Sexual Misconduct

For purposes of the Cazenovia College Sex Discrimination, Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Policy, the term “sexual misconduct” is a term used to more conveniently refer to any form of sex discrimination; sexual harassment; non-consensual sexual activity or sexual offense; dating violence, or domestic violence if between current or former spouses or romantic partners; or stalking, if the circumstances of the stalking suggest gender-based animosity, hostility or occurs in the context of a romantic or sexual pursuit.  Sexual misconduct may occur between members of the same or opposite sex and in heterosexual and homosexual relationships.  While sexual misconduct can constitute a criminal offense under New York State law, a person’s conduct may violate Cazenovia College Sex Discrimination, Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Policy even if it does not violate State law.

Sexual Assault

Consistent with federal law, Cazenovia College defines sexual assault as including:

  • Non-Consensual Sexual Contact: Any intentional sexual touching, however slight, with any private body part or object, by a person upon a person, that is without affirmative consent and/or by force.
  • Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse: Any sexual penetration (anal, oral or vaginal), however slight, with any body part or object by a person upon another person that is without affirmative consent.  Sexual assaults of this type can be sub-defined by the following:
    • Rape: penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the affirmative consent of the victim.  
    • Statutory Rape: Non-forcible sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent.  In New York, the statutory age of consent is 17 years old.

Sexual Harassment

A form of sex discrimination which is illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title IX of The Education Amendments of 1972.   Sexual harassment is unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, sexually motivated physical contact, or other verbal or physical conduct or communication of a sexual nature when:

  1. submission to that conduct or communication is made a term or condition, either explicitly or implicitly, of obtaining employment or education;
  2. submission to or rejection of that conduct or communication by an individual is used as a factor in decisions affecting that individual's employment or education;
  3. that conduct or communication has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual's employment or education, or of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive employment or educational environment.

Sexual Harassment may be verbal, written or physical and includes:

  • Quid Pro Quo harassment (or "this for that") occurs when a person in a position of authority or control links the receipt of some benefit (such as a grade or promotion) to another’s submission to unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or requires the other person to perform or submit to demeaning or degrading sex or sexually-charged acts. "Quid pro quo" harassment can be expressly stated, but it also can be implied by words, actions, or the surrounding circumstances. No person should believe that any other person – no matter their title or position with the College – has the right to pressure another person for sexual activity.
  • Hostile Environment: when sexual harassment becomes so severe and pervasive that a reasonable person would view the environment as hostile, offensive or abusive and the conduct interferes with an individual’s ability to work, learn or participate in the College’s programs, it is called a “hostile environment.”  The College reserves the right to discipline offensive conduct that is inconsistent with community standards even if it does not rise to the level of a hostile environment as defined by applicable law. 

Examples of Sexual Harassment include:

  • offering employment or academic benefits in exchange for sexual favors;
  • making or threatening reprisals after a negative response to sexual advances;
  • unwelcome physical touching of a person’s legs, shoulders or back, leering, making sexual gestures, or displaying sexually suggestive or derogatory objects, pictures, cartoons or posters;
  • unwelcome physical affection (such as hugs or kisses);
  • repeated, unwelcome sexual advances, requests for dates, or romantic interaction.

Domestic Violence

Refers to misdemeanor or felony crimes of violence committed by the victim's current or former spouse, current or former cohabitating romantic partner, individuals who share a child in common, person similarly situated under domestic or family violence law, or anyone else protected under domestic or family violence law.

Dating Violence

Refers to violent behavior (including, but not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse) by a person who is or has been in a romantic or intimate relationship with the victim.  The existence of such a relationship will be determined based on Complainant’s statement and with consideration of the length of the relationship, type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.


Refers to a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to fear for his or her safety or the safety of others', or to suffer substantial emotional distress.

Sexual Exploitation

Occurs when, without affirmative consent, an individual takes sexual advantage of another for his/her own advantage or benefit. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to: invasion of sexual privacy, non-consensual video or audio-taping of sexual activity, engaging in voyeurism, prostitution, acts of incest, engaging in consensual sexual activity with another person while knowingly infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or other sexually transmitted disease (STD) without informing the other person of such infection, or exposing one’s genitals in non-consensual circumstances.