Sexual Misconduct

"Sexual misconduct" is a non-legal term encompassing a variety of different behaviors ranging from the most severe (violent assault) to harassment, and including exploitation. Using this term serves to differentiate campus processes, which are administrative and educational, from the criminal justice system, in which people are charged with crimes that carry criminal penalties.

Sexual misconduct includes attempted or completed surreptitious visual observation or recordation, indecent exposure, knowingly transmitting sexual infection, inducing incapacitation for sexual purposes, sexual assault, sexual harassment, relationship abuse and violence, stalking, and rape. The University recognizes both men and women as potential perpetrators or victims of sexual misconduct, and that sexual misconduct can involve 1) two people of the same or different genders; 2) strangers; 3) non-strangers; and/or 4) more than two people.

  • Surreptitious visual observation or recordation means watching, gazing at, recording, or attempting to record with any device the intimate acts or parts of others without the knowledge and consent of all parties.
  • Indecent exposure means exposing one's genitals under circumstances likely to cause affront or alarm in order to abuse, humiliate, harass, and/or degrade another or others or to arouse or gratify sexual desire.
  • Knowingly transmitting sexual infection means without knowledge or consent, to infect another sexually.
  • Inducing incapacitation for sexual purposes means using alcohol, drugs, or other means to facilitate sexual contact or assault.


Consent is an agreement between equal partners that includes the following elements:

  • Clear, informed, and voluntary communication of intent;
  • Equal partners means people with the legal capacity to consent;
  • Voluntary means subject to modification or withdrawal at any time; and
  • Clear and informed disallows agreement by inference from silence, past consent, or consent to a different form of sexual activity.

Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is touching without consent the sexual or other human parts of another, directly or through clothing, in order to gratify sexual desire or to cause bodily injury, humiliate, harass, or degrade another.

Some examples of sexual assault:

  • Someone had sex with you while you were incapacitated from alcohol or drugs. You may have been asleep, passed out, too drunk to know what was happening, or too drunk to stop it.
  • You agreed through words or actions to do one thing, but were forced to do more.
  • You were kissing someone, and the physical intimacy escalated. You said no, but the other person continued. You did not consent and did not willingly participate. The other person had sex with you anyway.
  • Your partner forced you to have sex when you did not want it.
  • Your partner refused to use a condom even though you asked him to use one.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment includes the following conduct:

  • Making unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors;
  • Threatening an adverse employment or educational consequence for failure to engage in sexual relations;
  • Promising positive educational or employment related favors in exchange for sexual favors;
  • Harassing a person based on gender.

The above conduct constitutes sexual harassment when it is sufficiently severe or pervasive as to disrupt or undermine a person's ability to participate in or to receive the benefits, services, or opportunities of the University, including unreasonably interfering with a person's work or educational performance.

Whether conduct is sufficiently offensive to constitute sexual harassment is determined from the perspective of an objectively reasonable person of the same gender in the same situation.

Some examples of sexual harassment:

  • A colleague makes unwelcome jokes or comments about sex at work or in the classroom.
  • Your ex-partner won't stop calling, texting, following you, or showing up at your residence or place of work even after you've asked them to stop.
  • Your professor makes frequent sexual jokes, stares at you, touches you, or insinuates that you will get a better grade or other reward if you develop a special relationship.
  • An acquaintance has been spreading rumors around campus about your sexuality.
  • A neighbor in your dorm keeps putting sexually graphic materials on the door to your room.


Stalking is repeated following, harassing, threatening, or intimidating another by telephone, mail, email, text, social networking, or any other method, including third party contact, that purposely or knowingly causes emotional distress or reasonable fear of bodily injury or death.

Relationship Abuse and Violence

Relationship abuse and violence involves one or more of the following elements:

  • Battering that causes bodily injury;
  • Emotional abuse reflecting apprehension of bodily injury or property damage;
  • Repeated telephonic or other forms of communication -anonymously or directly - using coarse language or threats in order to intimidate, terrify, annoy, harass, threaten, or offend;
  • Sexual assault or harassment;
  • Forcible denial of use of or access to owned or shared assets, or limiting or controlling access to educational or work opportunities;
  • Coercion used to compel another to act as directed; and/or
  • Isolation used to deprive another of personal freedom of movement or access to friends, family, or support systems


Rape is penetration, without consent, of the vulva or anus of another using a body member or a manipulated object, or penetration of the mouth of another by the penis to gratify sexual desire, or to cause bodily injury, humiliate, harass, or degrade another; "without consent" means 1) done by the use of violence or force against the victim, 2) when the victim lacks the capacity for legal consent, and/or 3) when the victim is incapacitated or physically helpless.