This is a list of terms and definitions that will be used in the Campus Climate Survey. Definitions will be listed on the survey and you will be able to refer to them while completing the survey if you have questions.

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Ableism: Discrimination against people based on the physical ability of their body, especially discrimination against people with disabilities in favor of people who are not disabled.

American Indian (Native American): A person having origin in any of the original tribes of North America who maintains cultural identification through tribal affiliation or community recognition.

Asexual: A person who does not experience sexual attraction. Unlike celibacy, which people choose, asexuality is an intrinsic part of an individual.

Assigned Birth Sex: Refers to the assigning (naming) of the biological sex of a baby at birth.

Climate: Current attitudes, behaviors, and standards of employees and students concerning the access for, inclusion of, and level of respect for individual and group needs, abilities, and potential.

Disability: A physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities.

Discrimination: Refers to the treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person based on the group, class, or category to which that person belongs rather than on individual merit. Discrimination can be the effect of some law or established practice that confers privileges on a certain class or denies privileges to a certain class because of race, color, national origin, religion, creed, age, disability, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, familial status, pregnancy, predisposing genetic characteristics, military status, domestic violence victim status, or criminal conviction.

Eldercare: A person who has primary responsibility in caring for an older partner or family member.

Ethnic Identity: A unique social and cultural heritage shared by a group of people.

Experiential Learning: Experiential learning refers to a pedagogical philosophy and methodology concerned with learning activities outside of the traditional classroom environment, with objectives which are planned and articulated prior to the experience (internships, service learning, co‐operative education, field experience, practicum, cross‐cultural experiences, apprenticeships, etc.).

Family Leave: The Family Medical Leave Act is a labor law requiring employers with 50 or more employees to provide certain employees with job-protected unpaid leave due to one of the following situations: a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform his or her job; caring for a sick family member; caring for a new child (including birth, adoption or foster care).

Gender Identity: A person’s inner sense of being man, woman, both, or neither. The internal identity may or may not be expressed outwardly, and may or may not correspond to one’s physical characteristics

Gender Expression: The manner in which a person outwardly represents gender, regardless of the physical characteristics that might typically define the individual as male or female.

Harassment: Conduct that is so severe and/or pervasive which substantially impairs a person’s access to college programs and activities. The person is effectively denied equal access to the college’s resources and opportunities on the basis of his or her race, color, national origin, religion, creed, age, disability, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, familial status, pregnancy, predisposing genetic characteristics, military status, domestic violence victim status, or criminal conviction.

Intersex: A general term used for a variety of conditions in which a person is born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t seem to fit the typical definitions of female or male.

Multiculturalism: An environment in which cultures are celebrated and not hindered by majority values and beliefs.

Non-Native English Speakers: People for whom English is not their first language.

People of Color: People who self-identify as other than White.

Physical Characteristics: Term that refers to one’s appearance.

Position: The status one holds by virtue of her/his position/status within the institution (e.g., staff, full-time faculty, part-time faculty, administrator, etc.)

Racial Identity: A socially constructed category about a group of people based on generalized physical features such as skin color, hair type, shape of eyes, physique, etc.

Sexual Harassment: Harassment based on a person’s sex. This could include unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature which is sufficiently pervasive and/or severe which has the effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work or academic environment. Sexual harassment may also include differential treatment based on sex.

Sexual Assault: Any sexual act directed against another person, forcibly, and/or with threat of force, and/or against that person’s will; or when the survivor is incapable of giving consent, (i.e., is unconscious, mentally incompetent, or intoxicated), including forcible rape, use of drugs to incapacitate, forcible sodomy, gang rape, sexual assault, sexual assault with an object, and forcible fondling.

Sexual Orientation: Term that refers to the sex of the people one tends to be emotionally, physically and sexually attracted to; this is inclusive of, but not limited to, lesbians, gay men, bisexual people, heterosexual people, and those who identify as queer.

Socioeconomic Status: The status one holds in society based on one’s level of income, wealth, education, and familial background.

Social Support: The resources other people provide, including a person's perception that he or she can rely on other people for help with problems or in times of crisis. Having feelings of connectedness and being a part of a community.

Transgender: Umbrella term for someone whose self-identity challenges traditional societal definitions of male and female.

Last Updated 8/28/17

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