Policy 1436 – Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Discrimination, and Retaliation
Revision Date: 08/07/2020
Last Review: 08/07/2020
Original Effective Date: 3/1/2013
Responsible Office: Office of the President
References: University of Louisiana System Policy S-II.XXI.
Louisiana Tech University is committed to providing a learning, working and living environment that promotes personal integrity, civility and mutual respect. Louisiana Tech does not discriminate, or tolerate discrimination, against any member of its community on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, or gender identity), age (40 or older), religion, disability, genetic information (including family medical history) or any other status protected by applicable federal, state or local law in matters of admissions, employment, or in any aspect of the educational programs or activities it offers.
PURPOSE OF POLICY
The Policy Prohibiting Sex Discrimination, Sexual misconduct and Interpersonal Violence addresses the requirements of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (“Title IX”), the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act) as well as the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (“VAWA”).
Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in educational institutions, requires colleges and universities receiving federal funding to combat gender-based violence and harassment, and to respond to survivors’ needs in order to ensure that all students have equal access to education.
The Clery Act requires policies and procedures for sexual assault and also requires timely warning and external reporting of crimes.
Section 304 of VAWA extended the Clery Act to include sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence and stalking at higher education institutions.
Title IX, which articulates the fundamental anti-discrimination principle that underlies all of the above laws, states as follows:
No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.
Consistent with these, other applicable state and federal laws, as well as both student and employee standards of conduct, Louisiana Tech University prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, and/or gender in any University program or activity. “Sexual misconduct,” including sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual violence, and sexual exploitation, is a form of sex discrimination and is prohibited by this Policy. “Interpersonal violence,” including, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking, is also prohibited by this Policy.
The University is also required and committed to upholding the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. Nothing in this policy is intended to abridge the rights or freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment.
Louisiana Tech University offers education and prevention programs that are intended to prevent and reduce sexual misconduct, prevent violence, promote safety and bystander intervention and reduce risk. The University is committed to providing comprehensive, intentional programming, initiatives, strategies and campaigns.
Advisor: means a person chosen by a party or appointed by the institution to accompany the party to meetings related to the resolution process, to advise the party on that process, and to conduct cross-examination for the party at the hearing, if any.
Alternative Grievance Process: “Process B.” a method of formal resolution designated by the University to address conduct that falls outside the scope of Title IX jurisdiction.
Coercion: The use of express or implied threats, intimidation, or physical force which places an individual in fear of immediate harm or physical injury or causes a person to engage in unwelcome sexual activity. Coercion also includes administering a drug, intoxicant, or similar substance with the intent to impair that person’s ability to Consent prior to engaging in sexual activity.
Complainant: an individual who is alleged to the victim of conduct that could constitute sex discrimination/ sexual harassment irrespective of whether a formal complaint has been filed.
Complaint (formal): means a document filed/signed by a Complainant or signed by the Title IX Coordinator alleging harassment or discrimination based on a protected class or retaliation for engaging in a protected activity against a Respondent and requesting that the University investigate the allegation.
Confidential Advisor: An employee who is not a Mandated Reporter of notice of sex discrimination or sexual misconduct (irrespective of Clery Act Campus Security Authority status).
Consent: Consent to engage in sexual activity must exist from beginning to end of each instance of sexual activity. Consent is demonstrated through mutually understandable words and/or actions that clearly indicate a willingness to engage in a specific sexual activity. Silence alone, without actions evidencing permission, does not demonstrate Consent. Consent must be knowing and voluntary. To give Consent, a person must be of legal age. Assent does not constitute Consent if obtained through coercion or from an individual whom the Alleged Offender knows or reasonably should know is Incapacitated. The responsibility of obtaining Consent rests with the person initiating sexual activity. Use of alcohol or drugs does not diminish one’s responsibility to obtain Consent. Consent to engage in sexual activity may be withdrawn by any person at any time. Once withdrawal of Consent has been expressed, the sexual activity must cease. Consent is automatically withdrawn by a person who is no longer capable of giving Consent. A current or previous consensual dating or sexual relationship between the Parties does not itself imply Consent or preclude a finding of responsibility.
Dating Violence definition in Clery Act: Violence including, but not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse, committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the Alleged Victim. The existence of such a relationship will be determined based on a consideration of the length and type of relationship and the frequency of interaction.
Dating Violence definition in Louisiana law: “Dating violence” includes, but is not limited to, physical or sexual abuse and any offense against the person as defined in the Criminal Code of Louisiana, except negligent injury and defamation, committed by one dating partner against the other. La. RS § 46.2151(C) For purposes of this Section, “dating partner” means any person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim and where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors:
- The length of the relationship.
- The type of relationship.
