Sexual Assault / Harassment

What is Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment is unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and/or verbal or physical conduct that is sufficiently severe, pervasive or objectively and subjectively offensive so as to substantially or effectively interfere with an individual’s employment, education or ability to participate in or receive the benefits, services or opportunities of the University.  It can be based on power differentials (quid pro quo) where submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of instruction, employment, or participation in any University activity or the creation of a hostile environment when unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature creates an intimidating, threatening or abusive working or learning environment.

What is Sexual Violence?

Sexual violence refers to physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving effective consent. A number of different acts fall into the category of sexual violence, including rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, nonconsensual sexual contact, nonconsensual sexual intercourse, intimate partner violence, and/or sexual coercion. Sexual violence can be carried out by University employees, fellow students, students from other schools, or third parties. Sexual violence is a form of sexual harassment.

What is Intimate Partner Violence?

Intimate partner violence is any instances of violence or abuse (verbal, physical, or psychological) that occurs between those who are in or have been in an intimate relationship with each other. This can include dating and domestic violence. An intimate relationship is a relationship that includes some romantic, sexual and/or domestic element.

What is Stalking?

Stalking refers to engaging in a menacing course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to: (A) Fear for their safety or the safety of others; or (B) Suffer substantial emotional distress.

What is Gender Discrimination?

Discrimination and harassment is prohibited on the basis of a person’s sex or gender. Gender discrimination can occur when persons are excluded from participation in, or denied the benefits of, any University program or activity because of their sex or gender. The University’s policy prohibiting gender discrimination also prohibits discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth and parenting.

What is Sexual Exploitation?

Sexual exploitation is taking nonconsensual, unjust or abusive advantage of another in a sexual or intimate context for the responding party's own advantage or benefit OR to benefit/advantage anyone other than the individual being exploited AND does not constitute any other sexual and/or relationship misconduct offense addressed in the University's policy, including without limitation: prostituting another person, engaging in, permitting or facilitating nonconsensual viewing, photographing, videotaping, audio taping, or posting to the internet sexual or intimate activity (such as dressing, showering and similar activity of oneself or others), knowingly infecting another person with HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases and/or inducing incapacitation of another person with the intent to facilitate nonconsensual sexual intercourse or contact with that person.

What is Sexual Coercion?

Sexual coercion is unreasonable pressure for sexual activity. When someone makes clear that they do not want sex, that they want to stop, or that they do not want to go past a certain point of sexual interaction, continued pressure beyond that point can be coercive. Coercing someone into sexual activity violates this policy in the same way as physically forcing someone into sex.

See 1.14-Sex/Gender Discrimination, Harassment and/or Sexual Misconduct for full policy and definitions.


Help and Support

In order to make a proper report of sexual harassment, victims must file notice with the Title IX coordinator.

Download our Title IX and Violence Against Women Act brochures:

Title IX brochure cover                           Violence Against Women Act brochure cover