Sexual Misconduct

Sexual misconduct takes on many forms, but its basis is unwelcome sexual activity.
The college, in accordance with Title IX, uses the following definitions:

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence (also called intimate partner violence (IPV), domestic abuse or relationship abuse) is a pattern of behaviors used by one partner to maintain power and control over another partner in an intimate relationship.

Anyone of any race, age, sexual orientation, religion, gender, or gender identity can be a victim – or perpetrator – of domestic violence. It can happen to people who are married, living together, or who are dating. It affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels.

Domestic violence includes behaviors that physically harm, arouse fear, prevent a partner from doing what they wish, or force a partner to behave in ways they do not want to behave.

It includes the following:

  • Use of physical and sexual violence
  • Threats and intimidation
  • Emotional abuse
  • Economic deprivation

Many of these different forms of domestic violence and abuse can be occurring at any one time within the same intimate relationship.

For more information, see the National Domestic Violence Hotline’s Power and Control Wheel.

Source: The National Domestic Violence Hotline

Gender Identity Harassment

Gender identity harassment is behavior that targets someone for offensive, hostile, degrading or insulting treatment based on that person’s self-perception as male, female, a blend of both or neither. One’s gender identity can be the same or different from their sex assigned at birth.

Hostile Environment

Conduct creating a hostile environment is offensive, unwelcome behavior that causes a person or people to feel uncomfortable, frightened, or intimidated.

Hostile environment is evaluated from the perspective of a reasonable person in the alleged victim’s position considering all the circumstances. The more severe the conduct, the less need there is to show a repetitive series of incidents (particularly if the conduct is physically violent). A single incident of sexual violence may create a hostile environment.

Factors to consider in determining whether a hostile environment has been created are:

  • Whether the conduct was verbal or physical or both
  • How frequently it was repeated
  • Whether the conduct was hostile or clearly offensive
  • Whether others joined in perpetrating the harassment
  • Whether the harassment was directed at more that one individual

Interpersonal Violence

Interpersonal violence is also referred to as intimate partner violence, dating violence, domestic violence, and relationship violence.

Interpersonal violence can encompass a broad range of abusive behavior committed by a person who is or has been:

  • In a romantic or intimate relationship with the Reporting Party (of the same or different sex);
  • The Reporting Party’s spouse or partner (of the same or different sex);
  • The Reporting Party’s family member; or
  • The Reporting Party’s cohabitant or household member, including a roommate

Whether there was such relationship will be gauged by its length, type, and frequency of interaction.

Interpersonal violence includes actions or threats of actions that are damaging—

  • physically,
  • sexually,
  • emotionally,
  • economically, and/or
  • psychologically

that a reasonable person in similar circumstances, and with similar identities, would find—

  • intimidating,
  • frightening,
  • terrorizing, and/or
  • threatening.

Such behaviors may include threats of violence to one’s self, one’s family member, or one’s pet.

Common signs of interpersonal violence include the following:

  • Your partner is excessively jealous and possessive;
  • Your partner controls where you go; and/or
  • Your partner isolates you from your friends and family

Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is subjecting any person to contact or behavior of a sexual nature or for the purposes of sexual gratification without the person’s express and explicit consent.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is physical contact and/or conduct that creates an unwelcome or hostile environment.

Sexual harassment includes—

  • unwelcome sexual advances,
  • requests for sexual favors, and
  • other verbal or physical contact of a sexual nature

when

  • submission to the conduct is made a term or condition of an individual’s employment or academic performance (either stated or implied)
  • submission to or rejection of the conduct is used as the basis for employment or educational decisions affecting the individual, or
  • the conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive to interfere with an individual’s work or academic performance or to create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or learning environment.

Occasional compliments of a socially acceptable nature do not constitute sexual harassment.

While it is not possible to list all of the circumstances that might constitute sexual harassment, the following are some examples of conduct that, if unwelcome, could constitute sexual harassment depending upon the totality of the circumstances, including the severity of the conduct and its pervasiveness.

This list includes but is not limited to:

  • Jokes, comments, or gestures directed at a person based on their gender or sexual identify;
  • Displaying sexually suggestive objects, pictures, cartoons; use of electronic communications to download or transmit materials with pornographic, profane, or sexually explicit content;
  • Unwelcome leering, whistling, brushing against the body, sexual gestures, suggestive or insulting comments;
  • Inquiries into one’s sexual experiences and/or discussion of one’s sexual activities, interests or intents.

Sexual Violence

Sexual violence is subjecting any person to contact or behavior of a sexual nature or for the purposes of sexual gratification without the person’s express and explicit consent.

Sexual violence is also physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will, such as situations in which a person is incapable of giving consent due to the student’s age, use of drugs or alcohol, or due to intellectual or other disability that prevents the student from having the capacity to give consent.

Stalking

Stalking is 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.

Stalking behaviors may include:

  • Persistent patterns of leaving or sending the victim unwanted items or presents;
  • Following or lying in wait for the victim;
  • Damaging or threatening to damage the victim’s property;
  • Defaming the victim’s character, or harassing the victim via the Internet through social media, email, or unwelcome contacts via telephone or text message, or by other electronic means such as posting personal information or spreading rumors.