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To help the UW Oshkosh community better understand the university’s stance on sexual violence, we’ve provided these definitions for key terms. 

Advisor. An individual who assists a complainant or respondent in any grievance proceeding or related meetings. This individual may or may not be an attorney.

Complainant. Any individual who is alleged to be the subject of sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, or sexual exploitation, as defined in this policy.

Confidential Employee. Any employee, who is a licensed medical, clinical, or mental health professional when acting in that role in the provision of services to a patient or client who is a university student or employee. A Confidential Employee will not report specific information concerning a report of sexual violence or sexual harassment received by that Employee in the Employee’s professional capacity unless with the consent of the reporting individual or unless required by the Employee’s license or by law.

Confidential Resource. Individuals or agencies in the community, whose professional license, or certification permits that individual or agency to preserve the confidentiality of the patient or client.

Consent. Words or overt actions by a person who is competent to give informed consent, indicating a freely given agreement to engage in sexual activity or other activity referenced in this policy. A person is unable to give consent if the person is incapacitated because of drugs, alcohol, physical or intellectual disability, or unconsciousness.

Dating Violence. Violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the complainant; and where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors: the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.

Domestic Violence. Felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the complainant, by a person with whom the complainant shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the complainant as a spouse or intimate partner, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the complainant under the domestic or family violence laws of Wisconsin, or by any other person against an adult or youth complainant who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of Wisconsin. (See ss. 813.12(1)(am) and 968.075).

Employee.  Any individual who holds a faculty, academic staff, university staff, limited, student employment, employee-in-training, temporary, or project appointment.  (See, e.g., UW System Administrative Policy 1225 (formerly GEN 0), General Terms and Definitions (

Education Program or Activity. For purposes of a Title IX Complaint only, locations, events, or circumstances at which the university exercised substantial control over both the faculty member and the context in which the sexual harassment occurred, and also includes any building owned or controlled by a student organization that is officially recognized by the university.

Executive Order 54. Executive Order issued by Governor Walker in 2011 requiring that university employees report incidents of child abuse and neglect which they observe or learn of in the course of their employment. Such reports must be personally and immediately made to law enforcement or the county department of social services or human services.

Formal Complaint. For the purposes of Title IX misconduct only, a document filed by a complainant or signed by the Title IX Coordinator alleging sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking against a faculty member and requesting that the university investigate the allegations. At the time of filing of the formal complaint, the complainant must be participating in or attempting to participate in an educational program or activity. A formal complaint may be filed in person, by mail, or electronic mail, or any other method designated by the university. A formal complaint must include a physical or digital signature of the complainant or the Title IX Coordinator.

Incapacitation. The state of being unable to physically and/or mentally make informed rational judgments and effectively communicate, and may include unconsciousness, sleep, or blackouts, and may result from the use of alcohol or other drugs. Where alcohol or other drugs are involved, evaluation of incapacitation requires an assessment of how the consumption of alcohol and/or drugs affects a person’s decision-making ability; awareness of consequences; ability to make informed, rational judgments; and capacity to appreciate the nature and quality of the act; or level of consciousness. The assessment is based on objectively and reasonably apparent indications of incapacitation when viewed from the perspective of a sober, reasonable person.

Official with Authority. Any official of the university who has the authority to institute corrective measures on behalf of the university.

Office for Civil Rights.  The U.S. Department of Education office that is responsible for enforcing Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and other education-based discrimination acts.

Preponderance of the Evidence.  Information that would persuade a reasonable person that a proposition is more probably true than not true.  It is a lower standard of proof than “clear and convincing evidence” and is the minimum standard for a finding of responsibility.  [Sections UWS 17.02(13)UWS 11.015(7)UWS 4.015(7), and UWS 7.015(5), Wis. Admin. Code]

Respondent. An individual who has been reported to be the perpetrator of sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, or sexual exploitation, as defined in this policy.

Responsible Employee.  Any employee (other than a “confidential resource”) who has:

  1. the authority to take action to redress sexual misconduct; or
  2. the duty of reporting incidents of sexual misconduct by students or employees to the Title IX coordinator or other appropriate school designee.

Retaliation. Intimidation, threats, coercion, or discrimination against any individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured in, or because the individual has made a report or complaint, testified, assisted, or participated or refused to participate in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under this policy.

Sex Discrimination.  Discrimination on the basis of sex or gender. Sexual harassment and sexual assault are forms of sex discrimination. [See 20 USC §§ 1681-1688]

Sexual Assault. An offense that meets the definition of rape, fondling, incest, or statutory rape as defined below. 20 U.S.C. 1092(f)(6)(A)(v), 34 CFR 668.46(a).

