Title IX Policy Definitions
Campus Conduct Hotline is a confidential, anonymous way to alert administrators of unsafe or unethical behavior BEFORE it spirals out of control.
Complainant means a person who submits a complaint alleging a violation of this policy.
Consent means intelligent, knowing, and voluntary consent and does not include coerced submission. “Consent” shall not be deemed or construed to mean the failure by the alleged victim to offer physical resistance to the offender. Once consent is withdrawn or revoked, the sexual activity must stop immediately.
- Consent must be voluntary and given without coercion, force, threats, or intimidation.
- Consent is not effective if it results from: (a) the use of physical force, (b) a threat of physical force, (c) intimidation, (d) coercion, (e) incapacitation, or (f) any other factor that would eliminate an individual’s ability to choose whether to engage in sexual activity.
- Consent can be withdrawn or revoked. Consent to one form of sexual activity (or one sexual act) does not constitute consent to other forms of sexual activity (or other sexual acts). Consent to sexual activity given on one occasion does not constitute consent to sexual activity on another occasion. The fact that two people are or were in a dating or sexual relationship does not constitute consent to engage in sexual activity.
- Consent cannot be given by a person who is incapacitated. A person cannot give consent if s/he is unconscious or coming in and out of consciousness. Examples of incapacitation include unconsciousness, sleep and blackouts. Whether an intoxicated person (due to using alcohol or other drugs) is incapacitated depends on the extent to which the person’s decision-making capacity, awareness of consequences, and ability to make fully informed judgments is impaired.
- Being intoxicated by drugs or alcohol does not diminish a person’s responsibility to obtain consent from the other party before engaging in sexual activity. Factors to be considered when determining culpability include whether the person knew, or whether a reasonable person in the accused’s position should have known, that the victim could not give, did not give, or revoked, consent; was incapacitated; or was otherwise incapable of giving consent.
Individuals who consent to sex must be able to fully understand what they are doing. Under TLU’s Title IX and student and employee disciplinary/sexual misconduct policy, “no” always means “no,” and “yes” may not always mean “yes.” For example, when alcohol or other drugs are used, a person will be considered unable to give valid consent if the person cannot appreciate the who, what, where, when, why, or how of a sexual interaction. In addition, silence — without clear action demonstrating permission —will not be assumed to indicate consent. Further, there is a difference between seduction and coercion; coercion is defined as unreasonably pressuring another person for sex. Coercing someone into engaging in sexual activity violates Title IX, student conduct and workplace policy in the same way as physically forcing someone into engaging in sexual activity.
Domestic violence is abuse or 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 with whom the complainant is cohabiting (or has cohabited) with a spouse or intimate partner, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the complainant under the domestic or family violence laws of the State of Texas, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the State of Texas. An act of violence constitutes domestic violence if it is committed against a family member, a household member or someone the offender is currently dating or dated in the past, including a spouse, former spouse, person related by blood or marriage, a foster child or foster parent, and persons who are parents of a child in common.
Hostile Educational Environment
Harassment creates a hostile environment when the conduct is sufficiently severe, pervasive, or persistent to interfere with or limit a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or opportunities offered by a school.
Rape means nonconsensual sexual intercourse or sexual penetration, which, in addition to intercourse, means nonconsensual oral or anal intercourse, or any other intrusion, however slight, by a sex organ into another person's body. It may or may not involve force or a threat of force, coercion, violence, or immediate bodily injury, threats of future retaliation, or duress.
Rape occurs when an actor compels another person to submit to or engage in sexual penetration against the person’s will, including when the victim is mentally incapable of consent. A person commits sexual assault if he or she causes the penetration of the anus or sexual organ of another person by any means, without that person's consent; causes the penetration of the mouth of another person by the sexual organ of the actor without that person's consent; or causes the sexual organ of another person, without that person's consent, to contact or penetrate the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of another person, including the actor. A sexual assault is without the consent if:
a. the actor compels the other person to submit or participate by the use of physical force or violence;
b. the actor compels the other person to submit or participate by threatening to use force or violence against the other person, and the other person believes the actor has the ability to execute the threat;
c. the other person has not consented and the actor knows the other person is unconscious or physically unable to resist;
d. the actor knows that as a result of mental disease or defect the other person is at the time of the sexual assault incapable either of appraising the nature of the act or resisting it;
e. the other person has not consented and the actor knows the other person is unaware the sexual assault is occurring;
f. the actor has intentionally impaired the other person's power to appraise or control the other person's conduct by administering any substance without the other person's knowledge; or
g. the actor compels the other person to submit or participate by threatening to use force or violence against any person and the other person believes that the actor has the ability to execute the threat.
