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Sex Discrimination, Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence

Sex Discrimination, Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence

What is sexual misconduct?

Sexual misconduct can include, but are not limited to:

1.  Sexual Harassment  

Sexual Harassment is unwelcome, gender-based verbal or physical conduct that is, sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that it, 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 based on power differentials (quid pro quo, i.e. where an employee or student is informed their job or academic progress is dependent on their providing sexual favors to someone with authority over them), the creation of a hostile environment, or retaliation.

Examples include: an attempt to coerce an unwilling person into a sexual relationship; to repeatedly subject a person to egregious, unwelcome sexual attention; to punish a refusal to comply with a sexual based request; to condition a benefit on submitting to sexual advances; sexual violence; intimate partner violence, stalking; gender-based bullying.

Sexual harassment also includes harassment based on gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, which may include acts of verbal, nonverbal, or physical aggression, intimidation, or hostility based on sex/gender or sex/gender-stereotyping, even if the acts do not involve conduct of a sexual nature.

A single, isolated incident of sexual harassment alone may create a hostile environment if the incident is sufficiently severe. The more severe the conduct the less need there is to show a repetitive series of incidents to create a hostile environment, particularly if the harassment is physical.

Sexual Assault/Sexual assault is defined as having sexual intercourse or sexual contact with another individual without consent, including: by the use or threat of force or coercion;without effective consent; or where that individual is incapacitated.

Sexual contact includes intentional contact with the intimate parts of another, causing another to touch one’s intimate parts, or disrobing or exposure of another without permission. Intimate parts may include the breasts, genitals, buttocks, groin, mouth, or any other part of the body that is touched in a sexual manner. Sexual contact also includes attempted sexual intercourse.

Sexual intercourse includes vaginal or anal penetration, however slight, with a body part (e.g., penis, tongue, finger, hand, etc.) or object, or oral penetration involving mouth to genital contact.

It is important to note that a person who is incapacitated cannot consent to sexual activity. Consent to engage in sexual activity must be knowing and voluntary; it must exist from the beginning to end of each instance of sexual activity and for each form of sexual contact. Consent is demonstrated through mutually understandable words and/or actions that clearly indicate a willingness to engage freely in sexual activity. Consent is active, not passive.  Incapacitation may result from the use of alcohol and/or drugs.  Incapacitation and consent are further defined at the end of this policy.

Sexual contact and sexual intercourse are defined in additional detail in items i. and ii. below:

i. 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.

ii.            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

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:

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

Stalking

Stalking occurs when a person engages in a course of conduct or repeatedly commits acts toward another person, including following the person without proper authority, under circumstances that demonstrate either of the following: place the person in reasonable fear of bodily injury; or reasonably cause substantial emotional distress to the person.

Stalking includes the concept of cyber-stalking, a particular form of stalking in which electronic media such as the Internet, social networks, blogs, cell phones, texts, or other similar devices or forms of contact are used to pursue, harass, or to make unwelcome contact with another person in an unsolicited fashion.

Examples of stalking include:

unwelcome and repeated visual or physical proximity to a person; repeated oral or written threats; extortion of money or valuables; unwelcome/unsolicited written communication, including letters, cards, emails, instant messages, and messages on online bulletin boards; unwelcome/unsolicited communications about a person, their family, friends, or co-workers; or sending/posting unwelcome/ unsolicited messages with an assumed identity; or implicitly threatening physical contact; or any combination of these behaviors directed toward an individual person.

Intimate Partner Violence:  Domestic Violence or Dating Violence

Intimate-partner violence, also referred to as dating violence, domestic violence, and relationship violence, includes any act of violence or threatened act of violence against a person who is, or has been involved in, a sexual, dating, domestic, or other intimate relationship with that person. It may involve one act or an ongoing pattern of behavior. Intimate-partner violence can encompass a broad range of behavior, including, but not limited to, physical violence, sexual violence, emotional violence, and economic abuse. Intimate-partner violence may take the form of threats, assault, property damage, or violence or threat of violence to one’s self, one’s sexual or romantic partner, or to the family members or friends of the sexual or romantic partner. Intimate-partner violence affects individuals of all genders, gender identities, gender expressions, and sexual orientations and does not discriminate by racial, social, or economic background.

