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Stetson University has policies and procedures in place regarding both student reports and faculty/staff reports of sex discrimination. The university has defined the following gender-based misconduct, sexual assault, and violence violations. Supplemental definitions have also been included to provide greater context and clarity.

Sexual Misconduct

Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is the commission of an unwanted sexual act, further defined as:

1) non-consensual sexual contact: the deliberate touching of a person’s intimate parts (including genitalia, groin, breast, or buttocks), or clothing covering any of those area(s) without consent, or using force to cause a person to touch his or her own or another person’s intimate parts, and/or

2) non-consensual sexual intercourse: penetration (anal, oral, or vaginal) by a penis, tongue, finger, or an inanimate object that occurs without consent, however slight the penetration, whether by an acquaintance or by a stranger, that occurs without indication of consent of both individuals, or that occurs under threat or coercion.

Sexual assault can occur either forcibly and/or against a person's will, or when a person is incapable of giving consent.

Under federal and state law, sexual assault includes, but is not limited to, rape, forcible sodomy, forcible oral copulation, sexual assault with an object, sexual battery, forcible fondling (unwanted touching or kissing for purposes of sexual gratification), and threat of sexual assault.

» See Fla. Stat. 784.011 (assault), 784.046(c) (sexual violence), 794.011 (sexual battery)

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment includes any unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors, whether physical, written, verbal, or visual towards another individual exclusive of gender or sex and encompasses any other conduct of a sexual nature when:

  • submitting to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment, academic decisions, or university-sponsored activities
  • submitting to such conduct is used as the basis for employment or academic decisions affecting the individual as an employee, student, or participant in university-sponsored activities
  • such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or learning environment

Sexual Exploitation

Sexual exploitation means taking sexual advantage of another person without consent, including but not limited to:

  • causing or attempting to cause the incapacitation of another person in order to gain a sexual advantage over such other person
  • causing the prostitution of another person
  • recording, photographing or transmitting identifiable images of private sexual activity and/or the intimate parts (including genitalia, groin, breasts or buttocks) of another person
  • allowing third parties to observe private sexual acts
  • engaging in voyeurism
  • knowingly or recklessly exposing another person to a significant risk of sexually transmitted infection, including HIV


Stalking means a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for her, his, or others’ safety, or to suffer substantial emotional distress. A course of conduct includes a series of acts over any period of time. Stalking includes harassment and cyberstalking, either of which includes a course of conduct that causes substantial emotional distress to the victim and that serves no legitimate purpose.

Stalking includes any credible threat to the victim that causes reasonable fear for the safety of the victim, the victim’s family members, or others closely associated with the victim, regardless of whether the perpetrator actually intends to go through with the threats.

Florida law defines stalking as “willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly following, harassing, or cyberstalking another person. For purposes of clarity, “harass” means to engage in a course of conduct directed at a specific person which causes substantial emotional distress to that person and serves no legitimate purpose.”

» See Fla. Stat. 784.048


This includes any form of retaliation against students, student organizations, staff, or faculty. Retaliation is conduct that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working, residential, or educational environment. Retaliation also includes harassment of a complainant or other person or organization alleging misconduct, including, but not limited to, intimidation and threats.

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence includes asserted violent misdemeanor and felony offenses committed by the victim’s current or former spouse, cohabitant, coparent, or person similarly situated under domestic or family violence law, or anyone else protected under domestic or family violence law.

Florida law defines domestic violence as “any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member.”

» See Fla. Stat. 741.28

Dating Violence

Dating violence means violence, including sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse, by a person who has been in a romantic or intimate relationship with the victim. The existence of such a relationship will be gauged by its length and type, frequency of interaction, and the reporting party’s statement of such a relationship.

Florida law defines dating violence as “violence between individuals who have or have had a continuing and significant relationship of a romantic or intimate nature.

» See Fla. Stat. 784.046

Additional Supplemental Definitions

1) Sexual Misconduct as defined by this policy comprises a broad range of behavior that includes, but is not limited to, sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, and sexual violence.

2) Gender-Based Misconduct includes discrimination or verbal, non-verbal or physical harassment, violence, or intimidation which is based on the person’s gender but which is not sexual in nature.

3) Hostile Environment includes any situation in which there is harassing conduct that is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that creates an intimidating, threatening, or abusive environment that alters the conditions of employment or limits, interferes with, or denies educational benefits or opportunities.

4) Sexual Violence includes physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent. A number of different acts fall into this category, including but not limited to, acts of non-consensual sexual contact and non-consensual sexual intercourse such as rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, sexual coercion, forcible sodomy, forcible oral copulation, sexual assault with an object, forcible fondling, and threat of sexual assault. All such acts of sexual violence are forms of sexual harassment covered under Title IX.

5) Consent means words or actions that show a knowing and voluntary agreement to engage in mutually agreed-upon sexual activity. Consent cannot be gained by force, by ignoring or acting in spite of the objections of another. Consent to one form of sexual activity can never imply consent to other forms of sexual activity. Consent is not the lack of resistance; there is no duty to fight off a sexual aggressor. Consent can be withdrawn at any time, as long as the withdrawal is clearly communicated by the person withdrawing consent through words or actions. A person shall not knowingly take advantage of another person who has an intellectual or physical disability, who is incapacitated by the use of prescribed medication, alcohol or other chemical drugs, or who is not conscious or awake, and thus is not able to give consent as defined above. Further, a person shall not physically or verbally coerce another person to engage in any form of sexual conduct to the end that consent as defined above is not given. In addition, certain states have designated a minimum age under which a person cannot give consent. In the state of Florida, the age of consent is 18.

6) Incapacitation means the physical and/or mental inability to make informed, rational judgments. Where alcohol (or any other drug) is involved, one does not have to be intoxicated or drunk to be considered incapacitated. Incapacitation is determined by how the substance consumed impacts a person’s decision-making capacity, awareness of consequences, and ability to make informed judgments. The question is whether the alleged student knew, or a sober, reasonable person in the position of the alleged student should have known, that the complainant was incapacitated.

7) Force refers to physical force, violence, threats, intimidation, or coercion.

Detailed Definitions

Definitions are clarified in the following policies: