To encourage reporting, students who are responsible for underage alcoholic beverages or drugs including narcotics, opioids or prescription of another; and is an involved party or witness to a sexual assault shall not be held responsible under the Student Code of Conduct for the drug or alcohol violation, although may be required to complete behavioral education.


The extent to which applicants and employees with disabilities can readily approach and use facilities, amenities, and programs including, but not limited to athletic and performance venues, work areas, academic buildings, and online application systems.

Affirmative Action:

Actions, policies, and procedures that achieve equal opportunity employment.

American Indian:

Is an indigenous or native individual to the United States.


Is an individual, not of Hispanic origin, with origins in any black racial group of Africa.


Is an act or omission that intimidates or mistreats an individual.


A written document filed by student, faculty, staff, or guest alleging an instance of discrimination based on protected status or in retaliation.


Is the individual or group that was allegedly subjected to discrimination, including sexual misconduct regardless of whether they report it or file a complaint.


Exists when there is a clear, voluntary, and unambiguous agreement, expressed in mutually understood words or actions, to engage in a specific sexual activity. Consent will not be assumed by silence, incapacity due to alcohol or drugs, unconsciousness, sleep, cognitive or mental incapacitation, physical impairment, or lack of resistance.

Dating Violence

Violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the complainant; and where the existence of such relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.

Domestic Violence

Violence committed:

    1. By a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the complainant;
    2. By a person with whom complainant shares a child in common;
    3. By a person who is or has cohabitating with the complainant, as a spouse or intimate partner;
    4. By a person similarly situated to a spouse of the complainant under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred; or
    5. By any other person against an adult or youth complainant 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.

This occurs when an individual suffers an adverse consequence on the basis of protected status.

Disability: Is

1) a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of an individual’s major life activities;

2) having a record of such an impairment; or

3) being regarded as having such an impairment.

Gender-based Discrimination:

Is a form of sex discrimination and refers to differential treatment or harassment based on sex, gender identity, gender expression and/or gender non-conformity with gender stereotypes that has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with, limiting, or denying an individual’s ability to participate in or benefit from educational programs or activities, or employment or access to benefits or access to opportunities.

Gender Identity:

This refers to an individual’s perception of their sex or gender or the perception that others may have of their sex or gender.

Gender-based Harassment:

Is unwelcome verbal, physical, or electronic conduct based on sex, sex-stereotyping, actual or perceived sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, or an individual’s failure to conform to sex stereotypes that are sufficiently serious (severe, persistent, or pervasive) such that it has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with, limiting, or denying an individual’s ability to participate in or benefit from educational programs or activities, or employment or access to benefits or access to opportunities regardless of the sex of the individuals, including when they are members of the same sex.

Essential Functions:

Refer to the job responsibilities and duties of an employment position that are specific to that position, are performed a significant amount of time, and/or are highly specialized and are contained in the written job description or posting.

Harassment :

Is unwelcome or physical conduct based on an individual’s protected status that unreasonably interferes with their work or learning environment, or creates an intimidating or hostile work or learning environment.


Is an act that creates an unreasonable risk of emotional or physical harm, or causes actual physical harm, mental duress or degradation, or interferes with an individual’s academic endeavors or progress or work environment and occurs in connection with membership in an NMSU sanctioned organization including any association, club, corps, department, division, collegiate or intramural team, order, unit or another similar group officially affiliated with the university.


Is a mental state beyond intoxication, impaired judgment, or drunkenness where the individual’s decision-making abilities are impaired, their judgment is uninformed, and/or they are unable to understand the nature and consequences of their actions as produced by illness, defect, the influence of a substance or from other causes.

Institutional Disciplinary Proceeding:

Is the process in which a sexual misconduct violation is adjudicated, and if a finding of responsibility is determined, a sanction imposed in accordance with the University Rule, Policy, and Student Code of Conduct.

Institutional Investigatory Proceeding:

Is the process of securing credible evidence including written documents and notes, social media communication and messages, and oral statements and responses for the purpose of reaching factual conclusions and a determination as to whether the alleged discrimination based on protected status or retaliation occurred.


Is an individual of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race.

Maternity Leave:

Is an absence from work or educational programs or activities due to child-birth, or the care and nurturing following the birth of a child.


Is an individual who is black, Hispanic, Asian or Pacific Islander, American Indian, or Alaskan native.

