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Title IX Definitions

For more complete information and definitions refer to the Code of Student Community Standards.

Title IX

Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972 prohibits discrimination based on sex. Sexual violence in all its forms is harassment based on sex and a violation of federal law under Title IX. The University has adopted specific procedures for ending discrimination, preventing recurrence, and seeking to remedy the effects of the discrimination.

Title IX Coordinator

Individual designated by the University to oversee compliance with federal requirements under Title IX.

Responsible Employee

Anyone at Ferris State University who has the authority to address harassment, has the duty to report harassment or other student or employee misconduct to appropriate school officials, or is an individual whom a student could reasonably believe has such authority or responsibility.

Sexual Misconduct

Sexual Misconduct, as described here, is an umbrella term covering various forms of sexual and gender-based violence. Sexual Misconduct includes but is not limited to dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, sexual harassment, and stalking. Sexual Misconduct violates the dignity of individuals, and is antithetical to the Ferris State University community.

Sexual Harassment

Verbal or physical behavior, of a sexual nature, which because of its severity or persistence, is likely to significantly interfere with an individual's work or education.

Sexual Assault

Physical contact that occurs with lack of consent (or a person is not able to consent) or if force is involved, a sexual assault most likely has occurred. Lack of consent is a crucial factor.


Where force, threat of force, or coercion is involved, the victim has not consented. Furthermore, persons under the influence of drugs or alcohol may lose their ability to consent. While use of alcohol or drugs may render the victim of sexual assault legally unable to consent, use of alcohol or drugs by the perpetrator does not diminish the perpetrator’s personal responsibility or exposure to sanctions imposed through the University conduct process.

Consent is:

Freely given for EACH act of sexual contact. Informed and mutually understandable words or actions. Invalid if achieved through force, threat, intimidation or coercion. Able to be withdrawn at any time when clearly communicated.

Dating Violence

Violence or abuse 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 shall be determined based on the reporting party's statement and with consideration of the length of 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.

Domestic Violence

Violence or abuse committed by a person who:

    -Is a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim;
    -Who shares a child in common with the victim;
    -Who is living with, or has lived with, the victim as a spouse or intimate partner.


Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for their safety, the safety of others, or suffer substantial emotional distress.