Hostile Environment – exists when sexual misconduct is sufficiently severe or pervasive to deny or limit the individual’s ability to participate in or benefit from an education program or activity or an employee’s terms and conditions of employment. A hostile environment can be created by anyone (e.g., administrators, faculty members, employees, students, and UTRGV visitors) involved in an education program or activity or work environment. In determining whether sexual misconduct 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 mistreated. 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 – Conduct on the basis of sex that does not meet the definition of “sexual harassment” under this Policy, but is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature when, either of these two elements are met:
i. Element 1: submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of a person’s student status, employment, or participation in UTRGV activities; or
ii. Element 2: such conduct is sufficiently severe or pervasive that it creates a hostile environment as defined in this policy.