Advisor – A person whom Complainants and Respondents are entitled to have with them anytime they participate in the investigation and resolution process who is there to provide support throughout the process. The Advisor may observe the proceedings and provide guidance to their party. In hearings, the Advisor conducts cross-examination on behalf of the Complainant or the Respondent.

Complainant – Someone who is accusing another person (Respondent) of violating the policy.

Consent – Is an act or statement that is knowing, freely given, and mutually understood to communicate a willingness to engage in the activity. It is the responsibility of each person involved in any sexual act to ensure that they have the Consent of the other(s).

  • The existence of a dating or sexual relationship between the people involved, or the existence of a past sexual encounter, is not by itself an indication of Consent for any current or future sexual encounter.
  • Consent cannot be obtained by force, threat, Coercion, or by causing a reasonable fear of imminent injury.
  • For sexual activity to be consensual, Consent must be ongoing throughout the sexual encounter. A person may withdraw Consent at any time. Consent to one sexual act does not automatically constitute Consent to another sexual act.
  • A person withdraws Consent by clearly communicating withdrawal through words or actions.
  • Consent to engage in sexual activity with one person does not automatically constitute Consent to engage in sexual activity with another person.
  • Lack of protest or resistance, alone, is not Consent.
  • A person who is Incapacitated cannot give 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 interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.

  • This includes but is not limited to sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse.
  • This does include acts covered under the definition of domestic violence

Domestic Violence – Felony or misdemeanor crime of violence committed by:

  • a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim; or
  • by a person whom the victim shares a child in common; or
  • by a person who is cohabitating with, or has cohabitated with, the victim as a spouse or intimate partner; or
  • by a partner 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; or
  • by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred

Equity – Means recognizing individuals of all races, ethnicities, genders and other identities as individuals—not as representatives of a societally-defined group—and enabling all individuals to start on equal footing to compete for benefits, resources and opportunities. People of all races, ethnicities and genders may face enormous challenges and work extraordinarily hard to realize their promise and aspirations—and all those who overcome challenges should be recognized for that accomplishment. However, due to longstanding and deeply embedded inequities in American society based on race, ethnicity and gender, treating everyone “equally” or through “color or gender blind” eyes is inequitable. That is because people of some identities must face the challenges of life—whatever they are—bearing the additional burden of racism, sexism, or both, and others do not. Equity is an aim that requires remedial action—including elevating truths and understanding of inequities and taking “affirmative action” to disrupt inequities that target individuals based on group stereotypes and identity. Federal law generally prohibits consideration of individuals’ race, ethnicity, and gender to address general societal inequities; although other court-labeled “neutral” action (see below) may be taken to address these harms.

Gender-Based Harassment – A wide range of offensive behaviors (verbal or non-verbal actions of aggression, intimidation, and hostility) based on gender, sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity or gender expression. These behaviors do not need to be of a sexual nature but must place the receiving person in reasonable fear of physical harm, or objectively disrupt or interfere with their employment, education, or other activities related to their role on the University of Florida campus.

Formal Complaint Refers to a document filed by a Complainant (meaning a document or electronic submission (such as by electronic mail) that contains the Complainant’s physical or digital signature, or otherwise indicates that the complainant is the individual filing the Formal Complaint) alleging misconduct against a Respondent and requesting that the University investigate the allegation prohibited conduct. At the time of filing a Formal Complaint, a Complainant must be participating in or attempting to participate in the education program or activity of the University. A Formal Complaint may be filed with the University Title IX Coordinator in person, by mail, or by electronic mail, by using the contact information provided in this policy, and by any additional method identified in this policy.

Formal Complaint – May also refer to a document signed by the University Title IX Coordinator alleging misconduct against a Respondent. Where the University Title IX Coordinator signs a Formal Complaint, the University Title IX Coordinator is not a Complainant or otherwise a Party.

Informal Resolution Informal Resolution is an alternative to a Formal Investigation that may be used to address allegations of gender equity policy violation(s).  The objective of Informal Resolution is to empower the individual parties to successfully navigate through a resolution on their terms, communicate healthily and effectively, and learn the importance of healthy relationships.

Investigative Report – This is the report that is generated at the conclusion of an investigation into allegations of prohibited conduct that violated the policy.

Intimate Partner Violence – Abusive behavior between individuals who have a continuing intimate or romantic relationship with each other (married, dating, or other intimate relationships). Intimate Partner Violence includes (but is not limited to): assault, stalking, kidnapping, psychological abuse, manipulation/ coercion.

Non-Consensual Intimate Touching – Any unwelcome intentional intimate touching of another, which does not constitute sexual violence, without the consent of the other person or in circumstances in which the person is unable, due to incapacitation, to give consent.

