Is any conduct that is considered sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking and sexual exploitation

Is an offense that meets the definition of rape, fondling, incest, or statutory rape, as defined in the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program, as having or attempting to have sexual intercourse or sexual contact with another individual by force or threat of force; without affirmative consent; or where the person is incapacitated. 

1)    Sexual Assault consists of (a.) Sexual Contact and/or (b.) Sexual Intercourse that occurs without (c.) Affirmative Consent.

a. Sexual Contact is any intentional sexual touching, however slight, with any object or body part (as described below), performed by a person upon another person.

  • Sexual Contact includes: (a) intentional touching of the breasts, buttocks, groin or genitals, whether clothed or unclothed, or intentionally touching another with any of these body parts; and (b) making another touch you or themselves with or on any of these body parts; (c) causing another to touch one’s intimate parts, disrobing or exposure of another without permission.
  • Rape is sexual penetration, however slight, of another person without affirmative consent. Penetration can be of the mouth, vagina, or anus, and can be with a penis, tongue, finger, or foreign object.
  • Sexual Intercourse is vaginal or anal penetration, however slight, with any object or body part (as described below) performed by a person upon another person; and/or, oral penetration involving mouth to genital contact.
    • Sexual Intercourse includes: (a) vaginal penetration by a penis, object, tongue, or finger; (b) anal penetration by a penis, object, tongue, or finger; and (c) any contact, no matter how slight, between the mouth of one person and the genitalia of another person.

Is informed (knowing); voluntary (freely given); and, active (not passive), meaning that, through the demonstration of clear words or actions, a person has indicated permission to engage in mutually agreed-upon sexual activity and the consenting person is not incapacitated as defined by this policy.

  • Affirmative Consent cannot be obtained by Force. Force includes: (a) the use of physical violence, (b) threats, (c) intimidation, and/or (d) coercion.

Physical violence means that a person is exerting control over another person through the use of physical force. 

  • Examples of physical violence include but are not limited to hitting, punching, slapping, kicking, restraining, strangling, and brandishing or using any weapon.

Threats are words or actions that would compel a reasonable person to engage in unwanted sexual activity.  Examples include threats to harm a person physically, to reveal private information to harm a person’s reputation, or to cause a person academic or economic harm.

Intimidation is an implied threat that menaces or causes reasonable fear in another person. A person’s size, alone, does not constitute intimidation; however, a person’s size may be used in a way that constitutes intimidation (e.g., blocking access to an exit).

Coercion is the use of an unreasonable amount of pressure to gain sexual access. Coercion is more than an effort to persuade, entice, or attract another person to have sex. When a person makes clear a decision not to participate in a particular form of Sexual Contact or Sexual Intercourse, a decision to stop, or a decision not to go beyond a certain sexual interaction, continued pressure can be coercive. In evaluating whether coercion was used, the University will consider: (i) the frequency of the application of the pressure, (ii) the intensity of the pressure, (iii) the degree of isolation of the person being pressured, and (iv) the duration of the pressure.

Affirmative Consent cannot be gained by taking advantage of the incapacitation of another, where the person initiating sexual activity knew or reasonably should have known that the other was incapacitated.

  1. Incapacitation means that a person lacks the ability to make informed, rational judgments about whether or not to engage in sexual activity.
  2. Incapacitation is such that it renders the person incapable of self-care and protection. Incapacitation could be the result of alcohol or other drugs or due to a temporary or permanent physical or mental health condition.

Affirmative Consent to one form of sexual activity does not, by itself, constitute Affirmative Consent to another form of sexual activity.

Intimate Partner Violence is any act of Domestic Violence or Dating Violence 

  1. Domestic Violence is any act of violence committed by any of the following individuals: (a) a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim; (b) person with whom the victim shares a child in common; (c) person who is cohabitating with, or has cohabitated with, the victim as a spouse or intimate partner; and/or, (d) a resident or former resident of the victim’s household in the event such household residents have a current or prior intimate relationship.
    1. An incident of domestic violence can consist of a single act of violence or a pattern of violent acts that includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse, or the threat to engage in such abuse.
  2. Dating Violence is any act of violence committed by a person who is, or has been, in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim that does not fall within the definition of “domestic violence.”
    1. Dating violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or assault or the threat of such abuse or assault.
    2. For the purposes of determining Intimate Partner Violence, whether the relationship is of a romantic or intimate nature is determined by a variety of factors, including: (a) the length of the relationship, (b) the type of relationship, and (c) the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
    3. A relationship of a romantic or intimate nature means a relationship that is characterized by the expectation of affection or sexual involvement between the parties.
    4. An incident of dating violence can consist of a single act of violence or a pattern of violent acts that includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse, or the threat to engage in such abuse.
  1. Stalking occurs when a person engages in a course of conduct directed at a specific person under circumstances that would cause a reasonable person to fear bodily injury or to experience substantial emotional distress.
    1. Course of conduct means two or more acts, including but not limited to acts in which a person directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about another person, or interferes with another person’s property.
    2. Reasonable person means a reasonable person under similar circumstances.
    3. Substantial emotional distress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.

