Title IX Glossary | MVCC | Mohawk Valley Community College
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Title IX Glossary

The policies were written for Mohawk Valley Community College's Title IX using certain terms with these definitions in mind:

  1. Accused” shall mean a person accused of a violation who has not yet entered an Institution's judicial or conduct process.
  2. Advisor” shall mean any individual who provides the accused or victim/survivor with support, guidance and/or advice.
  3. Affirmative Consent” is a knowing, voluntary, and mutual decision among all participants to engage in sexual activity. Consent can be given by words or actions, as long as those words or actions create clear permission regarding willingness to engage in the sexual activity. Consent cannot be given when it is the result of any coercion, intimidation, force or threat of harm. The definition of consent does not vary based upon participant's sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. Consent is active, not passive. Consent to any sexual act or prior consensual activity between or with any party does not constitute consent to any other sexual act. Silence or lack of resistance, in and of itself, does not demonstrate consent. Seeking and having consent accepted is the responsibility of the person(s) initiating each specific sexual act. Consent is required regardless of whether the person initiating the act is under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. Consent may be initially given but withdrawn at any time. When consent is withdrawn or can no longer be given, sexual activity must stop. Consent cannot be given when a person is incapacitated, which occurs when an individual lacks the ability to knowingly choose to participate in sexual activity. Incapacitation may be caused by the lack of consciousness or being asleep, being involuntarily restrained, or if an individual who is under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other intoxicants may be incapacitated and therefore unable to consent.
  4. “Bystander” shall mean a person who observes a crime, impending crime, conflict, potentially violent or violent behavior, or conduct that is in violation of rules or policies of an institution.
  5. Bystander intervention” A bystander’s safe and positive actions to prevent harm or intervene when there is a risk posed to another person. Bystander intervention includes recognizing situations of potential harm, identifying safe and effective intervention options, and taking action to intervene.
  6. Clery Coordinator”: Not an official title, but informally used to reference the individual, office, or group of individuals or offices tasked with collecting data for the Annual Security Report and submission to the Department of Education.
  7. Code”: As used here, this refers to the college or university’s Student Code of Conduct (or equivalent, if it is differently-named), for which changes are subject to the approval of the College Council for State-operated colleges and Board for community colleges.
  8. Code of Conduct” shall mean the written policies adopted by an Institution governing student behavior, rights, and responsibilities while such student is matriculated in the Institution.
  9. Consent”: Consent is a clear, unambiguous, knowing, informed, and voluntary agreement between all participants to engage in sexual activity. Consent is active, not passive. Requesting and having consent accepted is the responsibility of the person(s) initiating each specific sexual act regardless of whether the person initiating the act is under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. Consent may be initially given but withdrawn at any time. When consent is withdrawn, sexual activity must stop.
         ** The definition of consent does not vary based upon a participant’s sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
  10. Confidentiality” may be offered by an individual who is not required by law to report known incidents of sexual assault or other crimes to institution officials, in a manner consistent with State and Federal law, including but not limited to 20 U.S.C. 1092(f) and 20 U.S.C. 1681(a). Licensed mental health counselors, medical providers and pastoral counselors are examples of institution employees who may offer confidentiality.
  11. Dating Violence: Is a violent act  committed by person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim.   The existence of the relationship shall be determined based on the victim’s statement with consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of the relationship, and the frequency of the relationship.
  12. Discrimination”: occurs whenever a person is denied equality of opportunity because of race, creed, color, sex, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, criminal record or veteran status.
  13. "Domestic Violence": This is a violent crime  committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner; a person sharing a child with the victim; and/or a person cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner.
  14. Institution” shall mean any college or university chartered by the regents or incorporated by special act of the legislature that maintains a campus in New York.
  15. Non-consent”: Silence, in and of itself, cannot be interpreted as consent. Consent cannot be given when it is the result of any coercion, intimidation, force, or threat of harm. Consent to any sexual act or prior consensual sexual activity between or with any party does not constitute consent to any other sexual act. Consent cannot be given when a person is incapacitated. o Incapacitation occurs when an individual lacks the capacity to fully, knowingly choose to decide about participating in sexual activity, whether due to a disability that limits informed sexual decision-making, or because of impairment due to drugs or alcohol (whether such use is voluntary or involuntary), the lack of consciousness or being asleep, being involuntarily restrained, if any of the parties are under the age of 17, or otherwise cannot consent.
  16. Non-professional counselors and advocates”: campus support resources that are not privileged or confidential. These individuals are not required to reveal personally identifiable information about a victim/survivor to the Title IX Coordinator, Clery Coordinator, or anyone else on campus. They are required to report aggregate data to the Title IX Coordinator, including nature, date, time, and general location of the incident.
