Acts of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment may be committed by any person upon any other person, regardless of the sex, sexual orientation, and/or gender identity of those involved.

Sexual Misconduct: Sexual misconduct is unwelcome, sexual, sex-based or gender-based verbal, written, online and/or physical conduct.

Sexual Harassment: Sexual harassment means conduct on the basis of sex that satisfies one or more of the following:

  1. An employee of the University conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of the University on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct;
  2. Unwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the University’s education program or activity; or
  3. “Sexual assault”, “dating violence”, “domestic violence” or “stalking”

Sexual harassment may include incidents between any member of the University community, including faculty and other academic appointees, staff, deans, students, and nonstudents or nonemployee participants in University programs—such as vendors, contractors, visitors, and patients. Such conduct can occur by both in-person and electronic means; including via postal mail, hand delivered letter, use of e-mail, the internet, etc.

Sexual Assault: Any sexual act directed against another person, without the consent of the Complainant, including instances in which the Complainant is incapable of giving consent.

Examples of Sexual Assault:

            Forcible Rape: Penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without that person’s consent.

            Forcible Sodomy: Oral or anal sexual intercourse with another person, forcibly and/or against that person’s will (non-consensually) or not forcibly or against the person’s will in instances where they are incapable of giving consent because of age or because of temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.

            Sexual Assault with an Object: —To use an object or instrument to penetrate, however slightly, the genital or anal opening of the body of another person, forcibly and/or against that person’s will (non-consensually) or not forcibly or against the person’s will in instances where they are incapable of giving consent because of age or because of temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.

            Forcible Fondling: The touching of the private body parts of another person (buttocks, groin, breasts) for the purpose of sexual gratification, forcibly and/or against that person’s will (non-consensually) or not forcibly or against the person’s will in instances where they are incapable of giving consent because of age or because of temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.

Dating Violence: The term “dating violence” means violence committed by a person – (A) who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the Complainant; and (B) where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors (i) the length of the relationship, (ii) the type of relationship and (iii) the 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 covered under the definition of domestic violence.

Domestic Violence: Domestic violence is violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the Complainant, by a person with whom the Complainant shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabited with the Complainant as a spouse or intimate partner, or by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the Complainant under the domestic or family violence laws of California or by any other person against an adult or youth Complainant who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of California.

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

For purposes of this definition, course of conduct means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the Respondent 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. Reasonable person means a person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the Complainant.  Substantial emotional distress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may but does not necessarily require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.

Force: Force is the use of physical violence and/or physical imposition to gain sexual access.  Force also includes threats, intimidation (implied threats), and coercion that is intended to overcome resistance or produce consent.

Sexual activity that is forced is, by definition, non-consensual, but non-consensual sexual activity is not necessarily forced.  Silence or the absence of resistance alone is not consent.

Coercion: Coercion is unreasonable pressure for sexual activity.  Coercive conduct differs from seductive conduct based on factors such as the type and/or extent of the pressure used to obtain consent.  When someone makes clear that they do not want to engage in certain sexual activity, 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.

Consent: “Consent” is defined as agreement, approval, or permission as to some act or purpose that is given knowingly, willingly, and voluntarily by a competent person.  Consent can be withdrawn at any time. There is no consent when there is force, expressed or implied, or when coercion, intimidation, threats, or duress is used. Whether a person has taken advantage of a position of influence over another person may be a factor in determining consent. Silence or absence of resistance does not imply consent. Past consent to sexual activity with another person does not imply ongoing future consent with that person or consent to that same sexual activity with another person.

If a person is mentally or physically incapacitated or impaired so that such person cannot understand the fact, nature, or extent of the sexual situation, there is no consent; this includes impairment or incapacitation due to alcohol or drug consumption that meets this standard, or being asleep or unconscious.  It is a defense to a sexual assault policy violation that the Respondent neither knew nor should have known the Complainant to be physically or mentally incapacitated. “Should have known” is an objective, reasonable person standard that assumes that a reasonable person is both sober and exercising sound judgment.

If consent is not clearly provided prior to engaging in the activity, consent may be ratified by word or action at some point during the interaction or thereafter, but clear communication from the outset is strongly encouraged.  Proof of consent or non-consent is not a burden placed on either party involved in an incident. The existence of consent is based on the totality of the circumstances evaluated from the perspective of a reasonable person in the same or similar circumstances, including the context in which the alleged incident occurred and any similar, previous patterns that may be evidenced.