II (7). Discrimination and Discriminatory Harassment

  1. Preamble

In order to create a respectful, welcoming and productive community, the Institute is committed to providing a living, working and learning environment that is free from discrimination and discriminatory harassment. The below listed collection of policies related to discrimination and discriminatory harassment within the MIT Community applies to all members of the Institute student community. These policies apply to conduct that occurs on MIT property or off-campus, or when an MIT student is representing or acting on behalf of the Institute, conducting Institute business, or attending Institute-funded or Institute-sponsored activities such as a conference. In addition, these policies may apply to conduct that occurs outside the MIT academic environment if that conduct affects the work or educational environment.

Discrimination and discriminatory harassment policies include: Nondiscrimination Policy, Harassment, Sexual Harassment, Gender-based Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Intimate Partner Violence, Stalking, Title IX Sexual Harassment, and Non-Retaliation.

Reporting Options and Resources for Students

Members of the MIT community are strongly encouraged to promptly report all incidents of discrimination and discriminatory harassment, including sexual misconduct, intimate partner violence, and stalking. Prompt reporting of such incidents makes investigation more effective and enhances the ability of MIT to take action. Any MIT student who believes they have been subjected to discrimination and discriminatory harassment, including sexual misconduct, intimate partner violence, or stalking, by another MIT student may initiate a complaint by speaking to any of the individuals listed on the IDHR Website.

Individuals have numerous options for reporting the misconduct and obtaining support; which option an individual chooses depends upon the nature and severity of the misconduct, whether the individual wishes the report to remain confidential, and whether the individual wishes to pursue a formal complaint.

For information about reporting, campus resources, and grievance procedures, visit the IDHR Website or contact the Institute Title IX Coordinator:

Sarah Rankin, Title IX Coordinator
120 Massachusetts Ave.

Cambridge, MA 02139
Building W31-223
(617) 324-7526
idhr@mit.edu

In addition to raising a complaint within MIT, individuals may also file a criminal complaint with the MIT Police, Cambridge Police, or the local law enforcement agency where the misconduct occurred. The standards for finding a violation of law are different from the standards used by MIT in determining whether there has been a violation of MIT’s policy. The filing of a complaint of discrimination and discriminatory harassment, including sexual misconduct, intimate partner violence, or stalking, with MIT is independent of any criminal investigation or proceeding (although MIT’s investigation may, in some cases, be delayed temporarily while the criminal investigators are gathering evidence) and MIT will generally not wait for the conclusion of any criminal proceeding to start its own investigation. Students who choose to pursue criminal action can contact law enforcement directly:

  • MIT Police (617) 253-1212 or by dialing 100 from any MIT phone
  • Cambridge Police Department (617) 349-3381
  • Boston Police Department (617) 343-4400

If you have any questions, concerns, or would like additional information about how to relate your experience to Institute policies, please reach out to idhr@mit.edu or for confidential support, contact Violence Prevention and Response at vpr-advocate@mit.edu.

MIT’s Response

Information about resolving complaints of all types of discrimination and discriminatory harassment can be found on the IDHR website and in the Committee on Discipline Rules & Regulations.

Further, the procedure for resolving complaints of sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, intimate partner violence, stalking, and Title IX Sexual Harassment alleged to have been committed by MIT students can be found in the Committee on Discipline Rules & Regulations, including Sections XIII-XVI.

The procedure for resolving complaints alleged to have been committed by employees of the Institute, including faculty and staff, can be found in Section 9.8 of the Institute Policies and Procedures.

Allegations of policy violations may be investigated and may lead to disciplinary action. The outcome of disciplinary action can include a warning, probation, suspension, expulsion, or degree revocation. The sanctions of disciplinary suspension and disciplinary expulsion will be strongly considered when a student is found to have violated any part of the nonconsensual sexual penetration, sexual exploitation, or retaliation provisions of this policy; and for severe violations of the sexual harassment provision.

Interim Measures During Investigations

While an investigation or grievance proceeding is pending, MIT will provide written notification to a complainant about interim measures to assist or protect that person. Interim measures may include, for example, changing the living and/or transportation arrangements, class schedule, or work schedule of the person who was the subject of the alleged misconduct and/or the person alleged to have committed the misconduct, a no-contact order, or similar action. MIT will also provide written notification to students about existing counseling, health, mental health, victim advocacy, legal assistance, visa and immigration assistance, student financial aid, and other services available for victims, both at the Institute and off campus. Support services for respondents are also available. Interim measures may also be taken to protect the community.

