Sexual Harassment Policy (includes Sexual Violence/Assault)
Maryville University (the “University”) is required to comply with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq. (“Title IX”), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex admissions, employment, services, and educational programs and activities that the University operates and offers (collectively “programs and activities”) in matters of admissions, housing, services, and in the University’s other educational programs and activities (collectively “Programs and Activities”) (including sexual violence/assault) that denies or limits a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s Programs and Activities or any aspect of the employment relationship is a form of prohibited discrimination.
The University does not condone and will not tolerate discriminatory sexual harassment and is committed to providing programs, activities, and an educational environment free from discriminatory sexual harassment.
The University will promptly and thoroughly investigate all complaints of sexual harassment in accordance with the procedures specified in this policy. In the event it is determined that discriminatory sexual harassment occurred, the University will take prompt and appropriate remedial action to prevent the discriminatory harassment, eliminate any hostile environment, prevent its recurrence, and correct the discriminatory effects on the victim and others, if applicable.
Persons found to be in violation of this policy will be subject to the full range of discipline up to and including written reprimand, suspension, demotion, termination, or expulsion. Third-party vendors, suppliers, and visitors may be removed from University programs and/or prevented from returning to campus. Remedial steps may include counseling, academic, transportation, work, or living accommodations, separation of the parties, changes of grade or academic record, and training.
The University affirms its responsibility to:
- Promptly and thoroughly investigate complaints of sexual harassment;
- Promptly and effectively respond to discriminatory sexual harassment, including sexual violence/assault;
- Take immediate steps to eliminate discriminatory sexual harassment, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects;
- Support all members of the University community with appropriate resources no matter their status as complainant or respondent.
The University has appointed the following coordinator to handle inquiries regarding its efforts to carry out this policy, to comply with Title IX, and to receive complaints of sexual harassment:
Assistant Dean for Compliance and Recruitment, Title IX Coordinator
Student Life, Donius University Center 110
Work Phone: 314.529.9881
The University has also designed the following deputy coordinator to assist the coordinator in handling complaints of sexual harassment involving students:
Dean of Students, Deputy Title IX Coordinator
Student Life, Donius University Center 111
Work Phone: 314.529.9476
Individuals wishing to make a complaint of sexual harassment may also contact: Office for Civil Rights,
Kansas City Office, U.S. Department of Education, One Petticoat Lane, 1010 Walnut Street, Suite 320
Kansas City, MO 64106, Telephone: (816) 268-0550 , Facsimile: (816) 268-0559, Email: OCR.KansasCity@ed.gov, Web: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/index.html .
University administrators, faculty, staff, students, applicants for employment or admission, customers, contractors, third-party vendors and suppliers, visitors on campus, and other persons that participate in University-sponsored programs and activities (collectively the “University Community”) have the right to be free from discriminatory sexual harassment. All members of the University Community are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that does not infringe upon the rights of others in this regard.
This policy has been developed to provide recourse for those members of the University Community who have been subjected to discriminatory sexual harassment. This policy is intended to define community expectations and to establish a mechanism for determining when those expectations have been violated. Nothing in this policy shall affect the right of the complainant to file his/her complaint with external law enforcement agencies, if applicable. A complaint may be filed concurrently with external law enforcement agencies without jeopardizing a complainant’s rights to an investigation and resolution by the University.
This policy applies to all members of the University Community. As noted above, the University Community includes administrators, faculty, staff, students, applicants for employment or admission, customers, contractors, third-party vendors and suppliers, visitors on campus, and other persons that participate in University-sponsored programs and activities.
A person is considered a “student” for purposes of this policy if the person is registered for classes or actively taking classes at the time of any alleged misconduct.
There is no geographic limitation to this policy. The policy applies with respect to conduct that occurs on-campus and off-campus, including conduct that occurs during study abroad programs or where members of the University Community are traveling on University business.
