Definitions of Misconduct

Definitions of Sexual Misconduct and Harassment

All members of the College community are encouraged to review the definitions outlined in the Sexual Misconduct Policy, Anti-Harassment and Anti-Discrimination Policy, and Sexual Intimacies Policy. Any questions should be directed to the Title IX Coordinator on the appropriate campus. Select definitions are included below.

Dating Violence

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 person who is subject to such behavior. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on all of the following: the Complainant’s statement, the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. For the purposes of this definition:

  1. Dating Violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse.
  2. Dating Violence does not include acts covered under the definition of Domestic Violence.

Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence refers to felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse of the victim (or a person similarly situated to a 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. Domestic Violence also includes:

  1. An offense that meets the definition of abuse as defined by the laws of the State of Maryland (Md. Code Ann., Fam. Law § 4-501, et seq.), as applicable.
  2. An offense that meets the definition of assault or battery as defined by the laws of the State of New Mexico (N.M. Stat. Ann. § 30-3-12, et seq.), as applicable.


Incapacitation is the inability, temporarily or permanently, to give consent because the individual is asleep, unconscious, losing or regaining consciousness, or is otherwise unable to make informed rational judgments and decisions.

Incapacitation may result from the use of alcohol and/or drugs (both legal and illegal) and is a state beyond drunkenness or intoxication. The impact of alcohol and drugs varies from person to person; however, warning signs that a person is incapacitated or approaching incapacitation may include acting confused or incoherent, slurred speech, vomiting, inability to perform personal tasks such as undressing, inexplicable sudden changes in emotion, and/or difficulty walking. Evaluating incapacitation requires an assessment of how the consumption of alcohol and/or drugs affects an individual’s decision-making ability, awareness of consequences, ability to make informed judgments, or capacity to appreciate the nature and the quality of the act.

When an investigator or panel is assessing incapacitation, they will look at the issue from the perspective of a Respondent and determine whether a Respondent should have been aware of the Complainant’s incapacitation based on objectively and reasonably apparent indications of impairment when viewed from the perspective of a sober, reasonable person in the Respondent’s position.

Sexual Assault

Sexual Assault is actual or attempted physical sexual contact with another person without that person’s consent. Sexual Assault specifically includes:

  1. An offense that meets the definition of rape, fondling, incest, or statutory rape as defined by the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program.
    • Rape: 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, without the consent of the victim.
    • Fondling: The touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of age and/or because of temporary or permanent mental incapacity.
    • Incest: Non forcible sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law.
    • Statutory Rape: Non forcible sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent.
  2. An offense that meets the definition of rape or sexual offenses, as defined by the laws of the State of Maryland (Md. Code Ann., Crim. Law § 3-303, et seq.), as applicable.
  3. An offense that meets the definition of rape, aggravated rape, or criminal sexual contact as defined by the laws of the State of New Mexico (N.M. Stat. Ann. § 30-9-11, et seq.), as applicable.

Sexual Coercion

Sexual Coercion is unreasonable or oppressive speech or action used to pressure someone to engage in unwanted sexual activity (e.g., using inappropriate pressure, threats of a non-violent nature [for example, the release of sensitive or private information], manipulation, or exploiting a real or perceived power or authority over another). Sexual Coercion can be differentiated from seduction by a repetition of the coercive activity in the face of resistance, the degree of pressure applied, or the initiator’s knowledge that the pressure is unwanted.

Sexual Exploitation

Sexual Exploitation occurs when a person takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for the individual’s own advantage or benefit, or to the benefit or advantage of anyone other than the one being exploited, and that behavior does not otherwise constitute one of the other Sexual Misconduct offenses. Examples of Sexual Exploitation include, but are not limited to: non-consensual observation or recording of individuals who are undressed or engaging in sexual acts; prostituting another person; knowingly transmitting a STI, STD, or HIV to another; and administering or providing alcohol and/or drugs for the purpose of impairing a person.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual Harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, including unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, graphic, or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

  1. Submission to or rejection of such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a condition of an individual’s employment or academic standing or is used as the basis for employment decisions or for academic evaluation, grades, or advancement (quid pro quo); or
  2. Such conduct creates a hostile environment.

A hostile environment is created when unwelcome verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature (i) is so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from an education program or creates an abusive educational environment, or (ii) explicitly or implicitly affects an individual’s employment (including a student’s employment), unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance, or creates an abusive or offensive work environment.


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. Such conduct may include, but is not limited to, acts in which one directly or indirectly follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person in a way prohibited or interferes with a person’s property. A course of conduct consists of two or more acts. Stalking may be conducted through any method, device or means.

Stalking includes activity otherwise defined by the laws of the State of Maryland (Md. Code Ann., Crim. Law § 3-801, et seq.) and the State of New Mexico (N.M. Stat. Ann. § 30-3A- 3, et seq.), as applicable.

Sexual Misconduct

Sexual Misconduct includes sexual assault, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual coercion, sexual exploitation, and stalking as defined herein.