Title IX Terms and Definitions

Adverse Action

Adverse Action means an action that has a substantial and material adverse effect on the Complainant's ability to participate in a University program or activity free from Discrimination, Harassment or Retaliation. Minor or trivial actions or conduct not reasonably likely to do more than anger or upset a Complainant does not constitute an Adverse Action.

 

Advisor

The Complainant and the Respondent may each elect to be accompanied by an Advisor to any meeting or interview regarding the allegations. The Advisor may be anyone, including a union representative from the Complainant’s or Respondent’s collective bargaining unit, an attorney, or, in the case of the Complainant, a Sexual Assault Victim’s Advocate, provided the Advisor is not a person with information relevant to the allegations who may be interviewed by the Investigator during the investigation. The Advisor may not answer questions regarding the subject matter of the investigation for the Complainant or the Respondent.  However, the Advisor may observe and consult with the Complainant or Respondent and take appropriate action to ensure that the investigation does not violate applicable laws, policies, or collective bargaining agreements.

 

Affirmative Consent

Affirmative Consent means an informed, affirmative, conscious, voluntary, and mutual agreement to engage in sexual activity. It is the responsibility of each person involved in the sexual activity to ensure that s/he has the Affirmative Consent of the other participant(s) to engage in the sexual activity. Lack of protest or resistance does not mean consent nor does silence mean consent.

Affirmative Consent can be withdrawn or revoked. Affirmative Consent cannot be given by a person who is incapacitated. 

A person with a medical or mental Disability may also lack the capacity to give consent.

Sexual activity with a minor (under 18 years old) is never consensual because a minor is considered incapable of giving legal consent due to age.  

 

Complainant

Complainant means an individual who is eligible to file a Complaint to report a violation of this policy. It also includes any person who is reported to have experienced a violation of this policy in cases where some other person has made a report on that person’s behalf. A Complainant may also be referred to as a party to the Complaint.

 

Dating Violence

Dating Violence is abuse committed by a person who is or has been in a social or dating relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. This may include someone the victim just met; i.e., at a party, introduced through a friend, or on a social networking website. For purposes of this definition, “abuse” means intentionally or recklessly causing or attempting to cause bodily injury or placing another person in reasonable apprehension of imminent serious bodily injury to himself or herself, or another. Abuse does not include non-physical, emotional distress or injury.

 

Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence is abuse committed against someone who is a current or former spouse; current or former cohabitant; someone with whom the Respondent has a child; someone with whom the Respondent has or had a dating or engagement relationship; or a person similarly situated under California domestic or family violence law. Cohabitant means two unrelated persons living together for a substantial period of time, resulting in some permanency of relationship. It does not include roommates who do not have a romantic, intimate, or sexual relationship.  Factors that may determine whether persons are cohabiting include, but are not limited to: (1) sexual relations between the Parties while sharing the same living quarters; (2) sharing of income or expenses; (3) joint use or ownership of property; (4) whether the Parties hold themselves out as spouses; (5) the continuity of the relationship; and, (6) the length of the relationship. For purposes of this definition, “abuse” means intentionally or recklessly causing or attempting to cause bodily injury or placing another person in reasonable apprehension of imminent serious bodily injury to himself or herself, or another. Abuse does not include non-physical, emotional distress or injury.

 

Gender

Gender means sex, and includes a person’s gender identity and gender expression. Gender expression means a person’s gender-related appearance and behavior whether or not stereotypically associated with the person’s assigned sex at birth. Sex includes but is not limited to pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding or associated medical condition(s). They are Protected Statuses.

 

Harassment

Harassment means unwelcome conduct, based on the Complainant’s Protected Status, that is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that its effect, whether or not intended, could be considered by a reasonable person in the shoes of the Complainant, and is in fact considered by the Complainant, as limiting their ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities or opportunities offered by the University.

 

Investigator

Investigator means the person tasked by a Campus with investigating a Complaint. All Investigators shall receive annual training regarding such issues as the laws governing Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation; Title IX and VAWA/Campus SaVE Act; as well as other related state and federal laws prohibiting Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation based on Gender or Sex, including Sex Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Dating and Domestic Violence, and Stalking; Complainant, Respondent, Employee, and witness privacy rights; and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA).  For matters involving Sex Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Dating or Domestic Violence or Stalking, the Investigator shall also receive annual training on how to conduct an investigation process that protects the safety of the Complainant(s) and the University community. (See also Executive Order 1095 regarding required training for Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct investigations.)

If delegated, the DHR Administrator or the Title IX Coordinator (for Complaints alleging Sex Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Dating or Domestic Violence, or Stalking) shall monitor, supervise, and oversee the investigation to ensure that it is conducted in accordance with the standards, procedures and timelines set forth in this policy.

The Investigator shall not be within the administrative control or authority of any Respondent CSU Employee. The Investigator may be the DHR Administrator, the Title IX Coordinator, or their designee, provided that any designee shall be an MPP Employee or an external consultant.

 

Preponderance of the Evidence

Preponderance of the Evidence means the greater weight of the evidence; i.e., that the evidence on one side outweighs, preponderates over, or is more than, the evidence on the other side.  The Preponderance of the Evidence is the applicable standard for demonstrating facts and reaching conclusions in an investigation conducted pursuant to this Executive Order.

 

Protected Status

Protected Status includes Age, Disability, Gender, Genetic Information, Gender Identity or Expression, Nationality, Marital Status, Race or Ethnicity, Religion, Sexual Orientation, and Veteran or Military Status.