III. Definitions of Sexual Harassment, Sexual Violence/Assault, Domestic Assault, Dating Violence, and Stalking
A. Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment is a particular type of harassment that consists of any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment can include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, non-verbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Some examples of sexual harassment may include, but are not limited to:
- Pressure for a dating, romantic, or intimate relationship
- Unwelcome touching, kissing, hugging, or massaging
- Pressure for sexual activity
- Unnecessary references to parts of the body
- Sexual innuendos or sexual humor
- Obscene gestures
- Sexual graffiti, pictures, or posters
- Sexually explicit profanity
- Asking about, or telling about, sexual fantasies
- E-mail and Internet use that violates this policy
- Sex-based stalking
- Sexual bullying
Sexual harassment also includes sexual violence/assault, as further defined and explained below. Domestic assault, dating violence, and stalking can also constitute sexual harassment when such an incident is motivated by a person’s sex. These crimes, no matter the motivation behind them, are a violation of this policy. Applicable definitions can be found below.
Sexual harassment constitutes a form of prohibited discrimination when it denies or limits a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s Programs and Activities or any aspect of the employment relationship. Sexual harassment denies or limits a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s Programs and Activities or any aspect of the employment relationship when:
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of any aspect of the University’s Programs and Activities or employment;
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct by a person is used as a basis for any decision adversely affecting such person with respect to the University’s Programs and Activities or employment; or
- Such conduct is severe or pervasive such that, considering all relevant circumstances, the conduct denies or limits a person’s ability to participate in the University’s Programs and Activities or any aspect of the employment relationship (a “Hostile Environment”). NOTE: Even a single incident of sexual violence/assault may be sufficiently severe as to create a Hostile Environment and, thus, constitute discriminatory harassment.
B. Sexual Violence/Assault
Sexual violence/assault is a form of sexual harassment. Sexual violence/assault includes physical acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent because of his or her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity or because of his or her youth. To help the University Community understand the concept of sexual violence/assault, this policy identifies the following broad categories of sexual violence/assault:
- Non-Consensual Sexual Contact
Non-consensual sexual contact is a form of sexual violence/assault that consists of any intentional sexual touching, however slight, with any object, by a man or a woman upon a man or a woman that is without consent and/or by force. Sexual contact includes: Intentional contact with the breasts, buttock, groin, or genitals, by any object, 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.
- Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse
Non-consensual sexual intercourse is a form of sexual violence/assault that consists of any sexual penetration however slight, of the vagina, anus, or mouth, by a man or woman upon a man or a woman that is without consent and/or by force. Intercourse includes: vaginal penetration by a penis, anal penetration by a penis, and oral copulation (mouth to genital contact or genital to mouth contact), no matter how slight the penetration or contact.
- Sexual Exploitation
Sexual exploitation is a form of sexual violence/assault that occurs when a person takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for his/her own advantage or benefit, or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited, and that behavior does not otherwise constitute one of other sexual misconduct offenses. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to: Invasion of sexual privacy; prostituting another; non-consensual video or audio-taping of sexual activity; going beyond the boundaries of consent (such as letting your friends hide in the closet to watch you having consensual sex); engaging in voyeurism; knowingly transmitting a sexually transmitted disease (such as HIV); exposing one’s genitals in non-consensual circumstances; inducing another to expose their genitals.
C. Domestic Assault, Dating Violence, and Stalking
- Domestic Assault: Domestic Assault is defined in Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 565.072-565.074. It generally involves violence or attempted violence perpetrated against a family or household member, including children. “Family or household member” is defined as “spouses, former spouses, any person related by blood or marriage, persons who are presently residing together or have resided together in the past, any person who is or has been in a continuing social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim and anyone who has a child in common regardless of whether they have been married or have resided together at any time. See Mo. Rev. Stat. § 455.010.
- Dating Violence: Dating Violence means violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. Such a relationship is characterized by the expectation of affection or sexual involvement between the parties. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the (a) length of the relationship, (2) type of relationship, and (3) frequency of the interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
- Stalking: A person commits the crime of stalking if he or she purposely, through his or her course of conduct, harasses or follows with the intent of harassing another person. “Course of conduct” is a pattern of conduct composed of two or more acts, which may include communication by any means, over a period of time, however short, evidencing a continuity of purpose. It does not include constitutionally protected activity. See Mo. Rev. Stat. § 565.225.
