Key Terms

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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O  P Q  R S T U V W X Y Z 

Term

Definition

 Advisor

The Complainant and the Respondent have the right to be assisted by an advisor during all stages of a disciplinary proceeding, including all meetings, investigative interviews, and hearings. The advisor may be, but is not required to be, an attorney. 

The role of the advisor in the Formal Hearing depends on the type of Formal Hearing (described below) used to resolve the Formal Complaint.  In general, an advisor is not permitted to speak for or on behalf of a Complainant or Respondent, appear in lieu of a Complainant or Respondent, participate as a witness, or participate directly in any other manner during any phase of the student conduct process, except in a Title IX Hearing.  In a Title IX Hearing, the advisor, and not the party, must ask the other party and any witnesses all relevant questions and follow-up questions.

Advocate

Someone who has knowledge about the complexities of sexual misconduct, relationship violence, and stalking, connects complainants to resources, and provides support and incident-related meeting accompaniment to complainants.

Amnesty

A student who reports prohibited conduct, including sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating and domestic violence, and/or stalking, to the university will not be subject to disciplinary action by the university for personal consumption of alcohol or other drugs, or minor offenses, at or near the time of the reported incident, but may be responsible for other, more serious conduct that harmed or placed the health or safety of any other person at risk. For more information about amnesty, please refer to Section 4.5.2.6 in the Policy on Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Dating and Domestic Violence, and Stalking.  

Complainant

Any person who may have been subjected to conduct that violates UTC's Policy on Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Dating and Domestic Violence, and Stalking, regardless of whether the person makes a complaint or reports an alleged violation to the University. 

Confidential

Confidential resources will not disclose information to the university, except in limited circumstances(i.e., with your consent, if the incident reported involves someone under the ageof 18, if you are a threat to yourselfor to others).

Consent

Consent means an active agreement to participate in a sexual act.  An active agreement is words and/or conduct that communicate a person's willingness to participate in a sexual act. 
 

Valid Consent cannot be given if:

  • A person is Incapacitated and a Reasonable Person in the same situation as the Respondent would have known that the person is Incapacitated;
  • A person is Forced; or
  • The sexual penetration of a person by the Respondent would constitute mitigated statutory rape, statutory rape, or aggravated statutory rape under state law, based on the ages of the Respondent and the other person.
For the full definition of consent please visit UTC's Policy on Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Dating and Domestic Violence, and Stalking.  

Counselor

An individual trained and licensed to provide professional guidance on resolving personal conflicts and emotional issues.

Dating Violence

Dating Violence means violence committed by a person—

(A)who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim; and

(B)where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors:

(i)The length of the relationship.

(ii)The type of relationship.

(iii)The frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.

Domestic Violence 

Domestic Violence includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence 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 in which the crime occurs, 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 in which the crime occurs.

In cases involving allegations of mutual acts or threats of acts of violence, the designated investigator(s) will, when appropriate, identify the primary aggressor in the situation based on the totality of the information gathered, including without limitation: the history of violence between the parties; the relative severity of the injuries inflicted on each person; information gathered from the persons involved in the situation and witnesses to the situation; and whether the acts or threats were done in self-defense. The primary aggressor will be considered the Respondent for purposes of evaluating Domestic Violence.

Fondling

Fondling means the 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 his/her age or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental incapacity.

Force/Forced

Force (Forced) means words and/or conduct that, viewed from the perspective of a reasonable person, substantially impair(s) a person’s ability to voluntarily choose whether to take an action or participate in an activity.

Examples of Force include, without limitation:

  • Physical force (e.g., hitting, punching, slapping, kicking, restraining, choking, kidnapping, using a weapon, blocking access to an exit);
  • Words and/or conduct that would cause a reasonable person to fear:
    • Physical force or other harm to the person’s health, safety, or property, or a third person’s health, safety, or property;
    • Loss or impairment of an academic benefit, employment benefit, or money;
    • Disclosure of sensitive personal information or information that would harm a person’s reputation;
    • Disclosure of video, audio, or an image that depicts the person’s nudity or depicts the person engaging in a sexual act(s); or
    • Other immediate or future physical, emotional, reputational, financial, or other harm to the person or a third person.

Incapacitation

“Incapacitation” means that a person lacks the ability to actively agree to sexual activity because the person is asleep, unconscious, under the influence of an anesthetizing or intoxicating substance such that the person does not have control over their body, is otherwise unaware that sexual activity is occurring, or their mental, physical, or developmental abilities renders them incapable of making a rational informed judgment. Incapacitation is not the same as legal intoxication.

