Office of Institutional Equity

UCCS Leaves

UCCS Commitment

UCCS is committed to providing an environment where all individuals are free from unlawful discrimination and harassment, and therefore prohibits any of the following collectively referred to as "sexual misconduct," and further defined below:

  1. Sexual assault - non-consensual sexual intercourse;
  2. Sexual assault - non-consensual sexual contact;
  3. Sexual exploitation;
  4. Intimate partner abuse (including domestic or dating violence);
  5. Gender/sex-based stalking;
  6. Sexual harassment; and
  7. Retaliation as related to any form of sexual misconduct.

This prohibition applies to all students, faculty, staff, contractors, patients, volunteers, affiliated entities and other third parties, regardless of sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender expression or gender identity. Any violations may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including, expulsion or termination of employment, as applicable. UCCS will consider what appropriate potential actions should be taken, including contract termination and/or property exclusion, regarding third party conduct that is alleged to have violated this policy; however those options may be limited depending on the circumstances of the arrangement.
This prohibition applies to conduct that occurs on campus. It also applies to off campus conduct, including on-line or electronic conduct, if the conduct (1) occurred in the context of an employment or education program or activity of the University or (2) has continuing adverse effects on campus.
UCCS takes prompt and effective steps reasonably intended to stop any form of sexual misconduct, eliminate any hostile environment, prevent its recurrence and as appropriate, remedy its effects.

UCCS Definitions of Prohibited Behavior

Intimate Partner Abuse
Any act of violence or threatened act of violence against a person with whom the individual is or has been involved in a sexual or dating relationship. This includes threats, assault, property damage, and violence or threat of violence to one’s self or to the family members of the sexual or romantic partner when used as a method of coercion, control, punishment, intimidation or revenge. This definition includes intimate partner violence, dating violence, and domestic violence.

Non-Consensual Sexual Contact
Any intentional sexual touching, however slight, with any object, by any person upon another person that is without affirmative consent and/or by force. Sexual contact includes intentional contact with the breasts, buttocks, 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 other intentional bodily contact in a sexual manner.

Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse
Any sexual intercourse, however slight, with any object, by any person upon another person that is without affirmative consent and/or by force. Intercourse includes vaginal penetration by a penis, object, tongue or finger; anal penetration by a penis, object, tongue, or finger; and oral copulation (mouth to genital contact or genital to mouth contact), no matter how slight the penetration or contact.

Sexual Exploitation
Conduct that takes sexual advantage of another person for the benefit of anyone other than that person without that person's consent. Examples of behavior that could rise to the level of sexual exploitation include: prostituting another person; recording images (e.g., video, photograph) or audio of another person's sexual activity, intimate body parts or nakedness without that person's consent; distributing images (e.g., video, photograph) or audio of another person's sexual activity, intimate body parts or nakedness, if the individual distributing the images or audio knows or should have known that the person depicted in the images or audio did not consent to such disclosure and objects to such disclosure; and, viewing another person's sexual activity, intimate body parts or nakedness in a place where that person would have a reasonable expectation of privacy, without that person's consent.

Sexual Harassment
Unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, including unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal, non-verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.

Sexual harassment results if one of the following occurs:

Quid Pro Quo ("This for That")
This type of sexual harassment occurs when the terms or conditions of employment, educational benefits, academic grades or opportunities, living environment or participation in a University activity is conditioned upon, either explicitly or implicitly, submission to or rejection of unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors, or such submission or rejection is a factor in decisions affecting that individual's employment, education, living environment or participation in a University program or activity.​

Hostile Environment
Hostile environment is a form of sexual harassment. Whether a hostile environment exists is determined from both a subjective and an objective perspective. The subjective perspective evaluates whether or not the complainant experienced unwelcome sexual conduct. The objective perspective evaluates whether or not the unwelcome sexual conduct was, from the perspective of a reasonable person in the alleged complainant's position, sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that it unreasonably interferes with, limits or deprives an individual from participating in or benefiting from the University's education or employment programs and/or activities. Mere offensive nonsexual conduct is not enough to create a "hostile environment" as defined in this policy. Although repeated incidents increase the likelihood that harassment has created a hostile environment, a single or isolated incident of sexual assault may be sufficient.

Stalking
Directly or indirectly through another person repeatedly following, approaching, contacting, placing under surveillance, or making any form of communication with another person, a member of that person’s immediate family, or someone with whom that person has or has had a continuing relationship in a manner 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, including causing a person to respond by altering their activities. When stalking is gender based, it is considered Protected Class harassment.

Threats
Threats exist where a reasonable person would have been compelled by the words or actions of another to give permission to sexual contact they would not otherwise have given. For example, threats to kill you, themselves, or to harm someone you care for constitute threats.

UCCS Definition of Affirmative Consent

UCCS defines affirmative consent as the, unambiguous and voluntary agreement to engage in a specific sexual activity.  Consent is clear, knowing and voluntary words or actions which create mutually understandable clear permission regarding willingness to engage in, and the conditions of, sexual activity. Consent must be active; silence by itself cannot be interpreted as consent.

Consent is not effectively given if it results from the use of force, including threats, intimidation or coercion, or if it is from someone who is incapacitated:

Force is the use of physical violence or imposing on someone physically to gain sexual access.

Threats exist where a reasonable person would have been compelled by the words or actions of another to give permission to sexual contact they would not otherwise have given. For example, threats to kill someone, themselves or to harm someone one cares for constitute threats.

Intimidation occurs when someone uses physical presence to menace another, although no physical contact occurs, or where knowledge of prior violent behavior by an assailant, coupled with menacing behavior, places someone in fear as an implied threat.

Coercion is unreasonable pressure for sexual activity. Coercion differs from seduction by the repetition of the coercive activity beyond what is reasonable, the degree of pressure applied and other factors such as isolation. When someone makes it clear that they do not want sex, do not want to go past a certain point or want it to stop, continued pressure beyond that point can be coercive.  It also includes "grooming" meaning an attempt to control victims through a systematic process which takes advantage of an individual's vulnerabilities using a combination of strategies to gain the individual's trust, lower inhibitions and gain cooperation and "consent."  

Consent will be determined using both objective and subjective standards. The objective standard is met when a reasonable person would consider the words or actions of the parties to have manifested an agreement between them to do the same thing, in the same way, at the same time, with one another. The subjective standard is met when a party believes in good faith that the words or actions of the parties manifested an agreement between them to do the same thing, in the same way, at the same time, with one another.  

A person who does not want to consent to sex is not required to resist.  

Consent to some forms of sexual activity does not automatically imply consent to other forms of sexual activity.  

Silence, previous sexual relationships or the existence of a current relationship do not imply consent.  

Consent cannot be implied by attire or inferred from the giving or acceptance of gifts, money or other items.  

Consent to sexual activity may be withdrawn at any time, as long as the withdrawal is communicated clearly.  

Withdrawal of consent can be done in numerous ways and need not be a verbal withdrawal of consent.  

A respondent's intoxication resulting from intentional use of alcohol/drugs will not function as a defense to engaging in sexual activity without an individual's consent.  

In order to give effective consent, the person giving consent must be of legal age under Colorado law for the purposes of determining whether there was a sexual assault.

Office of Institutional Equity
Phone: (719) 255-4324 | Location: ACAD 106
equity@uccs.edu