Bullying or Intimidation

Bullying includes any intentional electronic, written, verbal, or physical act or a series of acts directed at another student or students that is severe, persistent, or pervasive and that has the intended effect of doing any of the following: (i) substantially interfering with a student’s education; (ii) creating a threatening environment; or (iii) substantially disrupting the orderly operation of the College. Bullying is prohibited, and participating in such acts will result in disciplinary action.  Bullying that is based on gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, or based on any other protected classification as outlined in the College’s Non-Discrimination Policy will be handled under this policy.

Intimidation is any verbal, written, or electronic threats of violence or other threatening behavior directed toward another person or group that reasonably leads the person(s) in the group to fear for her/his physical well-being. Intimidation is prohibited and will result in disciplinary action.

Anyone who attempts to use bullying or intimidation to retaliate against someone who reports an incident, brings a complaint, or participates in an investigation in an attempt to influence the judicial process will be in violation of retaliation as described within this policy and will be subject to disciplinary action.

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.

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

A more comprehensive definition of consent, along with examples, is provided in the Supplemental Materials section at the end of this document.

Force: 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.”).  

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. 

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.
In order to give effective consent, one must be of legal age. 

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).
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, Ketomine, 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 http://www.911rape.org/ 

Use of alcohol or other drugs will never function as a defense for any behavior that violates this policy.
The sexual orientation and/or gender identity of individuals engaging in sexual activity is not relevant to allegations under this policy. 
For reference to the pertinent state statutes on sex offenses, please see http://www.legis.state.pa.us/WU01/LI/LI/CT/HTM/18/00.031..HTM. 

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How to file a report

Reporting Sexual Harassment or Violence in Any Form

If you have been subjected to sex discrimination, or an act of sexual misconduct, which includes sexual harassment or sexual violence, you are urged to immediately report the incident. You may also want to discuss the event with a close friend, roommate, Resident Assistant, staff, faculty, family member, etc. who can support you through the initial medical treatment (if necessary) and reporting of the events. If you have been the victim of sexual violence you are urged to immediately report the incident to the police.

If you have been the victim of an act of sexual misconduct you may be wondering what to do next. Here are some of your options:

  • Get to a place where you feel physically and emotionally safe.
  • Contact someone you trust to stay with you for moral support.
  • Immediately report the incident to the appropriate College personnel.
  • Immediately report the incident to the police by calling 911.
  • It is important to seek medical care so you can be treated for injuries and tested for pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. The following are hospitals that have Rape Crisis Centers: Abington Hospital, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Episcopal Hospital and Bryn Mawr Hospital. These locations have staff that are specially trained to provide medical attention to victims of sexual assault. If you need transportation it can be arranged through Security ( 215-242-7777) or a member of the Student Life staff. Addresses and phone numbers are included below.
  • Avoid showering, bathing, douching or cleaning in any other way to help preserve medical evidence if you chose to prosecute. Any clothes, sheets or other items that may be considered evidence should be stored in paper (not plastic) bags. If you are still wearing the clothes you had on at the time of the assault be sure to bring a change of clothes with you to the hospital.

To Report a Complaint

To make a report of an act of sexual discrimination, harassment or violence we encourage you to seek out another member of the College community with whom you feel comfortable (this may include a friend, coach, advisor, etc.). You may also decide to make a report directly to the police and you can do so by dialing 911. You will have to make a decision whether you want to cooperate with the police in their investigation of the incident. Campus Security ( 215-242-7777) can also be reached 24 hours a day should you wish to file an complaint or need immediate assistance.

You may choose to pursue the incident through the College’s hearing process, you may choose to prosecute through the police, or you may choose to do both. Once the matter is reported to the College, the College may have a responsibility to investigate the situation even if you chose not to cooperate with the College. You should not feel pressured into any option; you may want to consult with your family before making a decision.

Types of On Campus Reports/ Confidentiality of Reports

The College encourages victims of sexual violence to talk to somebody about what happened – so victims can get the support they need, and so the College can respond appropriately. Different employees on campus have different abilities to maintain a victim’s confidentiality.

Some individuals are required to maintain near complete confidentiality; talking to them is sometimes called a “privileged communication.”
Other employees may talk to a victim in confidence, and generally only report to the College that an incident occurred without revealing any personally identifying information, such as the victim’s name. Disclosures to these employees will not trigger a College investigation into an incident against the victim’s wishes.
Thirdly, some employees are required to report all the details of an incident (including the identities of both the victim and alleged perpetrator) to the Title IX coordinator. A report to these employees (called “responsible employees”) constitutes a report to the College – and generally obligates the College to investigate the incident and take appropriate steps to address the situation.

