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Definitions

You may hear terms relevant to the reporting and resolution of sexual or interpersonal misconduct complaints. The most common terms from the Sexual and Interpersonal Misconduct Policy ("Policy") and the Code of Student Conduct are identified here, along with general definitions of some additional concepts as well as definitions found in the Iowa Code and The Clery Act for reference. In all cases, please see the full policies for complete and additional definitions, and appropriate context.


Adjudication: The process of investigating and resolving formal complaints of sexual or interpersonal misconduct.


Complaint: A formal report of sexual and interpersonal misconduct to the University, which will be investigated and adjudicated through the applicable policy and procedure. (Please note an individual can notify the University of misconduct and seek assistance without filing a formal complaint.)


Complainant An individual reported to have experienced sexual or interpersonal misconduct.


Consent 


Policy: The term “consent,” in the context of sexual activity, means informed, freely and actively given, unambiguous words or actions that demonstrate a willingness to participate in mutually agreed-upon sexual activity.

  • Policy Discussion or Examples: When looking at whether consent is present, it is important to understand that persons who seek to engage in the sexual activity are responsible for obtaining consent – it should be never be assumed.  For instance, a current/prior relationship or current/previous sexual activity alone is not sufficient to demonstrate consent, nor does consent to engage in sexual activity with one person imply consent to engage in sexual activity with another person.  Similarly, lack of protest or resistance does not constitute consent, nor does silence mean consent has been given. 
  • To constitute consensual sexual activity, consent must be present throughout the sexual activity – at any time, a participant may communicate (verbally or physically) that they no longer consent to continuing the activity.  If there is confusion as to whether anyone has consented or continues to consent to sexual activity, it is essential that the participants stop the activity until the confusion can be clearly resolved.  The assessment is based on objectively and reasonably apparent indications of consent available to the person seeking to engage in sexual activity, when viewed from the perspective of a reasonable person under the circumstances.
  • Consent is not present if a sexual act is committed through coercion or force.  Furthermore, an individual is unable to give consent if they are incapacitated or a minor under age 16.


Iowa Code: no definition (see definition of Sexual Abuse below)


Clery Act: no definition


Dating Violence


Policy: Violence or threat of violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic, sexual, or intimate nature with the individual. 

  • Policy Discussion or Examples: Examples of dating violence include, but are not limited to, the following based on the totality of the circumstances: physical violence or assault; non-consensual sexual activity (which could constitute both sexual assault and dating violence); or threats of such violence.  “Intimate” means a significant romantic involvement that need not include sexual involvement. An intimate relationship does not include casual social relationships or associations in a business or professional capacity. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the reporting individual’s statement and with consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
  • A person commits an assault when, without justification, the person does any of the following:Any act which is intended to cause pain or injury to, or which is intended to result in physical contact which will be insulting or offensive to another, coupled with the apparent ability to execute the act; or
  • Any act which is intended to place another in fear of immediate physical contact which will be painful, injurious, insulting, or offensive, coupled with the apparent ability to execute the act.

Iowa Code: no specific definition, although included in the definition of Domestic Abuse (below) is the following: "The assault is between persons who are in an intimate relationship or have been in an intimate relationship and have had contact within the past year of the assault."  (Iowa Code §236.2(2)(e))


Clery Act: Violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the reporting party’s statement and with consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and 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.

Disciplinary (or Formal) Hearing: A formal process in which the University considers the charges of misconduct through a hearing officer (Code of Student Conduct) or other individual or group (Faculty Manual). 


Domestic Violence

Policy: Violence or threat of violence committed between family or household members who resided together at the time of the violence; between separated spouses or persons divorced from each other and not residing together at the time of the violence; parents of the same minor child, regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together at any time; or between persons who have been family or household members residing together within the past year and are not residing together at the time of the incident. 

