Sexual Harassment Policy
Sexual harassment is unacceptable conduct and is not condoned in any form at
George Mason University. This policy is part of the university's efforts to maintain
learning and work environments free from sexual harassment. While this problem
can seriously affect all members of an educational community, sexual harassment
can be particularly devastating for our student population. A sexual harassment
experience can affect a student's emotional well-being, impair academic progress,
and even inhibit the attainment of career goals. This problem can likewise affect
employees and applicants for both employment and admission to the university in
the same manner. George Mason University, therefore, must move to eliminate this
problem from the community.
It is generally agreed that what constitutes and defines sexual harassment
can vary under particular circumstances and events. Nevertheless, using the definitions
of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the U.S. Department
of Education's Office for Civil Rights, the university defines sexual harassment
Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or
physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute harassment when:
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly
a term or condition of an individual's academic performance or employment
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the
basis for decisions about academic evaluation, employment, promotion, transfer,
selection for training, performance evaluation, or selection for academic awards
or benefits, etc.
- Such conduct has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile,
or offensive educational or work environment or substantially interferes with
a student's academic or an employee's work performance
While the definition quoted above reflects the historical fact that the majority
of sexual harassment complaints involve a male harasser and a female complainant
(or victim), the definition applies equally to female harassers and male victims
as well as same-sex harassment.
George Mason University is committed to eliminating sexual harassment from
the campus while ensuring basic protection for all parties. The Office of the
Vice President and University Equity Officer (a.k.a. Equity Office) is specifically
charged to assist in the investigation and resolution of allegations of discrimination
and harassment including sexual harassment. Further, the office exists, in part,
to ensure that members of the campus community understand their responsibility
to create and maintain an environment free from discriminatory actions and behaviors.
For more information, contact the University Equity Office at (703) 993-8730
or (703) 993-8787 (TDD).