Title IX Definitions

Affirmative Consent

Affirmative consent is a knowing, voluntary, and mutual decision among all participants to engage in sexual activity.  Consent can be given by words or actions, as long as those words or actions create clear permission regarding willingness to engage in the sexual activity. Silence or lack of resistance, in and of itself, does not demonstrate consent. The definition of consent does not vary based upon a participant's sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

  1. Consent to any sexual act or prior consensual sexual activity between or with any party does not necessarily constitute consent to any other sexual act.

  2. Consent is required regardless of whether the person initiating the act is under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.

  3. Consent may be initially given but withdrawn at any time.

  4. Consent cannot be given when a person is incapacitated, which occurs when an individual lacks the ability to knowingly choose to participate in sexual activity. Incapacitation may be caused by the lack of consciousness or being asleep, being involuntarily restrained, or if an individual otherwise cannot consent.  Depending on the degree of intoxication, someone who is under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other intoxicants may be incapacitated and therefore unable to consent.

  5. Consent cannot be given when it is the result of any coercion, intimidation, force, or threat of harm.

  6. When consent is withdrawn or can no longer be given, sexual activity must stop.


The health and safety of every student at the State University of New York is of utmost importance. SUNY Maritime recognizes that students who have been drinking and/or using drugs (whether such use is voluntary or involuntary) at the time a sexual violence incident occurs may be hesitant to report such incidents due to fear of potential consequences for their own conduct. SUNY Maritime strongly encourages students to report incidents of sexual violence to campus officials. A bystander reporting in good faith or a victim/survivor reporting sexual violence to SUNY Maritime officials or law enforcement will not be subject to campus conduct action for violations of alcohol and/or drug use occurring at or near the time of the sexual violence. 

Clery Act

The Clery Act requires colleges and universities that participate in federal financial aid programs to report annual statistics on crime, including sexual assault and rape, on or near the campus, and to develop and disseminate prevention policies.  See University Police

Dating Violence 

Dating violence is any act of 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 victim's statement and with consideration of the type and length of the relationship and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. Two people may be in a romantic or intimate relationship, regardless of whether the relationship is sexual in nature; however, neither a casual acquaintance nor ordinary fraternization between two individuals in a business or social context shall constitute a romantic or intimate relationship. This definition does not include acts covered under domestic violence.

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is any violent felony or misdemeanor crime committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim, a person sharing a child with the victim, or a person co-habitating with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner.  

Preponderance of the Evidence

The standard of proof in sexual harassment, sexual violence and sexual assault cases, which asks whether it is “more likely than not” that the sexual harassment, sexual assault or sexual violence occurred. If the evidence presented meets this standard, then the accused should be found responsible.

Sexual Assault

a physical sexual act or acts committed against another person without consent. Sexual assault is an extreme form of sexual harassment. Sexual assault includes what is commonly known as “rape” (including what is commonly called “date rape” and “acquaintance rape”), fondling, statutory rape and incest. For statutory rape, the age of consent in New York State is 17 years old.

Sex Discrimination

includes all forms of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and other sexual violence by employees, students, or third parties against employees, students, or third parties. Students, employees, and third parties are prohibited from harassing others whether or not the harassment occurs on the SUNY campus or whether it occurs during work hours. All acts of sex discrimination, including sexual harassment and sexual violence, are prohibited by Title IX and College policy. 

Sexual Harassment

unwelcome, gender-based verbal, non-verbal, or physical conduct that is sexual in nature and sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it unreasonably interferes with, denies, or limits someone’s ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s educational program and/or activities, and is based on power differentials, the creation of a hostile environment, or retaliation.

Sexual Violence 

refers to physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent (as defined by the SUNY affirmative consent policy). A number of different acts fall into the category of sexual violence, including rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, sexual abuse, and sexual coercion. Sexual violence can be carried out by other students, college employees, or third parties. All such acts of sexual violence are forms of sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX and College policy. (U.S. Office for Civil Rights guidance)

Sexual Exploitation 

Sexual exploitation occurs when a person takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for his/her own advantage or benefit, or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited, and that behavior does not otherwise constitute one of other sexual misconduct offenses.  


The term stalking means intentionally engaging in a course of conduct, directed at a specific person, which is likely to causes a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety or the safety of others or cause that person to suffer substantial emotional damage. Examples include, but are not limited to, repeatedly following such person(s), repeatedly committing acts that alarm, cause fear, or seriously annoy such other person(s) and that serve no legitimate purpose, and repeatedly communicating by any means, including electronic means, with such person(s) in a manner likely to intimidate, annoy, or alarm him or her.

Title IX

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in education. It states: “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 of the Education Amendments of 1972, and its implementing regulation at 34 C.F.R., Part 106) Sex discrimination includes sexual harassment, sexual assault, and sexual violence.

Violence Against Women Act ("VAWA") 

Under The Violence Against Women Act, colleges and universities are required to: (1) report dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking, beyond crime categories the Clery Act already mandates; (2) adopt certain student discipline procedures, such as for notifying purported victims of their rights; and (3) adopt certain institutional policies to address and prevent campus sexual violence, such as to train in particular respects pertinent institutional personnel.  


a person who suffers personal, physical, or psychological injury. These policies use “reporting individual” as encompassing the terms victim, survivor, complainant, claimant, witness with victim status, and any other term used by an institution to reference an individual who brings for a report of a violation.