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Sexual misconduct may vary in its severity and consists of a range of behavior or attempted behavior. It can occur between strangers or acquaintances, including people involved in an intimate or sexual relationship. Sexual misconduct can occur between members of the same or different gender and can also occur while individuals are fully clothed.

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  • Coercion

    Employing pressure for sexual activity with the use of force, threats or consequences for non-compliance. Coercive behavior differs from seductive behavior based on the type of pressure someone uses to get consent from another, the repetition of the coercive activity beyond what is reasonable, the degree of pressure applied, when someone makes clear that they do not want sexual activity, 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.

  • Consent

    Consent between two or more people is defined as an affirmative agreement--through clear actions or words--to engage in sexual activity. Consent is informed, 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 permission regarding the conditions of sexual activity.


  • Force

    The use of physical violence and/or imposing physical strength to gain sexual access. Force also includes, threats, intimidation, (implied threats), and coercion that overcomes resistance or produces consent. 


  • Hostile Environment

    Unwelcome sexual conduct that is sufficiently severe or pervasive that it alters the conditions of education or employment and creates an environment that a reasonable person would find intimidating, hostile or offensive. The determination of whether an environment is “hostile” must be based on all of the circumstances. These circumstances could include the frequency of the conduct, its severity, and whether it is threatening or humiliating.


  • Incapacity

    Engaging in any sexual activity with someone known to be, or should have known to be mentally or physically incapacitated (by alcohol or other drug use, unconsciousness or blackout), is in violation of this policy.

    Incapacitation means a state in which an individual cannot make a rational, reasonable decision because they lack the ability to understand the nature of the act. This may include but is not limited to the inability to comprehend the who, what, when, where, why or how of their sexual interaction. This policy also covers someone whose incapacity results from mental disability, sleep, involuntary physical restraint, or from knowingly or unknowingly taking any substance used to facilitate sexual assault. Possession, use and/or distribution of any of these substances, including Rohypnol, Ketamine, GHB, Burundanga, etc. is prohibited, and administering one of these drugs to another student for the purpose of inducing incapacity is in violation of this policy.

  • Intimidation

    Intimidation includes employing the use of physical, verbal or nonverbal body language employed for the purpose of menacing another, although no physical contact occurs, or where knowledge of prior violent behavior by an assailant, coupled with menacing behavior, causes fear as an implied threat. 


  • Non-Consensual Sexual Contact

     Non-consensual sexual contact is any sexual touching (including touching with an object) however slight, by one person on another without consent and/or by force, coercion, or intimidation. Non-consensual sexual contact includes but is not limited to:

    • Intentional contact with the breasts, buttock, 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 body contact in a sexual manner, though not involving contact with/of/by breasts, buttocks, groin, genitals, mouth or other orifice.
  • Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse

    Non-consensual sexual intercourse is any sexual intercourse (anal, oral or vaginal), including sexual intercourse with an object, however slight, by one person upon another without consent and/or by force, coercion, or intimidation. Non-consensual sexual intercourse includes but is not limited to:

    • Sexual intercourse (vaginal, anal, oral) without consent
    • Oral sex without consent
    • Penetration of an orifice (anal, vaginal, oral) with the penis, finger, or other object
    • Coercion or force to make someone else engage in sexual intercourse
    • Inducing sexual intercourse through drugs or alcohol
    • Engaging in sexual intercourse with a person who is unable to provide consent due to the influence of drugs, alcohol, or other condition


  • Retaliation

    Any adverse employment or educational action taken against a person because of the person’s participation in a complaint or investigation of discrimination or sexual harassment.


  • Sexual Exploitation

    Sexual Exploitation includes any non-consensual, or abusive sexual advantage of another for his/her own pleasure, advantage or benefit, or to pleasure, benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited. Sexual exploitation includes but is 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)
    • Knowingly transmitting a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) or HIV to another student
    • Sexually-based stalking and/or bullying
    • Viewing, possessing, or distributing child pornography
  • Sexual Harassment

    Unwelcome, gender-based verbal or physical conduct that is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that it has the effect of unreasonably interfering with, limiting or denying someone the ability to participate in or benefit from the university’s educational program. The unwelcome behavior may be based on power differentials, the creation of a hostile environment or retaliation. Examples include:

    • An attempt to coerce an unwilling person into a sexual relationship
    • Repeatedly subject a person to egregious, unwanted sexual attention
    • Punish a refusal to comply
    • To condition a benefit on submitting to sexual advance
    • Sexual Violence
    • Intimate partner violence, stalking
    • Gender-based bullying
  • Stalking

    Stalking is the 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.

  • Stalking Behavior

    Stalking includes any behaviors or activities occurring on more than one occasion that collectively instill fear in a victim, and/or threaten her or his safety, mental health, or physical health. Many of the behaviors are also Title IX or student conduct violations in their own right. When they occur as a pattern of behavior, together they are defined as stalking. Such behaviors and activities may include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • Non-consensual communication, including face-to-face communication, telephone calls, voice messages, e-mails, written letters, gifts, or any other communications that are undesired and place another person in fear.
    • Use of online, electronic, or digital technologies, including:
      • Posting of pictures or information in chat rooms or on Web sites, blogs, social network sites, etc.
      • Sending unwanted/unsolicited email or talk requests
      • Posting private or public messages on Internet sites, social networking sites, and/or school bulletin boards
      • Installing spyware on a victim’s computer
      • Using Global Positioning Systems (GPS) to monitor a victim
    • Pursuing, following, waiting, or showing up uninvited at or near a residence, workplace, classroom, or other places frequented by the victim
    • Surveillance or other types of observation, including staring or “peeping”
    • Trespassing/Vandalism
    • Non-consensual touching
    • Direct verbal or physical threats
    • Gathering information about an individual from friends, family, and/or co-workers
    • Threats to harm self or others
    • Defamation – lying to others about the victim


  • Threats

    Threats exist where a reasonable person would have been compelled by the words or actions of another to give permission to sexual contact they would not otherwise have given, absent the threat. For example, threats to harm the other party, themselves, or to harm someone the other cares for, or sharing personal information. Threat means any consequence imposed as a lack of compliance with a sexual act.


  • Unwelcome

    For the purpose of this policy “unwelcome” means the employee or student did not solicit or invite the conduct and regards it as undesirable.