Office of Institutional Diversity & Equity > Compliance > Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if I am being discriminated against?

Discrimination may take many forms. Generally, discrimination occurs when a student, faculty member or staff member is treated less favorably than similarly situated students, faculty or staff, and the different treatment is because of the race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, marital status, parental status, family relationship status, physical or mental disability, military status or other status protected by local, state or federal law. If you believe a decision or action affecting you is based on a one or more of these factors, or that you have been treated differently from others because of one or more of these factors, it may be discrimination.

If the action or decision you are challenging happened to various people from all different backgrounds, it may not be discrimination, but it may be an issue that needs to be addressed under a different university policy.​

What are some examples of discrimination?

Some examples of discrimination may include but are not limited to:

  • Assigning employees a particular work task because of their race or sex
  • Paying women less than similarly situated men for the same work
  • Making a hiring or promotion decision based on a person's sex or race, rather than job qualifications and performance
  • Requiring tests, like math tests or lifting requirements, that are not related to doing the job but that screen out applicants of particular groups
  • Making derogatory comments, "jokes" or otherwise harassing someone because of his or her race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, marital status, parental status, family relationship status, physical or mental disability, military status or other status protected by local, state or federal law, such that it creates a hostile work or educational environment
  • A student is required by the instructor to complete additional coursework based on race or gender
  • A student is given a lower grade on a group project while his/her team members receive a significantly higher grade for similar effort and contribution

What should I do if I believe I have been sexually harassed?

Please let someone know right away. Unfortunately, ignoring sexual harassment does not make it go away. You have several options available if you are a member of the DePaul University community and feel that you have been subjected to unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature. You may contact the Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity​ or you can report the complaint​​ to the misconduct reporting hotline or website.

In some situations, individuals who are experiencing unwelcome behavior may feel comfortable approaching the individual who is causing the problem and letting him or her know that the conduct is inappropriate and must stop. Sometimes, individuals are not aware that their behavior is offensive and will quickly apologize and change their behavior once they are aware that their conduct is unwelcome. However, you are not required or expected to confront your harasser prior to reporting unwelcome behavior.​

What are some examples of sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination. DePaul's policy protects men and women equally from harassment, including same-sex harassment. Staff, faculty and students are protected from harassment by any other staff, faculty, student or contractor. Prohibited acts that constitute sexual harassment may take a variety of forms.

​Examples of the kinds of conduct that may constitute sexual harassment include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Offering or implying an employment-related reward (such as a promotion, raise or different work assignment) or an education-related reward (such as a better grade, a letter of recommendation, favorable treatment in the classroom, assistance in obtaining employment, grants or fellowships, or admission to any educational program or activity) in exchange for sexual favors or submission to sexual conduct
  • Making threats or insinuations that a person's employment, wages, grade, promotional opportunities, classroom or work assignments or other conditions of employment or educational life may be adversely affected by not submitting to sexual advances
  • Engaging in unwelcome sexual propositions, invitations, solicitations and flirtation
  • Using unwelcome sexually degrading language, sexual jokes, innuendos, gestures, or displaying sexually suggestive objects or pictures that are not germane to any business or academic purpose
  • Making unnecessary and unwanted physical contact, such as hugging, rubbing, touching, patting, pinching or massages
  • Engaging in sexual violence, including rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking or sexual coercion
  • Commenting on a person's body, dress, appearance, gender, sexual relationships, activities or experience
  • Repeatedly asking someone for a date after the person has expressed disinterest
​​