Policy Statement

It is the policy of Lander University to prohibit discrimination on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, national origin, race, pregnancy, religion, sex, veteran's status, and genetic information in regard to the administration of all campus programs, services and activities including intercollegiate athletics, and the admission of students, employment actions, or other sponsored activities and programs including obligations of Title IX.

Lander University is committed to creating a safe, respectful, and non-threatening environment for members of the university community and guests.

It is expected that all individuals on campus and associated with the Lander community treat each other with respect and professionalism and to conduct ourselves in a manner that does not infringe upon the rights of others. The university will not tolerate gender based misconduct.

Everyone shares in the individual personal responsibility and legal obligation to protect our campus community from any form of illegal discrimination.

This policy has been developed to reaffirm those principles and to provide recourse for those affected individuals whose rights have been violated.

All individuals are expected and required to report any concerns immediately to a Title IX Coordinator. When an allegation of misconduct is brought to an appropriate administrator’s attention, and an individual is found to have violated this policy, serious sanctions will be used to reasonably ensure that such actions are never repeated, remedy its effects, and to enforce discipline when needed.

Be advised that sexual harassment, including sexual violence, is a form of discrimination; and is illegal.

No employee or student, either in the workplace or in the academic environment, should be subject to unwelcome verbal or physical conduct that is sexual in nature. Sexual harassment does not refer to occasional compliments of a socially acceptable nature. It refers to behavior of a sexual nature that is not welcome, that is personally offensive, and that interferes with performance.


Policy Applicability and Dissemination

All students, faculty, staff, contractors, board members, guests, and any other individual(s) are subject to this policy.

  • Students - The Vice President of Student Affairs shall ensure this policy is distributed to all new students and is responsible for conducting ongoing training as needed to all students.
  • Employees – The Director of Human Resources shall ensure this policy is distributed to all new employees and is responsible for conducting ongoing training as needed to all employees.
  • Athletic Staff and Students - The Director of Athletics shall ensure this policy is distributed to all athletic staff and students and is responsible for conducting training as needed .
  • Annual Training – The Title IX Coordinator or its designee shall provide this policy on its website, provide dissemination, and responsible for general oversight of Title IX Compliance.

Individuals who violate this policy are subject to discipline up to and including termination and/or expulsion, in accordance with policy guidelines. Other, lesser sanctions may be imposed, depending on the circumstances.


Prompt Attention

Complaints of discrimination or sexual harassment are taken seriously and will be dealt with promptly, thoroughly, impartially, and equitably.

Where discrimination is found to have occurred, the institution or unit where it occurred will act to stop the discrimination or sexual harassment, to prevent its recurrence, to remedy its effects, if any, and to discipline those responsible.


Confidentiality and Reporting

Lander University understands that confidentiality is important. However, confidentiality cannot be guaranteed. The administrators, faculty or staff responsible for implementing this policy will respect the privacy of individuals reporting or accused of discrimination or sexual and will maintain confidentiality to the extent reasonably possible.

Examples of situations where confidentiality cannot be maintained include, but are not limited to, necessary disclosures during an investigation, circumstances where Lander University is required by law to disclose information (such as in response to legal process), or when an individual is in harm's way.

Depending on individual’s role at the university, there are differing reporting responsibilities and abilities to maintain confidentiality based upon laws and policy.


Reporting Responsibilities – 2 Groups

  1. Individuals with COMPLETE confidentiality

    Certain positions that possess legal privilege granted by the state and are not required to tell anyone else your private, personally identifiable information unless there is cause for fear for your safety, or the safety of others.

    These individuals include the following professional positions and can be accessed through the Lander University Wellness Center:

    • On-campus licensed mental health counselors
    • On campus health service providers or Registered Nurses
    • Off-campus rape crisis resources

    This privilege exists only within the context of counseling and health services sessions.

    These resources will provide anyone impacted by a sexual assault and/or harassment with a safe and confidential environment to discuss concerns and to become aware of possible procedures or outcomes for recourse. Individuals to seek assistance from these confidential resources shall be advised that their discussions in these settings are not considered reports of sexual assault or harassment.

