Terms & Definitions

  1. “Complaint” a description of facts that allege violation of the conduct code. 
  2. "Complainant" is any person who is the alleged victim of prohibited conduct, whether or not such person has made an actual complaint.   
  3. "Conduct Officer" or “Student Conduct Officer” is the college official designated by the college to be responsible for initiating disciplinary action for alleged violations of this code. 
  4. “Disciplinary action” means the decision of the designated college official regarding alleged violations of the student code of conduct and includes any disciplinary sanction imposed for such violations.  Disciplinary action does not include summary suspension.    
  5. Discrimination.  Discrimination is unfavorable treatment of a person based on that person’s identity as described in the Non-Discrimination Policy (WAC 132E-120-150). 
    1. Sex discrimination is conduct which harms or adversely affects any member of the college community because of their sex, actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, parental, family or marital status, or pregnancy. 
    2. Discriminatory harassment. Discriminatory harassment is language or conduct directed at a person because of the person's identity that is unwelcome and sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive such that it could reasonably be expected to create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment, or has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with a person's academic or work performance, or the person's ability to participate in or benefit from the college’s programs, services, opportunities, or activities.
  6. Domestic violence. Domestic violence includes:
    1. The infliction of physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or the fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury or assault committed against a family or household member. Family or household members include:
      1. A current or former spouse or intimate partner;
      2. A person with whom the person shares a child in common;
      3. A person with whom one is cohabitating or has cohabitated; or
      4. A person with whom one resides including a roommate, suitemate, or housemate.
    2. Sexual assault of one family or household member by another family or household member; or
    3. Stalking, as defined under sexual misconduct below, of one family or household member by another family or household member.
  7. Gender-based harassment. Gender-based harassment is a form of sex-based harassment and refers to unwelcome conduct based on an individual’s actual or perceived sex, including harassment based on gender identity or nonconformity with sex stereotypes, and not necessarily involving conduct of a sexual nature. 
  8. “Hostile environment” may occur when another’s unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature is sufficiently serious such that it substantially limits or denies one’s ability to participate in or benefit from educational programs, activities, or employment
  9. Harassment. 
    1. Harassment means unwelcome and offensive conduct including verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct that is directed at a person because of their membership of a protected identity under this student code of conduct.  Unwelcome and offensive conduct is considered harassment when:
      1. It is sufficiently serious as to deny or limit the ability of a student to participate in or benefit from the college’s educational program, or
      2. That creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for any campus community members. 
    2. Petty slights, annoyances, offensive utterances, and isolated incidents (unless extremely serious) typically do not qualify as harassment.  Examples of conduct that could rise to the level of harassment include but are not limited to the following:
      1. Epithets, “jokes,” ridicule, mockery or other offensive or derogatory conduct focused upon an individual’s membership of a protected identity. 
      2. Verbal or physical threats of violence or physical contact directed towards an individual based upon their membership of a protected identity. 
      3. Making, posting, emailing, texting, or otherwise circulating demeaning or offensive pictures, cartoons, graffiti, notes or other materials that relate to the person’s membership of a protected identity. 
    3. Protected identities under this student code of conduct (as cited in the Non-Discrimination Policy, WAC 132E-120-150) include, but is not limited to, race, color, national origin, citizenship, ethnicity, language, culture, age, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, pregnancy or parental status, marital status, actual or perceived disability, use of service animal, economic status, military or veteran status, spirituality or religion, or genetic information. 
  10. “Investigation” is the process through which the college collects information and otherwise reviews the complaint.  As it pertains to reports of sexual misconduct under Title IX, this process includes equal opportunity for all complainants, respondents, and witnesses to participate in the Title IX proceedings, including the opportunity to provide information and/or evidence on their own behalf. 
  11. "Party" to a disciplinary proceeding under this code includes the student conduct officer and the student respondent, as well as any complainant in a proceeding involving allegations of sexual misconduct.
  12. “Policy violation” means the violation of any applicable law or college policy governing the conduct of students as members of the college community. 
  13. “Preponderance of evidence” is a standard of proof requiring that facts alleged as constituting a violation of this code must be proved on a more likely than not basis. 
  14. "Proceedings" means all processes related to the investigation and adjudication of a disciplinary matter under this conduct code including, but not limited to, investigations, informal and formal hearings, administrative review, and requests for reconsideration of a final order
  15. “Resolution” is the means by which the complaint is finally addressed.  This may be accomplished by using methods which may include counseling, supporting, disciplinary action, or otherwise facilitating the resolution of the complaint.  No Title IX complainant will be required to have face-to-face interaction with the respondent in any resolution proceedings.
  16. "Respondent" is any student accused of misconduct under this conduct code.
  17. Retaliation. The term "retaliation" means harming, threatening, intimidating, coercing or taking adverse action of any kind against a person because such person reported an alleged violation of this code or other college policy, provided information about an alleged violation, or participated as a witness or in any other capacity in a college investigation or disciplinary proceeding.
  18. Sexual misconduct. includes committing, or aiding, soliciting, or attempting the commission of, the following prohibited conduct: sexual harassment, sexual intimidation, sexual violence and quid pro quo.
  19. Sexual harassment.  Sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to, unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, including unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature that is sufficiently serious as to deny or limit, based on sex, a) the ability of a student to participate in or benefit from the college’s educational program, or b) that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for any campus community member(s).   
