Handbook of Operating Procedures: 9.24 Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct

Relevant excerpt

Hostile Environment: Exists when sex-based harassment is sufficiently severe or pervasive to deny or limit the individual’s ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s programs or activities or an employee’s terms and conditions of employment.  A hostile environment can be created by anyone involved in a University’s program or activity (e.g., administrators, faculty members, employees, students, and University visitors).

First Amendment Considerations:  this Policy does not impair the exercise of rights protected under the First Amendment. The University’s sexual harassment policy prohibits only sex-based harassment that creates a hostile environment.  In this and other ways, the University applies and enforces this Policy in a manner that respects the First Amendment rights of students, faculty, and others.

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.

Sexual Harassment: Unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature including but not limited to unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, when submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of a person’s student status, employment, or participation in University activities; such conduct creates a Hostile Environment. Sexual Harassment is a form of sex discrimination that includes: …

C.   Verbal conduct not necessary to an argument for or against the substance of any political, religious, philosophical, ideological, or academic idea, including oral, written, or symbolic expression, including but not limited to:

  1. explicit or implicit propositions to engage in sexual activity;
  2. gratuitous comments, jokes, questions, anecdotes or remarks of a sexual nature about clothing or bodies;
  3. gratuitous remarks about sexual activities or speculation about sexual experiences;
  4. persistent, unwanted sexual or romantic attention;
  5. subtle or overt pressure for sexual favors;
  6. exposure to sexually suggestive visual displays such as photographs, graffiti, posters, calendars or other materials; or
  7. deliberate, repeated humiliation or intimidation based upon sex

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