    Campus counselors are available to help you free of charge, and can be seen on an emergency basis. In addition, you may speak on and off-campus with members of the clergy and chaplains, who will also keep reports made to them confidential. A victim may seek assistance from these university officials without starting a formal process that is beyond the victim’s control, or violates her/his privacy.

  2. Individuals with FULL legal reporting requirements

    The university considers ALL OTHER EMPLOYEES (this includes RA’s and all other employees)to be deemed “responsible employees” which holds a legal obligation to FULLY and IMMEDIATELY report any allegations, observations, or violations in entirety including names. Notice to you is the official notice to the institution.

    You have the right and can expect to have incidents of sexual misconduct to be taken seriously by the institution when formally reported, and to have those incidents investigated and properly resolved through administrative procedures.

    Formal reporting means that only people who need to know will be told and information will be shared only as necessary with investigators, witnesses, and the accused individual.

    Failure to take the above action to properly report, prevent the occurrence, or stop known discrimination or harassment may be grounds for disciplinary action up to and including termination or expulsion.


Supervisors, Managers, and Administrators’ Responsibilities

Every supervisor and manager has the responsibility to take reasonable steps intended to prevent acts of discrimination or sexual harassment, which include, but are not limited to:

  1. Monitoring the work and school environment for signs that discrimination or harassment may be occurring;
  2. Refraining from participation in, or encouragement of actions that could be perceived as discrimination or harassment (verbal or otherwise);
  3. Stopping any observed acts that may be considered discrimination or harassment, and taking appropriate steps to intervene, whether or not the involved individuals are within his/her line of supervision; and
  4. Taking immediate action to minimize or eliminate the work and/or school contact between the two individuals where there has been a complaint of sexual harassment, pending investigation.

If any employee receives a complaint of alleged discrimination or sexual harassment, or observes or becomes aware of conduct that may constitute discrimination or sexual harassment, the employee is required to immediately and fully report the situation to a Title IX Coordinator.

Failure to take the above action to properly report, prevent the occurrence, or stop known discrimination or harassment may be grounds for disciplinary action up to and including termination or expulsion.


Relationship to Freedom of Expression

Lander University is committed to the principles of free inquiry and free expression. Vigorous discussion and debate are fundamental rights and this policy is not intended to stifle teaching methods or freedom of expression. Discrimination or sexual harassment, however, is neither legally protected expression nor the proper exercise of academic freedom. It compromises the integrity of our institution, the tradition of intellectual freedom and the trust placed in our institution by the campus community.


Complaint and Investigation Procedure

This section provides the complaint and investigation procedure for complaints of discrimination or sexual harassment, including sexual violence (except that complaints against students may be referred to student disciplinary processes).

The President has designated the following administrators as Title IX Coordinators and to receive complaints.

Visit the Title IX Complaint Form or email to TitleIX@lander.edu


Lander University’s Title IX Staff:

Tracy Clifton            
Title IX Coordinator               
Grier Student Center GC-346 

Jalysa Green            
Title IX Deputy Coordinator for Students                 
Grier Student Center GC-349 

Kent Atkins
Title IX Deputy Coordinator
for Athletic Programs 
Horne Arena

The President has designated the Title IX Coordinator as the primary investigating officer for general oversight. All Title IX complaints received by Deputy Coordinators are required to be communicated promptly to the Title IX Coordinator.


Filing a Complaint 

Visit the Title IX Complaint Form
  1. Employees
    1. An employee who believes that he/she has been subjected to discrimination or sexual harassment by anyone may choose and is encouraged to promptly tell the person that the conduct is unwelcome and ask them to stop. However, this is not a requirement if you believe it may be confrontational.. An employee is not required to do this before filing a complaint. You reserve the right to file a complaint. Any person who receives such a request to stop any inappropriate and unwelcomed behavior or conduct must immediately comply with it and must not retaliate against the employee.
    2. The employee may file a discrimination or sexual harassment complaint with one of the Coordinators. A supervisor/manager has a responsibility to report any misconduct observed or reported, even if the individuals involved do not report directly to you, the supervisor.
  2. Students
    1. A student who believes that he/she has been subjected to discrimination or sexual harassment by anyone may choose and is encouraged to promptly tell the person that the conduct is unwelcome and ask them to stop. However, this is not a requirement if you believe it may be confrontational. You reserve the right to file a complaint. A student is not required to do this before filing a complaint. Any person who receives such a request to stop any inappropriate and unwelcomed behavior or conduct must immediately comply with it and must not retaliate against the employee.
    2. The student may file a discrimination or sexual harassment complaint with one of the Coordinators. A supervisor/manager has a responsibility to report any misconduct observed or reported, even if the individuals involved do not report directly to you, the supervisor.
    3. If the student feels uncomfortable about discussing the incident with this individual, the student should feel free to contact any Title IX Coordinator directly.


