USF Policies

USF Definitions


  • Sexual permission
  • Can be given by word or action
  • Must be clear, knowing and voluntary
  • Silence without actions that demonstrate permission, doesn't count as consent


  • Without consent, or no consent was given
  • When a person is incapable of giving consent because s/he is incapacitated from alcohol and/or drugs
  • Or, when a person is under 18 years old
  • Or, if a mental disorder or developmental or physical disability renders the person incapable of giving consent


  • Unreasonable pressure (for sex or sexual acts)

Sexual Harassment

  • Unwelcome, gender-based verbal or physical conduct

  • Sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that it creates a hostile environment
  • Or, based on power differentials (quid pro quo)

Sexual Contact

  • Intentional contact with the breasts, buttock, groin, or genitals, or touching another with any of these body parts, or making another touch you or themselves with or on any of these body parts; any intentional bodily contact in a sexual manner, though not involving contact with/of/by breasts, buttocks, groin, genitals, mouth or other orifice.

Sexual Intercourse

  • Vaginal penetration by a penis, object, tongue or finger; anal penetration by a penis, object, tongue, or finger; or oral copulation (mouth to genital contact or genital to mouth contact), no matter how slight the penetration or contact.

Non-Consensual Sexual Contact

  • Any intentional sexual touching, however slight, with any object, by a person upon another person, that is without consent and/or by force.

Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse

  • Any sexual intercourse however slight, with any object, by a person upon another person that is without consent and/or by force.


  • Non-consensual sexual intercourse
  • May also involve the use of threat of force, violence, or immediate and unlawful bodily injury or threats of future retaliation and duress.
  • Any sexual penetration, however slight, is sufficient to constitute rape

Sexual Assault

  • An attempt, coupled with the ability to commit a violent injury on the person of another because of that person's gender or sex.

Sexual Battery

  • Willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon the person of another because of that person's gender or sex


  • It is a violation of university policy to retaliate against any person making a complaint of sexual misconduct or against any person cooperating in the investigation of (including testifying as a witness to) any allegation of sexual misconduct.
  • Retaliation include:
    • intimidation
    • threats
    • harassment
    • other adverse action taken or threatened


  • The use of physical violence and/or imposing on someone physically to gain sexual access
  • Force also includes threats, intimidation (implied threats) and coercion that overcome resistance or (“Have sex with me or I’ll hit you.” “Okay, don’t hit me, I’ll do what you want.”).
  • There is no requirement that a party resists the sexual advance or request, but resistance is a clear demonstration of non-consent.

Sexual Exploitation

  • When a person takes nonconsensual or abusive advantage of another, that does not fall under nonconsensual sexual contact or sexual harassment.
  • Including (but not limited to):
  • Sexual Voyeurism (watching a person undressing, using the bathroom or doing sexual acts without the consent of the person observed)
  • Photo/video/audio-recording another in a sexual act, or in any other private activity without the consent of all involved
  • Exceeding the boundaries of consent (such as allowing another person to hide in a closet and observe sexual activity, or disseminating sexual pictures without the photographed person’s consent)
  • Engaging in sexual acts while infected with an STD without informing the other person of the infection
  • Administering alcohol or drugs (such as “date rape” drugs) to another person without their consent

Aiding or Facilitating Sexual Misconduct

  • Promoting or encouraging any type of sexual misconduct listed above and/or the failure to take action to prevent an imminent prohibited act when it is reasonably prudent and safe to do so
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USF Policies

Note: All school policies are from the 2018-2019 academic year. Policies for 2019-2020 will be updated soon.

Sexual Misconduct Policy

For students to engage in sexual activity there must be clear, knowing and voluntary consent prior to and during acts. Read the full text of USF's Sexual Misconduct policy.

  • The accused's relationship to the person (such as family member, spouse, friend, acquaintance or stranger) is irrelevant; consent must be given for each act and may be withdrawn at any time.
  • This policy is applicable regardless of any student’s sexual orientation, sex, gender identity, gender expression, age, race, nationality, class status, ability or religion.
  • Student survivors will not be punished if they were drinking or using drugs, unless their conduct threatened to harm or did harm any other students.
  • Student survivors, or those supporting them or participating in an investigation of sexual misconduct violations, are protected against retaliation by other students.
  • Student survivors have the right to request changes to class schedules, housing/dorm arrangements, or other situations so that the student does not have to sustain close contact with his/her assailant.
  • Student survivors have the right to other remedies, including referral to counseling and health services, providing campus escorts, offering adjustments to academic deadlines, course schedules, etc.
  • Student survivors have the right to ask for a “No Contact Order” that prohibits contact between assailant and survivor, and vice versa.
  • Conflict resolution or mediation will not be allowed for complaints of sexual assault. 

Amnesty Policy

A victim (or witness) of sexual violence will not be charged with conduct code violations for drinking underage or using drugs (or other minor policy violations) if they are coming forward to report or assist with a report of sexual assault. 

Examples of Violations of USF Sexual Misconduct Policy:

  • Sexual contact obtained through threatening, intimidating, or implying threats to another
  • Sexual contact obtained by force, threat of force, violence, or bodily harm
  • Sexual contact with a student while s/he is asleep or unconscious
  • Sexual contact obtained while a student is too drunk or high to understand what is going (who, what, when, where, why, or how).
  • Sexual contact with a student obtained through coercion, or unreasonably pressured for sex 
  • Sexual contact with a student who is under 18 years old.

Your Personal Bill of Rights (from the Office of the Vice Provost):

  • I have the right to say “no” without feeling guilty or having to explain myself
  • I have the right to change my mind
  • I have the right to be treated with dignity and respect
  • I have the right to change and grow
  • I have the right to ask for help and support
  • I have the right not to be judged
  • I have the right to be in an equal relationship
  • I have the right not to be dominated
  • I have the right to be quiet or spirited without being misunderstood
  • I have the right to say “no” to anything when I feel that I am not ready, it is not safe, or it violates my values
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Your Title IX Rights

Title IX is a federal law that protects students against sex discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual violence regardless of the student’s real or perceived sex, gender identity, and/or gender expression.  If you have been subjected to sexual harassment or sexual violence you have an additional set of rights and protections under Title IX. (Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. §1681)

If you believe your Title IX rights have been or are being violated, you can contact your Title IX Coordinator and/or learn how to file a report on the OCR website.

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