Equal Opportunity Definitions
Equal Opportunity is a context in which all persons may enter, study, work and advance in academic programs and employment on the basis of merit, ability, and potential without regard to race, religion, hearing status, personal appearance, color, sex, pregnancy, political affiliation, source of income, place of business, residence, religion, creed, ethnicity, national origin (including ancestry), citizenship status, physical or mental disability, age, marital status, family responsibilities, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, veteran or military status (including special disabled veteran, Vietnam-era veteran, or recently separated veteran), predisposing genetic characteristics, domestic violence victim status or any other protected category under applicable local, state or federal law, including protections for those opposing discrimination or participating in any grievance process on campus or within the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or other human rights agencies.
Discrimination occurs when any member of the campus community, guest or visitor acts to deny, deprive or limit the educational, employment, residential and/or social access, benefits and/or opportunities of any member of the campus community on the basis of their actual or perceived membership in the protected classes listed above. This is in violation of the College policy on nondiscrimination.
Harassment constitutes a form of discrimination that is prohibited by law, and is defined as unwelcome conduct on the basis of actual or perceived membership in a protected class, by any member or group of the community. A hostile environment may be created by oral, written, graphic, or physical conduct that is sufficiently severe, persistent/pervasive and objectively offensive that it interferes with, limits or denies the ability of an individual to participate in or benefit from educational programs or activities or employment access, benefits or opportunities.