Learn About Terms Related to Title IX Services at the University of Maine System

Understanding the terms that are used in the Title IX process can be helpful for those who are using the University of Maine System services. If you feel any of these terms apply to you, a Deputy/Title IX coordinator is here to assist you in finding help. You can also contact the counseling center at your university, or if you are experiencing an emergency can call 9-1-1 or the public safety office on your campus.

Glossary of terms:

Terms and words that may be used in the Title IX process:

A trained support person who is knowledgeable of the rights of survivors of a sexual assault in the State of Maine. An advocate can help you navigate your options and support you as you seek medical attention, seek to understand the legal process, take legal action and/or access non-emergency support. Advocates can be texted or called at the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault (External Site): 1-800-871-7741

Consent is a voluntary agreement to engage in sexual contact. Consent must be informed, freely and actively given and consist of a mutually agreeable and understandable exchange of words or actions. Consent is clear, knowing and voluntary. Consent is active, not passive. Consent may be withdrawn at any time. Silence, in and of itself, cannot be interpreted as consent. Consent can be given by words or actions, as long as those words or actions create mutually understandable clear permission regarding willingness to engage in (and conditions of) sexual activity. Past consent does not imply future consent. Consent to engage in one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to engage in any other sexual activity. Consent to engage in sexual activity with one person does not imply consent to engage in sexual activity with any other person.

It is not consent when the exchange involves unwanted physical force, coercion, intimidation and/or threats. If an individual is mentally or physically incapacitated or impaired such that one cannot understand the fact, nature or extent of the sexual situation and the incapacitation or impairment is known or should be known to a reasonable person, there is no consent. This includes conditions resulting from alcohol or drug consumption, or being asleep or unconscious. Consent is not valid if the person is too young to consent to sexual activity under Maine law (External Link).

Dating Violence

Dating violence is violence committed against a person by an individual who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with that person. Whether a dating relationship exists is determined based on the reporting party’s statement and with consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. Dating violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse. Dating violence does not include acts covered under the definition of domestic violence. All forms of dating violence prohibited by Maine law are also included.

Domestic Violence

A felony or misdemeanor crime of violence committed—

  • (A) By a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim;
  • (B) By a person with whom the victim shares a child in common;
  • (C) By a person who is cohabitating with, or has cohabitated with, the victim as a spouse or intimate partner;
  • (D) By a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred, or
  • (E) By any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred.

All forms of domestic violence prohibited by Maine law are also included.

A no contact order is issued by an administrator within the University of Maine System and is designed to limit or prohibit contact or communications between individuals. No contact orders are often mutual, which means that they restrict each person from contacting or communicating with the other person. A Deputy/Title IX Coordinator can offer guidance in obtaining a no contact order.

No person may intimidate, threaten, coerce or discriminate against any individual because the individual has made a report or complaint, testified, assisted or participated or refused to participate in any manner in an investigation, proceeding or hearing under this Title IX Policy and accompanying process.

Any intimidation, threats, coercion or discrimination, for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by Title IX or its implementing regulations constitutes retaliation. This includes any charges filed against an individual for code of conduct violations that do not involve sex discrimination or sexual harassment, but that arise from the same facts or circumstances as a report or complaint of sex discrimination or a report or formal complaint of sexual harassment, as set forth in the University’s amnesty policy.

Complaints alleging retaliation may be filed with the Deputy/Title IX Coordinator.

The University of Maine System reserves the right to impose any level of sanction, ranging from a reprimand up to and including suspension or dismissal/termination, for any offense under this policy.

Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is defined as having or attempting to have sexual intercourse with another individual, including:

  • (1) by use of force or threat;
  • (2) without effective consent;
  • or (3) where the actor knew or should have known the individual is incapacitated by drugs and/or alcohol or was physically or mentally unable to make informed or reasonable judgments or provide consent.

For purposes of this definition, sexual intercourse includes vaginal, anal or oral penetration, no matter how slight, with any body part or object, or oral penetration involving any form of mouth to genital contact. Sexual Assault includes rape, fondling, incest or statutory rape as those crimes are defined by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Uniform Crime Reporting Program. This definition conforms to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report and Clery Act definition and also conforms to the definition of rape under Maine law.


Fondling is the touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, without the consent of the person, including instances where the person is incapable of giving consent because of their age or because of their temporary or permanent mental incapacity.


Incest is sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law.


Rape is the penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without consent.

Statutory Rape

Statutory rape is sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent. All forms of sexual assault (External Site) and sexual contact prohibited by Maine law are also included.