Investigation and Resolution

  1. Upon receipt of a complaint, Lander University will conduct the investigation based on established guidelines in a prompt, thorough, impartial, and equitable manner.
  2. The person subject to the complaint with information shall be provided information as to the nature of the complaint.
  3. While not required, both the victim and the accused shall have the equal opportunity to choose an independent advisor present for assistance, support, and advice the independent advisor may be brought into the process at any time at the request of the alleged victim or perpetrator.
  4. In connection with any such disciplinary hearings/actions, the person filing the complaint and the person who is the subject of the complaint have equal rights to be interviewed, identify witnesses, and provide and receive documentation and witness lists pertaining to the complaint, and if any appeal is provided, to appeal the decision. Students may appeal; grievances as stated and outlined in the guidelines of the handbook.
  5. In most cases, a prompt, thorough, impartial, and equitable investigation should be completed within 45 calendar days of receipt of the complaint.
  6. The standard for evaluating complaints shall be a preponderance of the evidence.
  7. At the completion of the investigation, appropriate determinations will be made regarding the resolution of the matter, and depending on the circumstances, both parties may be informed concurrently of the resolution. If warranted, disciplinary action up to and including involuntary termination or expulsion will be taken. Any such disciplinary action shall be taken, as applicable, in accordance with the Gender Misconduct Policy and other applicable policies as defined , but not limited to the Faculty, Staff, Athletic or Student Handbook.
  8. In the event actions are taken against an individual, such matters generally remain confidential under those sections, except that final decisions following hearings or appeals of professional employees are subject to public records. Student matters generally remain confidential under FERPA.
  9. When discriminatory conduct or sexual harassment involves a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense, FERPA permits the institution to disclose to the alleged victim the final results (limited to the name of the alleged perpetrator, any violation found to have been committed, and any sanction imposed) of a disciplinary proceeding against the alleged perpetrator, regardless of whether the institution concluded that a violation was committed. With respect to an institutional disciplinary proceeding alleging a sex offense, the Celery Act requires that the accuser and the accused must be informed of the outcome.
  10. In the event a student is found to have engaged in sexual harassment of another student, the institution shall disclose to the student who was harassed, information about the sanction imposed on the student who was found to have engaged in harassment when the sanction directly relates to the harassed student.


Student Sanction Statement 

Any student found responsible for violating the policy on Non-Consensual or Forced Sexual Contact (where no intercourse has occurred) will likely receive a sanction ranging from disciplinary probation to expulsion, depending on the severity of the incident, and taking into account any previous campus conduct code violations.*

Any student found responsible for violating the policy on Non-Consensual or Forced Sexual Intercourse will likely face a recommended sanction of suspension or expulsion.*

Any student found responsible for violating the policy on sexual exploitation or sexual harassment will likely receive a recommended sanction ranging from disciplinary probation warning to expulsion, depending on the severity of the incident, and taking into account any previous campus conduct code violations.*

The conduct body reserves the right to broaden or lessen any range of recommended sanctions in the case of serious mitigating circumstances or egregiously offensive behavior. Neither the initial hearing officers nor any appeals body or officer will deviate from the range of recommended sanctions unless compelling justification exists to do so.



Visit the Title IX Complaint Form

Retaliation against an individual who in good faith complains of alleged discrimination or sexual harassment or provides information during an investigation is against the law, will not be tolerated, and may be grounds for discipline up to and including termination or expulsion. Intentionally providing false information is also grounds for discipline up to and including possible termination or expulsion.