- The frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
Domestic abuse definition in Louisiana law: Includes, but is not limited to, physical or sexual abuse and any offense against the person as defined in the Criminal Code of Louisiana, except negligent injury and defamation, committed by one family or household member against another. La. RS 46:2132(3)
Domestic Violence definition in Clery Act: Violence, including but not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner or any other person from whom the Alleged Victim is protected under federal or Louisiana law. Felony or misdemeanor crime of violence committed:
- By a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim;
- By a person with whom the victim shares a child in common;
- By a person who is cohabitating with, or has cohabitated with, the victim as a spouse or intimate partner;
- 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
- 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.
Final Determination: A conclusion by the preponderance of the evidence standard that the alleged conduct occurred and whether it did or did not violate policy.
Finding: A conclusion by the preponderance of the evidence standard that the alleged prohibited conduct did or did not occur as alleged.
Grievance Process Pool: Includes any investigators, hearing officers, appeal officers and advisors who may perform any or all of these roles (though not at the same time or with respect to the same case).
Decision-Maker Panel: Refers to those who have decision-making and sanctioning authority within the University’s Title IX Grievance Process and the Alternate Grievance Process.
Investigator: The person or persons charged by the University with gathering facts about an alleged violation of this Policy, assessing relevance and credibility, synthesizing the evidence, and compiling this information into an investigation report and file of directly related evidence.
Incapacitation: An individual is considered to be Incapacitated if, by reason of mental or physical condition, the individual is manifestly unable to make a knowing and deliberate choice to engage in sexual activity. Being drunk or intoxicated can lead to Incapacitation; however, someone who is drunk or intoxicated is not necessarily Incapacitated, as Incapacitation is a state beyond drunkenness or intoxication. Individuals who are asleep, unresponsive, or unconscious are Incapacitated. Other indicators that an individual may be Incapacitated include, but are not limited to, inability to communicate coherently, inability to dress/undress without assistance, inability to walk without assistance, slurred speech, loss of coordination, vomiting, or inability to perform other physical or cognitive tasks without assistance.
Interpersonal Violence: Includes dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking.
Mandated Reporter: An employee of the University who is obligated by policy to share knowledge, notice and/or reports of sex discrimination, sexual misconduct, and/or retaliation on behalf of the University.
Non–Consensual Sexual Intercourse: Having or attempting to have sexual intercourse, cunnilingus, or fellatio without Consent. Sexual intercourse is defined as anal or vaginal penetration by a penis, tongue, finger, or inanimate object.
Non-Consensual Sexual Contact: Any intentional sexual touching, or attempted sexual touching, without Consent.
Notice: Means that an employee, student, or third-party informs the Title IX Coordinator or other Official with Authority of the alleged occurrence of sex discrimination, sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, and/or retaliation on behalf of the University.
Official with Authority (OWA): An employee of the University explicitly vested with the responsibility to implement corrective measures for sex discrimination, sexual misconduct and sexual harassment, and/or retaliation on behalf of the University.
Parties: Include the Complainant(s) and Respondent(s), collectively.
Perpetrator: an individual found guilty of sexual harassment.
Preponderance of the Evidence: The standard of evidence used for determination of responsibility of policy violations; whether it is more likely than not that the Respondent violated the policy as alleged.
Process A: means the Title IX Grievance Process defined above and detailed in the Resolution Process Procedures for Alleged Violations of the Policy Prohibiting Sex Discrimination, Sexual Misconduct and Interpersonal Violence.
Process B: means the Alternative Grievance Process used for resolving reports/complaints of sexual misconduct, sexual harassment and interpersonal violence that are outside of the scope of Title IX jurisdiction as detailed in the Resolution Process Procedures for Alleged Violations of the Policy Prohibiting Sex Discrimination, Sexual Misconduct and Interpersonal Violence.
Remedies: Post-finding actions directed to the Complainant and/or the community as mechanisms to address safety, prevent recurrence, and restore access to the University’s educational program.
Resolution: The result of an informal or Formal Grievance Process.
Respondent – an individual whose conduct has been reported that could constitute sexual harassment.
Retaliation: Acts or attempted acts for the purpose of interfering with any report, investigation, or proceeding under this Policy, or as retribution or revenge against anyone who has reported Sexual Misconduct or Relationship Violence or who has participated (or is expected to participate) in any manner in an investigation, or proceeding under this Policy. Prohibited retaliatory acts include, but are not limited to, intimidation, threats, coercion, or discrimination. Title IX prohibits Retaliation. For purposes of this Policy, an attempt requires a substantial step towards committing a violation.
Sanction: A consequence imposed by the University on a Respondent who is found to have violated this policy.
Sexual Assault as defined by the Clery Act: An offense that meets the definition of rape, fondling, incest, or statutory rape as used in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting program.
Sexual Battery as defined by Louisiana State Law: Includes any act or offense under the provisions of LSA R.S. 14:41 to 14:43.1.
Sexual Exploitation: An act attempted or committed by a person for sexual gratification, financial gain, or other advancement through the abuse or exploitation of another person’s sexuality. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to, non-consensual observation of individuals who are undressed or engaging in sexual acts, non-consensual audio- or videotaping of sexual activity, prostituting another person, allowing others to observe a personal consensual sexual act without the knowledge or consent of all involved parties, and knowingly exposing an individual to a sexually transmitted infection without that individual’s knowledge.
