Title IX - Definitions

DEFINITIONS

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical contact or communication of a sexual nature when:

  • Submission to such conduct or communication is made either explicitly or implicitly as a term or condition of educational benefits, employment, academic evaluations or other academic opportunities,
  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct or communication by an individual is used as the basis for an employment decision or academic decision affecting such individual, or
  • Such conduct is sufficiently severe, pervasive or persistent and objectively offensive that it has the effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment that negatively affects an individual’s academic or employment environment.

Sexual harassment does not include verbal expressions or written materials that are relevant and appropriately related to course subject matter or curriculum, and this policy shall not abridge academic freedom or the Metro Tech’s educational mission.

Sexual harassment can create a hostile environment. Sexual harassment should be reported even if it doesn’t reach the point of creating a hostile environment. A hostile environment is defined as subjectively and objectively offensive and sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of the victim’s educational, employment or vocational environment.

Sexual harassment could occur off-campus and still have an effect on an individual’s educational, employment or vocational environment as well as create a hostile environment. A one-time non-consensual contact could also create a hostile environment.

Sexual Violence

Sexual violence is physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent. A number of different acts fall into the category of sexual violence, including sexual misconduct, stalking, dating violence, and domestic violence.

Sexual Misconduct

Sexual misconduct is a broad term encompassing any non-consensual contact of a sexual nature. Sexual misconduct may vary in severity and consists of a range of behavior or attempted behavior including, but not limited to, the following examples of prohibited conduct:

a. Unwelcome sexual touching/exposure

The touch of an unwilling or non-consensual person’s intimate parts (such as genitalia, groin, breast, buttocks, mouth or clothing covering same); touching an unwilling person with one’s own intimate parts; or forcing an unwilling person to touch another’s intimate parts. This also includes indecent exposure and voyeurism.

b. Non-consensual sexual assault 

Unwilling or non-consensual penetration of any bodily opening with an object or body part. This includes, but is not limited to, penetration of a bodily opening without effective consent through the use of coercion.

c. Forced sexual assault

Unwilling or non-consensual penetration of any bodily opening with any object or body part that is committed either by force, threat, intimidation, or through exploitation of another’s mental or physical condition (such as lack of consciousness, incapacitation due to drugs or alcohol, age, or disability) of which the assailant was aware or should have been aware.

Stalking

Stalking is to engage in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety or the safety of others; or suffer substantial emotional distress.

Stalking is defined to mean two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person, or interferes with a person's property.

Substantial emotional distress would include significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.

Stalking is the willful, malicious, and repeated following or harassment of a person in a manner that would cause a reasonable person to feel frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed or molested and actually causes the person being followed or harassed to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened harassed or molested. Stalking also means a course of conduct composed of a series of two or more separate acts over a period of time, demonstrating a continuity of purpose or unwelcomed contact with a person that is initiated or continued without the consent of the individual or in disregard of the expressed desire of the individual that the contact be avoided or discontinued. This may include repeatedly contacting another person (through any means, such as in person, by phone, electronic means, text messaging, etc.), following another person, or having others contact another person.

Any actions that a stalker takes to contact, harass, track or frighten another that could include repeatedly:

  • following
  • unsolicited visits or communication
  • using online social media inappropriately
  • damaging property
  • showing up at places an intended victim frequents
  • sending unsolicited mail, e-mail, texts and pictures
  • creating a website about a target of stalking
  • sending unsolicited gifts
  • stealing things that belong to intended victim
  • calling repeatedly.

Stalking can occur by someone that is known casually, a current boyfriend or girlfriend, someone dated in the past or a stranger.

Dating Violence

Dating violence is committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with another person. The existence of such relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors:

  • Length of the relationship
  • Type of relationship
  • Frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.

Dating violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse. Dating violence does not include acts that meet the definition of domestic violence.

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is a crime of violence committed by a;

  • current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim,
  • person with whom the victim shares a child in common,
  • person who is cohabitating with or has cohabited with the victim as a spouse,
  • person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim.

Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner. Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic or psychological actions or threat of actions that influence another person.

Retaliation

Metro Tech will not tolerate retaliation against a person who, in good faith, brings a complaint forward. Retaliation against an individual who has brought a complaint forward or against an individual who has participated in an investigation or conduct process is prohibited.