"Retaliation" may include, but is not limited to, conduct as the denial of adequate personnel to perform duties; frequent replacement of members of the staff; frequent and undesirable changes in the location of an office; the refusal to assign meaningful work; unwarranted disciplinary action; unfair work performance evaluations; or a reduction in pay.

An employee who believes that he or she has been subjected to retaliation may file a retaliation complaint with one of the Title IX Coordinators.

A student who believes that he or she has been subjected to retaliation may file a retaliation complaint with one of the Title IX Coordinators.

Complaints of retaliation under Title IX are required to be promptly communicated to the Primary Title IX Coordinator.


Non-Employees and Non-Students 

Visit the Title IX Complaint Form

Individuals who are neither Lander employees nor Lander students and who believe they have been subjected to discrimination or sexual harassment by a Lander employee during the employee's work hours or by a Lander student on campus or at a Lander-sponsored event may utilize any of the complaint processes set forth above in this section.


False Reports

Because discrimination and sexual harassment frequently involve interactions between persons that are not witnessed by others, reports of discrimination or sexual harassment cannot always be substantiated by additional evidence. Lack of corroborating evidence or "proof" should not discourage individuals from reporting discrimination or sexual harassment under this policy.

However, individuals who make reports that are later found to have been intentionally false or made maliciously without regard for truth may be subject to disciplinary action under the applicable disciplinary procedures, up to and including termination or expulsion. This provision does not apply to reports made in good faith, even if the facts alleged in the report cannot be substantiated by subsequent investigation.


Federal Statistical Reporting Obligations

Certain campus officials have a duty to report sexual misconduct for federal statistical reporting purposes (Celery Act). All personally identifiable information is kept confidential, but statistical information must be passed along to campus law enforcement regarding the type of incident and its general location (on or off-campus, in the surrounding area, but no addresses are given) for publication in the annual Campus Security Report.

This report helps to provide the community with a clear picture of the extent and nature of campus crime. Mandated federal reporters include: student/conduct affairs, campus law enforcement, local police, coaches, athletic directors, residence life staff, student activities staff, human resources staff, advisors to student organizations and any other official with significant responsibility for student/campus activities. Information shared includes the date, the location of the incident (using Clery location categories) and the Clery crime category. This reporting protects the identity of the victim and may be done anonymously.


Federal Timely Warning Reporting Obligations

Victims of sexual misconduct should also be aware that Lander University is required to issue immediate timely warnings for incidents reported to them that are confirmed to pose a substantial threat of bodily harm or danger to members of the campus community. The university will make every effort to ensure that a victim’s name and other identifying information is not disclosed, while still providing enough information for community members to make safety decisions in light of the danger. The reporters for timely warning purposes are exactly the same as detailed at the end of the above paragraph.


Physical Sexual Misconduct

The expectations of our community regarding sexual misconduct 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 is sexual permission. Consent can be given by word or action, but non-verbal consent is not as clear as talking about what you want sexually and what you don’t. Consent to some form of sexual activity cannot be automatically taken as consent to any other form of sexual activity. Silence--without actions demonstrating permission--cannot be assumed to show consent.

Additionally, there is a difference between seduction and coercion. Coercing someone into sexual activity violates this policy in the same way as physically forcing someone into sex. Coercion happens when someone is pressured unreasonably for sex.

When alcohol or other drugs are being used, a person will be considered unable to give valid consent if they cannot fully understand the details of a sexual interaction (who, what, when, where, why, or how) because they lack the capacity to reasonably understand the situation. Individuals who consent to sex must be able to understand what they are doing. Under this policy, “No” always means “No,” and “Yes” may not always mean “Yes.” Anything but a clear, knowing and voluntary consent to any sexual activity is equivalent to a “no.”


Consensual Relationships

Sexual harassment and/or the assignment or suggestion of rewards and punishments on the basis of sex or sexuality have no place in the work of the University and are prohibited.

