Glossary of Terms

 

Dating Violence – (as defined in the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) amendments to the Clery Act) includes any violence committed by a person: (A) who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the Complainant; 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; and (iii) the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. Dating violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse. Dating violence does not include acts covered under the definition of Domestic Violence.

Dating Violence is categorized as Regulatory when it occurs in the United States, within an Education Program or Activity and when the Complainant is participating or seeking to participate in an Education Program or Activity at the time of the filing of the complaint. Otherwise, Dating Violence will be categorized as Non-Regulatory.

Domestic Violence – (as defined in the VAWA amendments to the Clery Act), includes any 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 who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the Complainant as a spouse or intimate partner, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the Complainant under Pennsylvania’s domestic or family violence laws or by any other person against an adult or youth Complainant who is protected from that person's acts under the domestic or family violence laws of Pennsylvania.

Domestic Violence is categorized as Regulatory when it occurs in the United States, within an Education Program or Activity and when the Complainant is participating or seeking to participate in an Education Program or Activity at the time of the filing of the complaint. Otherwise, Domestic Violence will be categorized as Non-Regulatory.

Retaliation – Any action, directly or through others, which is aimed to deter a reasonable person from reporting sexual misconduct or participating in an investigation or hearing or action that is done in response to such activities. This includes but is not limited to intimidation, threats, coercion, or discrimination against any individual (A) for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 or its implementing regulations; or (B) because the individual has made a report or complaint, testified, assisted, or participated or refused to participate in any manner in an investigation, proceeding or hearing under this Policy. A finding of retaliation under this Policy is not dependent on a finding that the underlying sexual misconduct occurred.

Sexual Assault – (As defined in the Clery Act) – This includes any sexual act directed against another person, without the Consent of the Complainant, including instances where the Complainant is incapable of giving Consent. Sexual Assault may be one of the following categories:

  1. Sexual Penetration Without Consent - Any penetration of the mouth, sex organs, or anus of another person, however slight by an object or any part of the body, when Consent is not present. This includes performing oral sex on another person when Consent is not present.

  2. Sexual Contact Without Consent - Knowingly touching or fondling a person’s genitals, breasts, buttocks, or anus, or knowingly touching a person with one’s own genitals or breasts, when Consent is not present. This includes contact done directly or indirectly through clothing, bodily fluids, or with an object. It also includes causing or inducing a person, when Consent is not present, to similarly touch or fondle oneself or someone else.

  3. Statutory Sexual Assault – The age of consent for sexual activity in Pennsylvania is 16. Minors under the age of 13 cannot consent to sexual activity. Minors aged 13-15 years old cannot consent to sexual activity with anyone who is 4 or more years older than they are at the time of the activity. Minors aged 16 years of age or older can legally consent to sexual activity, as long as the other person does not have authority over them as defined in Pennsylvania’s institutional sexual assault statute3.

Sexual Assault is categorized as Regulatory when it occurs in the United States, within an Education Program or Activity and when the Complainant is participating or seeking to participate in an Education Program or Activity at the time of the filing of the complaint. Otherwise, Sexual Assault will be categorized as Non-Regulatory.

Sexual Exploitation – Engaging in sexual behaviors directed toward or involving another person or use of another person’s sexuality for purposes of sexual gratification, financial gain, personal gain or personal advantage when Consent is not present. This includes, but is not limited to, the following actions, including when they are done via electronic means, methods or devices:

  1. Sexual voyeurism or permitting others to witness or observe the sexual or intimate activity of another person without that person’s Consent;

  2. Indecent exposure or inducing others to expose private or intimate parts of the body when Consent is not present;

  3. Recording or distributing information, images or recordings of any person engaged in sexual or intimate activity in a private space without that person’s Consent;
  4. Prostituting another individual; or

  5. Knowingly exposing another individual to a sexually transmitted disease or virus without that individual’s knowledge; and

  6. Inducing incapacitation for the purpose of making another person vulnerable to non-consensual sexual activity.

Regulatory Prohibited Conduct – For purposes of this Policy, the term includes the defined violations of Regulatory Quid Pro Quo, Regulatory Hostile Environment Sexual Harassment, Regulatory Dating Violence, Regulatory Domestic Violence, Regulatory Sexual Assault and Regulatory Stalking.

Regulatory Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment - An Employee conditioning the provision of aid, benefit or service of the University on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct.

