Harassment: Definition of Terms
Sexual harassment includes sexual or gender-based behavior that is unwanted, unwelcome, and/or nonconsensual. Sexual harassment has the effect, whether intended or unintended, of intimidating or violating the freedom of others, interfering with an individual’s ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s programs or work environment, and it otherwise harms individuals and/or the University community. Sexual harassment involves an individual’s unlawful exercise of power, intimidation, or control and does not have to involve sexual intimacy or overtly sexual acts. Also included within this definition is harassment based on sex or sexstereotyping, even if those acts do not involve conduct of a sexual nature.
Victims of sexual harassment do not have to be of the opposite sex as the harasser. The harasser can be a supervisor, professor, co-worker, another student, staff member, adviser, guest, or business invitee of the University. Importantly, the victim of sexual harassment does not have to be the direct target of the harassment, but can be anyone affected by the harassing conduct.
"So often, we believe that we have come to a place that is void of hope and void of possibilities, only to find that it is the very hopelessness that allows us to hit bottom, give up our illusion of control, turn it over, and ask for help. Out of the ashes of our hopelessness comes the fire of our hope."
- Anne Wilson Shaef, PhD.