Stalking includes “cyber-stalking,” a particular form of stalking in which a person uses electronic media, such as the internet, social networks, blogs, cell phones, texts, or other similar devices or forms of contact. This policy prohibits all stalking, not just stalking that occurs within the context of a relationship.

Sexual Exploitation is purposely or knowingly doing any of the following:

  1. Causing the incapacitation of another person (through alcohol, drugs, or any other means) for the purpose of compromising that person’s ability to give Affirmative Consent (see Section III.2)d.) to sexual activity;
  2. Allowing third parties to observe private sexual activity from a (a) hidden location (e.g., closet), or (b) through electronic means (e.g., Skype or livestreaming of images);
  3. Engaging in voyeurism (e.g., watching private sexual activity without the consent of the participants or viewing another person’s intimate parts (including genitalia, groin, breasts or buttocks) in a place where that person would have a reasonable expectation of privacy);
  4. Recording or photographing private sexual activity and/or a person’s intimate parts (including genitalia, groin, breasts or buttocks) without consent;
  5. Disseminating or posting images of private sexual activity and/or a person’s intimate parts (including genitalia, groin, breasts or buttocks) without consent;
  6. Knowingly exposing another person to a sexually transmitted infection or virus without the other’s knowledge;
  7. Arranging for others to have non-consensual sexual contact, as defined by the Sexual Misconduct policy, with a non-consenting person

Is any unwelcome sexual advance, request for sexual favors, or other unwanted conduct of a sexual nature, whether verbal, non-verbal, graphic, physical, or otherwise, when the conditions outlined in the Hostile Environment' section below.


Includes harassment based on gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, which may include acts of aggression, intimidation, or hostility, whether verbal or non-verbal, graphic, physical, or otherwise, even if the acts do not involve conduct of a sexual nature, when the conditions outlined in 2)a. and/or 2)b., below, are present:

a.     Submission to or rejection of such conduct is made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of a person’s employment, academic standing, or participation in any University programs and/or activities or is used as the basis for University decisions affecting the individual (often referred to as “quid pro quo” harassment); or,

b.     Such conduct creates a hostile environment (See Hostile Environment section below).

Quid pro quo harassment is unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature made by a person having power or authority over another constitutes sexual harassment when submission to 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.

A “hostile environment” exists when the sexual or gender-based conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it unreasonably interferes with, limits, or deprives an individual from participating in or benefitting from the University’s education or employment programs and/or activities.

  •  In evaluating whether a hostile environment exists, the University will consider the totality of known circumstances, including, but not limited to:
    • The frequency, nature and severity of the conduct;
    • Whether the conduct was physically threatening;
    • The effect of the conduct on the Complainant’s mental or emotional state;
    • Whether the conduct was directed at more than one person;
    • Whether the conduct arose in the context of other discriminatory conduct (see Anti-Harassment Policy);
    • Whether the conduct unreasonably interfered with the Complainant’s educational or work performance and/or  University programs or activities; and/or, 
    • Whether the conduct implicates concerns related to academic freedom or protected speech. 

A hostile environment based upon sex or gender can be created by persistent or pervasive conduct or by a single or isolated incident, if sufficiently severe. 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 conduct is physical; a single incident of sexual or gender-based harassment, for example, may be sufficiently severe to constitute a hostile environment. In contrast, the perceived offensiveness of a single verbal or written expression standing alone, is typically not sufficient to constitute a hostile environment.

Examples of Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment 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 harassment

  • May be blatant and intentional and involve an overt action, a threat or reprisal, or may be subtle and indirect, with a coercive aspect that is unstated.
  • Does not have to include intent to harm, be directed at a specific target, or involve repeated incidents.
  • May be committed by anyone, regardless of gender, age, position or authority. While there is often a power differential between two persons, perhaps due to differences in age, social, education, or employment relationships, harassment can occur in any context.
  • May be committed by a stranger, an acquaintance, or someone with whom the Complainant/Reporting party has an intimate or sexual relationship.
  • May be committed by or against an individual or may be a result of the actions of an organization or group.
  • May occur by or against an individual of any sex, gender identity, gender expression or sexual orientation.
  • May occur in the classroom, in the workplace, in residential settings, or in any other context.
  • May be a one-time event or may be part of a pattern of behavior.
  • May be committed in the presence of others or when the parties are alone.
  • May affect the Complainant/Reporting party and/or third parties who witness or observe harassment.

Means any adverse action taken against a person for making a good faith report of prohibited conduct (see, generally, policies on Sexual Misconduct, Sexual or Gender-based Harassment, and Anti-Harassment) or participating in any proceeding under University policy or policies.

  • Retaliation includes threatening, intimidating, harassing, coercing or any other conduct that would discourage a reasonable person from engaging in activity protected under University policy or policies.
  • Retaliation may be present even where there is a finding of “no responsibility” on the allegations of prohibited conduct.
  • Retaliation does not include good faith actions lawfully pursued in response to a report of prohibited conduct.