IV. Definition of Consent
The expectations of the University Community regarding sexual harassment (including sexual violence/assault) can be summarized as follows: In order for individuals to engage in sexual activity of any type with each other, there must be clear, knowing, and voluntary consent prior to and during sexual activity. Consent requires an affirmative act or statement by each participant. Consent is not passive. Silence–without actions demonstrating permission–cannot be assumed to show consent. Anything but a clear, knowing, and voluntary consent to any sexual activity is equivalent to a “no.”
Consent to some form of sexual activity cannot be automatically taken as consent to any other form of sexual activity.
Previous relationships or prior consent do not imply consent to future sexual acts.
If coercion, intimidation, threats, and/or physical force are used, there is no consent.
If a person is mentally or physically incapacitated or impaired such that the person cannot understand the fact, nature, or extent of the sexual situation, there is no consent.
In order to give effective consent, a person must be of legal age. In the State of Missouri, the legal age of consent is 14. (If you are over 18 but fewer than 21, the age of consent is 14. If you are over 21, you may not have sexual intercourse with anyone under 17.) Sexual acts with someone less than 14 are a violation of state law and of this policy.
V. Additional Applicable Definitions
Force is 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 produce consent (For example, “Have sex with me or I’ll hit you. Okay, don’t hit me, I’ll do what you want.” or lying on top of a victim to prevent them from being able to move).
Coercion is unreasonable pressure for sexual activity. When someone makes clear to you that they do not want sex, that they want to stop, or that they do not want to go past a certain point of sexual interaction, continued pressure beyond that point can be coercive. (For example, “You better have sex with me or I’ll make sure you never get into another fraternity social again/tell people you are a whore/tell people you have an STD.”)
- Mental or Physical Incapacitation or Impairment
Mental or physical incapacitation or impairment occurs when a person cannot make rational and reasonable decisions. In other words, the person is unable to understand the “who, what, when, where, why, and how” of their sexual interaction and, as a result, cannot give effective consent. A person may be mentally or physical incapacitated because of:
- Intoxication due to alcohol or drug use
- A mental illness, intellectual disability, or physical disability
- Sleep or sleep deprivation
- Involuntary physical restraint
A person is also mentally and/or physical incapacitated if they have been given the “date rape drug” or similar substance such as Rohypnol, Ketamine, GHB, or Burundanga. Administering such drugs to another student is a crime, constitutes a violation of this policy, and renders the victim incapable of giving consent to any form of sexual activity. More information on these and similar drugs is available at www.911rape.org.
VI. Reporting Sexual Harassment (Including Sexual Violence/Assault)
Any member of the University Community has the right and option to choose whether or not to report alleged sexual harassment (including sexual violence/assault) that has been committed against them. However, the University strongly encourages victims of sexual harassment to file a complaint with the University in the manner set forth below. To ensure that the University can promptly investigate and redress discrimination, the University requests that complaints are made in a timely manner of the alleged sexual harassment.
NOTE: If they observe, or learn of, sexual harassment directed against another member of the University Community, University administrators, faculty members, staff members, and volunteers (except Confidential Reporters discussed below) have a duty to report such conduct within 7 days in the manner set forth below.
Any person who wishes to make a complaint of sexual harassment that also constitutes a crime—such as a complaint of sexual violence/assault, domestic assault, dating violence, or stalking—is encouraged to file a complaint with local law enforcement, in addition to a complaint with the University. The Town and Country Police Department may be contacted at (314) 737-4600. Such persons may contact the University Public Safety Department at (314) 529-9500, which will assist the person in notifying the appropriate law enforcement authorities. In case of emergency, a person should always dial 911. A victim may decline to notify such authorities.
To ensure that the University has sufficient information to investigate the matter, a complaint of discrimination should generally include as much information as possible, including: name, address, telephone number, and email address of the complainant; the nature of the complaint; the name of the respondent (the alleged perpetrator of the discrimination); date(s) and location(s) of the alleged occurrences(s); and the redress sought by the complainant.
