Definitions of Terms

    Key Terms in the Nondiscrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy



    Discriminatory harassment

    Effective consent

    Effective consent is granted when a person freely, actively and knowingly agrees at the time to participate in a particular sexual act with a particular person. Effective consent exists when mutually understandable words and/or actions demonstrate a willingness to participate in mutually agreed-upon activity at every stage of that sexual activity. Effective consent has time boundaries. Consent at one time does not imply consent at any other time. The existence of a dating/romantic relationship between the persons involved or the fact of a previous sexual relationship does not automatically establish effective consent for future sexual activity. There is no consent when agreement is only inferred from a person’s silence or lack of resistance; there is threat of physical force, harm or intimidation; or there is coercion. There is no consent when the person is under the age of 16.

    There is no consent when someone engaging in sexual behavior knew or should have known that the other person was incapacitated. Regardless of the state of the accused, the University will use the perspective of a “sober and reasonable person” in determining whether one should have known about the impact of the use of alcohol, drugs, mental illness, etc. on another’s ability to give consent. Because incapacitation may be difficult to discern, the person seeking the sexual behavior is strongly encouraged to err on the side of caution; i.e., when in doubt, assume the other person is incapacitated and therefore unable to give effective consent.



    Equity Compliance Officer

    Forced Sexual Intercourse


    Hostile environment discriminatory harassment

    Hostile environment discriminatory harassment exists when harassment based on membership in a protected class:

    • is sufficiently serious (i.e., severe, pervasive, or persistent) and objectively offensive so as to deny or limit a person's ability to participate in or benefit from the University's programs, services, opportunities, or activities ; or
    • when such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's employment

    A hostile environment can be created by anyone involved in a University program or activity (e.g., administrators, faculty members, students, and even campus guests). Mere offensiveness is not enough to create a hostile environment. Although repeated incidents increase the likelihood that harassment has created a hostile environment, a serious incident, such as a sexual assault, even if isolated, can be sufficient.

    In determining whether harassment has created a hostile environment, consideration will be made not only as to whether the conduct was unwelcome to the person who feels harassed, but also whether a reasonable person in a similar situation would have perceived the conduct as objectively offensive. Also, the following factors will be considered:

    • The degree to which the conduct affected one or more students' education or one or more individuals' employment;
    • The nature, scope, frequency, duration, and location of incident or incidents;
    • The identity, number, and relationships of persons involved;
    • Academic freedom


    Non-Consensual Sexual Contact

    Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse

    Protected class



    Sexual exploitation

    Sexual harassment

    Sexual harassment is a form of discriminatory harassment that can include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, including sexual assault. Sexual harassment, including sexual assault, can involve persons of the same or opposite sex. Consistent with the law, this policy prohibits two types of sexual harassment:

    1. Tangible Employment or Educational Action: This type of sexual harassment occurs when the terms or conditions of employment, educational benefits, academic grades or opportunities, living environment or participation in a University activity is conditioned upon, either explicitly or implicitly, submission to or rejection of unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors, or such submission or rejection is a factor in decisions affecting that individual's employment, education, living environment, or participation in a University program or activity. Generally, perpetrators will be agents or employees with some authority from the University.

    2. Hostile Environment Sexual Harassment, i.e., sexual harassment that creates a hostile environment.

    Some examples of possible sexual harassment include:*

    • A professor insists that a student have sex with him/her 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 s/he 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.
    • Explicit sexual pictures are displayed in a professor’s office or on the exterior of a residence hall door
    • Two supervisors frequently ‘rate’ several employees’ bodies and sex appeal, commenting suggestively about their clothing and appearance.
    • A professor engages students in her class in discussions 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 that students answer her, though they are clearly uncomfortable and hesitant.
    • An ex-girlfriend widely spreads false stories about her sex life with her former boyfriend to the clear discomfort of the boyfriend, turning him into a social pariah on campus
    • Male students take to calling a particular brunette student “Monica” because of her resemblance to Monica Lewinsky. Soon, everyone adopts this nickname for her, and she is the target of relentless remarks about cigars, the president, “sexual relations” and Weight Watchers.
    • A student grabbed another student by the hair, then grabbed her breast and put his mouth on it. While this is sexual harassment, it is also a form of sexual violence.

    * These examples are taken from the model developed by The NCHERM Group, LLC / ATIXA, which the University of Dayton has a license to use. All other rights reserved. © 2013. The NCHERM Group, LLC/ATIXA.

    Sexual misconduct