  17. Preponderance of the Evidence” – the standard of proof in sexual harassment and sexual assault cases, which asks whether it is “more likely than not” that the sexual harassment or sexual violence occurred. If the evidence presented meets this standard, then the accused should be found responsible.
  18. Privacy” may be offered by an individual when such individual is unable to offer confidentiality under the law but shall still not disclose information learned from a reporting individual or bystander to a crime or incident more than necessary to comply with this and other applicable laws, including informing appropriate Institution officials.  Institutions may substitute another relevant term having the same meaning, as appropriate to the policies of the Institution.
  19. Privileged or Confidential Resources”: Individuals that, with very few exceptions, are confidential resources to those wishing to disclose sexual violence. Such resources include licensed medical professionals, licensed mental health counselors, and clergy.
  20. Protected person/individual”: a person protected by an Order of Protection, which is issued by the court to limit the behavior of someone who harms or threatens to harm another person.
  21. Rape” is a form of sexual assault is defined as any non-consensual sexual intercourse committed by coercion, intimidation, threat or physical force, either actual or implied.  Rape includes sexual assault, committed by an acquaintance as well as a stranger.
  22. Reporting Individual” shall encompass the terms victim, survivor, complainant, claimant, witness with victim status, and any other term used by an institution to reference an individual who brings forth a report of a violation.
  23. Respondent” shall mean a person accused of a violation who has entered an Institution's judicial or conduct process.
  24. Responsible employee”: an employee with the authority to redress sexual violence; who has been given the duty of reporting incidents of sexual violence or any other misconduct by students to the Title IX Coordinator or other appropriate school designee; or whom a student could reasonably believe has this authority or duty. If a responsible employee is aware of sexual violence, then the college is considered on notice of that sexual violence.
  25. Retaliation”: adverse action against another person for reporting a violation or for participating in any way in the investigation or conduct process. Retaliation includes harassment and intimidation, including but not limited to violence, threats of violence, property destruction, adverse educational or employment consequences, and bullying.
  26. Sex discrimination”: includes all forms of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and other sexual violence by employees, students, or third parties against employees, students, or third parties. Students, employees, and third parties are prohibited from harassing others whether or not the harassment occurs on the SUNY campus or whether it occurs during work hours. Sex discrimination can be carried out by other students, college employees, or third parties. All acts of sex discrimination, including sexual harassment and sexual violence, are prohibited by Title IX.
  27. Sexual activity” shall have the same meaning as “sexual act” and “sexual contact” as provided in 18 U.S.C. 2246(2) and 18 U.S.C. 2246(3).
  28. Sexual assault”: a physical sexual act or acts committed against another person without consent. Sexual assault is an extreme form of sexual harassment. Sexual assault includes what is commonly known as “rape” (including what is commonly called “date rape” and “acquaintance rape”), fondling, statutory rape and incest. For statutory rape, the age of consent in New York State is 17 years old.
  29. Sexual harassment”: unwelcome, gender-based verbal, non-verbal, or physical conduct that is sexual in nature and sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it unreasonably interferes with, denies, or limits someone’s ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s educational program and/or activities, and is based on power differentials, the creation of a hostile environment, or retaliation.
  30. Sexual violence”: physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or perpetrated where a person is incapable of giving consent. A number of different acts fall into the category of sexual violence, including rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, sexual abuse, and sexual coercion.
  31. "Stalking": Engaging in a course of conduct (two or more acts by which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates about a person or interferes with his or her property); is directed at a specific person; and causes a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety or the safety of others or causes that person to suffer substantial emotional damage.
  32. "Title IX Coordinator": shall mean the Title IX Coordinator and/or his or her designee or designees. The Title IX Coordinator provides ongoing training, consultation, and technical assistance on Title IX (and related laws) for all students and employees. Title IX Investigators assist the Title IX Coordinator in responding to reports of sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault/violence, stalking, dating violence and domestic violence.
  33. Victim/survivor”: a person who suffers personal, physical, or psychological injury. The policies use “victim/survivor,” and campuses are encouraged to ask each individual disclosing or reporting sexual violence how that person wants to be identified--whether as victim, survivor, witness, or another term.
  34. "Violence Against Women Act" ("VAWA"): Under The Violence Against Women Act, colleges and universities are required to: (1) report dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking, beyond crime categories the Clery Act already mandates; (2) adopt certain student discipline procedures, such as for notifying purported victims of their rights; and (3) adopt certain institutional policies to address and prevent campus sexual violence, such as to train in particular respects pertinent institutional personnel. 

 

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