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CSU Office of Title IX Programs and Gender Equity Definitions

Policy

Colorado State University is committed to providing an environment that respects the dignity and worth of every member of its community. The University strives to create and maintain a work and study environment that is fair, inclusive, and responsible so that each member of the University community is treated with dignity and respect and is rewarded for relevant considerations such as ability and performance. The purpose of this policy is to define the types of conduct that are prohibited by the University as a means of achieving these goals and to prevent harm arising from sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking and retaliation.

The University prohibits any act of sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence or stalking by a person subject to this policy, and any retaliation related to reports of such acts. The University takes all allegations of such misconduct seriously. When allegations of such acts are reported, and a person subject to this policy is found to have violated this policy, consequences will result, up to and including dismissal from CSU.

For the entire CSU policy, click here.

Definitions

As used in this policy, also includes inaction or omission where there is a responsibility to act. Action or conduct that occurs off-campus can be subject to this policy if it involves one or more Covered Persons and (a) causes an impact to any person(s) on campus, (b) reasonably relates to the health, safety and security of the campus or any person(s) on campus, or (c) reasonably relates to the Responding Party’s fitness or capacity to act in accordance with his or her obligations and/or the policies of the University (e.g., the Student Conduct Code or any policy or code relating to the conduct of an employee).

Consent is defined in Colorado Revised Statutes § 18-3-401 as “cooperation in act or attitude pursuant to an exercise of free will and with knowledge of the nature of the act… Submission under the influence of fear shall not constitute consent.” Under this policy, consent must be knowing, voluntary, active, present and ongoing. Consent is described in more detail in Section 5 below.

All Colorado State University students, employees (including faculty), visitors, volunteers, affiliates, and (where provided by law or contract) agents, contractors, subcontractors, and grantees.

A document filed by an Impacted Party or signed by the Title IX Coordinator alleging sexual harassment against a Responding Party and requesting that the University investigate the allegation of sexual harassment.

Gender-Based Discrimination means any action that denies opportunities, privileges, or rewards to a person or a group because of their gender, gender identity or expression, or sexual orientation. Discrimination based on pregnancy is also Gender-Based Discrimination.

Gender or Gender Identity is one’s concept of self as a man, woman, a blend of both or neither. Gender identity is not contingent upon the individual’s biological sex. Gender identity has no bearing on the individual’s sexual orientation.

Conduct that demonstrates hostility towards a person (or a group of persons) based upon that person’s race, age, creed, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, sex, gender, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, or because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant and has the purpose or effect of:

  1. Creating an intimidating or hostile environment in which to work, learn, or participate in a University activity, or unreasonably interfering with or affecting any such activities; or
  2. Unreasonably affecting a person’s educational or work opportunities. Harassment may take various forms, including name-calling, verbal, graphic or written statements (including the use of electronic means), or other conduct that a reasonable person would find physically threatening, harmful, or humiliating. Harassment does not have to involve the intent to cause harm, be directed at a specific target, or involve repeated incidents in order to be prohibited. Sex-based harassment includes sexual harassment, which is further defined below, and non-sexual harassment based on stereotypical notions of what is female/feminine v. male/masculine or a failure to conform to those gender stereotypes.

An individual who reports being the subject or target of sexual harassment as prohibited by this policy.

Violence or the threat of violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim (referred to in this policy as the Impacted Party). The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the reporting party’s statement and with consideration of the following factors:

  1. The length of the relationship
  2. The type of relationship
  3. The frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship

Conduct that is based upon an individual’s race, age, creed, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, sex, gender, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or pregnancy, or because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant, and that (a) excludes an individual from participation in, (b) denies the individual the benefits of, (c) treats the individual differently from others in, or (d) otherwise adversely affects a term or condition of an individual’s employment, education, living environment or  University program or activity. It is unlawful discrimination for an employer to refuse to hire, to discharge, to promote or demote, to harass during the course of employment, or to discriminate in matters of compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment against any person otherwise qualified because of any of these factors. This includes failing to provide reasonable accommodation, consistent with state and federal law, to persons with disabilities.

