Title IX Student Violence and Sexual Misconduct Policy

Category: Harassment Policies School: University of Alabama at Birmingham Statement Rating: Green Last updated: February 14, 2017

Relevant excerpt

Sexual Harassment is any unwelcome sexual advance, request for sexual favors, or other unwanted conduct of a sexual nature, whether verbal, non-verbal, graphic, physical, or otherwise, when the conditions outlined in (1) and/or (2), below, are present. …

(2) Such conduct creates a hostile environment.  A “hostile environment” exists when the conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it unreasonably interferes with, limits, or deprives an individual from participating in or benefitting from the University’s education or employment programs and/or activities.  Conduct must be deemed severe, persistent, or pervasive from both a subjective and an objective perspective.

A hostile environment can be created by persistent or pervasive conduct or by a single or isolated incident, if sufficiently severe.  The more severe the conduct, the less need there is to show a repetitive series of incidents to prove a hostile environment, particularly if the conduct is physical.  A single incident of Sexual Assault, for example, may be sufficiently severe to constitute a hostile environment.  In contrast, the perceived offensiveness of a single verbal or written expression, standing alone, is typically not sufficient to constitute a hostile environment. 

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