Policy Prohibiting Sexual Misconduct

Introduction

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits discrimination and harassment on the basis of gender in all programs or activities of colleges and universities.

One form of prohibited gender-based discrimination and harassment is sexual misconduct, which includes acts of violence related to sexual activity or related to gender.

Either on the campus of CCA or in the course of college-related activities, all members of the CCA community, guests, and visitors have the right to be free from sexual misconduct.

Accordingly, all members of the CCA community, including all college administrators, staff, faculty, students, contractors, and other individuals involved in any employment, educational, or other relationship with the college, must adhere to CCA policies that prohibit sexual misconduct on the campus of CCA and in the course of college-related activities.

The policy below pertains specifically to sexual misconduct experienced by or perpetuated by students, but additional information about policies that impact faculty, staff, and contractors is available from the campus’s Title IX coordinator or designees:

Title IX Officers of University

Title IX Coordinator: Leslie Gray, Associate Vice President for Human Resources
Provides general oversight for Title IX compliance (policies, reporting, training, etc.)
lgray@cca.edu, 510.594.3705, Terrace Apartments four-plex first floor (Oakland campus, see map)

Title IX Designee for Students: Kayoko Wakamatsu, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs
Receives and responds to reports and complaints by/about students.
kwakamatsu@cca.edu, 510.594.3673, Irwin 216 (Oakland campus)

Overview of Enforcement

When a report of sexual misconduct is brought to a Title IX Coordinator or other appropriate administrator’s attention, the college will take prompt and effective corrective action, including, where appropriate, disciplinary action up to and including dismissal or (for employees or student employees) termination.

Individuals who know of or have experienced sexual misconduct that violates college policy are encouraged to use the complaint procedure outlined under Reporting Sexual Misconduct, Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation. The college will respond to all complaints of sexual misconduct, whether the incidents occur on the campus of CCA or in the course of college-related activities.

Prohibited Sexual Misconduct

Prohibited sexual misconduct includes, but is not limited to:

I. Sexual Harassment
II. Nonconsensual Sexual Contact (or attempts to commit same)
III. Nonconsensual Sexual Intercourse (or attempts to commit same)
IV. Domestic/Relationship/Dating Violence and Stalking
V. Sexual Exploitation

I. Sexual Harassment

Prohibited sexual harassment is

  • unwelcome, gender-based, verbal, visual, or physical conduct that is
  • engaged in by a person of either gender, against person(s) of the same or different gender
  • and it is reasonable for the person(s) to be offended by the conduct.

“Unwelcome” conduct is that which is not desired and is offensive to the recipient of the conduct.

Prohibited sexual harassment can be composed of a variety of behaviors and can take a variety of forms. Examples of the kinds of behavior that can constitute prohibited sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:

  • Verbal conduct -- words stated in person, online, in e-mails, on the phone etc., such as epithets, derogatory comments, slurs, or unwelcome sexual advances, invitations, or comments;
  • Visual conduct -- such as computer graphics, posters, photography, cartoons, drawings, or human gestures;
  • Physical conduct -- conduct affecting the body -- such as unwelcome touching, sexual contact, blocking of normal movement;
  • Threats and demands -- such as those which seek submission to sexual requests in order to retain employment or educational benefits, and/or those that offers job or educational benefits or conditions in return for favors.

The forms of sexual harassment that a person may experience include the following:

  • Quid pro quo sexual harassment (exchange for favors based on power differentials) -- when there are: (1) unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature; and (2) submission to such behavior is made explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of the student’s education or employment opportunities OR submission to, or rejection of, such conduct results in adverse educational or employment actions or decisions.

  • Prohibited hostile educational environment -- sexual harassment that is (a) severe, persistent, or pervasive (b) such that it has the effect of unreasonably interfering with, denying or limiting a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the college’s educational programs, activities, and/or employment environment.

The determination of whether an environment is “hostile” must be based on all of the circumstances, which may include the frequency, nature, and severity of the conduct; whether the conduct was physically threatening or humiliating; the effect of the conduct on the alleged victim’s mental or emotional state; whether the conduct arose in the context of other discriminatory conduct; whether the conduct unreasonably interfered with the alleged victim’s educational or work performance; and other factors. Conduct does not need to be directed at a specific target in order for it to create a hostile environment.

A single incident, if severe enough in itself, can constitute prohibited hostile educational environment: for example, sexual assault, nonconsensual sexual intercourse, a quid pro quo demand for sex in return for an improved grade. Less severe incidents, when pervasive enough, can cumulatively create a hostile environment.

  • Retaliation -- acts of harassment or adverse educational or employment actions taken against a person because of the person’s good-faith opposing, reporting, or threatening to report harassment or for participating in good-faith in investigations, proceedings, hearings, or remediation related to this policy. Retaliation is forbidden by this policy and will be considered a serious, separate offense.