Includes felony or misdemeanor crimes 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 (Impacted Party) under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction (i.e., Colorado or other place where the conduct occurs), or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the laws of the jurisdiction.

In Colorado, “domestic violence” means an act or threatened act of violence upon a person with whom the actor is or has been involved in an intimate relationship. “Domestic violence” also includes any other crime against a person, or against property, including an animal, or any municipal ordinance violation against a person, or against property, including an animal, when used as a method of coercion, control, punishment, intimidation, or revenge directed against a person with whom the actor is or has been involved in an intimate relationship. C.R.S. § 18-6-800.3.

Officials with authority to initiate corrective action, including disciplinary sanctions, when a report of sexual harassment is received are the University’s Title IX Coordinator, the President, the Provost, all Vice Presidents, Vice Provosts, Dean of Students, Associate Dean of Students, Director of the Student Resolution Center, Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity, Executive Director of Human Resources/Chief Human Resource Officer, and Director of Athletics.

A reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the Impacted Party.

Relationship violence means violence including, but not limited to, verbal abuse, mental/psychological/emotional abuse, physical violence, sexual violence, intimidation, and threats of violence committed by one person against another in an intimate relationship. It is sometimes referred to as either dating violence or domestic violence.

An individual who is alleged to be responsible for an incident(s) of sexual harassment.

Any CSU employee who has the responsibility to report to the Office of Title IX Programs and Gender Equity any incident of sexual harassment of which they become aware. At CSU, this includes:

  • An academic or activity advisor such as a faculty advisor, student success coordinator, internship coordinator, advisor to a student organization or club; however, faculty members are not considered responsible employees in the ordinary course of classroom or online instruction
  • All coaches, trainers, and other athletic staff that interact directly with students, including club sports
  • All student affairs employees whose duties require them to have regular or daily contact with students. This includes employees who are responsible for directly providing services to undergraduate and graduate students and to student organizations
  • All employees of the CSU Police Department
  • Employees whose job duties require that they regularly interface with students
  • All supervisors of employees, including student employees
  • A senior administrator (president, provost and executive vice president, vice provost, associate and assistant provost, dean or associate dean, vice president, associate or assistant vice president, director of athletics, senior associate director of athletics department head/chair, executive director, director, associate or assistant director)
  • Student employees assigned responsibilities for campus safety or when acting as mentors

is any action, performed directly or through others, that is intended to deter a reasonable person from engaging in a protected activity or is done in retribution for engaging in a protected activity. Retaliation includes any attempt to intimidate, threaten, coerce, or discriminate against any individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege under the Title IX law and regulations or this policy, or because the individual has made a report or complaint, testified, assisted, participated or refused to participate in any manner in an investigation, proceeding or hearing. The University strictly prohibits retaliation. Depending on the behaviors, examples of actions that could constitute retaliation when done in retribution for engaging in a protected activity include, but are not limited to:

  • Reducing a person’s salary or work hours
  • Giving a negative performance evaluation
  • Making adverse decisions relating to one’s work assignments, vacation, or promotion or advancement opportunities (whether employment-related or academic)
  • Reducing a student’s grade
  • Removing a person from a student organization, academic program, or lab
  • Interfering with one’s job search
  • Engaging in harassing conduct that is sufficiently severe, pervasive, and/or persistent to create a hostile environment; for this purpose, the existence of a hostile environment is to be judged both objectively (meaning a reasonable person would find the environment hostile) and subjectively (meaning the affected individual felt the environment was hostile) or
  • Making threats to engage in any of the actions listed above.

