Policy Examples

Some examples of possible sexual harassment include

(These examples are to be consulted only as an educational and preventive tool.)

  • A professor offers for a student to have sex or go on a date with them in exchange for a good grade. This constitutes sexual harassment regardless of whether the student accedes to the request and irrespective of whether a good grade is promised or a bad grade is threatened.
  • A student repeatedly sends graphic, sexually-oriented jokes and pictures around campus via social media to several other students. Many don’t find it funny and ask them to stop, but they do not. Because of these jokes, one student avoids the sender on campus and in the residence hall in which they both live, eventually asking to move to a different building and dropping a class they had together. 
  • A professor engages students in class in discussions about the students’ past sexual experiences, yet the conversations are not in any way germane to the subject matter of the class. The professor inquires about explicit details and demands that students answer them, though the students are clearly uncomfortable and hesitant. 
  • An ex-partner widely spreads false stories about their sex life with their former partner to the clear discomfort and frustration of the former partner, turning the former partner into a social pariah on campus.
  • Chris has recently transitioned from male to non-binary, but primarily expresses as a female. Since their transition, Chris has noticed that their professor, Dr. Jones, pays them a lot more attention. Chris is sexually attracted to Professor Jones and believes the attraction is mutual. Chris decides to act on the attraction. One day, Chris visits Dr. Jones during office hours, and after a long conversation about being non-binary, Chris kisses Dr. Jones. Dr. Jones is taken aback, stops the kiss, and tells Chris not to do that. Dr. Jones explains to Chris that they are not interested in Chris sexually or romantically. Chris takes it hard, sharing with Dr. Jones about how hard it is to find someone who is interested in them now based on their identity. Dr. Jones feels sorry for Chris and softens the blow by telling them that no matter whether they like Chris or not, faculty-student relationships are prohibited by the university. Chris takes this as encouragement.  One night, Chris goes to a queer community bar some distance from campus and sees Dr. Jones at the bar. Chris tries to buy Dr. Jones a drink and, again, tries to kiss Dr. Jones. Dr. Jones leaves the bar abruptly. The next day, Chris makes online posts and comments around campus that out Dr. Jones as gay and raise questions about whether they are sexually involved with students. Dr. Jones contacts the Title IX Office and alleges that Chris is sexually harassing him. 

Examples of Stalking

  • Students A and B were friends with benefits. Student A wanted a more serious relationship, which caused student B to break it off. Student A did not let go, and pursued student B relentlessly. Student B obtained a campus no-contact order. Subsequently, Student B discovered their social media accounts were being accessed, and things were being posted and messaged as if they were from them, but they were not. Whoever accessed their account posted a picture of a penis, making it look as if they had sent out a picture of themselves, though it was not their penis. This caused them considerable embarrassment and social anxiety. They changed their passwords, only to have it happen again. Seeking help from the Title IX Coordinator, Student B met with the IT department, which discovered an app on their phone and a keystroke recorder on their laptop, both of which were being used to transmit their data to a third party. 
  • A graduate student working as an on-campus academic coach received flowers and gifts delivered to their cubicle. After learning the gifts were from a student they recently tutored, the graduate student thanked the student and stated that it was not necessary and would appreciate it if the gift deliveries stopped. The student then started leaving notes of love and gratitude on the tutor’s car, both on-campus and at home. Asked again to stop, the student stated by email, “You can ask me to stop, but I’m not giving up. We are meant to be together, and I’ll do anything to make you have the feelings for me that I have for you.” When the tutor did not respond, the student emailed again, “You cannot escape me. I will track you to the ends of the earth. If I can’t have you, no one will.” 

Examples of Sexual Assault:

  • Amanda and Bill meet at a party. They spend the evening dancing and getting to know each other. Bill convinces Amanda to come up to his room. From 11:00 p.m. until 3:00 a.m., Bill uses every line he can think of to convince Amanda to have sex with him, but she adamantly refuses. Despite her clear communications that she is not interested in doing anything sexual with him, Bill keeps at her, questions her spiritual convictions, and accuses her of being “a prude.” He brings up several rumors that he has heard about how she performed oral sex on a number of other guys. Finally, it seems to Bill that her resolve is weakening, and he convinces her to “give him a hand job” (hand to genital contact). Amanda would have never done it but for Bill's incessant advances. He feels that he successfully seduced her and that she wanted to do it all along but was playing shy and hard to get. Why else would she have come up to his room alone after the party? If she really didn't want it, she could have left. 
  • Jiang is a junior. Carlos is a sophomore. Jiang comes to Carlos’s residence hall room with some mutual friends to watch a movie. Jiang and Carlos, who have never met before, are attracted to each other. After the movie, everyone leaves, and Jiang and Carlos are alone. They hit it off, soon become more intimate, and start to make out. Jiang verbally expresses his desire to have sex with Carlos. Carlos, who was abused by a babysitter at the age of five and avoids sexual relations as a result, is shocked at how quickly things are progressing. As Jiang takes him by the wrist over to the bed, lays him down, undresses, and begins to have intercourse with Carlos, Carlos has a severe flashback to his childhood trauma. He wants to tell Jiang to stop but cannot. Carlos is stiff and unresponsive during the intercourse. 
  • Terri and Kim are at a party. Terri is not sure how much Kim has been drinking, but they are pretty sure it’s a lot. After the party, they walk Kim to her apartment, and Kim comes on to Terri, initiating sexual activity. Terri asks Kim if she is really up to this, and Kim says yes. They remove each other’s clothes, and they end up in Kim’s bed. Suddenly, Kim runs for the bathroom. When she returns, her face is pale, and Terri thinks Kim may have thrown up. Kim gets back into bed, and they begin to have sexual intercourse. Terri is having a good time, though they can’t help but notice that Kim seems pretty groggy and passive, and they think Kim may have even passed out briefly during the sex, but she came-to again. When Terri runs into Kim the next day, Terri thanks her for the great night. Kim remembers nothing and decides to make a report to the Dean. 

Examples of Retaliation:

  • A Student-group leader alleges sexual harassment by a faculty sponsor of the group; the faculty sponsor subsequently cuts the student-group's budget without a legitimate justification. 
  • A faculty member alleges gender inequity in pay within her department; the Department Hearing Decision-maker then revokes his approval for her to attend a national conference, citing the faculty member’s tendency to “ruffle feathers.” 
  • A student from Organization A participates in a sexual misconduct investigation as a witness whose testimony is damaging to the Respondent, who is also a member of Organization A; the student is subsequently removed as a member of Organization A because of their participation in the investigation. 

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