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General Definitions


Informed, mutually understandable words or actions (freely and actively given), which indicate a willingness to participate in mutually agreed-upon act or purpose.  It is voluntary and active, not passive. Effective consent may never be given by: minors, mentally disabled persons, and persons who are incapacitated as a result of alcohol or other drugs or who are unconscious or otherwise physically helpless. Use of alcohol or other drugs will never function to excuse behavior that violates this policy. Silence, by itself, cannot constitute consent.  Consent to one sexual act does not constitute or imply consent to future acts.  Consent is required regardless of the parties’ relationship or history together.

Hostile Environment (Harassment)

Occurs when unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature is sufficiently serious that it affects a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from an education program or activity or creates an intimidating, threatening or abusive educational environment. A hostile environment can be created by a school employee, another student, or even someone visiting the school, such as a student or employee from another school.

Quid Pro Quo (Harassment)

Occurs when a school employee causes a person to believe that he or she must submit to unwelcome sexual conduct in order to participate in a school program or activity. It can also occur when an employee causes a person to believe that the employee will make an educational decision based on whether or not the person submits to unwelcome sexual conduct. For example, when a teacher threatens to fail a student unless the student agrees to date the teacher, it is quid pro quo harassment.


A state where one cannot make a rational, reasonable decision because they lack the ability to understand the who, what, when, where, why, or how of their (sexual) interaction.


Action taken by an accused individual or an action taken by a third party or a group of people against any person because that person has opposed any practices prohibited under this policy or because that person has filed a complaint, testified, assisted, or participated in any manner in an investigation or proceeding under this policy. This includes action taken against a bystander who intervened to stop or attempt to stop discrimination, harassment, or sexual misconduct. Retaliation includes intimidating, threatening, coercing, discouraging, or in any way discriminating against an individual because of the individual’s complaint or participation in the complaint process. Action is generally deemed retaliatory if it would deter a reasonable person in the same circumstances from opposing practices prohibited by this policy.

Reporting Party

Any person who brings forth information to the institution regarding a potential violation of this policy, whether or not they are the alleged victim, is considered a reporting party for purposes of this policy.

Sexual Assault

Any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient. Falling under the definition of sexual assault are sexual activities as forced sexual intercourse, forcible sodomy, child molestation, incest, fondling, and attempted rape.


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