Glossary and Sanctions
Glossary of Terms
Affirmative consent is a knowing, and voluntary, and mutual decision among all participants to engage in sexual activity. Consent can be given by words or actions, as long as those words or actions create clear permission regarding willingness to engage in sexual activity. Silence or lack of resistance, in and of itself, does not demonstrate consent. The definition of consent does not vary based upon a participant’s sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. Consent to any sexual act or prior consensual sexual activity between or with any party does not necessarily constitute consent to any other sexual act. Consent is required regardless of whether the person initiating the act is under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
Consent may be initially given but withdrawn at any time. Consent cannot be given when a person is incapacitated, which occurs when an individual lacks the ability to knowingly choose to participate in sexual activity. Incapacitation may be caused by the lack of consciousness or being asleep, being involuntarily restrained, or if an individual otherwise cannot consent. Depending on the degree of intoxication, someone who is under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other intoxicants may be incapacitated and therefore unable to consent. Consent cannot be given when it is the result of any coercion, intimidation, force, or threat of harm. When consent is withdrawn or can no longer be given, sexual activity must stop.
Sexual assaults are linked substances, primarily alcohol, that may decrease inhibitions and incapacitate the user. The drugs most often implicated in the commission of drug-facilitated sexual assaults are alcohol, (a benzodiazepine), ketamine, and Soma. However, other benzodiazepines and sedative hypnotics are used as well. These drugs often render victims unconscious—an effect that is quickened and intensified when the drugs are taken with alcohol. A person also may become a victim after taking such a drug willingly. Victims often have no memory of an assault, only an awareness or sense that they were violated as a result of the sedative properties of these drugs. The estimates for alcohol use among sexual assault perpetrators range from 34 to 74 percent depending on the study sample. Approximately half of all sexual assault victims report drinking alcohol at the time of the assault (Abbey et al. 1994; Crowell and Burgess 1996). It is important to emphasize that although a woman’s alcohol consumption may place her at increased risk of sexual assault, she is in no way responsible for the assault. The perpetrators are legally and morally responsible for their behavior. Alcohol consumption tends to co-occur—that is, generally if alcohol is involved, both individuals are drinking. (National Drug Intelligence Center (2004). Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault Fast Facts. [Online]. Available: http://www.usdoj.gov/ndic/pubs8/8872/#What ) (Antonia Abbey, et al., “Alcohol and Sexual Assault,” Alcohol Health and Research World, 2001 25(1): 43-51. )
A committee consisting of one (1) college faculty, staff, and student who have been trained to consider appeals filed by students who wish to contest a finding of an missed initial conference or hearing. The Board acts as a safe guard to assure due process for students.
Harassment includes but is not limited to:
- Attempting or threatening to subject another person to unwanted physical contact.
- Stalking any person by any means including physical, electronic, written or telephonic means.
- Persistent, pervasive, or severe bullying behaviors such as theft or destruction of personal property, public humiliation, intimidating or threatening behaviors by any means including verbal, written, telephonic, or through social media/internet usage.
- Directing obscene language or gestures at another person or group of people in a threatening manner.
- Bias-Related harassment based on race, color, age, religion, or national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or other protected characteristics that is sufficiently severe, pervasive, or persistent so as to interfere with or limit the ability of an individual to participate in or benefit from the educational institution’s programs or activities.
A formal meeting during which an accused student/respondent and/or complainant/reporting party has a right to hear all information, to present information, and to present witnesses related to pending charges. Hearings are conducted by trained faculty, staff, and/or students.
A written letter provided by a the accused student/respondent or complainant/reporting party during a Title IX hearing panel. The impact statement describes the physical, emotional, social, and educational effects upon the involved individuals.
An individual meeting with a campus official during which an accused student has access to any written reports containing information used for the disciplinary action. Depending on choices made by the accused student, the Initial Conference may result in a resolution of the charges. Alternatively, the accused student may choose to have the charges resolved by either an Administrative Hearing or Committee Hearing.
To fill with fear. To coerce, inhibit, or discourage by or with threats. (The American Heritage Dictionary, 3rd ed. (New York, NY: Dell, 1994) 439-440.)
As defined by New York State Educational Law Article129-B:
Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome, gender-based verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct that is sexual in nature and sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it unreasonably interferes with, denies, or limits someone’s ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s educational program and/or activities, and is based on power differentials, the creation of a hostile environment, or retaliation.
As defined by Title IX- Final Rule § 106.30:
(i) An employee conditioning educational benefits on participation in unwelcome sexual conduct (i.e., quid pro quo);
(ii) Unwelcome conduct that a reasonable person would determine is so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the educational institution’s education program or activity; or
(iii)Sexual assault (as defined in the Clery Act), or dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking as defined in the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).