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Definition of Harassment and Notice of Non-Discrimination

The University is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all members of the University community, including, but not limited to, members of the faculty and staff, students, guests of the University, and applicants for employment and admission. In this regard, the University reaffirms the right of its students to live and learn, and its employees to teach and work, in an environment free from harassment and inappropriate and/or offensive comments or conduct.

The University encourages a workplace and learning environment free of discrimination, harassment, and/or inappropriate treatment of any employee, student or guest because of any person's race, sex, color, creed, religion, age, national origin, sexual orientation, veteran status, gender identity, gender expression, disability, or any category protected under federal, state or local law. To be unlawful, conduct must be sufficiently serious that it unreasonably interferes with an employee's ability to work or a student's ability to learn or benefit from the University's programming. The University does not, however, condone or tolerate any inappropriate conduct, whether by employees or non-employees, based on a person's race, sex, color, creed, religion, age, national origin, sexual orientation, veteran status, gender identity, gender expression, disability, or any category protected under federal, state or local law.

Harassing conduct may include, but is not limited to:

  • Ethnic, racial, religious, age, disability or sex-related jokes, epithets, stereotypes or slurs.
  • Foul or abusive language.
  • Offensive graffiti, cartoons or posters.
  • Insulting or derogatory nicknames.
  • Mimicking another.
  • Starting or spreading rumors.
  • Teasing about religious or cultural observances, retirement, age, ability to learn, or absenteeism.
  • Threatening or offensive mail, e-mail, voicemail or messages.

The University also recognizes the fundamental importance of the open and free exchange of ideas and opinion. It recognizes that conflicts may arise between individuals' desire to express their opinions and the right of individuals to be free from harassment. The University also recognizes that every act that might be offensive to an individual or a group is not necessarily a violation of the law or of this policy.