Sexual Harassment: Sexual harassment means conduct on the basis of sex that satisfies one or more of the following: (1) An employee of the University conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of the University on an individual’s participation in unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, whether verbal or physical; (2) 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’s education program or activity; or (3) “Sexual assault” as defined in 20 U.S.C. 1092(f)(6)(A)(v), “dating violence” as defined in 34 U.S.C. 12291(a)(10), “domestic violence” as defined in 34 U.S.C. 12291(a)(8), or “stalking” as defined in 34 U.S.C. 12291(a)(30). Sexual harassment also includes sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking. For purposes of this Policy, the various forms of prohibited Sexual Harassment are sometimes referred to as “Sexual Misconduct.”
Sexual Misconduct: is a sexual act or contact of a sexual nature that occurs, regardless of personal relationship, without the consent of the other person(s), or that occurs when the person(s) is unable to give consent or whose consent is coerced or obtained in a fraudulent manner. For the purpose of this Policy, sexual misconduct includes, but is not limited to, sexual assault, sexual abuse, violence of a sexual nature, sexual harassment, quid pro quo harassment, non-consensual sexual intercourse, sexual exploitation, video voyeurism, contact of a sexual nature with an object, or the obtaining, posting or disclosure of intimate descriptions, photos, or videos without the express consent of the persons depicted therein, as well as dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking.
Sexual Oriented Criminal Offense: Any sexual assault offense as defined in La. R.S. 14:41 to 14:43.1
Stalking as defined by Clery Act: Intentional and repeated following OR harassing that would cause a reasonable person to feel alarmed OR that would cause a reasonable person to suffer emotional distress OR intentional and repeated uninvited presence at another person’s home, workplace, school, or any other place which would cause a reasonable person to be alarmed OR would cause a reasonable person to suffer emotional distress as a result of verbal or behaviorally implied threats of death, bodily injury, sexual assault, kidnapping, or any other statutory criminal act to the victim OR any member of the victim’s family OR any person with whom the victim is acquainted. 34 CFR 668.46(a)(ii)
Stalking as defined by Louisiana State law: Stalking is the intentional and repeated following or harassing of another person that would cause a reasonable person to feel alarmed or to suffer emotional distress. Stalking shall include, but not be limited to, the intentional and repeated uninvited presence of the perpetrator at another person’s home, workplace, school, or any place which would cause a reasonable person to be alarmed, or to suffer emotional distress as a result of verbal or behaviorally implied threats of death, bodily injury, sexual assault, kidnapping, or any other statutory criminal act to himself or any member of his family or any person with whom he is acquainted. La. RS § 14:40.2(A) “Harassing” means the repeated pattern of verbal communications or nonverbal behavior without invitation which includes, but is not limited to, making telephone calls, transmitting electronic mail, sending messages via a third party, or sending letters or pictures. “Pattern of conduct” means a series of acts over a period of time, however short, evidencing an intent to inflict a continuity of emotional distress upon the person. Constitutionally protected activity is not included within the meaning of pattern of conduct. La. RS § 14:40.2(C)
Standards of Conduct: the University’s Standards of Conduct for students, faculty and staff.
Supportive Measures: Supportive measures are non-disciplinary, non-punitive individualized services offered as appropriate, as reasonably available, and without fee or charge to the parties to restore or preserve access to the University’s education program or activity, including measures designed to protect the safety of all parties or the University’s educational environment, and/or deter sexual harassment, sex discrimination, and/or retaliation.
Title IX Coordinator: The official designated by the University to ensure compliance with Title IX and the University’s Title IX program. References to the Coordinator throughout this policy may also encompass a designee of the Coordinator for specific tasks.
Title IX Grievance Process: “Process A,” a method of formal resolution designated by the University to address conduct that falls within the scope of Title IX jurisdiction and which complies with the requirements of 34 CFR Part 106.45.
Title IX Team: Refers to the Title IX Coordinator, Deputy Title IX Coordinators, and any member of the Grievance Process Pool.
Training: Refers to the training received by various members of the Title IX process. The University utilizes training from the Association of Title IX Administrators (ATIXA). For more information, please visit: https://atixa.org/2020-regulations-requirement-posting-of-training-materials/
University: Louisiana Tech University
Victim: an individual who, after all due investigation and/or adjudication, has been found to be the target of sexual harassment.
Rationale for Policy
Louisiana Tech University is committed to providing a workplace and educational environment, as well as other benefits, programs, and activities that are free from discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. To ensure compliance with federal and state civil rights laws and regulations, and to affirm its commitment to promoting the goals of fairness and equity in all aspects of the educational program or activity, the University has developed internal policies and procedures that provide a prompt, fair, and impartial process for those involved in an allegation of sex discrimination, sexual misconduct or sexual harassment and for allegations of retaliation. The values uphold the equal dignity of all members of its community and strives to balance the rights of the parties in the grievance process during what is often a difficult time for all those involved.
