Title IX is an educational process independent of a criminal or civil legal proceeding. However, due to federal regulation and the nature of the process, some terms Rutgers uses for this process may be unclear. We have compiled a list of these terms and definitions to help clarify some of the language you may encounter throughout this process.

Amnesty - The University will not penalize individuals for reporting instances that occurred under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, and/or other conduct violating the University’s alcohol and drug policies.   

Burden of Proof - A party’s obligation to produce evidence establishing the facts to satisfy all the legal requirements of the dispute.

Clery Act - If the incident is a crime or near the campus, the university is required to report it without any identifying information to the RUPD for inclusion in the daily crime log and annual statistical report and for issuance of any required timely warning.

  • The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act or Clery Act (see University Policy 30.1.12: Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime and Statistics Act) is a federal law established in honor of Jeanne Clery. Jeanne Clery, a 19-year-old Lehigh University freshman, was assaulted and murdered in her dorm room in April 1986. The Jeanne Clery Act was enacted in the belief that crime awareness can prevent campus victimization. The law requires colleges and universities receiving federal funding to prepare, publish, and distribute, by October 1 of each year, campus security policies and crime statistics. These policies and crime statistics must be distributed to all current students and employees and made available to any applicant for enrollment or employment upon request. Learn more.

Coercion - Unreasonable pressure for sexual activity. When someone makes it clear that they do not want to engage in sexual activity or do not want to go beyond a certain point of sexual interaction, continued pressure beyond that point can be considered coercive.

Complainant - The reported or alleged victim.

Confidentiality - The inability of identified confidential resources to report crimes and violations to law enforcement or University officials without permission, except for extreme circumstances, such as a health and/or safety emergency or child abuse. A report to a confidential resource will not trigger an investigation or disciplinary action under this Policy.

Consent - The clear and unambiguous communication and mutual agreement for the act in which the participants are involved. 

Force - The use of physical violence and/or imposing on someone physically to engage in sexual contact or intercourse. Force can also include threats, intimidation (implied threats), or coercion used to overcome resistance.

Formal Complaint - A written document (hard copy or electronic) that alleges Covered Sexual Harassment was committed within a Rutgers education program or activity and requests initiation of the procedures consistent with the Policy to investigate the allegation of Covered Sexual Harassment. This may only be submitted by the Complainant or the Title IX Officer.

Formal Resolution - Includes a full investigation into the allegation/grievance with a possible hearing and disciplinary outcomes or sanctions.

Grievance - An official complaint.

Incapacitation - A person is incapacitated when the person cannot make a rational, reasonable decision because the person lacks the ability to understand their decision. A person can become incapacitated as a result of, among other things, physical or mental impairment, involuntary physical constraint, sleep, unconsciousness, or consumption of alcohol or other drugs. A person that is incapacitated cannot consent.

Informal Resolution - A voluntary, remedies-based, structured interaction between or among affected Parties that balances support and accountability. It is generally designed to allow a Respondent to acknowledge harm and work toward repairing harm experienced by the Complainant and/or the University community. It is designed to eliminate the prohibited conduct, prevent its recurrence, and remedy its effects in a manner that meets the needs of the Complainant while maintaining the safety of the campus community.

Jurisdiction - The University will investigate the allegations if the alleged conduct occurred in the United States, if the alleged conduct occurred in a Rutgers program or activity, and if the alleged conduct constitutes Covered Sexual Harassment under Title IX.

Preponderance of Evidence - The standard of proof used by Title IX in determining its cases. It holds that the complainant has the responsibility to show that the claim is more likely than not to have occurred.

Privacy - Rutgers offices and employees, who are not identified as confidential resources, will share information disclosed only when necessary to investigate and/or seek a resolution and to notify the Title IX Coordinator or designee.

Relationship Violence - Under the Student Code of Conduct, relationship violence is any act of psychological harm against an individual by a current or former intimate or romantic partner, or by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common. It is also any act of dating or domestic violence as defined by Title IX that has occurred outside of its jurisdiction, but within the jurisdiction of the Student Code of Conduct.

Respondent - The individual accused of misconduct.

Retaliation - 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 its implementing regulations. Retaliation can take many forms, including sustained abuse or violence, threats, and intimidation. Any individual or group of individuals, not just a Respondent or Complainant, can be responsible for retaliation.

Sanctions - Penalties for violating Title IX.

  • Active Sanction - An “active sanction” is designed to remedy the effects of the misconduct and/or prevent its recurrence. Examples include restitution, restoration, educational service hours, informal resolution, and education.
  • Inactive Sanction - An inactive sanction is an official University sanction: Reprimand, Probation, Disciplinary Suspension, Expulsion or Dismissal, or Loss of University Housing. Additional information regarding these sanctions is set forth in the Code of Student Conduct.

(Covered) Sexual Harassment - Any conduct on the basis of sex that constitutes sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, an employee conditioning educational benefits on participation in unwelcome sexual conduct (i.e., quid pro quo harassment), or any unwelcome conduct that a reasonable person would determine is so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the University’s education program or activity.

  • Dating Violence - Includes any 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 will be determined by its duration, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the involved persons).
  • Domestic Violence - Includes any felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by someone who is or was married to, intimately involved with, or shares a child with the victim; by a person who is living with or has lived with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner; or by a person who may be considered the victim’s spouse as per New Jersey’s domestic or family violence laws.
  • Sexual Assault - Includes any sexual act directed against another person, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent.
  • Stalking - 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 suffer substantial emotional distress.

Title IX - Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX), as amended, prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in educational programs and activities. The United States Department of Education, which enforces Title IX, has long defined the meaning of Title IX’s prohibition on sex discrimination broadly to include various forms of sexual harassment and sexual violence that interfere with a person’s equal access to the University’s educational programs and activities.