelcome conduct that would not have occurred but for the student’s gender, that is severe or pervasive enough to make a reasonable person believe that the conditions of the student’s education are altered and the academic environment is hostile or abusive. The complained-of conduct need not be sexual in nature to constitute hostile environment sexual harassment. Hostile environment harassment can occur when anyone in the campus community harasses another person. An individual’s intent or lack of intent to harass is not relevant to the determination of whether harassment occurred. To make the ultimate determination of whether a hostile environment harassment exists, the University considers a variety of factors related to the severity, persistence, or pervasiveness of the sexual harassment, including (1) the type, frequency, and duration of the conduct; (2) the identity and relationships of persons involved; (3) the number of individuals involved; (4) the location of the conduct and the context in which it occurred; and (5) the degree to which the conduct affected one or more student’s education.  The more severe the sexual harassment, the less need there is to show a repetitive series of incidents to find a hostile environment.  Indeed, a single instance of sexual assault may be sufficient to create a hostile environment.  Likewise, a series of incidents may be sufficient even if the sexual harassment is not particularly severe.

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