Louisiana Tech Univeristy’s prohibitions against sex discrimination, sexual misconduct, and interpersonal violence apply to all students, faculty, and staff, visitors and to other members of the University community, as well as to contractors, consultants, and vendors doing business or providing services to the University. The purpose of this policy is the prohibition of sex discrimination, sexual misconduct and interpersonal violence. Sex discrimination is adverse treatment of an individual based on sex or gender. Sex discrimination encompasses sexual misconduct but also includes other behavior that does not constitute sexual misconduct.
Sometimes, discrimination involves exclusion from activities, such as admission, athletics, or employment. Reports of sex discrimination that are not based on sexual misconduct should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator and will be resolved through the appropriate University process as determined based on the specific facts of the report. Sex discrimination reports/complaints that are not based on sexual misconduct will not go through the same resolution process as reports of sexual misconduct.
Other times, sex discrimination can encompass sexual harassment, sexual assault, stalking, sexual exploitation, dating violence or domestic violence. When an alleged violation of this policy is reported, the allegations are subject to resolution using the University’s Title IX Grievance Process (“Process A”) or the University’s Alternative Grievance Process (“Process B”), as determined by the Title IX Coordinator, and as detailed in the Resolution Process Procedures for Alleged Violations of the Policy Prohibiting Sex Discrimination, Sexual Misconduct and Interpersonal Violence.
Violations of this policy may lead to disciplinary action to include suspension or removal. Every member of the University community is put on notice that a violation of this policy may subject an individual not only to institutional discipline but also to personal liability.
Moreover, this Policy applies to on-campus and off-campus conduct, including online or electronic conduct, when the off-campus conduct: (i) occurs during a University sponsored employment or education activity or program; (ii) adversely impacts the education or employment of a member of the University community; or (iii) otherwise threatens the health and/or safety of a member of the University community.
Any person who receives a report or becomes aware of an incident of sex discrimination, sexual misconduct or interpersonal violence should report it immediately to the Title IX Coordinator. The University will promptly and equitably investigate all suspected or alleged violations of this Policy.
Title IX Coordinator
The Title IX Coordinator has the primary responsibility for coordinating the University’s efforts related to the intake, investigation, resolution, and implementation of supportive measures to stop, remediate, and prevent sex discrimination, sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, and retaliation prohibited under this policy. The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for implementing and monitoring compliance with Title IX, VAWA and this Policy on behalf of the University. This includes coordination of training, education, communications, and administration of grievance procedures for the handling of suspected or alleged violations of this Policy.
The Title IX Coordinator is also responsible for maintaining documentation of all reports of incidents of sex discrimination, sexual misconduct and interpersonal violence, and for establishing a protocol for recordkeeping of such incidents.
Independence and Conflict-of-Interest
The Title IX Coordinator manages the Title IX Team and acts with independence and authority free from bias and conflicts of interest. The Title IX Coordinator oversees all resolutions under this policy and these procedures. The Members of the Title IX Team are trained to ensure they are not biased for or against any party in a specific case, or for or against Complainants and/or Respondents.
To raise any concern involving bias or conflict of interest by the Title IX Coordinator contact the University President at 318-257-3785. Concerns of bias or a potential conflict of interest by any other Title IX Team member should be raised with the Title IX Coordinator.
Reports of misconduct or discrimination committed by the Title IX Coordinator should be reported to the University President at 318-257-3785. Reports of misconduct or discrimination committed by any other Title IX Team member should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator.
Administrative Contact Information
Reports/Complaints or notice of alleged policy violations, or inquiries about or concerns regarding this policy and procedures, may be made internally to:
Carrie M. Flournoy
Executive Assistant to the President, Title IX & Compliance Coordinator
Wyly Tower 1620
The University strongly encourages individuals, including third party bystanders, to report incidents of sex discrimination, sexual misconduct, and interpersonal violence prohibited under this Policy to the Title IX Coordinator. With the exception of the Confidential Advisors, all other University employees, as well as students working as Resident Assistants and Graduate Assistants, who receive a report of sex discrimination, sexual misconduct, or interpersonal violence in the context of their employment are required to report all the details of the incident (including the identities of both the reporting party and alleged responding party) to the Title IX Coordinator. All employees with the exception of Confidential Advisors are considered Mandated Reporters.
Individuals wishing to obtain confidential assistance without making a report to the University may do so by speaking with a Confidential Advisor. Confidential Advisors are trained and available to discuss incidents of sexual misconduct or interpersonal violence in confidence, and generally only report to the University that an incident occurred without revealing any personally identifying information. Disclosures to these trained confidential advisors will not trigger the University’s investigation into an incident. In addition to providing confidential counseling, confidential advisors also provide emergency and ongoing support to individuals who have experienced sexual misconduct or interpersonal violence.
In the immediate aftermath of sexual misconduct such as sexual assault or rape, medical care and the collection of physical evidence are very important. The individual should not shower, bathe, or change clothes and may be taken to the hospital emergency room or Student Health Services.
