Sexual Misconduct

Sexual misconduct is broadly defined as any sexual behavior that creates an uncomfortable, hostile working or learning environment. Sexual misconduct includes but is not limited to sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, stalking, interpersonal violence, and any unwanted verbal or physical sexual attention.

Sexual Misconduct & Interpersonal Violence Policy

Sexual Violence & Assault

Sexual violence may constitute any unwanted sexual touch or attention. Examples include but are not limited to; groping, sexual harassment, stalking, attempted rape or rape. Sexual violence is never the fault of the victim.

Sexual violence may happen between people who know one another, people who don’t or even people who are dating or married. Survivors and perpetrators of sexual violence can be of any class, race, gender, sexual orientation or religion. Less severe forms of sexual violence, such as sexist jokes or name-calling, are often seen as benign. These behaviors condone and perpetuate more severe forms of sexual violence like rape. Any act of sexual assault is also a violation of UNC Asheville’s Student Code of Community Standards.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is any kind of repeated sexual attention in the workplace or in an educational setting that is unwanted by the person receiving the attention or by someone else witnessing it. Everyone has a right to be at their school or workplace without being harassed.

According to the UNC Asheville Sexual Harassment Policy, sexually harassing behaviors include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal and physical conduct of a sexual nature.

Conduct Constituting Sexual Harassment

  • Submission to such conduct is made either an explicit or implicit condition of employment or academic standing
  • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment which unreasonably interferes with another’s work, academic performance or privacy
  • If the conduct is unwelcome and could be offensive to a reasonable person, then the conduct may constitute sexual harassment, even if it was not intended to be offensive.

Sexually harassing actions and behaviors can occur outside the workplace and classroom – such as on the street. Although these actions may be commonly called sexual harassment, the term has a more specific meaning that restricts it to work and educational settings.

  • Acts of sexual harassment and violence are a violation of the law and university policy.
  • Acts of sexual misconduct and sexual harassment jeopardize the health and welfare of our campus community and the larger community as a whole. Therefore, UNC Asheville stands strongly behind its prohibited conduct as related to sexual misconduct and sexual harassment.
  • All members of the university community must understand that sexual harassment, sexual discrimination and sexual exploitation of professional relationships violate the university’s policy and will not be tolerated.
  • Acts of sexual violence and harassment may also constitute criminal behavior that can be prosecuted under North Carolina law, as well as form the basis for discipline and other corrective action under employee disciplinary standards or the UNC Asheville Student Code of Community Standards.

Examples of Sexual Harassment

  • Repeated requests for dates and sex
  • Sexually-oriented humor or language
  • Kissing sounds, whistling, cat calls
  • Obscene phone calls
  • Comments about sexual likes/dislikes
  • Comments about sexual behavior
  • Leering or ogling
  • Repeated “love” letters
  • Sexually oriented electronic messages or images
  • Email/screen-savers/desktop “wall paper”
  • Intrusive touching including pats, hugs, squeezes, pinches, and/or brushing up against someone
  • Unwanted kissing
  • Unwanted fondling
  • Rape