Once a complaint has been made with the University, the complainant
- contacting parents or a relative
- seeking legal advice
- seeking personal counseling (always recommended)
- pursuing legal action against the perpetrator
- pursing disciplinary action
- requesting that no further action be taken
A complainant will also be given a copy of the document titled “Explanation of Rights and Options after Filing a Complaint Under the Title IX Sexual Harassment/Misconduct Policy.”
VII. Persons To Whom Complaints Of Sexual Harassment Should Be Reported
Students and other members of the University Community who feel they have been the victim of sexual harassment may file a complaint with any of the following:
|Karlla Dozier||Title IX Coordinator/Assistant Dean for Compliance and Recruitmentfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Kathy Quinn||Deputy Title IX Coordinator/Dean of Studentsemail@example.com|
|Public Safety||Public Safetyfirstname.lastname@example.org|
University administrators, faculty members, staff members, and volunteers (except Confidential Reporters discussed below) who observe, or learn of sexual harassment directed against another member of the University Community must report the alleged sexual harassment to one of the following individuals within 7 calendar days:
|Karlla Dozier||Title IX Coordinator/Assistant Dean for Compliance and Recruitmentemail@example.com|
|Kathy Quinn||Deputy Title IX Coordinator/Dean of Studentsfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Public Safety||Public Safetyemail@example.com|
VIII. Clery Act
The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (“Clery Act”) requires the University to compile and report information on certain crimes, including certain types of sexual violence/assault. The Clery Act also requires the University to issue “Timely Warnings” in certain circumstances. Consistent with the Clery Act, certain University administrators, faculty, and staff are required to report information on certain types of sexual violence/assault to the University Public Safety Department. The University Public Safety Department will assess the information provided to determine whether there is an on-going threat present and, if so, will initiate any required “Timely Warning.”
IX. False Reports
Because of its strong desire to prevent and remedy sexual harassment, the University encourages all good faith complaints of sexual harassment (including sexual violence/assault). However, the University also has a duty to balance the rights of all parties. Accordingly, if the University’s investigation reveals that a complaint of sexual harassment was knowingly false, the complaint will be dismissed and the person who filed the knowingly false complaint may be subject to discipline.
The University seeks to handle all complaints of sexual harassment with discretion. This means the University will make all reasonable and appropriate efforts to preserve parties’ privacy and to protect the confidentiality of information when investigating and resolving a complaint. However, because of laws relating to reporting and other state and federal laws, the University cannot guarantee confidentiality to those who make a complaint of sexual harassment.
In the event a person files a complaint and requests confidentiality, or asks that the complaint not be investigated, the University will take all reasonable steps to investigate and respond to the complaint consistent with the request for confidentiality or request not to pursue an investigation. If a complainant insists that his or her name not be disclosed to the alleged perpetrator, the University’s ability to respond may be limited. The University reserves the right to initiate an investigation despite a complainant’s request for confidentiality in limited circumstances involving serious or repeated discrimination or where the alleged perpetrator may pose a continuing threat to the University Community.
NOTE: All University personnel, regardless of the wishes of a complainant, are required to report sexual abuse of children. A “child” for purposes of mandatory reporting is a person under the age of 18. All reports of sexual abuse of children will be reported and referred to local and state authorities for investigation.
