The UNC Chapel Hill Policy on Prohibited Harassment, including Sexual Misconduct, and Discrimination describes harassment as “a form of discrimination that occurs when verbal or physical conduct based on an individual’s protected status unreasonably interferes with that individual’s work or academic performance or creates a hostile work or educational environment for that individual, including affecting his/her personal safety or participation in University-sponsored activities” (page 7).
When this harassment is based on someone’s identity or identities, we refer to this harassment as identity-based harassment and the policy refers to it as harassment based on “protected status”. The identities or protected statuses being targeted by harassment may include: “race, color, gender, national origin, age, religion, creed, genetic information, disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression” (page 2). Harassment is considered to be identity-based whether a protected status or identity is actually held by the target or perceived by the harasser to be present. Harassment based on identity is prohibited by University policy and is illegal under non-discrimination and equal opportunity laws, such as Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, The Age Discrimination in Employment Act, The Americans with Disabilities Act and ADA Amendments Act.
If someone (faculty, staff, student, or visitor) is experiencing harassment at UNC-Chapel Hill, they may be interested in filing a report through the University or through the Police (LINK). Stalking is a form of harassment – so legally, someone might file charges under harassment OR stalking depending on the context of the situation or the law where they live.
It’s hard to talk about harassment without understanding problematic – but not necessarily illegal or against University policy – microaggressions or micro-inequities. Microaggressions are like “little pinches from the world around you” and are “the subtle ways in which body and verbal language convey oppressive ideology about power or privilege against marginalized identities” (www.microaggressions.com/frequently-asked-questions).
Other characteristics of microaggressions:
As a member of the UNC Chapel Hill community, you may be interested in these resources which provide multicultural support and promote inclusion in our university community:
There are a variety of trainings and events which help increase awareness of diversity and inclusiveness at UNC.