Note: Intent is not necessary for sexual harassment to occur; behaviors and their impact are key. A person can violate the sexual misconduct policy even if s/he does not intend to; for example, behavior that is intended to be mere “joking,” “teasing,” or “self-expression” may in fact constitute harassing conduct.

Examples of Prohibited Sexual Harassment

  • A male student sends notes and texts to a female international student in his circle of friends letting her know he wants to have sex with her. He rallies his friends to “convince” her, telling her “American girls hook up with their friends all the time; it’s expected.” The girl, homesick and fearing the loss of her friends, relents and agrees to oral sex.
  • A male student, while drunk, punches his boyfriend for “flirting with everything that walks” and blocks the door when he tries to leave their apartment.
  • A student covertly takes a video of a visiting female high school student, who while intoxicated is dancing suggestively and exposing her breasts. He posts it online for his friends to see.
  • A professor insists that a student have sex with him/her in exchange for a good grade. (This is harassment regardless of whether the student accedes to the request.)
  • Two student supervisors frequently “rate” several employees’ bodies and sex appeal, commenting suggestively about their clothing and appearance.
  • A professor engages students in discussions in class about their past sexual experiences, yet the conversation is not in any way germane to the subject matter of the class. The professor probes for explicit details, and demands that students answer her, though they are clearly uncomfortable and hesitant.
  • A female student repeatedly emails and texts an ex-girlfriend in spite of the latter’s requests to stop.
  • She widely spreads false stories about the sex life with her former girlfriend.
  • Students in a first-year residence hall begin teasing and ostracizing a transgender student who has asked to be called Jamie, calling them “Jamilla” and blocking the door to the gender-neutral bathroom they prefer.
  • A student repeatedly pressures a fellow student to pose for a figure drawing assignment even though the latter is clearly not comfortable with nudity.
  • Classmates begin calling a student sexually charged names and spreading rumors about her sexual activity when they learn that she is pregnant.

The US government has provided extensive guidance on how colleges should respond to sexual harassment, including sexual violence, and so special attention to this issue is warranted. Harassment based on gender -- upon actual or perceived gender or upon adherence or nonadherence to stereotypical gender roles, etc. -- is also a form of sexual harassment, and so harassment based upon gender identity or gender expression/presentation is prohibited by this policy.

Because sexual harassment can limit or interfere with a student’s ability to benefit from educational opportunities, residential settings, or other components of the college experience, it is a form of discrimination that is considered a violation of students’ civil rights and will not be tolerated.

For information about other kinds of unlawful harassment, please see the Policy Prohibiting Discrimination, Unlawful Harassment, and Retaliation.

II. Nonconsensual Sexual Contact

Prohibited nonconsensual sexual contact is

  • any intentional sexual touching,
  • however slight,
  • with any object (or without one),
  • by a man or a woman upon a man or a woman,
  • that is without the consent of the other person and/or is by force.

Sexual touching includes the following:

  • intentional contact with the breasts, buttock, groin, or genitals,
  • or touching another with any of these body parts,
  • or making another touch you or themselves with or on any of these body parts;
  • or any intentional bodily contact in a sexual manner, though not involving contact with/of/by breasts, buttocks, groin, genitals, mouth, or other orifice.

While the use of physical force (restricting movement, battery, etc.) is not “worse” than the feeling of violation of someone who has sex or sexual contact without consent, the use of physical force constitutes a standalone nonsexual offense as well and will be treated as a separate violation of the Student Code of Conduct.

III. Nonconsensual Sexual Intercourse

Prohibited Nonconsensual Sexual Intercourse is

  • any sexual intercourse,
  • however slight,
  • with any object (or without one),
  • by a man or woman upon a man or a woman,
  • that is without the consent of the other person and/or is by force.

Intercourse includes the following:

  • vaginal penetration by a penis, object, tongue, or finger,
  • or anal penetration by a penis, object, tongue, or finger,
  • or oral copulation (mouth to genital contact or genital to mouth contact),
  • no matter how slight the penetration or contact.

While the use of physical force (restricting movement, battery, etc.) is not “worse” than the feeling of violation of someone who has sex or sexual contact without consent, the use of physical force constitutes a stand-alone nonsexual offense as well and will be treated as a separate violation of the Student Code of Conduct.

IV. Domestic/Relationship/Dating Violence and Stalking

Relationship/dating violence is a pattern of abusive, controlling, or coercive behaviors that a person uses to exercise control and power over another person who is a current or former intimate partner. It can occur between those who are dating or have dated; are having or have had a sexual relationship; are living or have lived together, whether on- or off-campus; are married or have been married; do share or have shared a child, etc. Relationship/dating violence can occur in opposite-sex and same-sex relationships, and either gender can be the abuser or the abused.

