Pennsylvania College of Technology expects that all members of the college community – students, faculty, staff, and visitors – should be able to pursue their work and education in a safe environment, free from sexual coercion, violence, and harassment. All members of the college community have the right to be free from sexual violence and are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that does not infringe upon the rights of others. You should expect to feel safe and respected at all times at Penn College. If for any reason you do not, Penn College will provide resources to support you and help you take action.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities which receive federal financial assistance. Title IX states that:
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.
Other Laws Governing Campus Sexual Violence Response
The Clery Act requires higher education institutions that participate in federal student aid programs to disclose statistics about certain crimes occurring on or near campus as well as other security information. Previously, the Clery Act covered sexual assault. Recently the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (“VAWA”) amended the Clery Act by imposing new obligations on institutions of higher education under VAWA' Campus Sexual Violence Act (“Campus SaVE”) provision, adding domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking to the list of Clery crimes. The Campus SaVE Act requires institutions to implement and publicize procedures for addressing reports of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking, and also requires institutions to develop educational programs for students and employees on preventing and responding to such incidents.
Definitions, Examples, and Sexual Misconduct Violations
Unwelcomed, gender-based verbal or physical conduct that is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it unreasonably interferes with, denies or limits someone' ability to participate in or benefit from the College' educational program and/or activities, and may be based on power differentials (including but not limited to quid pro quo), the creation of a hostile environment, and/or retaliation.
Quid Pro Quo
Sexual harassment by a person having power or authority over another when submission to such sexual conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of rating, evaluating or providing a benefit to an individual's educational or employment development or performance.
Created when sexual harassment is severe, or persistent, or pervasive, and objectively offensive, such that it unreasonably interferes with, denies, or limits someone's ability to participate in or benefit from the College's education or employment programs.
Any adverse educational, personal, or employment action taken against a person because of the person's participation in a complaint or investigation of sexual misconduct.
Actions that deprive other members of the community of educational or employment access, benefits, or opportunities on the basis of sex or gender.
Non-consensual sexual contact
Any intentional sexual touching, however slight, with any object, by a person upon another person, that is without consent and/or by force.
Non-consensual sexual intercourse
Any sexual intercourse, however slight, with any object by a person upon another person, that is without consent and/or by force.
Non-consensual or abusive conduct that takes sexual advantage of another person for his/her own advantage or benefit, or to benefit/advantage anyone other than the one being exploited, and does not constitute any other sexual misconduct offenses.
Intimate partner violence
Any instance of violence or abuse- verbal, physical, or psychological- that occurs between those who are in or have been in an intimate relationship with each other.
Repetitive and/or menacing pursuit, following, harassing, and/or interfering with the peace and/or safety of another (including by electronic means).
What is Consent?
Consent is actively, clearly, knowingly, and voluntarily providing permission to engage in a sexual activity.
- Can be given by words or actions, as long as those words or actions create mutually understandable clear permission regarding willingness to engage in sexual activity.
- A current or previous dating relationship is not sufficient to constitute consent.
- Consent with one person does not imply consent with another.
- Silence or the absence of resistance alone is not consent.
- Consent to some sexual contact (such as kissing or fondling) cannot be presumed to be consent for other sexual activity (such as intercourse).
- Consent can be withdrawn once given as long as that withdrawal is clearly communicated. Once consent is withdrawn, sexual activity must stop reasonably immediately.
- Consent cannot be given in the presence of force.
- Someone who is incapacitated cannot give consent.
- In order to give consent, one must be of legal age.
Force as a Factor in Consent
Force is the direct or indirect use of physical violence and/or imposing on someone physically to gain sexual access. There is no requirement that parties resist the sexual advance or request, but resistance is a clear demonstration of non-consent.
Incapacitation as a Factor in Consent
Consent must be “knowing” to be valid. A person cannot consent if he or she is unable to understand what is happening or is disoriented, helpless, asleep, or unconscious for any reason, including due to voluntary or involuntary use of alcohol or other drugs. An individual who engages in sexual activity when the individual knows, or should know, that the other person is incapacitated has violated College policy.
Incapacitation is defined as a state where someone cannot make rational, reasonable decisions because they lack the capacity to give knowing consent (e.g., to understand the “who, what, when, where, why, or how” of their sexual interaction).
Possession, use, and/or distribution and/or administration of any incapacitating drugs, is prohibited and is a violation of College policy.
It is not an excuse that the responding party of sexual misconduct was intoxicated, and therefore, did not realize the incapacity of the other.