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Official Definitions

The following are official definitions and judicial processes published by the California State University, Office of the Chancellor, in Executive Orders 1095, 1096, and 1097.

Accused

The CSU, a CSU employee, another Student, or a Third Party against whom an allegation of Discrimination, Harassment or Retaliation has been made. 

Adverse Action

An action that has a substantial and material adverse effect on the Complainant's ability to participate in a University program or activity free from Discrimination, Harassment or Retaliation, as those terms are defined below. Minor or trivial actions or conduct not reasonably likely to do more than anger or upset a Complainant does not constitute an Adverse Action. 

Advisor

The Complainant and the Accused may each elect to be accompanied by an Advisor to any meeting or interview regarding the allegations. The Advisor may be anyone, provided the Advisor is not a person with information relevant to the allegations who may be interviewed by the Investigator during the investigation. The Advisor may not answer questions regarding the subject matter of the investigation for the Complainant or the Accused. 

California State University (CSU)

The 23 campus system of the California State University, including the Office of the Chancellor (CO). 

Calendar Days

Are defined as Monday through Sunday and includes official holidays.

Campus or University

Any of the 23 campuses of the CSU or the Office of the Chancellor. 

Complaint

A written communication alleging discrimination, harassment or retaliation against the CSU, an employee, another student, or a third party. 

Complainant

An individual who is eligible to, and does, file a complaint to report discrimination, harassment or retaliation.  It also includes an alleged victim of discrimination, harassment or retaliation in cases where some other person has made a report on that person's behalf.

DHR (Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation) Administrator

The Management Personnel Plan (MPP) Employee at each Campus who is designated to administer and coordinate compliance with the laws prohibiting discrimination, harassment and retaliation. The DHR Administrator may delegate tasks to one or more designees. MPP Employee, as defined in Cal. Code Regs. Title 5 § 42720 et seq., means an employee who has been designated as “management” or “supervisory” under the provisions of the Higher Education Employer-Employee Relations Act. The president may assign the roles of the DHR Administrator and Title IX Coordinator (defined below) to the same person. The names of, and contact information for, the DHR Administrator and Title IX Coordinator shall be made readily available to the Campus community and third parties. 

Disability

Mental or physical disability as defined in California Education Code § 66260.5. 

Discrimination

Adverse action taken against a student by the CSU, a CSU employee, another student, or a third party because of a protected status. 

Gender

As defined in Cal. Educ. Code § 66260.7, means sex, and includes a person’s gender identity and gender expression. Gender expression means a person’s gender-related appearance and behavior whether or not stereotypically associated with the person’s assigned sex at birth.

Genetic Information

 As defined in Cal. Civ. Code § 51(2)(e), means:

  • The Student’s genetic tests.The genetic tests of the Student’s family members.
  • The manifestation of a disease or disorder in the Student’s family members.
  • Any request for, or receipt of genetic services, or participation in clinical research that includes genetic services, by a Student or any Student’s family member.
  • Genetic Information does not include information about any Student’s sex or age. 

Harassment

Unwelcome conduct engaged in because of a protected status that is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that its effect, whether or not intended, could be considered by a reasonable person in the shoes of the student, and is in fact considered by the student, as limiting the student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or opportunities offered by the University.

This policy covers unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. While romantic and/or social relationships between members of the University community may begin as consensual, they may evolve into situations that lead to charges of Sexual Harassment or Sexual Violence, including Domestic Violence, Dating Violence and Stalking, subject to this policy.

Sex Discrimination

An adverse action taken against an individual because of gender or sex (including sexual harassment, sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking) as prohibited by Title IX; Title IV; VAWA/Campus SaVE Act; California Education Code § 66250 et seq.; and/or California Government Code § 11135. See also Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (Cal. Govt. Code § 12940 et seq.), and other applicable laws. Both men and women can be victims of Sex Discrimination.

