As a community of individuals dedicated to learning, discovery and care, we must commit ourselves to creating a campus and community free from sexual harassment and violence. Learn about the definitions of sexual harassment and violence, what you can do to prevent and respond to it, and the resources available to you on this site.
Coercion is unreasonable pressure for sexual activity. Coercive behavior differs from seductive behavior based on the type of pressure someone uses to get consent from another. When someone makes clear to you that they do not want sex, that they want to stop, or that they do not want to go past a certain point of sexual interaction, continued pressure beyond that point can be coercive.
A report of conduct in violation of UMMS policy
Complainant (also Reporter)
The individual(s) who have experienced or witness a violation of UMMS policy.
Confidential /Privacy Employees:
Certain employees can be designated by the University to be “Confidential Employees” and have privacy responsibilities that supersede their obligations under Title IX. These employees should not reveal a client or patient’s confidence, even to the Title IX Coordinator(s). These include:
- licensed treating physicians (and those persons working under the supervision of these individuals) when acting in his or her professional role in the provision of services to a patient who is a University student or employee and
- any University employee providing administrative, operational and/or related support for such treating physician in their performance of such services.
The system office and each campus shall designate Confidential Employees. The obligations of the designated Confidential Employees shall be published for the University community.
The University has an obligation to respond to reports of sexual violence and retaliation. Disclosure of information will be limited to those University personnel or others who are responsible for handling the University’s response to incidents of sexual violence or retaliation. Complainant’s request for additional confidentiality will be weighed against the University’s commitment to provide a safe and nondiscriminatory environment. The University cannot guarantee confidentiality in all matters. The University will advise an individual requesting confidentiality or privacy that complying with such a request may limit the University’s ability to respond to the complaint or to provide remedial support or services.
A complainant’s receipt of remedial supports will not be dependent upon that person’s willingness to file a complaint or report to law enforcement but may be limited by the complainant’s willingness to allow his/her identity to be known.
Complainant’s that do not want to make a complaint; but, want to discuss the situation with an individual who will maintain their privacy, should contact the below:
NOTE: The University is required by the federal Clery Act to report certain types of crimes (including certain sex offenses) in statistical reports. While the University will report the type of crime in the annual crime statistics report known as the Annual Security Report, victim names/identities are not revealed.
A romantic or sexual relationship in which consent for communication or contact of a sexual nature has been given without threats, coercion or physical force.
Consent is permission for communication and or contact of a sexual nature given freely, actively and knowingly using mutually understandable, unambiguous words or actions. A person is unable to give consent when incapacitated, threated verbally or physically or threated with job or course grade or evaluation consequences for not agreeing to a sexual act or tolerating sexual harassment.
Consent to an act is:
Given willingly, freely, actively and knowingly;
Mutually understandable, unambiguous words or actions which indicate a willingness to engage in mutually agreed upon sexual activity (or in more plain language--to agree to do the same thing, at the same time, in the same way, with each other).
A person will be deemed unable to consent in the following situations:
- When a person is incapacitated and unable to give consent to engage in sexual activity.
- Threat of violence, bodily injury or other forms of coercion, negates the ability to consent.
- It is the responsibility of the person seeking to initiate the sexual activity or conduct to affirmatively obtain consent, not the intended recipient of such conduct to deny such consent. An affirmative, informed decision to engage in mutually acceptable sexual activity given by clear and unambiguous actions or words, is an informed decision made freely and actively by all parties.
- Relying solely upon nonverbal communication can lead to miscommunication. It is important not to make assumptions; if confusion or ambiguity on the issue of consent arises anytime during the sexual interaction, is essential that each participant stop and clarify, verbally, the willingness to continue.
- A current or previous dating or sexual relationship is not sufficient to constitute consent, and consent to one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity.
- Consent is revocable and may be withdrawn at any time. Once consent is withdrawn, all sexual activity must cease unless and until additional effective consent is given.
Dating and Domestic Violence:
Abuse, (including; but not limited to physical and/or sexual), or threats of such abusive violence committed by one intimate partner who is, or has been in, a romantic or intimate relationship with another intimate partner.
Domestic violence and dating violence can occur between current or former intimate partners who have dated or lived together. Domestic violence can occur between current or former intimate partners who are married, or have been married, or have a child together. Both domestic and dating violence can occur in opposite-sex and same-sex relationships.
