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What is Harrassment?

Harassment is verbal or written abuse, racial or gender slurs, physical intimidation, inappropriate physical contact, unwelcome advances, or the demand for favors.

Sexual and racial harassment are common forms of harassment and are illegal under the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The concept of sexual harassment causes much confusion and is often associated with the harassment of women by men. However, men also experience sexual harassment. A working definition of sexual harassment is the unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

  • submission to such conduct is a condition for employment, promotion, grades, or academic status
  • submission to, or rejection of, such conduct is used as the basis for employment or academic decisions affecting an individual
  • such conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering unreasonably with the indivdiual's work or academic performance, or creates an offensive, hostile, or intimidating working or learning environment.

Is This Harassment?

If you believe you have been subjected to harassment, you are afforded protection under the law. It is important to remember that you are not alone and that you do not have to solve adverse situations alone. If you encounter experiences that you are unhappy with, be sure to contact and adviser, faculty, or staff member whom you trust. Above all, remember that you have the power to act. If you believe that you are a victim of any kind of harassment--whether sexual or racial--be sure to discuss the incident with a trusted College representative.

College of IST Harassment Resource Staff

Ethics and Compliance Hotline

At Penn State, we have made a commitmeent ot the highest standard of ethical behavior among all in our community. As a part of that commitment, we believe that our employees and students should be able to raise questions or voice concerns about workplace and University issues. This includes financial matters such as fraud, theft of University assets or conflicts of interest; and other misconduct or violations of University policy, including research compliance matters, discrimination, or athletics-compliance issues.

University employees and students can report issues and/or ask questions via phone at 1-800-560-1637 or online.

All reports can be anonymous so you can help maintain an ethical workplace and University without fear of retaliation. If you witness questionable activity in the workplace, report it.

  • All reports to the hotline can be anonymous.
  • An independent third party, Compliance Concepts,Inc., administers the hotline on behalf of Penn State.
  • The operators answering the calls are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and are trained in making callers feel at ease and gathering information that will enable the University to fully investigate the issues raised.
  • The hotline system allows an individual to follow up, either by telephone or the Internet, and determine what actions have been taken due to complaints. They can be accessed by using passwords related to the specific complaint.

University Policies

  • AD-39 - Minors Involved in University-Sponsored Programs or Programs Held at the University and/or Housed in University Facilities
  • AD-72 - Reporting Suspected Child Abuse
  • AD-85 - Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Harassment and Related Inappropriate Conduct
  • AD-67 - Disclosure of Wrongful Conduct and Protection From Retaliation

University Resources

Community Resources