Employees, students and non-students may also access assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from the following:
University Police Department:
Notice/Complaints of Sexual Discrimination, Sexual Misconduct or Retaliation
Reports may be submitted in person, by phone, in writing, electronically, or anonymously and may be submitted by complainants, third parties or bystanders to the Title IX Coordinator.
Carrie M. Flournoy
Executive Assistant to the President, Title IX & Compliance Coordinator
Wyly Tower 1620
The Complainant can choose to make or not to make a complaint with the Title IX Coordinator and/or law enforcement. The Complainant will be offered supportive measures regardless of their choice to report/make a complaint. Anonymous reports are accepted but can give rise to a need to investigate.
Alternatively, if the University is open any person may file a report in person during regular business hours by contacting Title IX Coordinator.
A Formal Complaint (see definitions) means a document filed/signed by the Complainant or signed by the Title IX Coordinator alleging a policy violation by a Respondent and requesting that the University investigate the allegation(s). A formal complaint is normally filed with the Title IX Coordinator in person. However the Title IX Coordinator can make arrangements to receive a formal complaint by mail or by electronic mail.
Supportive measures are non-disciplinary, non-punitive individualized services offered as appropriate, as reasonably available, and without fee or charge to the parties to restore or preserve access to the University’s education program, including measures designed to protect the safety of all parties or the University’s educational environment, and/or deter sexual harassment, sex discrimination, and/or retaliation.
The Title IX Coordinator promptly makes supportive measures available to the parties upon receiving notice or a complaint. At the time that supportive measures are offered, the University will inform the Complainant that they may file a formal complaint with the University either at that time or in the future, if they have not done so already. The Title IX Coordinator works with the Complainant to ensure that their wishes are taken into account with respect to the supportive measures that are planned and implemented.
The University will maintain the privacy of the supportive measures, provided that privacy does not impair the University’s ability to provide the supportive measures. The University will act to ensure, as minimal, an academic impact on the parties as soon as possible. The University will implement measures in a way that does not unreasonably burden the other party. These actions may include, but are not limited to:
- Referral to counseling, medical, and/or other healthcare services
- Referral to community-based service providers
- Student financial aid counseling
- Education to the community or community subgroup(s)
- Altering campus housing assignment(s)
- Altering work arrangements for employees or student-employees
- Safety planning
- Providing campus safety escorts
- Providing transportation accommodations
- Implementing contact limitations (no contact orders) between the parties
- Academic support, extensions of deadlines, or other course/program-related adjustments
- Trespass or Be-On-the-Lookout (BOLO) order
- Class schedule modifications, withdrawals, or leaves of absence
- Increased security and monitoring of certain areas of the campus
- Any other actions deemed appropriate by the Title IX Coordinator
Violations of no contact orders will be referred to appropriate student or employee conduct processes for enforcement. An employee’s or student’s failure to comply with the terms of supportive measures directives is a separate violation of the University Codes of Conduct.
Right to an Advisor
The parties may each have an advisor of their choice. An advisor is a person chosen by a party or appointed by the institution to accompany the party to meetings related to the resolution process, to advise the party on that process, and to conduct cross-examination for the party at the hearing, if any.
The University can act to remove a Respondent entirely or partially from its education program or activities on an emergency basis when an individualized safety and risk analysis has determined that an immediate threat to the physical health or safety of any student or other individual justifies removal. This risk analysis is performed by the Title IX Coordinator in conjunction with the Sexual Assault Taskforce.
In all cases in which an emergency removal is imposed, the student or employee will be given notice of the action and the option to request to meet with the Title IX Coordinator prior to such action/removal being imposed, or as soon thereafter as reasonably possible, to show cause why the action/removal should not be implemented.
This meeting is not a hearing on the merits of the allegation(s), but rather is an administrative process intended to determine solely whether the emergency removal is appropriate. When this meeting is not requested within five (5) business days, objections to the emergency removal will be deemed waived. A Complainant and their Advisor may be permitted to participate in this meeting if the Title IX Coordinator determines it is equitable to do so. This section also applies to any restrictions that a coach or athletic administrator may place on a student-athlete arising from allegations related to Title IX. There is no appeal process for emergency removal decisions.
A Respondent may be accompanied by an Advisor of their choice when meeting with the Title IX Coordinator. The Respondent will be given access to a written summary of the basis for the emergency removal prior to the meeting to allow for adequate preparation.
The Title IX Coordinator has sole discretion under this policy to implement or state an emergency removal and to determine the conditions and duration. Violation of an emergency removal under this policy will be grounds for discipline, which may include expulsion or termination.
The University will implement the least restrictive emergency actions possible in light of the circumstances and safety concerns. As determined by the Title IX Coordinator, these actions could include, but are not limited to: removing a student from a residence hall, temporarily re-assigning an employee, restricting a student’s or employee’s access to or use of facilities or equipment, allowing a student to withdraw or take grades of incomplete without financial penalty, authorizing an administrative leave, and suspending a student’s participation in extracurricular activities, student employment, student organizational leadership, or intercollegiate/intramural athletics.
