Sexual Misconduct Definitions

Student life strives to provide a prompt, fair, and impartial investigation and resolution to sexual misconduct issues.  The proceedings shall be conducted by officials who receive annual training on the issues related to domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking and how to conduct an investigation and hearing process that protects the safety of victims and promotes accountability.

Sexual Harassment:  Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual conduct of any nature that creates an offensive or hostile work or educational environment or unwelcome sexual conduct that is quid pro quo.  It also may be in the form of non-sexual, offensive conduct that is directed at an individual because of his or her gender.  Sexual harassment, like other forms of prohibited harassment, will not be tolerated.

Examples of prohibited sexual harassment include unwelcome sexual conduct such as:

  • Verbal harassment (e.g. sexual requests, comments, jokes, slurs)
  • Physical harassment (e.g. touching, kissing) and
  • Visual harassment (e.g. posters, cartoons or drawings of a sexual nature)

Sexual harassment is not limited to conduct motivated by sexual attraction.  It may occur between members of the opposite sex or members of the same sex, regardless of their sexual orientation.  It also includes offensive non-sexual conduct directed at an individual because of his or her gender.


Non-Consensual Sexual Contact

Sexual Battery:  Is the touching of a victim who is not the spouse of the offender, who is 16 or more years of age and who does not consent thereto, with the intent to arouse or satisfy the sexual desires of the offender or another.

Aggravated Sexual Battery:  Is the touching of a victim who is not the spouse of the offender, who is 16 or more  years of age and who does not consent thereto, with the intent to arouse or satisfy the sexual desires of the offender or another and under any of the following circumstances:  When the victim is overcome by force or fear, when the victim is unconscious or physically powerless or when the victim is incapable of giving consent because of mental deficiency or disease, or when the victim is incapable of giving consent because of the effect of any alcoholic liquor, narcotic, drug or other substance, which condition was known by or was reasonably apparent to the offender.

Lewd and lascivious behavior:  Publicly engaging in otherwise lawful sexual intercourse or sodomy with knowledge or reasonable anticipation that the participants are being viewed by others or publicly exposing a sex organ or exposing a sex organ in the presence of a person who is not the spouse of the offender and who has not consented thereto, with intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desires of the offender or another.


Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse

Rape:  As defined in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, is penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.  This definition includes any gender of victim or perpetrator. Sexual penetration means the penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person. This definition also includes instances in which the victim is incapable of giving consent because of temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity (including due to the influence of drugs or alcohol) or because of age.  Physical resistance is not required on the part of the victim to demonstrate lack of consent.


Other Definitions

Dating Violence:  Dating violence can be defined as violence committed by an individual who is or has been in a romantic or intimate relationship with the victim.  The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the length of the relationship, type of relationship, and frequency of interaction between persons.

Domestic Violence:   “Felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse, by a person similarly situated to a  spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction… or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction.”

Stalking:  Recklessly engaging in a course of conduct targeted at a specific person which would cause a reasonable person in the circumstances of the targeted person to fear such person’s safety, or the safety of a member of such person’s immediate family and the targeted person is actually placed in such fear.

Sexual Exploitation: means taking sexual advantage of another person without effective consent, and includes, without limitation, causing or attempting to cause the incapacitation of another person; causing the prostitution of another person; electronically recording, photographing, or transmitting intimate or sexual utterances, sounds or images of another person; allowing third parties to observe sexual acts; engaging in voyeurism; distributing intimate or sexual information about another person; and/or knowingly transmitting a sexually transmitted infection, including HIV, to another person.

Incapacitation:  The inability, temporarily or permanently, to give consent, due to mental or physical incapability, unconsciousness, or vulnerability due to drug or alcohol consumption (voluntarily or involuntarily) or for some other reason.   Examples of incapacitation may include, but are not limited to, vomiting, being unconscious, or being unable to communicate for any reason.

Consent:  Consent to engage in sexual activity must exist from the beginning to end of each instance of sexual activity.  Consent consists of an outward demonstration indicating that someone has freely chosen to engage in sexual activity.  In the absence of an outward demonstration, consent does not exist.  Consent is informed, knowing and voluntary.  Consent is demonstrated through mutually understandable words and/or actions that clearly indicate a willingness to engage in sexual activity.

Consent is not effective if it results from the use of physical force, intimidation, coercion, or incapacitation.    If a sexual act is occurring and physical force, intimidation, coercion, or incapacitation develops, there is no longer consent.

Consent to engage in sexual activity may be withdrawn by either party at any time.  Withdrawal of consent must also be outwardly demonstrated by words or actions that clearly indicate a desire to end sexual activity.  Once withdrawal of consent has been expressed, sexual activity must cease.