.  Sexual Assault is defined as:

    1. Non-Consensual Sexual Penetration (Rape): the penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus, with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim. The gender of the victim is irrelevant.
    2. Non-Consensual Sexual Contact (Groping/Fondling) is the touching of the private body parts of another person without the consent of the person, including instances where the person is incapable of giving consent because of their age or temporary or permanent mental incapacity. This type of sexual assault also includes making a person touch themselves or another with, or on, any intimate body parts. It can occur whether those involved are clothed or unclothed.
    3. Incest: Non-forcible sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other as an ancestor or descendant, including a natural child, child by adoption, or stepchild twenty-one years of age or older, a brother or sister of the whole or half blood, or an uncle, aunt, nephew, or niece of the whole blood.
    4. Statutory Rape: Sexual penetration with an individual who is below the legal age of consent according to Colorado law. The general age of consent in Colorado is 17. However, the ages of both parties, as well as their marital status, are considered when determining whether the sexual contact is unlawful. For a more detailed definition of the age of consent, see C.R.S. § 18-3-402 and this article released by the Colorado General Assembly

Sexual Exploitation occurs when a person takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another. Sexual Exploitation includes, but is not limited to:

  • Prostituting another person
  • Voyeurism (secretly viewing the sexual activities or nudity of others)
  • Exhibitionism (compulsive display of one’s genitals in non-consensual circumstances; masturbation in front of others; flashing someone with a sexual or other intimate body part)
  • Non-consensual photographic or videotaping another individual’s intimate body parts
  • Non-consensual video or audiotaping of sexual activity
  • Non-consensual possession, sharing, or streaming of images, photography, video, or audio recording of sexual activity or nudity, or distribution of such without the knowledge and consent of all parties involved
  • Allowing a third-party to observe consensual sexual activity without the knowledge and Consent of all parties involved
  • Knowing that you have a sexual transmissible infection or HIV, having sexual contact with another person who does not know you have the infection.
  • Inducing incapacitation to make another person vulnerable to non-consensual sexual activity and/or to make another person expose their genitals

Sexual harassment is defined under Title IX regulations as conduct on the basis of sex that constitutes one or more of the following:

  1. An employee of the University conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of the University on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct (“quid pro quo” sexual harassment); or
  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 University’s education program or activity. Depending upon the behaviors, examples of such conduct may include, but are not limited to:
    • Gender-based bullying, including towards trans and non-binary people
    • Direct propositions of a sexual nature
    • Pressure for sexual activity
    • A pattern of conduct that includes one or more of the following: (1) unwelcome and unnecessary touching, patting, hugging, or brushing against a person’s body; (2) remarks of a sexual nature about a person’s clothing or body, whether or not intended to be complimentary; (3) remarks about sexual activity or speculations about previous sexual experience; (4) other comments of a sexual nature, including sexually explicit statements, questions, jokes or anecdotes; or (5) written or digital communications such as emails, texts, live or streaming audio or video, social media posts, etc. containing sexual comments, words or images
    • Visual displays of sexually oriented images outside the educational context
  1. “Sexual assault”, “dating violence”, “domestic violence”, “stalking” as defined in this definitions section.
  2. Sexual exploitation of another that is unwelcome and is so severe, pervasive and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the university’s education programs or activities. Some examples of sexual exploitation include:
    • Prostituting another person, coercing sex work or trafficking persons for sex
    • Voyeurism (secretly viewing the sexual activities or nudity of others)
    • Exhibitionism (compulsive display of one’s genitals in non-consensual circumstances; masturbation in front of others; flashing someone with a sexual or other intimate body part)
    • Non-consensual photographing or videotaping another individual’s personal body parts (clothed or unclothed)
    • Non-consensual video or audio recording of sexual activity
    • Non-consensual possession, sharing, or streaming of images, photography, video, or audio recording of sexual activity or nudity, or distribution of such without the knowledge and consent of all parties involved
    • Allowing a third-party to observe consensual sexual activity without the knowledge and consent of all parties involved
    • Knowingly having sexual contact with a person who is not aware that you have a sexually transmitted disease, or HIV
    • Inducing incapacitation to make another person vulnerable to non-consensual sexual activity and/or to make another person expose their genitals

