Glossary

Listed in alphabetical order below are additional terms that are used in this policy that are not defined within the body of the Sexual Misconduct Policy.

Clery Act: The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act) is a federal law. The Clery Act requires all colleges and universities that receive federal funding to keep and disclose information about crime that occurs on and near their campuses. For more information about the Clery Act, visit the Clery Center for Security on Campus website1or the Know Your IX: Clery Act website2.

Day: A business day unless otherwise specified.

Deputy Title IX Coordinator: The Deputy Title IX Coordinator works under the oversight of the Title IX & Clery Act Compliance Coordinator to assist with the handling of Title IX-related complaints. The Title IX & Clery Act Compliance Coordinator may assign a Title IX Deputy Coordinator to oversee or investigate any incident.

Employee: Under the Sexual Misconduct Policy, an employee is anyone who is employed by Virginia International University. This includes full-time, part-time, temporary, seasonal, and student employees.

FERPA: FERPA refers to The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. Section 1232g; 34 C.F.R. Part 99. FERPA is a federal law that generally protects the privacy of student education records. FERPA grants students or eligible parents the right to access, inspect, and review education records, the right to challenge the content of education records, and the right to consent to the disclosure of education records.

Final Report: Is issued at the end of the investigation. The Final Report will include the findings of fact, application of the preponderance of the evidence standard to the findings, determination of whether or not the Respondent violated the Sexual Misconduct Policy, the rationale for the findings and sanctions determined appropriate, information on how to file an appeal, any Interim Measures that were put in place before or during the investigation process, any ongoing accommodations, what measures VIU will take to remedy any effects of the conduct, and any additional information that is deemed relevant.

Gender: Refers to the attitudes, feelings, and behaviors that a given culture associates with a person’s biological sex. Behavior that is compatible with cultural gender-stereotypes are referred to as gender-normative. Behaviors that are viewed as incompatible with cultural gender-stereotypes are referred to as gender non-conforming behaviors.

Gender Bias: A preformed negative opinion or attitude toward a person or group of persons based on their actual or perceived gender.

Gender Expression: Refers to how a person presents themselves—female, male, androgynous, or other—as evidenced by their manner of dress, speech, or other physical expression.

Gender Identity: A person’s internal sense of being male, female, or a combination of both; that internal sense of a person’s gender may be different from the person’s designated biological sex at birth.

Gender Identity Bias: A preformed negative opinion or attitude toward a person or group of persons based on their actual or perceived gender identity, e.g., bias against transgender or gender non-conforming individuals.

Good Standing: A student is deemed in Good Standing as it pertains to Prohibited Conduct if the student has completed all sanctions, requirements, and recommendations related to the offense. VIU may determine that a student is not in Good Standing if there are extenuating circumstances involving the offense or if there were additional offenses of any kind following the student’s departure from the university.
Good Standing is only used to determine if the transcript notation can be removed. The removal of the notation marks the end of the suspension period. However, the removal of the transcript notation does not guarantee readmission to a student who has been expelled, suspended, or who has withdrawn.

Personally Identifiable Information: Is defined by FERPA and includes but is not limited to:

  1. A student’s name;
  2. The name of a student’s parent(s) or other family members;
  3. The address of a student or a student’s family;
  4. A personal identifier, such as a student’s social security number, student number, or biometric record;
  5. Other indirect identifiers, such as a student’s date of birth, place of birth, or mother’s maiden name;
  6. Other information that, alone or in combination, is linked or linkable to a specific student and that would allow a reasonable person in the VIU community, who does not have personal knowledge of the relevant circumstances, to identify the Student with reasonable certainty; or
  7. Information requested by a person whom the university reasonably believes knows the identity of the Student to whom the education record relates.

Preponderance of Evidence: A standard of proof in which the totality of the evidence offered in support of a fact is greater or more convincing than the evidence which is offered in opposition to it. When given the totality of information, it is the version of events that is more likely than it is not likely. Preponderance of the evidence is understood to require more than 50 percent certainty to determine guilt (51% or greater). This is the standard of evidence that VIU will use to determine responsibility for Prohibited Conduct.

Protected Activity: Refers to activity that is protected under this policy includes making a report of sex discrimination; filing an official complaint; seeking Interim Measures; filing a Clery complaint; filing a Title IX complaint with the Dept. of Education; engaging in any activity that is protected under the Victim’s Bill of Rights or the Student’s Bill of Rights; or the Accused Bill of Rights; and any other conduct that may be reasonably related to this policy.

Reasonable Person: Reasonable person is defined as a person under the same or similar circumstances and with the same or similar identities to the victim.

Report: An individual makes a report when they share information about Prohibited Conduct with a Responsible Employee. The individual making a report can be a student, employee, third party, victim, or bystander.

Respondent: This is an individual, or individuals, who have been accused of committing Prohibited Conduct by a report or filing of a complaint with VIU. This is the alleged perpetrator of the Prohibited Conduct.

Responsible Employees: Refers to any employee:

  1. who has the authority to redress sexual violence;
  2. who have been given the duty to report to appropriate school officials about incidents of sexual violence or misconduct, or any other misconduct by students; or
  3. who a student could reasonably believe has the authority or the responsibility.

The university acknowledges that supervisors (this includes those who supervise employees and those who supervise students) have a particularly important responsibility to deter Sexual Misconduct.

Sex: Refers to a person’s biological status and is typically categorized as male, female, or intersex.

Sex Discrimination: This is a broad term used to describe prohibited behavior under Title IX and the Sexual Misconduct Policy. The Supreme Court of the United States determined that sexual harassment and sexual assault is a form of sex discrimination, as well as any retaliation connected to the reporting of such discrimination. Since those decisions, the Dept. of Education has provided more guidance on what falls within sex discrimination such as domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, and sexual exploitation.

Sexual Violence: Means physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or against a person who is incapable of giving consent.

Student: Under this policy, a new or re-admitted student will be considered enrolled if the following conditions are met:

  1. The person is registered for courses in any term; 
  2. The person’s attendance in at least one class has been verified; and
  3. The person has not completed a course of study.

Under this policy, student status continues whether or not VIU’s academic programs are in session.
After classes begin, students need to be attending classes in order to continue their enrollment status. Students are considered continuously enrolled when they are registered for consecutive terms. Those who arrive to campus prior the start of classes for any official VIU function including, but not limited to student employment, trainings, or activities are considered students.

Substantial Emotional Distress: Means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.

Title IX: Title IX refers to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. 20 U.S.C. Section 1681 (a). Title IX 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 prohibits sex-based discrimination in all aspects of education. This means that you are entitled to an educational environment free from sex-based discrimination, including sexual harassment or assault, and that the university must work diligently to prevent and eliminate sex discrimination in the community. Title IX applies equally to both men and women.

Totality of the Circumstances: Refers to a standard that suggests there is no single deciding factor, that one must consider all the facts, the context, and conclude from the whole picture whether an event has occurred.

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1. The Clery Center for Security on Campus website can be accessed here: http://clerycenter.org/summary-jeanne-clery-act.
2. The Know Your IX: Clery Act website can be accessed here: http://knowyourix.org/clery-act/