This policy is intended to make individuals aware of the various reporting and confidential disclosure options available to them – so they can make informed choices about where to turn should they become a victim of sexual violence. The College encourages victims to talk to someone identified in one or more of these groups. 

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College Resources

College Resources:

Non-Confidential Resources

Lauri Strimkovsky Senior VP for Financial Affairs; Title IX Coordinator SJ 232C 215-248-7084
Lynn Ortale VP for STudent Life FR 142 215-248-7030
Kathryn Miller, SSJ Asst. to the President for Administration and Special Projects SJ 232A 215-248-7167
Wolfgang Natter VP of Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty SJ 334 215-248-7120
Krista Bailey Murphy Dean of Student Life; Deputy Title IX Coordinator FR 144 215-248-7142
Nikki Lockhart Associate Director of Athletics for Academic Success and Community Engagement;  FR 12 215-248-7729
Michael Reig Registrar; Deputy Title IX Coordinator

SJ 363

215-248-7069

Emily Schademan

Director of Student Activities; Deputy Title IX Coordinator

SJ 349

215-248-7083

Sharon Dougherty

Director of Human Resources; Deputy Title IX Coordinator

SJ 224

215-248-7036

Barbara Hogan

Dean of the School of Graduate Studies

SJ 374

215-248-7012

Elaine Green

Dean of the School of Continuing & Professional Studies

FR 120

215-248-7172

Individuals who work in Campus Ministry can generally talk to a victim without revealing any personally identifying information about an incident to the College. A victim can seek assistance and support from these individuals without triggering a College investigation that could reveal the victim’s identity or that the victim has disclosed the incident.  While maintaining a victim’s confidentiality, these individuals or their office should report the nature, date, time, and general location of an incident to the Title IX Coordinator. This limited report – which includes no information that would directly or indirectly identify the victim – helps keep the Title IX Coordinator informed of the general extent and nature of sexual violence on and off campus so the coordinator can track patterns, evaluate the scope of the problem, and formulate appropriate campus-wide responses. Before reporting any information to the Title IX Coordinator, these individuals will consult with the victim to ensure that no personally identifying details are shared with the Title IX Coordinator.

A victim who speaks to a professional or non-professional counselor or advocate must understand that, if the victim wants to maintain confidentiality, the College will be unable to conduct an investigation into the particular incident or pursue disciplinary action against the alleged perpetrator. Even so, these counselors and advocates will still assist the victim in receiving other necessary protection and support, such as victim advocacy, academic support or accommodations, disability, health or mental health services, and changes to living, working or course schedules. A victim who at first requests confidentiality may later decide to file a complaint with the school or report the incident to local law enforcement, and thus have the incident fully investigated.  These counselors and advocates will provide the victim with assistance if the victim wishes to do so.

 

Confidential Resources

Sheila Kennedy, SSJ, Ph.D.

Director, Counseling Center

215-248-7104

SJ 345

Sandy Bumgardner, Psy.D.

Counselor

215-248-7104 SJ 341

Lisa Johnson, Psy.D.

Counselor

215-248-7104 SJ 343

Barbara Dougherty, CRNP

Director, Health Center

215-248-7111 FZ Lobby

Shannon Roberts, BSN

Nurse, Health Center

215-248-7111 FZ Lobby

Sharon Hargadon, RN

Nurse, Health Center

215-248-7111 FZ Lobby

Joannie Cassidy, SSJ

Director of Campus Ministry

215-248-7095 SJ 348

Colleen Gibson, SSJ

Assistant Director of Campus Ministry

215-248-7107

SJ 337

Robert Mulligan, OSFS

Chaplain

215-248-7058 SJ 330

Professional, licensed counselors and pastoral counselors who provide mental-health counseling to members of the school community (and including those who act in that role under the supervision of a licensed counselor), clergy and nurses in the Health Center are not required to report any information about an incident to the Title IX coordinator without a victim’s permission.

Reporting to Responsible Employees

A responsible employee is a College employee who has the authority to redress sexual violence, who has the duty to report incidents of sexual violence or other misconduct, or who is an individual who is reasonably believed to have this authority.

