Sexual Misconduct Definitions
Conduct based on an individual’s sex that excludes an individual from participation, denies the individual the benefits of, treats the individual differently or otherwise adversely affects a term or condition of, an individual’s employment, education, living environment or participation in a program or activity. Sex discrimination encompasses all forms of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, differential treatment, and gender-based harassment.
The College prohibits sexual harassment. Harassment on the basis of sex is a form of sexual misconduct. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when (1) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a requirement of employment or participation in a College program or activity, (2) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or other College decisions affecting such individual, or (3) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working, academic, or campus environment.
The College recognizes two types of sexual harassment: quid pro quo (something for something) and hostile environment misconduct. Quid pro quo harassment occurs where sexual activity is demanded in exchange for an actual, tangible job or academic benefit. Hostile environment harassment exists where the conduct creates an environment that may impair another individual’s academic or professional performance, or hinder his or her ability to function within the community.
Examples of sexual harassment can include, but are not limited to: sexual exploitation; stalking with a sexual or gender based component; relationship intimidation; sexually-charged name calling; retaliation against someone who reports sexual harassment; and use of language or the presentation of posters/banners and/or t-shirts that promotes the diminishing of a particular sex or gender.
The College prohibits sexual violence. Sexual violence, a form of sexual misconduct, refers to physical acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent due to the victim’s use of drugs or alcohol. An individual also may be unable to give consent due to an intellectual or other disability. Sexual assault, rape, sexual battery, and sexual coercion are all acts of sexual violence. Examples include, but are not limited to:
• Having or attempting to have sexual intercourse with another individual without consent. Sexual intercourse includes vaginal or anal penetration, however slight, with a body part or object, or oral copulation by mouth-to-genital contact.
• Having or attempting to have sexual contact with another individual without consent. Sexual contact includes kissing, touching the intimate parts of another, causing the other to touch one’s intimate parts, or disrobing of another without permission. Intimate parts may include the breasts, genitals, buttocks, mouth or any other part of the body that is touched in a sexual manner.
Consent for sexual activity is based on the mutual understanding and respect of all people involved for the desires and wishes of their partner(s). In order for individuals to engage in sexual activity of any type with each other, there must be clear consent. Consent is sexual permission. Consent:
• Is mutually understandable when a reasonable person would consider the words or actions of the parties to have manifested an understandable agreement between them to do the same thing, in the same way, at the same time and with one another;
• Is not merely the absence of a verbally stated “no”, silence without actions demonstrating permission, cannot be assumed to show consent;
• Is never final or irrevocable;
• Is time-limited and situation-specific; even if someone obtained consent from a partner(s) in the past, this does not mean that consent is automatically granted again;
• Can only be given by someone who is free from verbal or physical pressure, coercion, intimidation, threat, or force; and
• Can only be given by someone in an unimpaired state of mind who is able to understand what is happening.
Consent is not valid if the person from whom consent is sought is impaired by the use of alcohol or drugs, is asleep, passed out, or unconscious. There is not consent when:
• A person is forced to submit through use of forcible compulsion.
• A person does not expressly or implicitly acquiesce in the other party’s conduct under circumstances other than forcible compulsion or incapacity to consent.
• A person is deemed to be incapable of consenting because he/she is less than 16 years old, has an intellectual or other disability that prevents them from having the capacity to give consent, or is physically helpless.
• A person is mentally incapacitated or physically helpless due to the influence of any intoxicating substance.
• A person is unconscious or for any other reason is physically unable to knowingly communicate unwillingness to act.
The use of alcohol or drugs does not minimize or excuse a person’s behavior or responsibility for committing sexual misconduct. If you were assaulted while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, your intoxicated state does not excuse the behavior of your attacker.
Sexual activity with someone one knows to be, or should know to be, mentally or physically incapacitated (by alcohol or other drug use, unconsciousness, sleep, blackout, or any other means). Incapacitation is a state where one cannot make a rational, reasonable decision because they lack the ability to understand the: who, what, when, where, why or how of their sexual interaction.
