University Policy

University of South Dakota Policy on Harassment, including Sexual Harassment

The University of South Dakota is dedicated to fostering an environment that respects the rights of all individuals and values the promotion a work and educational environment free of gender bias. Title IX of the U.S Education Amendments of 1972 ("Title IX") is a Federal civil rights law (20 U.S.C. §1681) that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs and activities. Any conduct, on or off campus, of individuals or groups, which threatens or violates this commitment may become a matter for investigation and/or action within the University.

Governing policies can be found online at:

Harassment Including Sexual Harassment policy defines sexual harassment, in brief, as subjection to unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Please see the full policy for the complete definition and establishing its occurrence.

Prevention of Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking policy defines the following terms in detail:

Dating Violence is defined in brief as violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. Please see the policy for additional detail.

Domestic Violence is defined in part as a felony or misdemeanor crime of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner/cohabitant; by a person against another (adult or youth) for who is protected from that person's acts. Please see the policy for additional detail.

Sexual Assault is defined in brief as any offense that constitutes rape, fondling, incest, or statutory rape. Please see the policy for additional detail.

Stalking is defined in brief as engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for the their own or others' safety or to suffer substantial emotional distress. Please see the policy for additional detail.

Consent is defined in SDBOR Policy 1:17.1 and in SDBOR Policy 3:4 as follows:

Policy 1:7.1 - Consent may be implied from the facts and circumstances surrounding the commission of an act. Consent will not be found where an act has been done through the use of force, coercion, or threats of immediate and great bodily harm. Submission does not equal consent, and to establish consent, a party charged must utterly negate any element of force, coercion, or threat.

Consent, once given, may be retracted. Consent will not be found under any of the following circumstances:

  1. if the victim is less than thirteen years of age; or
  2. through the use of force, coercion, or threats of immediate and great bodily harm against the victim or other persons within the victim's presence, accompanied by apparent power of execution; or Prevention of Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, and Stalking Page 5 of 5 1:17.1
  3. if the victim is incapable, because of physical or mental incapacity, of giving consent to such act; or
  4. if the victim is incapable of giving consent because of any intoxicating, narcotic, or anesthetic agent or hypnosis; or
  5. if the victim is thirteen years of age, but less than sixteen years of age, and the perpetrator is at least three years older than the victim.

Policy 3:4 - Consent is defined as informed, freely given, and mutually understood. Consent requires an affirmative act or statement by each participant. If coercion, intimidation, threats and/or physical force are used, there is no consent. If a person is mentally or physically incapacitated or impaired so that the person cannot understand the fact, nature or extent of the sexual situation, there is no consent; this includes conditions due to alcohol or drug consumption or being asleep or unconscious. If a person is fifteen (15) years old or younger, there is no consent. Whether one has taken advantage of a position of influence over another may be a factor in determining consent. Consent to any one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to any other form of sexual activity. Consent to one sexual encounter does not imply consent to another sexual encounter. Consent may be revoked at any time.