The College prohibits the following forms of conduct:
Sexual Harassment | Sexual Assault | Sexual Exploitation |
Physical Assault | Intimate-Partner Violence | Bullying and Intimidation | Stalking | Indecent Exposure | Retaliation
Sexual harassment is any unwelcome sexual advance, request for sexual favors, or other unwanted verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when one or more of the following conditions are present:
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct is an explicit or implicit condition of an individual’s employment, evaluation of academic work, or any aspect of a College program or activity;
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for decisions affecting the individual; or
- Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance, i.e. it is sufficiently serious, pervasive, or persistent as to create an intimidating, hostile, humiliating, demeaning, or sexually offensive working, academic, residential, or social environment under both an objective and subjective standard.
Sexual harassment also includes harassment based on gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, which may include acts of verbal, nonverbal, or physical aggression, intimidation, or hostility based on sex/gender or sex/gender-stereotyping, even if the acts do not involve conduct of a sexual nature.
A single, isolated incident of sexual harassment alone may create a hostile environment if the incident is sufficiently severe. The more severe the conduct the less need there is to show a repetitive series of incidents to create a hostile environment, particularly if the harassment is physical.
Sexual harassment can take many forms. Sexual harassment:
- may be blatant and intentional and involve an overt action, a threat of 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, educational, or employment relationships, harassment can occur in any context.
- may be committed by a stranger, an acquaintance, or someone with whom the complainant 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, over electronic media (including the internet, telephone, and text), or in any other setting.
- may be a one-time event or part of a pattern of behavior.
- may be committed in the presence of others or when the parties are alone.
- may affect the complainant and/or third parties who witness or observe harassmentn type and severity. Key determining factors are that the behavior is unwelcome, is gender-based, and is reasonably perceived as offensive and objectionable under both a subjective and objective assessment of the conduct.
Sexual assault is defined as having sexual contact or sexual intercourse with another individual without consent, including:
- by the use or threat of force or coercion;
- without effective consent; or
- where that individual is incapacitated.
Sexual intercourse includes vaginal or anal penetration, however slight, with a body part (e.g., penis, tongue, finger, hand, etc.) or object, or oral penetration involving mouth to genital contact.
Sexual contact includes intentional contact with the intimate parts of another, causing another to touch one’s intimate parts, or disrobing or exposure of another without permission. Intimate parts may include the breasts, genitals, buttocks, groin, mouth, or any other part of the body that is touched in a sexual manner. Sexual contact also includes attempted sexual intercourse.
Sexual exploitation is an act or acts committed through non-consensual abuse or exploitation of another person’s sexuality for the purpose of sexual gratification, financial gain, personal benefit or advantage, or any other non-legitimate purpose. The act or acts of sexual exploitation are prohibited even though the behavior does not constitute one of the other sexual misconduct offenses.
Examples of sexual exploitation include:
- observing another individual’s nudity or sexual activity or allowing another to observe consensual sexual activity without the knowledge and consent of all parties involved;
- non-consensual streaming of images, photography, video, or audio recording of sexual activity or nudity, or distribution of such without the knowledge and consent of all parties involved;
- prostituting another individual;
- exposing one’s genitals in non-consensual circumstances;
- knowingly exposing another individual to a sexually transmitted disease or virus without that individual’s knowledge; and
- inducing incapacitation for the purpose of making another person vulnerable to non-consensual sexual activity.
Physical assault is a purposeful action meant to hurt another person. Examples include, but are not limited to, kicking, punching, hitting with or throwing an object, or biting. When these acts occur in the context of intimate-partner violence or when the behavior is perpetrated on the basis of sex or gender, the conduct will be resolved under the Sexual Assault and Harassment Policy.
Intimate-partner violence, also referred to as dating violence, domestic violence, and relationship violence, includes any act of violence or threatened act of violence against a person who is, or has been involved in, a sexual, dating, domestic, or other intimate relationship with that person. It may involve one act or an ongoing pattern of behavior. Intimate-partner violence can encompass a broad range of behavior, including, but not limited to, physical violence, sexual violence, emotional violence, and economic abuse. Intimate-partner violence may take the form of threats, assault, property damage, or violence or threat of violence to one’s self, one’s sexual or romantic partner, or to the family members or friends of the sexual or romantic partner. Intimate-partner violence affects individuals of all genders, gender identities, gender expressions, and sexual orientations and does not discriminate by racial, social, or economic background.
Intimidation is any verbal, written, or electronic threats of violence or other threatening behavior directed toward another person or group that reasonably leads the person(s) in the group to fear for her/his physical well-being. Intimidation is prohibited and will result in disciplinary action.
Anyone who attempts to use bullying or intimidation to retaliate against someone who reports an incident, brings a complaint, or participates in an investigation in an attempt to influence the student conduct process will be in violation of retaliation as described within this handbook and will be subject to disciplinary action.
Stalking occurs when a person engages in a course of conduct or repeatedly commits acts toward another person, including following the person without proper authority, under circumstances that demonstrate either of the following:
- place the person in reasonable fear of bodily injury; or
- reasonably cause substantial emotional distress to the person.
Stalking includes the concept of cyber-stalking, a particular form of stalking in which electronic media such as the Internet, social networks, blogs, cell phones, texts, or other similar devices or forms of contact are used to pursue, harass, or to make unwelcome contact with another person in an unsolicited fashion.
Examples of stalking include:
- unwelcome and repeated visual or physical proximity to a person;
- repeated oral or written threats;
- extortion of money or valuables;
- unwelcome/unsolicited written communication, including letters, cards, emails, instant messages, and messages on online bulletin boards;
- unwelcome/unsolicited communications about a person, their family, friends, or co-workers; or
- sending/posting unwelcome/unsolicited messages with an assumed identity; or
- implicitly threatening physical contact;
- or any combination of these behaviors directed toward an individual person.
A person commits indecent exposure if that person exposes their genitals in any public place or in any place where there are present other persons under circumstances in which one knows or should know that this conduct is likely to offend, affront, or alarm.
Retaliation is any act or attempt to retaliate against or seek retribution from any individual or group of individuals involved in the investigation and/or resolution of a sexual misconduct allegation. Retaliation can take many forms, including continued abuse or violence, threats, and intimidation. Any individual or group of individuals, not just a complainant or respondent, can engage in retaliation.