Frequently Asked Questions
Policy 1025 states that “Virginia Tech is...committed to the free and vigorous discussion of ideas and issues. This policy does not allow curtailment or censorship of constitutionally protected expression, nor does it attempt to address behaviors that do not constitute discrimination or harassment. Offensive behavior that does not violate this policy should be addressed by the appropriate supervisor or administrator.”
It is understood that there are times when it is pedagogically necessary to be intellectually provocative or challenging in the classroom. Complaints typically arise in the classroom when an individual makes statements that are offensive or hurtful without apparent academic value.
Yes. The policy can be violated by women harassing men, and by people harassing individuals of the same sex.
No, contrary to what many people believe, false accusations are rare.
No. Virginia Tech’s policy includes a number of protected classes, and behavior based on any of those characteristics that interferes significantly with a person’s work or education could be harassment.
Yes. Virginia Tech policies prohibit harassment or discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
No. Harassment can occur between co-workers or between students at the same level.
Yes. This policy applies to all Virginia Tech entities and to all individuals enrolled or working at Virginia Tech.
No. A department representative will discuss informal approaches to dealing with a situation, as well as formal options. Low-level approaches are used whenever possible or appropriate.
Yes. Those who engage in behavior that is unwelcome and repeated or severe, and that behavior unreasonably interferes with a person’s work or education, may be violating policy.
While people are strongly encouraged to speak up if someone’s behavior is causing a problem, there are times when they may not. The person engaging in the behavior may be in violation of the policy.
Most people complain about others when they feel they have been treated disrespectfully. The best way to avoid having a complaint filed is to treat people with respect and dignity.