Freedom of Expression/Academic Freedom

Please note that the principles set forth in the Institute’s policy on Freedom of Expression for students, found in the Mind and Hand Book, Section II (10), may be considered in evaluating potential instances of discrimination or discriminatory harassment that are speech-based in nature.

Further, in an academic community, the free and open exchange of ideas and viewpoints reflected in the concept of academic freedom may sometimes prove disturbing or offensive to some. The examination and challenging of assumptions, beliefs or opinions is, however, intrinsic to the rigorous education that MIT strives to provide. MIT policies are not intended to compromise the Institute’s traditional commitment to academic freedom or to education that encourages students to challenge their own views of themselves and the world.

  1. Nondiscrimination Policy

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is committed to the principle of equal opportunity in education and employment. The Institute prohibits discrimination against individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, or national or ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, employment policies, scholarship and loan programs, and other Institute administered programs and activities; the Institute may, however, favor US citizens or residents in admissions and financial aid.*

The Vice President for Human Resources is designated as the Institute's Equal Opportunity Officer. Inquiries concerning the Institute's policies, compliance with applicable laws, statutes, and regulations, and complaints may be directed to Ramona Allen, Vice President for Human Resources, Building NE49-5000, 617-324-5675. In addition, inquiries about Title IX (which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex) may be directed to the Institute's Title IX Coordinator, Sarah Rankin, Room W31-223, 617-324-7526, idhr@mit.edu. Information about the grievance procedures and process for discrimination and discriminatory harassment, including how to report or file a complaint of sex discrimination, how to report or file a formal complaint of sexual harassment, and how MIT will respond is available at idhr.mit.edu. Inquiries about the laws and about compliance may also be directed to the United States Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, Region I, 5 Post Office Square, 8th Floor, Boston, MA 02109-3921, 617-289-0111, OCR.Boston@ed.gov.

*The ROTC programs at MIT are operated under Department of Defense (DoD) policies and regulations, and do not comply fully with MIT's policy of nondiscrimination with regard to gender identity. MIT continues to advocate for a change in DoD policies and regulations concerning gender identity, and is committed to providing alternative financial assistance under a needs-based assessment to any MIT student who loses ROTC financial aid because of these DoD policies and regulations.

  1. Racist Conduct

As is stated in MIT Policies and Procedures, Sections 9.3 and 9.5, harassment or discrimination against individuals on the basis of race, whether intentional or not, is unacceptable at MIT. Racism and racist conduct may undermine a person’s wellbeing and interfere with their work and academic progress or performance; such violations may also taint the work or educational climate for others, and may undermine the Institute’s ability to achieve its mission.

The Institute is committed to the elimination of racism and racist conduct. In any investigation of allegations of racist conduct, the Institute strives to protect the rights of all individuals involved and to safeguard the welfare of everyone in the MIT community. See MIT Policies and Procedures, Section 9.8, Complaint Resolution Policies and Procedures for more information.

  1. Discriminatory Harassment
     
    1. Harassment Based on Protected Class 

While MIT’s harassment policy is not limited to harassment based on the protected categories listed in MIT Policies and Procedures, Section 9.5, the Institute is particularly committed to eliminating harassment based on those categories. Harassment that is based on an individual’s race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, or national or ethnic origin is not only a violation of MIT policy but may also violate federal and state law, including Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and Mass. General Laws Chapter 151B. For information on how to file complaints of violation of law with governmental agencies see Section 9.8.5.7 Legal Information. For information on how to file complaints of discriminatory harassment, see MIT's Institute Discrimination and Harassment Response Office https://idhr.mit.edu/reporting-options.
 

  1. Sexual Harassment

Sexual Harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, such as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature, when:

  • Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or academic standing
  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for significant employment decisions (such as advancement, performance evaluation, or work schedule) or academic decisions (such as grading or letters of recommendation) affecting that individual
  • The conduct is sufficiently severe or pervasive that a reasonable person would consider it intimidating, hostile, or abusive and it adversely affects an individual’s educational, work, or living environment.

