Handbook of Operating Procedures: 2.4.3. Sexual Harassment Complaint, Investigation, and Grievance Procedures and Responsibilities

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).

In determining whether sex-based harassment has created a hostile environment, the University 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, the University must also find that a reasonable person in the individual’s position would have perceived the conduct as undesirable or offensive.

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; or such conduct is sufficiently severe or pervasive that it creates a hostile environment as defined by this policy 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:

i. explicit or implicit propositions to engage in sexual activity;

ii. gratuitous comments, jokes, questions, anecdotes or remarks of a sexual nature about clothing or bodies;

iii. gratuitous remarks about sexual activities or speculation about sexual experiences;

iv. persistent, unwanted sexual or romantic attention;

v. subtle or overt pressure for sexual favors;

vi. exposure to sexually suggestive visual displays such as photographs, graffiti, posters, calendars or other materials; or

vii. deliberate, repeated humiliation or intimidation based upon sex.

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