 

Retaliation

Retaliation means Adverse Action taken against a Student because s/he has or is believed to have:

  1. Exercised rights under this Executive Order;
  2. Reported or opposed conduct which s/he reasonably and in good faith believes is in violation of this Executive Order;
  3. Assisted or participated in a policy-related investigation/proceeding regardless of whether the Complaint was substantiated; or,
  4. Assisted someone in reporting or opposing a violation of this Executive Order, or assisted someone in reporting or opposing Retaliation under this Executive Order.

Retaliation may occur whether or not there is a power or authority differential between the individuals involved.

 

Sexual Assault Victim's Advocate

Sexual Assault Victim's Advocate refers to Employees or third party professionals appointed to support Complainants reporting Sexual Misconduct. They must be certified and have received specialized training to provide advice and assistance, including but not limited to the provision of  information about available options in the Complaint, law enforcement, legal, and medical processes, and with emotional and decision making support. Sexual Assault Victim’s Advocates may serve as the Complainant’s Advisor and assist in seeking services. They are committed to maintain the highest possible level of confidentiality permissible under state and federal law in their communications with the persons they assist. Sexual Assault Victim’s Advocates are appointed based on experience and demonstrated ability to effectively provide services to victims/survivors/Complainants. See Executive Order 1095 for more detailed information.

 

Sexual Harassment

Sexual Harassment, a form of Sex Discrimination, is unwelcome verbal, nonverbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that includes but is not limited to sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and any other conduct of a sexual nature where:

  1. Submission to, or rejection of, the conduct is explicitly or implicitly used as the basis for any decision affecting a Complainant’s academic status or progress, or access to benefits and services, honors, programs, or activities available at or through the University; or
  2. The conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that its effect, whether or not intended, could be considered by a reasonable person in the shoes of the Complainant, and is in fact considered by the Complainant, as limiting his or her ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities or opportunities offered by the University; or
  3. The conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that its effect, whether or not intended, could be considered by a reasonable person in the shoes of the Complainant, and is in fact considered by the Complainant, as creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment.

Sexual Harassment could include being forced to engage in unwanted sexual contact as a condition of membership in a student organization; being subjected to video exploitation or a campaign of sexually explicit graffiti; or frequently being exposed to unwanted images of a sexual nature in a classroom that are unrelated to the coursework.

Sexual Harassment also includes acts of verbal, non-verbal or physical aggression, intimidation or hostility based on Gender or sex-stereotyping, even if those acts do not involve conduct of a sexual nature.

This policy covers unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. While romantic, sexual, intimate, personal or social relationships between members of the University community may begin as consensual, they may evolve into situations that lead to Sexual Harassment or Sexual Misconduct, including Dating or Domestic Violence, or Stalking, subject to this policy.

 

Sexual Misconduct

All sexual activity between members of the CSU community must be based on Affirmative Consent. Engaging in any sexual activity without first obtaining Affirmative Consent to the specific activity is Sexual Misconduct, whether or not the conduct violates any civil or criminal law.

Sexual activity includes, but is not limited to, kissing, touching intimate body parts, fondling, intercourse, penetration of any body part, and oral sex. It also includes any unwelcome physical sexual acts, such as unwelcome sexual touching, Sexual Assault, Sexual Battery, Rape, and Dating Violence. When based on Gender, Domestic Violence or Stalking also constitute Sexual Misconduct. Sexual Misconduct may include using physical force, violence, threat, or intimidation, ignoring the objections of the other person, causing the other person’s intoxication or incapacitation through the use of drugs or alcohol, or taking advantage of the other person’s incapacitation (including voluntary intoxication) to engage in sexual activity. Men as well as women can be victims of these forms of Sexual Misconduct. Sexual activity with a minor is never consensual when the Complainant is under 18 years old, because the minor is considered incapable of giving legal consent due to age.

  1. Sexual Assault is a form of Sexual Misconduct and is an attempt, coupled with the ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another because of that person’s Gender or sex.
  2. Sexual Battery is a form of Sexual Misconduct and is any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another because of that person’s Gender or sex as well as touching an intimate part of another person against that person’s will and for the purpose of sexual arousal, gratification, or abuse.
  3. Rape is a form of Sexual Misconduct and is non-consensual sexual intercourse that may also involve the use of threat of force, violence, or immediate and unlawful bodily injury or threats of future retaliation and duress. Any sexual penetration, however slight, is sufficient to constitute Rape. Sexual acts including intercourse are considered non-consensual when a person is incapable of giving consent because s/he is incapacitated from alcohol and/or drugs, is under 18 years old, or if a mental disorder or developmental or physical Disability renders a person incapable of giving consent. The Respondent’s relationship to the person (such as family member, spouse, friend, acquaintance or stranger) is irrelevant. (See complete definition of Affirmative Consent above.)
  4. Acquaintance Rape is a form of Sexual Misconduct committed by an individual known to the victim. This includes a person the victim may have just met; i.e., at a party, introduced through a friend, or on a social networking website. (See above for definition of Rape.)

 

Stalking

Stalking means engaging in a repeated Course of Conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a Reasonable Person to fear for his/her or others’ safety or to suffer Substantial Emotional Distress. For purposes of this definition:

  1. Course of Conduct means two or more acts, including but not limited to, acts in which the stalker 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;
  2. Reasonable Person means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with the same Protected Status(es) as the Complainant;
  3. Substantial Emotional Distress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.