V. Prohibited Conduct

This policy prohibits all forms of discrimination and discriminatory harassment on the basis of a Protected Characteristic. The policy also prohibits retaliation against any individual participating in any role in a reporting, investigation, or resolution process under this Policy.

A. Discrimination

Discrimination occurs when a behavior or policy has the purpose or effect of restricting or denying an individual’s or a group’s access to opportunities, programs, or resources in relation to a Protected Characteristic in a manner that interferes with an individual’s working, academic, residential, or social environment or athletic participation or performance. 

Examples of discrimination include but are not limited to:

  • Treated differently in determining whether such person satisfies any requirement or condition for the provision of any aids, benefits, or services;
  • Provided different aid, benefits, or services. For example, a professor never makes time to meet with Buddhist students but is very flexible in meeting with other students;
  • Provided aid, benefits or services in a different manner;
  • Denied any aids, benefits, or services;
  • Subjected to separate or different rules of behavior, sanctions, or other treatment. For example, only Black and Latinx employees are required to clock in and out for lunch;
  • Treated differently concerning the domicile or residence of a student or applicant;
  • Discriminated against by providing significant assistance to any agency, organization, or person which discriminates on the basis of a Protected Characteristic in providing any aid, benefit, or service to students, faculty, or employees. For example, special office or meeting space is allocated to all groups except those for military veterans.
  • Otherwise limited in the enjoyment of any rights, privileges, advantages or opportunities with regard to aids, benefits, or services; or
  • Treated differently with regard to terms, conditions or benefits of employment, or in the recruitment, consideration, or selection thereof. For example, only Jewish and Muslim job candidates are asked about vacation/personal days at their interviews.

When these or other forms of discrimination are based on a Protected Characteristic as defined by this policy, the conduct will be resolved under this policy.

The College recognizes that, in some cases, behavior that may otherwise appear to constitute discrimination based on the above definitions may nevertheless be permissible under federal and state laws, regulations, and guidance. In such cases, permissible actions under such laws, regulations, and guidance shall not be considered a violation of this Policy. For example, the offering of or participation in programs for the benefit of veterans and/or military personnel constitutes the provision of different aid, benefits, or services on the basis of veteran/military status, but it is permissible under federal law and therefore would not constitute a violation of this policy.

Note that for purposes of an individual that is entitled to reasonable accommodations (see Section V), those reasonable accommodations shall be taken into account in determining whether there is a Policy violation. For example, if an individual is permitted to wear different clothing or to change vacation days because of religion, that will not be considered a violation under this policy.

B. Discriminatory Harassment

Discriminatory Harassment is any unwanted verbal or physical conduct on the basis of a Protected Characteristic when one or more of the following conditions is present:

  • Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment, participation in a program or activity, or grade in a course or
    coursework;
  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or educational decisions affecting an individual; or
  • Such conduct is sufficiently pervasive, offensive, or abusive to have the purpose or reasonable effect of interfering with an individual’s work or educational performance, or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or educational environment, under both an objective and subjective standard. A single incident may create a hostile environment if the incident is sufficiently severe.

The determination as to whether a hostile environment exists is based on the totality of the circumstances, including but not limited to:

  • The nature and severity of the conduct;
  • The type, frequency, and duration of the conduct;
  • The identity of, and relationship between, the respondent and the complainant;
  • The number of individuals involved;
  • The age and maturity levels of the respondent and complainant; and
  • The location of the conduct and the context in which it occurred.

Examples of Discriminatory Harassment include but are not limited to:

  • Threatening to harm someone or their property based on their religion;
  • Repeatedly leaving notes/photos, etc. on a person’s door demeaning their military service;
  • Repeated, and unwanted, demeaning or negative comments related to a person’s race or color.

C. Retaliation

Retaliation is defined as intimidating, threatening, coercing, or discriminating against any individual: 

  • For the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by this Policy; or Because the individual has made a report or complaint, testified, assisted, or participated or refused to participate in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under this Policy or under the complaint procedures relating to complaints with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.
  • Because the individual has made a report or complaint, testified, assisted, or participated or refused to participate in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under this Policy.

Charging an individual with a code of conduct violation for making a materially false statement in bad faith in the course of a proceeding under this Policy does not constitute retaliation, except that a determination regarding responsibility, alone, is not sufficient to conclude that any party made a materially false statement in bad faith. 

When a student is found responsible for retaliation, the recommended sanction is a minimum of one semester suspension from the College.