Key Definitions

 

Human Rights Policies and Procedures
Siena College has a policy that prohibits discrimination and discriminatory-based harassment, which are offenses directed against persons because of their race, religion, ethnicity, national origin, gender, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, veteran status, disability, predisposing genetic characteristics, domestic violence victim status, or other basis identified in federal or state law. Discriminatory based harassment based on gender includes sexual harassment and sexual violence. The Siena College Human Rights Policy and Procedures outline the procedures for addressing concerns or allegations on campus.

Consent and Incapacitation
Consent in this context means clear, unambiguous and voluntary agreement to participate in sexual activity.
• Consent is an active, not passive, expression
• In order for consent to exist, equal power between the parties must exist
• If a person says “no,” regardless of the circumstances, it is not a matter for interpretation. No means NO. Sexual intercourse following a spoken “no,” or any other expression of refusal or demurral, even without further resistance of any kind by the person, is rape.
• Consent cannot be inferred from the absence of a ‘no’ and cannot be given by someone who is asleep or mentally incapacitated due to alcohol, drugs, or other conditions
• Giving in because of fear is not consent
• Consent to some activities does not imply consent to others
• If a person uses force, threats, alcohol or drugs and/or uses physical, emotional or verbal pressure to have sexual contact with someone against his or her will, it constitutes sexual coercion and not consent.
• If a person is incapable of giving consent for any of the following reasons, including but not limited to, the victim’s age (NY State less than seventeen years old), the victim’s use of drugs or alcohol or the victim’s inability to give consent due to intellectual or other disability, then consent does not exist.
• If a person is mentally incapacitated, asleep, physically helpless due to drug or alcohol consumption or unconscious then he/she is considered unable to consent.

Dating Violence
Dating violence is defined as:
• violence committed by a person
• who is or has been in a social relationship
• of a romantic or intimate nature.

Dating violence is a pattern of coercive or abusive behaviors used to obtain and maintain power and control in a relationship.
Abusive behaviors can be:
• emotional
• verbal
• psychological
• sexual
• physical

Examples include but are not limited to:
• name-calling, insults, put-downs
• keeping or limiting a person from contacting family or friends (isolation)
• withholding money, food or other necessities
• stopping a person from getting or keeping a job, getting to class, staying in school
• actual or threatened physical harm (including throwing objects)
• sexual assault (including pressuring or forcing sexual activity)
• stalking
• possessiveness or extreme jealousy
• intimidation
• physical assault (hitting, pushing, shoving, strangulation, etc.)
• emotional isolation/manipulation

Hypothetical Conversation
What if you are not sure if you want to report an incident of sexual violence? You can speak with the Dean of Students, or designee, Title IX Coordinator, Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Students, or the Chair of the Human Rights Committee. You can explore your options and learn about the student conduct and human rights process. You can ask questions and speak in hypothetical terms to gain information about what the process is like and what could be expected. However, once any identifying information is revealed about an incident of sexual violence, like the name of the person and details about what happened, then it would be considered a report and the College can act on the information you provide.

Rape
Rape is a form of sexual violence. If a person engages in nonconsensual sexual intercourse due to physical force, coercion or threat — actual or implied — the act is considered rape. In New York State, sexual intercourse is defined as vaginal penetration. A person who is mentally incapacitated, asleep, physically helpless due to drug or alcohol consumption or unconscious is considered unable to consent. If intercourse takes place without consent, it is considered rape. If a person says no, regardless of the circumstances, it is not a matter for interpretation. No means NO. Sexual intercourse following a spoken no, or any other expression of refusal or demurral, even without further resistance of any kind by the person, is rape. For more information about sexual violence, refer to the Siena College Human Rights Policy and Procedures. Information about rape, as outlined in New York State law, can be found in Article 130 of the New York State Penal Code.

Relationship Abuse
Relationship abuse is used interchangeably with these terms: relationship violence, intimate partner abuse, intimate partner violence, dating violence, and domestic violence. See definition for "dating violence."

Sexual Coercion
Sexual coercion is a form of sexual harassment. Sexual coercion is defined as the act of using force, threats, alcohol or drugs and/or using physical, emotional or verbal pressure to have sexual contact with someone against his or her will or where a person is incapable of giving consent for reasons including, but not limited to, the victim’s age, the victim’s use of drugs or alcohol or the victim’s inability to give consent due to intellectual or other disability. Sexual contact includes kissing, patting, fondling, oral sex, genital touching, and any other sexual behavior that makes the victim feel uncomfortable. For more information, refer to the Siena College Human Rights Policy and Procedures.

Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment is a form of illegal sex-based discrimination, which is prohibited by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Siena College Human Rights Policy and Procedures prohibits sexual harassment and outlines how the College addresses instances if they arise.