At the discretion of the Title IX Coordinator, alternative coursework options may be pursued to ensure as minimal an academic impact as possible on the parties.
All allegations are acted upon promptly by University once it has received notice or a formal complaint. Complaints can take 60-90 business days to resolve, typically. There are always exceptions and extenuating circumstances that can cause a resolution to take longer, but the University will avoid all undue delays within its control.
Any time the general timeframes for resolution outlined in University procedures will be delayed, the University will provide written notice to the parties of the delay, the cause of the delay, and an estimate of the anticipated additional time that will be needed as a result of the delay.
The University will not share the identity of any individual who has made a report or complaint of sexual harassment, sex discrimination, or retaliation; any Complainant, any individual who has been reported to be the perpetrator of sex discrimination, any Respondent, or any witness, except as permitted by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), 20 U.S.C. 1232g; FERPA regulations, 34 CFR part 99; or as required by law; or to carry out the purposes of 34 CFR Part 106, including the conducting of any investigation, hearing, or grievance proceeding arising under these policies and procedures.
Only a small group of officials who need to know will typically be told about the complaint. The group may include but is not limited to: Division of Student Affairs, University Police, Human Resources, Residential Life and the Medical Assistance Committee. Information will be shared as necessary with Investigators, Hearing Panel members/Decision-makers, witnesses, and the parties. The circle of people with this knowledge will be kept as tight as possible to preserve the parties’ rights and privacy.
Jurisdiction of the University
This policy applies to the education program and activities of the University, to conduct that takes place on the campus or on property owned or controlled by the University, at University-sponsored events, or in buildings owned or controlled by University’s recognized student organizations. The Respondent must be a member of the University’s community in order for its policies to apply.
This policy can also be applicable to the effects of off-campus misconduct that effectively deprive someone of access to University’s educational program. The University may also extend jurisdiction to off-campus and/or to online conduct when the Title IX Coordinator determines that the conduct affects a substantial University interest.
Regardless of where the conduct occurred, the University will address notice/complaints to determine whether the conduct occurred in the context of its employment or educational program or activity and/or has continuing effects on campus or in an off-campus sponsored program or activity. A substantial University interest includes:
- Any action that constitutes a criminal offense as defined by law. This includes, but is not limited to, single or repeat violations of any local, state, or federal law;
- Any situation in which it is determined that the Respondent poses an immediate threat to the physical health or safety of any student or other individual;
- Any situation that significantly impinges upon the rights, property, or achievements of oneself or others or significantly breaches the peace and/or causes social disorder; and/or
- Any situation that is detrimental to the educational interests or mission of the University.
If the Respondent is unknown or is not a member of the University community, the Title IX Coordinator will assist the Complainant in identifying appropriate campus and local resources and support options and/or, when criminal conduct is alleged, in contacting local or campus law enforcement if the individual would like to file a police report.
Further, even when the Respondent is not a member of the University’s community, supportive measures, remedies, and resources may be accessible to the Complainant by contacting the Title IX Coordinator.
In addition, the University may take other actions as appropriate to protect the Complainant against third parties, such as barring individuals from University property and/or events.
All vendors serving the University through third-party contracts are subject to the policies and procedures of their employers.
When the Respondent is enrolled in or employed by another institution, the Title IX Coordinator can assist the Complainant in liaising with the appropriate individual at that institution, as it may be possible to allege violations through that institution’s policies.
Similarly, the Title IX Coordinator may be able to advocate for a student or employee Complainant who experiences discrimination in an externship, study abroad program, or other environment external to the University where sexual harassment or nondiscrimination policies and procedures of the facilitating or host organization may give recourse to the Complainant.
Time Limits on Reporting
There is no time limitation on providing notice/complaints to the Title IX Coordinator. However, if the Respondent is no longer subject to the University’s jurisdiction and/or significant time has passed, the ability to investigate, respond, and provide remedies may be more limited or impossible.
Acting on notice/complaints significantly impacted by the passage of time (including, but not limited to, the rescission or revision of policy) is at the discretion of the Title IX Coordinator, who may document allegations for future reference, offer supportive measures and/or remedies, and/or engage in informal or formal action, as appropriate.
In accordance with this Policy, the Title IX Coordinator is empowered to hear allegations of sexual misconduct and any violations of the University’s Standards of Conduct directly related to the alleged sexual misconduct or any alleged violations of this Policy, as well as to recommend sanctions in response. Such related misconduct may include, without limitation, violations of rules of privacy, violations of University directives, and/or violations of other Standards of Conduct that occurred in the course of the alleged sexual misconduct.
Individuals who participate in the reporting/investigation process, whether as the complainant or as a witness, are expected to provide truthful information in accordance with the University’s Standards of Conduct. It is the policy of the University to provide amnesty for any student who reports in good faith, sexual violence. The University shall not sanction the student for a nonviolent student conduct violation, such as underage drinking, that is revealed in the course of such a report.
