Prohibited Conduct

The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and the State of South Carolina regard sexual harassment, a specific form of discriminatory harassment, as an unlawful discriminatory practice. Acts of sexual harassment may be committed by any person upon any other person, regardless of the sex, sexual orientation, and/or gender identity of those involved.

For the purposes of Title IX, sexual harassment includes the following three types of misconduct based on sex:

  • Any instance of quid pro quo harassment by a Lander University employee conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of the university on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sex. [Note: Quid pro quo offenses are not evaluated for severity, pervasiveness, offensiveness, or denial of equal educational access because the misconduct is sufficiently severe to deprive a person of equal access].
  • Any unwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal educational access to a Lander University education program or activity.
  • Any instance of sexual assault (as defined in 20 USC 1092(f)(6)(A)(v)),dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking as defined in the Violence Against Women Act (as defined in 34 USC 1229(a)(8,10 or 30)).

For the purposes of Title VII, unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when:

  • Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment;
  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual; or
  • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work performance or creating a hostile environment.

Prohibited conduct and characteristics of consent are further defined within Lander’s Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence Policy.

 

Jurisdiction

The Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence Policy applies to the education program and activities of Lander University regarding conduct that takes place on the campus or on property owned or controlled by Lander University, at Lander University-sponsored events, or in buildings owned or controlled by recognized student organizations. The Respondent must be a member of Lander 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 Lander University’s educational program. Lander University may also extend jurisdiction to off-campus and/or to online conduct when it is determined that the conduct affects a substantial Lander University interest.

Regardless of where the conduct occurred, Lander 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 Lander 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 Lander University.

In accordance with Title IX, Lander University must dismiss a formal complaint or any allegations therein if, at any time during the investigation or hearing, it is determined that:

  • The conduct alleged in the formal complaint would not constitute sexual harassment as defined in the Policy hereinabove, even if proved; and/or
  • The conduct did not occur in an educational program or activity controlled by Lander University (including buildings or property controlled by recognized student organizations), and/or Lander University does not have control of the Respondent; and/or
  • The conduct did not occur against a person in the United States.

When a matter is deemed Title IX, the Title IX Resolution Procedures apply.

When a technical dismissal under the Title IX allegations is required, a resolution process may proceed in accordance with the appropriate grievance process..

 

Rights of Involved Parties

The Complainant and Respondent may have an advisor present during any stage of the process. The Advisor may be a friend, mentor, family member, attorney, or any other individual a party chooses to advise, support, and/or consult with them throughout the resolution process. The Parties may choose Advisors from inside or outside of the Lander University community. The Title IX Coordinator will also offer to assign a trained Advisor for any party if the party so chooses. If the Parties choose an Advisor from the Pool available from Lander University, the Advisor will be trained by Lander University and be familiar with the University’s resolution process. If the Parties choose an Advisor from outside the Pool of those identified by Lander University, the Advisor may not have been trained by the University and may not be familiar with Lander University’s policies and procedures. Parties also have the right to choose not to have an Advisor in the initial stages of the resolution process, prior to a hearing. If the matter results in a formal hearing, both the Complainant and Respondent will be required to utilize an Advisor of their choosing or will be appointed an Advisor from the University’s trained Pool. During a formal hearing, Advisors will be required to engage in cross examination on behalf of the respective party.

Rights of the Parties include:

  • The right to an equitable investigation and resolution of all credible allegations of prohibited harassment or discrimination made in good faith to Lander University officials.
  • The right to timely written notice of all alleged violations, including the identity of the Parties involved (if known), the precise misconduct being alleged, the date and location of the alleged misconduct (if known), the implicated policies and procedures, and possible sanctions.
  • The right to timely written notice of any material adjustments to the allegations (e.g., additional incidents or allegations, additional Complainants, unsubstantiated allegations) and any attendant adjustments needed to clarify potentially implicated Policy violations.
  • The right to be informed in advance of any public release of information regarding the allegation(s) or underlying incident(s), whenever possible.
  • The right not to have any personally identifiable information released to the public without consent provided, except to the extent permitted by law.
  • The right to be treated with respect by Lander University officials.
  • The right to have Lander University policies and procedures followed without material deviation.
  • The right not to be pressured to mediate or otherwise informally resolve any reported misconduct involving violence, including sexual violence.
  • The right not to be discouraged by Lander University officials from reporting sexual misconduct or discrimination to both on-campus and off-campus authorities.
  • The right to be informed by Lander University officials of options to notify proper law enforcement authorities, including on-campus and local police, and the option(s) to be assisted by Lander University authorities in notifying such authorities, if the party so chooses. This also includes the right not to be pressured to report, as well.
  • The right to have allegations of violations of this Policy responded to promptly and with sensitivity by Lander University law enforcement and/or other Lander University officials.
  • The right to be informed of available interim actions and supportive measures, such as counseling; advocacy; health care; housing; visa and immigration assistance; or other services, both on campus and in the community.
  • The right to a Lander University-implemented no-contact order, or a no-trespass order against a non-affiliated third party, when a person has engaged in or threatens to engage in stalking, threatening, harassing, or other improper conduct that presents a danger to the welfare of the party or others.
  • The right to be informed of available assistance in changing academic, living, and/or working situations after an alleged incident of discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation, if such changes are reasonably available. No formal report, or investigation, either campus or criminal, needs to occur before this option is available.
  • The right to have Lander University maintain such actions for as long as necessary and for supportive measures to remain private, provided privacy does not impair Lander University’s ability to provide the supportive measures.

For additional information, including but not limited to, the range of possible sanctions following a finding of responsibility, the applicable appeal process, and other long term remedies, please reference Lander University’s Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence Policy and Title IX Resolution Procedures