Frequently Asked Questions
What is Discrimination?
LAU’s Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Misconduct Prevention Policy defines discrimination as the
“[…] treatment of a person less favorably than other persons based on age, race, color, religion, creed, gender (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, marital status, nationality, disability, political affiliation or any other basis protected by applicable law.”
Discrimination consists of treatment of an individual or group, based on their actual or perceived membership in a certain group or social category, in a way that is worse than the way people are usually treated. Discrimination seeks to restrict members of one group from opportunities or privileges that are available to another group, leading to the exclusion of the individual or entities based on illogical or irrational decision making.
What is Sexual Harassment?
LAU’s Discrimination, Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Prevention Policy defines harassment as the
“[…] making of any unwelcome advances or requests for favors or other conduct when submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment, a student’s performance, or participation in any campus activity;
(ii) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for decisions related to employment, academic performance, or student activities; or
(iii) such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially or unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work, academic performance, or participation in student life by creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or campus environment.
Harassment may take physical, verbal, visual, or online forms.
Harassment also includes behavior that demeans, humiliates, or embarrasses a person based on race, national or ethnic origin, color, religion, age, gender, marital status, family status, disability, or sexual orientation, and that a reasonable person should have known would be unwelcome. It includes actions such as touching and pushing, comments such as jokes and name-calling, displays such as posters and cartoons and disrespectful behavior commonly known as ‘personal’ harassment, such as making fun of personal circumstances or appearance, bullying (includes unmerited criticism, isolation, gossip, physical violence or violent gestures, public humiliation, or behavior that is intimidating or demeaning), and stalking.”
What is Sexual Assault?
LAU’s Discrimination, Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Prevention Policy defines Sexual misconduct as
“[…] any form of sexual assault connected with forced sexual contact, including but not limited to rape. Force can be physical or emotional (there are four types of force: physical, threat, intimidation, coercion). Sexual assault consists of sexual contact and/or sexual intercourse that occur without affirmative consent. Sexual contact is any intentional sexual touching, however slight with any object or body part performed by a person upon another person. Sexual intercourse is any penetration, however slight with any object or body part performed by a person upon another person and is considered rape if the action is taken without the affirmative consent of the other individual(s).
Affirmative consent must be informed (knowing), voluntary (freely given), and active (not passive), meaning that, through the demonstration of clear words or actions, a person has indicated permission to engage in mutually agreed-upon sexual activity (contact or intercourse). Affirmative consent cannot be gained by taking advantage of the incapacitation of another individual, where the person initiating sexual activity knew or reasonably should have known that the other was incapacitated. Incapacitation means that a person lacks the ability to make informed, rational judgments about whether or not to engage in sexual activity.
Affirmative consent cannot be obtained by force. Force includes the use of physical violence, threats, intimidation, and/or coercion. Physical violence means that a person is exerting control over another person through the use of physical force. Examples of physical violence include hitting, punching, slapping, kicking, restraining, choking, and brandishing or using any weapon. Threats are words or actions that would compel a reasonable person to engage in unwanted activity. Examples include threats to harm a person physically, to reveal private information to harm a person’s reputation, or to cause a person academic or economic harm. Intimidation is an implied threat that menaces or causes reasonable fear in another individual, including the stalking of another individual. Coercion is the use of an unreasonable amount of pressure to gain access to something or someone. Coercion is more than an effort to convince, lure, or attract another person to have sex. When an individual is clear that they do not want to participate in a particular form of sexual contact or sexual intercourse, that they want to stop, or that they do not want to go beyond a certain sexual interaction, continued pressure can be coercive. Factors that may indicate coercion include the frequency, intensity and duration of the application of the pressure and the degree of isolation of the person being pressured.”