The coercive and abusive behaviors can be physical, sexual, psychological, verbal, or emotional. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • actual or attempted physical harm through hitting, slapping, pushing, choking, throwing things, or assaulting with a weapon
  • nonconsensual sexual contact or intercourse; using drugs or alcohol to impair a partner’s ability to consent; coercing participation in sexual acts via threats of abandonment, control, violence to the partner, or violence to others
  • confining or restricting the movements of a partner; monitoring his/her use of time; isolating him/her from friends or family; controlling attire, communication, access to transportation; or compelling compliance through threats to family members, friends, or pets
  • yelling, name-calling, intimidation, and irrational accusations, especially related to flirting and cheating; “outing” someone against their will
  • controlling finances; harassing the partner at work; preventing him/her from working or studying; destroying artwork, school papers, personal property; or expecting obedience in exchange for gifts
  • exhibiting extreme possessiveness or jealousy, blaming the partner for one’s abusive behavior
  • stalking, threatening, or harassing the partner in person or via email, phone calls, mail, texts, social media, etc.

Domestic violence includes similar behaviors but also can exist within nonintimate relationships by blood or marriage.

Stalking is conduct, generally occurring over two or more instances, that places a person or group in reasonable fear of death or injury to self, family, friends, or intimate partners (boyfriend/girlfriend, significant other, partner, spouse, etc.). Stalking can also consist of unwanted attention that causes or would reasonably be expected to cause substantial emotional distress to a person or group. Stalking can occur in the physical world or as cyber-stalking. Examples of stalking behavior include but are not limited to:

  • making threats to someone about that person him/herself, his/her family or friends, or his/her intimate partners;
  • pursuing, following, surveilling, or spying on another person or group;
  • repeatedly engaging in unwelcome communication to a person, his/her home, his/her school environment, or his/her work, whether that communication occur in person or via phone, text, email, Facebook message, voice message, written note, gift, etc.;
  • trespassing, vandalizing, or damaging property;
  • accessing personal, educational, medical, financial, or other private information without permission;
  • using GPS, cell phone locator programs, or other forms of technology or gaining unauthorized email or voice mail access in order to track someone’s movements or monitor their activity;
  • filing false complaints about the person in their residence, classroom, or workplace;
  • disguising one’s own identity or using a false identity to monitor, harass, or make unwelcome contact with another via electronic media;
  • repeatedly showing up where the other person will be for no legitimate purpose

V. Sexual Exploitation

Sexual Exploitation occurs when a student takes nonconsensual sexual advantage of another for his/her own advantage or benefit, or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited.

Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to:

  • invasion of sexual privacy;
  • prostituting another student for money, goods, or other benefits;
  • nonconsensual photographing, video- or audio-recording of sexual activity;
  • going beyond the boundaries of consent (such as letting your friends hide in the closet to watch you having consensual sex);
  • engaging in voyeurism;
  • knowingly transmitting an STI or HIV to another student;
  • exposing one’s genitals in nonconsensual circumstances (e.g., exhibitionism to an unsuspecting audience) or inducing another to expose his/her genitals.
  • sexually based stalking and/or bullying may also be forms of sexual exploitation.

Additional Applicable Definitions & Clarifications

Consent: Consent is given by words or conduct, as long as those words or conduct create mutually understandable clear permission regarding willingness to engage in sexual activity of a given kind under given terms.

  • For example, when a woman puts someone’s hand on her breast, she gives mutually understandable consent for that person to touch her breast at that time -- but not also for sexual intercourse, nor for other people to touch her breast, nor for the person who is currently touching her breast to do so at other times or in other circumstances.
  • Because consent is active, stopping only when s/he says, “No,” rather than when s/he says, “I’m not sure I want to,” or “I don’t think we should do this,” is not enough.
  • Failure to resist is not consent.
  • Consent to one form of sexual activity is not consent to other forms of sexual activity.
  • Previous relationships or prior consent is not consent to future sexual acts.
  • Consent is not possible by persons under age 18.
  • Consent is not possible by persons who are incapacitated.
  • Resistance is a demonstration of nonconsent.
  • Resistance is at times not reasonable to expect of a person who does not wish to, or is not able to, consent.

Force is the use of physical violence and/or threats thereof and/or imposing on someone physically to gain sexual access. Force includes threats, intimidation (implied threats), and coercion that overcome resistance or produce consent (“Have sex with me or I’ll hit you” “Okay, don’t hit me; I’ll do what you want”). Sexual activity that is forced is by definition nonconsensual, but sexual activity does not have to be forced to be nonconsensual.

Coercion is unreasonable pressure for sexual activity. Coercive behavior differs from seductive behavior based on the type of pressure a person uses to get consent from another. When someone makes clear to you that they do not want sex, that they want to stop, or that they do not want to go past a certain point of sexual interaction, continued pressure beyond that point can be coercive.

