Prohibited Conduct

Gallaudet prohibits a broad spectrum of behavior, including sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, stalking, and intimate partner abuse. The definitions of such behaviors are also listed in the Rules and Regulations section of the Student Code of Conduct.

Intimate Partner Abuse - this can also be referred to as relationship violence, which includes domestic violence, or dating violence. Intimate partner abuse may include a pattern of coercive behaviors used to establish power and control over another person within the context of an intimate relationship (husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, lover, romantic partner, romantic roommate, friends with benefits, hook up, etc.). Behaviors may include: physical and/or verbal abuse, threats, intimidation, harassment, bullying, cyber-bullying, or coercion, and generally escalates over time. It may include the use of alcohol and/or drugs to commit these acts. It can be committed by men or by women towards others of the same or different gender and between a current and former intimate partner who have dated, lived together, or been married.

Non-Consensual Sexual Contact - sexual contact that occurs without effective consent. An example of a policy violation involving non-consensual sexual contact would be the touching of an unwilling or non-consensual person's private parts (such as penis, vagina, groin, breast, buttocks, mouth, and/or clothing covering them); touching an unwilling person with one's own intimate parts; or forcing an unwilling person to touch another's intimate parts.

Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse - sexual intercourse that occurs without effective consent. An example of a policy violation involving non-consensual sexual intercourse would be the unwilling or non-consensual penetration (oral, anal or vaginal) with an object or body part. This includes, but is not limited to, penetration of a bodily opening without effective consent through the use of coercion or by use of force, violence, threat, or intimidation against the will of the other person.

Sexual Exploitation - taking sexual advantage of another person without effective consent, and includes, without limitation, causing or attempting to cause the incapacitation of another person in order to gain a sexual advantage over the other person; causing the prostitution of another person; recording, photographing, or transmitting identifiable images of private sexual activity and/or the intimate parts (including penis, vagina, vulva, buttocks, anus, groin, and/or breasts) of another person; allowing third parties to observe private sexual acts; going beyond the boundaries of consent (such as letting others watch you have consensual sex or consensual sexual contact with another person); engaging in voyeurism; and/or knowingly or recklessly exposing another person to a significant risk of sexually transmitted infection, including HIV; or exposing one's genitals in non-consensual circumstances  or inducing another to expose their genitals.

Sexual Harassment - the unwelcome, gender-based verbal or physical conduct, including sexual violence, which is sufficiently severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that unreasonably interferes with or deprives someone of educational access, benefits, or opportunities. Three types of sexual harassment include 1) hostile environment, 2) quid pro quo sexual harassment, and 3) retaliatory harassment.

Hostile Environment includes any situation in which there is harassing conduct that is sufficiently severe, pervasive/persistent, and patently/objectively offensive that it alters the conditions of education or employment, from both a subjective (the complainant's) and an objective (reasonable person's) viewpoint.  The determination of whether an environment is "hostile" must be based on all these circumstances.  These circumstances could include:

    1. the frequency of the conduct;
    2. the nature and severity of the conduct;
    3. whether the conduct was physically threatening;
    4. whether the conduct was humiliating;
    5. the effect of the conduct on the complainant's mental or emotional state;
    6. whether the conduct was directed at more than one person;
    7. whether the conduct arose in the context of other discriminatory conduct;
    8. whether the conduct unreasonably interfered with the complainant's educational or work performance;
    9. whether the statement is a mere utterance of an epithet which engenders offense in an employee or student, or offends by mere discourtesy or rudeness; or
    10. whether the speech or conduct deserves the protections of academic freedom.

Quid pro quo Sexual Harassment exists when there are:

    1. unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature; and
    2. submission to or rejection of such conduct results in adverse educational or employment action.

Retaliatory Harassment - any adverse employment or educational action taken against any person(s) for reporting, filing, testifying, assisting or participating in any manner in any investigation or proceeding involving allegations of sexual misconduct, intimate partner abuse, or stalking.

Stalking - a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear or threatens his/her physical safety and/or mental health. "Course of conduct" is defined as "a pattern of actions composed of more than one act over a period of time, however short, indicating a continuity of conduct". Such behaviors and activities may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. non-consensual communication, including face-to-face communication, telephone/VP calls, voice/text messages, e-mails, written letters, gifts, or any other communications that are undesired or place another person in fear;
  2. use of on-line, electronic, or digital technologies including:
    • posting of pictures or information in chat rooms or on websites;
    • sending unwelcome/unsolicited or an excessive number of e-mail or talk requests;
    • posting private or public messages on internet sites, social network sites, and/or school bulletin boards;
    • installing spyware on a victim's computer; and/or
    • using Global Positioning Systems (GPS) to monitor a victim;
  3. pursuing, following, waiting, or showing up uninvited at or near a residence, workplace, classroom, or other places frequented by the victim;
  4. surveillance or other types of observation, including staring or "peeping";
  5. trespassing;
  6. vandalism;
  7. non-consensual touching;
  8. direct verbal or physical threats;
  9. gathering information about an individual from family, friends, and/or co-workers;
  10. threats to harm self or others; and/or
  11. defamation - lying to others about the victim.