What is sexual harassment?
Simply put, sexual harassment is repeated unwanted attention of a sexual nature. Remarks may not be intended to harm, but if they have that effect, they constitute harassment. Sexual harassment creates an offensive, intimidating, or hostile learning or living environment. It may involve abuse of power or privilege. Sexual harassment may involve coercion or threat of detriment to the individual if refused or stopped. It can be verbal, non-verbal or physical.
Sexual harassment may include:
- explicit or implicit propositions to engage in sexual activity
- sexually explicit statements, questions, jokes, anecdotes, or gestures
- inappropriate or unwelcome touching, patting, pinching, or brushing against a person’s body or clothing
- display of sexually offensive material (e.g. pictures, cartoons, posters, graffiti, screen savers) objects, or sounds
- unwelcome inquiries or comments about a person’s sex life, clothing, or body
- sexual looks such as leering and ogling
- sexually explicit cards, notes, emails, text messages, or other written correspondence
- derogatory gender specific comments
- adverse evaluation or grading as the consequence of refusing or stopping
What to do if you are being sexually harassed:
- Say No. Say it firmly without smiling or apologizing. You may also wish to write a letter to the harasser clearly communicating your objections.
- Keep a record of what has occurred and how you responded. Include direct quotes, dates, places, times, and witnesses to the harassment. Save all harassing cards, letters, voice mail, emails, IM exchanges, text messages, or answering machine messages.
- Talk to someone, perhaps a Resident Director or Broene Counseling Center counselor or other trusted adult.
- Report the problem. Calvin encourages you to report incidences of sexual harassment. Students may file a complaint with the Dean of Students for Judicial Affairs, Jane Hendriksma.
See the Student Handbook Policy On Discrimination and Harassment