Glossary of Frequently Used Terms

Abuse +

Abuse means intentionally or recklessly causing or attempting to cause bodily injury, or placing another person in reasonable fear of imminent serious bodily injury to himself or herself or another. Abuse may include:

  • Physical abuse involves acts such as hitting, slapping, pushing, punching, kicking, and choking. It could involve using a weapon or object to threaten or hurt someone. It also includes throwing, smashing, or breaking personal items and hurting or killing of pets.
  • Sexual abuse involves pressuring or forcing someone to engage in nonconsensual sexual acts, including creating pictures or videos.
  • Verbal abuse involves put downs, name calling, yelling or swearing.
  • Emotional abuse involves ignoring someone or using looks or actions or speaking in ways that are frightening or threatening.
  • Financial abuse involves withholding money, stealing money, restricting the use of finances and/or forbidding a person to work so that they become financially dependent.
Adjudication +

Process of deciding or resolving a dispute between two parties.

Attempt +

An “attempt” occurs when anyone attempts to commit an act defined above but fails, or is prevented or intercepted in its perpetration.


Association for Student Conduct Administration, whose mission is to support higher education professionals by providing education materials and resources, professional development opportunities, and a network of colleagues.

Campus +

Any UC location (e.g., campus, medical center, Office of the President) or the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Campus SaVE Act +

Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act; an amendment to the Clery Act that requires higher education institutions to report crime statistics involving domestic violence, dating violence and stalking, provide for standards in institutional student conduct proceedings, and provide campus community wide prevention educational programming.

CARE Campus Assault Resources and Education Office (Advocacy Office for Sexual and Gender-Based Violence and Misconduct) +

This office provides advice and assistance to complainants concerning sexual misconduct. CARE provides confidential assistance and advocacy, participating in case management of reported complaints, assisting with providing training in coordination with key stakeholders, and provides input regarding policy creation and revision.

CARE serves as the primary point of contact for all complainants choosing to use its services concerning sexual misconduct. Members of the University community who receive reports of sexual misconduct are expected to take proactive steps to refer the complainants to CARE. Founded in 2005, the CARE office at UC Irvine provides services to all students, regardless of whether they choose to file a complaint. CARE can also provide referrals to faculty, staff and academic appointees.

Case Management Team (CART) +

A team—comprised of student conduct, Title IX, campus police, advocacy and other subject matter experts as needed—maintains consistent coordination of reported cases, provides case management for all ongoing cases, ensures all cases are addressed efficiently and effectively, and coordinate communications with claimant and respondent. The Title IX Officer provides oversight of this team function.

Clery Act +

The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act; Federal law that requires colleges and universities that participate in federal student financial aid programs, to disclose information about certain crime statistics on and around their campuses.

Clery Coordinator +

A campus officer responsible for ensuring compliance with the Clery Act, including collecting, maintaining, and reporting campus crime statistics to the Department of Education.

Complainant +

A person alleged, in a report to the Title IX Officer, to have experienced Prohibited Conduct.

Confidential Resources +

The following employees who receive reports in their confidential capacity include:

  • CARE Advocates
  • Ombuds
  • Licensed counselors in student counseling centers and in employee assistance programs
  • Any persons with a professional license requiring confidentiality (including health center employees but excluding campus legal counsel), or someone who is supervised by such a person.

Designation as a “Confidential Resource” exempts a person from reporting to the Title IX office but not from other mandatory reporting obligations under UC CANRA (Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act) Policy, the Clery Act as a Campus Security Authority (CSA), and other policies or laws that require reporting to campus or local law enforcement, or Child Protective Services.

Consent +

Consent is affirmative, conscious, voluntary and revocable. Consent to sexual activity requires of each person an affirmative, conscious, and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity. It is the responsibility of each person to ensure they have the affirmative consent of the other to engage in the sexual activity. Lack of protest, lack of resistance, or silence, do not alone constitute consent. Affirmative consent must be ongoing and can be revoked at any time during sexual activity. The existence of a dating relationship or past sexual relations between the Complainant and Respondent will never by itself be assumed to be an indicator of consent (nor will subsequent sexual relations or dating relationship alone suffice as evidence of consent to prior conduct).

