Title IX Information

Definitions

Complainant: The individual alleged to have experienced sexual misconduct or retaliation. In certain circumstances, the University may assume the role of the complainant.

Consent: Consent requires unambiguous communication and mutual agreement concerning the act in which the participants are engaging. Consent must be informed, freely given, mutual, and can be withdrawn at any time. A person cannot give consent if he or she is mentally or physically incapacitated or impaired such that the person cannot understand the fact, nature, or extent of the sexual situation; this includes impairment or incapacitation due to age, alcohol or drug consumption, or being asleep or unconscious. Similarly, a person cannot give consent if force, expressed or implied, duress, intimidation, threats, or deception are used on the accuser. Silence or the absence of resistance does not necessarily imply consent. Consent to some sexual acts does not imply consent to other acts, nor does prior consent to sexual activities imply ongoing future consent with that person or consent to that same sexual activity with another person. Whether an individual has taken advantage of a position of influence or authority over an accuser may be a factor in determining consent.

Dating violence: Violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the complainant.  The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. Dating violence includes sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse.

Days: In this policy, “days” refers to calendar days.

Domestic violence: Domestic violence is violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim; by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common; by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner; 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 Ohio.

Incapacitation: Incapacitation occurs where a person is unable to give consent, such as due to the use of drugs or alcohol or a cognitive impairment. In considering whether a complainant is incapacitated due to the consumption of drugs or alcohol, the University will consider the circumstances, including factors such as whether there is evidence of slurred speech, vomiting, stumbling or the inability to walk, or periods of “blacking out.” The presence of one of these factors, standing alone, may not be sufficient to establish incapacitation; the totality of the circumstances must be examined.

Respondent: The individual alleged to have engaged in sexual misconduct or retaliation.

Retaliation: Retaliation is a form of discrimination. It occurs when an individual has engaged in a protected activity (such as filed a sexual misconduct complaint or participated in an investigation of alleged sexual misconduct) and adverse action is taken against the individual because of involvement in the protected activity.

Example: A student files a sexual misconduct complaint against a professor. The professor gives the student a poor grade because the professor is upset that the student filed a complaint.

Example: A student files a complaint alleging sexual misconduct. The respondent’s friends follow the student around campus every day and make verbal threats because the student filed a complaint.

Sexual assault: Unwelcome physical conduct of a sexual nature, including unwanted kissing, touching, oral, vaginal, or anal sex,  which occurs in the absence of consent. This includes 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 consent.

Sex discrimination: Negative or adverse treatment based on race, color, religion, age, national origin, ancestry, military or veteran status, genetic information, familial status, or political affiliation.  (Sex discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual violence, or other sexual misconduct, is discrimination but is addressed instead under the University’s Title IX policy (3364-50-01).)sex.

Sexual harassment: Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. It includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature. A single instance of rape is sufficiently severe to create a hostile environment. Sexual harassment can occur in one of two forms:

Hostile environment: This exists if the conduct is sufficiently serious that it interferes with or limits a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s program or an employee’s ability to perform his or her job.  The more severe the conduct, the less need there is to show a repetitive series of incidents to prove a hostile environment, particularly if the harassment is physical.

Quid pro quo: This occurs when participation in or receipt of a benefit of the University’s program is made contingent on the provision of sexual favors for or by a person who has the authority to make decisions about participation or receipt of benefits or when the rejection of a sexual advance or request for sexual favors results in the denial of participation in or receipt of a benefit of the University’s program.

Examples of sexual harassment: (1) A student is sexually assaulted by another student; (2) A professor repeatedly asks a student to have sex with in order to get a better grade; (3) students in a residence hall target another student by writing unwelcome sex-based comments on the student’s door; making negative, sex-based comments to the student in class, and threatening physical harm to the student.

When the facts establish that an institutional power differential existed within the relationship and an allegation of sexual harassment results, the University will closely scrutinize a defense that the relationship was consensual.

Sexual misconduct: Sexual misconduct includes sexual harassment, sexual violence, sexual assault, conduct that exploits another person in a sexual and non-consensual way (such as voyeurism and non-consensual recording), stalking, dating violence, domestic violence, and indecent exposure. Sexual misconduct may also be discrimination, harassment, or violence based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

Sexual violence: Sexual violence is physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent (for example, due to the person’s age or use of drugs or alcohol, or because an intellectual or other disability prevents the person from having the capacity to give consent). A number of different acts fall into the category of sexual violence, including rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, sexual abuse, and sexual coercion. 

Stalking: Stalking means engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would: (1) cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety or the safety of others; or (2) suffer substantial emotional distress.

Additional relevant definitions and examples, including state law definitions, are set forth in Appendices B and C to the UT Title IX Policy.

Last Updated: 9/14/17