Prohibited Conduct

The descriptions below are short summaries of the full definitions of Prohibited Conduct.

A. Discriminatory Harassment

Discriminatory harassment is defined as unwelcome conduct by any member or group of the MUSC community on the basis of actual or perceived membership in a class protected by policy or law.
A hostile environment is one that unreasonably interferes with, limits, or denies an individual’s educational or employment access, benefits, or opportunities.

B. Online Harassment and Misconduct

Any online postings or other electronic communication by students, including cyber-bullying, cyber-stalking, cyber-harassment, etc., occurring completely outside of MUSC’s control (e.g., not on MUSC networks, websites, or between University email accounts) will only be subject to this Policy when such online conduct can be shown to cause a substantial on-campus disruption.

C. Sexual Harassment

Acts of sexual harassment may be committed by any person upon any other person, regardless of the sex, sexual orientation, and/or gender identity of those involved. Sexual Harassment, as an umbrella category, which includes the offenses of sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking, and is defined as conduct on the basis of sex, gender or that is sexual and satisfies one or more of the following:

  • Quid Pro Quo: an employee of MUSC, conditions (either implicitly or explicitly) the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of the University on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct.
  • Sexual Harassment: unwelcome conduct, determined by a reasonable person, to be so severe, and pervasive, and, objectively offensive, that it effectively denies a person equal access to MUSC’s education program or activity.

D. Dating Violence

Dating Violence is violence committed by a person, who is in or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the Complainant. For the purposes of this definition, dating violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse. Dating Violence does not include acts covered under the definition of domestic violence.

E. Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence is violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the Complainant, by a person with whom the Complainant shares a child in common, or by a person who is cohabitating with, or has cohabitated. Domestic Violence is unwelcomed behavior which is subjective and determined by the Complainant (except when the Complainant is younger than the age of consent). Severity, pervasiveness, and objective offensiveness are evaluated based on the totality of the circumstances from the perspective of a reasonable person in the same or similar circumstances.

F. Sexual Assault

Sexual Assault is defined as:

  • Sex Offenses, Forcible: Any sexual act directed against another person, without the consent of the Complainant, including instances in which the Complainant is incapable of giving consent.
  • Sex Offenses, Non-forcible:
    o Incest: Non-forcible sexual intercourse, between persons who are related to each other, within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by South Carolina law.
    o Statutory Rape: Non-forcible sexual intercourse, with a person who is under the statutory age of consent, which is 16 in South Carolina.

G. Stalking

Stalking is engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person, that would cause a reasonable person to fear for the person's safety or the safety of others; or suffers substantial emotional distress: For the purposes of this definition:

  • Course of conduct means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the Respondent directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by an action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person, or interferes with a person’s property.

  • Reasonable person means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the Complainant.

  • Substantial emotional distress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may but does not necessarily require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.

H. Other Civil Rights Offenses

  • Threatening or causing physical harm, extreme verbal, emotional, or psychological abuse, or other conduct which threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person.

  • Discrimination, defined as actions that deprive, limit, or deny other members of the community of educational or employment access, benefits, or opportunities.

  • Intimidation, defined as implied threats or acts that cause an unreasonable fear of harm in another.

  • Hazing, defined as acts likely to cause physical or psychological harm or social ostracism to any person within the MUSC community, when related to the admission, initiation, joining, or any other group-affiliation activity.

  • Bullying, defined as repeated or severe, aggressive behavior, likely to intimidate or intentionally hurt, control, or diminish another person physically or mentally, that is not speech or conduct otherwise protected by the First Amendment.

I. Retaliation

Protected activity under this policy includes reporting an incident that may implicate this Policy, participating in the grievance process, supporting a Complainant or Respondent, assisting in providing information relevant to an investigation, and/or acting in good faith to oppose conduct that constitutes a violation of this Policy. MUSC and any member of MUSC’s community are prohibited from taking materially adverse action by intimidating, threatening, coercing, harassing, or discriminating against any individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by law or policy, or because the individual has made a report or complaint, testified, assisted, or participated or refused to participate in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under this policy and procedure.