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 University community. Harassment does not have to include intent to harm or involve repeated incidents. Harassment violates this policy when it creates a hostile environment, as defined below.
Hostile Environment – May be created by unwelcome 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 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.
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 gender identity or a failure to conform to those gender stereotypes.
The types of Sexual Harassment prohibited by this policy are … (2) Hostile Environment, which occurs when verbal, non-verbal and/or physical conduct is sexual and/or based on sex, gender, gender identify or sexual orientation (actual or perceived), unwelcome, and sufficiently severe and pervasive to interfere with a person’s work/learning program performance or to create a hostile, intimidating or offensive environment.