In the coming weeks, I will have experts weigh in on a "Know Your Rights" series dealing with student, faculty, and staff issues. Here I simply provide case information for readers.
The application of many civil rights laws ends up contested in court. On the issue of sexual harassment, the U.S. Supreme Court set down a "severe, persistent, or pervasive" standard for determining when behavior rose to the level of violating the law. This standard is missing from SIU's code but is present in most other sexual harassment codes. This doctrine, as expressed in Davis v. Monroe (1999) would go a long way to guide people's actions and reactions to "offensive" speech or behavior.
NOTE: For those who can't bear reading long-winded court opinions, U.S. Supreme Court cases come with a syllabus (brief summary). Read it short or long.
On student conduct codes, see the previously cited opinion of Justice Harry Blackmun.
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