Sexual Harassment Definitions

Sexual Harassment is any unwelcome sexual advance, request for sexual favors, and/or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term of or a condition of education, employment, or participation in College activities;
  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis for evaluation in making academic or personnel decisions affecting that individual; or
  • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s performance, or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working, living, or learning environment.

Examples of sexual harassment include, but are not limited to: slurs, threats, derogatory or suggestive comments, unwelcome jokes, sexual violence, teasing or sexual advances and other similar verbal or physical conduct, including e-mail, phone calls, or other online communications.

Sexual Exploitation occurs when an individual takes sexual advantage of another for his/her own advantage or benefit, or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited, without effective consent. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to, invasion of sexual privacy; recording, photographing, or transmitting intimate or sexual utterances, sounds, or images of another person; allowing third parties to observe sexual activity; engaging in voyeurism, trespassing, or spying; or sexually-based stalking or bullying.

Stalking is any course of conduct directed against another person that violates reasonable expectations of personal privacy and that is sufficiently serious to cause physical, emotional, or psychological fear or to create a hostile, intimidating, or abusive environment for a reasonable person. This includes actions or contact through a third party. Examples include but are not limited to: repeatedly contacting or following a person; threats of harm to self, others, or property; trespassing; and surveillance or other related types of observation. Stalking also includes cyber-stalking through electronic media, like the internet, social networks, blogs, cell phones, or text messages.

Intimate Partner Violence (which is commonly referred to as dating violence, domestic violence, and relationship violence) is any act of violence or threatened act of violence that occurs between individuals who are involved or have been involved in a sexual, dating, spousal, domestic, or other intimate relationship. Whether there was such relationship will be gauged by its length, type, and frequency of interaction.  Intimate partner violence may include any form of prohibited conduct under this policy.

Complicity, any act that knowingly aids, facilitates, promotes, or encourages the commission of prohibited conduct by another person, is prohibited conduct under this policy.

Retaliation is taking action against someone for that person’s participation in protected activity. Protected activity under this policy includes (i) a good faith reporting of a complaint under the policy, (ii) participation in an investigation or hearing under the policy, and (iii) opposition to practices that an individual reasonably believes are in violation of this policy.