Key Terms

Abuse: To physically or mentally harm, harass, intimidate, or interfere with the personal liberty of another.

Administrative Resolution: A mutual agreement between a university administrator and a respondent, when a respondent agrees not to have a policy violation heard before the Sexual Misconduct Hearing Board. The respondent accepts responsibility for the alleged policy violation(s) and the corresponding sanction(s). The violation of misconduct is adjudicated with the respondent and sanctions are assigned and accepted.

Appeal: The opportunity for a respondent and/or complainant to request a review of a case within five (5) days of an outcome and corresponding sanctions. Appeals are heard on the following:

  1. Procedural violations which impacted the integrity of the hearing to the degree that the outcome was compromised.
  2. New information which could impact the outcome of the case which was not available at the time of the hearing

Bystander Intervention: Safe and positive options that may be carried out by an individual or individuals to prevent harm or intervene when there is a risk of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking. UNCA’s BARK (Bulldogs Advancing Radical Kindess) program educates the community on how to recognize situations of potential harm, learn to overcome barriers to intervening, identify safe and effective intervention options, understand institutional structures and cultural conditions that faciliate violence, and actions to intervene.

Complainant: A person bringing forth an allegation of sexual misconduct.  An individual who reports a Title IX violation or someone who is the target of a reported incident.

Confidential Reporting: If you are the victim of a crime and do not want to pursue action within the university system or the criminal justice system, you may still want to consider making a confidential report. With your permission, the Title IX Office, the Chief or a designee of University Police can file a report on the details of the incident without revealing your identity. The purpose of a confidential report is to comply with your wish to keep the matter confidential, while taking steps to ensure the future safety of yourself and others. Reports filed in this manner are counted and disclosed in the annual crimes statistics for the institution without sharing personally identificable characteristics.

  • A confidential report will not launch a criminal investigation or criminal charges.

Consent: The state of NC does not define consent. However, the age of consent in NC is 16. UNCA recognizes consent as an understandable exchange of affirmative actions or words which indicate an active, knowing and voluntary agreement to engage in mutually agreed upon sexual activity. Consent is not freely given when it is in response to force or threat of force or when a person is incapacitated by the (voluntary or involuntary). Use of drugs or alcohol or when the person is otherwise physically helpless and the person performing the act knows or should reasonably know that the other person is incapacitated or otherwise physically helpless. A person is not required to physically resist sexual conduct in order to show lack of consent. Past consent for sexual activity does not imply ongoing future consent.

Dating Violence: Violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the reporting party’s statement and with consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of the interaction between the persons involved in the relationship

  •  Dating violence includes but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or threats of such abuse
  •  Dating violence does not include acts covered under the definition of domestic violence.

Domestic Violence: Violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim. Violence committed by a person whom the victim shares a child. Violence by a person who is cohabiting with, or has cohabitated with, the victim as a spouse or intimate partner. Violence by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestich or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred. Violence committed by a person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred.

Interim measures: Measures implemented during the course of an investigation to protect the reporting party, the university, and community. Interim measures differ from sanctions.

Indecent exposure: indecent exposure is defined as the exposure of the private or intimate parts of the body in a lewd manner in public or in private in the presence of someone else or the act of someone who exposes or assists someone in exposing their private parts for the purpose of sexual gratification.

Preponderance of Evidence: A standard of evidence set forth for hearing cases of sexual misconduct in higher education institutions. “Is it more likely than not” that a policy violation occurred.

No-Contact Order: An order issued by the university mandating two or more individuals refrain from having contact with one another. Restricted forms of contact are; in person, by telephone, email, text message or other electronic means of communication, or through a third party.

Non-consensual sexual contact: engaging in the intentional touching of any person’s genitalia, groin, breast, buttock or clothing covering them, or forcing a person to touch another’s intimate parts as listed above without that person’s consent.

Retaliation: An act of revenge against a person for bringing forth a complaint or cooperating in an investigation. Retaliation includes intimidation, harassment, or threats. Such behavior is strictly prohibited. Any act of retaliation against a complainant, respondent, or witness is prohibited and will result in appropriate disciplinary action in accordance with disciplinary measures defined by applicable state or university disciplinary policies.

Respondent: A person responding to an allegation of sexual misconduct. An individual alleged to have violated the Sexual Misconduct and Interpersonal Violence Policy and who has been identified as such in a complaint.

Responsible employee:

  • a person who has the authority to take an action to redress sexual harassment/sexual misconduct;
  • a person who has been given the duty of reporting incidents of sexual harassment/misconduct or any other misconduct by students to the Title IX Office or other appropriate designee;
  • a person who a student reasonable believes has the authority or duty.

Revenge Porn: knowingly discloses an image of another person with the intent to coerce, harass, intimidate, demean, humiliate, or cause financial loss to the depicted person, or cause others to coerce, harass, intimidate, demean, humiliate, or cause financial loss to the depicted person, and the depicted person is identifiable from the disclosed image or from information offered in connection with it, the depicted person’s intimate parts are exposed or the depicted person is engaged in sexual conduct in the disclosed image, the person discloses the image without the affirmative consent of the depicted person, and the person discloses the image under circumstances such that he or she knew or should have known that the depicted person had a reasonable expectation of privacy.

Risk Reduction: Options designed to decrease perpetration and bystander inaction, increase empowerment for victims in order to promote safety and help individuals and communities address conditions that faciliate violence.

Sanctions: A consequence, punishment, or penalty rendered for an act of misconduct or policy violation.

Sexual Assault: Engaging in vaginal, oral or anal intercourse or penetration without that person’s consent, regardless of how slight. Sexual assault meets the definition of rape, fondling, incest or statutory rape as used in the FBI’s UCR program and included in Appendix A of 34 CFR Part 668.

Sexual Exploitation: Taking non-consensual, unjust or abusive sexual advantage of another for one’s own advantage or benefit; or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited; even if that behavior does not constitute rape, sexual assault or sexual harassment.

Examples of Sexual Exploitation include but are not limited to prostituting another person; non-consensual sexually-oriented photographing of another person; video or audio taping of sexual activity without the participant(s)’s consent; going beyond the boundaries of consent, such as allowing others to observe sexual activity without the consent of a partner; engaging in voyeurism; and inducing incapacitation with the result of inflicting sexual misconduct on another person or with the result of creating opportunity for a third party to inflict sexual misconduct on another person.

Sexual Harassment: Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual nature can include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual ha

Sexual harassment is considered prohibited conduct as stated in the Student Code of Community Standards and UNC Asheville’s Sexual Harassment Policy. Depending upon the nature and severity of the harassment, it may also qualify as sexual misconduct. Please note: Title IX requires institutions to respond to both sexual violence and sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is also a violation of University Policy.

The two categories of sexual harassment are:

  • Quid Pro Quo – Sexual harassment presented as a “bargain” (quid pro quo). Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal and physical conduct of a sexual nature by one in a superior position constitutes “bargained-for sexual harassment” when submission by another is made either an explicit or implicit term or condition of employment or of academic standing.
  • Environmental Sexual Harassment – Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal and physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute “environmental sexual harassment” when such conduct has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment which unreasonably interferes with another’s work, academic performance or privacy.

Stalking: Stalking includes but is not limited to engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to:

  • fear for their safety or the safety of others
  • suffer substantial emotional distress by placing that person in fear of death, bodily injury, or continued harassment and causes substantial emotional distress.

Title IX: A Department of Education amendment (1972): “No 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.”

Voyeurism: Voyeurism is the act of spying, peeping, or watching, others engage in sexual activity or activity usually considered a private nature.


For additional definitions and terms, see North Carolina General Statutes.