“Responsible employee” is someone that knew, or in the exercise of reasonable care should have known, that harassment/misconduct occurred. And, of course, it is that knowledge that triggers an institution’s obligation to take appropriate steps to investigate and, as appropriate, end and remedy that harassment/misconduct. Responsible employees also have the initial obligation to report incidents of sexual harassment/misconduct to the Title IX coordinator (or other appropriate designee).
“Confidential employees” OCR does not require campus mental-health counselors, pastoral counselors, social workers, psychologists, health center employees, or any other person with a professional license requiring confidentiality, or who is supervised by such a person, to report, without the student’s consent, incidents of sexual violence to the school in a way that identifies the student. Although these employees may have responsibilities that would otherwise make them responsible employees for Title IX purposes, OCR recognizes the importance of protecting the counselor-client relationship, which often requires confidentiality to ensure that students will seek the help they need.
The university will use the following accepted definitions as defined in our Student Code of Conduct.
Sexual misconduct may include engaging in one of more behaviors:
(a) Sexual harassment, which can include any unwelcome sexual advance or request for sexual favors, or any conduct of a sexual nature when submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s education; submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for academic decisions affecting the individual; or such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive educational environment. Examples of conduct which may constitute sexual harassment include but are not limited to:
- sexual flirtation, touching, advances or propositions
- verbal abuse of a sexual nature
- pressure to engage in sexual activity
- graphic or suggestive comments about an individual’s dress or appearance
- use of sexually degrading words to describe an individual
- display of sexually suggestive objects, pictures or photographs
- sexual jokes
- stereotypic comments based upon gender
- threats, demands or suggestions that retention of one’s educational status is contingent upon toleration of or acquiescence in sexual advances.
(b) Sexual assault shall include but is not limited to a sexual act directed against another person when that person is not capable of giving consent, which shall mean the voluntary agreement by a person in the possession and exercise of sufficient mental capacity to make a deliberate choice to do something proposed by another.
A person who initially consents to sexual activity shall be deemed not to have consented to any such activity which occurs after that consent is withdrawn. Consent cannot be assumed because there is no physical resistance or other negative response. A lack of consent may result from mental incapacity (e.g., ingestion of alcohol or drugs which impair awareness or judgment) or physical incapacity (e.g., the person is unconscious or otherwise unable to communicate consent).
Sexual assault is further defined in sections 53a-70, 53a-70a, 53a-70b, 53a-71, 53a-72a, 53a-72b, 53a-73, and 53a-73a of the Connecticut General Statutes.
(c) 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 preceding sexual misconduct offenses. Examples of behavior that could rise to the level of sexual exploitation include:
- Prostituting another person;
- Non-consensual visual (e.g., video, photograph) or audio-recording of sexual activity;
- 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;
- Going beyond the bounds of consent (such as letting your friends hide in the closet to watch you having consensual sex);
- Engaging in non-consensual voyeurism;
- Knowingly transmitting an STI, such as HIV to another without disclosing your STI status;
- Exposing one’s genitals in non-consensual circumstances, or inducing another to expose his or her genitals; or
- Possessing, distributing, viewing or forcing others to view illegal pornography.
Intimate partner violence is defined as:
• Including intimate partner violence, which is any physical or sexual harm against an individual by a current or former spouse or by a partner in a dating relationship that results from (1) sexual assault, as defined in section 5 above; (2) sexual assault in a spousal or cohabiting relationship; (3) domestic violence; (4) sexual harassment, as defined in section 5 above or, (5) sexual exploitation, as defined in section 5 above.
• Physical abuse, which can include but is not limited to, slapping, pulling hair or punching.
• Threat of abuse, which can include but is not limited to, threatening to hit, harm or use a weapon on another (whether victim or acquaintance, friend or family member of the victim) or other forms of verbal threat.
• Emotional abuse, which can include but is not limited to, damage to one’s property, driving recklessly to scare someone, name calling, threatening to hurt one’s family members or pets and humiliating another person.
Stalking, which is defined as repeatedly contacting another person when:
a. The contacting person knows or should know that the contact is unwanted by the other person; and
b. The contact causes the other person reasonable apprehension of imminent physical harm or the contacting person knows or should know that the contact causes substantial impairment of the other person’s ability to perform the activities of daily life.
As used in this definition, the term “contacting” includes, but is not limited to, communicating with (including internet communication via e-mail, instant message, on- line community or any other internet communication) or remaining in the physical presence of the other person.