Capability to Give Consent
An objective standard will be used in determining whether a person is incapable of giving consent due to the person’s use or consumption of drugs or alcohol, or if a physical or mental condition as described above is present. That is, consent is not valid when:
(a) From the standpoint of a reasonable person, the respondent knew, or reasonably should have known, that the person was incapable of giving consent due to the person’s use or consumption of drugs or alcohol, or that the person’s physical or mental condition would prevent knowing and voluntary consent; and (b) The person was, in fact, incapable of giving consent due to the person’s use or consumption of drugs or alcohol, or the person was incapable of providing knowing or voluntary consent due to a physical or mental condition.
A felony or misdemeanor crime of violence committed by the victim’s current or former spouse, current or former cohabitant, person similarly situated under domestic or family violence law, or anyone else protected under applicable domestic or family violence laws.
Violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship or intimate nature with the victim. The existence of such a relationship will be determined based on consideration of the following factors: the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
The College prohibits stalking. Stalking is defined as a course of conduct involving more than one instance of unwanted attention, misconduct, physical or verbal contact, or any other course of conduct directed at an individual that could be reasonably regarded as likely to alarm or place that individual in fear of harm or injury, including physical, emotional, or psychological harm. This includes cyber-stalking, a particular form of stalking in which electronic media such as the internet, social networks, blogs, cell phones, texts or other similar devices or forms of contact are used to pursue, harass or make unwelcome contact with another person. Stalking and cyber-stalking may involve individuals who are known to one another or have an intimate or sexual relationship, or may involve individuals not known to one another.
The College prohibits sexual exploitation. Sexual exploitation happens when:
• a person takes non-consensual, unjust, or abusive advantage of another either for his/her own advantage or benefit, or for the benefit or advantage of anyone other than the one being exploited; and
• that behavior does not otherwise constitute one of the other defined sexual misconduct offenses.
Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to, prostitution, non-consensual video or audio-taping of sexual or other private activity, exceeding the boundaries of consent (e.g., permitting others to hide in a closet and observe consensual sexual activity, videotaping of a person using a bathroom), engaging in voyeurism, or engaging in consensual sexual activity with another person while knowingly transmitting an STD or HIV/AIDS without informing the other person of such infection.
The College prohibits bullying and cyber bulling. Bullying or cyber bulling is harassing conduct that may take many forms, including verbal acts and name‐calling; graphic and written statements, which may include use of cell phones or the Internet; or other conduct that may be physically threatening, harmful, or humiliating. Harassment does not have to include intent to harm, be directed at a specific target, or involve repeated incidents. Bullying or cyber bulling creates a hostile environment when the conduct is sufficiently severe, pervasive, or persistent so as to interfere with or limit a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or opportunities offered by the College. When such harassment is based on gender, sexual orientation, or perceived gender or sexual orientation, it is considered sexual misconduct.
It is a violation of this Policy to act or attempt to retaliate, intimidate, or seek retribution against anyone involved in or connected to reporting a concern, the investigation of, and/or the resolution of a sexual misconduct allegation. Retaliation against an individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by Title IX is also unlawful.
The College recognizes that retaliation can take many forms, may be committed by an individual or a group against an individual or a group, and that the Respondent can also be the subject of retaliation by the Complainant or a third party. The College will take immediate and responsive action to any report of retaliation and may pursue disciplinary action as appropriate. An individual reporting sexual misconduct is entitled to protection from any form of retaliation following a report that is made in good faith, even if the report is later not proven.
The following are Responsible Employees under this Policy: The President of the College and all members of Senior Staff; members of the Title IX Team; all Public Safety employees, the Office of Student Life (including Resident Assistants and Residence Directors), the Athletics Department, the Human Resources Office, all Faculty, and any Staff who have sufficient authority to take action to address the concern.