  • Policy Discussion or Examples: Examples of domestic violence include, but are not limited to, the following based on the totality of the circumstances: physical violence or assault; non-consensual sexual activity (which could constitute both sexual assault and domestic violence); or threats of such violence.
  • A person commits an assault when, without justification, the person does any of the following:Any act which is intended to cause pain or injury to, or which is intended to result in physical contact which will be insulting or offensive to another, coupled with the apparent ability to execute the act; or
  • Any act which is intended to place another in fear of immediate physical contact which will be painful, injurious, insulting, or offensive, coupled with the apparent ability to execute the act.

Iowa Code: “Domestic abuse" means committing assault as defined in [Iowa Code] section 708.1 under any of the following circumstances:

  • The assault is between family or household members who resided together at the time of the assault.
  • The assault is between separated spouses or persons divorced from each other and not residing together at the time of the assault.
  • The assault is between persons who are parents of the same minor child, regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together at any time.
  • The assault is between persons who have been family or household members residing together within the past year and are not residing together at the time of the assault.
  • The assault is between persons who are in an intimate relationship or have been in an intimate relationship and have had contact within the past year of the assault. In determining whether persons are or have been in an intimate relationship, the court may consider the following nonexclusive list of factors:

(a) The duration of the relationship.
(b) The frequency of interaction.
(c) Whether the relationship has been terminated.
(d) The nature of the relationship, characterized by either party's expectation of sexual or romantic involvement.

A person may be involved in an intimate Interpersonal with more than one person at a time. "Intimate Interpersonal" means a significant romantic involvement that need not include sexual involvement. An intimate relationship does not include casual social relationships or associations in a business or professional capacity. Iowa Code Section 236.2(4A).

Clery Act: a felony or misdemeanor crime of violence committed:

  • by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim;
  • by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common;
  • by a person who is cohabitating with, or has cohabitated with, the victim as a spouse or intimate partner;
  • by 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; 
  • by 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. 

Incapacitation: The inability, temporarily or permanently, to give consent because an individual is mentally and/or physically helpless, asleep, unconscious, or unaware that sexual activity is occurring, including due to the influence of drugs, alcohol, medication, or mental or physical disability.  An individual who is incapacitated lacks the ability to make informed judgments and cannot consent to sexual contact or activity.

  • Policy Discussion or Examples: Where alcohol or other drugs are involved, incapacitation is a state beyond impairment or intoxication wherein the individual is unaware of their actions or surroundings. Where alcohol or other drugs are involved, evaluating incapacitation requires an assessment of how the consumption of alcohol and/or drugs affects a person’s decision-making ability; awareness of consequences; ability to make informed, rational judgments; capacity to appreciate the nature and quality of the act; or level of consciousness. The assessment is based on objectively and reasonably apparent indications of incapacitation available to the person seeking to engage in sexual activity, when viewed from the perspective of a reasonable person under the circumstances.

Interim and Protective Measures: Those steps taken or accommodations made to promote health, well-being, or safety on campus.  Interim and protective measures are not sanctions, which are issued after a University adjudication process has occurred. Interim and protective measures may be provided when readily accessible, regardless if a formal University complaint is made or law enforcement is contacted. Some interim and protective measures are mutual in that they may apply to both complainant and respondent.


Interpersonal Misconduct: A broad category of behavior including dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking.  (Sexual and Interpersonal Misconduct Policy; Code of Student Conduct)


Medical Amnesty: A University policy in the Code of Student Conduct that allows the University to refer a student to a substance abuse awareness program and/or evaluation rather than issue sanctions for a drug or alcohol violation when the student comes forward for a medical emergency. Exceptions to medical amnesty apply when the conduct is egregious or first discovered by a University official.   

Amnesty for sexual and interpersonal misconduct incidents: the University will not pursue disciplinary action for improper use of alcohol or other drugs against a person who reports or makes a complaint in good faith concerning an incident of sexual or interpersonal misconduct, or who participates in good faith in an investigation into an incident of sexual or interpersonal misconduct.


No-Contact order: Can limit or prohibit contact and interaction between individuals.  Drake recognizes both criminal no-contact orders and civil protective orders, which should be provided to Drake Public Safety.

