Under this Policy, Prohibited Conduct is defined as conduct that is deemed, by a preponderance of the evidence standard, to meet the definitions of Sex Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, or Sexual Violence as described below.

Sex discrimination prohibited by this Policy is defined as the exclusion from participation in, denial of benefits from, or subjection to unfavorable treatment in any University educational or employment-related program or activity on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

Sexual harassment prohibited by this Policy is defined as conduct based on gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, which may include acts of aggression, intimidation, or hostility, whether verbal or non-verbal, graphic, physical, or otherwise, even if the acts do not involve conduct of a sexual nature, that satisfy one or more of the following:

  • A University employee makes submission to or rejection of unwelcome sexual conduct, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of a person’s employment, academic standing, or participation in any University programs and/or activities or is used as the basis for University decisions affecting the individual (often referred to as “quid pro quo” harassment); or
  • Unwelcome conduct based on sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression that is determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the University’s educational programs or activities or creates a hostile working environment1 ; or
  • Sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking as those terms are defined below.

Sexual Violence (which also constitutes sexual harassment under this Policy) is defined to include sexual assault/rape, sexual assault/fondling, incest, statutory rape, sexual exploitation, intimate partner violence (composed of dating violence and domestic violence), and stalking.

  • Sexual Assault/Rape (non-consensual sexual penetration): 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, without the consent of the Complainant. Attempts to assault or commit sexual assault are also included; however, statutory rape and incest are excluded.
  • Sexual Assault/Fondling (non-consensual sexual contact): The touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, without the consent of the Complainant, including instances where the Complainant is incapable of giving consent because of his/her age or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental capacity. For purposes of this definition, “private body parts” include an individual’s genitalia, breasts, groin, or buttocks.
  • Incest: Sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law.
  • Statutory Rape: Sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent. The age of consent is determined by the applicable age of consent for the jurisdiction where the alleged sexual intercourse occurred. In Alabama, the age of consent is 16 years old.
  • Sexual Exploitation: Taking non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for one’s own advantage or benefit or to benefit a person other than the one being exploited. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to:
    • Causing or attempting to cause the incapacitation of another individual for sexual purposes;
    • Electronically recording, videoing, photographing, or transmitting sexual sounds or images of another individual against that person’s will or without their consent;
    • Allowing a third-party to observe sexual acts without all parties’ consent;
    • Prostituting another individual;
    • Exposing one’s genitals without consent for the purpose of sexual gratification;
    • Intentionally exposing another’s genitals or intimate body parts without their consent;
    • Engaging in voyeurism (e.g., watching private sexual activity without the consent of the participants or viewing another person’s intimate parts (including genitalia, breasts, or buttocks) in a place where that person would have a reasonable expectation of privacy);
    • Possessing and/or disseminating child pornography; or
    • Knowingly exposing another individual to a sexually transmitted disease/infection or HIV without their consent.
  • Intimate partner violence – Dating violence: Violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social or “dating” relationship of a romantic, intimate, and/or sexual nature with the victim. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
  • Intimate partner violence – Domestic violence: Violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of Alabama, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of Alabama.
  • Stalking: Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to (a) fear for his or her safety or the safety of others; or (b) suffer substantial emotional distress.