  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 the complainant, without the consent of the complainant.
  2. Fondling: The touching of the private body parts of the complainant for the purpose of sexual gratification, without the consent of the complainant, including instances where the complainant is incapable of giving consent because of their age or because of their temporary or permanent mental incapacity.
  3. Incest: Sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law (See s. 944.06, Stats.)
  4. Statutory Rape: Sexual intercourse with a complainant who is under the statutory age of consent (See s. 948.02, Stats.)

Sexual Exploitation. Occurs when an individual attempts, takes, or threatens to take nonconsensual sexual advantage of another person. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  1. Without the knowledge and consent of all participants –
    1. observing, recording, or photographing private body parts or sexual activity of one or more persons;
    2. allowing another person to observe, record, or photograph sexual activity or private body parts of one or more persons; or
    3. otherwise distributing recordings, photographs, or other images of the same of one or more persons;
  2. Masturbating, touching one’s genitals, or exposing one’s genitals in another person’s presence without the consent of that person, or inducing another person to do the same.
  3. Dishonesty or deception regarding the use of contraceptives or condoms during the course of sexual contact or sexual intercourse;
  4. Inducing incapacitation through deception for the purpose of making another person vulnerable to non-consensual sexual activity;
  5. Coercing another person to engage in sexual activity for money or anything of value;
  6. Threatening distribution of the following, to coerce someone into sexual activity or providing money or anything of value:
    1. Photos, videos, or recordings depicting private body parts or sexual activity of one or more persons, or
    2. Other information of a sexual nature (for example, may include but is not limited to, sexual history or sexual orientation).

Sexual Harassment. Conduct on the basis of sex that satisfies one or more of the following:

  1. An employee of the institution conditions the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of the institution directly or indirectly on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct;
  2. Unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature directed towards a student, an employee, or a person participating in a program or activity of the university that, when using the legal “reasonable person” standard:
    1. Is so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies the person equal access to the institution’s education program or activity; or
    2. Is so severe or pervasive and objectively offensive that it has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s academic or work performance or participation in an university sponsored or supported activity, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive academic, working, or program or activity related environment.

Sexual Violence. The phrase, as used in this policy, refers to incidents involving sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, and sexual exploitation.

Stalking.  Engaging in a course of conduct directed at the complainant that would cause a reasonable person to fear for their safety or the safety of others; or suffer substantial emotional distress.

Student.  “Student” means any person who is registered for study in a University of Wisconsin System institution for the academic period in which the alleged act of sexual violence or sexual harassment occurred, or between academic periods for continuing students. [See Chapter UWS 17.02(14), Wis. Admin. Code.]

Title IX.  Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C. sec. 1681 et seq.; 34 C.F.R. Part 106)(as amended) is a federal law that states, “[n]o person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” 20 U.S.C. § 1681(a).

Title IX Misconduct: A report of sexual harassment or sexual violence under this policy will be considered Title IX Misconduct when a formal complaint (as defined in this section) is either filed by a complainant or signed by the Title IX Coordinator and the alleged conduct meets the definition of sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking as defined in 34 C.F.R. 106.30, occurred within a university “education program or activity” (as defined in this section) and occurred against the complainant while in the United States; and the complainant is participating in or attempting to participate in a university education program or activity at the time they file the formal complaint. Title IX Complaints will follow procedures as detailed Chs. UWS 4.11-24 (faculty), UWS 11.13-26 (academic staff), UWS 17.16-21 (students), and Appendix C (university employees other than faculty or academic staff).

Title IX Coordinator (and Deputies).  An employee designated to coordinate compliance with Title IX, who plays an in important role in an institution’s efforts to ensure equitable opportunity for all students and employees, and who works with school officials to remind the school community that students and employees must have equal access to all programs.

Trauma-Informed Care.  Trauma-informed care reflects an understanding of trauma and emphasizes creating services and programs that are sensitive and directly responsive to the trauma that many victims and survivors experience following a violent crime.  Trauma-informed care programs identify and limit potential triggers to reduce their re-traumatization and protect their mental and emotional health.

Trauma-informed care is an organizational structure and treatment framework that involves understanding, recognizing, and responding to the effects of all types of trauma.  Trauma-informed care also emphasizes physical, psychological and emotional safety for both consumers and providers, and helps survivors rebuild a sense of control and empowerment.  See also:; and cultures-of-care.pdf

A process that employs trauma-informed care accounts for the impact of trauma but does not recognize symptoms of trauma as evidence that a particular incident did or did not occur.

Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).  Federal law enacted in 1994, which promotes the investigation and prosecution of violent crimes against women, among other objectives.  Recently, it enacted amendments to the Clery Act [42 U.S.C. §§ 13701-14040], through the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act (SaVE) provision, Section 304.

For More Information Contact:

Title IX Coordinator
 Dempsey Hall 328
 (920) 424-1166
 Monday-Friday 7:45 a.m.-4:30 p.m.