Policy and Procedure Manual: Harassment including Sexual Harassment

Category: Harassment Policies School: South Dakota State University Statement Rating: Green Last updated: September 19, 2017

Relevant excerpt

i. Harassment on the basis of sex, race, color, creed, religion, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, gender, gender identity, transgender, sexual orientation, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, or harassment on any other status that may become protected under law against discrimination or on any grounds, directed against individuals, may be established by showing: … Conduct toward another person that has the purpose or the effect of creating an objectively and subjectively intimidating, hostile, or demeaning environment that substantially interferes with the individual’s ability to participate in or realize the intended benefits of a University activity, employment, or resource.

ii. In most cases, harassment consists of more than casual or isolated incidents. Consideration should be given to the context, nature, scope, frequency, duration, and location of the incidents, whether they are physically threatening or humiliating as opposed to merely offensive utterances, as well as to the identity, number, and relationships of the persons involved.

1. Harassment will be found where, in aggregate, the incidents are sufficiently pervasive or persistent or severe that a reasonable person with the same characteristics of the victim of the harassing conduct would be adversely affected to a degree that interferes with his or her ability to participate in or to realize the intended benefits of a University activity, employment, or resource.

2. The reasonable person standard includes consideration of the perspective of persons of the alleged victim’s race, gender, or other circumstances that relate to the purpose for which he or she has become the object of allegedly harassing conduct.

3. If the victim does not subjectively perceive the environment to be hostile, the conduct has not actually altered the conditions of participation and there will be no violation of this policy.

4. It is not necessary to show psychological harm to the victim to establish that the conduct would interfere with the person’s ability to participate in or realize the intended benefits of a University activity, employment, or resource.

iii. Harassment in this context also includes other conduct that is extreme and outrageous, exceeding all bounds usually tolerated by polite society and that has the purpose or the substantial likelihood of interfering with another person’s ability to participate in or to realize the intended benefits of a University activity, employment, or resource.

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