Sexual Harassment

A form of Sex Discrimination, is unwelcome verbal, nonverbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that includes, but is not limited to Sexual Violence, sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and indecent exposure where:

  • Submission to, or rejection of, the conduct is explicitly or implicitly used as the basis for any decision affecting a Student’s academic status or progress, or access to benefits and services, honors, programs, or activities available at or through the University; or
  • Such conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that its effect, whether or not intended, could be considered by a reasonable person in the shoes of the Student, and is in fact considered by the Student as limiting his/her ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities or opportunities offered by the University; or
  • Submission to, or rejection of, the conduct by a University employee is explicitly or implicitly used as the basis for any decision affecting a term or condition of employment, or an employment decision or action; or
  • Such conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that its effect, whether or not intended, could be considered by a reasonable person in the shoes of the University employee or third party, and is in fact considered by the University employee or third party, as intimidating, hostile or offensive.

Sexual Misconduct

All sexual activity between members of the CSU community must be based on Affirmative Consent. Engaging in any sexual activity without first obtaining Affirmative Consent to the specific activity is Sexual Misconduct, whether or not the conduct violates any civil or criminal law.

Sexual Activity includes, but is not limited to, kissing, touching intimate body parts, fondling, intercourse, penetration of any body part, and oral sex. It also includes any unwelcome physical sexual acts, such as unwelcome touching, Sexual Assault, Sexual Battery, Rape, and Dating Violence. When based on Gender,, Domestic Violence or Stalking also constitute Sexual Misconduct. Sexual Misconduct may include using physical force, violence, threat, or intimidation, ignoring the objections of the other person, causing the other person’s intoxication or incapacitation through the use of drugs or alcohol, or taking advantage of the other person’s incapacitation (including voluntary intoxication) to engage in sexual activity. Men, as well as women, can be victims of these forms of Sexual Misconduct. Sexual activity with a minor is never consensual when the Complainant is under 18 years old, because the minor is considered incapable of giving legal consent due to age.

Sexual Assault

A form of Sexual Misconduct and is an attempt, coupled with the ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another because of that person’s gender or sex.

Sexual Battery

A form of Sexual Misconduct and is any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another because of that person’s gender or sex, as well as touching an intimate part of another person against that person’s will and for the purposes of sexual arousal, gratification, or abuse.

Rape

A form of Sexual Violence and is non-consensual sexual intercourse that may also involve the use of threat or force, violence, or immediate and unlawful bodily injury or threats of future retaliation and duress. Any sexual penetration, however slight, is sufficient to constitute Rape. Sexual acts including intercourse are considered non-consensual when a person is incapable of giving consent because s/he is incapacitated from alcohol and/or drugs, is under 18 years old, or if a mental disorder or developmental or physical Disability renders a person incapable of giving consent. The respondent’s relationship to the person (such as family member, spouse, friend, acquaintance or stranger) is irrelevant. (See complete definition of Consent below.)

Acquaintance Rape

A form of Sexual Misconduct committed by an individual known to the victim. This includes a person the victim may have just met; i.e., at a party, introduced through a friend, or on a social networking website. (See above for definition of Rape.)

Affirmative Consent

An informed, affirmative, conscious, voluntary, and mutual agreement to engage in sexual activity. It is the responsibility of each person involved in the sexual activity to ensure that s/he has the Affirmative Consent of the other participants to engage in the sexual activity. Lack of protest or resistance does not mean Affirmative Consent, nor does silence mean consent. Affirmative consent must be voluntary and given without coercion , force, threats, or intimidation.
  • The existence of a dating or social relationship between those involved , or the fact of past sexual activities between them, should never by itself be assumed to be an indicator of Affirmative Consent. A request for someone to use a condom or birth control does not, in and of itself, constitute Affirmative Consent.
  • Affirmative Consent can be withdrawn of revoked. Consent to one form of sexual activity does not constitute consent to other forms of sexual activity. Consent given to sexual activity on one occasion does not constitute consent on another occasion. There must always be mutual and affirmative consent to engage in sexual activity. Consent must be ongoing throughout a sexual activity and can be revoked at any time, including after penetration. Once consent is withdrawn or revoked, the sexual activity must stop immediately.
  • Affirmative Consent cannot be given by a person who is incapacitated. A person is unable to give consent when s/he is asleep, unconscious, or is incapacitated due to the influence of drugs, alcohol or medication so that s/he could not understand the fact, nature, or extent of the sexual activity. A person is incapacitated if s/he lacks the physical and/or mental ability to make informed, rational decisions.
  • Whether an intoxicated person is incapacitated depends on the extent to which the alcohol or other drugs impact the person’s decision making ability, awareness of consequences, and ability to make informed judgements. A person’s own intoxication or incapacitation from drugs or alcohol does not diminish that person’s responsibility to obtain Affirmative Consent before engaging in sexual activity.
  • A person with a medical or mental disability may also lack the capacity to give consent.
  • Sexual activity with a minor is not consensual because a minor is considered incapable of giving consent due to age.
  • It shall not be a valid excuse that a person affirmatively consented to the sexual activity if the Respondent knew or reasonably should have known that the person was unable to consent to the sexual activity under any of the following circumstances:
  1. The person was asleep or unconscious;
  2. The person was incapacitated due to the influence of drugs, alcohol or medications, so that the person could not understand the fact, nature, or extent of the sexual activity;
  3. The person was unable to communicate due to a mental or physical condition.
  • It shall not be a valid excuse that the Respondent believed that the person consented to the sexual activity under either of the following circumstances:
  1. The Respondent’s belief in Affirmative Consent arose from the intoxication or recklessness of the Respondent;
  2. The Respondent did not take reasonable steps, in the circumstances known to the Respondent at the time, to ascertain whether the person affirmatively consented.

