Title IX Definitions

Title IX Definitions

Definitions of Prohibited Conduct Under this Policy

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

(1) An employee of the recipient conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of the recipient on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct (Quid Pro Quo);

(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 recipient’s education program or activity; or

(3) Sexual Assault, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence or Stalking as defined in this Policy.

Sexual Assault means an offense classified as a forcible or nonforcible sex offense under the uniform crime reporting system of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, including Rape, Fondling, Incest, and Statutory Rape as defined in this Policy.

Rape means the 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 the Consent of the victim.

Fondling means the touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, without the Consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving Consent because of his/her age or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental Incapacity.

Incest means sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law.

Statutory Rape means sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of Consent.

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 victim; and

(B) where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors:

• The length of the relationship,

• The type of relationship,

• 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.

Domestic Violence includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by:

– a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim

– a person with whom the victim shares a child in common

– a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner

– a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of Tennessee

– any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws

Stalking means engaging 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  

Definitions Related to Sexual Harassment 

Consent is affirmative, conscious, voluntary, and revocable. Consent to sexual activity requires of each person an affirmative, conscious, and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity.

It is the responsibility of each person to ensure they have the affirmative Consent of the other to engage in the sexual activity. Lack of protest, lack of resistance, or silence do not, alone, constitute consent. Affirmative consent must be ongoing and can be revoked at any time during sexual activity.

The existence of a dating relationship or past sexual relations between the Complainant and Respondent will never by itself be assumed to be an indicator of consent (nor will subsequent sexual relations or dating relationship alone suffice as evidence of Consent to prior conduct).

The Respondent’s belief that the Complainant consented will not provide a valid defense unless the belief was actual and reasonable. In making this determination, the decision-maker will consider all of the facts and circumstances the Respondent knew, or reasonably should have known, at the time. In particular, the Respondent’s belief is not a valid defense where:

(1) The Respondent’s belief arose from the Respondent’s own intoxication or recklessness;

(2) The Respondent did not take reasonable steps, in the circumstances known to the Respondent at the time, to ascertain whether the Complainant affirmatively Consented; or

(3) The Respondent knew or a reasonable person should have known that the Complainant was unable to Consent because the Complainant was incapacitated, in that the Complainant was:

• asleep or unconscious

• unable to understand the fact, nature, or extent of the sexual activity due to the influence of drugs, alcohol, or medication

• unable to communicate due to a mental or physical condition.

Course of Conduct means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the individual 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. 

Incapacitation means that a person lacks the ability to actively agree to sexual activity because the person is asleep, unconscious, under the influence of alcohol or other drugs such that the person does not have control over their body, is unaware that sexual activity is occurring, or their mental, physical or developmental abilities render them incapable of making rational informed decisions. Incapacitated is a state beyond drunkenness or intoxication. A person is not necessarily incapacitated merely as a result of drinking, using drugs, or taking medication.

A person violates this policy when they engage in sexual activity with another person who is Incapacitated and a Reasonable Person in the same situation would have known that the person is Incapacitated. Incapacitation can be voluntary or involuntary. Signs of Incapacitation may include, without limitation: sleep; total or intermittent unconsciousness; lack of control over physical movements (e.g., inability to dress/undress without assistance; inability to walk without assistance); lack of awareness of circumstances or surroundings; emotional volatility; combativeness; vomiting; incontinence; unresponsiveness; and inability to communicate coherently. Incapacitation is an individualized determination based on the totality of the circumstances.

Reasonable Person means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the victim.

Substantial Emotional Distress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily require, medical or other professional treatment or counseling.

Other Defined Terms

Actual Knowledge means Notice of Sexual Harassment allegations to the Chief Title IX Officer or any Official with Authority, except that actual knowledge is not met when the only individual with actual knowledge is the Respondent.

Business Day means any weekday not designated by TWU as a holiday or administrative closure day. When calculating a time period of Business Days specified in this Policy, the Business Day of the event that triggers a time period is excluded.

Complainant means an individual who is alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment. Complainants and Respondents are referred to collectively as “parties” throughout this Policy.

Confidential Employee means an individual who will not report any information about an incident to the Chief Title IX Officer without the Complainant’s permission.

Disciplinary Sanctions are imposed only after a finding of responsibility through the grievance process or an agreement through the informal resolution process.

Education Program or Activity includes locations, events, or circumstances over which TWU exercises substantial control over both the Respondent and the context in which the Sexual Harassment occurs. This includes conduct that occurs on TWU property, during any TWU activity, or in any building owned or controlled by a student organization that is officially recognized by TWU.

Formal Complaint means a document filed by a Complainant or signed by the Chief Title IX Officer alleging Sexual Harassment against a Respondent and requesting that TWU investigate the allegation of Sexual Harassment.

Official with Authority means an individual who has the authority to institute corrective measures and is required to report Sexual Harassment to the Chief Title IX Officer to initiate TWU’s response to the Sexual Harassment allegations. Officials with Authority are limited to the following positions at TWU, Chief Title IX Officer and responsible employees as listed in 2.3.11.

Remedies are designed to restore or preserve equal access to TWU’s Education Program or Activity. Remedies may include, but are not limited to the same individualized services as Supportive Measures; however, Remedies need not be non-disciplinary or non-punitive and need not avoid burdening the respondent.

Respondent means an individual who has been reported to be the perpetrator of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment. Complainants and Respondents are referred to collectively as “parties” throughout this Policy.

Responsible Employee means any individual who is employed by TWU and not deemed to be a Confidential Employee. Responsible Employees are required by TWU to report Sexual Harassment to the Chief Title IX Officer promptly upon receiving a report of a Sexual Harassment.

Retaliation means intimidation, threats, coercion, or discrimination, including charges against an individual for code of conduct violations that do not involve sex discrimination or Sexual Harassment, but arise out of the same facts or circumstances as a report or complaint of sex discrimination, or a report or Formal Complaint of Sexual Harassment, for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by Title IX or this Policy.

Supportive Measures means non-disciplinary, non-punitive individualized services offered as appropriate, as reasonably available, and without fee or charge to the Complainant or the Respondent before or after the filing of a Formal Complaint or where no Formal Complaint has been filed.

Such measures are designed to restore or preserve equal access to TWU’s Education Programs or Activities without unreasonably burdening the other party, including measures designed to protect the safety of all parties or TWU’s educational environment, or deter sexual harassment.

Supportive measures may include, but are not limited to, counseling, extensions of deadlines or other course-related adjustments, modifications of work or class schedules, campus escort services, mutual restrictions on contact between the parties, changes in work or housing locations, leaves of absence, increased security and monitoring of certain areas of the campus, and other similar measures.

TWU prepares students with the transformative experience and to be well-rounded leaders who make a positive impact on the world.

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