Definitions


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Definitions
from the University of Minnesota Board of Regents Policy: Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Stalking and Relationship Violence

Prohibited Conduct
Prohibited conduct shall mean sexual harassment, sexual assault, stalking, relationship violence and related retaliation.

Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment shall mean unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature under either of the following conditions:
(a) When it is stated or implied that an individual needs to submit to, or participate in, conduct of a sexual nature in order to maintain their employment or educational standing or advance in their employment or education (quid pro quo sexual harassment).
(b) When the conduct: (1) is severe, persistent or pervasive; and (2) unreasonably interferes with an individual's employment or educational performance or creates a work or educational environment that the individual finds, and a reasonable person would find, to be intimidating, hostile or offensive (hostile environment sexual harassment).

Sexual Assault
Sexual assault shall mean: (1) actual or attempted sexual contact without affirmative consent; or (2) a threat to engage in contact that would be, if the threat were carried out, sexual contact without affirmative consent.
Sexual contact is intentional sexual touching with an object or body part. Depending on the context, it may include, but is not limited to: (1) intentionally touching the breasts, buttocks, groin or genitals of another individual; (2) intentionally touching another individual with any of these body parts; and (3) making an individual touch another individual or themselves with, or on, any of these body parts. Sexual contact can occur whether or not an individual’s body parts are covered by clothing.

Affirmative Consent
Affirmative consent is freely and affirmatively communicated words or actions given by an informed individual that a sober reasonable person under the circumstances would believe communicate a willingness to participate in the sexual contact.

Relationship Violence
Relationship violence shall mean actual, attempted or threatened violence by an individual who is, or has been, in a spousal, sexual, or romantic relationship with the individual receiving the actual, attempted or threatened violence.

Stalking
Stalking shall mean a course of conduct directed at a specific individual that is unwelcome and that would cause a reasonable person to: (1) feel fear for their safety or the safety of others; or (2) experience substantial emotional distress. A course of conduct is multiple acts including, 
but not limited to, acts in which an individual directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about another individual, or interferes with another individual’s property.

Retaliation
Retaliation shall mean taking an adverse action against an individual because of the individual’s good faith participation in: (a) reporting suspected or alleged prohibited conduct; (b) expressing opposition to suspected or alleged prohibited conduct; (c) participating in an investigation related to a prohibited conduct allegation; or (d) accessing the Office for Conflict Resolution (OCR) to resolve a conflict related to prohibited conduct. To demonstrate that retaliation has occurred, an individual must show that a causal relationship exists between the individual’s actions in (a) through (d) above and the adverse action. 

Expanded Definitions

The definitions in the University of Minnesota Administrative Policy: Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Stalking and Relationship Violence include those above and are expanded to provide additional information. The definitions are found toward the bottom of the page.

Helpful Information

Complainant
A term used in the disciplinary process to describe the person who experienced alleged sexual assault.

Respondent
A term used in the disciplinary process to describe the person accused of an incident of alleged sexual assault.

The Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution website has additional helpful information about terms used in the student conduct process.