Sexual Harassment includes two distinct, but overlapping definitions:

Title IX Sexual Harassment

The Title IX regulations define Sexual Harassment as conduct on the basis of sex that must satisfy one or more of the following:

  • (A) A University employee conditions the provision of an aid, benefit or service of the University of Maine System on an individual’s participating in unwelcome sexual conduct; or
  • (B) Unwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the University of Maine System’s education program or activity;

Title IX Sexual Harassment also includes: Dating Violence, Domestic Violence and Stalking, as defined in our Sex Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Relationship Violence, Stalking and Retaliation and Title IX Sexual Harassment policy.

Sexual Harassment

Consistent with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the recognition that Sexual Harassment may also occur in a wider variety of contexts, the University of Maine System defines Sexual Harassment as:

  • (A) Sexual Harassment Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, including sexual assault and sexual violence. Sexual harassment, including sexual assault, can involve persons of the same or opposite sex. Consistent with the law, this policy prohibits two types of sexual harassment:
    • (1) Tangible Employment or Educational Action (quid pro quo): This type of sexual harassment occurs when the terms or conditions of employment, educational benefits, academic grades or opportunities, living environment or participation in a University activity are made an explicit or implicit condition of submission to or rejection of unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors, or such submission or rejection is a factor in decisions affecting an individual’s employment, education, living environment or participation in a University program or activity. Generally, a person who engages in this type of sexual harassment is an agent or employee with some authority conferred by the University.
    • (2) Hostile Environment: Sexual harassment that creates a hostile environment is based on sex and exists when the harassment:
      • (i) Is subjectively and objectively offensive; and
      • (ii) Is so severe or pervasive as to alter the conditions of a person’s employment, education or living situation that it creates an abusive working, educational or living environment.

A hostile environment can be created by anyone involved in a University program or activity, such as an administrator, faculty or staff member, student or campus guest. Offensiveness alone is not enough to create a hostile environment. Although repeated incidents increase the likelihood that a hostile environment has been created, a single serious incident, such as a sexual assault, can be sufficient.

Stalking is a course of conduct that would cause a reasonable person to suffer serious inconvenience or emotional distress, to fear bodily injury or death to self or close relative, to fear damage or destruction to/tampering with property or to fear injury or death of an animal owned or possessed by that person. When stalking is based on sex it is covered under Title IX/Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

Title IX is a federal civil rights law passed as a part of the Education Amendments of 1972. Title IX protects people in education institutions from discrimination based on sex.

Employees, students, athletes and community members involved in educational programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance are all protected under Title IX. Title IX applies to any institution that receives federal funding from the Department of Education, including local and state educational agencies. Title IX requires that any of these institutions must operate in a nondiscriminatory manner. Recipients of these funds also may not retaliate against a person for opposing an unlawful educational practice or policy, or because a person has made charges, testified or participated in any complaint action associated with Title IX.

A Title IX coordinator is an expert in all topics related to Title IX. University of Maine System has a Title IX coordinator and Deputy Title IX Coordinators that sit on each campus. The Deputy/Title IX Coordinators are responsible for responding to all complaints of possible sex discrimination and the coordination of the correct response to those complaints. Deputy/Title IX coordinators understand each type of discrimination covered under Title IX as well as each university’s policies and procedures for sex discrimination and sexual misconduct. Deputy/Title IX coordinators also conduct investigations and enforce disciplinary actions when needed. Deputy/Title IX coordinators oversee an investigation from the beginning to the end, which may include:

Title IX jurisdiction applies when the alleged sexual harassment occurs within the context of the University’s “education program or activity” which includes all of the operations of the University, and locations, events or circumstances over which the University exercised substantial control over both the Respondent and the context in which the sexual harassment occurred, and also includes any building owned or controlled by a student organization that is officially recognized by the University.

Campus and Community Resources

Partners for Peace:

Hotline: 800-863-9909
Web: Partners for Peace website (External Site)

Rape Response Services:

Hotline: 800-871-7741
Web: Rape Response Service website (External Site)

Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault – Sexual Assault Advocates:

Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault will be ready to meet you at the hospital at any time. The hospital can also call for you when you get there.

Call or text: 800-871-7741
Web: Coalition Against Sexual Assault website (External Site)

Campus Police and Public Safety Departments:

Web: List of University of Maine System Campus police or public safety departments 

Counseling Services:

Web: University of Maine System counseling services

Pregnancy and Parenting:

Web: Resources about how Title IX protects individuals who experience pregnancy and parenting

The University of Maine System Title IX Coordinator:

University of Maine System Coordinator of Title IX Services
Elizabeth Lavoie

Phone: 207-581-5866
Email: titleix@maine.edu
241 Estabrook Hall
Orono, Maine 04469

Additional resources and links:

If you are unsure of what resources you need, what has happened to you or if you want to explore your options before reaching out to a Deputy/Title IX Coordinator, there are many pages on this site to help guide you through the process: