AR 3430: Prohibition of Harassment

Mt. Hood Community College is committed to providing an academic and work environment free of unlawful harassment. This regulation defines sexual harassment and other forms of harassment. Regulations for the investigation and resolution of complaints of harassment by or against any employee or student within the College are outlined in AR 3435 Discrimination and Harassment Complaints and Investigations. Regulations related to Workplace Harassment are found in AR 3432.

This regulation and the related policy protect students, employees, unpaid interns, and volunteers in connection with all the academic, educational, extracurricular, athletic, and other programs of the college, whether those programs take place in the college’s facilities, college bus or van, or at a class or training program sponsored by the college at another location. This regulation and related policy also protect all students, employees, unpaid interns, and volunteers who are experiencing discrimination or harassment off campus where the off-campus conduct is creating a hostile environment on campus or in any college program or activity.


General Harassment: Harassment is unwelcome conduct that is based on race, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, age, disability, pregnancy, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, marital status, or any other status protected under federal, state or local law. Harassment becomes unlawful where enduring the offensive conduct becomes a condition of continued employment or the conduct is severe or pervasive enough to create a work or educational environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile, or abusive. Harassment shall be found where, in the aggregate, the incidents are sufficiently pervasive, persistent, or severe that a reasonable person with the same characteristics as the victim of the harassing conduct would be adversely affected to the degree that interferes with their ability to participate in or to realize the intended benefits of an institutional activity, employment, or resource.

Harassment comes in many forms, including but not limited to the following conduct that could, depending on the circumstances, meet the definition above or could contribute to a set of circumstances that meets the definition:

Verbal: Inappropriate or offensive remarks, slurs, jokes, or innuendoes based on a person’s protected status. This may include, but is not limited to, inappropriate comments regarding an individual's body, physical appearance, attire, sexual prowess, marital status, or sexual orientation; unwelcome flirting or propositions; demands for sexual favors; verbal abuse, threats or intimidation; or sexist, patronizing or ridiculing statements that convey derogatory attitudes based on gender, race, nationality, sexual orientation or other protected status.

Physical: Inappropriate or offensive touching, assault, or physical interference with free movement. This may include but is not limited to kissing, patting, lingering or intimate touches, grabbing, pinching, leering, staring, unnecessarily brushing against or blocking another person, whistling, or sexual gestures. It also includes any physical assault or intimidation directed at an individual due to that person’s protected status. Physical sexual harassment includes acts of sexual violence, such as rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, and sexual coercion. Sexual violence refers to physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent due to the victim’s use of drugs or alcohol. An individual also may be unable to give consent due to an intellectual or other disability.

Visual or Written: The display or circulation of visual or written material that degrades an individual or group based on protected status. This may include, but is not limited to, posters, cartoons, drawings, graffiti, reading materials, computer graphics, or electronic media transmissions, including social media (e.g., TikTok, Facebook, Twitter).

Environmental: A hostile academic or work environment may exist where it is permeated by sexual innuendo; insults or abusive comments directed at an individual or group based on protected status; or gratuitous comments regarding protected status that are not relevant to the subject matter of the class or activities on the job. A hostile environment can arise from an unwarranted focus on sexual topics or sexually suggestive statements in the classroom or work environment. It can also be created by an unwarranted focus on or stereotyping of protected statuses. An environment may also be hostile toward anyone who merely witnesses unlawful harassment in their immediate surroundings although the conduct is directed at others. The determination of whether an environment is hostile is based on the totality of the circumstances, including such factors as the frequency of the conduct, the severity of the conduct, whether the conduct is humiliating or physically threatening, and whether the conduct unreasonably interferes with an individual's learning or work.

Gender-based harassment: Gender-based harassment does not necessarily involve conduct that is sexual. Any hostile or offensive conduct based on sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression can constitute prohibited harassment if it meets the definition above. For example, repeated derisive comments about a person’s competency to do the job, when based on that person’s sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, could constitute gender-based harassment.

Sexual Harassment: Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment can include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature where such conduct is sufficiently severe or pervasive that it has the effect, intended or unintended, of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance or it has created an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment and would have such an effect on a reasonable person.

This definition encompasses two kinds of sexual harassment:

"Quid pro quo" sexual harassment occurs when a person in a position of authority makes educational or employment benefits conditional upon an individual's willingness to engage in or tolerate unwanted sexual conduct.

"Hostile environment" sexual harassment occurs when unwelcome conduct based on a person’s sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression is sufficiently severe or pervasive so as to alter the conditions of an individual's learning or work environment, unreasonably interfere with an individual's academic or work performance, or create an intimidating, hostile, or abusive learning or work environment. The reporting party must subjectively perceive the environment as hostile, and the harassment must be such that a reasonable person of the same sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression would perceive the environment as hostile. A single or isolated incident of sexual harassment may be sufficient to create a hostile environment if it is severe, i.e., a sexual assault.

Sexually harassing conduct can occur between people of the same or different sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. The standard for determining whether conduct constitutes sexual harassment is whether a reasonable person of the same sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression as the victim would perceive the conduct as harassment based on sex.

Sexual Assault: Sexual assault means unwanted conduct of a sexual nature that is inflicted upon a person or compelled through the use of physical force, manipulation, threat, or intimidation.

Workplace Harassment: Workplace harassment means conduct that constitutes discrimination prohibited by ORS 659A.030, including conduct that constitutes sexual assault or that constitutes conduct prohibited by ORS 659A.082 or 659A.112.

Consensual Relationships

The college prohibits consensual sexual relationships between individuals in circumstances whereby one individual has the ability to impact the other individual’s academic status or employment by exercising control, power, or authority. The respect and trust afforded to a faculty, staff, or management employee by a student or supervisee, as well as the unequal power exercised in giving praise, grades, evaluations, and recommendations, influence academic and working relationships.

  • Such relationships may undermine the real or perceived integrity of the supervision provided and the particular trust inherent in the student-faculty relationship.
  • Relationships in which one party is in a position to review the work or influence the career of the other may provide grounds for a complaint when that relationship appears to give undue access or advantage, restricts opportunities, or creates a hostile and unacceptable environment for others.
  • Such relationships may, moreover, be less consensual than the individual whose position confers power believes. The relationship is likely to be perceived in different ways by each of the parties to it, especially in retrospect. While some relationships may begin and remain harmonious, they may become unwelcome and harassing and are susceptible to being characterized as unprofessional and disrespectful to others.

Mt. Hood Community College employees are responsible for immediately reporting the prior existence or development of a relationship impacting compliance with this administrative regulation to their supervisor. The respective supervisor will immediately devise a plan to mitigate the situation, taking into consideration factors such as availability of resources and operational considerations, and have this plan reviewed by the appropriate vice president or designee and the associate vice president of human resources.

Individuals in positions of authority, such as faculty, administrators, managers, and coaches, are legal agents of the college. A person in a position of authority who is made aware of, or in the exercise of reasonable care, should have known of a violation of this policy is also responsible for reporting such a violation. Employees who fail to report alleged or suspected violations of this policy to the appropriate supervisor or college office in a timely manner may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.

Academic Freedom

No provision of this Administrative Regulation shall be interpreted to prohibit conduct that is legitimately related to the course content, teaching methods, scholarship, or public commentary of an individual faculty member or the educational, political, artistic, or literary expression of students in classrooms and public forums. Freedom of speech and academic freedom are, however, not limitless, and this procedure will not protect speech or expressive conduct that violates federal or state anti-discrimination laws.

Approved: 12/5/95

Revised:11/10/98, 5/6/08, 9/22/09, 4/9/10, 4/5/11, 8/29/23

References: Title IX, Education Amendments of 1972; 20 U.S. Code Sections1681 et seq.;
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S. Code Annotated Section 2000e-2;
29 Code of Federal Regulations Part 1604.11;
Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA); 29 U.S. Code Sections 621 et seq.;
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) 42 U.S. Code Sections 12101 et seq.;
ORS 659A;
OAR 839-005-0030 (Sexual harassment);
ORS 243