Force is the use of physical violence and/or imposing on someone physically to gain sexual access. Force also includes threats, intimidation (implied threats) and coercion that overcome resistance or produce consent (“Have sex with me or I’ll hit you. Okay, don’t hit me, I’ll do what you want.”).
Hostile Environment includes any situation in which there is harassing conduct that is sufficiently severe, pervasive and objectively offensive [OCR uses severe, persistent or pervasive; some jurisdictions use or rather than and, as in severe or pervasive or objectively offensive; some substitute persistent for pervasive; some use patently rather than objectively offensive – check with legal counsel on state and federal standards applicable to your venue) that it alters the conditions of employment or limits, interferes with or denies educational benefits or opportunities, from both a subjective (the alleged victim’s) and an objective (reasonable person’s) viewpoint.
Incapacitation is a state where someone cannot make rational, reasonable decisions because they lack the capacity to give knowing consent (e.g., to understand the “who, what, when, where, why or how” of their sexual interaction).
All UMMS employees, students or contractors are obligated to report any instances of abuse of individuals under the age of 18 to the campus Title IX Officer, a Responsible Employee or Campus Safety.
The respondent is the individual who must answer to a claim of sexual discrimination, harassment or violence. The person accused of misconduct
The Office of Civil Rights defines a Responsible Employee is any employee who:
- has the authority to take action to redress sexual violence;
- who has been given the duty of reporting incidents of sexual violence or any other misconduct by students or employees to the Title IX Officer/Coordinator(s) or other appropriate school designee; or
- whom a student could reasonably believe has this authority or duty.
The University will identify and post all senior administrators, all campus police officers, resident assistants, and all Student Affairs employees (including student employees), and faculty with responsibilities over student activities that are designated as Responsible Employees.
Exceptions for public safety personnel: Although campus police officers are designated as Responsible Employees, campus police may need a waiver executed by the complainant to report certain information to the Title IX Officer/Coordinator. If a student or employee requests confidentiality, the campus police officer must provide confidentiality and will not disclose the name of the complainant to the Title IX Officer/Coordinator(s).
Adverse action taken against an individual who, reasonably and in good faith, files a discrimination or harassment complaint (formal or informal), participates in the investigation or resolution of a discrimination or harassment complaint, or otherwise demonstrates opposition to a discriminatory practice or policy.
- In addition to the protections against retaliation that are included in state and federal laws enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) also protects individuals from coercion, intimidation, threat, harassment, or interference in their exercise of rights granted by the ADA. Retaliation is also prohibited under University policy.
Retaliatory harassment is any adverse employment or educational action taken against a person because of the person’s participation in a complaint or investigation of discrimination or sexual misconduct.
Any conduct of a sexual nature directed at an individual due to their gender or perceived gender.
Occurs when a student takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for his/her own advantage or benefit, or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited, and that behavior does not otherwise constitute one of other sexual misconduct offenses. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to:
- Invasion of sexual privacy;
- Prostituting another student;
- Non-consensual video or audio-taping of sexual activity;
- Going beyond the boundaries of consent (such as letting your friends hide in the closet to watch you having consensual sex);
- Engaging in voyeurism;
- Knowingly transmitting an STI or HIV to another student;
- Exposing one’s genitals in non-consensual circumstances; inducing another to expose their genitals;
- Sexually-based stalking and/or bullying may also be forms of sexual exploitation
Sexual harassment is unwelcomed 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, educational benefits, academic grades or opportunities, or participation in University programs or activities;
- submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for decisions affecting such individual’s employment, educational benefits, academic grades or opportunities, or participation in University programs or activities; or
- such conduct is sufficiently severe or pervasive to unreasonably interfere with an individual's work or academic performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or academic environment.
Sexual harassment can occur between individuals of different sexes or of the same sex, or on the basis of gender identity and/or gender expression. Sexual harassment may occur in the form of sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other conduct of a sexual nature.
Any course of conduct (more than one act) directed at a specific person (directly, indirectly, through a third party or other means) that places that person in reasonable fear for his or her safety or the safety of others.
University employees who are not designated as Responsible Employees are nevertheless encouraged to report any incidents to the Title IX Officer/Coordinator.
Quid pro quo sexual harassment
Quid pro quo sexual harassment exists when there are:
- unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature; and
- submission to or rejection of such conduct results in adverse educational or employment action