Glossary of Title IX Terms
Below is a list of terms commonly used throughout the Equal Opportunity, Non-Discrimination, and Anti-Harassment Policy. These terms are also used throughout our resolution processes. If you have questions about these terms or our policies, reach out to our team for more information.
An advisor serves as a resource and support to the party through all phases of the process and may accompany their advisee to any meeting the advisee attends throughout the process. The parties may select whoever they wish to serve as their advisor as long as the advisor is willing and available to serve in this capacity.
Both the complainant and the respondent have the right to an advisor throughout the process. An advisor is required for the hearing phase of the formal resolution process.
Amnesty is the protection applied to a student who reports bias, harassment, or discrimination, against disciplinary action by the college for their own personal consumption of alcohol or drugs at or near the time of the incident, provided that any such violations did not and do not place the health and safety of any other person at risk. Amnesty does not apply to more serious allegations such as physical abuse of another person or illicit drug distribution.
An Appellate Officer is a professional who has received specific training related to resolution of allegations of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation, designated by the college to review and rule on an appeal. Appellate officers may be employees of the college, external consultants engaged to assist the college in its resolution of the complaint, or a combination thereof. Appellate officers must be impartial and free of any conflict of interest, and oversee the appeal portion of a formal resolution process.
Coercion is the use of unreasonable pressure that compels another individual to initiate or continue sexual activity against their will. Coercion can include a wide range of behaviors, including intimidation, manipulation, implied threats or blackmail which places a person in fear of immediate harm or physical injury or causes a person to engage in unwelcome sexual activity.
Consent consists of an active, conscious, and voluntary decision by each participant to engage in mutually agreed-upon sexual activity. Consent must exist from the beginning to the end of each sexual activity or each form of sexual contact. An individual who is asleep, unconscious, unaware, or otherwise physically helpless is considered unable to give consent.
Complainant refers to an individual who is a target, victim, or survivor of any alleged conduct prohibited by this policy.
Violence, on the basis of sex, committed by a person, who is in 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 length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
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.
Discrimination is any action that deprives, limits, or denies other members of the Bates community educational or employment access, benefits, or opportunities based upon an individual’s actual or perceived legally-protected characteristic or activity.
Discriminatory harassment refers to verbal, written, visual, or physical conduct based on or motivated by an individual’s actual or perceived protected characteristic or activity.
Violence, on the basis of sex, committed by any of the following:
- a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the Complainant;
- a person with whom the Complainant shares a child in common;
- a person who is cohabitating with, or has cohabitated with the Complainant as a spouse or intimate partner;
- a person similarly situated to a spouse of the Complainant under the domestic or family violence laws of the State of Maine; or
- any other person considered a household member under the domestic or family violence laws of the State of Maine.
A formal complaint is an official document filed by the Complainant, or in rare circumstances by the Title IX Coordinator, alleging either bias, harassment, or discrimination based on any protected class or retaliation for engaging in a protected activity against a Respondent and requesting that the college investigate the allegation(s).
A formal complaint activates the beginning of a grievance process. After a formal complaint is delivered in writing and bearing the signature of the complainant, the Title IX Team will follow up with official paperwork to the complainant and the respondent informing them that the process has begun.
A Hearing Officer is a professional who has received specific training related to resolution of allegations of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation, designated by the college to preside over the hearing. Hearing officer may be employees of the college, external consultants engaged to assist the college in its resolution of the complaint, or a combination thereof. Hearing officers must be impartial and free of any conflict of interest, and oversee the hearing portion of a formal resolution process.
Incapacitation is a state where an individual cannot make an informed and rational decision to engage in sexual activity because they lack conscious knowledge of the nature of the act. Incapacitation is defined as the inability, temporarily or permanently, to give consent because the individual mentally and/or physically unable to make informed, reasonable judgments.
Non-forcible sexual intercourse between people who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited. In the State of Maine, a person may not marry that person’s parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, sibling, nephew, niece, aunt, or uncle.