National Origin:

Is an individual’s actual or perceived birthplace, country, region, culture, accent, or linguistic characteristic common to a specific ethnic group.

Preponderance of the Evidence:

Is the greater weight of the evidence and the standard used to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to establish a violation of policy.

Prima Facie Case:

A legal term that refers to whether there is sufficient evidence or facts to establish a presumption of discrimination.

Reasonable Accommodation:

Occurs after a request for accommodation is made and a determination that:

(i) Modifications or adjustments can be made to a job application process that enables a qualified applicant with a disability to be considered for a position the applicant has applied;

(ii) Modifications or adjustments can be made to the student learning environment, or to the manner or circumstances under which instruction is communicated, completed or assessed; or

(iii) Modifications or adjustments can be made to the work environment, or to the manner or circumstances under which the position held or desired is customarily performed, which will enable a qualified individual with a disability to perform the essential functions of that position.

Religious Accommodation: 

This occurs after a request by an employee to accommodate a sincerely held religious observance or practice unless the request causes undue hardship.


Occurs when an adverse action is threatened or taken against an individual because the individual filed, threatened to file, assisted in the filing, served as a witness, and/or participated in the resolution of an allegation of discrimination based on protected status, or if an individual prevented or attempted to prevent an act of discrimination.


Is the individual or group that is alleged to have engaged in discriminatory conduct.

Sexual Assault:

Any attempted or actual sexual act directed against another person, without consent of the complainant, including instances where the complainant is incapable of giving consent.

    1. Any attempted or actual sexual act directed against another person, without consent of the complainant, including instances where the complainant is incapable of giving consent.
    2. 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 the consent of the complainant. This offense includes both males and females.
    3. Fondling is the touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, forcibly and/or against that person’s will (without the consent of the complainant), including instances where the complainant is incapable of giving consent because of the complainant’s age or youth or because of the complainant’s permanent or temporary mental incapacity.
    4. Incest is sexual intercourse between people who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law.
    5. Statutory Rape is sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent.
Sex Discrimination:

Is disparate treatment or disparate impact based on an individual’s sex and includes all forms of sexual harassment including gender-based harassment and sexual misconduct.

Sexual Harassment:

Is a form of unlawful sex discrimination and includes any unwelcome sexual advance, unwelcome request for sexual favor, or other unwelcome sexual verbal, physical, or electronic conduct. Any instance of quid pro quo harassment by an NMSU employee; any unwelcome conduct that a reasonable person would find so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it denies a person equal educational access; any instance of sexual assault (as defined in the Clery Act), dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking as defined in the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)

Quid Pro Quo: is a type of sexual harassment that exercises power and control over another person and occurs when:

* Submission to or rejection of such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment; participation in an academic or athletic program; evaluation of academic work; or participation in an NMSU-sponsored educational program or activity.

* Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for academic or employment decisions, or decisions on activity or program participation, including, but not limited to membership, grades, pay, hire, promotion, and transfer.

Hostile Environment: is created by unwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person, placed in a substantially similar situation, to be so severe, pervasive, and/or objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to NMSU’s education program or activity

Sexual Misconduct:

Is a catchall term for all forms of sex discrimination including sexual harassment, gender-based harassment, and sexual misconduct.

Sexual Orientation:

This refers to an individual’s sense of identity and is based on those attractions, related behaviors, and membership in a community of others who share those attractions and is usually discussed in three categories: heterosexual, homosexual, and bisexual whether actual or perceived.


A course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to:

    1. Fear for the person’s safety or the safety of others; or
    2. Suffer substantial emotional distress.
    3. For the purposes of this definition:
      1. A course of conduct means two or more acts.
      2. Reasonable person means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the complainant.
      3. Substantial emotional distress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.
Supportive Measures:

Individualized services offered, as appropriate, prior to or during an investigation to complainants, respondents, and affected parties designed to minimize or eliminate interruptions to participation in educational programs or activities or ensure the safety of a party or the university community.


This occurs when the percentage of minorities or women employed in a particular job group is less than would be reasonably be expected given the availability in the particular labor market.


Is an individual identified by OIE or by the parties that may have information about the alleged discrimination or sexual misconduct?


Is an individual, not of Hispanic origin, with origins in any of the racial groups of Europe, North Africa, or the Middle East.