Discrimination and Harassment - Title IX and Equal Opportunity - Christopher Newport University

Title IX and Equal Opportunity

Discrimination and Harassment

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Discrimination is inequitable treatment based on an individual's protected characteristics or statuses (race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, sexual orientation, veteran status, political affiliation or any other status protected by law) that excludes an individual from participation in, denies the individual the benefits of, treats the individual differently or otherwise adversely affects a term or condition of an individual's employment, education, living environment, or participation in an educational program or activity. This includes failing to provide reasonable accommodation, consistent with state and federal law, to persons with disabilities.

Harassment is a form of discrimination in which unwelcome verbal, written or physical conduct is directed toward an individual on the basis of his or her protected characteristics or statuses (race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, sexual orientation, veteran status, political affiliation or any other status protected by law), by any member of the campus community. Harassment does not have to include intent to harm, be directed at a specific target or involve repeated incidents. Harassment violates this policy when it creates a hostile environment.

Any Christopher Newport student or employee who believes that he or she has been unlawfully discriminated against or harassed may file a complaint. by submitting an Title IX and EO Community Reporting Form online, or by contacting the Director of Title IX and Equal Opportunity.

Discrimination and harassment as described above is a violation of University policy and will not be tolerated.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination based on sex. It is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other conduct of a sexual nature, including: verbal (e.g., specific demands for sexual favors, sexual innuendoes, sexually suggestive comments, jokes of a sexual nature, sexual propositions, or sexual threats); non-verbal (e.g., sexually suggestive emails, other writings, articles or documents, objects or pictures, graphic commentaries, suggestive or insulting sounds or gestures, leering, whistling, or obscene gestures); or physical (e.g., touching, pinching, brushing the body, any unwelcome or coerced sexual activity, including sexual assault). Sexual harassment, including sexual assault, can involve persons of the same or different sexes.

This following types of sexual harassment are prohibited:

  • Term or condition of employment or education
    This type of sexual harassment (often referred to as "quid pro quo" harassment) occurs when the terms or conditions of employment, educational benefits, academic grades or opportunities, living environment or participation in a Christopher Newport activity are conditioned upon, either explicitly or implicitly, submission to or rejection of unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors, or such submission or rejection is a factor in decisions affecting that individual's employment, education, living environment, or participation in a CNU program or activity.
  • Hostile environment
    Acts that create a hostile environment, as defined below.

Hostile environment may be conduct in any medium (e.g., oral, written, graphic or physical) that is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive and objectively offensive that it interferes with, limits or denies the ability of an individual to participate in or benefit from educational programs, services, opportunities, or activities or the individual's employment access, benefits or opportunities. Mere subjective offensiveness is not enough to create a hostile environment. In determining whether conduct is severe, persistent or pervasive, and thus creates a hostile environment, the following factors will be considered:

  • The degree to which the conduct affected one or more individuals' education or employment
  • The nature, scope, frequency, duration and location of the incident(s)
  • The identity, number and relationships of persons involved
  • The perspective of a “reasonable person” in the same situation as the person subjected to the conduct
  • The nature of higher education

Retaliation

Retaliation is intimidation, threats, harassment and other adverse action taken or threatened against (1) any reporting party or person reporting or filing a complaint alleging discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, or sexual misconduct or (2) any person cooperating in the investigation of an allegation of discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, or sexual misconduct to include testifying, assisting or participating in any manner in an investigation pursuant to this policy. Action is generally deemed adverse if it would deter a reasonable person in the same circumstances from opposing practices prohibited by this policy. Retaliation may result in disciplinary or other action independent of the sanctions or interim measures imposed in response to the underlying allegations of discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment or sexual misconduct.

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