Conduct Covered by the Sexual and Related Misconduct Policy and Procedures
The definitions of prohibited sexual and related misconduct and affirmative consent are
- Dating Violence: Violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the complainant. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the complainant’s statement and with 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. Dating violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual, physical, or psychological abuse, or the threat of such abuse. Dating violence does not include acts covered under the definition of domestic violence.
- Domestic Violence: Violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the complainant by a person with whom the complainant shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the complainant under New York domestic or family violence laws, or by any other person against an adult or youth complainant who is protected from that person’s acts under New York domestic or family violence laws.
- Intimidation and Retaliation for Reporting: Attempts, either directly or indirectly, to violate a University No Contact Restriction or to intimidate, threaten, retaliate against, interfere with, restrain, coerce, discriminate against, or harass any person for attempting to report misconduct, reporting misconduct, pursuing a complaint, serving as a witness, or being a potential witness in a University investigation regarding possible violations of any of the University’s policies regarding sexual and related misconduct are prohibited. Members of the University community who engage in this conduct will be subject to prompt and appropriate disciplinary action, including possible termination or expulsion from the University. Individuals engaging in this conduct who are not members of the University community will be subject to campus bans and other actions deemed appropriate by the Title IX Coordinator or their designee.
- Prohibited Consensual Relationships: When individuals are involved in a consensual romantic or sexual relationship and they are in positions of unequal authority or power, there is the potential for a conflict of interest, favoritism, or exploitation of power that impacts the integrity of the University’s living, working, and learning environments. For this reason, this policy prohibits the following consensual romantic or sexual relationships between and among faculty, staff, administrators, and students:
- Regardless of consent by all parties involved, anyone with supervisory, evaluative, or mentoring authority who controls or influences another person’s employment, academic advancement, extracurricular or athletic team participation, scholarship or financial support, grades, recommendations, wage status, or promotion at the University is prohibited from having a romantic or sexual relationship with the person they control or influence.
- Regardless of consent by all parties involved, faculty members, staff members, and administrators are prohibited from having a romantic or sexual relationship with any undergraduate student, regardless of whether the faculty member, staff member, or administrator currently exercises, or expects to have, any pedagogical or supervisory responsibility over the undergraduate student.
- Regardless of consent by all parties involved, if a graduate student teaches courses to any undergraduate students for a semester, then starting the semester in which the graduate student begins teaching any undergraduate students, that graduate student is prohibited from having a romantic or sexual relationship with any undergraduate student. This prohibition applies to that graduate student for as long as the graduate student is enrolled at the University, even if that graduate student is no longer instructing undergraduates.
- Sex and Gender Discrimination: Any severe, pervasive, or persistent conduct that denies a person access to, the benefits of, or the ability to participate in any education program or activity on the basis of sex or gender.
For the definition of Sex and Gender Discrimination applicable to employees, please see the Fordham University Anti-Harassment and Anti-Discrimination in Employment Policy.
- Sexual Assault: Engaging in the following sexual acts without affirmative consent:
- Vaginal, anal, or oral sexual intercourse with another person;
- Inserting a foreign object, however slight, into any sexual or intimate parts of another person;
- Intentionally touching the sexual or intimate parts of another person, directly, through material, or through the use of an object, including making a person touch themselves or another person; or
- Intentionally touching another person’s body for the purpose of sexual arousal, humiliation, degradation, or gratification.
Definition: A knowing, voluntary, and mutual decision among all participants to engage in sexual activity. Consent can be given by words or actions, as long as those words or actions create clear permission regarding willingness to engage in sexual activity. Silence or lack of resistance, in and of itself, does not demonstrate consent. The definition of consent does not vary based upon a participant’s sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation.
Six Guiding Principles Regarding Consensual Sexual Activity: The following principles, along with the above definition, will be used to evaluate whether sexual activity was consensual or violates the Sexual and Related Misconduct Policy and Procedures:
- Consent to any sexual act or prior consensual sexual activity between or with any party does not necessarily constitute consent to any other sexual act.
- Consent is required regardless of whether the person initiating the act is under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
- Consent may be initially given but withdrawn at any time.
- Consent cannot be given when a person is incapacitated, which occurs when an individual lacks the ability to knowingly choose to participate in sexual activity.
- Incapacitation may be caused by lack of consciousness or being asleep, being involuntarily restrained, or if an individual otherwise cannot consent.
- Depending upon the degree of intoxication, someone who is under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other intoxicants may be incapacitated and therefore unable to consent.
- Consent cannot be given when it is the result of any coercion, intimidation, force, or threat of harm.
- When consent is withdrawn or can no longer be given, sexual activity must stop.
- Sexual Exploitation and Other Sexual Misconduct: Taking advantage of another person, or attempting to take advantage of another person, without that person’s consent. The following activities are prohibited under this provision:
- Voyeurism or Peeping: Intentionally watching, videotaping, or recording an individual who is undressing, completely or partially naked, or engaging in sexual activity. This includes allowing others to observe such conduct.
- Sexual Exhibitionism: Engaging in sexually explicit activity in public spaces, including online.
- Displaying or distributing nude or sexually explicit images of another person without that person’s consent.
- Writing or marking of graffiti on University property that is sexually graphic in nature.
- Prostituting another person or soliciting a prostitute to campus, or a campus event, to engage in prostitution.
- Knowingly exposing another person to a sexually transmitted infection or virus without that person’s knowledge.
- Incest: Sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law.
- Stealthing: The act of removing a condom during sexual intercourse without affirmative consent of the sexual partner; or the act of intentionally misleading a sexual partner to believe a condom is being used during sexual intercourse.
- Sexual Harassment: Unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that is severe, pervasive, or persistent, including but not limited to sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, and:
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of a person’s employment, academic standing, or status in a program, course, or activity; or
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct by a person is used as the basis for employment or educational decisions affecting that person, or for academic evaluation, grades, or advancement; or
- Such conduct is sufficiently severe, pervasive, or persistent to have the purpose or reasonable effect of interfering with a person’s work or educational performance, or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or educational environment.
Some examples of sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:
- Stating an intention or threat to expose another person’s sexual orientation or sexual experiences with others;
- A direct or implied threat that submission to sexual advances is a condition to participate in a living, working, or learning group or activity; and
- Severe, pervasive, or persistent comments of a sexual nature, including jokes and remarks about sexual experiences.
- Stalking: Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to: (i) fear for their safety or the safety of others; or (ii) suffer substantial emotional distress.
For purposes of this definition, “course of conduct” means two or more acts, including acts in which the respondent directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any method monitors, observes, follows, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person or interferes with a person’s property.
“Reasonable person” means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the complainant. “Substantial emotional distress” means significant mental anguish or suffering that may, but does not necessarily, require professional treatment or counseling.