Domestic Violence

Abuse committed against someone who is a current or former spouse; current or former cohabitant; someone with whom the abuser has a child; someone with whom the abuser has or had a dating or engagement relationship; or a person similarly situated under California domestic or family violence law. Cohabitant means two unrelated persons living together for a substantial period of time, resulting in some permanency of relationship. Factors that may determine whether persons are cohabiting include, but are not limited to:

  1. sexual relations between the parties while sharing the same living quarters
  2. sharing of income or expenses
  3. joint use or ownership of property
  4. whether the parties hold themselves out as husband and wife
  5. the continuity of the relationship, and/or
  6. the length of the relationship

For purposes of this definition, “abuse” means intentionally or recklessly causing or attempting to cause bodily injury or placing another person in reasonable apprehension of imminent serious bodily injury to himself or herself, or another. Abuse does not include non-physical, emotional distress or injury.

Dating Violence

Abuse committed by a person who is or has been in a social or dating relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. This may include someone the victim just met; i.e., at a party, introduced through a friend, or on a social networking website. For purposes of this definition , “abuse” means intentionally of recklessly causing or attempting to cause bodily injury or placing another person in reasonable apprehension of imminent serious bodily injury to himself or herself, or another. Abuse does not include non-physical, emotional distress or injury. 

Stalking

Engaging in a repeated Course of Conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a Reasonable Person to fear for his/her safety, or to suffer Substantial Emotional Distress. For purposes of this definition:

  • Course of Conduct means two or more acts, including but not limited to, acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through Third Parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, survive, threatens, or communicates to or about a person, or interferes with a person’s property;
  • Reasonable Person means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with the same Protected Status as the Complainant;
  • Substantial Emotional Stress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.
  • Protected Status includes Age, Disability, Gender, Genetic Information, Gender Identity or Expression, Nationality, Marital Status, Race or Ethnicity, Religion, Sexual Orientation, and Veteran or Military Status.

Investigator

The person tasked with investigating a Complaint at Level I. All investigators shall receive annual training regarding such issues as the laws governing Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation; Title IX and VAWA/Campus SaVE Act (as defined below); as well as other related state and federal laws prohibiting Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation based on Gender or Sex, including Sex Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Violence, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence and Stalking; Student and witness privacy rights; and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA). For matters involving Sex Discrimination, Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence, the Investigator shall also receive annual training on how to conduct an investigation process that protects the safety of the Complainant. The Investigator shall not be within the administrative control or authority of any Accused CSU employee. The Investigator may be the DHR Administrator, the Title IX Coordinator, or their designee, provided that he/she shall be an MPP Employee or an external consultant. 

Nationality

As defined in Cal. Educ. Code § 66261.5, includes citizenship, country of origin, and national origin. 

