Policy and Procedural Definitions

Policy and Procedural Definitions
Office of Institutional Equity

Sexual Misconduct Definitions

CU APS 5014
  • Affirmative Consent

    UCCS defines affirmative consent as the, unambiguous and voluntary agreement to engage in a specific sexual activity. Consent is clear, knowing and voluntary words or actions that create mutually understandable clear permission of willingness to engage in, and the conditions of, sexual activity. Consent must be active; silence by itself cannot be interpreted as consent.

    Consent is not effectively given if it results from the use of force, including threats, or intimidation, or if it is from someone who is incapacitated:

    • Force is the use of physical violence or imposing on someone physically to gain sexual access.

    • Threats exist where a reasonable person would have been compelled by the words or actions of another to give permission to sexual contact they would not otherwise have given. For example, threats to kill someone, themselves or to harm someone one cares for constitute threats.

    • Intimidation occurs when someone uses physical presence to menace another, although no physical contact occurs, or where knowledge of prior violent behavior by an assailant, coupled with menacing behavior, places someone in fear as an implied threat.

    Consent will be determined using both objective and subjective standards. The objective standard is met when a reasonable person would consider the words or actions of the parties to have manifested an agreement between them to do the same thing, in the same way, at the same time, with one another. The subjective standard is met when a party believes in good faith that the words or actions of the parties manifested an agreement between them to do the same thing, in the same way, at the same time, with one another. 

    • A person who does not want to consent to sex is not required to resist.  

    • Consent to some forms of sexual activity does not automatically imply consent to other forms of sexual activity.  

    • Silence, previous sexual relationships or the existence of a current relationship do not imply consent.  

    • Consent cannot be implied by attire or inferred from the giving or acceptance of gifts, money or other items.  

    • Consent to sexual activity may be withdrawn at any time, as long as the withdrawal is communicated clearly.  

    • Withdrawal of consent can be manifested through conduct and need not be a verbal withdrawal of consent.

    • A respondent's intoxication resulting from intentional use of alcohol/drugs will not function as a defense to engaging in sexual activity without an individual's consent.  

    • In order to give effective consent, the person giving consent must be of legal age under Colorado law for the purposes of determining whether there was a sexual assault.

  • Dating Violence

    Means violence committed by a person, on the basis of sex –

    1. who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim; and
    2. where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors:
      • The length of the relationship;
      • The type of relationship; and
      • The frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
  • Domestic Violence

    The term “domestic violence” includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence, on the basis of sex, 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 under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction receiving grant monies, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction.

  • Title IX Hostile Environment

    Unwelcome conduct, on the basis of sex, 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. Mere offensive nonsexual conduct is not enough to create a hostile environment. Although repeated incidents increase the likelihood that harassment has created a hostile environment, a single or isolated incident of sexual assault may be sufficient.

  • Hostile Environment

    Unwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, or objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the university’s education program or activity. Mere offensive nonsexual conduct is not enough to create a hostile environment. Although repeated incidents increase the likelihood that harassment has created a hostile environment, a single or isolated incident of sexual assault may be sufficient. This definition governs allegations of hostile environment related to sexual misconduct that fall outside Title IX’s jurisdiction, including allegations of student and employee sexual misconduct.

  • Sexual Exploitation

    Means conduct that takes sexual advantage of another person without that person’s consent. Examples of behavior that could rise to the level of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to:

    1. prostituting another person;
    2. taking possession of the intimate personal property of another person without that person’s consent;
    3. recording images (e.g., video, photograph) or audio of another person’s sexual activity, intimate body parts, or nakedness without that person’s consent; 
    4. distributing images (e.g., video, photograph) or audio of another person’s sexual activity, intimate body parts, or nakedness, if the individual distributing the images or audio knows or should have known that the person depicted in the images or audio did not consent to such disclosure; and
    5. viewing or listening to another person’s sexual activity, intimate body parts, or nakedness in a place where that person would have a reasonable expectation of privacy, without that person’s consent.

    If sexual exploitation is severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive, it may meet the definition of Title IX Hostile Environment; otherwise, it may constitute Sexual Misconduct.