Persons who wish to have a confidential conversation regarding sexual harassment that does not constitute a formal complaint, and which will not result in an investigation, may contact one of the following individuals (“Confidential Reporters”) from University Counseling Services:
|Jennifer Henry||Director of Personal Counselingfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Caitlin Layer-Gaskell||Personal Counseloremail@example.com|
|Verne Wilson||Personal Counselorfirstname.lastname@example.org|
Local hospitals also have counselors who can provide confidential counseling regarding sexual violence/assault. Conversations with these counselors are confidential and are not reported to the University without a person’s consent. These hospitals include:
|St. Luke’s Hospital (closest to the University’s main campus)||232 S. Woods Mill Road, Chesterfield, Missouri 63017||Main: 314-434-1500
|Mercy Hospital||615 S. New Ballas Road, St. Louis, Missouri 63141||Main: 314-251-6000
|Missouri Baptist Hospital||3015 N. Ballas Road, St. Louis, Missouri 63131||Main: 314-996-5000
Most acts of sexual violence/assault are committed by a person whom the victim knows and involve the use of alcohol and/or drugs by the victim, offender, or both. In some instances, a victim will not be able to immediately understand what has happened and may be unsure if they were the victim of sexual violence/assault. Several types of sexual violence/assault—including non-consensual sexual intercourse—are significantly underreported crimes and can impact a victim for years. The University encourages any person who believes they may be a victim of sexual violence/assault to contact local law enforcement and file a complaint with the university in the manner set forth in Section X above. The Town and Country Police Department may be contacted at (314) 737-4600. Such persons may also contact the University Public Safety Department at (314) 529-9500, which will assist the person in notifying the appropriate law enforcement authorities. In case of emergency, a person should always dial 911. A victim may decline to notify such authorities.
If you have been a victim of sexual violence/assault, domestic assault, or dating violence by someone you know OR a stranger, do not wash or change clothes until after you are examined, as valuable evidence could be lost. While these crimes being committed by strangers is far less common, collection of hair, fibers, semen, saliva, and anything containing DNA can be helpful in solving the case. Collection of physical evidence will allow the investigators to gather important information should the victim later change their mind. Preservation of evidence could be vital to establishing proof of the crime committed or in obtaining a protection order against the perpetrator.
When a victim of sexual violence/assault contacts local law enforcement, a sex crimes unit may be contacted to assist in the investigation. If a student victim so requests, a representative from the Office of Residential Life or the Public Safety Department will provide support during the investigation of the incident by local law enforcement. Any person who chooses to file a report with law enforcement may also file a complaint under this policy.
It is also important to take steps to preserve evidence in cases of stalking, the extent such evidence exists. In cases of stalking, evidence is more likely to be in the form of letters, emails, text messages, etc. rather than evidence of physical contact and violence.
If a student victim of any of these crimes is uncomfortable directly contacting local law enforcement or the University Public Safety Department, the student may contact any of the individuals designated in Section VI. above to receive student complaints of sexual harassment. Such persons will assist the student in contacting local law enforcement.
University Counseling Services and several local hospitals have counselors available to assist victims of these crimes. Contact information for these resources is set forth above in Section X. In addition, victims of sexual violence/assault may contact the rape hotline offered by Women’s Support & Community Services—Tel: (314) 531-2003. NOTE: Women’s Support & Community Services is not affiliated with the University and will not forward a complaint of sexual violence/assault to the University without the victim’s consent.
XII. Investigation of a Complaint
The procedures for investigating and resolving complaints shall be carried out promptly, fairly, and impartially. All complaints of sexual harassment (including sexual violence/assault) will be immediately and thoroughly investigated by the appropriate administrator or his/her designee (the “Investigator”).
The Investigator shall be familiar with this policy and the appropriate sanctions that might be imposed against the respondent in the event that discriminatory sexual harassment is found to have occurred. The Investigator shall discharge his or her obligations fairly and impartially. In the event the Investigator develops a conflict of interest with respect to the persons involved in a complaint, a new Investigator who is free from a conflict of interest will be appointed. During the investigation, the Investigator may receive counsel from officers/supervisors of the University, the University’s attorneys, and other parties as needed.
Upon receipt of a complaint, the Title IX Coordinator will immediately consult with the Director of Public Safety (or his/her designee) to determine whether there is a continuing threat to the complainant or to the campus community. If it is determined a threat exists, the University reserves the right to take appropriate measures to protect the safety of the complainant and/or the University Community. The University may also issue a “Timely Warning” under the Clery Act. Pending the outcome of the investigation, the University will also take appropriate interim measures to protect the complainant from further sexual harassment and retaliation. Such measures may include, but are not limited to, modification of living, academic, transportation, and work arrangements if so requested by the complainant and if such accommodations are reasonably available, regardless if the complainant also chooses to report the incident to campus public safety or local law enforcement; change in class schedule; restriction of campus access; temporary ban from campus or interim suspension from campus pending a hearing; no-contact orders; and reporting the matter to local law enforcement. Also, if a complainant has obtained a temporary restraining order or other no contact order against the alleged perpetrator from a criminal, civil, or tribal court, the complainant should provide such information to the Director of Public Safety and/or the Assistant Dean for Compliance and Recruitment and Title IX Coordinator. The University will take all reasonable and legal action to implement the order.
