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Consumer-Information

Sexual Misconduct Definitions

The following definitions describe aspects of sexual misconduct. Not all forms of sexual misconduct are described below.

  1. Sexual Assault & Criminal Sexual Conduct
  2. Domestic Violence (includes Dating Violence)
  3. Aggravated Domestic Violence (includes Dating Violence)
  4. Stalking
  5. Hostile Environment
  6. Consent & What is, and is NOT, consent?
  7. Sexual Harassment
  8. Discriminatory Harassment

Sexual Assault & Criminal Sexual Conduct
MCL § 750.520

“Sexual contact” includes the intentional touching of the victim's or actor's intimate parts or the intentional touching of the clothing covering the immediate area of the victim's or actor's intimate parts, if that intentional touching can reasonably be construed as being for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification, done for a sexual purpose, or in a sexual manner for:

  • Revenge
  • To inflict humiliation
  • Out of anger
“Sexual penetration” means sexual intercourse, cunnilingus, fellatio, anal intercourse, or any other intrusion, however slight, of any part of a person's body or of any object into the genital or anal openings of another person's body, but emission of semen is not required.

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Domestic Violence (includes Dating Violence)
MCL § 750.81

Domestic Violence is assault or assault and battery of

  • spouse or former spouse,
  • an individual with whom he or she has or has had a dating relationship,
  • an individual with whom he or she has had a child in common, or
  • a resident or former resident of his or her household.
“Dating relationship” means frequent, intimate associations primarily characterized by the expectation of affectional involvement. This term does not include a casual relationship or an ordinary fraternization between two individuals in a business or social context.

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Aggravated Domestic Violence (includes Dating Violence)
MCL § 750.81a

A person assaults any of the following individuals, without a weapon, and inflicts serious or aggravated injury (without intent to commit murder or inflict great bodily harm less than murder):

  • spouse or former spouse,
  • an individual with whom he or she has or has had a dating relationship,
  • an individual with whom he or she has had a child in common, or
  • a resident or former resident of his or her household.
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Stalking
MCL § 750.411h

“Harassment” means conduct directed toward a victim that includes, but is not limited to, repeated or continuing unconsented contact that would cause a reasonable individual to suffer emotional distress and that actually causes the victim to suffer emotional distress. Harassment does not include constitutionally protected activity or conduct that serves a legitimate purpose.

“Stalking” means a willful course of conduct involving repeated or continuing harassment of another individual that would cause a reasonable person to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested and that actually causes the victim to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested.

“Unconsented contact” means any contact with another individual that is initiated or continued without that individual's consent or in disregard of that individual's expressed desire that the contact be avoided or discontinued. Unconsented contact includes, but is not limited to, any of the following:

  • Following or appearing within the sight of that individual.
  • Approaching or confronting that individual in a public place or on private property.
  • Appearing at that individual's workplace or residence.
  • Entering onto or remaining on property owned, leased, or occupied by that individual.
  • Contacting that individual by telephone.
  • Sending mail or electronic communications to that individual.
  • Placing an object on, or delivering an object to, property owned, leased, or occupied by that individual.
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Hostile Environment

In general, the College considers a variety of related factors to determine if a hostile environment has been created and also considers the conduct in question from several perspectives. Factors examined include the type of harassment; the frequency and severity of the misconduct; the age, sex, and relationship of the individuals involved; the setting and context in which the harassment occurred; and other relevant factors. The more severe the conduct, the less need there is to show a repetitive series of incidents to prove a hostile environment, particularly if the harassment is physical. A single or isolated instance of sexual harassment may create a hostile environment. Sexual harassment does not have to occur within the context of an education program or activity for there to be a hostile environment on campus because students often experience the continuing effects of off-campus sexual harassment while at school.

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Consent

Consent is defined as a free and willing agreement to engage in a sexual act, provided without force or coercion, between individuals who are of sufficient age and are not mentally incapable, mentally disabled, mentally incapacitated or physically helpless.

The following people cannot give consent:

  • Persons who are asleep or unconscious
  • Persons incapacitated due to the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Persons who are unable to communicate consent due to a medical or physical condition
  • Persons under the legal age of consent

Engaging in a sexual act with a person that is unable to give consent is considered sexual assault.


What is, and is NOT, consent

 
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Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is generally defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct or communications of a sexual nature when:

  1. submission to such conduct or communication is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment, education, or participation in a College activity;
  2. submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for or a factor in any decision affecting the individual's employment, education, or participation in a College activity;
  3. such conduct or communication has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's employment or educational performance; or
  4. such conduct or communication has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, offensive or abusive environment for that individual's employment, education, or participation in a College activity.

Sexual harassment may be found in a single episode, as well as repeated or persistent behavior. Although it may sometimes be unclear where sexual slurs, insults, or even unwelcome sexual jokes actually fall within the definition of sexual harassment, it is clear that such conduct may contribute to a hostile working and learning environment and is unacceptable at the College.

These guidelines address intentional conduct. They also address conduct which results in negative effects even though such negative effects were unintended. Sexually related conduct constitutes sexual harassment if a reasonable person, in view of all the surrounding circumstances, would consider it sufficiently severe or pervasive to create an offensive or hostile working or learning environment.


EXAMPLES
Examples of sexual harassment include, but are not limited to, threatening adverse employment actions if sexual favors are not granted; promising preferential treatment in return for sexual favors; unwanted physical contact; or sexually offensive remarks. Verbal and physical conduct that may constitute sexual harassment also includes the following kinds of prohibited behavior:


Verbal: sexual advances or propositions or threats; continuing to express interest after being informed the interest is unwelcome; sexual innuendoes; suggestive or insulting comments or sounds, including whistling; sexual jokes, stories, or teasing of a sexual nature; commentary about an individual's body, sexual prowess, or sexual deficiencies; and any other comments of a sexual nature.


Visual: display of sexually suggestive objects, pictures, computer graphics, programs, or letters; staring, leering; obscene gestures; sexually suggestive or offensive graffiti. Physical: unwanted physical contact including offensive touching, pinching, brushing the body, impeding or blocking movement, unwanted sexual intercourse or other unwanted sexual acts, sexual assault or battery.


The above list is not meant to be exhaustive, but is included to provide examples of prohibited action

The full Board of Trustee policy on Sexual Misconduct

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Discriminatory Harassment

Discriminatory harassment is defined as verbal or physical conduct based upon race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, familial status, height, weight, ancestry, age, marital status, disability, or Vietnam-era veteran status that:

  • adversely affects a term or condition of an individual's education, employment, or participation in a College activity;
  • is used as a basis for or a factor in any decision affecting the individual's employment, education, or participation in a College activity;
  • has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's employment or educational performance; or
  • has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, offensive or abusive environment for that individual's employment, education, or participation in a College activity.

The full Board of Trustee policy on Discriminatory Harassment

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