State of Vermont Definitions

Complainant:  A complainant is usually a student, employee, or third party involved in some way in an academic, athletic, extracurricular or residential program of the College ("covered third party complainant") who has allegedly been subjected to conduct in violation of a policy by a student, employee or covered third party respondent.

Respondent: A respondent is a student, employee or third party over whom the College has some type of control or jurisdiction ("covered third party respondent") who is reported to have violated the College's Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence and Stalking Policy. 

Sexual Harassment: Sexual harassment of students, employees, or covered third parties by students, employees or covered third parties is prohibited by Champlain College. Sexual Harassment is defined as: Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other unwelcome verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Such conduct constitutes sexual harassment when:

  • Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment or education;
  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or academic decisions affecting that individual; or
  • The conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive employment, education or living environment.

Examples of verbal or physical conduct that could violate this policy if they meet the standards described above may include, but are not limited to:

  • either explicitly or implicitly conditioning any term of employment or educational decision on the provision of sexual favors;
  • touching or grabbing any part of a person's body after that person has indicated, or it is known or should be known that such physical contact is unwelcome;
  • continuing to ask a person to socialize on or off-campus when that person has indicated he or she is not interested;
  • displaying or transmitting sexually suggestive pictures, objects, cartoons, or posters if it is known or should be known that the behavior is unwelcome;
  • continuing to write sexually suggestive notes or letters if it is known or should be known that the person does not welcome such behavior;
  • referring to or calling a person a sexualized name if it is known or should be known that the person does not welcome such behavior;
  • telling sexual jokes or using sexually vulgar or explicit language in the presence of a person if it is known or should be known that the person does not welcome such behavior;
  • retaliating in any way against anyone who has filed or supported a complaint of sexual harassment (e.g. ostracizing the person, pressuring the person to drop or not support the complaint, adversely altering that person's educational, shared living, or work environment, etc.);
  • directing harassing acts or behavior against a person on the basis of his or her sex; or
  • off-campus conduct which falls within the above definition and affects a person's on-campus educational, shared living, or work environment.

The College encourages reports of unwelcome verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature (regardless of whether such conduct necessarily or obviously meets the full definition of sexual harassment above) so that it can determine whether College policy has been violated and take appropriate responsive action.  Prohibited sexual harassment can occur regardless of the sex, gender identity or sexual orientation of any individual involved.

Sexual Misconduct: Sexual misconduct may include sexual assault, sexual exploitation, or both.

Sexual Assault:
 Sexual assault may be either rape, fondling without consent, incest, or statutory rape, as defined in the Clery Act and below. Rape is the penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.  Fondling is the touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, without the consent (as defined below) of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her temporary or permanent mental incapacity. Incest is sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law in the applicable jurisdiction. Statutory rape is sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent in the applicable jurisdiction.

Sexual assault can be committed by any person against any other person, regardless of gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or past or current relationship status. Sexual assault may occur with or without physical resistance or violence.

Sexual assault is defined as including participating in a sexual act with another person:

  • By compelling the other person to participate in the sexual act without consent; or
  • By threatening or coercing the other person; or
  • By placing the other person in fear that any person will suffer imminent bodily injury; or
  • By impairing substantially the ability of the other person to appraise or control conduct by administering or employing drugs or intoxicants without the knowledge of or against the will of the other person; or
  • When the respondent knows, or reasonably should know based on an objective standard, that the other person's ability to give or withhold consent is impaired:
    • by the consumption of drugs, alcohol or other intoxicants; or
    • because the other person is subject to a physical or mental incapacity such as sleep or unconsciousness.
  • By participating in situations when the other person is physically incapable of resisting or of communicating an unwillingness to participate; or
  • By participating in situations when the other participant is under the age of 16.

Domestic Violence: : Domestic violence is violence committed-

  • By a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the person subjected to the violence;
  • By a person with whom the person subjected to the violence shares a child in common;
  • By a person who is cohabitating with, or has cohabitated with, the person subjected to the violence as a spouse or intimate partner;
  • By a person similarly situated to a spouse of the person subjected to the violence under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the violence occurred, or;
  • By any other person against an adult or youth who is protected from that person's acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the violence occurred.

The College strictly prohibits conduct that would constitute domestic violence as defined above.

Dating Violence: Dating violence is violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the person subjected to the violence.  The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the reporting party's statement and with consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.

For the purposes of this definition, dating violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse, if involving individuals who are or have been dating as defined here.

Dating violence does not include acts covered under the definition of domestic violence stated above.

The College strictly prohibits conduct that would constitute dating violence as defined above.

"Stalking" is defined as engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to:

  • Fear for the person's safety or the safety of others; or
  • Suffer substantial emotional distress.

For the purposes of this definition-

  • Course of conduct means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the alleged stalker 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.
  • Reasonable person means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the person subjected to the stalking.
  • Substantial emotional distress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.