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Sexual Harassment

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, campus, university-wide administration, university athletics departments, Institute for Public Service, and Institute of Agriculture are committed to providing an environment free of sexual harassment. Sexual harassment by any member (faculty, staff, students, applicants) of the university community is a violation of federal and state laws and university policy. Sexual harassment will not be tolerated. Sexual harassment is an issue that may affect any member of the university community and will be dealt with promptly by the university administration.

Definition of Sexual Harassment

Unwelcome sexual advances, request for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when:

  1. Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or status in a course, program, or activity;
  2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for employment or academic decisions (grades, academic progress, internship, etc.) affecting the individual; or
  3. Such conduct substantially interferes with an individual’s work performance, academic performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.

This is a summary of the university’s sexual harassment policy. Please refer to the full policy.

What To Do If You Are Sexually Harassed

  1. Know your rights. Sexual harassment is illegal, and university policy prohibits university employees and students from engaging in sexual harassment.
  2. Speak up at the time. Say “NO” clearly, firmly, and without smiling. This is not the time to be polite or vague.
  3. Don’t blame yourself. Sexual harassment is an unwanted action that the harasser decides to take. It is not your fault.
  4. Don’t delay. If you delay action, the harassment is likely to continue. An employee or student may obtain information and assistance by contacting the Office of Equity and Diversity, the dean of students, a department head or dean, or human resources.

Where To Go For Help

For more information, please contact

Office of Equity and Diversity (OED)
1840 Melrose Ave.

Dean of Students
413 Student Services Building

Human Resources
600 Henley Street