Sexual Misconduct or Harassment includes, but is not limited to:
- An attempt to coerce an unwilling person into a sexual relationship.
- To repeatedly subject a person to egregious, unwelcome sexual attention.
- To punish a refusal to comply with a sexual based request.
- To condition a benefit on submitting to sexual advances.
- Sexual violence which is defined as threatening or causing physical harm, extreme verbal abuse, or other conduct which threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person.
- Violence between those in an intimate relationship.
- Stalking that is gender-based which is defined as repetitive and/or menacing pursuit, following, harassment and/or interference with the peace and/or safety of a member of the community; or the safety of any of the immediate family of members of the community.
- Gender-based bullying which is defined as repeated and/or severe aggressive behavior likely to intimidate or intentionally hurt, control or diminish another person, physically or mentally (excluding speech or conduct otherwise protected by the 1st Amendment).
- Gender expression/stereotyping which is defined as simplistic generalizations about gender attributes, differences, and roles of individuals and/or groups. Stereotypes rarely communicate accurate information about others. When people automatically apply gender assumptions to others regardless of evidence to the contrary, they are perpetuating gender stereotyping.
- Hazing which is defined as acts likely to cause physical or psychological harm or social ostracism to any person within the college community on the basis of gender, when related to the admission, initiation, pledging, joining, or any other group-affiliation activity.
- Discrimination which is defined as actions that deprive other members of the community of educational or employment access, benefits or opportunities on the basis of gender.
- Intimidation that is gender-based which is defined as implied threats or acts that cause a reasonable fear of harm in another.
While a particular interaction must be offensive to both a reasonable person and to the complainant to be defined as harassment, Otero employees and other persons of authority should be sensitive to questions about mutuality of consent that may be raised and to the conflict of interests that are inherent in personal relationships that result from professional and educational interactions. Harassment is particularly damaging when it exploits the educational dependence and trust between students and faculty/staff. When the authority and power inherent in faculty/staff relationships with students, whether overtly, implicitly, or through misinterpretation, is abused in any way, there is potentially great damage to the individual student, to the accused individual, and to the climate of the institution.
It is the policy of the State Board for Community Colleges and Occupational Education that none of its employees or its Board members shall engage in any activity or relationship that places them in a conflict of interest between their official activities and any other interest or obligation. Conflict of interest requires all employees to disqualify themselves from participating in a decision when a personal interest is present; therefore, SP 3-70a, Relationships, requires all employees involved in an amorous relationship to excuse themselves from any authority or evaluative role with respect to the other person. Please refer to SP 3-70a for more information and disclosure requirements.