Other Harassment

Other Harassment

Other Harassment:

Harassment on the basis of any other protected characteristic is also prohibited. Harassment may be verbal, written or physical conduct that degrades or shows hostility or dislike because of the race, color, age, mental or physical disability, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, genetic information, marital status, citizenship status, military or veteran status or any other protected characteristic of an individual or his/her relatives, friends or associates, and that:

a. Has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with work or academic performance; or

b. Has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working or educational environment; or

c. Otherwise adversely affects an individual’s employment or educational opportunities.

Depending on the circumstances, harassment may include, but is not limited to:

a. Verbal harassment: Descriptions, slurs, negative stereotyping, jokes, pranks or other threatening, intimidating or hostile acts.

b. Written harassment: Poems, letters, cartoons, or other visual or physical renderings placed on walls, bulletin boards, e-mail, internet, intranet or elsewhere on campus premises/property or circulated on campus.

c. Physical harassment: Unwelcome gestures, touching, impeding movement or other threatening, intimidating, hostile or offensive contact.

Central College will not tolerate harassment or discrimination that may interfere with an individual’s work performance or academic performance, or that creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive working or educational environment. 

A Hostile Environment exists when Harassment is sufficiently severe or pervasive/persistent and patently offensive so that it alters the conditions of education or employment, from both a subjective (the alleged victim's) and an objective (reasonable person's) viewpoint. The determination of whether an environment is "hostile" must be based on all of the circumstances. These circumstances could include:

  1. the frequency of the conduct;
  2. the nature and severity of the conduct;
  3. the identity and relationships of persons involved;
  4. the location of the conduct and the context in which it occurred;
  5. whether the conduct was physically threatening;
  6. whether the conduct was humiliating;
  7. the effect of the conduct on the alleged victim's mental or emotional state;
  8. whether the conduct was directed at more than one person;
  9. whether the conduct arose in the context of other discriminatory conduct;
  10. whether the conduct unreasonably interfered with the alleged victim's educational or work performance;
  11. whether the statement is a mere utterance of an epithet which engenders offense in an employee or student, or offends by mere discourtesy or rudeness:
  12. whether the speech or conduct deserves the protections of academic freedom.

The more severe the harassment, the less need there is to show a repetitive series of incidents to find a hostile environment. Indeed, a single instance of harassment may be sufficient to create a hostile environment. Likewise, a series of incidents may be sufficient even if the sex-based harassment is not particularly severe. Depending on the circumstances, the harasser may be subject to discipline or sanctions, even if the conduct might not have been intended as offensive.


Harassing conduct which is offensive or inappropriate, but does not rise to the level of creating a hostile environment, can still be reported and, where appropriate, Central will take remedial steps intended to end or prevent such actions in the future.