The Respondent’s belief that the Complainant consented will not provide a valid defense unless the belief was actual and reasonable. In making this determination, the factfinder will consider all of the facts and circumstances the Respondent knew, or reasonably should have known, at the time. In particular, the Respondent’s belief is not a valid defense where:

  1. The Respondent’s belief arose from the Respondent’s own intoxication or recklessness;
  2. The Respondent did not take reasonable steps, in the circumstances known to the Respondent at the time, to ascertain whether the Complainant affirmatively consented; or
  3. The Respondent knew or a reasonable person should have known that the Complainant was unable to consent because the Complainant was incapacitated, in that the Complainant was:
    1. asleep or unconscious;
    2. due to the influence of drugs, alcohol, or medication, unable to understand the fact, nature, or extent of the sexual activity; or
    3. unable to communicate due to a mental or physical condition.

Note: Incapacitation is a state beyond drunkenness or intoxication. A person is not necessarily incapacitated merely as a result of drinking, using drugs, or taking medication.

Coordinated Community Review Team (CCRT) +

Brings together a cross-section of campus and community constituents to guide the campus in preventing and responding to sexual misconduct at a campus level. The team is responsible for a campus collaborative approach to address sexual misconduct, and focuses on developing and reviewing policies, developing community relations (internal and external), discussing legal updates, providing cross training, and coordinating communication and prevention education and outreach efforts. The designated individual from each campus will provide oversight for this team and this team will report to the Chancellor (or designee).

Dear Colleague Letter +

Guidance issued by the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights on April 4, 2011 to assist colleges and universities with meeting their obligations under Title IX to provide an educational experience free from sexual harassment and sexual violence.


Department of Justice, the US federal agency responsible for enforcement of the law and administration of justice.

ED +

U.S. Department of Education, the federal agency that establishes policy for, administers and coordinates most federal assistance to education, and implements laws enacted by Congress.

Governance +

Oversees the principles and program, ensures compliance and provides high-level strategic direction (the “what”).

Incapacitated +


  1. asleep or unconscious;
  2. due to the influence of drugs, alcohol, or medication, unable to understand the fact, nature, or extent of the sexual activity; or
  3. unable to communicate due to a mental or physical condition.

Incapacitation is a state beyond drunkenness or intoxication. A person is not necessarily incapacitated merely as a result of drinking, using drugs, or taking medication.


Individuals who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning.


The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, within the DOJ, whose mission is to ensure equal access to education and to promote educational excellence throughout the nation through vigorous enforcement of civil rights.

Ombuds +

The Office of the Ombudsman provides a safe and comfortable environment to discuss complaints, concerns or problems confidentially. When appropriate, the office initiates an informal intervention with the goal of facilitating a resolution that is acceptable to all parties involved.

The ombudsman acts as an independent, impartial resource. If a matter cannot be resolved through our office, a referral will be made. When appropriate, the office can make recommendations regarding policy review and change. The Office of the Ombudsman serves all students, faculty, staff, and administrators of the campus community.

Ongoing Prevention and Awareness Campaigns +

Programming, initiatives, and strategies that are sustained over time and focus on increasing understanding of topics relevant to and skills addressing dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, sexual violence, and stalking, using a range of strategies with audiences throughout the institution.

Operations +

Each unit must implement the program as appropriate, in accordance with management directives (drives toward the “what” with the “how”).

Police +

Campus police are sworn police officers employed protect the campus and surrounding areas and the people who live on, work on and visit it. Campus police officers are commissioned through their state Peace Officer Standards and Training after completing established training. A university police officer has equivalent authority as a municipal or state peace officer.

Preponderance of Evidence +

A standard of proof that requires that a fact be found when its occurrence, based on evidence, is more likely than not.

Primary Prevention Programs +

Programming, initiatives, and strategies informed by research or assessed for value, effectiveness or outcome that are intended to stop dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, sexual violence, and stalking before they occur through the promotion of positive and healthy behaviors that foster healthy, mutually respectful relationships and sexually, encouraging safe bystander intervention, and seek to change behavior and social norms in health and safe directions.


Public Service Announcement/Ad; messages in the public interest disseminated by the media with the objective of raising awareness and changing public attitudes and behaviors toward a social issue.

Records and information management +

Policy, regulations, and general principles for appropriately managing, accessing, and preserving administrative records throughout their lifecycle and schedules for their final disposition.