A partial list of examples of conduct that might be deemed to constitute sexual harassment if sufficiently severe or pervasive include:

  • Examples of verbal sexual harassment may include unwelcome conduct such as sexual flirtation, advances or propositions or requests for sexual activity or dates; asking about someone else’s sexual activities, fantasies, preferences, or history; discussing one’s own sexual activities, fantasies, preferences, or history; verbal abuse of a sexual nature; suggestive comments; sexually explicit jokes; turning discussions at work or in the academic environment to sexual topics; and making offensive sounds such “wolf whistles.”
     
  • Examples of nonverbal sexual harassment may include unwelcome conduct such as displaying sexual objects, pictures, or other images; invading a person’s personal body space, such as standing closer than appropriate or necessary or hovering; displaying or wearing objects or items of clothing which express sexually offensive content; making sexual gestures with hands or body movements; looking at a person in a sexually suggestive or intimidating manner; or delivering unwanted letters, gifts, or other items of a sexual nature.

RELATED POLICY: The Institute’s complete harassment policy, addressing all forms of harassment, can be found in Section 9.5 of the Institute Policies and Procedures. See also Mind & Hand Book § II (13) for MIT’s policy for students addressing harassment. Students should be aware that MIT prohibits all gender-based harassment (including harassment based on gender, sex, sex-stereotyping, sexual orientation, or gender identity), not just harassment that is sexual in nature.

RELATED POLICY: Individuals should be aware that unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that does not rise to the level of “sexual harassment” and gender-based harassing conduct that does not rise to the level of “harassment” may still violate Section 9.2 of the Institute Policies and Procedures.

  1. Gender-Based Harassment

Gender-based harassment is unwelcome verbal or nonverbal conduct based on gender, sex, sex-stereotyping, sexual orientation, gender identity, or pregnancy that meets the definitions above of harassment. Gender-based harassment may also involve conduct of a sexual nature.

E. Sexual Misconduct

MIT is committed to providing a productive living and learning community in which students can pursue their educational goals. Sexual misconduct undermines this commitment and affects the ability of students to focus on their educational achievement. Therefore, MIT will not tolerate nor condone any form of sexual misconduct. MIT students are prohibited from engaging in sexual misconduct, as defined below. Moreover, MIT may take additional action in response to sexual misconduct as required by state and federal law, including Title IX (see idhr.mit.edu).

No one shall be retaliated against for, in good faith, objecting to a behavior that may violate this policy, reporting a violation of this policy, or participating in the Institute’s complaint resolution procedure in any capacity, including as a complainant, witness, or investigator.
 

E (1). Nonconsensual Sexual Penetration

Nonconsensual sexual penetration is the sexual penetration or attempted sexual penetration of any bodily opening with any object or body part without effective consent.

  • Nonconsensual sexual penetration includes the Clery Act definition of rape: 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; the Clery Act definition of incest: sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law; and the Clery Act definition of statutory rape: sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent. 
     

E (2). Nonconsensual Sexual Contact

Nonconsensual sexual contact is any physical contact with another person of a sexual nature without effective consent, including touching someone’s intimate parts (such as genitalia, groin, breast, or buttocks, either over or under clothing); touching a person with one’s own intimate parts; or forcing a person to touch another’s intimate parts.

  • Nonconsensual sexual contact includes the Clery Act definition of fondling: the touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of their age or because of their temporary or permanent mental incapacity.
     

E (3). Effective Consent

 

MIT students who engage in sexual behavior of any kind are expected to do so only with the effective consent of all parties involved. Doing otherwise constitutes sexual misconduct and is a violation of this policy.

 

Consent is ultimately about respecting another’s autonomy to make choices about their own body, their own boundaries, and their own behavior. The fundamental purpose of the Institute’s sexual misconduct policy is to reinforce the expectation that individuals give and receive this respect in their sexual interactions.

 

Given the importance of sexual autonomy and the potential impact on those subjected to nonconsensual sexual activity, the Institute places the responsibility for obtaining effective consent on the person who initiates the sexual activity. That responsibility is significant.

The Institute recognizes that there are a wide variety of sexual interactions, that there is no single way to communicate consent, and that context matters. At all times, each party is free to choose where, when, and how they participate in sexual activity. Accordingly, when evaluating whether sexual activity was consensual, the Institute will consider the entirety of the sexual interaction and the relevant circumstances.

Effective Consent is:

• informed;

• freely and voluntarily given;

• mutually understandable words or actions which indicate willing participation in mutually agreed upon sexual activity.

