Harassment is the creation of an offensive, degrading, or intimidating environment, in which conduct, because of its severity and/or persistence, is likely to interfere significantly with an individual’s ability to participate in, or benefit from, their educational or working environment by negatively affecting the person physically or emotionally. 

Harassment can be uninvited or unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct directed at the individual's or a group of individuals' putative nationality, race, ethnicity, color, language, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, religion, cultural identity, social origin, socioeconomic status, educational level, disability, genetic trait, mental or physical health condition, or any similar ground. 

Verbal conduct may be either oral or written words, such as epithets. Physical conduct may include inappropriate touching, physically interfering with, blocking or impeding an individual’s normal movement, assault or battery among other things. Visual conduct may include drawings, pictures, cartoons or images among other things. 

Examples of harassing conduct include, but are not limited to: 

  • any intentional, willful or malicious abuse, mocking, or disparaging of a person or persons which affects their educational performance or living or working environment at the University; 
  • actions or expressions that might cause or contribute to violent situations, or that create a clear and present danger of violent situations; 
  • phone calls, Instant Messenger sessions, or other electronic communications with indecent content; 
  • acts of violence, stalking, unwelcome physical touch, physical, verbal, or written threats, and/or other inappropriate communications; 
  • incidents of sexual harassment, as described in the next section

Links to relevant harassment cases around the globe in the university context: 

Berkeley harassment case

Yale harassment case

Poitiers harassment case (in French)