Relationship Violence +
  1. Relationship Violence is:
    • physical violence toward the Complainant or a person who has a close relationship with the Complainant (such as a current or former spouse or intimate partner, a child or other relative), or
    • intentional or reckless physical or non-physical conduct toward the Complainant or someone who has a close relationship with the Complainant (such as a current or former spouse or intimate partner, a child or other relative) that would make a reasonable person in the Complainant’s position fear physical violence toward themselves or toward the person with whom they have the close relationship, that is by a person who is or has been in a spousal, romantic, or intimate relationship with the Complainant, or who shares a child with the Complainant, and that is part of a pattern of abusive behavior by the person toward the Complainant.
  2. Physical violence is physical conduct that intentionally or recklessly threatens the health and safety of the recipient of the behavior, including assault.
  3. Patterns of abusive behavior may consist of or include non-physical tactics (such as threats, isolation, property destruction, abuse of pets, economic control, displaying weapons, degradation, or exploitation of a power imbalance).
  4. The nature of the relationship between the Complainant and Respondent is determined by the length and type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between them. Relationship violence includes both ”dating violence“ and ”domestic violence.“
  5. Conduct by a party in defense of self or another is not Relationship Violence under this Policy. If either party asserts that they acted in defense of self or another, the Title IX Officer will use all available, relevant evidence to evaluate the assertion, including reasonableness
Respondent +

A person alleged to have engaged in Prohibited Conduct and about whom a report of sexual violence, sexual harassment, other prohibited behavior, or retaliation is made.

Response Model Teams +

The response model consists of two teams. 1. A case management team that includes, at a minimum, student conduct, Title IX, campus police and advocacy; team will meet regularly. 2. A team responsible for a campus collaborative approach to addressing sexual violence; to ensure success the team must include key stakeholders across the campus and community.

Responsible Employee +

Any University employee who is not a Confidential Resource and who receives, in the course of employment, information that a student (undergraduate, graduate, or professional) has suffered sexual violence, sexual harassment or other prohibited behavior shall promptly notify the Title IX Officer or designee. This includes Resident Assistants, Graduate Teaching Assistants, and all other student employees, when disclosures are made to any of them in their capacities as employees.

In addition, the following who, in the course of employment, receive a report of Prohibited Conduct from any other person affiliated with the University shall notify the Title IX Officer or designee:

  • Campus Police
  • Human Resource Administrators, Academic Personnel, and Title IX Professionals
  • Managers and Supervisors including Deans, Department Chairs, and Directors of Organized Research Units (ORU)
  • Faculty members
Retaliation +

Retaliation is an adverse action against a person based on their report or other disclosure of alleged Prohibited Conduct to a University employee, or their participation in, refusal to participate in, or assistance with the investigation, reporting, remedial, or disciplinary processes provided for in this Policy.

The Role of Alcohol and Drugs +

It is a violation of this Policy and a criminal offense to engage in sexual acts with someone who has been using alcohol, drugs, or other intoxicants to the degree that he or she is unable to provide consent. This is true whether or not the person reporting the sex offense voluntarily consumed the alcohol, drug, or intoxicant.

Intentionally causing someone to become intoxicated in order to facilitate the sex offense will be considered in determining responsibility and imposing appropriate sanctions.

Because alcohol, drugs, and other intoxicants are often involved in sex offense matters, Complainants may be afraid to report sex offenses to authorities where they also have engaged in an activity that violated University policy or state law, such as a person under age 21 drinking alcohol. UC Irvine encourages the reporting of sex offenses and therefore does not hold Complainants and/or witnesses accountable for alcohol-related Student Code of Conduct violations that may have occurred at the time of the sex offense.

The use of intoxicants by a student or employee accused of a sex offense does not excuse the offense.

Sexual Assault +
  1. Sexual Assault – Penetration: Without the consent of the Complainant, penetration, no matter how slight, of:
    • the Complainant’s mouth by a penis or other genitalia; or
    • the Complainant’s vagina or anus by any body part or object.
  2. Sexual Assault – Contact: Without the consent of the Complainant, intentionally:
    • touching Complainant’s intimate body part (genitals, anus, groin, breast, or buttocks);
    • making the Complainant touch another or themselves on any intimate body part; or
    • touching the Complainant with one’s intimate body part, whether the intimate body part is clothed or unclothed.

Note: This definition encompasses a broad spectrum of conduct, not all of which is sexual violence. So, the Title IX Officer must sometimes determine whether an allegation should be charged as sexual violence or sexual harassment. (See FAQ No.4 for more information.) Conduct that meets the definition of both Sexual Assault–Contact and Sexual Assault–Penetration will be charged as Sexual Assault–Penetration.