Examples of sexual harassment include, but are not limited to the following situations, whether or not there is the presence of a relationship that puts one person in a position of authority:
• unwelcome sexual propositions, invitations, solicitations, flirtations, and leering;
• unwelcome and inappropriate touching, patting, fondling, pinching, grabbing or brushing up against;
• obscene gestures;
• seeking sexual favors or relationships in return for the promise of a favorable grade or other academic or employment benefit or opportunity;
• conditioning an employment-related action (such as hiring, promotion, salary increase, performance appraisal, or refraining from discipline or termination) on a sexual favor or relationship;
• conditioning an academic-related action or extracurricular activity (such as a grade, assignment, refraining from discipline, or a leadership position in a club or sports team) on a sexual favor or relationship;
• unwelcome verbal expressions of a sexual nature, including graphic sexual commentaries about a person’s body, dress, appearance, or sexual activities; the unwelcome use of sexually degrading language, jokes or innuendos; unwelcome suggestive or insulting sounds or whistles; obscene telephone calls;
• sexually suggestive language, objects, pictures, videotapes, audio recordings or literature, or computerized transmissions placed in the work or study area, that may embarrass or offend individuals;
• sexually suggestive language, objects, pictures, videotapes, audio recordings or literature, sent to specific individual(s) or posted through any electronic media, that may embarrass or offend such individuals;
• in the case of co-workers or individuals in positions of authority, conduct of the nature set forth above when the effect is to unreasonably interfere with the ability of a person to perform his or her employment or academic responsibilities, or when the effect is to create an offensive, intimidating and/or hostile working or learning environment for that person.

Sexual Violence
Sexual violence is a broad umbrella term. It is defined as:
• physical acts of a sexual nature, such as such as:
          Vaginal penetration
         Anal sexual conduct
         Oral sexual conduct
         Insertion of a foreign object (e.g. coke bottle, broom handle, etc.) into the vagina, urethra, penis or rectum
         Touching of sexual or intimate parts of a person’s body
• perpetuated against a person's will
• or when a person is incapable of giving consent for reasons, including but not limited to, the victim's age, the victim's use of drugs or alcohol or the victim's ability to give consent due to intellectual or other disability.

Sexual violence can include:
• Sexual Coercion: Sexual coercion is a form of sexual harassment. Sexual coercion is defined as the act of using force, threats, alcohol or drugs and/or using physical, emotional or verbal pressure to have sexual contact with someone against his or her will or where a person is incapable of giving consent for reasons including, but not limited to, the victim’s age, the victim’s use of drugs or alcohol or the victim’s inability to give consent due to intellectual or other disability. Sexual contact includes kissing, patting, fondling, oral sex, genital touching, and any other sexual behavior that makes the victim feel uncomfortable.
• Sexual Assault: The term sexual assault refers to offenses classified as a forcible or nonforcible sex offence under the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) system of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, including forcible rape, forcible sodomy, sexual assault with an object, forcible fondling, incest and statutory rape.
• Rape: Rape is a form of sexual violence. If a person engages in nonconsensual sexual intercourse due to physical force, coercion or threat — actual or implied — the act is considered rape. In New York State, sexual intercourse is defined as vaginal penetration. A person who is mentally incapacitated, asleep, physically helpless due to drug or alcohol consumption or unconscious is considered unable to consent. If intercourse takes place without consent, it is considered rape. If a person says no, regardless of the circumstances, it is not a matter for interpretation. No means NO. Sexual intercourse following a spoken no, or any other expression of refusal or demurral, even without further resistance of any kind by the person, is rape. Information about rape, as outlined in New York State law, can be found in Article 130 of the New York State Penal Code.

Stalking
Stalking means 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.

Such behaviors may include, but are not limited to:
• unwelcome communications of any type, including face-to-face, telephone calls, voice messages, e-mail, text messages, written letters or notes and unwanted gifts
• use of threatening words or conduct
• pursuing or following
• observing and/or surveillance

Title IX
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance. The Title IX regulation describes the conduct that violates Title IX including sexual harassment. On April 4, 2011 the Department of Education Office for Civil Rights stated in a Dear Colleague Letter that sexual harassment, which is prohibited under Title IX, includes sexual violence, rape, sexual assault and battery and sexual coercion.

Anonymous and Confidential Reporting
The only way to make a truly anonymous report of an incident of sexual violence is to fill out the anonymous crime tip form online or call the Public Safety Office and offer no self-identifying information. Please be advised that, if you report an incident of sexual violence in this manner and provide any identifying details including names, locations, or details of the incident of sexual violence, this will be considered a report and the College will investigate the report.

Sometimes, students want to talk about an incident of sexual violence with a College Official who can explain reporting and support options but will not share the conversation with anyone else. There are two places on campus where a student can do this: the Counseling Center and the Chaplain’s office. A student can speak with a Counselor working in the Counseling Center or the College Chaplain, and be assured that his or her information will not be shared with anyone else, without the student’s permission.

If a student discloses an incident to another College Official ( RD, RA, Public Safety official, Associate/Dean of Students, Director of the Bowman Center, Title IX Coordinator, etc.), that person will take care to protect the student’s privacy, and may share information only with other professional staff who have a legitimate need to be informed about the incident.

If a student chooses to file a formal complaint through the Human Rights Process, he or she may request to go through this process anonymously, meaning that his or her name will be kept off the statements. The College ensures, to the extent practicable, that it will maintain anonymity of the parties and will only disclose information on a need to know basis.

The College will not inform a student’s parents of an incident, unless the student wants them informed or there is a medical emergency.