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Sex-Based Misconduct

Sexual Harassment; Sexual Exploitation

Sexual harassment is unwelcome, gender-based verbal or physical conduct that is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that it either:

  • Unreasonably interferes with, denies or limits someone’s ability to participate in or benefit from the university’s educational program and/or activities, and/or
  • Based on power differentials (quid pro quo), the creation of a hostile environment or retaliation.

The following factors will be considered in determining harassment:

  • Perspective of the individual being harassed;
  • Perspective of a reasonable person in a similar situation;
  • The degree to which the conduct affected one or more students’ education or individual employment;
  • Nature, scope, frequency, duration and location of the incident or incidents;
  • Identity, number and relationships of the persons involved; and
  • Nature of higher education.

Sexual exploitation occurs when someone takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for his/her own advantage or benefit, or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited and that behavior does not otherwise constitute one of the other sex-based misconduct offenses. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to:

  • Invasion of sexual privacy;
  • Prostituting another student;
  • Non-consensual video, audio-taping, or cyber or social media exposure of genitalia or sexual activity;
  • Engaging in voyeurism;
  • Exposing one’s genitals in non-consensual circumstances; inducing another to expose their genitals;
  • Sexually based stalking and/or bullying.

Non-Consensual Sexual Contact (or attempts to commit same)

Non-consensual sexual contact is:

  • Any intentional sexual touching,
  • However slight,
  • With any object,
  • By a man or woman upon a man or a woman,
  • That is without consent and/or by force.

Sexual contact includes intentional contact with the breasts, buttocks, groin, genitals, or touching another with any of these body parts, or making another touch you or themselves with or on any of these body parts.  It also includes any intentional bodily contact in a sexual manner, though not involving contact with aforementioned body parts.  This category can also include, but is not limited to, pervasive verbal sexual harassment or egregious sexual exploitation.

Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse (or attempts to commit same)

Non-consensual sexual intercourse is:

  • Any sexual intercourse;
  • However slight,
  • With any object,
  • By a man or woman upon a man or a woman,
  • That is without consent.

Intercourse includes vaginal or anal penetration by a penis, object, tongue or finger, and oral copulation, no matter how slight the penetration or contact.  This includes sexual assault in consideration of the following areas:

1. Non-violent

  • No evidence of the use of force;
  • Significant discrepancy or dispute of consent.

2. Mitigating factors

  • Alleged mutual incapacitation;
  • No previous offenses or conduct history;
  • Uncooperative victim;
  • Previous consenting sexual relationship.

3. Aggravating factor

  • previous record of sex-based misconduct;
  • Evidence of the use of force;
  • Egregious contact or assault;
  • Multiple victims.

Other Misconduct Offenses When Based on Sex or Gender


Repeated and/or severe aggressive behavior likely to intimidate or intentionally hurt, control or diminish another person, physically or mentally.

Domestic Violence

Crime of violence committed against a current or former spouse, someone similarly situated, a co-parent, or an adult or youth protected under state domestic or family violence laws.

Dating Violence

Violence by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature.


A course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for their safety, the safety of others or suffer substantial emotional stress.


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