Acquaintance Rape is a form of sexual violence committed by an individual known to the victim. This includes a person the victim may have just met, such as at a party, been introduced to through a friend, or met on a social networking website.
Respondent means the person alleged to be responsible for prohibited conduct alleged in a complaint.
Responsible Employee means a TLU employee who has a duty to promptly report incidents of sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual misconduct, domestic or dating violence, and stalking to the University Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinators. Responsible employees are not confidential reporting resources.
Retaliation means adverse educational or employment consequences, including workplace conduct or other conduct that adversely affects the academic, employment, or other institutional status of a student or employee of the University, visitor, applicant for admission to or employment with the University, because an individual has, in good faith, brought a complaint under this policy, opposed an unlawful practice, participated in an investigation, or requested accommodations. Examples of retaliation include, but are not limited to unfair grades, denial of promotion, non-selection/refusal to hire, denial of job benefits, demotion; suspension, discharge, threats, reprimands, negative evaluations, harassment, or other adverse treatment that is likely to deter a reasonable student or employee from pursuing his or her rights. Retaliation is strictly prohibited.
Sex discrimination is an adverse action taken against an individual because of sex, including sexual harassment, sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking as prohibited by Title IX, Title IV, VAWA/Campus SaVE Act, and other laws and regulations. Both men and women can be victims of sex discrimination.
Sexual Assault includes rape, fondling, and statutory rape.
Sexual harassment is any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. This includes unwelcome verbal, nonverbal or physical conduct including but not limited to unwelcome sexual advances; requests for sexual favors; and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature, such as sexual violence, sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and indecent exposure, where:
a. Submission to, or rejection of, the conduct is explicitly or implicitly used as the basis for any decision affecting a student’s academic status or progress, or access to benefits and services, honors, programs, or activities available at or through TLU; or
b. Such conduct is unwelcome; or
c. Submission to, or rejection of, the conduct by a TLU employee is explicitly or implicitly used as the basis for any decision affecting a term or condition of employment, or an employment decision or action; or
d. Such conduct is sufficiently severe or pervasive to create a hostile educational or employment environment.
Sexual harassment also includes acts of verbal, non-verbal (e.g., written) and physical aggression, intimidation or hostility based on sex or gender stereotyping, even if these acts are not sexual in nature.
a. Hostile Environment sexual harassment includes situations where harassment is sufficiently severe, pervasive or persistent and objectively offensive that it unreasonably interferes with, limits or denies the ability to participate in or benefit from the university educational or employment program or activities, sanctions can be imposed for the creation of a hostile environment. The determination of whether an environment is “hostile” must be based on all the circumstances. These circumstances could include, but are not limited to:
- The frequency of the speech or conduct;
- The nature and severity of the speech or conduct;
- Whether the conduct was physically threatening;
- Whether the speech or conduct was humiliating;
- The effect of the speech or conduct on the alleged victim’s mental and/or emotional state;
- Whether the speech or conduct was directed at more than one person;
- Whether the speech or conduct arose in the context of other discriminatory conduct;
- Whether the speech or conduct unreasonably interfered with the alleged victim’s educational or work performance;
- Whether a statement is a mere utterance of an epithet, which engenders offense in a student or offends by mere discourtesy or rudeness.
b. Quid Pro Quo sexual harassment exists when there are unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature where submission to, or rejection of, such conduct results in adverse educational or employment action. Quid pro quo harassment may also exist when a threat of adverse action or a promise of a benefit is explicitly conditioned on submission to, or rejection of, such requests.