The Investigator will commence an investigation of the complaint as soon as practicable after the complaint is made. As the first step in the investigation, the Investigator will notify the respondent that a complaint has been filed.
During the investigation, the complainant will have the opportunity to describe his or her allegations and identify supporting witnesses or other evidence. The respondent will have the opportunity to respond to the allegations and identify supporting witnesses or other evidence. The Investigator will review statements and, depending on the circumstances, may interview others with relevant knowledge, review documentary materials, and take any other appropriate action to gather and consider information relevant to the complaint. All parties and witnesses involved in the investigation are expected to cooperate and provide complete and truthful information.
During the investigation, the Investigator shall maintain communication with both the complainant and respondent and advise them of the status of the investigation.
XIII. Concurrent University Investigation and Criminal Investigation
Some instances of sexual violence/assault may also constitute criminal conduct. In such instances, the complainant is also encouraged to file a report with local law enforcement and, if requested, the University will assist the complainant in doing so (see Section VI. above). The pendency of a criminal investigation, however, does not relieve the University of its obligation to investigate sexual harassment. Therefore, to the extent doing so does not interfere with any criminal investigation, the University will proceed with its own investigation and resolution of the complaint despite the pendency of a criminal investigation. If necessary to avoid interfering with a pending criminal investigation, the University will delay its own investigation but only as long as reasonably necessary to avoid interfering with the pending criminal investigation.
NOTE: The standards for finding a violation of criminal law are different from the standards for finding a violation of this policy (i.e., “beyond a reasonable doubt” in criminal cases versus “more likely than not” for purposes of this policy). As a result, the outcome of any criminal proceeding is not necessarily determinative of whether a violation of this policy has occurred.
XIV. Determination of a Complaint
After the conclusion of the investigation, the Investigator will prepare a written report summarizing the factual findings of the investigation, as well as providing recommendations regarding a determination by a preponderance of the evidence, determination regarding whether a violation of policy occurred, remedial measures, and disciplinary measures. The written report with the factual findings will be provided to the Vice President for Student Life or his/her designee. The Vice President for Student Life or his/her designee will review the factual findings set forth in the Investigator’s report and will determine if any additional investigation steps need to be undertaken.
The Vice President for Student Life or his/her designee will then adopt the written report prepared by the Investigator or revise it as necessary. The Vice President for Student Life or his/her designee’s written report shall determine the outcome of the investigation that will summarize the scope of the investigation, identify findings of fact determined by a preponderance of the evidence, and determine whether a violation of this policy occurred—i.e., whether the respondent engaged in discriminatory sexual harassment. If it is determined that a violation of this policy occurred, the written report will also determine the remedial measures to be taken and recommend disciplinary measures. In determining what remedial and disciplinary measures should ultimately be imposed, the Vice President for Student Life or his/her designee may consult with the Title IX Coordinator, the appropriate University official having jurisdiction over the respondent, and the University’s legal counsel, as necessary. Discipline will be imposed by the appropriate officer/supervisor of the University having jurisdiction over the respondent.
The Vice President for Student Life’s written report shall be provided to the parties and the appropriate officer/supervisor of the University having jurisdiction over the respondent.
NOTE: The University reserves the right to impose discipline for conduct that does not rise to the level of discriminatory harassment, but that still violates other University policies, including but not limited to the Faculty Policies and/or Staff Policies and the Student Code of Conduct.
XV. Appeal Procedures
If either party is dissatisfied with the finding and/or recommendations in the Vice President for Student Life’s written report, he or she may appeal the decision letter pursuant to the appellate process set forth in the Policy Against Harassment, Discrimination and Retaliation and Complaint Resolution Procedures. Note that both students and non-students are subject to the same non-hearing appeal process under this Policy.
