Hostile Environment – exists when sexual harassment (which is a form of sex-based harassment) is sufficiently severe or pervasive to deny or limit the individual’s ability to participate in or benefit from UTRGV’s programs or activities or an employee’s terms and conditions of employment. A hostile environment can be created by anyone involved in a UTRGV program or activity (e.g., administrators, faculty members, employees, students, and UTRGV visitors).
In determining whether sex-based harassment has created a hostile environment, UTRGV considers the conduct in question from both a subjective and objective perspective. It will be necessary, but not adequate, that the conduct was unwelcome to the individual who was harassed. To conclude that conduct created or contributed to a hostile environment, UTRGV must also find that a reasonable person in the individual’s position would have perceived the conduct as undesirable or offensive.
Other Inappropriate Sexual Conduct – Includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature directed towards another individual that does not rise to the level of sexual harassment but is unprofessional, inappropriate for the workplace or classroom and is not protected speech. It also includes consensual sexual conduct that is unprofessional and inappropriate for the workplace or classroom. Depending on the facts of a complaint, the conduct may not violate this policy but may violate other UTRGV policies including but not limited to standards of conduct or professionalism policies.