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Definitions and Examples

The following terms and definitions apply to this Policy.

Actual Knowledge

Notice of Sexual Harassment or allegations of Sexual Harassment to a University’s Title IX Coordinator or any official of the University who has authority to institute corrective measures on behalf of the University. Imputation of knowledge based solely on vicarious liability or constructive notice is insufficient to constitute Actual Knowledge. This standard is not met when the only official of the University with Actual Knowledge is the Respondent. The mere ability or obligation to report Sexual Harassment or to inform a Student about how to report Sexual Harassment, or having been trained to do so, does not qualify an individual as one who has authority to institute corrective measures on behalf of the University. “Notice” includes, but is not limited to, a report of Sexual Harassment to the Title IX Coordinator. Examples of an Employee with authority to institute corrective measures on behalf of the University include the President, vice presidents, Title IX Coordinators, and the Athletic Director.


An individual deemed to have an affiliation with the university in a non-compensatory capacity as designated in the applicable Human Resources Information System.


Any person who is reported to have experienced conduct prohibited by this policy, regardless of whether that individual makes a report or participates in the review of that report by the university, and regardless of whether that person is a member of the University Community.


Coercion is any kind of pressure or persuasion used to influence a person’s decision to engage in sexual activity. Coercion can be physical, verbal or emotional

  • Physical coercion is the most recognizable kind of pressure and includes actions such as holding someone down or continued kissing or sexual activity even when being told “no” or being pushed away.
  • Verbal coercion includes behaviors like threats of physical violence, blackmailing, lying, name-calling or asking repeatedly for sexual involvement after being told “no.”
  • Emotional coercion is the most subtle type of pressure and includes actions like making someone feel obligated or guilty for not wanting to engage in sexual activity, using peer pressure, threatening to break up, etc.


Permission that is clear, knowing, voluntary, and expressed prior to engaging in and during an act. 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

  1. Consent to any one form of sexual activity cannot automatically imply Consent to any other forms of sexual activity.
  2. Consent may be withdrawn at any time.
  3. Previous relationships or prior Consent cannot imply Consent to future sexual acts; this includes “blanket” Consent (i.e., permission in advance for any/all actions at a later time/place).
  4. Consent cannot be given by an individual who one knows to be – or based on the circumstances should reasonably have known to be – substantially impaired (e.g., by alcohol or other drug use, unconsciousness, etc.).
    1. Substantial impairment is a state when an individual 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).
    2. This also covers individuals whose substantial impairment results from other physical or mental conditions including mental disability, sleep, involuntary physical restraint, or from the consumption of alcohol or other drugs.
    3. Being impaired by alcohol or other drugs will never function as a defense for any behavior that violates this policy.
  5. It is the obligation of the person initiating the sexual activity to obtain Consent.
  6. An individual cannot Consent who has been coerced, including being compelled by force, threat of force, or deception; who is unaware that the act is being committed; or who is coerced by a supervisory or disciplinary authority.
    1. Force: violence, compulsion, or constraint; physically exerted by any means upon or against a person.
    2. Coercion: the application of pressure by the Respondent that unreasonably interferes with the Claimant’s ability to exercise free will. Factors to be considered include, but are not limited to, the intensity and duration of the conduct.
  7. A person who does not want to Consent to sex is not required to resist or verbally object.
  8. Withdrawal of Consent can be manifested through conduct and need not be a verbal withdrawal of Consent (i.e. crying, pulling away, pushing away, not actively participating, laying there, uncomfortable or upset facial expression).
  9. Consent may not be given by an individual who has not reached the legal age of Consent under applicable law.

Formal Complaint

A complaint filed by the Claimant or the University that triggers the University’s full investigation and hearing process under Title IX.


Any member of the University Community who is reported to have engaged in conduct prohibited by this policy.


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

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 other sexual misconduct offenses. The following are examples of sexual exploitation: 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.

Sexual Harassment

  1. An employee of the recipient conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of the recipient on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct
  2. Unwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the recipient’s education program or activity; or
  3. “Sexual assault” as defined in 20 U.S.C.1092(f)(6)(A)(v), “dating violence” as defined in 34 U.S.C. 12291(a)(10), “domestic violence” as defined in 34 U.S.C. 12291(a)(8), or “stalking” as defined in 34 U.S.C. 12291(a)(30).

All such acts constitute of Sexual Harassment under this policy.


An individual to whom an offer of admission has been extended, paid an acceptance fee, registered for classes, or otherwise entered into another agreement with the university to take instruction. Student status lasts until an individual graduates, is permanently dismissed, or is not in attendance for two complete, consecutive terms, and includes those with a continuing educational relationship with the university; “Student” also includes registered Student organizations. A Student organization remains a “Student” for purposes of this policy for one calendar year following the expiration of the organization’s most recent registration

The university reserves the right to administer this policy and proceed with any process provided by this policy even if the Student withdraws from the university, is no longer enrolled in classes, or subsequently fails to meet the definition of a Student while a disciplinary matter is pending.

University Community

Faculty, staff, Students, student employees, graduate associates, Appointees, volunteers, suppliers/contractors, and visitors.