XVI. Fundamental Rights of the Parties During Investigation and Determination of A Complaint
During the investigation and resolution of a complaint, the complainant and respondent shall have equal rights. They include:
- Being notified regarding investigation procedures, formal resolution procedures, and informal resolution procedures
- Having a support person accompany him or her at all stages of the process. The support person does not serve as an advocate or speak on behalf of the complainant or respondent, may not be actively involved in any proceedings, and must agree to maintain the confidentiality of the process.
- Similar and timely access to written statements and other evidence considered in the determination of the complaint
- The right to testify either in writing, verbally, or both
- The right to identify and have considered the testimony of a reasonable number other witnesses
- The right to identify and have considered written evidence
- Equal access to review and comment upon any information independently developed by the Investigator
- The right to receive written notice of the determination of the complaint from the Vice President for Student Life
- The right to appeal
- The right to receive written notice of the outcome of an appeal, including any changes that were made to the previous determination
The University will endeavor to conclude the investigation, determination, and appeal process within a timely manner.
The acknowledgment of use of alcohol or drugs in violation of the Student Code of Conduct by a person making a complaint of sexual harassment shall not be a basis for a separate charge of misconduct against the student.
XIX. Informal Resolution
After a complaint has been filed, the complainant and respondent may elect to resolve the complaint through informal resolution, such as mediation with the Title IX Coordinator or a designee, in lieu of the formal determination process. Informal means of resolution may only be used with the complainant and respondents’ voluntary cooperation and in coordination with the Investigator. In no case will the parties be required to “work out” the problem with one another if that is not desired. Moreover, either the complainant or the respondent may terminate informal means of resolution at any time. However, informal means will never be used, even on a voluntary basis, to resolve a complaint of sexual violence/assault.
The University will not retaliate or permit retaliation against an individual who reports or assists in making a complaint of sexual harassment (including sexual violence/assault) or who participates in the investigation of a complaint in any way. Retaliation is a serious violation of this policy. Retaliation not only harms the individuals directly affected by it, but also undermines the confidence of others in a fair complaint resolution process. Any person found to have retaliated against another individual involved in an investigation under this policy shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including written reprimand, suspension, demotion, termination, or expulsion. Any person who believes they have been retaliated against in violation of this policy should file a complaint in the manner described above in Section XII.
XXI. Exclusive Means of Resolution
This is the exclusive means of resolving complaints of sexual harassment (including sexual violence/assault). To the extent there are any inconsistencies between this policy and other University policies and procedures, this Sexual Harassment Policy will control the resolution of complaints alleging sexual harassment.
Throughout all stages of the investigation, determination, and appeal, the Investigator, and person resolving the appeal, as the case may be, are responsible for maintaining documentation of the investigation, determination, and appeal, including documentation of all proceedings conducted under these procedures, which may include written statements, documentary evidence, written findings of fact, transcripts, and audio recordings.
FERPA limits the extent to which the University may disclose personally-identifiable information in student records. Whenever it is necessary to comply with FERPA, the University reserves the right to redact or limit information provided under this policy. To the extent any portion of this policy is inconsistent with FERPA, the University will follow FERPA.
XXIV. Education and Training
Because the University recognizes that the prevention of discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual violence/assault, domestic assault, dating violence, and stalking is important, it offers educational programming to a variety of groups such as: campus personnel, incoming students and new employees participating in orientation, and members of student organizations. Among other items, such training will cover relevant definitions, procedures, and sanctions; will provide safe and positive options for bystander intervention; and will provide risk reduction information, including recognizing warning signs of abusive behavior and how to avoid potential attacks. To learn more about education resources, please contact the Assistant Dean for Compliance and Recruitment and Title IX Coordinator.
These procedures will be implemented by officials who receive annual training on the issues related to discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual violence/assault, domestic assault, dating violence, and stalking and how to conduct an investigation process that protects the safety of victims and promotes accountability.
Policy Revised September 2018