Policy and Procedures

The core purpose of this policy is the prohibition of sex-based harassment, including sexual harassment, sexual
assault, stalking, dating violence or domestic violence and sexual exploitation. When an alleged violation of
this policy is reported, the allegations are subject to resolution as determined by the Title IX Coordinator(or
designee). 

Title IX Sex Harassment Policy [pdf]

  1. 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.
  2. Complainant means an individual who is alleged to be the victim of conduct which could, after investigation, constitute sexual harassment.
  3. Complaint (formal) means a document filed/signed by a Complainant or signed by the Title IX Coordinator (or designee) alleging sexual harassment based on a protected class or retaliation for engaging in a protected activity against a Respondent and requesting that the recipient investigate the allegation. At the time of filing a formal complaint, a Complainant must be participating in or attempting to participate in the University’s education program or activity.
  4. Confidential Resource means an employee who is not a Mandated Reporter of notice of sexual harassment and/or retaliation (irrespective of Clery Act Campus Security Authority status).
  5. Education program or activity means locations, events, or circumstances where University exercise substantial control over both the Respondent and the context in which the sexual harassment occurs and also includes any building owned or controlled by a student organization that is officially recognized by University.
  6. Final Determination: A conclusion, by the preponderance of the evidence, whether the alleged conductoccurred and if so, whether it did or did not violate policy.
  7. Finding: A conclusion by the preponderance of the evidence that the conduct did or did not occur as alleged.
  8. Formal Grievance Process means a method of formal resolution to address conduct that falls within the policies included below, and which complies with the requirements of 34 CFR Part 106.45 and StateBoard of Higher Education Policy 520.
  9. Hearing Decision-maker or Panel refers to those who have decision-making and sanctioning authority within the Recipient’s Formal Grievance process.
  10. Investigator means 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.
  11. Mandated Reporter means an employee of University who is obligated by policy to share knowledge,notice, and/or reports of harassment and/or retaliation with the Title IX Coordinator (or designee).
  12. Notice means that an employee, student, or third-party informs the Title IX Coordinator or other Official with Authority of the alleged occurrence of harassing, discriminatory, and/or retaliatory conduct.
  13. Official with Authority (OWA) means an employee of University explicitly vested with the responsibility to implement corrective measures for harassment and/or retaliation on behalf of University.
  14. Respondent means an individual who has been reported to be the perpetrator of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment.
  15. Resolution means the result of an informal or Formal Grievance Process.
  16. Sanction means a consequence imposed on a Respondent who is found to have violated this policy.
  17. Sexual Harassment is the umbrella category including the offenses of sexual harassment, sexual assault,stalking, dating violence, and domestic violence.
  18. Title IX Coordinator is the official designated by University to ensure compliance with Title IX and theUniversity’s Title IX program. References to the Coordinator throughout this policy may also encompass a designee of the Coordinator for specific tasks.

Consent is:

  • knowing, and
  • voluntary, and
  • clear permission by word or
  • action to engage in sexual activity.

Since individuals may experience the same interaction in different ways, it is the responsibility of each party
to determine that the other has consented before engaging in the activity. If consent is not clearly provided
prior to engaging in the activity, consent may be ratified by word or action at some point during the interaction
or thereafter, but clear communication from the outset is strongly encouraged.

For consent to be valid, there must be a clear expression in words or actions that the other individual consented
to that specific sexual conduct. Reasonable reciprocation can be implied. For example, if someone kisses you,
you can kiss them back (if you want to) without the need to explicitly obtain their consent to being kissed back.

Consent to some sexual contact (such as kissing or fondling) cannot be presumed to be consent for other sexual
activity (such as intercourse). A current or previous intimate relationship is not sufficient to constitute consent.

Proof of consent or non-consent is not a burden placed on either party involved in an incident. Instead, the
burden remains on University to determine whether its policy has been violated. The existence of consent is
based on the totality of the circumstances evaluated from the perspective of a reasonable person in the same
or similar circumstances, including the context in which the alleged incident occurred and any similar, previous
patterns that may be evidenced. 

Incapacitation: A person cannot consent if they are unable to understand what is happening or are disoriented,
helpless, asleep, or unconscious, for any reason, including by alcohol or other drugs. As stated above, a Respondent
violates this policy if they engage in sexual activity with someone who is incapable of giving consent.

It is a defense to a sexual assault policy violation that the Respondent neither knew nor should have known
the Complainant to be physically or mentally incapacitated. “Should have known” is an objective, reasonable
person standard which assumes that a reasonable person is both sober and exercising sound judgment.

Incapacitation occurs when someone cannot make rational, reasonable decisions because they lack the
capacity to give knowing/informed consent (e.g., to understand the “who, what, when, where, why, or how”
of their sexual interaction). Incapacitation is determined through consideration of all relevant indicators of
an individual’s state and is not synonymous with intoxication, impairment, blackout, and/or being drunk.
This policy also covers a person whose incapacity results from a temporary or permanent physical or mental
health condition, involuntary physical restraint, and/or the consumption of incapacitating drugs.

Protected activity under this policy includes reporting an incident that may implicate this policy, participating in
the grievance process, supporting a Complainant or Respondent, assisting in providing information relevant
to an investigation, and/or acting in good faith to oppose conduct that constitutes a violation of this Policy.
Acts of alleged retaliation should be reported immediately to the Title IX Coordinator (or designee) and will
be promptly investigated. The University is prepared to take appropriate steps to protect individuals who fear
that they may be subjected to retaliation.

It is prohibited for the University or any member of the 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 sexual misconduct or sexual
harassment but arise out of the same facts or circumstances as a report or complaint of sexual misconduct 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.