Note: Sexual Assault–Penetration and Sexual Assault–Contact are aggravated when they include any the following:

  • Overcoming the will of Complainant by:
    • force (the use of physical force or inducing reasonable fear of immediate or future bodily injury);
    • violence (the use of physical force to cause harm or injury);
    • menace (a threat, statement, or act showing intent to injure);
    • duress (a direct or implied threat of force, violence, danger, hardship, or retribution that is enough to cause a reasonable person of ordinary sensitivity, taking into account all circumstances including age and relationship (including a power imbalance), to do or submit to something that they would not otherwise do); or
    • deliberately causing the Complainant to be incapacitated (for example, through drugs or alcohol);
  • Deliberately taking advantage of the Complainant’s incapacitation (including incapacitation that results from voluntary use of drugs or alcohol); or
  • Recording, photographing, transmitting, or distributing intimate or sexual images of Complainant without Complainant’s prior knowledge and consent.
Sexual Harassment +

Sexual Harassment is:

Quid Pro Quo: a person’s submission to unwelcome sexual conduct is implicitly or explicitly made the basis for employment decisions, academic evaluation, grades or advancement, or other decisions affecting participation in a University program, or activity; or

Hostile Environment:

  1. unwelcome sexual or other sex-based conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that it unreasonably denies, adversely limits, or interferes with a person’s participation in or benefit from the education, employment or other programs, or activities of the University, and creates an environment that a reasonable person would find to be intimidating or offensive.
  2. Sexual conduct includes sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature.
  3. Other sex-based conduct includes acts of verbal, nonverbal, or physical aggression, intimidation, or hostility based on gender, gender identity, gender expression, sex- or gender-stereotyping, or
  4. Consideration is given to the totality of the circumstances in which the conduct occurred.

Consideration is given to the totality of the circumstances in which the conduct occurred. Sexual harassment may include incidents:

  1. between any members of the University community, including faculty and other academic appointees, staff, student employees, students, coaches, residents, interns, and non-student or non- employee participants in University programs (e.g., vendors, contractors, visitors, and patients);
  2. in hierarchical relationships and between peers; and
  3. between individuals of any gender or gender identity.
Sexual Misconduct is Other Prohibited Behavior including: +

Invasions of Sexual Privacy

  • Without a person’s consent, watching or enabling others to watch that person’s nudity or sexual acts in a place where that person has a reasonable expectation of privacy;
  • Without a person’s consent, making or attempting to make photographs (including videos) or audio recordings, or posting, transmitting or distributing such recorded material, depicting that person’s nudity or sexual acts in a place where that person has a reasonable expectation of privacy; or
  • Using depictions of nudity or sexual activity to extort something of value from a person.

Sexual intercourse with a person under the age of 18.

Exposing one’s genitals in a public place for the purpose of sexual gratification.

Failing to comply with the terms of a no-contact order, a suspension of any length, or any order of exclusion issued under this Policy.

An adverse action is conduct that would discourage a reasonable person from reporting Prohibited Conduct or participating in a process provided for in this Policy, such as threats, intimidation, harassment, discrimination and coercion. Retaliation does not include Good faith actions lawfully pursued in response to a report of Prohibited Conduct (such as gathering evidence) are not, without more, retaliation.

Note: To determine whether conduct is DOE-Covered Conduct the Title IX Officer will do the assessment and apply the definitions in Appendix IV of the Interim SVSH Policy. The definitions here are broader than and encompass all conduct included in the Appendix IV definitions in the Interim SVSH Policy.

Stalking +

Repeated conduct directed at a Complainant (for example, following, monitoring, observing, surveilling, threatening, communicating or interfering with property), of a sexual or romantic nature or other sex-based motivation, that would cause a reasonable person to fear for their safety, or the safety of others, or to suffer substantial emotional distress. Stalking that is not sex-based is addressed by other University policies including but not limited to the Policy on Student Conduct and Discipline Section 102.10.

Student Conduct Officer +

University Official responsible for handing resolution meetings or conduct reviews with an individual alleged to have violated the Code of Conduct and to assign or recommend sanctions.

Title IX Officer +

The designated coordinator or agent of the University with the responsibility for coordinating University Title IX compliance efforts.

Trauma-Informed Services +

Services designed to acknowledge the impact of violence and trauma on people's lives and the importance of addressing trauma in education. Services are influenced by an understanding of the impact of interpersonal violence and victimization on an individual’s life and development. To provide trauma-informed services, all staff of an organization must understand how violence impacts the lives of the people being served, so that every interaction is consistent with the recovery process and reduces the possibility of re-traumatization.


The Violence Against Women Act, a federal law meant to end violence against women by improving the criminal justice response to violence against women and enhancing services to and resources for victims.

University of California Policy On Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence +

Policy that applies to all UC employees and students at its campuses and University programs and activities and furthers the University’s commitment to compliance with the law and to the higher standards of ethical conduct.