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Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Sexual Harassment/Assault

Q: Which University policy prohibits sexual harassment?

A: The SVSU Anti-Harassment/Discrimination Policy.

Q: What does sexual assault have to do with the Anti-Harassment/Discrimination Policy?

A: Sexual assault is a form of sexual harassment. 

Q: Who is responsible for administering the Anti-Harassment/Discrimination Policy?

A: The Title IX Coordinator, Office of Diversity Programs and/or Human Resources

Q: What is a Title IX Coordinator?  I thought Title IX had to do with sex discrimination in sports.

A: Title IX of the Educational Amendments Act prohibits sexual harassment at educational institutions, in addition to requiring equity in sports.  The Title IX Coordinator is the individual responsible for ensuring compliance with the law in this area at SVSU.

Q: When does sexual assault violate the Anti-Harassment/Discrimination Policy?

A: The Policy is violated when a reasonable person would find that the assault was “so severe, pervasive or persistent that it had the effect of altering one’s educational or employment experience.”  Examples might include the victim dropping out of school or a class where the alleged perpetrator is also enrolled, quitting work or moving from one work shift to another.

Q: How can violence that happens during my relationship be sexual assault or sexual harassment?

A: Relationship violence may be sexual assault or sexual harassment under University policy when harm or abuse, or threats of harm or abuse, arising within or from the personal, intimate relationship (or previous relationship) meets the definition of sexual harassment: the conduct is unwelcome, sexual in nature, and so severe, pervasive or persistent that a reasonable person would find that it altered their educational or work experience.  For example, an ex-boyfriend/girlfriend stalking an ex-girlfriend/boyfriend could be a violation of the Anti-Harassment/Discrimination Policy.  It could also be a crime. 

Q: Can I be sexually assaulted by my boyfriend, girlfriend, friend or acquaintance? 

A: Yes.  The definition is the same regardless of who the perpetrator is – if there was no consent, there is sexual assault.

Q: I don’t think I’ve been sexually assaulted, but another individual has directed sexual behavior towards me that has really started to bother me.  Could that be a violation of policy?

A: It could.  The Anti-Harassment/Discrimination Policy prohibits conduct that is sexual in nature, is unwelcome and so severe, pervasive or persistent that a “reasonable person” would find that it altered his/her educational or work experience.  To discuss filing a claim under the policy, please contact the Title IX Coordinator’s office or a Title IX Representative.