The University will apply a Test of Reasonableness in responding to reports of harassment.
In summary, this means that harassment will have occurred if any independent, reasonable individual deems it to have occurred.
It frequently involves someone in a position of authority bullying someone in a lesser position, but bullying of people in a more senior position by people in a lesser position and between people in an equal position does occur. Unintentional or misinterpreted behaviour may cause feelings of harassment.
Differences in attitude, background or culture can mean that what is perceived as harassment by one person may not seem so to another.
Most people would not deliberately seek to cause upset or distress.However, it is important to recognise that behaviour that is acceptable to you may not be acceptable to others.Similarly, each of us has a responsibility to acknowledge that while academic debate, including vigorous speech and comment, and legitimate management of the performance of staff or students can be distinguished from bullying behaviour, we all have a duty to take care to ensure that individuals are not made to feel intimidated.In considering whether conduct constitutes unlawful harassment, the University will take account of whether it is "unwelcome" or "offensive" to the person experiencing the conduct; whether it has the effect of violating their dignity; whether it creates an environment which is "intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive... The "perception" of the person experiencing the conduct is one of the factors which must be taken into account in making this judgement.
Comments or communications could be verbal, written, or electronic.
Behavior does not need to be directed at or to a specific student, but rather may be generalized unwelcomed and unnecessary comments based on sex or gender stereotypes.