A University no-contact order is enforced under University policies and procedures and applies only to the campus jurisdiction.

A criminal no-contact order covers a broader jurisdiction and is requested through the Polk County Attorney or the Des Moines Police Department as part of criminal proceedings overseen by a judge.

A civil protective order is available for victims of domestic abuse and may be obtained through the Polk County Clerk of Court by participating in a hearing overseen by a judge. 


No-Trespass Order: Can ban an individual from campus or from certain areas of campus. A University no-trespass order is enforced under University policies and procedures and applies only to the campus jurisdiction. In certain circumstances, violations of no-trespass orders may warrant arrest by the Des Moines Police Department. 


Preponderance of evidence: Refers to a standard of proof. A preponderance of the evidence exists when it is more likely than not, or the greater weight of the evidence suggests, a violation occurred. (This is not the highest standard applicable in criminal proceedings, which requires “proof beyond a reasonable doubt.”)


Respondent: The individual or group reported to have engaged in sexual or interpersonal misconduct.  


Retaliation: A materially adverse action taken against a person because of the person’s report of sexual and interpersonal misconduct, participation in the investigation of a report of misconduct, or objecting to or resisting such misconduct.

  • Policy Discussion or Examples: The following actions could constitute retaliation if they are taken against an individual because they have resisted or reported sexual or interpersonal misconduct, sought guidance, filed a complaint or participated in an investigation into sexual or interpersonal misconduct:
    • Retaliation can include any action that has an adverse impact on the individual’s employment, compensation or work assignments, or, in the case of students, grades, class selection or any other matter pertaining to the student’s participation at the University.
    • Retaliation might also include, but is not limited to, harassment, intimidation, coercion, discrimination, or other misconduct directed at an individual because they have resisted or reported sexual or interpersonal misconduct, sought guidance, filed a complaint or participated in an investigation into sexual or interpersonal misconduct.
  • Retaliation is a separate form of misconduct that could be investigated and justify additional protective measures and/or sanctions against any person involved in the retaliatory acts, including third-parties, friends, or other persons acting on behalf of or in cooperation with the Complainant or Respondent.

Sanctions: Disciplinary measures issued at the conclusion of a University investigation and adjudication process. University sanctions may be imposed upon those determined to have engaged in sexual or interpersonal misconduct under applicable university policies and procedures. For employees, sanctions could range from counseling to termination from employment. For students, possible sanctions include expulsion, suspension, non-academic probation, removal from University-owned housing, mandatory counseling, revocation of privileges, restitution, fines, educational or work assignments, or University reprimand.


Sex-Based Harassment 

Policy: Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature or that is directed at someone because of their sex when: 

  • Submission to, or rejection of, such conduct is made explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s education, employment or status in a course, program or activity;
  • Submission to, or rejection of, such conduct is used as a basis for an employment or educational decision affecting an individual, or their participation in a course, program or activity; or
  • Such conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with or limiting an individual’s work or education so as to create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for work or learning or participating in a University program or activity.

     Policy Discussion or Examples:

    “Unwelcome” means the person did not solicit or invite the behavior and regarded it as undesirable or offensive, even if at first the behavior was tolerated. 

    A “hostile environment” is defined as an environment that, through harassing conduct based on a person’s sex, becomes sufficiently severe, pervasive, or persistent so as to unreasonably interfere with a person’s work or learning or limit the ability of a person to participate in or benefit from a university program or activity.  Consideration of sexual harassment must take in the totality of the circumstances to determine whether a “hostile environment” exists, including the context, nature, scope, frequency, duration and location of incidents, as well as the identity, number, and relationships of the persons involved.  In some cases, a single incident may be so severe as to create a hostile environment.  In other instances, the behavior at issue may not be sufficiently severe, pervasive, or persistent as to constitute a hostile work or learning environment. In such cases, the University can generally take action to stop the offending behavior in an effort to promote a respectful environment and avoid the possibility that a hostile environment will develop.

