BOV Policy # 05 (2015): Title IX: Sexual Violence, Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation

Category: Harassment Policies School: Norfolk State University Statement Rating: Yellow Last updated: October 19, 2017

Relevant excerpt

Gender-based harassment: A form of sex-based harassment that refers to unwelcome conduct based on an individual’s actual or perceived sex, including harassment based on gender identity or non-conformity with sex stereotypes, and not necessarily involving conduct of a sexual nature.

Harassment: A form of discrimination in which unwelcome verbal, written, or physical conduct is directed toward an individual on the basis of his or her protected characteristics or statuses, by any member of the campus community. Harassment does not have to include intent to harm, be directed at a specific target, or involve repeated incidents (see sexual harassment).

Hostile environment: An environment created by oral, written (including but not limited to electronic or social media messages, etc.), graphic or physical conduct that is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive, and objectively offensive that it interferes with, limits or denies the ability of an individual to participate in or benefit from (a) educational programs, services, opportunities, or (b) access to employment-related opportunities. Mere subjective offensiveness is not enough to create a hostile environment. In determining whether conduct is severe, persistent or pervasive, and thus creates a hostile environment, the following factors will be considered: (a) the degree to which the conduct affected one or more individuals’ education or employment; (b) the nature, scope, frequency, duration, and location of the incident(s); (c) the identity, number, and relationships of persons involved; (d) the perspective of a “reasonable person” in the same situation as the person subjected to the conduct, and (e) the nature of higher education.

Sexual harassment: A form of discrimination based on sex. It is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other conduct of a sexual nature including: verbal (e.g., specific demands for sexual favors, sexual innuendoes, sexually suggestive comments, jokes of a sexual nature, sexual propositions, or sexual threats); non-verbal (e.g., sexually suggestive emails, other writings, articles or documents, objects or pictures, graphic commentaries, suggestive or insulting sounds or gestures, leering, whistling, or obscene gestures); or physical (e.g., touching, pinching, brushing the body, any unwelcome or coerced sexual activity, including sexual assault). Sexual harassment, including sexual assault, can involve persons of the same or different sexes. Sexual harassment may also include sex-based harassment directed toward stereotypical notions of what is female/feminine vs. male/masculine or a failure to conform to those gender stereotypes.

This policy prohibits the following types of sexual harassment:

  • Quid Pro Quo: This type of sexual harassment occurs when the terms or conditions of employment, educational benefits, academic grades or opportunities, living environment or participation in a University activity are conditioned upon, either explicitly or implicitly, submission to or rejection of unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors, or such submission or rejection is a factor in decisions affecting that individual’s employment, education, living environment, or participation in a University program or activity.
  • Hostile environment: Acts that create a hostile environment, as defined above.

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