Preponderance of the Evidence

The greater weight of the evidence; i.e., that the evidence on one side outweighs, preponderates over, or is more than, the evidence on the other side. The Preponderance of the Evidence is the applicable standard for demonstrating facts in an investigation conducted. 

Protected Status

Age, Disability, Gender, Genetic Information, Nationality, Race or Ethnicity, Religion, Sexual Orientation, and Veteran or Military Status. 

Race or Ethnicity

As defined in Cal. Educ. Code § 66261.7, includes ancestry, color, ethnic group identification, and ethnic background. 

Religion

As defined in Calif. Educ. Code § 66262, includes all aspects of religious belief, observance, and practice and includes agnosticism and atheism. Religious dress and grooming practices are included.

Remedies

Actions taken to correct a violation of the prohibitions against Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation set forth in this Executive Order. 

Interim Remedies 

Interim Remedies shall be offered to a victim prior to the conclusion of an investigation in order to immediately stop the alleged wrong-doing and/or reduce or eliminate negative impact, when appropriate. Victims of Sex Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Violence, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking must be provided reasonable Interim Remedies, if requested by the victim, regardless of whether the victim chooses to report the conduct to campus police or local law enforcement. Examples may include offering the victim the option of psychological counseling services, changes to academic or living situations, completing a course and/or courses on-line (if otherwise appropriate), academic tutoring, arranging for the re-taking of a class or withdrawal from a class without penalty, and/or any measure as appropriate to stop further alleged Discrimination, Harassment or Retaliation until an investigation is concluded or an informal resolution is reached (except in cases of Sexual Violence where informal resolution is not appropriate). The Title IX Coordinator shall assist and provide the victim with reasonable remedies as requested by the victim throughout the reporting, investigative, and disciplinary processes, and thereafter. 

Retaliation

Adverse Action taken against a Student because he/she has or is believed to have:

    1. Exercised his/her rights
    2. Reported or opposed conduct which he/she reasonably and in good faith believes is Discrimination,     Harassment or Retaliation;
    3. Participated in a Discrimination, Harassment or Retaliation investigation/proceeding; or
    4. Assisted someone in reporting or opposing Discrimination, Harassment or Retaliation. 

Sexual Orientation

As defined in Cal. Educ. Code § 66262.7, means heterosexuality, homosexuality, or bisexuality.

Student

An applicant for admission to the CSU, an admitted CSU student, an enrolled CSU student, a CSU extended education student, a CSU student between academic terms, a CSU graduate awaiting a degree, and a CSU student who withdraws from the University while a disciplinary matter (including investigation) is pending. 

Third Party

A person other than an Employee or a Student. Examples include employees of auxiliary organizations (as defined in 5 Cal. Code Regs. § 42406), volunteers, independent contractors, vendors and their employees, and visitors. 

Title IX

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX). 

Title IX Coordinator

The Campus MPP Employee appointed by the Campus president to coordinate compliance with Title IX; VAWA/Campus SaVE Act; and other related state and federal laws prohibiting Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation based on Gender or Sex, including Sex Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking. (See Executive Order 1095).

Each campus may designate one or more Deputy Title IX Coordinators, also of MPP status. The Title IX Coordinator may delegate training, education, communications, complaint procedure administration, investigations, and related Title IX duties to one or more Deputy Title IX Coordinators. However, all Deputy Title IX Coordinators must report to the Title IX Coordinator, and the Title IX Coordinator shall oversee and supervise all such delegated tasks.

MPP Employee

as defined in 5 Cal. Code Regs. § 42720 et seq., means an employee who has been designated as “management” or “supervisory” under the provisions of the Higher Education Employer-Employee Relations Act. The president may assign the roles of the DHR Administrator and Title IX Coordinator to the same person. The names of, and contact information for, the DHR Administrator and Title IX Coordinator shall be made readily available to the Campus community and Third Parties as described in Article III. 

VAWA

The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (which amends the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Crimes Statistics Act, commonly known as the Clery Act) (20 U.S.C. 1092(f)), under its Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act provision (Campus SaVE Act). 

Veteran or Military Status

Service in the uniformed services. 

Working Days

Monday through Friday, excluding all official holidays or Campus closures at the Campus where the Complaint originated or at the Chancellor’s Office where the Complaint Level II Appeal is reviewed.