Title IX Definitions

Sexual Misconduct
Sexual Act
Sexual Harassment
Dating and Domestic Violence

Sexual Misconduct

In the Code of Student Conduct, Sexual Misconduct is defined as

1. Engaging in a sexual act with another person

a)-by forcing the other person to participate in a sexual act without consent or by threatening or coercing the other person, or

b)-by placing the other person in fear that any person will suffer imminent bodily injury, or

c)-having substantially impaired the ability of the other person to appraise or control their own conduct by administering or employing alcohol or other drugs without the knowledge or against the will of the other person.

2. Engaging in a sexual act with another person when that other person

a)-is incapable of understanding, or for any reason including intoxication, is unaware of the sexual act, or

b)-is physically incapable of resisting or communicating either consent or unwillingness to participate, or

c)-is under the age of 16.

Sexual act 

In the Code of Student Conduct, Sexual Act is defined as any intentional sexual touching (including anal, oral, and vaginal penetration), however slight, with an object or body part without consent.


In the Code of Student Conduct, Consent is defined as informed, freely, and actively given, mutually understandable words or actions which indicate a willingness to participate in mutually agreed upon sexual activity. Consent may be withdrawn. Consent may never be given by minors (in Massachusetts, those not yet 16 years of age), persons not legally competent to make their own decisions, and those who are incapacitated as a result of alcohol or other drug consumption (voluntary or involuntary), or those who are unconscious, unaware or otherwise physically helpless, or in need of medical attention as a result of alcohol consumption or any other cause. Agreeing to a sexual act as a result of coercion, intimidation, threat of force, or force is not consent.

Sexual Harassment

Repeated unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when:

  • submission to or rejection of such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s education, living conditions, employment or academic work; or

  • submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for educational, residential, employment or academic decisions affecting such individual; or
  • such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s performance by creating an intimidating, hostile or sexually offensive educational, residential, working or academic environment.

Examples of sexual harassment include, but are not limited to the following behaviors when they are unwelcome or unwanted, and are both objectively and subjectively offensive: 

  • sexual flirtations, advances or propositions; 
  • verbal abuse or innuendo of a sexual nature; 
  • uninvited physical contact such as touching, hugging, patting, brushing or pinching; 
  • verbal comments of a sexual nature about an individual’s body or sexual terms used to describe an individual; 
  • display of sexually suggestive pictures, posters or cartoons; 
  • jokes, language, epithets or remarks of a sexual nature; 
  • prolonged staring or leering; 
  • making obscene gestures or suggestive or insulting sounds; 
  • demand for sexual favors accompanied by an implied or overt threat concerning an individual’s employment or academic status; 
  • indecent exposure.

Dating and Domestic Violence

Both domestic and dating violence can occur in opposite-sex and same-sex relationships. They are defined as:

  • Abuse, (including; but not limited to physical and/or sexual), or threats of such abusive violence committed by one intimate partner who is, or has been in, a romantic or intimate relationship with another intimate partner.
  • Domestic violence and dating violence can occur between current or former intimate partners, who have dated or lived together. Domestic violence can occur between current or former intimate partners who are married, have been married, or have a child together.


Stalking is defined as any course of conduct (more than one act) directed at a specific person (directly, indirectly, through a third party or other means) that places that person in reasonable fear for his or her safety or the safety of others.