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Definitions

Sex Discrimination

An adverse action taken against an individual because of gender or sex (including sexual harassment, sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking) as prohibited by Title IX; Title IV; VAWA/Campus SaVE Act; California Education Code § 66250 et seq.; and/or California Government Code § 11135. See also Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (Cal. Govt. Code § 12940 et seq.), and other applicable laws. Both men and women can be victims of Sex Discrimination.

Sexual Harassment

A form of Sex Discrimination, is unwelcome verbal, nonverbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that includes but is not limited to sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and any other conduct of a sexual nature where:

  1. Submission to, or rejection of, the conduct is explicitly or implicitly used as the basis for any decision affecting a Complainant’s academic status or progress, or access to benefits and services, honors, programs, or activities available at or through the University; or
  2. The conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that its effect, whether or not intended, could be considered by a reasonable person in the shoes of the Complainant, and is in fact considered by the Complainant, as limiting his or her ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities or opportunities offered by the University; or
  3. The conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that its effect, whether or not intended, could be considered by a reasonable person in the shoes of the Complainant, and is in fact considered by the Complainant, as creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment.

Sexual Harassment could include being forced to engage in unwanted sexual contact as a condition of membership in a student organization; being subjected to video exploitation or a campaign of sexually explicit graffiti; or frequently being exposed to unwanted images of a sexual nature in a classroom that are unrelated to the coursework.

Sexual Harassment also includes acts of verbal, non-verbal or physical aggression, intimidation or hostility based on Gender or sex-stereotyping, even if those acts do not involve conduct of a sexual nature.

This policy covers unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. While romantic, sexual, intimate, personal or social relationships between members of the University community may begin as consensual, they may evolve into situations that lead to Sexual Harassment or Sexual Misconduct, including Dating or Domestic Violence, or Stalking, subject to this policy.

Sexual Misconduct

All sexual activity between members of the CSU community must be based on Affirmative Consent. Engaging in any sexual activity without first obtaining Affirmative Consent to the specific activity is Sexual Misconduct, whether or not the conduct violates any civil or criminal law.

Sexual activity includes, but is not limited to, kissing, touching intimate body parts, fondling, intercourse, penetration of any body part, and oral sex. It also includes any unwelcome physical sexual acts, such as unwelcome sexual touching, Sexual Assault, Sexual Battery, Rape, and Dating Violence. When based on Gender, Domestic Violence or Stalking also constitute Sexual Misconduct. Sexual Misconduct may include using physical force, violence, threat, or intimidation, ignoring the objections of the other person, causing the other person’s intoxication or incapacitation through the use of drugs or alcohol, or taking advantage of the other person’s incapacitation (including voluntary intoxication) to engage in sexual activity. Men as well as women can be victims of these forms of Sexual Misconduct. Sexual activity with a minor is never consensual when the Complainant is under 18 years old, because the minor is considered incapable of giving legal consent due to age.

Sexual Assault

A form of Sexual Misconduct and is an attempt, coupled with the ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another because of that person’s Gender or sex.

Sexual Battery 

Aa form of Sexual Misconduct and is any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another because of that person’s Gender or sex as well as touching an intimate part of another person against that person’s will and for the purpose of sexual arousal, gratification, or abuse.

Rape

A form of Sexual Misconduct and is non-consensual sexual intercourse that may also involve the use of threat of force, violence, or immediate and unlawful bodily injury or threats of future retaliation and duress. Any sexual penetration, however slight, is sufficient to constitute Rape. Sexual acts including intercourse are considered non-consensual when a person is incapable of giving consent because s/he is incapacitated from alcohol and/or drugs, is under 18 years old, or if a mental disorder or developmental or physical Disability renders a person incapable of giving consent. The Respondent’s relationship to the person (such as family member, spouse, friend, acquaintance or stranger) is irrelevant. (See complete definition of Affirmative Consent above.)

Acquaintance Rape

A form of Sexual Misconduct committed by an individual known to the victim. This includes a person the victim may have just met; i.e., at a party, introduced through a friend, or on a social networking website. (See above for definition of Rape.)

Affirmative Consent

An informed, affirmative, conscious, voluntary, and mutual agreement to engage in sexual activity. It is the responsibility of each person involved in the sexual activity to ensure that s/he has the Affirmative Consent of the other participant(s) to engage in the sexual activity. Lack of protest or resistance does not mean Affirmative Consent, nor does silence mean Affirmative Consent. Affirmative Consent must be voluntary, and given without coercion, force, threats or intimidation.

The existence of a dating or social relationship between those involved, or the fact of past sexual activities between them, should never by itself be assumed to be an indicator of Affirmative Consent. A request for someone to use a condom or birth control does not, in and of itself, constitute Affirmative Consent. 

