This glossary is intended to help you understand terms frequently used in DCCCD’s nondiscrimination, harassment and sexual misconduct policies.
In any case where the glossary and DCCCD policy do not seem to match, DCCCD policy should be relied on as the authoritative source.
Allegation. An allegation is a statement made by an individual who believes a violation of DCCCD policy has occurred.
Complainant. Complainant refers to the person making the allegation or complaint.
Complaint or grievance. Notification, either orally or in writing, of the belief that a violation has occurred.
Consent. Knowing, voluntary and clear permission, by word or action, to engage in mutually agreed upon sexual activity.
Days. Refers to calendar days. DCCCD holidays (i.e., days when DCCCD is officially closed) are excluded from the computation of time. If a duration of time ends on a Saturday or Sunday, the deadline is extended to the following DCCCD business day.
Decision maker. In the case of students, the student conduct officer or a designated representative. The chief Talent Central officer for the college location or DCCCD, or a designated representative, may serve as the decision maker for employees and faculty.
Deputy Title IX coordinator. A DCCCD employee designated to assist in the administration of the responsibilities related to Title IX matters.
Discrimination. The intentional or unintentional treatment of any member or visitor of the DCCCD community less favorably than those similarly situated based on race, color, religion, age, disability, sex, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic predisposition, veteran status or on any other basis prohibited by federal, state or local law.
Harassment. Unwelcome conduct on the basis of actual or perceived membership in a protected class, including but not limited to race, color, religion, age, disability, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and/or veteran status. Harassment is further defined as behavior so severe that it limits or denies an individual’s ability to participate in or benefit from his or her work or educational environment, creates a hostile environment or allows for the abuse of authority.
Interpersonal violence. Acts of dominance in which at least one individual imposes, or attempts to impose, his or her will on another individual or group in a way that threatens the other person’s rights, safety or welfare, or that of a group of people.
Investigation. The process DCCCD uses to resolve complaints/grievances. This includes the fact-finding investigation and any hearing and decision-making process used to determine:
Investigator. A trained person designated as an investigator by the Office of Institutional Equity or the Office of General Counsel who conducts a fact-finding inquiry (investigation) and writes an investigative report.
Investigative report. The report created by the investigator, which includes: a summary of the complaint; description of the investigation, including names of people interviewed with dates, list of documents reviewed and findings.
Privileged. Information that is protected by law and cannot be disclosed to (shared with) anyone else without your permission. Individuals commonly, but not always, protected by statutory privilege (legal privilege) are religious leaders, therapists and domestic violence/rape crisis advocates.
Respondent. The person against whom an allegation or complaint is made.
Responsible employee. Any employee who has authority to take action to resolve sexual misconduct, who has been given the duty of reporting sexual misconduct to the Title IX coordinator or other appropriate party, or whom a student or employee could reasonably believe has such authority or duty.
Retaliation. Any harmful or hostile action taken against a person participating in a protected activity because of their participation in that protected activity. This includes action taken against a student or employee for reporting or intervening to stop discrimination, harassment or sexual misconduct. Retaliation includes intimidating, threatening or in any way discriminating against an individual because of the individual’s complaint or participation in the investigation or grievance process.
Sexual misconduct. Acts of sex/gender-based harassment, sexual/gender violence, sexual exploitation, relationship violence and stalking. For definitions of these terms, please see DCCCD’s Sexual Misconduct policy. See below for some examples of sexual misconduct.
Substantial interest. A substantial interest is:
Title IX coordinator. Each college within DCCCD has a Title IX coordinator who is responsible for administrating responsibilities related to and compliance with Title IX.
Here are a few examples of behavior that would be considered either sexual misconduct and/or violations of the sexual misconduct policy. Please note that these examples are not all-inclusive.
Amanda and Bill meet at a party. They spend the evening dancing and getting to know each other. Bill convinces Amanda to come to his apartment. From 11 p.m. until 3 a.m., Bill uses every line he can think of to talk Amanda into having sex with him, but she firmly refuses. He keeps at her and begins to question her religious beliefs. He even accuses her of being “a prude.” Finally, Bill thinks he has worn Amanda down, and he convinces her to give him a "hand job" (hand to genital contact). Amanda would never have done it if Bill hadn't kept pushing her. He feels that he successfully seduced her, and that she wanted to do it all along, but was playing shy and hard to get. Why else would she have come to his apartment alone after the party? If she really didn't want it, she could have left.
Bill has violated DCCCD’s Sexual Misconduct policy. It is likely that DCCCD decision-makers would find the degree and duration of the pressure Bill applied to Amanda unreasonable. Bill pressured Amanda into performing unwanted sexual touching. Where sexual activity is coerced, it is forced. Sex (including sexual touching) without consent is sexual misconduct. Although the misconduct occurred off-campus, it is still subject to the Sexual Misconduct policy as it may have an ongoing effect on the DCCCD environment.