  • Sexual Assault

    Means any attempted or actual sexual act directed against another person, without consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent. This includes:

    1. 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. This offense includes the rape of all persons and is properly applied regardless of the age of the victim if the victim did not consent or if the victim was incapable of giving consent.
    2. Fondling: 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 the victim’s age or because of the victim’s temporary or permanent mental incapacity.
    3. Statutory Rape: sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent if the victim consented and the offender did not force or threaten the victim.
    4. Incest: sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law.
  • Title IX Stalking

    Means engaging in a course of conduct, on the basis of sex, directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to:

    1. fear for their safety or the safety of others; or
    2. suffer substantial emotional distress.
  • Stalking

    Means engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to:

    1. fear for their safety or the safety of others; or
    2. suffer substantial emotional distress.
  • Title IX Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment

    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 Hassment

    A member of the university community conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of the university on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct.

  • Retaliation

    Retaliation means any adverse action threatened or taken against a person because an individual has filed, supported or provided information in connection with a complaint of sexual misconduct, including but not limited to direct and indirect intimidation, threats and harassment. An “adverse action” is any conduct or action that would dissuade a reasonable person from reporting an allegation of sexual misconduct or participating in an investigation of sexual misconduct.

Discrimination & Harassment Definitions

UCCS 300-017
  • Protected Classes

    UCCS defines “protected classes” to include the following:

    • Race
    • Color
    • National Origin
    • Sex
    • Pregnancy
    • Age
    • Disability
    • Creed
    • Religion
    • Sexual Orientation
    • Gender Identity
    • Gender Expression
    • Veteran Status
    • Political Affiliation
    • Political Philosophy
  • Harassment Based on Protected Class

    Harassment is verbal or physical conduct related to one’s protected class that unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work or academic performance or creates an intimidating or hostile work or educational environment.

    Harassment based upon protected class may involve:

    • Physically assaulting or repeatedly intimidating, teasing, mocking, or joking based on an individual’s protected class
    • Repeatedly directing racial or ethnic slurs at an individual
    • Repeatedly telling an individual that they are too old to understand new technology
  • Discrimination Based on Protected Class

    Discrimination occurs when an individual suffers a material adverse consequence on the basis of their protected class.

    Examples include, but are not limited to, failure to be hired or promoted or denial of admission to an academic program, activities, or employment based on protected class status.

  • Retaliation

    Retaliation means any adverse action threatened or taken against a person because an individual has filed, supported or provided information in connection with a complaint of sexual misconduct, including but not limited to direct and indirect intimidation, threats and harassment. An “adverse action” is any conduct or action that would dissuade a reasonable person from reporting an allegation of sexual misconduct or participating in an investigation of sexual misconduct.

Conflict of Interest in Amorous Relationships Definitions

CU APS 5015
  • Amorous Relationships

    Amorous Relationships exist when two individuals mutually and consensually understand a relationship to be romantic and/or sexual in nature.

     

  • Personnel Actions

    Personnel Actions as defined in this policy include appointments/hiring, firing/layoffs, promotions/demotions, tenure decisions, salary setting, performance appraisals, grievance and disciplinary procedures.

Procedural Definitions

OIE Resolution Procedures
  • Advisor

    An individual designated by the complainant or respondent to be present at interviews and/or to conduct cross-examination.

  • Aggravating Factor

    Relevant circumstances accompanying the commission of misconduct or occurring prior to the misconduct as specified in Prohibited Conduct that add to its seriousness. Examples may include the use of violence or force, violation of a trust or duty, premeditation of an incident, and the existence of a previous conduct violation.

  • Appointing/Disciplinary Authority

    An appointing authority is the individual with the authority or designated authority to make ultimate personnel decisions concerning a particular employee. A disciplinary authority is the individual or office that has the authority or delegated authority to impose discipline upon a particular employee or student.

  • Business Day

    A day that the university is open and functioning as normal. Excludes holidays, weekends, and full-day administrative closures.

  • Complainant

    Within the context of this policy, means a person who is subject to alleged prohibited conduct addressed by these Procedures and the Applicable Policies.