Any conduct that constitutes sexual assault, sexual exploitation, or sexual violence, as follows:

  1. Sexual assault means an actual or attempted sexual contact with another person without that person’s consent. Sexual assault includes, but is not limited to:
    1. Involvement in any sexual contact when the victim is unable to consent.
    2. Intentional and unwelcome touching of, or coercing, forcing, or attempting to coerce or force another to touch a person’s intimate parts (defined as genital area, groin, inner thigh, buttocks, or breast).
    3. Sexual intercourse without consent, including acts commonly referred to as rape, such as penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.
    4. Fondling, including the touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of age or temporary or permanent mental incapacity.
    5. Incest, including sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within degrees where marriage is prohibited by law.
    6. Statutory rape, including sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent.
  2. Sexual exploitation occurs when a person takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for anyone’s advantage or benefit other than the person being exploited, and that behavior does not otherwise constitute one of the other sexual misconduct offenses defined herein. Examples of behavior that could rise to the level of sexual exploitation include:
    1. Prostituting another person;
    2. Non-consensual visual (e.g., video, photograph) or audio-recording of sexual activity;
    3. Non-consensual distribution of photos, other images, or information of an individual’s sexual activity, intimate body parts, or nakedness, with the intent to or having the effect of embarrassing an individual who is the subject of such images or information;
    4. Going beyond the bounds of consent (such as letting others hide in the closet to watch you having consensual sex);
    5. Engaging in non-consensual voyeurism;
    6. Knowingly transmitting a sexually transmitted disease, such as HIV, to another without disclosing your STD status;
    7. Exposing one’s genitals in non-consensual circumstances, or inducing another to expose his or her genitals; and
    8. Possessing, distributing, viewing or forcing others to view illegal pornography.
  3. Sexual violence is a severe form of sexual harassment, and refers to physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent, including but not limited to rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, sexual coercion or similar acts in violation of state or federal law.

Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for the person’s safety or the safety of others or suffer substantial emotional distress. For the purposes of this definition:

  • 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.Examples of stalking behavior include, but are not limited to:
    • Non-consensual communication, including face-to-face communication, telephone calls, voice messages, e-mails, texts, letters, notes, gifts, or any other communications that are undesired and place another person in fear
    • Surveillance or other types of observation, including staring or “peeping”
    • Pursuing, following, waiting, or showing up uninvited at or near a residence, workplace, classroom, or other places frequented by the victim
    • Defamation (disseminating false information to others about another)
    • Gathering information, or asking others to gather information about an individual from friends, family, or co-workers
    • Threats to harm self or others Vandalizing a person’s property
    • Cyber-stalking–the repeated use of electronic communication to harass or frighten someone through use of online, electronic, or digital technologies, such as:
      • Unauthorized posting of pictures, messages, and/or information about the Impacted Party on websites, internet sites, social networking sites, mobile apps (e.g., Snapchat, Instagram, etc.), bulletin boards and/or chat rooms
      • Creating a website about the victim
      • Sending unwanted/unsolicited email, texts, talk, or communication requests (e.g., Facebook friend requests)
      • Posting private or public messages on Internet sites, social networking sites, and/or bulletin boards
      • Using Global Positioning Systems (GPS) to monitor a victim
      • Installing surveillance equipment, hardware, or software (e.g., spyware, cameras) on a victim’s computer or other device
      • Catfishing: falsifying your identity in order to gain access to or trust of another person or trick someone into a relationship

Statutory Rape is sexual penetration with a person who is under the statutory age of consent. The age of consent varies according to the ages of the parties. See C.R.S. 18-3-402.

the CSU Vice President for Equity, Equal Opportunity and Title IX (Vice President) or any person appointed by the Vice President to serve as Title IX Coordinator. The Vice President may also appoint Deputy Title IX Coordinators at any time. The names and contact information for each of these individuals are available on the Title IX web page.