Sexual Harassment

These laws include Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. UNTHSC also prohibits student behavior that sexually demeans or humiliates other community members, even if the conduct does not violate the law. In assessing a disciplinary sanction, the seriousness of the sexual harassment incident will be evaluated. UNTHSC reserves the right to impose any level of discipline, up to and including suspension or expulsion, for any act of sexual harassment.

Sexual harassment refers to unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, sex or gender-based, including but not limited to unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, sexual violence and other verbal, non-verbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Harassing conduct can occur in various forms and combinations of forms, including:

  • Verbal: Such as vulgar or lewd statements, gender-based name calling, sexually suggestive or graphic comments, or comments that demean a person because of his or her gender.
  • Physical: Such as unwanted rubbing or touching, sexual gestures, or sexual intimidation through physical means.
  • Visual: Such as exposing another person to unwanted pornographic images or displaying suggestive or lewd pictures.
  • Communication-based: Such as sexually graphic, threatening, or vulgar phone calls, email, text messages, chats, or blogs.

A determination as to whether harassment occurred depends on the totality of the circumstances. For the purposes of state and federal law, harassment has occurred if a reasonable person would have found the behavior offensive and his or her living or working environment would be compromised as a result of the conduct. UNTHSC reserves the right to discipline offensive conduct that is inconsistent with community standards even if it does not rise to the level of harassment as defined by state or federal law.

UNTHSC also prohibits “quid pro quo” (“this for that”) harassment. This form of harassment occurs when a person in a position of control links a benefit to another’s submission to unwelcome sexual advances or sexual conduct or requires the other to perform or submit to demeaning or degrading sex acts. “Quid pro quo” harassment can be expressly stated, but it also can be implied by words, actions, or the surrounding circumstances.

Confidentiality

UNTHSC understands that a student who has been the victim of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment may wish to talk about the incident with the assurance that the discussion will be confidential. There are several support resources that students may utilize on a confidential basis. These include the WellConnect Student Assistance Program and Student Health or other emergency medical services. Because these services are confidential, a discussion with any of these sources does not result in a complaint being filed with UNTHSC or result in action being taken to respond to the incident. UNTHSC strives to respect and follow the wishes of an individual who brings forward any concern regarding sexual assault or sexual misconduct concerns. Students should understand that UNTHSC may have ethical or legal obligations to investigate, attempt to resolve or adjudicate incidents of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment that come to its attention. Depending on the circumstances, it may not be possible for a conversation with UNTHSC police or other administration to be kept in confidence.

Retaliation

UNTHSC strictly prohibits retaliation against any person for using this policy’s reporting procedure or filing, testifying, assisting or participating in any manner in any investigation proceeding involving allegations of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment. Anyone who violates this policy will be subject to discipline.

This page was last modified on October 1, 2017