Further:

By definition, effective consent cannot be obtained by

  •  unreasonable pressure, which can generally be understood as conduct that pressures another person to “give in” to sexual activity rather than to choose freely to participate; factors that may be considered include (1) the frequency, nature, duration, and intensity of the requests for sexual activity; (2) whether and how previous requests were denied; and (3) whether the person initiating the sexual activity held a position of power over the other person;
  • emotional intimidation, which can include (1) overtly degrading, humiliating, and shaming someone for not participating in sexual activity; (2) blackmail; and (3) threats to reputation;
  • physical intimidation and threats, which can be communicated by words or conduct, and physical force.

Effective consent cannot be obtained from someone who is incapable of giving consent for any reason, including when:

  • the person has a mental, intellectual, or physical disability that causes the person to be temporarily or permanently unable to give consent;
  • the person is under the legal age to give consent;
  • or the person is asleep, unconscious, physically helpless, or otherwise incapacitated, including by alcohol or other drugs.

An individual violates this policy if the individual initiates and engages in sexual activity with someone who is incapacitated, and (1) the individual knew the other person was incapacitated, or (2) a sober reasonable person under similar circumstances as the person initiating the sexual activity would have known the other person was incapacitated.

For purposes of this policy, silence and passivity do not signal consent.

There is no requirement that a person express non-consent or that they resist a sexual advance or request. For example, someone might not consent to sexual activity even though they do not say “no” or physically resist in any way. Physical or verbal resistance is evidence that there was not effective consent.

Some behaviors and statements do not indicate consent, including the following:

  • “I don’t know.”
  • "Maybe.”
  • Without more, ambiguous responses such as “uh huh” or “mm hmm,” and giggling.
  • A verbal “no,” even if it may sound indecisive or insincere.
  • Moving away.

​A factor that may be considered when evaluating consent is whether, under similar circumstances as the person initiating the sexual activity, a sober reasonable person would have concluded that there was effective consent.

It is important for those who initiate sexual activity to understand that:

  • even though someone gave effective consent to sexual activity in the past, that does not mean they have given effective consent to sexual activity in the future;
  • even though someone gives effective consent to one type of sexual activity during a sexual interaction, that does not automatically mean they have given effective consent to other types of sexual activity;
  • effective consent can be withdrawn at any time, and once a person withdraws effective consent, the other person must stop.

Effective consent is clearest when obtained through direct communication about the decision to engage in specific sexual activity. Effective consent need not be verbal, but verbal communication is the most reliable and effective way to seek, assess, and obtain consent. Nonverbal communication can be ambiguous. For example, heavy breathing or moaning can be a sign of arousal, but it can also be a sign of distress. Talking with sexual partners about desires, intentions, boundaries, and limits can be uncomfortable, but it serves as a strong foundation for respectful, healthy, positive, and safe intimate relationships.
 

E (4). Incapacitation

Incapacitation is the physical and/or mental inability to make informed, rational judgments and decisions. Someone is incapacitated if they are asleep or unconscious. Someone can also be incapacitated by alcohol or other substances.

Because the impact of alcohol and other drugs varies from person to person, one should be cautious before engaging in sexual contact or intercourse when either person has been drinking alcohol or using other drugs. The use of alcohol or other drugs may create ambiguity about consent. If there is any doubt about either party’s level of intoxication, the safe thing to do is to forgo all sexual activity.

Where alcohol or other substances are involved, incapacitation is determined by how the substance impacts a person’s decision-making capacity, awareness of consequences, and ability to make informed judgments. Incapacitation is a state beyond drunkenness or intoxication, and a person is not incapacitated merely because they have been drinking or using drugs.

Incapacitation is not determined by technical or medical definitions. The question is whether a person has the physical and/or mental ability to make informed, rational judgments and decisions.

Although each individual is different, there are some common and observable signs that someone is incapacitated or approaching incapacitation, including slurred or incomprehensible speech, unsteady gait, combativeness, emotional volatility, vomiting, or incontinence. A person who is incapacitated may not be able to understand or answer coherently some or all of the following questions:

  • Do you know where you are?
  • Do you know how you got here?
  • Do you know what is happening?
  • Do you know who you are with?
     