Non-Regulatory Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment - An Official, Volunteer or Student conditioning the provision of aid, benefit or service of the University on the individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct.

Regulatory Hostile Environment Sexual Harassment - Unwelcome conduct, on the basis of sex, that a reasonable person would determine is so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the University’s Education Program or Activity.

Non-Regulatory Hostile Environment Sexual Harassment - Unwelcome conduct, on the basis of sex, that a reasonable person would determine is sufficiently severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it unreasonably interferes with, limits, or deprives an individual from participating in or benefitting from any educational, employment, social or residential program in offered connection with the University.

Stalking – (as defined in the VAWA amendments to the Clery Act) means engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to—

  1. fear for their safety or the safety of others; or

  2. suffer substantial emotional distress.

A course of conduct is when a person engages in two or more acts that include, but are not limited to, acts in which the person directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveys, threatens, or communicates to or about a person in a prohibited way, or interferes with a person’s property.

Stalking includes the concept of cyberstalking, in which electronic media such as the Internet, social networks, blogs, cell phones, texts, email or other similar devices or forms of contact are used to pursue, harass, or to make unwelcome contact with another person in an unsolicited fashion.

Stalking is categorized as Regulatory when it occurs in the United States, within an Education Program or Activity and when the Complainant is participating or seeking to participate in an Education Program or Activity at the time of the filing of the complaint. Otherwise, Stalking will be categorized as Non-Regulatory.

Other Definitions

Advisor - An individual who may be present to provide support to a Party throughout an investigation and/or hearing.

  1. Advisors may accompany a Party to any meeting or hearing they are required or eligible to attend, but may not speak for the Party, except for the purposes of cross-examination.

  2. Each party is responsible for coordinating and scheduling with their choice of Advisor.

  3. The Advisor may be an attorney or a union representative when applicable.

  4. If a party does not have an Advisor of choice present for a hearing, the University will appoint an Advisor for the limited purposes of conducting cross-examination.

  5. If a Party does not attend the hearing, the Party’s Advisor may appear and conduct cross-examination on the Party’s behalf.

  6. If neither a Party nor their Advisor appear at the hearing, the University will provide an Advisor to appear on behalf of the non-appearing Party for the limited purposes of conducting cross-examination.

  7. The Advisor is not prohibited from having a conflict of interest or bias in favor of or against a Party, nor is the Advisor prohibited from being a Witness in the Sexual Misconduct Resolution Process.

Appeals Officer – The individual or individuals with the authority under law or otherwise appointed by the University to decide appeals. The Appeals Officer will be free of conflict of interest and bias, and will not serve as the Investigator, Title IX Coordinator, Advisor to any Party or a Decision Maker in the same matter.

Complainant – An individual who has reported being or is alleged to be subjected to conduct that could constitute covered sexual misconduct as defined under this Policy.

Consent – A knowing and voluntary agreement to engage in specific sexual activity at the time of the activity communicated through clear actions and/or words that are mutually understood.

In order to be valid, Consent must be active, present and ongoing.  Consent is not present when it is the result of coercion, intimidation, force, or threat of harm.

Consent is not present when an individual is incapacitated due to alcohol, drugs, or sleep, or otherwise without capacity to provide Consent due to intellectual or other disability or other condition. Consent can be withdrawn at any time and consent to one form of sexual activity is not necessarily consent to other forms of sexual activity. When alcohol is involved, incapacitation is a state beyond drunkenness or intoxication. When drug use is involved, incapacitation is a state beyond being under the influence of or impaired by the use of the drug. Alcohol and other drugs impact each individual differently. Determining whether an individual is incapacitated requires an individualized determination. When determining whether a person has the capacity to provide Consent, the University will consider whether a sober, reasonable person in the same position knew or should have known that the other party could or could not consent to the sexual activity.

When determining whether Consent has been provided, all the circumstances of the relationship between the parties will be considered.

Decision Maker - The individual or individuals appointed by the University to render a decision on a Formal Complaint that goes to a hearing. The Decision Maker(s) will be free of conflict of interest and bias, and will not serve as the Investigator, Title IX Coordinator, an Advisor to any Party or Appeals Officer in the same matter.