For the protection of our university community, no employee shall enter into a sexual or romantic relationship (consensual or otherwise) with a student, staff member, or faculty member when the work of one is directly evaluated or supervised by the other. In cases where there is a pre-existing sexual or romantic relationship, effective steps – including initial disclosure by the direct evaluators or supervisors to their unit heads – must be taken to ensure unbiased evaluation or supervision of the student, staff member, or other faculty member.

If complaints occur and are substantiated, employees will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination or nonrenewal. All complaints will be adjudicated with due process for all parties in accordance with university policies, federal, state, and local laws.

Complainants are protected from retaliatory acts and are not to be discouraged from reporting in good faith any concerns regarding sexual harassment or favoritism.  However, malicious or frivolous claims of harassment or favoritism are prohibited, and, if substantiated, will result in disciplinary action against the complainant. Disciplinary actions may include termination, nonrenewal, probation, suspension, expulsion, or other appropriate action.

Students serving as teaching assistants and resident assistants are also professionally responsible for students, and therefore fall under this policy.  Students found in violation of this policy will be subject to sanctions as outlined herein, and if appropriate, sanctions within the Student Conduct Policy.


Sexual Violence - Risk Reduction Tips

Risk reduction tips can often take a victim-blaming tone, even unintentionally. With no intention to victim-blame, and with recognition that only those who commit sexual violence are responsible for those actions, these suggestions may nevertheless help you to reduce your risk experiencing a non-consensual sexual act. Below are suggestions to avoid committing a non-consensual sexual act are also offered:

  1. If you have limits, make them known as early as possible.
  2. Tell a sexual aggressor “NO” clearly and firmly.
  3. Try to remove yourself from the physical presence of a sexual aggressor.
  4. Find someone nearby and ask for help.
  5. Take affirmative responsibility for your alcohol intake/drug use and acknowledge that alcohol/drugs lower your sexual inhibitions and may make you vulnerable to someone who views a drunk or high person as a sexual opportunity.
  6. Take care of your friends and ask that they take care of you. A real friend will challenge you if you are about to make a mistake. Respect them when they do.

If you find yourself in the position of being the initiator of sexual behavior, you owe sexual respect to your potential partner. The following are suggestions which may help you to reduce your risk for being accused of sexual misconduct:

  1. Clearly communicate your intentions to your sexual partner and give them a chance to clearly relate their intentions to you.
  2. Understand and respect personal boundaries.
  3. DON’T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS about consent; about someone’s sexual availability; about whether they are attracted to you; about how far you can go or about whether they are physically and/or mentally able to consent. If there are any questions or ambiguity then you DO NOT have consent.
  4. Mixed messages from your partner are a clear indication that you should stop, defuse any sexual tension and communicate better. You may be misreading them. They may not have figured out how far they want to go with you yet. You must respect the timeline for sexual behaviors with which they are comfortable.
  5. Don’t take advantage of someone’s drunkenness or drugged state, even if they did it to themselves.
  6. Realize that your potential partner could be intimidated by you, or fearful. You may have a power advantage simply because of your gender or size
  7. Understand that consent to some form of sexual behavior does not automatically imply consent to any other forms of sexual behavior.
  8. Silence and passivity cannot be interpreted as an indication of consent. Read your potential partner carefully, paying attention to verbal and non-verbal communication and body language.

In campus hearings, legal terms like “guilt, “innocence” and “burdens of proof” are not applicable, but the university never assumes a student is in violation of university policy. Campus hearings are conducted to take into account the totality of all evidence available, from all relevant sources.

The university reserves the right to take whatever measures it deems necessary in response to an allegation of sexual misconduct in order to protect students’ rights and personal safety. Such measures include, but are not limited to, modification of living arrangements, interim suspension from campus pending a hearing, and reporting the matter to the local police. Not all forms of sexual misconduct will be deemed to be equally serious offenses, and the university reserves the right to impose different sanctions, ranging from verbal warning to expulsion, depending on the severity of the offense. The university will consider the concerns and rights of both the complainant and the person accused of sexual misconduct.