Romantic Relationships in Power Differentials
The University does not prohibit romantic relationships between: faculty and students, teaching assistants and students, supervisors and subordinates, or employees and students; but such relationships are deemed unwise and inappropriate and therefore are strongly discouraged. Employees and students should be aware that such consensual romantic relationships could lead to charges of misconduct, particularly if these relationships involve a significant power differential, as they place the individuals involved in a working or learning environment which may be uncomfortable or negative.
If a personal relationship should develop between two people with power differentials, anyone with a supervisory or educational responsibility for the employee, faculty member, or student should arrange with his or her supervisor to divest himself/herself of that responsibility. These relationships may be subject to concerns about the validity of consent, conflicts of interest, and unfair treatment of other students or employees. See Policy 1450 – Consensual Relationships.
Acts of alleged retaliation should be reported immediately to the Title IX Coordinator and will be promptly investigated. Retaliation may result in disciplinary action independent of the sanctions or remedial measures imposed in response to the underlying allegations of sexual misconduct. The University is prepared to take appropriate steps to protect individuals who fear that they may be subjected to retaliation.
It is prohibited for University or any member of University’s community to take materially adverse action by intimidating, threatening, coercing, harassing, or discriminating against any individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by law or policy, or 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 policy and procedure.
Charges against an individual for code of conduct violations that do not involve sex discrimination or sexual harassment but arise out of the same facts or circumstances as a report or complaint of sex discrimination, or a report or complaint of sexual harassment, for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by Title IX, constitutes retaliation.
The exercise of rights protected under the First Amendment does not constitute retaliation.
Charging an individual with a code of conduct violation for making a materially false statement in bad faith in the course of a grievance proceeding under this policy and procedure does not constitute retaliation, provided that a determination regarding responsibility, alone, is not sufficient to conclude that any party has made a materially false statement in bad faith.
The University prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, and/or gender in any University program or activity. “Sexual misconduct,” including sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual violence, and sexual exploitation, is a form of sex discrimination and is prohibited by this Policy. “Interpersonal violence,” including dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking, is also prohibited by this Policy.
Sexual Misconduct as a sexual act or contact of a sexual nature that occurs, regardless of personal relationship, without the consent of the other person(s), or that occurs when the person(s) is unable to give consent or whose consent is coerced or obtained in a fraudulent manner. For the purpose of this Policy, sexual misconduct includes, but is not limited to, sexual assault, sexual abuse, violence of a sexual nature, sexual harassment, quid pro quo harassment, non-consensual sexual intercourse, sexual exploitation, video voyeurism, contact of a sexual nature with an object, or the obtaining, posting or disclosure of intimate descriptions, photos, or videos without the express consent of the persons depicted therein, as well as dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking.
The Title IX Regulations of 2020 have defined in detail the complaints of sexual harassment that fall under the jurisdiction of Title IX and require a specific protocol for addressing and resolving a grievance. Specifically Sexual Harassment as defined by Title IX is conduct on the basis of sex that satisfies one or more of the following: (1) An employee of the University conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of the University on an individual’s participation in unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, whether verbal or physical; (2) 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’s education program or activity; or (3) “Sexual assault” as defined in 20 U.S.C. 1092(f)(6)(A)(v), “dating violence” as defined in 34 U.S.C. 12291(a)(10), “domestic violence” as defined in 34 U.S.C. 12291(a)(8), or “stalking” as defined in 34 U.S.C. 12291(a)(30).
All notice/reports/complaints of sex discrimination and sexual misconduct will be carefully evaluated to determine if the alleged policy violation falls under the scope of Title IX jurisdiction or outside the scope of Title IX jurisdiction. Any alleged policy violation that is determined to be outside the scope of Title IX jurisdiction must be dismissed for Title IX purposes and will be addressed using a different resolution process.
Any complaints within Title IX Jurisdiction will be resolved using the Title IX Grievance Process (“Process A”) contained in the Resolution Process Procedures for Alleged Violations of the Policy Prohibiting Sex Discrimination, Sexual Misconduct and Interpersonal Violence.
Any complaints that are not in the scope of Title IX jurisdiction will be resolved using the Alternative Grievance Process (“Process B”) contained in the Resolution Process Procedures for Alleged Violations of the Policy Prohibiting Sex Discrimination, Sexual Misconduct and Interpersonal Violence.
Investigation and Resolution Procedures
See the Resolution Process Procedures for Alleged Violations of the Policy Prohibiting Sex Discrimination, Sexual Misconduct and Interpersonal Violence for a detailed description of the steps involved in the resolution of any complaint involving sexual misconduct.
In addressing a report/complaint that is determined to fall within the scope of Title IX jurisdiction, the University may use some or all of the following processes: Initial Assessment and Supportive Measures, Formal Complaint, Informal Resolution, Formal Investigation and Grievance Process (a formal investigatory process that goes to a live hearing with cross examination, leading to a finding), Sanctioning and Appeal.