A person violates the Policy on Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Dating and Domestic Violence, and Stalking when they engage in sexual activity with another person who is Incapacitated under circumstances in which a reasonable person would have known the other person to be Incapacitated.  For evaluating Incapacitation, a “reasonable person” means a sober, objectively reasonable person in the same situation, with ordinary sensitivities, and with similar identities as the Respondent.

Incapacitation can be voluntary or involuntary. Signs of Incapacitation may include, without limitation: sleep; total or intermittent unconsciousness; lack of control over physical movements (e.g., inability to dress/undress without assistance; inability to walk without assistance); lack of awareness of circumstances or surroundings; emotional volatility; combativeness; vomiting; incontinence; unresponsiveness; and inability to communicate coherently. Incapacitation is an individualized determination based on the totality of the circumstances.

Incest

Incest means sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law.

Limited Confidentiality

Limited-confidential resources will only disclose non-personally identifiable information to the Title IX Coordinator and the Clery Compliance Officer, except in limited circumstances like those described in the definition of confidential, above.

Mandatory Reporters

Mandatory reporters are required to report information they receive about sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating and domestic violence and stalking involving students, and in more limited cases, involving other faculty and staff. All faculty and most University staff (except for confidential and limited-confidential staff) are mandatory reporters. For more information or questions about mandatory reporting, please see Appendix E in UTC's Policy on Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Dating and Domestic Violence, and Stalking, or contact UTC's Title IX Coordinator, Stephanie Rowland, at 423-425-4255 or stephanie-rowland@utc.edu.

Private/Non-Confidential

Information disclosed to a private or non-confidential resource will only be provided to other staff members on campus on a need-to-know basis (i.e., for coordination of support, investigation, and other measures).

Rape

Rape means 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.

Respondent

A person who has been accused of committing sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating or domestic violence, and/or stalking. 

Retaliation

Retaliation means to intimidate, threaten, coerce, or discriminate against any individual for the purposes of interfering with any right or privilege secured by the Policy on Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Dating and Domestic Violence, and Stalking, or because an individual has made a report or complaint, testified, assisted, or participated or refused to participate in any manner in an investigation, proceeding or hearing.  For more information on retaliation, please refer to Section 2.2.11 in the Policy on Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Dating and Domestic Violence, and Stalking. 

Sexual Assault

Sexual Assault is any sexual act directed against another person, without consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent.  Sexual Assault includes Rape, Fondling, Incest, and Statutory Rape.

Sexual Exploitation

Sexual Exploitation means taking sexual advantage of another person, without that person’s active agreement. An active agreement is words and/or conduct that communicate a person’s willingness to participate in an act. A person cannot actively agree to an act if: (1) the person is Incapacitated, if either the person claiming to have obtained the other person’s active agreement knows that the other person is Incapacitated or a reasonable person would know that the other person is Incapacitated; or (2) the person is Forced to act or participate in an activity. 

For examples of sexual exploitation, please refer to Section 2.2.10 of the Policy on Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Dating and Domestic Violence, and Stalking. 

Sexual Harassment

Sexual Harassment is conduct on the basis of sex that satisfies one or more of the following:

(1) 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;

(2) Unwelcome conduct 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; or

(3) Sexual Assault, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, and/or Stalking.

For the definition of Sexual Harassment, “reasonable person” means a reasonable person under similar circumstances as and with similar identities to the complainant.

To determine whether words and/or conduct constitute Sexual Harassment, the University will consider the totality of the circumstances, including without limitation: the context in which the conduct and/or words occurred; and the frequency, nature, and severity of the words and/or conduct.

In no event shall the term “Sexual Harassment” be construed to prohibit speech protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution (e.g., mere insulting or offensive speech).

Stalking

Stalking means engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to—

                (A)fear for his or her safety or the safety of others; or

                (B)suffer substantial emotional distress. 

“Course of conduct” means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which a person directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates with or about another person, or interferes with another person’s property. “Substantial emotional distress” means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.  For the definition of Stalking, “reasonable person” means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the complainant.

Statutory Rape

Statutory Rape means sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent.

Support Person

Complainants and Respondents have the right to be assisted by a support person during all stages of a disciplinary proceeding, including all meetings, investigative interviews, and hearings. A support person may be a friend, a family member, or any individual who is not otherwise a potential witness in the Prohibited Conduct investigation. 

Title IX (9)

A federal law that prohibits discrimination based on sex in education programs and activities that accept federal funds.