Affirmative Consent can be withdrawn or revoked. Consent to one form of sexual activity (or one sexual act) does not constitute consent to other forms of sexual activity. Consent given to sexual activity on one occasion does not constitute consent on another occasion. There must always be mutual and affirmative consent to engage in sexual activity. Consent must be ongoing throughout a sexual activity and can be revoked at any time, including after penetration. Once consent is withdrawn or revoked, the sexual activity must stop immediately.

Affirmative Consent cannot be given by a person who is incapacitated. A person is unable to consent when s/he is asleep, unconscious or is incapacitated due to the influence of drugs, alcohol or medication so that s/he could not understand the fact, nature or extent of the sexual activity.  A person is incapacitated if s/he lacks the physical and/or mental ability to make informed, rational decisions.

Whether an intoxicated person (as a result of using alcohol or other drugs) is incapacitated depends on the extent to which the alcohol or other drugs impact the person’s decision-making ability, awareness of consequences, and ability to make informed judgments. A person’s own intoxication or incapacitation from drugs or alcohol does not diminish that person’s responsibility to obtain Affirmative Consent before engaging in sexual activity. 

A person with a medical or mental disability may also lack the capacity to give consent.

Sexual activity with a minor (a person under 18 years old) is not consensual, because a minor is considered incapable of giving consent due to age.  

It shall not be a valid excuse that a person affirmatively consented to the sexual activity if the Respondent knew or reasonably should have known that the person was unable to consent to the sexual activity under any of the following circumstances:

  • The person was asleep or unconscious;
  • The person was incapacitated due to the influence of drugs, alcohol or medication, so that the person could not understand the fact, nature or extent of the sexual activity;
  • The person was unable to communicate due to a mental or physical condition.

It shall not be a valid excuse that the Respondent believed that the person consented to the sexual activity under either of the following circumstances:

  • The Respondent’s belief in Affirmative Consent arose from the intoxication or recklessness of the Respondent;
  • The Respondent did not take reasonable steps, in the circumstances known to the Respondent at the time, to ascertain whether the person affirmatively consented.

Domestic Violence

Abuse committed against someone who is a current or former spouse; current or former cohabitant; someone with whom the Respondent has a child; someone with whom the Respondent has or had a dating or engagement relationship; or a person similarly situated under California domestic or family violence law. Cohabitant means two unrelated persons living together for a substantial period of time, resulting in some permanency of relationship. It does not include roommates who do not have a romantic, intimate, or sexual relationship.  Factors that may determine whether persons are cohabiting include, but are not limited to: (1) sexual relations between the Parties while sharing the same living quarters; (2) sharing of income or expenses; (3) joint use or ownership of property; (4) whether the Parties hold themselves out as spouses; (5) the continuity of the relationship; and, (6) the length of the relationship. For purposes of this definition, “abuse” means intentionally or recklessly causing or attempting to cause bodily injury or placing another person in reasonable apprehension of imminent serious bodily injury to himself or herself, or another.Abuse does not include non-physical, emotional distress or injury.

Dating Violence

Abuse committed by a person who is or has been in a social or dating relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. This may include someone the victim just met; i.e., at a party, introduced through a friend, or on a social networking website. For purposes of this definition, “abuse” means intentionally or recklessly causing or attempting to cause bodily injury or placing another person in reasonable apprehension of imminent serious bodily injury to himself or herself, or another. Abuse does not include non-physical, emotional distress or injury.

Stalking

Engaging in a repeated Course of Conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a Reasonable Person to fear for his/her or others’ safety or to suffer Substantial Emotional Distress. For purposes of this definition:

  1. Course of Conduct means two or more acts, including but not limited to, acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through Third Parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person, or interferes with a person’s property;
  2. Reasonable Person means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with the same Protected Status(es) as the Complainant;
  3. Substantial Emotional Distress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.

Discrimination

Adverse Action taken against a Student by the CSU, a CSU employee, or another Student because of a Protected Status.

Protected Categories (PDF)

Harassment

Unwelcome conduct, based on the Complainant’s Protected Status, that is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that its effect, whether or not intended, could be considered by a reasonable person in the shoes of the Complainant, and is in fact considered by the Complainant, as limiting her/his ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities or opportunities offered by the University.

Retaliation

Adverse Action taken against a Student because the Student has or is believed to have:

  1. Exercised rights under this Executive Order;
  2. Reported or opposed conduct which was reasonably and in good faith believed to be in violation of this Executive Order;
  3. Assisted or participated in a policy-related investigation/proceeding regardless of whether the Complaint was substantiated; or,
  4. Assisted someone in reporting or opposing a violation of this Executive Order, or assisted someone in reporting or opposing Retaliation under this Executive Order.

Retaliation may occur whether or not there is a power or authority differential between the individuals involved.