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Title IX

Frequently Used Terms

  • Advisor: An advisor is an individual selected by the complainant or respondent to accompany and assist him or her throughout the College's process. The advisor will not be permitted to advocate for the complainant or respondent in the process, or to have any role in the process other than to advise and assist the complainant or respondent. 
  • Claimant: The claimant is the victim or survivor of the alleged incident.
  • Consent: According to Illinois Law, consent is a freely given agreement to the act of sexual penetration or sexual conduct in question. The lack of verbal or physical resistance, or submission by the victim resulting from the use of force or threat by the accused shall not constitute consent. The manner of dress of the victim at the time of the offense shall not constitute consent. A person who initially consents to sexual penetration or sexual conduct is not deemed to have consented to any sexual penetration or sexual conduct that occurs after he or she withdraws consent during the course of that sexual penetration or sexual conduct.
  • Dating Violence: Dating violence is 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: (i) the length of the relationship; (ii) the type of relationship; (iii) the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. Use of the term “sexual harassment” throughout this policy includes dating violence. Examples include:
    • Intimidation: destroying property, displaying weapons
    • Threats: of committing suicide to control victim
    • Isolation: controlling who the victim talks to
    • Emotional Abuse: name calling; playing mind games
  • Domestic Violence: Domestic violence includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction, 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 jurisdiction. Use of the term “sexual harassment” throughout this policy includes domestic violence. Examples include:
    • Inflicting injury
    • Withholding resources necessary to maintain health
    • Undermining victim’s sense of self-worth
  • Gender-Based Harassment: Gender-based harassment includes verbal, non-verbal and physical acts of aggression, intimidation or hostility based on an individual’s gender identity or gender expression, even if those acts do not involve conduct of a sexual nature. Gender identity is a person’s internal, deeply-felt sense of being male, female, something other or in between. Gender expression is an individual’s characteristics and behaviors such as appearance, dress, mannerisms, speech patterns and social interactions that are perceived as masculine or feminine. Gender-based harassment will exist if an individual is harassed either for exhibiting what is perceived as a stereotypical characteristic for their sex, or for failing to conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity and femininity. Use of the term “sexual harassment” throughout this policy includes gender-based harassment.
  • Hate Crimes, Bullying and Other Forms of Harassment: This includes behavior or acts (whether verbal, written or physical) that are targeted against an individual or group based on characteristics protected by federal or state law including but not limited to race, color, religious belief, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national or ethnic origin, disability, veteran status or age. The kinds of incidents that may constitute this type of harassment includes but are not limited to the following:
    • The use of racial slurs or derogatory names directed at individuals or groups that convey hatred or contempt for persons.
    • The creation of graffiti that conveys hatred or contempt for persons or groups.
    • The display of symbols that are commonly understood to convey hatred or contempt for persons or groups.
    • The use of telephone,  letters  (signed or anonymous), text-messaging or social networking sites to convey hatred or contempt for persons or groups.
  • Incapacitation: A state where someone cannot make rational, reasonable decisions because they lack the capacity to give knowing consent (i.e. to understand the "who, what, when, where, why or how" or their sexual interaction.
  • Reporting Party: The reporting party is any individual other than the claimant who reports an incident of sexual misconduct.
  • Respondent: The respondent is the assailant or perpetrator of the alleged incident.
  • Sexual Assault: Sexual assault is an offense classified as forcible or non-forcible sex offense under the uniform crime reporting system of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Use of the term “sexual misconduct” throughout this policy includes sexual assault.
  • Sexual Harassment: Sexual Harassment is a form of discrimination on the basis of sex. Sexual harassment is unwelcomed conduct of a sexual nature. Unwelcomed conduct includes conduct that an individual did not solicit or incite and that the individual regarded as undesirable or offensive. Sexual harassment includes any unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
    • Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or academic status;
    • Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for academic or employment decisions affecting such individual;
    • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual's work or academic performance or creating an intimidating or hostile work or educational environment.
    • In light of the power differential inherent in the relationship between faculty and students and between a supervisor and subordinate and the potential for either intentional or unintentional misuse of that professional power differential, the College strongly advises against romantic and/or sexual relationships between faculty and students, between staff and students, or between supervisors and subordinates.  It should be noted that in such cases “consent” may not constitute a defense. Use of the term “sexual misconduct” throughout this policy includes sexual harassment.
  • Sexual Orientation Harassment: Sexual orientation harassment includes verbal, non-verbal, and physical acts of aggression, intimidation or hostility based on an individual’s actual or perceived heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality or transsexuality. Use of the term “sexual misconduct” throughout this policy includes sexual orientation harassment.
  • Sexual Violence: Sexual violence refers to physical sexual acts perpetrated against an individual’s will; or where an individual is incapable of giving consent due to the use of drugs or alcohol or because of intellectual or other disabilities. With respect to any instances of sexual violence that involves the use of drugs or alcohol, it is the College’s position that the use of drugs or alcohol by a victim never makes that individual at fault for sexual violence. A primary concern of the College is each individual’s safety, and as such, any other rules violations will be addressed separately from the sexual violence allegations. A number of different acts fall into the category of sexual violence, including rape, sexual assault, sexual battery and sexual coercion. All such acts of sexual violence are forms of sexual harassment. Use of the term “sexual misconduct” throughout this policy includes sexual violence.
  • Stalking: Stalking refers to a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to (a) fear for his/her safety or the safety of others, or (b) suffer substantial emotional distress. Use of the term “sexual misconduct” throughout this policy includes stalking.
  • Examples of Sexual Misconduct: Sexual misconduct can occur both on and off campus and take many forms. The misconduct may be subtle and indirect or blatant and overt. Such misconduct can also occur in person or via electronic, print or other media. It may consist of repeated actions or may arise from a single incident if sufficiently severe. The complainant, as well as the respondent, may be male or female and the complainant does not have to be of the opposite sex of the respondent. Depending on the circumstances sexual misconduct may include:
    • Physical assaults of a sexual nature, such as rape, sexual assault, sexual battery and sexual coercion.
    • Intentional unwelcomed physical conduct that is sexual in nature such as kissing, touching, poking, grabbing, pinching, fondling, rubbing, patting or brushing against another individual’s body.
    • Offering or implying an academic or employment-related reward in exchange for sexual favors or submission to sexual conduct.
    • Threatening or taking a negative academic or employment action because unwelcomed conduct of a sexual nature is rejected.
    • The use or display in the classroom of materials of a sexual nature that do not serve a reasonable or legitimate educational purpose.
    • Unwelcome sexual advances, repeated propositions or requests for a sexual relationship to an individual who has previously indicated that such conduct is unwelcome.