    The University determines whether the person at whom the conduct was directed found it harassing and whether a “reasonable person” would find the conduct harassing, using both a subjective and objective assessment of whether the conduct was unwelcome and would constitute a hostile environment. 

    Drake University does not tolerate sexual harassment of its employees or students by others regardless of their University status and also protects students and employees against third-party harassment within the employment and educational setting. Sexual harassment is especially serious when it threatens relations by unfairly exploiting the power differential between the parties in an educational or professional relationship such as between instructor/advisor/coach and student or supervisor and subordinate, as explained in the Consensual Relationships Policy.

    Sexual harassment occurs in a variety of circumstances. Sexual harassment can involve relationships of unequal power and contain elements of coercion as when compliance with requests for sexual favors becomes a condition of employment, work, education, study, or benefits. Sexual harassment may also involve unwelcome relationships or behavior among equals, as when repeated sexual advances or demeaning/offensive verbal or physical behavior have a harmful effect on a person’s ability to study, work, or participate at the University. 

    Examples of sexual harassment include, but are not limited to, the following behaviors when unwelcome:

    • Physical behavior, such as:
      • intentional touching or deliberate interference with or restriction of movement
    • Communication (verbal, written, symbolic expression, online) such as:
      • explicit or implicit propositions to engage in sexual activity;
      • gratuitous comments, jokes, questions, anecdotes, or remarks of a sexual nature, including communications about clothing, appearance, or bodies of a person;
      • gratuitous remarks about sexual activities or speculation about sexual experiences;
      • gratuitous remarks about how a person should dress, act, or behave based on sex or gender stereotypes;
      • sexual or romantic attention or subtle or overt pressure for sexual favors;
      • exposure to sexually suggestive visual displays such as photographs, drawings, posters, videos or other materials;
      • deliberate humiliation or intimidation based on sex or gender.

     (Sexual and Interpersonal Misconduct Policy; Code of Student Conduct)


    Sexual Assault


    Policy: Sexual assault is having or attempting to have sexual contact or sexual penetration with another individual without consent.  This may include coercion or force that compels individuals to engage in sexual activity against their will.  Sexual assault may include, but not be limited to, the following acts when consent is not present:

    • Sexual intercourse (anal, oral, or vaginal), including but not limited to penetration with a body part or an object, or requiring another to penetrate themselves with a body part or an object, however slight;
    • Sexual contact, including, but not limited to, intentional touching, fondling, or contact with the breasts, buttocks, groin, genitals, or other intimate part of an individual’s body; intentional touching of another with these body parts; intentionally making another touch you or themselves with or on any of these body parts;
    • Engaging in sexual activity with a person who is unable to provide consent due to incapacitation by drugs, alcohol, or other

    (Sexual and Interpersonal Misconduct Policy; Code of Student Conduct)

    Iowa Law: The State of Iowa uses the term “Sexual Abuse" rather than Sexual Assault:
    Any sex act between persons is sexual abuse by either of the persons when the act is performed with the other person in any of the following circumstances:

    • The act is done by force or against the will of the other. If the consent or acquiescence of the other is procured by threats of violence toward any person or if the act is done while the other is under the influence of a drug inducing sleep or is otherwise in a state of unconsciousness, the act is done against the will of the other. 
    • Such other person is suffering from a mental defect or incapacity which precludes giving consent, or lacks the mental capacity to know the right and wrong of conduct in sexual matters. 
    • Such other person is a child. (Iowa Code § 709)

    Clery Act: is defined as an offense that meets the definition of Rape, Fondling, Incest or Statutory Rape.


