Respect

1

Respect for Others

Respect and civility are basic to our common life at the University of Portland. It is expected that members of our community will be open to learning about and respecting persons and cultures different from their own. The University of Portland expects its members to treat one another with sensitivity, consideration, understanding, love, and acceptance.

As a result, the following are prohibited:

 

Discriminatory Harassment

A.  Prohibited Conduct

Conduct that constitutes discriminatory harassment related to any protected status is inconsistent with the University’s values and is prohibited at the University.

Students who engage in prohibited conduct are subject to student conduct processes, which may result in disciplinary action, including and up to dismissal from the University.

The University’s policies and procedures specific to discriminatory harassment based on sex/gender are set out separately in the Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment, Misconduct, and Violence section.

 

B.  Definitions

1.  “Protected statuses” are set out in the University’s Statement of Inclusion and Equal Opportunity and Nondiscrimination Policy. Those protected statuses are: race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, social or economic class, age, and disability.


2.  “Discriminatory harassment” is offensive, unwelcome verbal, written, visual, or physical conduct that is based on or motivated by an individual’s or group’s actual or perceived affiliation with protected status(es).
Discriminatory harassment violates this policy if it creates a hostile environment. A hostile environment is created if conduct is sufficiently severe, pervasive, or persistent that it either (a) denies, interferes with, or limits a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s programs or activities, or (2) creates a learning, working, or living environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile, or offensive.

Discriminatory harassment can be carried out by various means, from the use of offensive or intimidating references (such as with slurs, epithets, or offensive stereotypes) to a protected class, to outright threats, and by way of various mechanisms or media, whether verbal, non-verbal, written, visual, electronic or other.

Discriminatory harassment includes disparaging, degrading, or abusive words, phrases, or generalizations that are directed at an individual or group based on their actual or perceived affiliation with a protected class, and for which there is no reasonable justification.

Discriminatory harassment need not be targeted at the reporting party. The acts may be directed at anyone. For example, racial harassment need not be based on the complainant's race, so long as it is racially motivated (e.g., it might be based on the race of a friend or associate of the complainant). Additionally, the harassment need not result in physical injury or detriment to the target(s) of the harassment.

In evaluating whether conduct constitutes discriminatory harassment and/or creates a hostile environment based on discriminatory harassment, the relationship between the alleged harasser and the target, including any relevant power imbalance, is a factor to be considered. A single incident of discriminatory harassment, if severe enough, may create a hostile environment.

Bullying

A.  Prohibited Conduct

Conduct that constitutes bullying is inconsistent with the University’s values and is prohibited at the University.

Students who engage in prohibited conduct are subject to student conduct processes, which may result in disciplinary action, including and up to dismissal from the University.

 

B.  Definitions

“Bullying” is defined as conduct of any sort directed at another that is (1) disrespectful or not collegial, (2) severe, pervasive, or persistent, and (3) is of a nature that would cause a reasonable person in the victim's position substantial emotional distress and undermine that individual’s ability to work, study, or participate in his or her regular life activities, and actually does cause the victim substantial emotional distress and undermines the victim's ability to work, study, or participate in the victim's regular life activities. Bullying can take place in-person, via others, or via different media including phone, mail, and the internet or other electronic means.

This policy is not intended to be, and will not be, applied in a way that would violate rights to academic freedom and freedom of expression, nor will it be interpreted in a way that undermines a University employee’s authority to appropriately oversee and implement University policies and processes. This definition reserves for the University, in furtherance of its educational mission, the right to address conduct that would not necessarily be considered unlawful.

Examples of conduct prohibited under this policy include, but are not limited to:

  • Verbal bullying, which is saying or writing disparaging or derogatory things. Verbal bullying includes: teasing, name-calling, taunting, and threatening to cause harm.
  • Social bullying, sometimes referred to as relational bullying, which involves hurting someone’s reputation or relationships. Social bullying examples include: spreading rumors about someone, and embarrassing someone in public.
  • Physical bullying involves hurting a person’s body or possessions. Physical bullying includes: hitting/kicking/pinching, spitting, gripping/pushing, taking or breaking someone’s things, and making mean or rude hand gestures.

Please note that the reasonable person standard is applied to all of the examples set out above.


Stalking

A.  Prohibited Conduct

Conduct that constitutes stalking, including cyberstalking, is inconsistent with the University’s values and is prohibited at the University.

Students who engage in prohibited conduct are subject to student conduct processes, which may result in disciplinary action, including and up to dismissal from the University.

 

B.  Definitions

Stalking” means engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person or persons that would cause a reasonable person to:

  • fear for his/her safety or the safety of others; or
  • suffer substantial emotional distress.

Stalking consists of conduct that is severe, pervasive, or persistent. Generally, it is composed of two or more acts over a period of time, however short. Examples of conduct prohibited under this policy include, but are not limited to:

  • Nonconsensual and repeated communications.
  • Intentionally following, pursuing, waiting for, or showing up uninvited.
  • Surveillance or other types of close observation.
  • Direct physical and/or verbal threats against an individual or the individual’s loved ones.
  • Manipulative and controlling behaviors via the internet or electronic means.
  • Cyber-stalking, which is the use of the internet or other electronic means to stalk an individual. Cyber-stalking may involve stalking type conduct that involves, but is not limited to, a larger than usual volume of e-mail or text communications, false accusations, monitoring over the internet or via electronic means, making threats via the internet or electronic means, identity theft, intentional damage to data or equipment on the internet or via technology, or gathering information via the internet or via technology in order to harass another.


Use of Reasonable Person Standard

Where there is a specific reference to the reasonable person standard in this policy, the University will use a reasonable person standard in investigating reports and complaints of violations of this policy, both in determining facts and in assessing culpability.

A “reasonable person” is a hypothetical person who is levelheaded and rational, aware of community norms, and not under the influence of a judgment-impairing substance. Further, this person considers all information available to them about the circumstances and actual and perceived identities of all parties involved in the incident(s).

This standard can be used in different ways throughout the investigation and adjudicative process. For example, because the standard is referred to in the definition of prohibited discriminatory harassment, parties investigating a report or formal complaint of discriminatory harassment will use the reasonable person standard by assessing the situation from the perspective of a reasonable person as defined above to decide if the behavior constitutes a violation of this policy.