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What is Sexual Misconduct?

 

UCM seeks to foster a safe and healthy environment built on mutual respect and trust. At the very basis of the University's mission is the recognition of the essential dignity and worth of each member of its community. Sexual misconduct of any kind is a very serious violation of these principles and will not be tolerated in any form. The University encourages all members of its community to be aware of trauma caused by sexual misconduct and challenges its members to work together to prevent its occurrence. 

Members of the UCM community, guests and visitors have the right to be free from sexual misconduct. All members of the campus community are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that does not infringe upon the rights of others.

UCM does not tolerate sexual misconduct. When an allegation of misconduct is brought to an appropriate administrator’s attention (See “Responsible employee”), and the person who engaged in that misconduct is found to have violated this policy, the university will take action to reasonably ensure that this behavior is not repeated and that the complainant is provided a safe environment in which to learn.

UCM’s sexual misconduct policy has been developed to reaffirm these principles and to provide recourse for those individuals whose rights have been violated. This policy is intended to define community expectations and to establish a mechanism for determining when those expectations have been violated.

 

Sexual Misconduct Definitions

The expectations of our community regarding sexual misconduct can be summarized as follows:

In order for individuals to engage in sexual activity of any type with each other, there must be clear, knowing and voluntary consent prior to and during sexual activity. Consent is sexual permission. Consent can be given by word or action, but non-verbal consent is not as clear as talking about what you want sexually and what you don't. Consent to some form of sexual activity cannot be automatically taken as consent to any other form of sexual activity. Silence cannot be assumed to show consent.

A full definition of consent and other important definitions may be found at this page.


When alcohol or other drugs are being used, a person will be considered unable to give valid consent if they cannot fully understand the details of a sexual interaction (who, what, when, where, why, or how) because they lack the capacity to reasonably understand the situation. Individuals who consent to sex must be able to understand what they are doing. Under this policy, “No” always means “No,” and, if the individual is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, “Yes” may not always mean “Yes.” Anything but a clear, knowing and voluntary consent to any sexual activity is equivalent to a “No.” The individual who is initiating sexual activity must ensure the individual with whom they wish to have sexual contact knowingly consents to the activity.

 

SEXUAL MISCONDUCT OFFENSES INCLUDE, BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO:

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, including sexual violence. Sexual harassment can include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Stalking, bullying and/or cyber-bullying may also be forms of sexual harassment.

Possible examples of harassment:

  • A professor insists a student have sex with them in exchange for a good grade. This is harassment regardless of whether the student accedes to the request.
  • A student repeatedly sends sexually oriented jokes around on an email list they created, even when asked to stop, causing one recipient to avoid the sender on campus and in the residence hall in which they both live.
  • An ex-partner posts explicit sexual pictures or videos online in order to embarrass their ex.
  • Two supervisors frequently ‘rate' several employees' bodies and sex appeal, commenting suggestively about their clothing and appearance.
  • A professor engages students in discussions in class about their past sexual experiences, yet the conversation is not in any way germane to the subject matter of the class. She probes for explicit details, and demands students answer her, though they are clearly uncomfortable and hesitant.
  • One student threatens to “out” another student unless they agree to continue a sexual relationship.

Investigations of sexual harassment complaints will take into consideration both objective and subjective factors.

Hostile Environment

Sexual harassment, including sexual violence, creates a hostile environment when the conduct is pervasive or sufficiently serious to limit or deny a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the school’s educational or other programs.

Sexual Violence

Sexual violence includes physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or when a person is incapable of giving consent (for example, due to the student’s age or use of drugs or alcohol, or because an intellectual or other disability prevents the student from having the capacity to give consent). A number of different acts fall into the category of sexual violence, including rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, sexual abuse, and sexual coercion. Sexual violence can be carried out by school employees, fellow students, students from other schools, or third parties. Sexual violence is a severe form of sexual harassment.

Sexual Exploitation

Sexual exploitation occurs when an individual takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for their own advantage or benefit, or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited.

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;
  • Engaging in voyeurism;
  • Knowingly transmitting an STI or HIV to another student;
  • Exposing one's genitals in non-consensual circumstances

Dating and Relationship Violence

Dating and relationship violence is a pattern of abusive behaviors used to exert power and control over a partner. Dating and relationship violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure or wound someone. This kind of violence can occur regardless of the relationship status, including individuals who are dating, cohabitating, or married.

UCM is deeply concerned about dating and relationship violence whether it occurs on campus or off campus and regardless of whether or not the respondent is a student.

 

What Does Dating and Relationship Violence Look Like?

It is important to recognize there is usually a pattern or a repeated cycle of dating violence, starting with the first instance of abuse.

Dating and relationship violence is not about sex or love; it is used for the intent of gaining power and control over a person:

  • Physical Abuse: Any intentional use of physical force with the intent to cause injury or physical control (i.e. grabbing in a way to inflict pain, restricting freedom of movement, hitting, shoving, strangling, kicking)
  • Emotional Abuse: Non-physical behaviors such as threats, insults, constant monitoring, humiliation, intimidation, isolation, silent treatment, or stalking
  • Sexual Abuse: Any action that impacts the partner’s ability to control their sexual activity or the circumstance which sexual activity occurs, including rape, coercion or restricting access to birth control

Victims of dating and relationship violence sometimes believe what they are experiencing is just a normal part of being in a relationship. They may be hesitant to ask for help out of fear of embarrassment, fear of looking weak, or out of a fear of retaliation by their partner.

Violence and fear are not a normal part of a healthy relationship.

General patterns of behavior in dating or relationship violence:

  • Tension Building: Relationship begins to get strained or tense between partners.
  • Explosion: Outburst that includes verbal, emotional, or physical abuse.
  • Honeymoon: Apologies where the abuser tries to re-connect with his/her partner by shifting the blame onto someone or something else, or engages in other forms of manipulation such a extreme self-attack or threats of suicide.

Warnings or Signs of Potential Dating/Domestic Violence:

Ask yourself if your partner engages in the following activities; these behaviors MAY be a warning sign of potential dating or domestic violence if they occur in a manner or pattern that becomes persistent, unwelcome, unreasonable or invasive:

  • Checks my cell phone or email without my permission. 
  • Monitors where I’m going, who I’m going with, what I’m doing.
  • Repeatedly says or does things to make me feel inadequate or inferior to him/her.
  • Displays extreme jealously or insecurity.
  • Isolates me from my friends and family.
  • Displays an explosive temper or severe mood swings.
  • Assumes financial control over my access to financial resources.
  • Tells me what to do.
  • Displays Possessiveness.
  • Physically hurts me in any way.

If you are the victim of dating or relationship violence, please know you have the right to feel safe and there are resources to help you.

Stalking

Stalking means engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person(s) that would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety or the safety of others, or suffer distress, including fear and apprehension.

Stalking behaviors may include: pursuing or following; non-consensual (unwanted) communication or contact - including face-to-face, telephone calls, voice messages, electronic messages, web-based messages, text messages, unwanted gifts, etc.; trespassing; and surveillance or other types of observation.

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