TITLE IX – Definitions

SEXUAL MISCONDUCT OFFENSES INCLUDE, BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO:

  1. Sexual Harassment
  2. Non-Consensual Sexual Contact (or attempts to commit same)
  3. Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse (or attempts to commit same)
  4. Sexual Exploitation

1. SEXUAL HARASSMENT

Sexual Harassment is:

  • unwelcome
  • sexual, sex-based and/or gender-based verbal, written, online and/or physical conduct.

Anyone experiencing sexual harassment in any University program is encouraged to report it immediately to the Title IX Coordinator or a deputy. Remedies, education and/or training will be provided in response.

Sexual harassment may be disciplined when it takes the form of quid pro quo harassment, retaliatory harassment and/or creates a hostile environment.

A hostile environment is created when sexual harassment is:

  • sufficiently severe, or
  • persistent or pervasive, and
  • objectively offensive that it unreasonably interferes with, denies or limits someone’s ability to participate in or benefit from the university’s educational programs, employment, social and/or residential programs.

Quid pro quo harassment is:

  • unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature,
  • by a person having power or authority over another constitutes sexual harassment when
  • submission to such sexual conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of rating or evaluating an individual’s educational or employment progress, development, or performance.
  • This includes when submission to such conduct would be a condition for access to receiving the benefits of any educational or employment program.

Examples include:

  • an attempt to coerce an unwilling person into a sexual relationship;
  • to repeatedly subject a person to egregious, unwelcome sexual attention;
  • to punish a refusal to comply with a sexual based request;
  • to condition a benefit on submitting to sexual advances;
  • sexual violence; intimate partner violence; stalking; gender-based bullying.

Retaliation is defined as any adverse action taken against a person in a protected activity because of their participation in that protected activity. Retaliation against an individual for an allegation, for supporting a reporting party or for assisting in providing information relevant to an allegation is a serious violation of university policy.

2.   NON- CONSENSUAL SEXUAL CONTACT

Non-Consensual Sexual Contact is:

  • any intentional sexual touching,
  • however slight,
  • with any object,
  • by a man or a woman upon a man or a woman,
  • that is without consent and/or by force.

Sexual Contact includes:

  • intentional contact with the breasts, buttocks, groin, or genitals, or touching another with any of these body parts, or making another touch you or themselves with or on any of these body parts; any intentional bodily contact in a sexual manner, though not involving contact with/of/by breasts, buttocks, groin, genitals, mouth or other orifice.

3. NON-CONSENSUAL SEXUAL INTERCOURSE

Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse is:

  • any sexual intercourse
  • however slight,
  • with any object,
  • by a man or woman upon a man or a woman,
  • that is without consent and/or by force.

Intercourse includes:

  • vaginal penetration by a penis, object, tongue, or finger, anal penetration by a penis, object, tongue, or finger, and oral copulation (mouth to genital contact or genital to mouth contact), no matter how slight the penetration or contact.

4. SEXUAL EXPLOITATION

Sexual exploitation occurs when a student takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for his/her own advantage or benefit, or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited, and that behavior does not otherwise constitute one of the other sexual misconduct offenses.

Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to:

  • invasion of sexual privacy;
  • prostituting another student;
  • non-consensual video or audio-taping of sexual activity;
  • going beyond the boundaries of consent (such as letting your friends hide in the closet to watch you having consensual sex);
  • engaging in voyeurism;
  • knowingly transmitting an STI or HIV to another student;
  • exposing one’s genitals in non-consensual circumstances; inducing another to expose their genitals;
  • sexually-based stalking and/or bullying may also be forms of sexual exploitation.

ADDITIONAL APPLICABLE DEFINITIONS

Consent: Consent is clear, knowing and voluntary. Consent is active, not passive. Silence, in and of itself, cannot be interpreted as consent. Consent can be given by words or actions, as long as those words or actions create mutually understandable clear permission regarding willingness to engage in (and the conditions of) sexual activity.

  • Consent to any one form of sexual activity cannot automatically imply consent to any other forms of sexual activity.
  • Previous relationships or prior consent cannot imply consent to future sexual acts.

Force: Force is the use of physical violence and/or imposing on someone physically to gain sexual access. Force also includes threats, intimidation (implied threats) and coercion that overcome resistance or produce consent (“Have sex with me or I’ll hit you.” “Okay, don’t hit me, I’ll do what you want.”).

  • Coercion is unreasonable pressure for sexual activity. Coercive behavior differs from seductive behavior based on the type of pressure someone uses to get consent from another. When someone makes clear to you that they do not want sex, that they want to stop, or that they do not want to go past a certain point of sexual interaction, continued pressure beyond that point can be coercive.
  • NOTE: There is no requirement that a party resist the sexual advance or request, but resistance is a clear demonstration of non-consent. The presence of force is not demonstrated by the absence of resistance. Sexual activity that is forced is by definition non-consensual, but non-consensual sexual activity is not by definition forced.
  • In order to give effective consent, one must be at least 18 years of age.
  • Sexual activity with someone who one should know to be — or based on the circumstances should reasonably have known to be — mentally or physically incapacitated (by alcohol or other drug use, unconsciousness or blackout), constitutes a violation of this policy.

Incapacitation: Incapacitation is a state where someone cannot make rational, reasonable decisions because they lack the capacity to give knowing consent (e.g., to understand the “who, what, when, where, why or how” of their sexual interaction).

  • This policy also covers a person whose incapacity results from a mental and/or a physical disability, sleep, involuntary physical restraint, or from the taking of rape drugs. Possession, use and/or distribution of any of these substances, including Rohypnol, Ketomine, GHB, Burundanga, etc. is prohibited, and administering one of these drugs to another student is a violation of this policy. More information on these drugs can be found at http://www.911rape.org/.
  • Use of alcohol or other drugs will never function as a defense for any behavior that violates this policy.
  • The sexual orientation and/or gender identity of individuals engaging in sexual activity is not relevant to allegations under this policy.

SANCTION STATEMENT

Sexual misconduct is a serious offense and such violations are subject to any combination of conduct sanctions as described in the Code of Student Conduct – Section 7: Formal Conduct Procedures.

  • Any individuals found responsible for violation of the non-consensual sexual intercourse policy face a recommended sanction from the University ranging from a minimum of suspension up to expulsion. Deviations from this range are rare and only made where there are compelling mitigating circumstances.  Suspensions, if given, are based on satisfying conditions which in their sum, make it reasonable for the offender to return, rather than solely on a period of time.
  • Any predatory pattern and/or repeat offenders face expulsion, which is also available for any serious offense whether pattern, predatory or repeat offending is evidenced or not.
  • Any other forms of sexual misconduct defined below cover a range of behaviors. Therefore, commission of such behavior faces a range of sanctions from warning to expulsion, depending on the nature of the misconduct.

OTHER GENDER-BASED MISCONDUCT OFFENSES THAT FALL UNDER TITLE IX

  • Threatening or causing physical harm, extreme verbal abuse, or other conduct which threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person;
  • Discrimination, defined as actions that deprive other members of the community of educational or employment access, benefits or opportunities on the basis of gender;
  • 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 University community, when related to the admission, initiation, pledging, joining, or any other group-affiliation activity (as defined further in the Hazing Policy);
  • Bullying, defined as repeated and/or severe aggressive behavior likely to intimidate or intentionally hurt, control or diminish another person, physically or mentally;
  • Violence between those in an intimate relationship to each other;
  • Stalking, defined as repetitive and/or menacing pursuit, following, harassment and/or interference with the peace and/or safety of a member of the community; or the safety of any of the immediate family of members of the community.