University of Northwestern Ohio


Legal definitions and categories based on the Ohio Revised Code 2907.01-2907.09


“Based on sex” or “On the basis of sex” – Conduct including but not limited to that based on an individual’s gender, sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, or results of genetic testing.

“Complainant” – An individual alleged to have experienced sexual misconduct or retaliation, as defined herein, whether or not such individual or any other person made a report of such sexual misconduct or retaliation

“Consent” – Consent must be freely given, informed, mutual, and communicated through clearly understandable words or actions, and it may be withdrawn at any time.  Consent requires mutual agreement and unambiguous communication regarding the sexual act taking place.  An individual cannot provide consent if he or she is physically or mentally impaired or incapacitated such that the individual cannot understand the nature, extent, or fact of the sexual activity or situation.  Such impairment or incapacitation includes, but is not limited to, impairment or incapacitation due to alcohol or drug consumption, age, or being unconscious or asleep.  Likewise, an individual cannot provide consent if deception, threats, duress, intimidation, or force (express or implied) are used on the individual.  The absence of resistance or silence does not necessarily indicate consent.  Under this Policy, “no” always means “no,” but “yes” may not always mean “yes.”  If an individual consents to some sexual acts, that does not imply consent to other acts.  Further, prior consent to sexual acts does not imply ongoing or future consent with the same person or consent to the same sexual act with another person.  If an individual takes advantage of a position of authority or influence over another individual, it may be a factor in evaluating consent.  An individual may withdraw consent at any time, and, once such withdrawal is expressed, sexual activity must end.

“Dating Violence” – Violence perpetrated by an individual who is or was in a social relationship of an intimate or romantic nature with the complainant.  To evaluate whether such a relationship exists or existed, the following factors should be considered: the length of the relationship, the frequency of interaction between the individuals involved in the relationship, and the type of relationship.  Dating violence includes, but is not limited to, physical or sexual abuse or the threat of such abuse.

“Days” – For purposes of this Policy, “days” means calendar days.

“Domestic Violence” – Violence perpetrated by the victim’s current or former spouse; intimate partner; person with whom the victim shares a child in common; person cohabitating or formerly cohabitating with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner; or any other person against a youth or adult victim who is protected from such acts under Ohio’s family or domestic violence laws.

“Employee” – Faculty, staff, or other individuals hired by UNOH in an employment capacity to provide services to UNOH. 

“Incapacitation” – Incapacitation occurs when an individual is unable to provide consent.  For example, incapacitation may occur due to use of drugs or alcohol, when a person is unconscious or asleep, or when a mental or physical disability prevents an individual from having the capacity to provide or deny consent.  In considering whether an individual is incapacitated due to the consumption or use of drugs or alcohol, UNOH will evaluate the circumstances, including but not limited to the following factors: whether the available evidence demonstrates slurred speech, stumbling, vomiting, inability to walk, or periods of “blacking out.”  The presence of only one of these factors may be enough to establish incapacitation, depending upon the circumstances, but the presence of one factor alone is not necessarily definitive evidence of incapacitation.  Rather, whether an individual was incapacitated must be examined based upon a totality of the circumstances.

“Respondent” – The person alleged to have engaged in sexual misconduct or retaliation, as defined herein.

“Retaliation” – Retaliation is a form of discrimination, which occurs when a person has engaged in a protected activity (e.g., participating in an investigation of sexual misconduct or filing a sexual misconduct complaint) and is subject to adverse action because of the person’s involvement in the protected activity.

Example #1: A student files a complaint for sexual misconduct against a professor.  The professor lowers the student’s grade in response to the complaint.

Example #2: A student files a complaint for sexual misconduct against another student.  The respondent’s friends verbally threaten the complainant and follow him or her due to the complaint.

“Sexual Assault” – Unwelcome intentional physical conduct of a sexual nature.  Sexual assault includes, but is not limited to, the following which occur in the absence of consent: unwanted touching; kissing; oral, vaginal, or anal sex; non-consensual penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or objection; and non-consensual oral penetration of the vagina or anus by another person’s sex organ.

“Sex Discrimination” – Adverse or negative treatment based on gender, sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, or results of genetic testing.

“Sexual Harassment” – Any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, including unwelcome sexual advances; requests for sexual favors; and other verbal, non-verbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature.  Sexual violence is a form of sexual harassment.  When the facts show that there is an institutional difference in power between individuals involved in an allegation of sexual harassment, UNOH will use close scrutiny in evaluating a respondent’s defense that the encounter was consensual.  There are two forms of sexual harassment:

“Hostile Environment” – Occurs when the conduct is sufficiently severe, or pervasive and persistent, such that it interferes with or limits a student’s ability to benefit from or participate in UNOH programs or activities, or interferes with or limits an employee’s ability to perform his or her job.  The more severe the conduct, the less necessary it is to demonstrate a repetitive series of events to establish a hostile environment, particularly where the harassment in question is physical.  A single or isolated incident of sexual harassment may create a hostile environment if the incident is sufficiently severe.  For example, a single incident of rape is sufficiently severe to constitute and create a hostile environment.  The more severe the conduct in question, the less necessity there is to establish that the conduct was persistent or pervasive.

“Quid Pro Quo” – Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other physical or verbal conduct of a sexual nature by an individual with authority or power over another and where submitting to such sexual conduct is an implicit or explicit condition or term of evaluating an individual educational or employment performance, development, or progress.  Quid pro quo sexual harassment further occurs when an individual’s participation in or receipt of a benefit from a UNOH program or activity is made contingent on the individual’s provision of sexual favors for or by a person with authority to make decisions about the individual’s participation or receipt of benefits, and when the individual’s rejection of a sexual advance or request for sexual favors results in the individual’s denial of participation in or receipt of a benefit from a UNOH program or activity.

Example #1: A professor repeatedly asks a student to engage in sexual activity and offers to improve the student’s grade if the student agrees.

Example #2: A student sexually assaults another student.

Example #3: A student living on campus makes comments based on sex to another student in class and threatens physical harm against that student in the residence hall.

“Sexual Misconduct” – Conduct including sex discrimination (including sexual harassment and sexual violence).  Sexual misconduct further includes sexual assault, conduct exploiting another in a sexual or non-consensual way, voyeurism, stalking, non-consensual recording, domestic violence, dating violence, and indecent exposure.  Sexual misconduct also includes harassment, discrimination, or violence based upon gender, sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, or results of genetic testing.  Sexual misconduct may occur while an individual is participating in a program or activity affiliated in any way with the University, while residing on or visiting the University’s campus, in the course of employment with the University, while enrolled as a student at UNOH, or in any other way arising from contact or involvement with the University, whether or not the sexual misconduct occurred on University property.

“Sexual Violence” – Physical sexual acts committed against an individual’s will or where the individual is incapable of providing consent (e.g. due to the individual’s age, use of drugs or alcohol, or a physical or mental disability that prevents the individual from providing or denying consent).  Sexual violence also includes rape, sexual battery, sexual assault, sexual coercion, and sexual abuse.

“Stalking” – Engaging in a course of action directed against a particular individual that would (1) cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety or the safety of others; or (2) suffer substantial emotional distress.  Examples of stalking include, but are not limited to, monitoring, following, threatening, conducting surveillance, communicating to or about an individual, or interfering with an individual’s property that could cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety or the safety or others or suffer substantial emotional distress.

“Student” – Individuals currently enrolled in part- or full-time coursework with UNOH, otherwise defined as a “student” in this or other UNOH policies, and student employees.