An investigator is a trained professional who has specific training and experience investigating allegations of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation. Investigators may be employees of the college, external consultants engaged to assist the college in its fact gathering, or any combination thereof. Investigators must be impartial and free of any conflict of interest.
Protected characteristics include actual or perceived race, color, ancestry, national or ethnic origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, primary or native language, marital status, parental status, age, physical or mental disability, genetic information, veteran status, citizenship status, HIV status, and other legally protected statuses.
Report is an umbrella term used to indicate a Complainant or third-party has shared allegations of bias, harassment, discrimination, or retaliation by either informing any Bates employee with reporting responsibilities in conversation or writing.
A report does not activate the beginning of a grievance process. When a report is made to the Title IX Office, the only action taken by Title IX team members is to reach out via email to the person who experienced harm to offer support.
Respondent refers to an individual who has been accused of prohibited conduct under this policy.
Retaliation is any act or attempt to retaliate or seek retribution against any individual or group of individuals involved in the filing of a report, investigation, and/or resolution of an allegation of discrimination or harassment.
- Retaliation includes intimidation, threats, pressuring, harassment, continued abuse or violence, slander and libel, or preventing participation in college activities or proceedings.
- Retaliation can be committed by any individual or group of individuals, not just a Respondent.
- Retaliatory conduct by community members and third parties is prohibited regardless of whether it occurs on or off campus, in person, or through social media, email, or other forms of communication.
Any sexual act directed against another person, without the consent of the Complainant, including instances in which the Complainant is incapable of giving consent. This includes:
- vaginal or anal penetration, however slight, with a body part (e.g., penis, tongue, finger, hand) or object, or oral penetration involving mouth to genital contact; and
- other intentional physical contact of a sexual nature with another individual for the purposes of sexual gratification. (p.17)
- Statutory Rape
Sexual Harassment is an umbrella category that includes sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. Acts of Sexual Harassment may be committed by any person upon any other person, regardless of the sex, sexual orientation, and/or gender identity of those involved.
Sexual Harassment is defined as unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to a Bates education program or activity.
Sexual Exploitation occurs when an individual takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for one’s own advantage or benefit, or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the person being exploited and that does not otherwise constitute sexual harassment under this policy. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to:
- Surreptitiously observing another individual’s nudity or sexual activity or allowing another individual or group to observe consensual sexual activity without the knowledge and consent of all parties involved;
- Non-consensual taking or streaming of images, photography, video, or audio recording of sexual activity or nudity, or distribution of such without the knowledge and consent of all parties involved;
- Distributing sexually intimate or sexual information about another person;
- Prostituting an individual or engaging in sex trafficking;
- Inducing another to expose their own genitals in non-consensual circumstances;
- Knowingly exposing another individual to a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or virus without their knowledge;
- Misappropriating another person’s identity on apps, websites, or other venues designed for dating or sexual connections;
- Inducing or attempting to induce incapacitation for the purpose of making another person vulnerable to non-consensual sexual activity;
- Forcing a person to take an action against that person’s will by threatening to show, post, or share information, video, audio, or images that depicts a person’s nudity or sexual activity;
- Knowingly soliciting a minor for sexual activity;
- Creating, possessing, or disseminating child pornography; and
- Knowingly assisting another person with committing an act of sexual misconduct.
A course of conduct, on the basis of sex, directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for their safety or the safety of others, or suffer substantial emotional distress. Stalking includes cyberstalking — stalking that occurs through the use of technology or any electronic communication.
Non-forcible sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent. In the State of Maine, consent cannot be given by minors who are 14 or 15, if the actor is at least 5 years older than the minor. Consent cannot be given by minors under 14 years of age, regardless of the age of the Respondent. For this reason, any sexual act with an individual under 14 years of age is considered a felony.
Third party refers to any other participant in the process, including a witness to the incident or an individual who makes a report on behalf of someone else.