Definitions of Sexual Assault, Offense, and Harassment



For purposes of this policy,
sexual assault is conduct of a sexual nature resulting in physical contact with the victim without the victim’s consent (i.e., an action committed either by force, by intimidation, or by knowingly making use of the victim’s physical or mental helplessness).  Effective consent is informed, freely and actively given speech or action that indicates a willingness to participate in mutually agreed upon sexual activity.  Consent cannot be given by someone who is so incapacitated, by alcohol or other drugs or for some other reason, as not to be able to communicate unwillingness or to understand the nature of the conduct being engaged in. Silence on the part of the victim does not constitute consent.


For the purposes of this policy, the term “sexual offense” includes dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking.  “Dating violence” means an 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.   “Domestic violence” refers to felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse of the victim, by a person who shares a child with the victim, or by a person who is or formerly has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse.  “Stalking” means engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety or the safety of others or suffer substantial emotional distress.

 

For purposes of this Policy, sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature which:  (i) implies or states that a person's response may affect his or her employment or education; or (ii) has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with a person's job or academic performance; or (iii) creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or learning environment.
 

For more information about the definitions, policies, and procedures, see Appendices I-III of the Student Handbook.