E (5). Sexual Exploitation

Sexual exploitation means taking sexual advantage of another person and includes:

  1. Providing alcohol or other drugs to someone without that person’s knowledge, or unreasonably pressuring the person to consume alcohol or drugs, with the purpose of causing incapacitation in order for one to take sexual advantage of the person.
  2. Recording, photographing, transmitting, or allowing another to view images of private sexual activity and/or the intimate parts of another person without effective consent.
  3. Allowing third parties to observe private sexual acts without effective consent.
  4. Voyeurism, including by electronic means.
  5. Indecent exposure.
  6. Knowingly or recklessly exposing another person to a significant risk of sexually transmitted infection, including HIV, without their knowledge.
     

F. Intimate Partner Violence

MIT prohibits intimate partner violence. Intimate Partner Violence is defined as actual or threatened physical violence, intimidation, or other forms of physical or sexual abuse directed toward a partner in an intimate relationship that would cause a reasonable person to fear harm to self or others. For this policy, “intimate relationship” means marriage, domestic partnership, engagement, casual or serious romantic involvement, and dating, whether current or former. Intimate Partner Violence can occur between persons of any gender identity, any sexual orientation, and it can occur in any type of intimate relationship including monogamous, non-committed, and relationships involving more than two partners. Intimate Partner Violence can be a single act or a pattern of behavior. Intimate Partner Violence also includes, without limitation, dating violence and domestic violence as defined by the Clery Act. (The Clery Act is a federal law on campus safety and security – more information can be found in MIT’s Annual Security Report.)

Dating violence is defined as violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. The existence of such a relationship is 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. Dating violence does not include acts covered under the definition of domestic violence.

Domestic violence is defined as a felony or misdemeanor crime of violence committed by a current or former spouse or dating/domestic of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with, or has cohabitated with, the victim as a spouse or dating/ domestic, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred. To be considered domestic violence, the relationship must be more than just two people living together as roommates.

Intimate Partner Violence can take many forms. Examples include, but are not limited to, situations in which the following behaviors are directed toward a partner in a current or former intimate relationship: hitting, kicking, punching, strangling, or other violence; property damage; and threat of violence to one’s self, one’s partner, or the family members, friends, pets, or personal property of the partner.
 

G. Stalking

Stalking, whether or not sexual in nature, is prohibited by MIT. Stalking is defined as engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for their safety or the safety of others, or to 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 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 victim. “Substantial emotional distress” means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.

Stalking can take many forms. Examples include, but are not limited to, two or more instances of the following conduct (that also meet the definition of stalking above): following a person; appearing at a person’s home, class or work; continuing to contact a person after receiving requests not to; leaving written messages, objects, or unwanted gifts; vandalizing a person’s property; photographing a person; and other threatening, intimidating, or intrusive conduct.

Stalking may also involve the use of electronic media such as the internet, social networks, blogs, cell phones, texts, or other similar devices (often referred to as cyber-stalking). Such conduct may include, but is not limited to, non-consensual communication, telephone calls, voice messages, emails, texts, letters, notes, gifts, or any other communication that are repeated and undesired.

 

H. Non-Retaliation

Retaliation, as described above and in Mind & Hand Book § II (20), is prohibited. For information on how to file complaints of retaliation based on a protected class, see MIT's Institute Discrimination and Harassment Response Office https://idhr.mit.edu/reporting-options.
 

I. Title IX Sexual Harassment

Although MIT broadly prohibits sexual harassment and other forms of sexual misconduct, federal Title IX regulations require MIT to follow specific processes when the Institute has actual knowledge of a report of certain categories of sexual misconduct, referred to as “Title IX Sexual Harassment.”

Title IX Sexual Harassment means: Conduct on the basis of sex that satisfies one or more of the following:

  1.  An employee of MIT conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of MIT 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 MIT’s education program or activity; or
  3. “Sexual assault,” “dating violence,” “domestic violence,” or “stalking,” as defined by federal law and set out on the Institute Discrimination and Harassment Response (IDHR) website. 

MIT must follow the specific processes cited below when it receives a formal complaint of Title IX Sexual Harassment and where all of the following apply:

  1. At the time of filing a formal complaint, the Complainant was/is participating in or attempting to participate in the education program or activity at MIT;
  2. The alleged conduct occurred in an education program or activity controlled by MIT; and
  3. The alleged conduct occurred against a person in the United States.

Information about MIT’s processes for responding to reports of Title IX Sexual Harassment is available.  Formal Complaints of Title IX Sexual Harassment are investigated in accordance with the IDHR Investigation Guide and hearings are held in accordance with the process for complaints against a faculty member, staff member, or postdoctoral scholar (fellow or associate) and in the Title IX Sexual Harassment Hearing Procedures in the Committee on Discipline Rules for complaints against students.