    Sexual Exploitation

    Policy: Sexual exploitation involves one person violating the sexual privacy of another or taking non-consensual sexual advantage of another person, even though the behavior might not constitute one of the other sexual misconduct

    • Policy Discussion or Examples:  Distribution or publication of sexual or intimate information about another person without consent
      • Electronic recording, photographing, or transmitting sexual or intimate utterances, sounds, or images without knowledge and consent of all parties
      • Engaging in indecent exposure, including exposing one’s genitals or inducing another to expose their genitals in non-consensual circumstances
      • Sexual intimidation - Sexual intimidation is an implied or actual threat to commit a sex act against another person, or behavior used to coerce participation in a sex act
      • Intentional ejaculation on another person without consent
      • Voyeurism, including observing another’s nudity, state of undress, or sexual activity without consent
      • Intentionally misrepresenting the presence or use of a condom, prophylactic or other birth control to induce a person to consent to sexual activity, or intentionally removing a condom, prophylactic, or other birth control during or before sexual contact without a partner’s consent
      • Intentionally exposing another person to a sexually transmitted disease/infection without the person’s knowledge
      • Prostituting or trafficking another person for commercial sexual activity, including purchasing or attempting to purchase services involving commercial sexual activity from a trafficking-victim or another person engaged in human trafficking.

    (Sexual and Interpersonal Misconduct Policy; Code of Student Conduct)

    Iowa Code: no definition (outside of limited circumstances with counselors or school employees)


    Clery Act: no definition


    Sexual Misconduct: The University defines sexual misconduct as including sexual assault, sexual exploitation and sex-based harassment (including sexual harassment). (Sexual and Interpersonal Misconduct Policy; Code of Student Conduct)


    Stalking

    Policy: Stalking occurs when a person engages in a course of conduct toward another person under circumstances that would reasonably cause a person to fear bodily injury to themselves or others or to experience substantial emotional distress.

    • Policy Discussion or Examples: “Course of conduct” can be defined as a pattern of behavior composed of two or more instances over a period of time, however short, including but not limited to unwelcome acts in which the person 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. A course of conduct may exist even if the Complainant makes only a single report to the University, if the behaviors reported included two or more instances.  “Substantial emotional distress” means significant mental suffering or anguish. A “reasonable person” standard asks if a reasonable person in similar circumstances would be made afraid or experience substantial emotional distress by the behavior.  Stalking includes the concept of cyber-stalking, a particular form of stalking in which electronic media such as the internet, social networks, blogs, cell phones, texts, GPS, spyware, or other similar devices or forms of contact or surveillance are used.  It is not required that any form of prior relationship exist in order for behavior to constitute stalking.
    • Stalking behaviors can be characterized as persistent and frequent unwanted in-person contact, surveillance, and unwanted telephone and other electronic contact. Some stalking behaviors, in isolation, may not appear problematic unless part of a course of conduct examined in the totality of the circumstances. Examples of stalking include, but are not limited to:
    • Non-consensual or unwelcome communication including in-person communication, telephone calls, voice messages, text messages, email messages, social networking site postings, instant messages, postings of pictures or information on Web sites, written letters, gifts, or any other communications that are undesired and/or place another person in fear or cause substantial emotional distress;
    • Following, pursuing, waiting, or showing up uninvited at a workplace, place of residence, classroom, or other locations frequented by a person;
    • Surveillance and other types of observation, whether by physical proximity or electronic means;
    • Trespassing;
    • Vandalism;
    • Non-consensual touching;
    • Direct physical and/or verbal threats against a person or their friends/ loved ones;
    • Gathering of information about a person from family, friends, co-workers, and/or classmates.

    (Sexual and Interpersonal Misconduct Policy; Code of Student Conduct)

    Iowa Code: A person commits stalking when all of the following occurs:

    • The person purposefully engages in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear bodily injury to, or the death of, that specific person or a member of the specific person’s immediate family. 
    • The person has knowledge or should have knowledge that the specific person will be placed in reasonable fear of bodily injury to, or the death of, that specific person or a member of the specific person’s immediate family by the course of conduct. 
    • The person’s course of conduct induces fear in the specific person of bodily injury to, or the death of, the specific person or a member of the specific person’s immediate family. (Iowa Code § 708.11)

    Clery Act: is defined as 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.

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