COVID-19 Response and Reopening

G-28-0.2 Definition of Terms

The following definitions are used in sections G-28, N-1, N-2, and N-3.

  • Advisor of Choice: A person chosen by either the reporting or responding parties or by COCC to accompany the parties related to the report (e.g., investigation, hearing, etc.). The role of the advisor is to advise individuals on the Title IX and COCC process and for Title IX, conduct cross-examination in Title IX hearings.
  • Complainant: The alleged sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking victim. The term “complainant” applies to Title IX incidents only and is in compliance with federal law.
  • Complaint (Title IX - Formal): A document submitted or signed by the complainant or Title IX Coordinator alleging that a respondent engaged in conduct that violates a Title IX policy and requesting that COCC investigate the allegation.
  • Dating Violence: Violence and abuse committed by a person to exert power and control over a current or former dating partner. Dating violence often involves a pattern of escalating violence and abuse over a period of time. Dating violence covers a variety of actions, and can include physical abuse and psychological or emotional abuse, and sexual abuse. It can also include “digital abuse”, the use of technology, such as smartphones, the internet, or social media, to intimate, harass, threaten, or isolate a victim. For a full definition of dating violence, see the Violence Against Women Act.
  • Domestic Violence: A pattern of abusive behavior in a relationship that is used by one partner to maintain power and control over another current or former intimate partner. Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behavior that intimidates, manipulates, humiliates, isolates, frightens, terrorizes, coerces, threatens, hurts, injures, or wounds someone. For a full definition of domestic violence, see the Violence Against Women Act.
  • Education Program or Activity: Locations, event or circumstances where COCC exercises substantial control over both the respondent and the context in which the sexual harassment or discrimination occurs; this also includes any building owned or controlled by a student organization that is officially recognized by COCC. Note that this definition applies to Title IX only and that Oregon law may include incidents that take place between COCC-affiliated parties at an off-campus location not controlled by the institution.
  • Finding: A conclusion by the preponderance of evidence standard that the alleged conduct occurred and whether violated Title IX policy.
  • Formal Procedure: Process to formally investigate conduct prohibited by Title IX or COCC sexual harassment; see N-2-11 and N-3-10 for process details.
  • Hearings Officer/Decision-Makers: Personnel who have decision-making and sanction or remedy authority within COCC’s Title IX and internal sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking victim formal processes.
  • Investigator: Personnel charged by COCC with gathering facts about an alleged violation of Title IX or COCC sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking victim policies, assessing relevance of information presented, synthesizing evidence, and compiling information into an investigation report.
  • Notice: Notice occurs when an employee, student, or third party informs the Title IX Coordinator or other Official with Authority that conduct potentially violating Title IX or COCC sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking victim occurred or is alleged to have occurred.
  • Official with Authority (OWA): A COCC employee with responsibility for managing COCC’s Title IX or internal sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking victim policies and procedures, as well as those individuals with assigned to be hearings officers/decision makers. COCC OWA are the Vice President of Student Affairs/Title IX Coordinator, Chief Human Resources Officer, and the Director of Student and Campus Life.
  • Protected Class: Includes age, disability, sex, marital status, national origin, ethnicity, color, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, citizenship status, veteran or military status, pregnancy or any other classes protected under federal and state statutes in any education program, activities or employment.
  • Reasonable Person: Viewing the circumstances from the perspective of a reasonable person in the same or similar circumstances, including the context in which the alleged incident occurred and any similar, previous patterns that may have occurred.
  • Remedy: Actions taken by COCC after a decision to address the safety of the Complainant/Reporting Party and/or community to prevent future conduct that violates either Title IX or the College’s sexual harassment policy and to restore access to education programs or activities or the workplace.
  • Respondent: A person alleged to have engaged in conduct that violates Title IX or COCC internal sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking victim policies.
  • Responsible Employees: All COCC employees, with the exception of mental health counselors. Responsible employees must report incidents of sexual harassment to the College’s Title IX Officer should they be made aware of or have reasonably known about asexual harassment incident.
  • Sanction: A consequence imposed by COCC on a respondent who is found responsible for violating a Title IX or COCC sexual harassment policy.
  • Sexual Assault: Any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without consent of the recipient. Sexual assault includes sexual activity such as forced sexual intercourse, sodomy, molestation, incest, fondling, and attempted rape. It includes sexual acts against people who are unable to consent either due to age or lack of capacity. For a full definition of sexual assault, see the Violence Against Women Act.
  • Sexual Harassment: Under Title IX, sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that is considered so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person(s) equal access to an education program or activity, as defined under the reasonable person standard. Under state of Oregon law, sexual harassment is defined as severe, pervasive, or objectively offensive. In either case, it includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature and may come in the form of a hostile or intimidating environment or quid pro quo.
  • Stalking: Pattern of repeated and unwanted attention, harassment, contact, or any other course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear. Stalking is dangerous and can often cause severe and long-lasting emotional and psychological harm to victims. Stalking often escalates over time and can lead to domestic violence, sexual assault, and even homicide. Stalking can include frightening communications, direct or indirect threats, and harassing a victim through the internet. For a full definition of stalking, see the Violence Against Women Act.
  • Title IX Coordinator: An official or officials designated by COCC to ensure compliance with Title IX and COCC’s Title IX program.