Prohibited Conduct

The following examples of Sexual Misconduct are intended to guide students with regard to what types of behavior may result in disciplinary action under this policy. The list below is not exhaustive and the College reserves its right to institute disciplinary procedures for Sexual Misconduct that does not necessarily fall within the specific definitions below.

When the terms “nonconsensual” and “without consent” are used in the definitions of prohibited conduct below, it means that the Accused did not receive Consent, as defined in this Policy, to engage in the particular conduct.

Bullying (sex or gender-based): Repeated sex- or gender-based severe, aggressive behavior likely to intimidate or intentionally hurt, control or diminish another person, physically or mentally (that is not speech or conduct otherwise protected by the First Amendment).

Dating Violence:  Abuse committed against an adult or a minor with whom the suspect is having or has had a dating or engagement relationship. It is the same as Domestic Violence (Cal. Penal Code § 13700), but involves violence that occurs within a “dating relationship” which means frequent, intimate associations primarily characterized by the expectation of affection or sexual involvement independent of financial considerations (Cal. Family Code § 6210). When used in this Policy, dating violence and abuse will be included within the term domestic violence and abuse.

Domestic Violence:  Abuse committed against an adult or a minor who is a spouse, former spouse, cohabitant, former cohabitant, or person with whom the suspect has had a child or is having or has had a dating or engagement relationship. For purposes of this subdivision, “cohabitant” means two unrelated adult persons living together for a substantial period of time, resulting in some permanency of relationship (Cal. Penal Code §13700).

False Reports:  Because the College takes each report seriously, it will not tolerate the filing of false reports. If a good-faith complaint results in a finding of not responsible, the party reporting will not be held responsible. If a person is found to have filed a false report with malicious intent, it is a violation of College Policy and the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities.  It may also violate criminal statues and civil defamation.

Harm to Others (sex or gender-based): Words or conduct made on the basis of sex or gender that threaten or endanger the health and safety of any person, including physical or verbal abuse, threats, intimidation, and/or harassment. Intimidation is defined as implied threats or acts that cause an unreasonable fear of harm in another.

Hazing (sex or gender-based): An act committed on the basis of sex or gender that is likely to endanger the mental or physical health or safety of a student or cause social ostracism to any person within the College community for the purpose of initiation, admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in a group or organization. The express or implied consent of the Alleged Victim will not be a defense. Apathy or acquiescence in the presence of Hazing are not neutral acts; if the mere presence of a person during an act of Hazing is determined to be encouraging or a contribution factor to the conduct that constitutes Hazing, the person may still be found responsible for Hazing.

Non-Consensual Sexual Contact (or attempts to commit same): Having sexual contact with another individual:

  • By force or threat of force;
  • Without effective affirmative consent; or
  • Where the individual is incapacitated.

Sexual contact includes any intentional contact with the intimate parts of another, including but not limited to the breasts, groin, genitals, buttocks, mouth, or any other body part touched in a sexual manner, disrobing or exposure of another’s body without consent, causing an individual to touch their own intimate body parts, or any other bodily contact in a sexual manner.  

Sexual Assault (or attempts to commit same): Having or attempting to have sexual intercourse with another individual:

  • By force or threat of force;
  • Without effective affirmative consent; or
  • Where the individual is incapacitated.

Non-consensual sexual intercourse includes forced oral copulation (mouth-genital contact), vaginal or anal penetration, however slight, with a body part or object. California law defines rape as nonconsensual sexual intercourse that involves the use or threat of force, violence, or immediate and unlawful bodily injury or threats of future retaliation and duress (California Penal Code: Sections 261, 261.5, 262, 286, 288a, 289, and 243.4).  

Sexual Exploitation: Taking non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another individual for his/her own advantage or benefit, or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to:

  • Invasion of sexual privacy;
  • Prostituting another student;
  • Non-consensual video, photography, or audiotaping of sexual activity;
  • Non-consensual sharing or streaming of intimate images, including photography, video, or audio recording of sexual activity or nudity of the person being exploited;
  • Engaging in voyeurism or allowing another to observe consensual sexual activity without the knowledge of all people involved;
  • Knowingly transmitting a sexually transmitted disease or infection, including HIV to another person;
  • Disrobing or exposing one’s genitals in non-consensual circumstances; inducing another to expose their genitals;
  • Sexually-based stalking and/or bullying may also be forms of Sexual Exploitation.

Sexual Harassment:  Unwelcomed, gender-based verbal or physical conduct that is sufficiently severe, pervasive and objectively offensive that unreasonably interferes with, limits, or deprives someone of the ability to participate in or benefit from the College’s educational programs based on power differentials (quid pro quo), the creation of a hostile environment, or retaliation. Examples include: an attempt to coerce an unwilling person into a sexual relationship; to repeatedly subject a person to egregious, unwanted sexual attention; to punish a refusal to comply; to condition a benefit on submitting to sexual advances; Sexual Assault; Domestic or Dating Violence, Stalking; Gender-based Bullying.

There are three types of sexual harassment:

1. Hostile environment includes any situation in which there is harassing conduct that is sufficiently severe, pervasive/persistent and patently/objectively offensive that it alters the conditions of education or employment, from both a subjective (the alleged victim’s) and an objective (reasonable person’s) viewpoint. The determination of whether an environment is “hostile” must be based on a combination of any of these circumstances. These circumstances include:

  • Frequency of the conduct;
  • Nature and severity of the conduct;
  • Whether the conduct was physically threatening;
  • Whether the conduct was humiliating;
  • Effect of the conduct on the alleged victim’s mental or emotional state;
  • Whether the conduct was directed at more than one person;
  • Whether the conduct arose in the context of other discriminatory conduct;
  • Whether the conduct unreasonably interfered with the alleged victim’s educational or work performance;
  • Whether the statement is a mere utterance of an epithet which engenders offense in an employee or student, or offends by mere discourtesy or rudeness; and
  • Whether the speech or conduct deserves the protections of academic freedom or First Amendment protection

2. Quid pro quo sexual harassment:  This form of sexual harassment exists when:

  • There are unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature; and
  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct results in adverse educational or employment action.

3. Retaliatory harassment is any adverse employment or educational action taken against a person because of the person’s participation in a complaint or investigation of discrimination or sexual misconduct.

Stalking: A course of behavior or conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person under similar circumstances to fear for his or her safety or for the safety of loved ones. A course of conduct consists of two or more acts wherein on person directly, indirectly, or through a third party follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about another person through behaviors that may include but are not limited to unwanted telephone calls, unwanted letters or emails, unwanted or threatening gifts, threats, damage to property, physical assault, or appearing without invitation at a place of residence, school, or work. Cyber stalking includes use of electronic media, such as the internet, social networking sites, blogs, cell phones, apps, texts, or other electronic media to stalk an individual. California Law defines Stalking as willful, malicious, and repeated following or willful and malicious harassment of another person or making a credible threat with the intent to place that person in reasonable fear for his or her safety, or the safety of his or her immediate family (Cal. Penal Code §646.9).

This policy was edited on August 11, 2016.

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