Glossary of Terms

Confidentiality:

The College will respect the wishes of the victim to maintain confidentiality to the greatest degree possible consistent with the College’s legal obligations to take all reasonable steps to protect the welfare of the campus community and to otherwise comply with applicable law.

Consent:

Sexual activity requires consent, which is defined as clear, unambiguous, and voluntary agreement between the participants to engage in specific sexual activity. Consent cannot be inferred from the absence of a “no”; a clear “yes,” verbal or otherwise, is necessary. Although consent does not need to be verbal, verbal communication is the most reliable form of asking for and gauging consent, and individuals are thus urged to seek consent in verbal form. Talking with sexual partners about desires and limits may seem awkward, but serves as the basis for positive sexual experiences shaped by mutual willingness and respect. Consent cannot be obtained from someone who is asleep or otherwise mentally or physically incapacitated, whether due to alcohol, drugs, or some other condition. Consent cannot be obtained by threat, coercion, or force. Agreement given under such conditions does not constitute consent. Consent must be clear and unambiguous for each participant throughout any sexual encounter. Consent to some sexual acts does not imply consent to others, nor does past consent to a given act imply ongoing or future consent. Consent can be revoked at any time. For all of these reasons, sexual partners must evaluate consent in an ongoing fashion and should communicate clearly with each other throughout any sexual encounter.

Dating Violence

Dating violence is violence committed by a person who is or has been in a romantic or intimate relationship with the victim. Whether there was such a relationship will be gauged by its length, type, and frequency of interaction.

Discriminatory Harassment:

Discriminatory harassment is defined as any verbal, physical, written or symbolic behavior that is directed at an identifiable individual or group and/ or their property and is based on that individual’s or group’s membership (or perceived membership) in a particular demographic group, including race, color, religion, age, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin or ethnicity, mental or physical disability, or sexual orientation, and interferes with a reasonable person’s academic or work performance, creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive situation or environment for a person or that subjects a person to unwanted and unsolicited attention. Such behaviors include, but are not limited to, the use of slurs, epithets, name-calling, gestures, demeaning jokes, derogatory stereotypes, bullying, or conduct that may be physically threatening, harmful or humiliating or cause a person to feel unsafe.

Domestic Violence:

Pennsylvania law defines domestic violence as knowingly, intentionally or recklessly causing bodily injury of any kind, causing fear of bodily injury of any kind, assault (sexual or not sexual), rape, sexually abusing minor children, or knowingly engaging in repetitive conduct toward a certain person (i.e. stalking) that puts them in fear of bodily injury. These acts can take place between family or household members, current or former spouses, sexual partners or those who share biological parenthood in order to qualify as domestic violence or abuse.

Sexual Assault:

Sexual assault is a form of sexual harassment, and it includes any type of sexual activity perpetrated against a person’s will, where that person does not give clear and voluntary consent or where the person is incapable of giving consent due to drug or alcohol use or due to intellectual or other disabilities.

Sexual Harassment:

For purposes of Allegheny’s policy, sexual harassment includes any unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other unwelcome verbal, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment may be found in a single episode as well as in persistent behavior. Sexual harassment also includes unwelcome sexual conduct when:

  1. such conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering with an individual’s academic and/or work performance or of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive living, learning or working environment; or
  2. submission to such conduct is made (explicitly or implicitly) a term or condition of an individual’s employment or education; or submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for academic or employment decisions affecting that individual.

Sexual Violence:

Sexual violence is a form of sexual harassment and it includes rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, and sexual coercion. Sexual coercion is the act of using pressure or force to have sexual contact with someone who has already refused.

Stalking:

The term “stalking” means a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for their safety or the safety of others; or to suffer substantial emotional distress. Cyber-stalking, or the repeated use of electronic communications to harass or cause fear, is also included in this definition.

Responsible Employee:

A “responsible employee” includes all Allegheny College employees except the professional counselors in the College Counseling Center, professional staff in the Winslow Health Center, and the College Chaplain and Catholic Campus Minister. Responsible employees have an obligation to promptly report incidents of sexual violence or other types of misconduct prohibited by this policy to the Title IX Coordinator or one of the Deputy Title IX Coordinators.

Retaliation:

Retaliation is treating someone differently because they in good faith made a report under this Policy or participated in/cooperated with an investigation of a complaint under the policy and/or otherwise opposed conduct or practices prohibited by the policy. Retaliation includes but is not limited to ostracizing the person, pressuring the person to drop or not support the complaint or to provide false or misleading information, or engaging in conduct that may reasonably be perceived to affect adversely that person’s educational, living, or work environment, threatening, intimidating, or coercing the person, or otherwise discriminating against any person for exercising their rights or responsibilities under the policy. Retaliation under this policy may be found whether or not the complaint is ultimately found to have merit.

Incapacitation:

The inability, temporarily or permanently, to give consent because someone is mentally and/or physically helpless, unconscious, or unaware due to drug or alcohol consumption (voluntarily or involuntarily), or for some other reason. Incapacitation means a person does not have the ability to give consent.