    1. Examples of behaviors that may rise to the level of sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:
      1. Physical assault.
      2. A pattern of behaviors that is unwelcome and severe, persistent, or pervasive, resulting in unreasonable interference with the work or educational environment, and may include, but is not limited to, the following:
      3. Comments of a sexual nature.
      4. Sexually explicit statements, questions, jokes, or anecdotes.
      5. Unnecessary or undesirable touching, patting, hugging, kissing, or brushing against an individual's body.
      6. Remarks of a sexual nature about an individual's clothing, body, or speculations about previous sexual experiences.
      7. Persistent, unwanted attempts to change a professional relationship to an amorous relationship.
      8. Subtle propositions for sexual activity or direct propositions of a sexual nature.
      9. Uninvited letters, e-mails, telephone calls, or other correspondence referring to or depicting sexual activities.
  20. Sexual Intimidation. The term "sexual intimidation" incorporates the definition of "sexual harassment" and means threatening or emotionally distressing conduct based on sex, including stalking (or cyberstalking), voyeurism, indecent exposure, or the nonconsensual recording of sexual activity or distribution of such recording. Stalking means engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for such person's safety or the safety of others, or to suffer substantial emotional distress.
  21. Sexual violence.  Sexual violence incorporates the definition of “sexual harassment” and means a physical sexual act perpetrated against a person’s will or where the person is incapable of giving consent, including dating violence, domestic violence, nonconsensual intercourse (rape), nonconsensual sexual contact (sexual assault), and stalking.  A person may be incapable of giving consent by reason of age, threat or intimidation, lack of opportunity to object, disability, drug or alcohol consumption, unconsciousness, or other cause. 
    1. “Consent” is knowing, voluntary and clear permission by word or action, to engage in mutually agreed upon sexual activity.  Each party has the responsibility to make certain that the other has consented before engaging in the activity.  For consent to be valid, there must be at the time of the act of sexual intercourse or sexual contact actual words or conduct indicating freely given agreement to have sexual intercourse or sexual contact.  A person cannot consent if he or she is unable to understand what is happening or is disoriented, helpless, asleep or unconscious for any reason, including due to alcohol or other drugs.  An individual who engages in sexual activity when the individual knows, or should know, that the other person is physically or mentally incapacitated has engaged in nonconsensual conduct.  Intoxication is not a defense against allegations that an individual has engaged in nonconsensual sexual conduct. 
    2. “Dating violence” means violence by a person who has been in a romantic or intimate relationship with that person.  Whether there was such relationship will be gauged by its length, type, and frequency of interaction.
    3. “Domestic violence” includes asserted violent misdemeanor and felony offenses committed by the person’s current or former spouse, current or former cohabitant, person similarly situated under domestic or family violence laws, or anyone else protected under domestic or family violence law.
    4. “Nonconsensual sexual intercourse (rape)” is any sexual intercourse (anal, oral, or vaginal), however slight, with any object, by a person upon another person, that is without consent and/or by force.  Sexual intercourse includes anal or vaginal penetration by a penis, tongue, finger, or object, or oral copulation by mouth to genital contact or genital to mouth contact.
    5. “Nonconsensual sexual contact (sexual assault)” is any intentional sexual contact, however slight, with any object, by a person upon another person that is without consent and/or by force.  “Sexual contact” includes any touching of another person for the purposes of sexual gratification, or any 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.
    6. “Stalking” means intentional and repeated harassment, following of, or otherwise surveiling another person, which places that person in reasonable fear that the perpetrator intends to injure, intimidate, or harass that person.  Stalking also includes instances where the perpetrator knows or reasonably should know that the person is frightened, intimidated, or harassed, even if the perpetrator lacks such intent.
      1. The person being harassed or followed is placed in reasonable fear that the stalker intends to injure the person, another person, or property of the person or of another person. 
      2. “Reasonable fear” is a fear that a reasonable person in the same situation would experience under most circumstances. 
  22. “Title IX Coordinator” is the college official designated by the college to be responsible for initiating disciplinary action for allegations of sexual misconduct and discrimination. 
  23. Quid Pro Quo.  Quid Pro Quo occurs when an individual in a position of real or perceived authority conditions the recipient of a benefit upon granting sexual favors.  Examples of conduct that may qualify include:
    1. Persistent comments or questions of as sexual nature. 
    2. A supervisor who gives an employee a promotion or special privileges in exchange for sexual favors. 
    3. Sexually explicit statements, questions, jokes, or anecdotes. 
    4. Unwelcome touching, patting, hugging, kissing, or brushing against an individual’s body. 
    5. Remarks of a sexual nature about an individual’s clothing, body, or speculation about previous sexual experiences. 
    6. Persistent, unwanted attempts to change a professional relationship to an romantic relationship. 
    7. Direct or indirect propositions for sexual activity. 
    8. Unwelcome letters, emails, texts, telephone calls, or other communications referring to or depicting sexual activities.
  24. Sexual exploitation. Sexual exploitation includes: 
    1. Taking nonconsensual or abusive advantage of another for one's own sexual benefit, or for the sexual benefit of anyone other than the one being exploited;
    2. Compelling another by threat or force to engage in sexual conduct or activity;
    3. Transmitting, distributing, publishing, or threatening to transmit, distribute, or publish photos, video, or other recordings of a private and sexual nature where such transmission, publication, or distribution is without the consent of the subject(s) and is likely to cause emotional distress to the subject(s);
    4. Taking or making photographs, films, or digital images of the private body parts of another person without that person's consent;
    5. Causing or attempting to cause the impairment of another person to gain nonconsensual sexual advantage over that person;
    6. Prostituting another person;
    7. Knowingly allowing another to surreptitiously watch otherwise consensual sexual activity; or
    8. Taking, making, or directly transmitting nonconsensual video or audio recordings of sexual activity.