Key Terms

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

Advisor:  Advisors serve to support the student through the process and act as the party’s representative in a live hearing to ask questions to the opposing party. Advisors can be of the student’s own choosing and advisors can be attorneys retained on behalf of the student at the student’s own expense to serve in this role. Students are required to have an advisor present at the hearing. If a student does not have an advisor, the Title IX Coordinator will appoint an advisor to serve in the limited capacity of helping the student ask questions during the hearing.

Appeal: The opportunity for a respondent and/or complainant to appeal the dismissal analysis OR 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.
  3. A bias/conflict of interest among a party and those responsible for working the case, that affected the outcome of the matter.

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. The University’s Stand up, Speak out (SUSO) 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 facilitate violence, and actions to intervene.

Complainant/Reporting Party: 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.

Dismissal Analysis (Jurisdictional Analysis):  A dismissal analysis is a review performed by the Title IX Coordinator to identify the type and scope of sexual harassment behavior being alleged as well as to determine how best to address that behavior.  Students can appeal the determination of a dismissal analysis to the appellate body.  There are two types of behavior that conduct of a sexual nature can be categorized at UNC Asheville.

  • Title IX Sexual Harassment: Conduct that meets the following criteria will be addressed through the Title IX proceedings:
    • The conduct meets the definition of Sexual Assault, Dating Violence, Stalking (conduct identified under the Clery Act and/or the Violence Against Women Act)
    • The conduct is categorized as quid pro quo as defined in Sexual Harassment.
    • The conduct occurred to a person in the United States
    • The conduct occurred under the auspices of a university program or activity.
    • The conduct is severe, pervasive, and so objectively offensive it created a discriminatory effect in a student’s ability to access educational programs and activities.
  • Other Sexual Harassment: Conduct that does not meet the above criteria will be dismissed under Title IX, but may be addressed through other university policies, such as the Citizenship Education Process (student conduct) and/or Human Resources policies (faculty/staff).

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 cohabited with, the victim as a spouse or intimate partner. Violence by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic 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.

Formal Process:  The formal process for resolving sexual misconduct complaints requires an investigation and can only be resolved through a live hearing. The hearing is comprised of the Sexual Misconduct Hearing Board. The formal process provides equal opportunities for parties to present their case, respond to the information gathered, question witnesses, the investigators, and the other party through the use of an advisor, and permits opening and closing statements. The formal process is determined by the Sexual Misconduct Hearing Board and this board also determines sanctions. Suspension and expulsion are permissible in a formal proceeding under Title IX. The determination of the board in the formal process can be appealed by either party.

Informal Process: A mutual agreed upon strategy for resolving sexual misconduct complaints between the reporting and responding parties. The informal process is conducted by a resolution facilitator who provides a mutually agreed upon opportunity for the parties to disclose their experiences. This can be facilitated in seperate meetings with each party and the resolution facilitator. The resolution facilitator is the decision maker in an informal process and any educational sanctions posed by the decision maker must be mutually agreed upon by the parties.  There is no appeal to an informal process.

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. Depending on the circumstances of the information in total and based on the nature of the acts, it is possible that sexual exploitation, revenge porn, indecent exposure, and voyeurism are considered violations of the Clery Act and thus would be violations of Title IX Sexual Harassment.

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.

Resolution Facilitators:  Resolution facilitators are staff members responsible for the Student Conduct Code of Community Standards through the Citizenship Education Process and serve to facilitate a resolution of Title IX Harassment in the mutually agreed upon informal resolution process. These individuals serve as administrative officers to support members of the SMHB when Title IX Sexual Harassment Cases go before the board. However in this role they have no decision making ability in those hearings.

Respondent/Responding Party: 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

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. Depending on the circumstances of the information in total and based on the nature of the acts, it is possible that sexual exploitation, revenge porn, indecent exposure, and voyerism are considered violations of the Clery Act and thus would be violations of TItle IX Sexual Harassment.

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 facilitate 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. Depending on the circumstances of the information in total and based on the nature of the acts, it is possible that sexual exploitation, revenge porn, indecent exposure, and voyerism are considered violations of the Clery Act and thus would be violations of TItle IX 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  refers to unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature; and includes Sexual Assault under Title IX. Sexual nature can include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature (expressive behavior).

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.

Sexual Misconduct Hearing Board (SMHB): SMHB members include faculty and staff from across the university that are responsible for adjudicating cases of sexual misconduct which go before the board, including recommending sanctions. They are the Hearing Officers and decision makers in Title IX cases. The resolution facilitator listed with the board, serves as support to the board, but makes no decisions regarding responsibility or sanctions. These decisions are left to the board as part of the formal live hearing process for all sexual harassment cases that meet Title IX requirements. In addtion, the SMHB can be called upon to hear other types of sexual harassment through the Citizenship Education Process. 

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.

Supportive Measures: Supportive measures, that can be reasonably accommodated,  are provided to both parties regardless of if a formal complaint is filed under Title IX or not. Supportive measures are offered to help the parties navigate the impact of a complaint and the forthcoming process to minimize the effects of their educational experience that might impede their educational progress. Supportive Measures are non-punitive and do not unreasonably burden either party. Supportive measures are different from interim measures and different from sanctions.

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.”

Title IX Student Guide (TIXSG): A student guide is member of the student body who is trained in understanding the options available to students considering reporting issues of sexual harassment to the Title IX Office. The TIXSG meets with students to review their options around both the Title IX Grievance Procedures and those procedures under Citizenship Education established to address alleged behavior that falls outside the jurisdiction of Title IX. These students are trained and serve in a voluntary role with the primary goal of helping their peers understand their options under University Policy, including Title IX. Students wishing to speak to a TIXSG may request a meeting through the Title IX Office. 

Voyeurism: Voyeurism is the act of spying, peeping, or watching, others engage in sexual activity or activity usually considered a private nature. Depending on the circumstances of the information in total and based on the nature of the acts, it is possible that sexual exploitation, revenge porn, indecent exposure, and voyerism are considered violations of the Clery Act and thus would be violations of TItle IX Sexual Harassment.

 

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