Sexual Harassment is a form of unlawful gender-based discrimination. It may involve harassment of women by men, harassment of men by women, and harassment between persons of the same sex. Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome gender-based verbal or physical conduct that is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it unreasonably interferes with, limits, or deprives someone of the ability to participate in or benefit from the college’s educational program or activities or employment benefits or opportunities. The unwelcome behavior may be based on power differentials (such as in quid pro quo harassment where submission to or rejection of unwelcome sexual conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or academic decisions), the creation of a hostile environment, or retaliation.
Examples of conduct which may constitute sexual harassment include but are not limited to:
- sexual flirtation, touching, advances or propositions
- verbal abuse of a sexual nature
- pressure to engage in sexual activity
- implied or overt threats of punitive action, a result of rejection of sexual advances
- graphic or suggestive comments about an individual’s dress or appearance
- use of sexually degrading words to describe an individual
- display of sexually suggestive objects, pictures or photographs
- sexual jokes
- comments based upon gender
- threats, demands or suggestions that retention of one’s educational status is contingent upon toleration of or acquiescence in sexual advances.