Prohibited Behavior

Harper College prohibits all forms of gender-based and sexual misconduct (including sexual harassment) which unreasonably interfere with, deny, or limit someone’s ability to participate in or benefit from a Harper College educational program, activity, or employment.  This policy applies to behavior exhibited by students, employees, visitors, and any other person affecting the campus community. Violations of the policy may occur between individuals or groups of individuals of any sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, gender, or sex.  Where “gender/sex” is used below, the term is intended to be reflective of actual or perceived gender identity, gender expression, gender, sexual orientation, and/or sex.  Prohibited behaviors are defined as:

a. Sexual harassment: Unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. Examples include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature, including sexual assault and other acts of sexual violence. This includes:

  • Conduct in which submission to such conduct is made explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment, academic advancement, evaluation, or grades;
  • Conduct in which submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for employment, academic advancement, evaluation, or grades;
  • Conduct which denies or limits an individual's ability to participate in or receive the benefits, services, or opportunities of the College's educational programs or activities or the individual's employment access, benefits, or opportunities; 
  • Conduct which has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual's employment or educational performance;
  • Conduct which creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive employment or educational environment. A hostile environment is created when conduct by an individual is so severe, pervasive, or persistent that it denies or limits an individual's ability to participate in or receive the benefits, services, or opportunities of the College's educational programs or activities, or the individual's employment access, benefits, or opportunities. In determining whether a hostile environment exists, the conduct in question will be considered from both a subjective and an objective perspective of a reasonable person in the alleged victim's position, considering all the circumstances. 

b. Non-Consensual Sexual Contact: Any intentional sexual touching, however slight and with any object or body part, that is without consent and/or by force or coercion. This includes intentional contact with breasts, buttocks, groin, mouth, or genitals, as well as any other intentional bodily contact that occurs in a sexual manner.

c. Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse: Any sexual penetration or copulation, however slight and with any object or body part that is without consent and/or by force or coercion. Intercourse includes anal or vaginal penetration by a penis, object, tongue, or finger, and oral copulation (mouth and genital/anal contact), no matter how slight the penetration or contact.

d. Sexual Exploitation: Taking non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of an individual to benefit anyone other than the person being exploited. Examples include: invading privacy, video or audio recording of sexual acts without consent, knowingly transmitting a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI), sexually-based stalking or bullying, or exposing one’s genitals.

e. Intimate Relationship Violence: violence or the threat of violence between those in a sexual and/or comparably personal and private relationship, including:

  • Domestic Violence: violence committed by someone’s current or former spouse or intimate partner (including an intimate cohabitant), current or former cohabitant, or another such person protected under domestic or family law, such as someone with whom the victim shares a child.
  • Dating Violence: violence by a person who has been in social relationship of a romantic or intimate relationship with the victim. A “relationship” is determined by the reporting party’s statement with consideration of the length, type, and frequency of interaction.

f. Stalking: two or more acts directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to fear for her, his, or others’ safety, or to suffer substantial emotional distress. Examples include: repetitive and/or menacing pursuit, following, harassment, or other interference with the peace and/or safety of another person or that of his or her immediate family members.

g. Other Gender-Based Misconduct: Physical harm, extreme verbal abuse, or other conduct that threatens the health or safety of any person on the basis gender/sex. This includes hazing and bullying, as defined in the Student Code of Conduct. 

(This information and the campus policy is adapted from the ATIXA Gender-Based and Sexual Misconduct Policy by the National Center for Higher Education Risk Management (NCHERM) and the Association of Title IX Administrators (ATIXA), 2011).