  • Confidentiality

    Confidentiality means that information shared by an individual with designated campus or community professionals cannot be revealed to any other person without express permission of the individual, or as otherwise permitted or required by law. Those campus and community professionals who have the ability to maintain confidential relationships include health care providers, mental health professionals, designated victims’ advocates, attorneys, and ordained clergy, all of whom normally have privileged confidentiality that is recognized by Colorado state law. These individuals are prohibited from breaking confidentiality unless 1) given permission to do so by the person who disclosed the information; 2) there is an imminent threat of harm to self or others; 3) the conduct involves suspected abuse of a minor under the age of 18; or 4) as otherwise required or permitted by law or court order.

    The University supports the use of confidential resources so that complainants can provide information confidentially and still receive supportive measures as necessary through the Director of Institutional Equity or designee. Communications with these confidential resources are confidential to the extent permitted by statutory law. Confidential resources are not considered “responsible employees” for mandatory reporting purposes.

  • Day

    For purposes of these policies and procedures, a “day” is a calendar day.

  • Employee

    Anyone under the university’s control (excluding independent contractors) who receives payment from the university for work performed, including but not limited to regular faculty, research faculty, university staff, classified staff, undergraduate and graduate student employees, or temporary employees.

  • Emergency Removal

    Immediate and temporary suspension from classes or any other university building, activity, or program. This could include an interim suspension from all university activities and programs, and/or exclusions from all university buildings.

  • Interim Suspension

    Immediate and temporary suspension from any university activity or program.

  • Mitigating Factor

    Relevant circumstances accompanying the commission of misconduct or other extenuating circumstances that may be taken into account to reduce a sanction. These factors do not constitute a justification or excuse for the behavior in question.

  • Participants

    Complainant, respondent and any witnesses or other third parties participating in an OIE resolution process.

  • Party

    Complainant or respondent and collectively referred to as “parties,” also referred to as Involved Party/ies.

  • Preponderance of the Evidence

    The evidentiary standard of proof used in all OIE procedures, meaning it is “more likely than not” that the alleged behavior occurred.

  • Privacy

    Privacy generally means that information related to a report of prohibited conduct will be shared with a limited number of individuals who “need to know” in order to assist in the active review, adjudication, resolution of the report, and related issues. All University employees who are involved in a potential response receive specific training and guidance about safeguarding private information in accordance with applicable laws.

    The privacy of student education records will be protected in accordance with the University’s policy for compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and state law protections. Access to personnel records is restricted in accordance with University policy and state law.

  • Respondent

    Means a person who is accused of engaging in prohibited conduct as defined in these Procedures and Applicable Policies.

  • Responsible Employee

    Means any employee who:

    1. has the authority to hire, promote, discipline, evaluate, grade, formally advise or direct faculty, staff, or students;
    2. has the authority to take action to redress prohibited misconduct; and/or
    3. has been given the duty of reporting incidents of sexual violence or any other misconduct to the Director of Institutional Equity | Title IX Coordinator or designee.

    The Director of Institutional Equity | Title IX Coordinator may designate in campus procedures that certain individuals who might otherwise not be considered responsible employees are subject to mandatory reporting requirements.

  • Sanction

    Refers to either a sanction imposed by the Office of the Dean of Students or designee for students or discipline as imposed by the appointing/disciplinary authority for employees.

  • Summary Suspension

    Temporary removal of student from campus through the Office of the Dean of Students, pending the outcome of a case.

  • Supervisor

    Any one individual or a member of an evaluative committee or group who has the authority to hire, promote, discipline, evaluate, grade, formally advise or direct faculty, staff or students.

  • Support Person

    An individual, who may be a friend, family member, or other trusted person, chosen by a party or witness to accompany the party or witness in meetings with the OIE, and/or a hearing, to provide emotional comfort or support. Support persons are not advisors, as defined in these Resolution Procedures.

  • Student

    The term student includes all persons taking courses at the university, either full time or part time, pursuing undergraduate, graduate, or professional studies, as well as non-degree seeking students. This also includes individuals who confirm their intent to enroll in programs, those attending orientation sessions, students between academic terms and those that were enrolled at the date of an alleged incident. This also includes persons who are active but not enrolled at the university. Persons who withdraw after allegedly violating university policies or who are not officially enrolled for a particular term but who have a continuing relationship with the university are considered “students.”

  • University Official

    A university employee working in the performance of their duly authorized duties.

  • Witness

    Any individual who may have information relating to a matter being investigated by OIE.