Community & Resources

Title IX Definitions

Discrimination

NYCC defines discrimination as an educational or employment-related decision that disadvantages a person that occurs because of the affected individual's race, color, religion, ethnic or national origin, gender, age, disability, predisposing genetic characteristics, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, military or veteran's status, marital status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.

This policy does not apply to decisions relating to requests for reasonable accommodation due to a disability. Academic disability accommodations are handled by the Academy for Academic Excellence and Student Success (AAESS) office and pursuant to that office's policies. Work-related disability accommodations are handled by the Human Resources Office and pursuant to that office's policies.

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Harassment

NYCC defines harassment as conduct that denigrates or shows hostility toward an individual on the basis of race, color, religion, ethnic or national origin, gender, age, disability, predisposing genetic characteristics, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, military or veteran's status, marital status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law. Whether harassment has occurred in violation of this policy depends on a consideration of all the circumstances, including the severity of the incident(s), whether the conduct was repeated, whether it was threatening or merely annoying, and the context in which the incident or interaction occurred.

Harassment may be verbal, visual, physical, or written in electronic or print form. Merely by way of illustration, harassing acts may include racial, ethnic or religious slurs; name-calling that demeans on the basis of gender, age, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity; unwanted or unwelcome touching of a person; physically harming or threatening another due to racial or religious animosity; vulgar pictures or ethnically offensive symbols or writings; or gestures that mimic or mock a person's gender, sexual orientation, disability, race or age. Sexual harassment is one form of harassment. Sexual harassment may consist of sexually charged comments or conduct, including sexually lewd conversation or pictures; repeated, unwelcome requests for dates or romantic interaction; unwelcome physical affection (such as hugs or kisses) or intentional touching of the legs, back, or shoulders.

The fact that a person was personally offended by a statement or incident does not alone constitute a violation of this policy. The determination is based on a "reasonable person" standard and takes into account the totality of the circumstances. NYCC considers the context of a communication or incident, the relationship of the individuals involved in the communication or incident, whether an incident was an isolated incident or part of a broader pattern or course of offensive conduct, the seriousness of the incident, the intent of the individual who engaged in the allegedly offensive conduct, and its effect or impact on the individual and the learning community.

In all instances, a key factor is whether the complained-of behavior occurred because of one of the protected characteristics listed here. If it did not, the behavior is not regulated by this policy. Nevertheless, NYCC reserves the right to discipline conduct that offends based on a protected characteristic even if the situation does not rise to the level of severity or pervasiveness to violate applicable law.

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Non-Consensual Sexual Conduct

NYCC expects that any sexual activity or contact will be based on mutual affirmative consent to the specific sexual activity. All references to consent in this policy will mean affirmative consent as defined in this policy.

Affirmative consent is a knowing, voluntary, and mutual decision among all participants to engage in sexual activity. Consent can be given by words or actions, as long as those words or actions create clear permission regarding willingness to engage in the sexual activity. Silence or lack of resistance, in and of itself, does not demonstrate consent. The definition of consent does not vary based upon a participant's sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

Consent is free and informed permission. Consent can be given by word or action. Consent given verbally is evidenced by affirmative agreement to engage in specific sexual activity. Consent through action is free and willing active participation in the specific sexual activity. Past consent to sexual activity does not mean consent to the same sexual activity in the future. Consent to any sexual act does not necessarily constitute consent to some other sexual act. Consent can be withdrawn at any time, and, if so, the sexual activity must cease. Similarly, if a person becomes unable to consent (as for example due to incapacitation from drugs or alcohol), there is no longer affirmative consent, and the sexual activity must cease.

Certain conditions prevent a person from being able to consent. These conditions include being asleep, unconscious, physically or mentally helpless, disoriented or unable to understand what is happening for any reason, including due to alcohol or drugs, or is under the age of 17. A person will be considered unable to give consent if he or she lacks the ability to knowingly choose to participate in sexual activity. A person who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs is not relieved of his or her responsibility to ensure that he or she has the other person's affirmative consent and/or to have appreciated another's incapacity to consent.

Sexual activity as the result of coercion or force is non-consensual. Coercion is a threat or intimidation to engage in sexual activity.

Sexual relationships between faculty and students and staff and students are problematic due to the inherent power differential. Therefore, sexual or romantic relationships between faculty and students and between staff and students are strongly discouraged.

Any non-consensual sexual activity or contact violates this policy. This policy further categorizes sexual offenses into the following:

Sexual Assault is an act that is either Non-Consensual Sexual Contact or Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse.

  1. Non-Consensual Sexual Contact: Any intentional touching, however slight, for purposes of sexual gratification or with sexual intent, with an object or private bodily part, by a person upon another person that is without consent.

  2. Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse: Sexual assaults of this type can be sub-defined by the following:

    1. Rape: The 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, forcibly or without consent or where the victim is incapable of consent due to mental or physical incapacity.

    2. 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.

  3. Sexual Exploitation: When one takes non-consensual sexual advantage of another. Examples of sexual exploitation include but are not limited to observing or recording others engaged in sexual or private activity (such as undressing or showering) without the consent of all involved; or taking intimate pictures of another but then distributing the pictures to others without the photographed person's consent; or exposing one's genitals in non-consensual circumstances; or having sex while knowingly infected with a transmissible disease and not informing one's sexual partner.

Sexual misconduct is a term used in this policy to refer collectively to any act of sexual assault or sexual exploitation.

Sexual misconduct may occur between members of the same or opposite sex and in heterosexual and homosexual relationships.

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Dating Violence

Refers to violence (hitting, punching, kicking, etc.) or the threat of such abuse committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim.

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Stalking

Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety or the safety of others; or suffer substantial emotional distress. Stalking behavior includes but is not limited to repeated, intentional following or observing another; or using "spyware" or other electronic means to gain impermissible access to a person's private information.

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Domestic Violence

Physical-violence between spouses or former spouses, cohabitating romantic partners or former cohabiting romantic partners, individuals who share a child in common, who are similarly situated to spouses, or others in a domestic relationship protected by the family or domestic laws of the jurisdiction in which the violence occurs.

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