Incapacitation is a state in which someone cannot make rational, reasonable decisions because s/he lacks the capacity to give knowing consent (e.g., to understand the “who, what, when, where, why, or how” of their sexual interaction).

  • Someone who is incapacitated cannot give consent.
  • Sexual activity with someone who one knows to be -- or based on the circumstances should reasonably have known to be -- mentally or physically incapacitated (by alcohol or other drug use, unconsciousness, or blackout) constitutes a violation of this policy.
  • This policy also covers a person whose incapacity results from mental disability, sleep, involuntary physical restraint, or from the taking of “rape drugs.” Possession, use and/or distribution of any of these substances, including Rohypnol, Ketomine, GHB, Burundanga, etc. is prohibited, and administering one of these drugs to another student is a violation of this policy. Learn more about these drugs »

False complaint: Knowingly furnishing false information to the college is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct. Since false allegations of unlawful harassment can have wide-ranging consequences, those who knowingly file false reports, pursue a false complaint under this policy, or otherwise knowingly report, complain, or assist with a false complaint of unlawful harassment violate this policy as well as the Student Code of Conduct and are subject to disciplinary action. Note: Failure to substantiate a good-faith claim of harassment is not the same as knowingly making a false accusation out of malicious intent.

Intoxication as a defense: Use of alcohol or other drugs will generally not function as a complete defense (“I was high, too, so I couldn’t tell she was incapacitated” “She was too drunk to talk, but she was conscious and not stopping it, so I assumed she was okay with it”).

Sexual Assault and Rape: For information regarding sexual assault and rape, see “Nonconsensual Sexual Contact” and “Nonconsensual Sexual Intercourse” within this policy as well as additional information under the heading of “Additional Actions in the Case of Nonconsensual Sexual Intercourse” in Reporting Sexual Misconduct, Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation.

OTHER RELATED MATTERS & CONCERNS

Reporting Sexual Misconduct

Please see Reporting Sexual Misconduct, Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation for grievance procedures.

Education & Prevention

Student Affairs, Counseling Services, Access & Wellness, and Residential Life provide various sexual misconduct education and prevention efforts, including workshops, lectures, informational brochures, confidential counseling, and referral to community resources. The Counseling Services staff is prepared to provide the campus community with educational presentations tailored to the concerns of the particular group requesting service.

Free Speech & Controversial Art

CCA upholds the principles of academic and artistic freedom and acknowledges that controversial ideas and images may be introduced for legitimate academic and artistic purposes within educational and exhibition spaces. This policy is not intended to limit such freedoms. Controversial ideas and images do not constitute harassment simply because they offend others. However, community members are expected to understand that controversial images or words introduced for discussion in the classroom may have a different impact than similar images or words introduced without context to other settings, such as a residence hall hallway, bulletin board, or other shared space. In the case of the latter, such images or words may not serve a legitimate educational or artistic purpose and may instead contribute to the creation of a hostile environment and will be addressed accordingly.

Policy Prohibiting Close Personal Relationships in Teaching, Mentoring, and Supervisory Activities

The college is committed to maintaining a learning and work environment that is free from unlawful harassment and also from the potentially adverse affects that can arise from close personal relationships in the course of teaching, mentoring and supervisory activities, including those involving its students.

Such relationships at the college may interfere with the ability of the teacher, mentor, and supervisor to act fairly and without favoritism or may contribute to the perception of favoritism.

Except where explicit approval has been obtained in writing from the Provost or from another cognizant officer of the college at the level of vice president, no person who provides teaching, mentoring, or supervisory functions at the college may participate in a close personal relationship with an individual who is a member of the college community for whom that person provides -- or may (by virtue of college-permitted or assigned position or functions) reasonably may be expected in the future to provide -- teaching, mentoring, or supervision.

“Supervision” includes grading or other academic evaluation, tutoring for pay, job evaluation, hiring decisions, and those pertaining to promotion, the direct setting of salary or wages, and the determination of internship, educational, or employment opportunities, references, or recommendations. A “supervisor” is anyone who oversees, directs, or evaluates the work of others, including, but not limited to, managers, administrators, coaches, directors, deans, chairs, and advisors.

“Close personal relationships” include marriage, domestic partner, dating, sexual, and similar close personal relationships, even if they are consensually undertaken. “Close personal relationships” do not include the usual and customary socializing at the college of teacher-student; mentor-mentee; supervisor-employee; faculty member-graduate student; coworkers; and supervisor-student employee.

See also Sex Offenders »

This policy borrows heavily from the Association of Title IX Administrators (ATIXA) Gender-Based and Sexual Misconduct Model Policy authored by National Higher Education Risk Management (NCHERM) partners Brett A. Sokolow, JD, W. Scott Lewis, JD, and Saundra K. Schuster, JD © 2011. NCHERM & ATIXA.