Complaint: a complaint of sexual misconduct is a request for action by the university; complaints of sexual harassment or exploitation may be investigated internally or externally or settled by mediation; complaints of sexual assault (non-consensual sexual contact or intercourse) are investigated by an external investigator contracted by the university.
Complainant: a person who has filed a complaint of sexual misconduct.
External investigator: an independent expert contracted by the university to investigate all complaints of sexual assault and any complaints of sexual harassment or exploitation referred by the Title IX coordinator or university authorities.
Hostile environment: physical, social, or emotional interaction that unreasonably interferes with, denies, or limits someone’s ability to participate in or benefit from the university’s educational program or activities and/or to carry out the duties of employment.
Report: a report notifies the Title IX Coordinator of sexual misconduct; reports are kept in a secure location and used to offer help and to improve campus safety; they are not formally investigated unless they indicate a pattern, predator, threats, violence, or weapons.
Respondent: the person who is responding to a complaint of sexual misconduct (the person the complaint is about).
Responsible employee: a person who, if informed about sexual misconduct, is required to file a contact report with the Title IX Coordinator. Responsible employees include faculty, coaches, residence hall directors and residence life advisors, administrators, supervisory staff, and campus safety officers.
Quid pro quo (= one thing for another): offering a benefit in exchange for a sexual favor, or threatening to take away a benefit if a sexual request is not satisfied.
Retaliation: any harassing action (threats, violence, demotion or firing, etc.) against a person who filed a report or complaint of sexual misconduct; retaliation is expressly forbidden by Title IX.
Sanctions: disciplinary actions taken against those found in violation of the sexual misconduct policy; sanctions range from expulsion to suspension to warning and may include restrictions on campus or requirements for counseling.