Rice University takes any allegations of discrimination and harassment are not tolerated by Rice University and any acts of discrimination or harassment can result in a violation of Rice University’s policies. Please find the definitions and types of prohibited conduct below.


Discrimination is present whenever someone is denied equal opportunity and experiences unfavorable or different treatment due to their membership in a protected class. Protected classes include race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, genetic information, ancestry, age, disability, veteran status, or any other class which is protected under the law. It is also possible for discrimination to occur when a policy or practice has a disproportionate adverse impact on members of a protected class.

Examples of discrimination include being denied an opportunity based on race or being denied accommodations if you have a disability.


Harassment occurs when someone experiences unwelcome conduct that is based on their protected class. The conduct can be physical, verbal, written, or through technology. Also, harassment can also occur when the conduct is not based on a protected class but still creates a hostile educational or work environment.

There are two criteria required for harassment to result in a policy violation:

  1. Experiencing offensive conduct is a condition of continuing or benefiting from employment or an educational program.
  2. The conduct is so severe or occurs often enough that it creates a work or educational environment that is intimidating, hostile, or abusive.
  • Examples of harassment include the following:
  • Epithets or slurs
  • Negative stereotyping
  • Threatening
  • Intimidating or hostile acts
  • Bullying
  • Denigrating jokes
  • Display or circulation of written or graphic materials that are based on a protected class and occurs within the learning, living, or working environment