It is the responsibility of faculty and staff to behave in such a manner that their words or actions are not sexually coercive, abusive, or exploitative.
Sexual harassment also can involve relationships among equals such as when repeated advances, demeaning verbal behavior, or offensive physical contact interfere with an individual’s ability to work and study productively. The creation or condonation of hostile working or educational environments will not be tolerated and students and employees at all levels are subject to potential disciplinary action if engaged in such actions.
“Sexual harassment,” as prohibited under federal and state law and University policy, is defined as unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, and may include unwelcomed sexual advances, sexual assaults, or requests for sexual favors. This and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitutes sexual harassment when: … C. such conduct is sufficiently serious that it has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or academic environment. Harassment does not include verbal expressions or written material that is relevant and appropriately related to course subject matter or curriculum, and this policy shall not abridge academic freedom or the University’s educational mission.
The following list of examples of conduct prohibited by this policy statement is intended to aid in the understanding of this area. Conduct prohibited by this policy statement may include, but is not limited to:
Displaying sexually demeaning or offensive objects and pictures. Nude or semi-nude photographs and drawings, or computer software is very likely to be viewed as sexual harassment.
Staring repeatedly at someone, blocking another person’s path or otherwise restricting their movements. Such acts, particularly when in conjunction with other acts or comments, may be viewed as sexual harassment. Invading a person’s personal body space, such as by standing closer than appropriate or necessary for the work being done may similarly constitute sexual harassment.
Bringing physical items to work which express sexually offensive comments regarding men or women. Messages of this nature such as might be contained on coffee mugs, hats, or tee shirts may be offensive and be viewed as sexual harassment.
Making sexual gestures with hands or body movements. Looking a person up and down in a suggestive or intimidating manner may also constitute sexual harassment.
Letters, gifts, or materials of a sexual nature. Such attention may not be appreciated in the manner intended, may be offensive to the subject of the attention, and may constitute sexual harassment.