Recognizing Discrimination, Harassment and Sexual Violence



          What Is Sex Discrimination?

          Sex discrimination is conduct that denies or limits an individual’s ability to benefit from or fully participate in educational programs or activities or employment opportunities because of an individual’s sex or gender.

          For example, if an employee, in the context of carrying out his or her daily job responsibilities for providing aid, benefits, or services to students (such as teaching, counseling, supervising and advising students) denies or limits a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from EU’s program on the basis of the student’s sex or gender. In this example, the University is responsible for discrimination, whether or not it knew or should have known about it, because the discrimination occurred as part of the school’s undertaking to provide nondiscriminatory aid, benefits and services to students.

          What is Gender-Based Harassment?

          Gender-based harassment, including that predicated on sex-stereotyping, is a form of prohibited sex discrimination if it is sufficiently serious to deny or limit a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s programs and activities. Thus, it can be discrimination on the basis of sex to harass a student on the basis of the victim’s non-conformance with stereotyped notions of masculinity and femininity. In the University Sex Discrimination and Sexual Misconduct Policy Handbook of the University Policy Manual, gender-based harassment is sexual misconduct.

          What is Sexual Harassment?

          Sexual harassment is a form of prohibited sex discrimination and a type of sexual misconduct. There are two types of sexual harassment: Quid pro quo and Hostile Environment. Sexual harassment is unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, whether or not accompanied by promises or threats and other sexual conduct that occur on or off campus when:

          1. Submission to or rejection of such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of enrollment, employment or participation in other EU activities (Quid pro quo); or,
          2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis or substantial factor in assignment, advancement or evaluation, or in making other academic or employment decisions affecting an individual (Quid pro quo); or,
          3. Such conduct is sufficiently severe or pervasive so as to create an intimidating or hostile work or educational environment, which unreasonably interferes with work or educational performance or negatively affects an individual’s employment or education opportunities (Hostile environment).

          Behavior will be considered “unwelcome” if the individual did not solicit or invite it and particularly if s/he indicates that s/he finds the conduct undesirable. Acquiescence or failure to complain does not mean that the conduct is welcome. If, however, a student or employee actively participates in sexual banter or sexual discussions without giving an indication that the conduct is unwelcome, the “unwelcome” portion of the sexual harassment definition may not be met.

          In the educational context, quid pro quo harassment occurs when a University employee explicitly or implicitly conditions a student’s participation in an education program or activity or bases an educational decision on the student’s submission to unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or other verbal, nonverbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Quid pro quo harassment is equally unlawful whether the student resists and suffers the threatened harm or submits and thus avoids the threatened harm.

          A single instance of sexual violence can constitute a hostile environment. Hostile environment is evaluated from the perspective of a reasonable person in the alleged victim’s position, considering all circumstances. In the educational context, hostile environment sexual harassment is sexually harassing conduct (which can include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature) by an employee, by another student or by a third party that is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive to limit a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from an education program or activity or to create a hostile or abusive educational environment.

          Sexual harassment of a student creates a hostile environment if the conduct is sufficiently serious that it denies or limits a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the EU’s programs. Sometimes harassment of a student by an employee in the school’s program does not take place in the context of the employee’s provision of aid, benefits or services, but nevertheless is sufficiently serious to create a hostile educational environment.

          Students and employees are strongly encouraged to report sexual harassment early, before such conduct becomes severe or pervasive, so that the University can take steps to prevent the harassment from creating a hostile environment.

          What is Sexual Violence?

          Sexual violence is a form of sexual harassment and refers to physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or when a person is incapable of giving consent due to the victim’s incapacitation through the use of drugs or alcohol. A number of different acts fall into the category of sexual violence, including dating violence, rape, sexual assault, sexual battery and sexual coercion. All such acts of sexual violence are forms of sexual harassment covered under Title IX. By University Policy, an act of sexual violence is sexual misconduct.