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Sexual Harassment & Discrimination Based on Gender

Sexual harassment is defined by law and includes requests for sexual favors, sexual advances or other sexual conduct when (a) submission is either explicitly or implicitly a condition affecting academic or employment decisions; or (b) the behavior is sufficiently severe or pervasive as to create an intimidating, hostile or repugnant environment; or (c) the behavior persists despite objection by the person to whom the conduct is directed. The University considers such behavior, whether physical or verbal, to be a breach of its standards of conduct. It will seek to prevent such incidents and will investigate and take corrective actions for violations of this policy.

Generally speaking, there are two types of sexual harassment, hostile environment and "quid pro quo."

Hostile Environment (Sexual Harassment)
A hostile environment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. A hostile environment with respect to sexual harassment occurs when such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individualís work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or learning environment. In addition, a hostile environment occurs when unwelcome sexually harassing conduct is so severe, persistent, or pervasive that it affects a personís ability to participate in or benefit from employment or an education program or activity, or creates an intimidating, threatening or abusive environment.

Quid Pro Quo
Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitutes "quid pro quo" sexual harassment when: 1) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individualís status as a student or employee, or 2) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for educational or employment decisions affecting such individual. Quid pro quo harassment may also occur when a student or employee is led to believe that he or she must submit to unwelcome sexual conduct in order to participate in a University program or activity. In addition, this type of sexual harassment occurs whenever a faculty member, graduate assistant, or anyone in a position to affect a studentís academic life, causes a student to believe that the person will make an educational decision based on whether or not the student submits to unwelcome sexual conduct. The following descriptions, while not all-inclusive, will help you understand behaviors that, if persist and are unwelcome, may constitute sexual harassment.
Unwanted sexual statements – sexual or 'dirty' jokes, spreading rumors about or rating others as to sexual activity or performance, or talking about one's sexual activity in front of others, displaying or distributing sexually explicit drawings, pictures and/or written material.
Unwanted personal attention – letters, telephone calls, visits, and pressure for sexual favors, pressure for meetings, pressure for dates where a sexual/romantic intent appears evident but remains unwanted.
Unwanted physical or sexual advances – touching, hugging, kissing, fondling, touching oneself sexually for others to view, intercourse, or other sexual activity.
In addition to sexual harassment, discrimination is also prohibited on the basis of gender. For example, a student or employee may be subjected to discrimination because of their gender, but that discrimination may not be of a sexual nature. Such discrimination is a violation of federal, state and University policy and is prohibited.

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