In addressing a report/complaint, that is determined to fall outside the scope of Title IX Jurisdiction, the University may use some or all of the following processes: Initial Assessment and Supportive Measures, Formal Complaint, Informal Resolution, Formal Investigation and Resolution Process (a formal investigatory process that does not require a live hearing, but uses a hearing panel to determine a finding), Sanctioning, and Appeal.
Regardless of the specific processes employed, the University will complete its Investigation and Resolution Procedures in a fair, impartial and thorough manner. The University will provide periodic updates to the parties as it deems appropriate.
All parties will be informed that the University uses a process in which the responding party is considered “not responsible” for an alleged Policy violation until proven responsible by a preponderance of the evidence.
The Title IX Coordinator will work with both parties to ensure they are aware of the right to have an Advisor of their choosing.
Upon receipt of a complaint or notice to the Title IX Coordinator of an alleged violation of the Policy, University initiates a prompt initial assessment to determine the next steps the University needs to take.
The Title IX Coordinator promptly makes supportive measures available to the parties upon receiving notice or a complaint. Supportive measures are non-disciplinary, non-punitive individualized services offered as appropriate, as reasonably available, and without fee or charge to the parties to restore or preserve access to the University’s education program or activity.
A document filed/signed by the Complainant or signed by the Title IX Coordinator alleging a policy violation by a Respondent and requesting that the University investigate the allegation(s).
A process of resolution available to the parties that does not require a formal investigation and hearing/deliberation by a Decision-maker Panel. Informal resolution is not an option under Title IX jurisdiction when the complaint is made by a student against a University employee.
A process employed by appointed investigators to investigate allegations of misconduct. Investigations involve interviews with all relevant parties and witnesses; obtaining available, relevant evidence; and identifying sources of expert information, as necessary. An Investigation Report and is generated and provided to the Decision-maker Panel for deliberation along with any other relevant evidence.
Formal hearing used in the Title IX Grievance Process. University will use a remote hearing protocol that allows all parties to be present, even though they are not in the same room. Decision-maker Panel will conduct the hearing as per hearing protocol, with testimony and cross examination from the parties and witnesses. The Decision-maker panel will deliberate, make a finding and impose/recommend disciplinary sanctions.
Disciplinary sanctions imposed/recommended by the Decision-Maker Panel on student or employee found responsible for violations of this policy.
Any party may file a request for appeal in writing to the Title IX Coordinator within three (3) days of the delivery of the Notice of Outcome. There are specific grounds for appeal that must be met. Appeals will be heard by an Appeal Panel.
Long-Term Remedies/Other Actions
Following the conclusion of the resolution process, and in addition to any sanctions implemented, the Title IX Coordinator may implement additional long-term remedies or actions with respect to the parties and/or the campus community that are intended to stop the harassment, discrimination, and/or retaliation, remedy the effects, and prevent reoccurrence.
Inter-campus Transfer Policy: The transcript of a student who has been accused of a sexually-oriented criminal offense and withdraws pending disciplinary action shall be withheld until investigation and adjudication of the matter by the institution is completed.
The University will maintain for a period of at least seven years records of:
- Each sexual harassment investigation including any determination regarding responsibility and any audio or audiovisual recording or transcript required under federal regulation;
- Any disciplinary sanctions imposed on the Respondent;
- Any remedies provided to the Complainant designed to restore or preserve equal access to the University’s education program or activity;
- Any appeal and the result therefrom;
- Any Informal Resolution and the result therefrom;
- All materials used to train Title IX Coordinators, Investigators, Decision-makers, and any person who facilitates an Informal Resolution process. The University will make these training materials publicly available on University’s website.; and
- Any actions, including any supportive measures, taken in response to a report or formal complaint of sexual harassment, including:
- The basis for all conclusions that the response was not deliberately indifferent;
- Any measures designed to restore or preserve equal access to the University’s education program or activity; and
- If no supportive measures were provided to the Complainant, document the reasons why such a response was not clearly unreasonable in light of the known circumstances.
The University will also maintain any and all records in accordance with state and federal laws.
Revision of this Policy and Procedures
This Policy and procedures supersede any previous policy(ies) addressing harassment, sexual misconduct, discrimination, and/or retaliation and will be reviewed and updated annually by the Title IX Coordinator. The University reserves the right to make changes to this document as necessary, and once those changes are posted online, they are in effect.
During the resolution process, the Title IX Coordinator may make minor modifications to procedures that do not materially jeopardize the fairness owed to any party, such as to accommodate summer schedules.
The Title IX Coordinator may also vary procedures materially with notice (on the institutional website, with the appropriate effective date identified) upon determining that changes to law or regulation require policy or procedural alterations not reflected in this Policy and procedures.
If government laws or regulations change – or court decisions alter – the requirements in a way that impacts this document, this document will be construed to comply with the most recent government regulations or holdings.