Sexual Misconduct Offenses Include, But Are Not Limited To:

  1. Sexual Harassment
  2. Non-Consensual Sexual Contact (or attempts to commit same)
  3. Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse (or attempts to commit same)
  4. Sexual Exploitation


Sexual Harassment

  • Is unwelcome, gender-based verbal or physical conduct that is,
  • Is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that it,
  • Does unreasonably interferes with, denies or limits someone’s ability to participate in or benefit from the university’s educational program and/or activities, and is
  • Is based on power differentials (quid pro quo), the creation of a hostile environment, or retaliation.

Examples include:

  1. An attempt to coerce an unwilling person into a sexual relationship
  2. To repeatedly subject a person to egregious, unwelcome sexual attention
  3. To punish a refusal to comply with a sexual based request
  4. To condition a benefit on submitting to sexual advances
  5. Sexual violence
  6. Intimate partner violence
  7. Stalking
  8. Gender-based bullying

Even one incident, if it is sufficiently serious, may constitute sexual harassment. One incident, however, does not usually constitute sexual harassment.


Non Consensual Sexual Contact

Non-Consensual Sexual Contact is 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, 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 any sexual intercourse however slight, with any object 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, object, tongue or finger, anal penetration by a penis, object, tongue, or finger, and oral copulation (mouth to genital contact or genital to mouth contact), no matter how slight the penetration or contact.


Sexual Exploitation

Sexual exploitation occurs when a student 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:

  1. Invasion of sexual privacy;
  2. Prostituting another student;
  3. Non-consensual video or audio-taping of sexual activity;
  4. Going beyond the boundaries of consent (such as letting your friends hide in the closet to watch you having consensual sex);
  5. Engaging in voyeurism;
  6. Knowingly transmitting an STI or HIV to another student;
  7. Exposing one’s genitals in non-consensual circumstances; inducing another to expose their genitals.
  8. Sexually-based stalking and/or bullying may also be forms of sexual exploitation.


Other Misconduct Offenses Will Fall Under Title IX When Gender Based

  1. Threatening or causing physical harm, extreme verbal abuse, or other conduct which threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person;
  2. Discrimination, defined as actions that deprive other members of the community of educational or employment access, benefits or opportunities on the basis of gender;
  3. Intimidation, defined as implied threats or acts that cause an unreasonable fear of harm in another;
  4. Hazing, defined as acts likely to cause physical or psychological harm or social ostracism to any person within the university community, when related to the admission, initiation, pledging, joining, or any other group-affiliation activity (as defined further in the Hazing Policy);
  5. Bullying, defined as repeated and/or severe aggressive behavior likely to intimidate or intentionally hurt, control or diminish another person, physically or mentally (that is not speech or conduct otherwise protected by the 1st Amendment).
  6. Violence between those in an intimate relationship to each other;
  7. Stalking, defined as repetitive and/or menacing pursuit, following, harassment and/or interference with the peace and/or safety of a member of the community; or the safety of any of the immediate family of members of the community.


Additional Applicable Definitions

Consent: Consent is clear, knowing and voluntary. Consent is active, not passive. Silence, in and of itself, cannot be interpreted as consent. Consent can be given by words or actions, as long as those words or actions create mutually understandable clear permission regarding willingness to engage in (and the conditions of) sexual activity.

  1. Consent to any one form of sexual activity cannot automatically imply consent to any other forms of sexual activity.
  2. Previous relationships or prior consent cannot imply consent to future sexual acts.

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 (“Have sex with me or I’ll hit you. Okay, don’t hit me; I’ll do what you want.”).

  1. Coercion is unreasonable pressure for sexual activity. Coercive behavior differs from seductive behavior based on the type of pressure someone uses to get consent from another. 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.
  2. NOTE: There is no requirement that a party resists the sexual advance or request, but resistance is a clear demonstration of non-consent. The presence of force is not demonstrated by the absence of resistance. Sexual activity that is forced is by definition non-consensual, but non-consensual sexual activity is not by definition forced.
  3. In order to give effective consent, one must be of legal age.
    1. Sexual activity with someone who one should know to be -- or based on the circumstances should reasonably have known to be -- mentally or physically incapacitated (by alcohol or other drug use, unconsciousness or blackout), constitutes a violation of this policy. Incapacitation is a state where someone cannot make rational, reasonable decisions because they lack the capacity to give knowing consent (e.g., to understand the “who, what, when, where, why or how” of their sexual interaction).
    2. This policy also covers a person whose incapacity results from mental disability, sleep, involuntary physical restraint, or from the taking of rape drugs.

