Title IX Glossary

Affirmative Consent

Consent is informed, freely given, and mutually understood willingness to participate in sexual activity that is expressed by clear, unambiguous, and affirmative words or actions. It is the responsibility of the person who wants to engage in sexual activity to ensure that the other person has consented to engage in the sexual activity. Consent must be present throughout the entire sexual activity and can be revoked at any time. If coercion, intimidation, threats, and/or physical force are used, there is no consent. If the complainant is mentally or physically incapacitated or impaired so that the complainant cannot understand the fact, nature, or extent of the sexual situation, there is no consent; this includes conditions due to alcohol or drug consumption or being asleep or unconscious. A lack of protest, absence of resistance, or silence alone does not constitute consent, and past consent to sexual activities does not imply ongoing future consent. The existence of a dating relationship between the people involved or the existence of a past sexual relationship does not prove the presence of, or otherwise provide the basis for, an assumption of consent. Whether the respondent has taken advantage of a position of influence over the complainant may be a factor in determining consent.

Amnesty (Medical)

In Minnesota, an individual may be immune from prosecution for violating the underage consumption law if the individual, or another person, contacts a 911 operator to report the need for medical assistance for an immediate health or safety concern, provided that the person who initiates contact is the first to make such a report, provides a name and contact information, remains on the scene until assistance arrives, and cooperates with the authorities at the scene.

Campus Security Authority

Campus security authority includes the following categories of individuals at a college or university:

  1. A college or university security department;
  2. Any individual who has campus security responsibilities in addition to a college or university security department;
  3. Any individual or organization identified in a college or university security policy as an individual or organization to which students and employees should report criminal offenses;
  4. An official of a college or university who has significant responsibility for student and campus activities, including, but not limited to, student housing, student discipline, and campus judicial proceedings; advisors to recognized student organizations; and athletic coaches. Professional counselors, whose official responsibilities include providing mental health counseling, and who are functioning within the scope of their license or certification, are not included in this definition.

Complainant

An individual who is alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment as defined by Title IX.

Dating Violence

Violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the reporting party’s statement with consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.

Domestic Violence

A felony or misdemeanor crime of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner 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 or intimate partner; by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred; 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 jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred.

Educational Program or Activity

Locations, events, or circumstances over which the college or university exercised substantial control over both the respondent and the context in which the sexual harassment as defined by Title IX occurs, and also includes any building owned or controlled by any officially recognized student organization of the college or university.

Formal Complaint

A document filed by a complainant or signed by the Title IX Coordinator alleging sexual harassment as defined by Title IX against a respondent and requesting that the college or university investigate the allegation of sexual harassment. At the time of filing the formal complaint of sexual harassment as defined by Title IX, a complainant must be participating in or attempting to participate in the education program or activity of the college or university with which the formal complaint is filed.

Harassment

As required by law, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities further defines sexual harassment as a form of sexual discrimination which is prohibited by state and federal law. Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, sexually motivated physical conduct, and other verbal 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 education, evaluation of a student's academic performance, or term or condition of participation in student activities or in other events or activities sanctioned by the college or university; or

Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or academic decisions or other decisions about participation in student activities or other events or activities sanctioned by the college or university; or

Such conduct has the purpose or effect of threatening an individual's employment; interfering with an individual's work or academic performance; or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or educational environment.

Respondent

An individual who has been reported to be the perpetrator of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment as defined by Title IX.

Retaliation

Retaliation includes, but is not limited to, intentionally engaging in any form of intimidation, reprisal, or harassment against an individual because he or she:

made a complaint under this policy;

assisted or participated in any manner in an investigation, or process under this policy, regardless of whether a claim of discrimination or harassment is substantiated;

associated with a person or group of persons who are disabled or are of a different race, color, creed, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or national origin; or

Made a complaint or assisted or participated in any manner in an investigation or process with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, the Minnesota Department of Human Rights or other enforcement agencies, under any federal or stated nondiscrimination law, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; the Minnesota Human Rights Act, Minn. Stat. Ch. 363A, and their amendments.

Sexual Assault

An actual, attempted, or threatened sexual act with another person without that person’s affirmative consent. Sexual assault is often a criminal act that can be prosecuted under Minnesota law, as well as form the basis for discipline under Minnesota State student codes of conduct and employee disciplinary standards. Sexual assault includes but is not limited to:

  1. Involvement without consent in any sexual act in which there is force, expressed or implied, or use of duress or deception upon the victim. Forced sexual intercourse is included in this definition, as are the acts commonly referred to as date rape or acquaintance rape. This definition also includes the coercing, forcing, or attempting to coerce or force sexual intercourse or a sexual act on another.
  2. Involvement in any sexual act when the victim is unable to give consent.
  3. Intentional and unwelcome touching of a person’s intimate parts (defined as primary genital area, groin, inner thigh, buttocks, or breast); or coercing, forcing, or attempting to coerce or force another to touch a person’s intimate parts.
  4. Offensive sexual behavior directed at another, such as indecent exposure or voyeurism.

Sexual Harassment - Title IX

For purposes of Title IX, sexual harassment means conduct on the basis of sex that occurs in a college or university’s program or activity in the United States that satisfies one or more of the following:

  1. An employee of the college or university conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of the recipient on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct.
  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 college or university’s education program or activity; or
  3. Sexual assault; dating, intimate partner, and relationship violence; and stalking as defined in Board Policy 1B.3

Sexual Violence

A continuum of conduct that includes sexual assault, non-forcible sex acts, dating and relationship violence, stalking, as well as aiding acts of sexual violence.

Stalking

Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to (1) fear for the person’s safety or the safety of others; or (2) suffer substantial emotional distress.

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.

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

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

Supportive Measures

Non-disciplinary, non-punitive individualized services offered as appropriate, as reasonably available, and without fee or charge to the complainant or respondent before or after the filing of a formal Title IX complaint or where no formal complaint has been filed. Such measures are designed to restore or preserve equal access to the education program or activity without unreasonably burdening the other party, including measures designed to protect the safety of all parties or the recipient’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. The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for coordinating the effective implementation of supportive measures.