Sexual Misconduct

The University of Utah is committed to maintaining a campus that is safe, promotes individual value and dignity, equal access to its educational and medical programs, and employment and social opportunities. Among other forms of prohibited discrimination, university policy prohibits sexual discrimination, which includes sexual misconduct. Complaints of sexual misconduct should be made directly to the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action.

Definitions


As defined by University Policy 1-012, Sexual Misconduct: Sexual Assault Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, and Stalking, Prevention and Response, encompasses a range of behaviors which include sexual harassment, gender-based harassment, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. The following definitions of prohibited conduct apply to University policies.

As defined by University Policy 5-107, Sexual Harassment and Consensual Relationships Policy includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other 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 employment, education, living environment or participation in a university activity;
  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for or a factor in decisions affecting that individual’s employment, education, living environment, or participation in a university activity; or
  • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s employment or educational performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for that individual’s employment, education, living environment, or participation in a university activity.


“Gender-based harassment” is unwelcome conduct of a nonsexual nature based on a person’s actual or perceived sex, including conduct based on gender identity, gender expression, and nonconformity with gender stereotypes. University policy prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity or expression.

Is actual or attempted sexual contact with another person without that person’s consent. Sexual assault includes, but is not limited to:
  • Intentional touching of another person’s intimate parts without that person’s consent; or
  • Other intentional sexual contact with another person without that person’s consent; or
  • Coercing, forcing, or attempting to coerce or force a person to touch another person’s intimate parts without that person’s consent; or
  • Rape, which is penetration, no matter how slight, of (1) the vagina or anus of a person by any body part of another person or by an object, or (2) the mouth of a person by a sex organ of another person, without that person’s consent.


Occurs when a person takes sexual advantage of another person for the benefit of anyone other than that person without that person’s consent. Examples of behavior that could rise to the level of sexual exploitation include:
  • Prostituting another person;
  • Recording images (e.g., video, photograph) or audio of another person’s sexual activity, intimate body parts, or nakedness without that person’s consent;
  • Distributing images (e.g., video, photograph) or audio of another person’s sexual activity, intimate body parts, or nakedness, if the individual distributing the images or audio knows or should have known that the person depicted in the images or audio did not consent to such disclosure and objects to such disclosure; and,
  • Viewing another person’s sexual activity, intimate body parts, or nakedness in a place where that person would have a reasonable expectation of privacy, without that person’s consent, and for the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire.


Must be informed, voluntary, and mutual, and can be withdrawn at any time. There is no consent when there is force, expressed or implied, or when coercion, intimidation, threats, or duress is used. Whether a person has taken advantage of a position of influence over another person may be a factor in determining consent. Silence or absence of resistance does not imply consent. Past consent to sexual activity with another person does not imply ongoing future consent with that person or consent to that same sexual activity with another person.

If a person is mentally or physically incapacitated or impaired so that such person cannot understand the fact, nature, or extent of the sexual situation, there is no consent; this includes impairment or incapacitation due to alcohol or drug consumption that meets this standard, or being asleep or unconscious.


Exists when sex-based harassment is sufficiently serious to deny or limit a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s programs or activities.

A hostile environment can be created by anyone involved in a University program or activity (e.g., employees (administrators, faculty, or staff), students, patients, participants, and campus visitors).

In determining whether sex-based harassment has created a hostile environment, the University considers the conduct in question from both a subjective and objective perspective. It will be necessary, but not enough, that the conduct was unwelcome to the person who was harassed. The University would also need to find that a reasonable person in the person’s position would have perceived the conduct as undesirable or offensive in order for that conduct to create or contribute to a hostile environment.

To make the ultimate determination of whether a hostile environment exists for a person or persons, the University considers a variety of factors related to the severity, persistence, or pervasiveness of the sex-based harassment, including: (1) the type, frequency, and duration of the conduct; (2) the identity and relationships of persons involved; (3) the number of individuals involved; (4) the location of the conduct and the context in which it occurred; and, (5) the degree to which the conduct affected one or more student’s education.

The more severe the sex-based harassment, the less need there is to show a repetitive series of incidents to find a hostile environment. A single instance of sexual assault may be sufficient to create a hostile environment. Likewise, a series of incidents may be sufficient even if the sex-based harassment is not particularly severe.


Of issues or theories relating to sexuality or gender in an academic or professional setting, when appropriate to subject matter, will be presumed not to constitute sexual harassment even if it offends or embarrasses an individual unless other factors are involved. Such factors include targeting the discussion to an individual or carrying out the discussion in terms that are both patently unnecessary and gratuitously offensive.

Includes any criminal offense involving violence or physical harm or threat of violence or physical harm, or any attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit a criminal offense involving violence or physical harm, when committed by the victim’s current or former spouse, current or former cohabitant, person similarly situated under domestic or family violence law, or anyone else protected under domestic or family violence law.  Examples of domestic violence include assault, kidnapping, sexual assault, stalking, or violating a protective order.

Includes any criminal offense involving violence or physical harm or threat of violence or physical harm, or any attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit a criminal offense involving violence or physical harm, when committed by a person against a dating partner of the person.

Whether there was such relationship will be gauged by its length, type, and frequency of interaction.


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. Stalking is also the intentional or knowing violation of a stalking injunction.