Non-Consensual Sexual Penetration – A category of sexual assault defined as any anal, vaginal, or oral penetration with an object or body part by a person(s) upon another person who does not consent.

Officials with Authority – An official with authority is an employee of UF who has the ability to implement corrective measures on behalf of the institution. Officials with authority must report gender equity violations to the Title IX Coordinator or their deputies.

The obligation to report applies whenever an Official with Authority receives, in the course and scope of employment, information about the alleged misconduct and policy violation. The report must include all information known to the employee which would be relevant to an investigation or redress of the incident, including whether the alleged victim has expressed a desire for confidentiality.

Party or Parties Refer to the Complainant(s) and the Respondent(s).

Pregnancy Discrimination – participation in classes & extra-curricular activities; provisions for reasonable class/work assignment adjustments as needed; allowances for legitimate absences due to pregnancy/parental status; opportunities to make up missed work, etc.).

Preponderance of Evidence – The standard of evidence that applies under this Policy and means that the evidence presented supports the finding that it is more likely than not that the Respondent violated this policy.

Report – Refers to information brought to the attention of an Official with Authority alleging conduct prohibited under this policy; a Report is not considered to be a Formal Complaint. A Party may bring a Report and then subsequently file a Formal Complaint.

Respondent Someone who is accused of violating the policy.

Retaliation – Any adverse action or behavior (or attempted adverse action or behavior) imposed against an individual as a result of their participation/ involvement in an investigation. To be retaliatory, the action or behavior must have a materially adverse effect on an individual’s employment, academics, living environment, or mental well-being. Allegations of retaliation should be immediately reported to the Title IX Coordinator; any individual responsible for retaliation will be subject to disciplinary action.

Sexual Assault – A form of sexual misconduct that includes a broad range of sexual acts that are unwanted by one party and do not have the knowing consent of all parties involved. Sexual assault can be categorized as either non-consensual sexual touching or non-consensual sexual penetration. Specific types of sexual assault include (but are not limited to): forcible touching/kissing, forcible fondling, intimate partner violence, forcible oral copulation.

Please note that the Title IX definition of sexual assault is more specific. All instances of sexual assault are addressed in the UF Gender Equity Policy through procedures that ensure adherence to both the Title IX regulations and the institutional efforts to address all sexual-based misconduct and relationship violence.

Sexual Exploitation – Taking non-consensual sexual advantage of an individual for the purpose of sexual gratification, financial gain, retribution, personal advantage, or any other illegitimate purpose.

Examples include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Observing, photographing, recording, or streaming another individual’s identifiable nudity, private parts, or sexual activity without their knowledge or consent – or – allowing another to observe, photograph, record or stream consensual sexual activity without the knowledge or consent of those in the act.
  • Causing or attempting to cause the incapacitation of another for the purpose of taking sexual advantage.
  • Distributing sexually explicit materials of another without his/her consent and/or the consent of the recipient.
  • Knowingly exposing another to a sexually transmitted infection/disease without their knowledge/consent.

Sexual Harassment – Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature directed at a person that places another person in reasonable fear of physical harm, or objectively disrupts employment, education, research, living, or other activities.

Please note that the Title IX definition of sexual harassment is more specific. All instances of sexual harassment are addressed in the UF Gender Equity Policy through procedures that ensure adherence to both the Title IX regulations and the institutional efforts to address all sexual-based misconduct and relationship violence

Stalking/Cyberstalking – Multiple, unwelcome acts directed at a specific person that (by a reasonable person’s standard) cause that individual to fear for his/her (or others’) safety and cause him/her considerable emotional distress. Specific types of stalking include (but are not limited to): monitoring, following, surveilling, harassing, pursuing, threatening, repeatedly contacting a person without consent, interfering, or damaging personal property.

Substantiated – The information determined through the investigation supports a finding that the Respondent has violated the Gender Equity Policy.

Supportive Measures Non-disciplinary, non-punitive, individualized services offered as appropriate, as reasonably available, and without fee or charge. Supportive measures are available to both the complainant and the respondent involved in an alleged incident of sexual-based misconduct or relationship violence. They are available before or after the filing of a complaint and where no complaint has been filed.

Supportive measures are designed to restore or preserve access to a party’s education without unreasonably burdening the other party; to protect the safety of all parties and the University of Florida’s educational environment.

Unsubstantiated, Inconclusive – The information determined through the investigation does not allow for the establishment of facts or supported conclusions necessary to render a finding that misconduct occurred (i.e., a lack of information prevents the investigator from making a conclusive finding).

Unsubstantiated, No Misconduct – The information determined through the investigation supports the finding that no violation of the policy occurred (i.e., sufficient information exists for the investigator to conclude that the alleged misconduct did not occur).