Definitions

The following definitions can be found in the College's Policy of Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity & Diversity, located at: https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/humanresources/downloads/aap2015.pdf

 Sexual Harassment:  Sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

a. submission to or rejection of such advances, requests or conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment or as a basis for employment or academic decisions; or

b. such advances, requests or conduct have the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's academic or work performance by creating an intimidating, hostile, humiliating or sexually offensive learning or working environment.

Under these definitions, direct or implied requests by a supervisor or instructor for sexual favors in exchange for actual or promised job or academic benefits constitute sexual harassment.  The legal definition of sexual harassment is broad and in addition to the above examples, other sexually oriented conduct, whether it is intended or not, that is unwelcome and has the effect of creating a work or educational environment that is hostile, offensive, intimidating, or humiliating to another may also constitute sexual harassment.

While it is not possible to list all those additional circumstances that may constitute sexual harassment, the following are some examples of conduct which if unwelcome, may constitute sexual harassment depending upon the totality of the circumstances, including the severity of the conduct and/or its pervasiveness:

a. Unwelcome sexual advances - whether they involve physical touching or not.

b. Repeated, unsolicited propositions for dates and/or sexual intercourse.

c. Sexual epithets, jokes, written or oral references to sexual conduct, gossip regarding one's sex life; comment on an individual's body, comment about an individual's sexual activity, deficiencies, or prowess.

d. Displaying sexually suggestive objects, pictures, cartoons.

e. Unwelcome leering, whistling, brushing against the body, sexual gestures, suggestive or insulting comments.

f. Verbal harassment or abuse on the basis of sex.

g. Inquiries into another person’s sexual activities, practices or experiences.

h. Discussion of one's own sexual activities, practices or experiences.

Sexual Violence:  Sexual violence refers to physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent (e.g., due to the person’s age or use of drugs or alcohol, or because an intellectual or other disability prevents the person from having the capacity to give consent). A number of different acts fall into the category of sexual violence, including rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, sexual abuse, and sexual coercion. Sexual violence can be perpetrated by employees, students, or third parties. All such acts of sexual violence are forms of sex discrimination and are prohibited by Title IX.

Sexual Violence under this Policy includes, but is not limited to:

a. Rape- Defined by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as follows:  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.

b. Sexual Assault- Actual or attempted sexual contact with another person without that person’s consent. Sexual assault includes, but is not limited to:

· Fondling - 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;

· Incest - Sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law; and

· Statutory Rape - Sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent.

c. Sexual Exploitation- Occurs when a person takes sexual advantage of another person for the benefit of anyone other than that person without that person’s consent. Examples of behavior that could rise to the level of sexual exploitation include:

· Prostituting another person;

· Recording images (e.g., video, photograph) or audio of another person’s sexual activity, intimate body parts, or nakedness without that person’s consent;

· Distributing images (e.g., video, photograph) or audio of another person’s sexual activity, intimate body parts, or nakedness, if the individual distributing the images or audio knows or should have known that the person depicted in the images or audio did not consent to such disclosure and objects to such disclosure; and

· Viewing another person’s sexual activity, intimate body parts, or nakedness in a place where that person would have a reasonable expectation of privacy, without that person’s consent, and for the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire.

d. Aiding in the Commission of Sexual Violence- The aiding or assisting in the commission of an act(s) of sexual violence is prohibited.

e. Dating Violence- 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; and (iii) the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. For the purposes of this definition, dating violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse.  Dating violence does not include acts covered under the definition of domestic violence.

f. Domestic Violence -A felony or misdemeanor crime of violence including, but not limited to, attempting to cause or causing physical harm; placing another in fear of imminent serious physical harm; or causing another to engage involuntarily in sexual relations by force, threat or duress, which is committed by (a) a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim; (b) a person with whom the victim shares a child in common; (c) a person who is cohabitating with, or has cohabitated with, the victim as a spouse or intimate partner; (d) a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred, or (e) 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 of violence occurred.

g. Stalking -Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to: fear for the person’s safety or the safety of others; or suffer substantial emotional distress. For the purposes of this definition, "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.  For the purposes of this definition, "substantial emotional distress" means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.

TITLE IX COORDINATOR:  A College employee assigned the responsibility for maintaining the College’s compliance with Title IX.  The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for administering this Policy and its Complaint Procedure concerning all Title IX Offenses.  The Title IX Coordinator may also serve as the College’s Affirmative Action Officer.  If these positions are held by different individuals, the AAO and the Title IX Coordinator may collaborate on the enforcement of any aspect of this Policy.  The Title IX Coordinator should not have other job responsibilities that may create a conflict of interest. For example, serving as the Title IX Coordinator and a disciplinary hearing board member or general counsel may create a conflict of interest.  There may also be a Deputy Title IX Coordinator designated to assist the Title IX Coordinator in the performance of his/her duties.  The College’s Title IX Coordinator is Alisa Chapman and can be contacted at 781-280-3620, chapmana@middlesex.mass or Bedford Campus, Cataldo Building, Room 210.   

TITLE IX OFFENSES:  Title IX Offenses include, but are not limited to:  sex discrimination, sexual and gender harassment and sexual violence.   These offenses shall be addressed by the Title IX Coordinator pursuant to this Policy’s Complaint Procedure.

CONSENT:  "Consent" must be informed, voluntary, and mutual, and can be withdrawn at any time. There is no consent when there is force, expressed or implied, or when coercion, intimidation, threats, or duress is used. Whether a person has taken advantage of a position of influence over another person may be a factor in determining consent. Silence or absence of resistance does not imply consent. Past consent to sexual activity with another person does not imply ongoing future consent with that person or consent to that same sexual activity with another person.

If a person is mentally or physically incapacitated or impaired so that such person cannot understand the fact, nature, or extent of the sexual situation, there is no consent; this includes impairment or incapacitation due to alcohol or drug consumption that meets this standard, or being asleep or unconscious.

Last Modified: 9/18/19