    Possession, use and/or distribution of any of these substances, including Rohypnol, Ketamine, GHB, Burundanga, etc. is prohibited, and administering one of these drugs to another student is a violation of this policy. More information on these drugs can be found at the Office of Women's Health. Use of alcohol or other drugs will never function as a defense to a violation of this policy.

  4. The sexual orientation and/or gender identity of individuals engaging in sexual activity is not relevant to allegations under this policy.


Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions regarding University’s sexual misconduct policy and procedures.

  1. Does information about a complaint remain private?

    The privacy of all parties to a complaint of sexual misconduct must be respected, except insofar as it interferes with the university’s obligation to fully investigate allegations of sexual misconduct.

    Where privacy it not strictly kept, it will still be tightly controlled on a need-to-know basis. Dissemination of information and/or written materials to persons not involved in the complaint procedure is not permitted. Violations of the privacy of the complainant or the accused student may lead to conduct action by the university.

    In all complaints of sexual misconduct, all parties will be informed of the outcome. In some instances, the administration also may choose to make a brief public announcement of the nature of the violation and the action taken, without using the name or identifiable information of the alleged victim. Certain university administrators are informed of the outcome within the bounds of student privacy. If there is a report of an act of alleged sexual misconduct to a conduct officer of the university and there is evidence that a felony has occurred, local police will be notified. This does not mean charges will be automatically filed or that a victim must speak with the police, but the institution is legally required to notify law enforcement authorities. The institution also must statistically report the occurrence on campus of major violent crimes, including certain sex offenses, in an annual report of campus crime statistics. This statistical report does not include personally identifiable information.

  2. Will my parents be told?

    No, not unless you tell them unless you are under age in which we are legally required to share this information with your parents. Whether you are the complainant or the accused student, the University’s primary relationship is to the student and not to the parent. However, in the event of major medical, disciplinary, or academic jeopardy, students are strongly encouraged to inform their parents. University officials will directly inform parents when requested to do so by a student, in a life-threatening situation, [or if an accused student has signed the permission form at registration which allows such communication].

  3. Will the accused know my identity?

    Yes, if you file a formal complaint. Sexual misconduct is a serious offense and the accused has the right to know the identity of the complainant/alleged victim. If there is a hearing, the university does provide options for questioning without confrontation, including closed-circuit testimony, Skype, using a room divider or using separate hearing rooms.

  4. Do I have to name the perpetrator?

    Yes, if you want formal disciplinary action to be taken against the alleged perpetrator. No, if you choose to respond informally and do not file a formal complaint (but you should consult the complete confidentiality policy above to better understand the university’s legal obligations depending on what information you share with different university officials). Victims should be aware that not identifying the perpetrator may limit the institution’s ability to respond comprehensively.

  5. What do I do if I am accused of sexual misconduct?

    DO NOT contact the alleged victim. You may immediately want to contact someone in the campus community who can act as your advisor. Students may contact the Student Conduct Office and employee may contact the Office of Human Resources, which can explain the university’s procedures for addressing sexual misconduct complaints. You may also want to talk to a confidential counselor at the counseling center or seek other community assistance. See below regarding legal representation.

  6. Will I (as a victim) have to pay for counseling/or medical care?

    Not typically, if the institution provides these services already. If a victim is accessing community and non-institutional services, payment for these will be subject to state/local laws, insurance requirements, etc. [In this state, victims may be ineligible for state-based assistance if they were engaged in any illegal activity during the assault or if they fail to cooperate with criminal prosecution].

  7. What about legal advice?

    Victims of criminal sexual assault need not retain a private attorney to pursue prosecution because representation will be handled by the District Attorney’s [Prosecutor’s] office. You may want to retain an attorney if you are the accused student or are considering filing a civil action. The accused student may retain counsel at their own expense if they determine that they need legal advice about criminal prosecution and/or the campus conduct proceeding.

