SRV Policy

For reference, this page contains excerpts from the full policy as it pertains to the process for students. For an overview of the student conduct process as it pertains to alleged violations of this policy, please review Part 10 of the Student Conduct System Handbook.

Syracuse University is committed to cultivating and maintaining an environment that is supportive of its primary educational mission and free from discrimination and harassment. The University prohibits and will respond promptly and equitably, to reports of Sexual Harassment, which includes Sexual Assault, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, and Stalking, as well as other forms of prohibited conduct defined in The Sexual Harassment, Abuse, and Assault Prevention Policy.

The University’s Sexual Harassment, Abuse, and Assault Prevention Policy prohibits Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Dating and Domestic Violence, Stalking, Retaliation, and Sexual Exploitation, which, collectively, constitute “Prohibited Conduct.” The individual terms are defined as follows:

Sexual Harassment is a collective term that includes more specific forms of Prohibited Conduct as follows:

  1. Title IX Sexual Harassment is conduct on the basis of sex that satisfies one or more of the following:
    1. Actions by a University faculty or staff member conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of the University on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct;
    2. Unwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the University’s education program or activity; or
    3. Sexual Assault, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, and Stalking, as defined below.
  2. Other forms of Sexual Harassment: consistent with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the recognition that Sexual Harassment may also occur in a wider variety of contexts, the University also defines Sexual Harassment to include any sexual advance, request for sexual favors, or other unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, whether verbal, non-verbal, graphic, physical, electronic, or otherwise; or, any act of intimidation or hostility, whether verbal or non-verbal, graphic, physical, or otherwise based on sex or gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, even if the acts do not involve conduct of a sexual nature; when one or more of the following conditions are present:
    1. Submission to or rejection of such conduct is either an explicit or implicit term or condition of, or is used as the basis for decisions affecting, an individual’s employment or advancement in employment, evaluation of academic work or advancement in an academic program, or basis for participation in any aspect of a University program or activity (quid pro quo); or
    2. The conduct is sufficiently severe, pervasive, or persistent that it has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with, limiting or depriving an individual from participating in or benefiting from the University’s learning, working, or living programs under both an objective and subjective standard (hostile environment).
    1. In evaluating whether a hostile environment exists, the University will evaluate the totality of known circumstances, including, but not limited to:
      1. the frequency, nature and severity of the conduct;
      2. whether the conduct was physically threatening;
      3. the effect of the conduct on the Complainant’s mental or emotional state;
      4. whether the conduct was directed at more than one person;
      5. whether the conduct arose in the context of other discriminatory conduct;
      6. whether the conduct unreasonably interfered with the Complainant’s educational or work performance and/or University programs or activities;
      7. whether the conduct implicates academic freedom or protected speech; and,
      8. other relevant factors that may arise from consideration of the reported facts and circumstances.

Sexual assault is having or attempting to have sexual contact with another individual without affirmative consent or where the individual cannot affirmatively consent because of age or temporary or permanent mental incapacity (see below for definition of affirmative consent and incapacitation). Sexual contact includes:

  1. sexual intercourse (anal, oral, or vaginal), including penetration with a body part (e.g., penis, finger, hand, or tongue) or an object, or requiring another to penetrate themselves with a body part or an object, however slight;
  2. sexual touching of the private body parts, including, but not limited to, contact with the breasts, buttocks, groin, genitals, or other intimate part of an individual’s body for the purpose of sexual gratification; or
  3. attempts to commit Sexual Assault.

Dating and Domestic Violence includes any act of violence against a Complainant who is or has been involved in a sexual, dating, domestic, or other intimate relationship with the Respondent, or against a person with whom the Respondent has sought to have such a relationship, as follows:

  1. Domestic Violence: includes any act of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the Complainant, by a person with whom the Complainant shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with, or has cohabitated with, the Complainant as a spouse or intimate partner, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the Complainant under New York state law, or by any other person against an adult or minor Complainant who is protected from that person’s acts under New York state law;
  2. Dating Violence: includes any act of violence committed by a person:
    1. who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the Complainant; and
    2. where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors:
      1. The length of the relationship;
      2. The type of relationship; and
      3. The frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
Dating or Domestic Violence may also include forms of Sexual Harassment under this policy, including Sexual Assault, Sexual Exploitation, and Stalking.

Stalking occurs when a person engages in a course of conduct directed at a specific person under circumstances that would cause a reasonable person to fear for their own safety or the safety of others or suffer substantial emotional distress.

Course of conduct means two or more instances including but not limited to unwelcome acts in which an individual directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person, or interferes with a person’s property. Substantial emotional distress means significant mental suffering or anguish.

Stalking includes the concept of cyber-stalking, a particular form of stalking in which electronic media such as the internet, social networks, blogs, cell phones, texts, or other similar devices or forms of contact are used.

Retaliation means any adverse action, intimidation, threat, coercion or discrimination against an individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by Title IX or its regulations, or because the individual has made a report or Formal Complaint of Prohibited Conduct, testified, assisted, or participated or refused to participate in any manner in any investigation, proceeding or hearing under this policy. Retaliation includes conduct through associates or agents of a Complainant, Respondent, or participant in any investigation or proceeding related to this policy.

Sexual Exploitation is any act where one person violates the sexual privacy of another or takes unjust or abusive sexual advantage of another without permission. Acts of Sexual Exploitation may include:

  1. secretly observing another individual’s nudity or sexual activity or allowing another to observe sexual activity without the knowledge and permission of all parties involved;
  2. recording, photographing, transmitting, showing, viewing, streaming, or distributing intimate or sexual images, audio recordings, or sexual information without the knowledge and permission of all parties involved; or
  3. exposing one’s genitals or inducing another to expose their own genitals without Affirmative Consent.

In determining whether reported conduct violates this policy, the University will consider the totality of the facts and circumstances involved in the incident, including the nature of the reported conduct and the context in which it occurred. Prohibited Conduct can be committed by or against individuals of any sex or gender and can occur between individuals of the same sex/gender or different sexes/genders. Prohibited Conduct can occur between strangers or acquaintances, as well as persons involved in intimate, sexual, dating, domestic, or familial relationships.