Sex Discrimination: Sex discrimination occurs when persons are excluded from participation in, or denied the benefits of, any University program or activity on the basis of their sex. Sex discrimination includes materially adverse treatment or action based on a person’s:
- biological sex
- pregnancy status
- gender, gender expression, or sexual identity
- and/or failure to conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity and femininity (so called “gender stereotyping”).
The Clery Act: The Clery Act requires all colleges and universities that participate in federal financial aid programs to keep and disclose information about crime on and near their respective campuses. Compliance is monitored by the United States Department of Education, which can impose civil penalties, up to $35,000 per violation, against institutions for each infraction and can suspend institutions from participating in federal student financial aid programs.
The Violence Against Women Act: The Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA) is a United States federal law (Title IV, sec. 40001-40703 of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, H.R. 3355) signed as Pub.L. 103–322 by President Bill Clinton on September 13, 1994 (codified in part at 42 U.S.C. sections 13701 through 14040). The Act provided $1.6 billion toward investigation and prosecution of violent crimes against women, imposed automatic and mandatory restitution on those convicted, and allowed civil redress in cases prosecutors chose to leave un-prosecuted. The Act also established the Office on Violence Against Women within the Department of Justice. It also identified Domestic Violence as a key target area for colleges and Universities.
Domestic violence includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of a victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred, 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 in which the crime of violence occurred.
Dating violence means violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on circumstances such as the alleged victim or alleged perpetrator’s statement and with consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of the relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment rises to the level of sex discrimination, and is prohibited by this policy as sexual misconduct, when:
- Submission to such conduct is made or threatened to be made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of an individual’s employment or education,
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used or threatened to be used as the basis for academic or employment decisions affecting that individual, or
- Such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s academic or professional performance or creating what a reasonable person would perceive as an intimidating, hostile, or offensive employment, education, or living environment (i.e., a “hostile environment”).
Sexual violence is a particularly severe form of sexual harassment that, by its very nature, is likely to create a hostile environment. Sexual violence includes physical sexual acts perpetrated without consent or where a person is incapable of giving consent because of physical, mental, or legal incapacity.
- Under this policy, sexual violence also includes sexual exploitation, which consists of prostituting another person, secretly recording the sexual activities of a person without their consent, or viewing the sexual activities of another person without their consent (i.e., “peeping” or engaging in voyeurism).
Consent is an agreement between participants to engage in sexual activity. There are many ways to give consent, and some of those are discussed below. Consent doesn’t have to be verbal, but verbally agreeing to different sexual activities can help both you and your partner respect each other’s boundaries; permission for something to happen or agreement to do something.
Stalking means engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to (A) fear for his or her safety or the safety of others; or (B) suffer substantial emotional distress.
Confidential Resources do not have a duty to report sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator and will not disclose identifying information provided to them in their professional capacities unless a specific law requires them to do so, such as laws requiring the reporting of child abuse.
Individuals who have the ability to assist community members in various ways but who have an obligation to report incidents of sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator/Clery.
Retaliation consists of materially adverse action taken against a person because the person made a good faith report of sexual misconduct or participated in the investigation of a report of sexual misconduct, such as by serving as a witness or support person.
Examples of sex discrimination:
- Giving unequal pay, promotions, or other job benefits on the basis of sex.
- Allowing a person’s sex to influence the grade conferred in a class.
- Denying persons access to a given degree or major because of their sex.
- Requiring a pregnant student to verify pregnancy-related absences with a doctor’s note when such verification is not required of students with other medical conditions.
- Excluding a person from a University sponsored group because the person has a gender identity different than the gender assigned to the person at birth
Examples of sexual harassment:
- Unreasonable pressure for a dating, romantic, or intimate relationship or sexual activity.
- Kissing, hugging, rubbing, or massaging.
- Sexual innuendos, jokes, humor, or gestures.
- Displaying sexual graffiti, pictures, videos or posters.
- Using sexually explicit profanity.
- Asking, or telling, about sexual fantasies, sexual preferences, or sexual activities.
- Leering or staring at someone in a sexual way, such as staring at a person’s breasts or groin.
- Calling a person derogatory names based on stereotypical notions of how a person of a given sex or sexual identity should look, speak, or act.
- Sending sexually explicit emails, text messages, or social media posts.
Examples of retaliation:
- Terminating a person’s employment, demoting them, denying them a promotion, reducing their pay, or “writing them up” because they made a report of sexual misconduct.
- Sending threatening text messages or social media messages to someone because they made a report of sexual misconduct or gave a statement as a witness.
- Causing physical damage to a person’s personal belongings because they made a report of sexual misconduct or gave a statement as a witness.
- Suspending a person from an activity or limiting their involvement because they made a report of sexual misconduct.
- Publishing knowingly false information about a person because they made a report of sexual misconduct.
Example when consent is NOT given:
- If coercion, intimidation, threats, and/or physical force are used, there is no consent.
- If a person is incapacitated by alcohol or drugs such that the person cannot understand the fact, nature, or extent of the sexual situation, there is no consent even if the person self-administered the alcohol or drugs.
- Consent to one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity.
- Consent can be withdrawn by verbal or physical conduct that a reasonable person would understand to indicate a desire to stop or not engage in the sexual conduct at issue.
- While consent can be withdrawn, a withdrawal of consent operates going-forward. It does not change the consensual nature of sexual activity that has already occurred.
- Being in a romantic relationship with someone does not imply consent to any form of sexual activity.
- Effective consent may not exist when there is a disparity in power between the parties and one is in a supervisory or evaluative role over the other, such as a faculty member who is teaching a student or a director who supervises an employee