Disciplinary Sanction - The penalty imposed on an individual for violating this Policy. For Students, Disciplinary Sanctions are subject to applicable University/System policies, up to and including expulsion from the University. For Employees, Disciplinary Sanctions are subject to applicable collective bargaining agreement or University/System policies, up to and including separation from employment. For Officials or Volunteers, this may include the removal or the request for removal of the Official or Volunteer from their respective position.

Education Program or Activity – For purposes of this Policy, the term “Education Program or Activity” includes any activity that occurs in, on or within:

  1. Any on-campus premises;

  2. Any off-campus premises the University has substantial control over. This includes buildings or property owned or controlled by a recognized student organization or a recognized affiliated entity.

  3. Computer and internet networks, digital platforms, and computer hardware or software owned or operated by, or used in the operations of the University’s programs and activities over which the University has substantial control.

Employee - An individual who is employed by the State System (either at a State System University or in the Office of the Chancellor) including, but not limited to, faculty members, coaches, staff, managers and student employees.

Final Rule – The Final Rule issued on May 19, 2020 by the U.S. Department of Education under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972

Formal Complaint - means a document, including an electronic submission, filed by a Complainant with a signature or other indication that the Complainant is the person filing the Formal Complaint, or signed by the Title IX Coordinator, alleging sexual misconduct against a Respondent and requesting initiation of the process set forth in this Policy to investigate the allegation of sexual misconduct.

Hearing Officer – The individual, usually the Director of Student Conduct, who facilitates the hearing, maintains decorum, and upholds procedure during the hearing. During a Board Hearing (Committee of Fact), the Hearing Officer is not a Decision Maker and is a non-voting participant in the hearing.

Investigator - The Title IX Coordinator or the individual designated by the Title IX Coordinator to perform an investigation under this Policy. The Investigator may not have a conflict of interest or bias for or against an individual party, or for or against complainants or respondents in general. The Investigator may not serve as a Decision Maker, Appeals Officer or Advisor to any Party in the same matter.

Notice of Allegations – The written notice the Title IX Coordinator is required to provide to the Parties following receipt of a Formal Complaint. See Notice of Allegations section below.

Notice of Hearing – The written notice the Student Conduct Office is required to provide the Parties prior to the hearing. See Notice of Hearing section below.

Official - A member of a Council of Trustees or of the Board of Governors or their respective designees.

Parties or Party - A term that refers to the Complainant and the Respondent collectively or the Complainant or Respondent individually.

Respondent - Any individual who has been reported to be the perpetrator of conduct that could constitute sexual misconduct as defined under this Policy.

Student – Any person: (1) seeking admission to the University through the formal University application process; (2) admitted to the University, (3) eligible to register or schedule for classes, or (4) living in University or University-affiliated residence halls even though they are not enrolled at the University. The term “Student” shall include Employees, Volunteers and Officials where the Employee, Volunteer or Official otherwise meets the enrollment criteria set forth in this definition.

Supportive Measures - Non-disciplinary and non-punitive individualized services designed to restore or preserve access to the University’s Education Programs or Activities without unduly burdening the other Party. Supportive Measures will be offered, as appropriate, to the Complainant or the Respondent, regardless of whether a Formal Complaint is filed. 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, restrictions on contact between the parties (no contact orders), changes in work or housing locations, leaves of absence, and increased security and monitoring of certain areas of the campus.

Title IX Coordinator – The individual designated by the University with assistance of the Deputy Title IX Coordinators, to coordinate the University’s compliance with Title IX and VAWA and to respond to reports of violations. The Title IX Coordinator may not have a conflict of interest or bias for or against an individual party, or for or against complainants or respondents in general. The Title IX Coordinator may serve as the Investigator of a Formal Complaint. The Title IX Coordinator may serve as the Investigator of a Formal Complaint for Formal Complaints against Respondents who are Employees. The Title IX Coordinator may not serve as a Decision Maker or Appeals Officer.

Volunteer - A recognized volunteer or any individual who represents or acts on behalf of the university or whose actions may bind the university, regardless of whether the individual receives monetary or other compensation. For purposes of this Policy, employees and officials of recognized affiliated entities, ROTC instructors, visiting professors and unpaid camps and conference personnel will be considered volunteers.

Witness – A person who has knowledge related to specific aspects of a case and may have reported such aspects to the institution.
 

Contact Us

Andrew Matt, JD 
Title IX Coordinator and Investigator
213 Reeder Hall
Email: amatt@edinboro.edu
Phone: 814-732-1564