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Definitions

Consent

“Consent” must be informed, voluntary, and mutual, and can be withdrawn at any time. There is no consent when there is force, expressed or implied, or when coercion, intimidation, threats, or duress is used. Whether a person has taken advantage of a position of influence over another person may be a factor in determining consent. Silence or absence of resistance does not imply consent. Past consent to sexual activity with another person does not imply ongoing future consent with that person or consent to that same sexual activity with another person. If a person is mentally or physically incapacitated or impaired so that such person cannot understand the fact, nature, or extent of the sexual situation, there is no consent; this includes impairment or incapacitation due to alcohol or drug consumption that meets this standard, or being asleep or unconscious.

Consent cannot be gained by ignoring or acting without regard to the objectives or intentions of another, or by taking advantage of the incapacitation of another, where the individual knows or reasonably should have known of such incapacity. Use of alcohol or drugs may impair an individual’s capacity to freely consent and may render an individual incapable of giving consent. Consent is absent when the activity in question exceeds the scope of previously given consent.

Dating Violence

Violence by a person who has been in a romantic or intimate relationship with the victim. Whether there was such relationship will be gauged by its length, type, and frequency of interaction.

Domestic Violence

Violent misdemeanor and felony offenses 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 domestic or family violence law.

Hostile Environment

A hostile environment is created when harassment or discrimination is sufficiently severe or pervasive to create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment that limits an individual's ability to participate in or benefit from academic pursuits, employment, or participation in university-sponsored programs or activities.

The more severe the conduct, the less need there is to show a repetitive series of incidents to prove a hostile environment, particularly if the harassment is physical. A single or isolated incident of sexual harassment may create a hostile environment if the incident is sufficiently severe. For instance, a single instance of sexual assault is sufficiently severe to create a hostile environment.

Retaliation

Threats, intimidation, discrimination, coercion and similar conduct directed toward an individual because the person made a complaint or participated in the investigation of a complaint. Such conduct is prohibited and will be further cause for disciplinary action.

Sexual Harassment

Includes unwelcome advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

  1. Submission to such conduct is made explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment or status in a course, program, or activity.
  2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as a basis for an employment or educational decision affecting an individual.
  3. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work or educational performance or of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for work or learning.
  4. Stalking, or continuous unwanted conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear.

Sexual Violence

Physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person's will or where a person is incapable of giving consent (e.g., due to the student's age or use of drugs or alcohol, or because an intellectual or other disability prevents the student from having the capacity to give consent). A number of different acts fall into the category of sexual violence, including rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, sexual abuse, and sexual coercion, which are forms of sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX. In addition, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking are acts of sexual violence as defined by the Jeanne Clery Act.

Sexual Assault

Any sexual penetration by the use of force, or threat of force, or where the complainant was unable to understand the nature of the act or otherwise unable to give knowing consent.