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What is Sexual Harassment?

Sexual Harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that is severe or pervasive, and that creates a hostile or abusive learning, working, or living environment, thereby unreasonably interfering with a person’s ability to learn or work, or to access or participate in a College program or activity, and the conduct has no legitimate relationship to the subject matter of an academic course, activity, or research. Conduct is unwelcome when the person being harassed does not solicit or invite the behavior and regards it as offensive. The fact that a person may accept the conduct does not mean that s/he welcomes it. Sexual harassment can include behavior as part of a hazing incident.

Sexual harassment includes sexual advances or conduct, requests for sexual favors, or other conduct of a sexual nature when: (1) submission to or rejection of such conduct is made, explicitly or implicitly, a basis for an academic or employment decision, or a term or condition of either, or a term or condition for participation in any College program or activity (often referred to as “quid pro quo” harassment”); or, (2) such conduct is sufficiently severe or pervasive (assessed both subjectively and objectively) that it has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with or eliminating access to programs and activities because it creates an intimidating, hostile, humiliating, or sexually offensive learning, living, or working environment. More information about how the College assesses whether a hostile environment exists is available in the “Key Definitions – Sexual Harassment” section of the Sexual Misconduct or Relationship Violence Policy and Grievance Procedures.

Sexual harassment includes behavior not sexual in nature but behavior directed toward a person because of the person’s sex and/or gender, including harassment based on the person’s nonconformity with gender norms and stereotypes. Sexual harassment includes behavior based on gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, which may include acts of bias, aggression, intimidation, or hostility, whether verbal or non-verbal, written, graphic, physical, or otherwise, when the conditions outlined in (1) or (2) above are present.

It is not possible to list all circumstances that might constitute sexual harassment.  Depending on the circumstances, sexual harassment may include, but not be limited to, the kinds of behavior described in the “Key Definitions – Sexual Harassment” section of the Sexual Misconduct or Relationship Violence Policy and Grievance Procedures.

Forms of Sexual Harassment

The various forms of Sexual Harassment are referred to as “Sexual Misconduct” for the purposes of Providence College policy.  In addition to the above, specific examples of Sexual Harassment constituting violations of the Sexual Misconduct or Relationship Violence Policy are:

Additional Important Definitions

Members of the campus community should also be aware of the following definitions from the Sexual Misconduct or Relationship Violence Policy: