Definitions

The  definitions and examples on this page provide a common language for the Dartmouth community. These terms, such as "consent," "sexual assault," and "retaliation," are found in the College's policies and procedures.

Consent

Consent means clear and unambiguous agreement, expressed in mutually understandable words or action, to engage in a particular sexual activity. Whether valid consent has been given will be judged based upon what a reasonable person would have understood from such words or actions.

Consent must be voluntarily given and is not valid

  • if obtained by physical force, coercion, or threat;
  • when a person is Incapacitated; or
  • when an intellectual or other disability prevents a person from having the capacity to give consent.

Consent to engage in one sexual activity, or agreement to engage in a particular sexual activity on a prior occasion, cannot be presumed to constitute consent to engage in a different sexual activity or to engage again in a sexual activity. Consent can be withdrawn by either person at any point.

Sexual Assault

Sexual Assault means unwanted or unwelcome touching of a sexual nature, including: fondling; penetration of the mouth, anus, or vagina, however slight, with a body part or object; or other sexual activity that occurs without valid Consent.

Sexual Harassment or Gender-Based Harassment

Sexual Harassment or Gender-Based Harassment includes any of the following behaviors:

  • Hostile Environment – unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other visual, verbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature when the conduct is sufficiently severe or pervasive to deny or limit the victim's ability to participate in or benefit from Dartmouth's educational programs or benefits by creating an intimidating or hostile environment.
     
  • Quid Pro Quo – unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other visual, verbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature when submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's education, living environment, employment, or participation in a College-related activity or program.
     
  • Threats/Intimidation of a Sexual Nature – conduct of a sexual nature, which reasonably would be expected to have the effect of threatening or intimidating the person at whom such conduct is directed.

Sexual Misconduct

Sexual Misconduct encompasses a range of behaviors, including sexual assault, gender-based harassment, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, and any other conduct of a sexual nature that is nonconsensual, or has the effect of threatening, intimidating, or coercing a person at whom such conduct is directed.

Dating Violence

Dating Violence includes violence committed by a person:

  • who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim; and
  • where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors:
    • the length of the relationship.
    • the type of relationship.
    • the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.

Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence refers to felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse of the victim by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabiting with or has cohabited with the victim as a spouse, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction where the crime occurred, or 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 where the crime occurred.

Stalking

Stalking occurs when a person engages in a course of conduct or repeatedly commits acts toward another person, under circumstances that would:

  • place the person in reasonable fear for safety, or of harm or bodily injury to self or others; or
  • reasonably cause substantial emotional distress to the person.

A course of conduct refers to a pattern of behavior of two or more acts over a period of time that can be reasonably regarded as likely to alarm, harass, or cause fear of harm or injury to that person or to a third party. The feared harm or injury may be physical, emotional, or psychological, or related to the personal safety, property, education, or employment of that individual. Stalking may involve individuals who are known to one another or have an intimate or sexual relationship or may involve individuals who are not known to one another.

Coercion

Coercion is the practice of persuading someone to do something by using force, intimidation, pressure, authority, or implied or outright threats.

Threat

Threat is an expression of intention to inflict pain, injury, emotional harm, damage to one's reputation, or other hostile action on someone in retribution for something done or not done.

Incapacitation

Incapacitation means that a person lacks the capacity to give Consent to sexual activity because the person is asleep, unconscious, mentally and/or physically helpless, or otherwise unaware that sexual activity is occurring. Incapacitation is not necessarily the same as legal intoxication. 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 when viewed from the perspective of a sober, reasonable person.

Intentional Incapacitation

Intentional Incapacitation is providing alcohol or other drugs to a person with the intent to render the person Incapacitated.

Retaliation

Retaliation is engaging in conduct that may reasonably be perceived to:

  • adversely affect a person's educational, living, or work environment because of their good faith participation in the reporting, investigation, and/or resolution of a report of a violation of this policy; or
  • discourage a reasonable person from making a report or participating in an investigation under this policy.

Retaliation includes but is not limited to: acts or words that constitute intimidation, threats or coercion intended to pressure a person to drop or support a complaint under this policy or to provide false or misleading information in connection with an investigation; and pressuring a person to participate or refrain from participating as a witness in an investigation under this policy. Retaliation may constitute a violation of this policy even when the underlying report made in good faith did not result in a finding of responsibility.

Reporting Person

A Reporting Person is:

  • a person who alleges that another person violated this policy; or
  • a person who alleges that a Student Organization is responsible for a violation of this policy under the College's Group Accountability Statement.

Any person – regardless of race, color, religion, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, disability, or military/veteran status – may be a Reporting Person.

A Reporting Person need not be a Dartmouth student, faculty member, or staff member.

Responding Person

A Responding Person is:

  • a Student accused of Sexual Harassment, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, or Stalking; aiding, abetting, or inciting such conduct; or Retaliation; or
  • a Student Organization accused of violating this policy under the College's Group Accountability Statement.

Any Student – regardless of race, color, religion, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, disability, or military/veteran status – may be a Responding Person.