Sexual Misconduct is behavior or conduct of a sexual nature that is unprofessional and/or inappropriate for the educational or working environment. Behaviors that may constitute sexual misconduct include, but are not limited to:
a. repeatedly engaging in sexually oriented conversations, comments, or horseplay, including the use of language or the telling of jokes or anecdotes of a sexual nature in the workplace, office, or classroom, even if such conduct is not objected to by those present;
b. gratuitous use of sexually oriented materials not directly related to the subject matter of a class, course, or meeting, even if not objected to by those present;
c. failure to observe the appropriate boundaries of the supervisor/subordinate or faculty member/student relationship, including the participation of a supervisor, teacher, advisor, or coach in an unreported consensual romantic or sexual relationship with a subordinate employee or student; or
d. engaging in sexual exploitation. Sexual exploitation occurs when an individual takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for his or her own benefit or to benefit anyone other than the one being exploited. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to, engaging in voyeurism; forwarding of pornographic or other sexually inappropriate material by email, text, or other channels to non-consenting students/groups; and any activity that goes beyond the boundaries of consent, such as recording of sexual activity, letting others watch consensual sex, or knowingly transmitting a sexually transmitted disease (STD) to another.
Sexual Violence is a form of sexual harassment and means physical sexual acts, such as unwelcome sexual touching, sexual assault, sexual battery, rape, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking (if based on sex), taken against an individual against his or her will and without consent or against an individual who is incapable of giving consent due to the use of drugs or alcohol, being a minor, or an intellectual or other disability. Sexual violence includes acts of physical force, violence, threats, and intimidation, ignoring the objections of the other person, causing the other person’s intoxication or incapacitation through drugs or alcohol, or taking advantage of another person’s incapacitation, including voluntary drug or alcohol intoxication. Incapacitated means the victim is temporarily incapable of appraising or controlling his/her conduct due to the influence of a narcotic, anesthetic or other substance administered without consent or due to any other act committed upon the victim without consent.1
Sexual violence can be carried out by school employees, other students, or third parties. All acts of sexual violence are forms of sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX. Both men and women can be victims of sexual violence.
Statutory rape is unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor under 17 years old, even if the intercourse is consensual. Stalking means a course of conduct directed at a specific person (1) intended to harass, annoy, alarm, abuse, torment, or embarrass that person or (2) which the actor knows or reasonably should know the other person will regard as threatening and causes or cause the person to fear:
Stalking means a course of conduct directed at a specific person (1) intended to harass, annoy, alarm, abuse, torment, or embarrass that person2 or (2) which the actor knows or reasonably should know the other person will regard as threatening and causes or cause the person to fear:
a. bodily injury or death;
b. bodily injury to or death of a member of the other person's family or household or an individual with whom they have a dating relationship; or
c. that an offense will be committed against the other person's property;
d. to feel harassed, annoyed, alarmed, abused, tormented, embarrassed, or offended; and
e. would cause a reasonable person to:
i. fear bodily injury or death for himself or herself;
ii. fear bodily injury or death for a member of the person's family or household or for an individual with whom the person has a dating relationship;
iii. fear that an offense will be committed against the person's property; or
iv. feel harassed, annoyed, alarmed, abused, tormented, embarrassed, or offended. 3
Cyberstalking means to engaging in a course of conduct to communicate or cause to be communicated, words, images, or language by or through the use of a computer, electronic mail or electronic communication4, directed at a specific person, causing substantial emotional distress to that person and serving no legitimate purpose. This includes online harassment as defined by sections 33.07 and 42.07 of the laws of the State of Texas.
1 Persons who are drugged, incapacitated, or under the age of 17 are unable to give consent.
2 Under section 42.07.
3 Sections 42.072 and 42.07.
4 "Electronic communication" means a transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data, or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic, photoelectronic, or photo-optical system.
Texas Lutheran University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age in its programs and activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Dr. Bernadette Buchanan, Title IX Coordinator, 830-372-8060. TLU's Title IX policies are outlined at www.tlu.edu/titleix.
For further information on notice of non-discrimination, visit http://wdcrobcolp01.ed.gov/CFAPPS/OCR/contactus.cfm for the address and phone number of the office that serves your area, or call 1-800-421-3481.
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