3-32 Discrimination and Harassment

Relevant excerpt

This policy shall not be construed to restrict constitutionally protected expression, even though such expression may be unpleasant or even hateful. Constitutionally protected speech and traditional notions of academic freedom are valued in higher education. These ideals help to create the stimulating and challenging learning environment which should characterize higher education. In the spirit of a true university environment, individuals are encouraged to invite, rather than inhibit, discourse on ideas.

J. Discriminatory Harassment

“Unwelcome conduct” (as defined, below) that is based on “protected classifications” (as defined, below). Sexual harassment is defined, in detail, below.

N.  Hostile Environment

Discriminatory harassment which is so severe, persistent or pervasive, as determined by analyzing the totality of the circumstances, that it denies or limits a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s programs or activities or unreasonably interferes with an employee’s work performance or creates an intimidating, or offensive work environment.  Both subjective and objective factors shall be considered when evaluating whether a hostile environment exists.

D. Discriminatory Harassment Prohibited: No person may engage in illegal conduct that creates a hostile environment for employees, students or others on the basis of their protected classifications. This includes behavior occurring off-campus that creates a hostile environment on campus or in University activities.

When discriminatory harassment that is neither severe nor pervasive occurs, efforts should be undertaken to prevent the creation of a hostile work or learning environment even before it may be appropriate to impose disciplinary sanctions on those engaging in the harassment, as described in Paragraph D, above. Non-disciplinary remedial measures such as education and training, mediation, voluntary transfers or reassignments, etc., that may help to avoid the creation of hostile environment should be considered.

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