  8. What about changing residence hall rooms?

    As a student, if you want to move, you may request a room change. Room changes under these circumstances are considered emergencies. It is typically institutional policy that in emergency room changes, the student is moved to the first available suitable room. If you want the accused student to move, and believe that you have been the victim of sexual misconduct, you must be willing to pursue a formal or informal university complaint. No contact orders can be imposed and room changes for the accused student can usually be arranged quickly. Other accommodations available to you might include:

    1. Assistance from university support staff in completing the relocation;
    2. Arranging to dissolve a housing contract and pro-rating a refund;
    3. Assistance with or rescheduling an academic assignment (paper, exams, etc.);
    4. Taking an incomplete in a class;
      • Assistance with transferring class sections;
    5. Temporary withdrawal;
      • Assistance with alternative course completion options;
    6. Other accommodations for safety as necessary.
  9. What should I do about preserving evidence of a sexual assault?

    Police are in the best position to secure evidence of a crime. Physical evidence of a criminal sexual assault must be collected from the alleged victim’s person within 120 hours, though evidence can often be obtained from towels, sheets, clothes, etc. for much longer periods of time. If you believe you have been a victim of a criminal sexual assault, you should go to the Hospital Emergency Room, before washing yourself or your clothing. The Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (a specially trained nurse) at the hospital is usually on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (call the Emergency Room if you first want to speak to the nurse; ER will refer you). A victim advocate from the institution can also accompany you to Hospital and law enforcement or Security can provide transportation. If a victim goes to the hospital, local police will be called, but s/he is not obligated to talk to the police or to pursue prosecution. Having the evidence collected in this manner will help to keep all options available to a victim, but will not obligate Him or her to any course of action. Collecting evidence can assist the authorities in pursuing criminal charges, should the victim decide later to exercise it.

    For the Victim: The hospital staff will collect evidence, check for injuries, address pregnancy concerns and address the possibility of exposure to sexually transmitted infections. If you have changed clothing since the assault, bring the clothing you had on at the time of the assault with you to the hospital in a clean, sanitary container such as a clean paper grocery bag or wrapped in a clean sheet (plastic containers do not breathe, and may render evidence useless). If you have not changed clothes, bring a change of clothes with you to the hospital, if possible, as they will likely keep the clothes you are wearing as evidence. You can take a support person with you to the hospital, and they can accompany you through the exam, if you want. Do not disturb the crime scene—leave all sheets, towels, etc. that may bear evidence for the police to collect.

  10. Will a victim be sanctioned when reporting a sexual misconduct policy violation if he/she has illegally used drugs or alcohol?

    No. The severity of the infraction will determine the nature of the university’s response, but whenever possible the university will respond educationally rather than punitively to the illegal use of drugs and/or alcohol. The seriousness of sexual misconduct is a major concern and the university does not want any of the circumstances (e.g., drug or alcohol use) to inhibit the reporting of sexual misconduct.

  11. Will the use of drugs or alcohol affect the outcome of a student’s sexual misconduct conduct complaint?

    The use of alcohol and/or drugs by either party will not diminish the accused student’s responsibility. On the other hand, alcohol and/or drug use is likely to affect the complainant’s memory and, therefore, may affect the outcome of the complaint. A person bringing a complaint of sexual misconduct must either remember the alleged incident or have sufficient circumstantial evidence, physical evidence and/or witnesses to prove his/her complaint. If the complainant does not remember the circumstances of the alleged incident, it may not be possible to impose sanctions on the accused without further corroborating information. Use of alcohol and/or other drugs will never excuse a violation by an accused student.

  12. Will either party’s prior use of drugs and/or alcohol be a factor when reporting sexual misconduct?

    Not unless there is a compelling reason to believe that prior use or abuse is relevant to the present complaint.

  13. What should I do if I am uncertain about what happened?

    If you believe that you have experienced sexual misconduct, but are unsure of whether it was a violation of the institution’s sexual misconduct policy, you should contact the institution’s student conduct office or victim advocate’s office. The institution provides advisors who can help you to define and clarify the event(s), and advise you of your options.