Formal Complaints of sexual harassment and sexual misconduct that do not meet the definition of Title IX Sexual Harassment are addressed under the complaint resolution process described in Section 9.8 for complaints against a faculty member, staff member, or postdoctoral scholar (fellow or associate) and in the Sexual Misconduct Hearing Procedures (Non-Title IX Sexual Harassment) in the Committee on Discipline Rules for complaints against students.

MIT prohibits retaliation as set forth in Section 9.7 and the Mind and Hand Book. In the context of Title IX Sexual Harassment, this means that: No person may intimidate, threaten, coerce, or discriminate against any individual:

  • for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by Title IX, or
  • because the individual has made a report or complaint, testified, assisted, or participated or refused to participate in any manner in a Title IX Sexual Harassment investigation, proceeding, or hearing.

In addition, retaliation also includes intimidation, threats, coercion, or discrimination, including charges against an individual for policy violations that do not involve sex discrimination or sexual harassment, but arise out of the same facts or circumstances as a report or complaint of sex discrimination, or a report or formal complaint of Title IX Sexual Harassment, for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by Title IX.

Title IX Sexual Harassment Definitions. For the purposes of Section 9.5.1.4 of Policies and Procedures and Section II (7) (I) of the Mind and Hand Book, the following definitions apply:

Complainant means an individual who is reported to be the victim of conduct that could constitute Title IX Sexual Harassment.

Dating Violence means violence committed by a person: (A) who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the Complainant; and (B) where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors: (i) the length of the relationship; (ii) the type of relationship; and (iii) the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.

Domestic Violence includes felony or misdemeanor crimes 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 the domestic or family violence laws of Massachusetts, or by any other person against an adult or youth Complainant who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of Massachusetts.

Education program or activity means locations, events, or circumstances over which MIT exercises substantial control over both the Respondent and the context in which the reported sexual harassment occurred, and also includes any building owned or controlled by a student organization that is officially recognized by MIT.

Title IX Sexual Harassment Formal Complaint means a document submitted by a Complainant, or signed by the Title IX Coordinator, alleging Title IX Sexual Harassment against a Respondent and requesting that MIT investigate the allegation of Title IX Sexual Harassment.  The Title IX Sexual Harassment Formal Complaint must contain the Complainant’s physical or digital signature, or otherwise indicate that the Complainant is the person filing the Formal Complaint.

Respondent means an individual who is reported to be the perpetrator of conduct that could constitute Title IX Sexual Harassment.

Sexual Assault means an offense classified as a sex offense under the uniform crime reporting system of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Sex offenses include:

(1)  Sex Offenses, Forcible: Any sexual act directed against the Complainant, without the consent of the Complainant, including instances in which the Complainant is incapable of giving consent.

(2)  Forcible Rape: Penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of the Complainant, without the consent of the Complainant.

(3)  Forcible Sodomy: Oral or anal sexual intercourse with the Complainant, forcibly, and/or against the Complainant’s will (non-consensually), or not forcibly or against the Complainant’s will in instances in which the Complainant is incapable of giving consent because of age or because of temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.

(4)  Sexual Assault with an Object: The use of an object or instrument to penetrate, however slightly, the genital or anal opening of the body of the Complainant, forcibly, and/or against the Complainant’s will (non-consensually), or not forcibly or against the Complainant’s will in instances in which the Complainant is incapable of giving consent because of age or because of temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.

(5)  Forcible Fondling: The touching of the private body parts of the Complainant (buttocks, groin, breasts), for the purpose of sexual gratification, forcibly, and/or against the Complainant’s will (non-consensually), or not forcibly or against the Complainant’s will in instances in which the Complainant is incapable of giving consent because of age or because of temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.

(6)  Sex Offenses, Non-forcible:

i) Incest: Non-forcible sexual intercourse, between persons who are related to each other by blood or adoption as prohibited by Massachusetts law. 

ii) Statutory Rape: Non-forcible sexual intercourse, with a Complainant who is under the statutory age of consent of sixteen-years-old.

Consent means “effective consent” as defined in the Mind and Hand Book, Section II(7)(E).

Stalking means engaging in a course of conduct directed at the Complainant that would cause a reasonable person to: (A) fear for their safety or the safety of others; or (B) suffer substantial emotional distress.