Title IX

Gender-Based and Sexual Misconduct Policy

Title IX says that, "No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance."

View The Gender-Based and Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedural Manual

The following is an excerpt from the Gender-Based and Sexual Misconduct Policy.


Consent to sexual activity, which includes sexual contact, sexual penetration, or both, is defined as: clear, unambiguous, mutual, and voluntary agreement between the participants to engage in specific sexual acts.  Consent must be expressed affirmatively, either by a verbal statement (e.g., "yes") or through mutually understandable conduct that plainly manifests affirmative consent (e.g., initiating contact, directing contact by hands or other body parts).  Consent cannot be inferred from the absence of a "no.”  Silence, passivity, or lack of active resistance does not imply consent.  When in doubt, ask.  Any doubt about consent must be resolved before engaging in further sexual activity.
Consent must be clear, mutual, and unambiguous for each participant throughout any sexual encounter. Consent to some types of sexual contact does not imply consent to others, nor does past consent to a given act imply ongoing or future consent.  Consent is not to be inferred from an existing or previous dating or sexual relationship.  Even in the context of a relationship, there must be mutual consent to engage in sexual contact.  Consent to engage in sexual contact with one person is not consent to engage in sexual contact with any other person.
Consent can be withdrawn at any time through clear words or mutually understandable actions.  Once consent is withdrawn, the sexual activity must stop immediately, and all parties must obtain mutually expressed or clearly stated consent before continuing with further sexual activity.
Consent must be freely given.  Consent cannot be obtained by intimidation, threat, coercion, or force. Agreement given under intimidation, threat, force, or coercion does not constitute consent.

  1. Force is the use or threat of physical violence or intimidation to overcome an individual's freedom of will to choose whether or not to participate in sexual activity.  There is no requirement that a party resists the sexual advance or request, but resistance will be viewed as a clear demonstration of non-consent.
  2. Coercion is the use of unreasonable pressure to compel another individual to engage in or continue sexual activity against an individual's will.  Coercing someone into sexual activity violates this Policy in the same way as physically forcing someone into sex. Coercion can include a wide range of behaviors, including intimidation, manipulation, threats and blackmail.  Examples of coercion include, but are not limited, threatening to "out" someone based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression and threatening to harm oneself if the other party does not engage in the sexual activity.

Relationships by Persons in Authority

When individuals involved in a consensual romantic or sexual relationship are in positions of unequal power at the university, such as faculty-student, coach-student, faculty-staff, there is the potential for a conflict of interest, favoritism, and exploitation. These relationships may be less voluntary than the person with greater power perceives, or circumstances may change and conduct that was once welcome may become unwelcome. In general, romantic and/or sexual relationships between faculty/coaches/staff and students are prohibited.  For employees, when a consensual romantic or sexual relationship exists or has existed between people in positions of unequal power at the University, arrangements will be made to eliminate supervisory or evaluative responsibilities.  

The policy on Consensual, Romantic, or Sexual Relationships between Faculty, Staff, and Students is available in the Employee Handbook.

Prohibited Conduct

The University prohibits gender-based and sexual misconduct.  For the purposes of this Policy, gender-based and sexual misconduct are broadly defined to include acts of sexual or gender-based harassment, sexual assault, intimate partner violence, sexual exploitation, stalking, aiding or facilitating, abetting, inciting, compelling, or coercing the commission of a violation, and retaliation ("Prohibited Conduct").
Any attempt to engage, aid, abet, incite, compel, or coerce the doing of any act declared by this policy to be prohibited conduct, to obstruct or prevent any person from complying with this Policy or any order issued under it, or to attempt directly or indirectly to commit any act declared by this policy to be prohibited conduct constitutes gender-based or sexual misconduct, as defined by this Policy, even if the attempt does not result in a completed act, may be considered Prohibited Conduct and treated as a violation of this Policy.
Prohibited conduct also includes the intentional filing of any false report of gender-based or sexual misconduct.

Gender-Based or Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is any unwelcome sexual advance, request for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when one of the following conditions are present:

  1. submission to or rejection of the conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment, evaluation of academic work, participation or enrollment (quid pro quo);
  2. submission to or rejection of the conduct is used as a basis for employment or educational decisions, placement services or evaluation of academic achievement (quid pro quo); or
  3. the conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that it unreasonably interferes with an individual's work or educational performance or denies or limits the individual's ability to participate or benefit from the University's employment or educational programs and/or activities by creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working, academic, or social environment under both a subjective and an objective perspective (hostile environment).

Sexual Assault

Sexual assault, as defined under this Policy, includes both Non-Consensual Sexual Contact and Non-Consensual Sexual Penetration, as defined below:

  1. Non-Consensual Sexual Contact is any intentional sexual touching, however slight, with any object or body part, by a person upon another person that is without consent. Sexual contact includes intentional contact with the breasts, buttocks, groin, or genitals, or touching another with any of these body parts, making another touch you or themselves with or on any of these body parts, or making you touch yourself; any intentional bodily contact in a sexual manner, though not involving contact with/of/by breasts, buttocks, groin, genitals or other orifice, or disrobing of another person without consent.
  2. Non-Consensual Sexual Penetration is having or attempting sexual penetration with another individual without consent.  Sexual penetration includes oral-genital contact, or vaginal or anal penetration by a penis, tongue or finger or other object, no matter how slight the penetration or contact.

Sexual Exploitation

Sexual exploitation is taking or attempting to take sexual advantage of another without consent for the purpose of sexual gratification, financial gain, personal benefit or advantage, or any other non-legitimate purpose.  Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to:

  1. prostituting another person;
  2. non-consensual taking of pictures, video recording and/or audio recording of a sexual activity;
  3. non-consensual distribution of pictures, video recording, audio recording, or live- streaming of a sexual activity;
  4. allowing third parties to observe sexual activities without consent;
  5. engaging in voyeurism (watching private sexual activity without the consent of the participants or viewing another person's intimate parts (including genitalia, groin, breasts or buttocks) in a place where that person would have a reasonable expectation of privacy);
  6. exposing one's genitals in non-consensual circumstances;
  7. inducing another to expose their genitals under non-consensual circumstances; or
  8. causing the incapacitation of another for the purpose of compromising that person's ability to consent to sexual activity.

Disclaimer: The content of this webpage is designed to provide general guidance, which does not create, modify, or rescind any provision of the University’s Gender-Based and Sexual Misconduct Policy.  Any questions may be clarified by reading the Gender-Based and Sexual Misconduct Policy or by contacting the Director of Equity, Compliance, and Risk Management, who has been designated as the University’s Title IX Coordinator.  

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