All faculty and staff who are not described above (staff members in the Counseling Center, Health Center and Campus Ministry) are considered responsible employees.  Resident Assistants and Resident Coordinators are also considered responsible employees. Faculty members and Deputy Title IX coordinators and Administrators are responsible employees.

When a victim tells a responsible employee about an incident of sexual violence, the victim has the right to expect the College to take immediate and appropriate steps to investigate what happened and to resolve the matter promptly and equitably.

A responsible employee must report to the Title IX coordinator all relevant details about the alleged sexual violence shared by the victim and that the College will need to determine what happened – including the names of the victim and alleged perpetrator(s), any witnesses, and any other relevant facts, including the date, time and specific location of the alleged incident.

To the extent possible, information reported to a responsible employee will be shared only with people responsible for handling the College’s response to the report. A responsible employee should not share information with law enforcement without the victim’s consent or unless the victim has also reported the incident to law enforcement.  Before a victim reveals any information to a responsible employee, the employee should ensure that the victim understands the employee’s reporting obligations – and, if the victim wants to maintain confidentiality, direct the victim to confidential resources.

If the victim wants to tell the responsible employee what happened but also maintain confidentiality, the employee should tell the victim that the College will consider the request, but cannot guarantee that the College will be able to honor it. In reporting the details of the incident to the Title IX Coordinator, the responsible employee will also inform the Coordinator of the victim’s request for confidentiality.

Responsible employees will not pressure a victim to request confidentiality, but will honor and support the victim’s wishes, including for the College to fully investigate an incident. By the same token, responsible employees will not pressure a victim to make a full report if the victim is not ready to.

Requesting Confidentiality From the College: How the College Will Weigh the Request and Respond.

If a victim discloses an incident to a responsible employee but wishes to maintain confidentiality or requests that no investigation into a particular incident be conducted or disciplinary action taken, the College must weigh that request against the College’s obligation to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment for all individuals, including the victim.

If the College honors the request for confidentiality, a victim must understand that the College’s ability to meaningfully investigate the incident and pursue disciplinary action against the alleged perpetrator(s) may be limited.

Although rare, there are times when the College may not be able to honor a victim’s request in order to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment.

When weighing a victim’s request for confidentiality or that no investigation or discipline be pursued, [name/position] will consider a range of factors, including the following:

The increased risk that the alleged perpetrator will commit additional acts of sexual or other violence, such as:

  • whether there have been other sexual violence complaints about the same alleged    perpetrator;
  • whether the alleged perpetrator has a history of arrests or records from a prior school indicating a history of violence;
  • whether the alleged perpetrator threatened further sexual violence or other violence against the victim or others;
  • whether the sexual violence was committed by multiple perpetrators;
  • whether the sexual violence was perpetrated with a weapon;
  • whether the victim is a minor;
  • whether the College possesses other means to obtain relevant evidence of the sexual violence (e.g., security cameras or personnel, physical evidence);
  • whether the victim’s report reveals a pattern of perpetration (e.g., via illicit use of drugs or alcohol) at a given location or by a particular group.

The presence of one or more of these factors could lead the College to investigate the alleged incident.

If the College determines that it cannot maintain a victim’s confidentiality, the College will inform the victim prior to starting an investigation and will, to the extent possible, only share information with people responsible for handling the College’s response.

The College will remain ever mindful of the victim’s well-being, and will take ongoing steps to protect the victim from retaliation or harm and work with the victim to create a safety plan. Retaliation against the victim, whether by students or College employees, will not be tolerated. The College will also:

  • assist the victim in accessing other available victim advocacy, academic support, counseling, disability, health or mental health services, and legal assistance both on and off campus (see portion of policy identifying these);
  • provide other security and support, which could include issuing a no-contact order, helping arrange a change of living or working arrangements or course schedules (including for the alleged perpetrator pending the outcome of an investigation) or adjustments for assignments or tests; and
  • inform the victim of the right to report a crime to campus or local law enforcement – and provide the victim with assistance if the victim wishes to do so.

The College will not require a victim to participate in any investigation or disciplinary proceeding.

Because the College is under a continuing obligation to address the issue of sexual violence campus-wide, reports of sexual violence (including non-identifying reports) will also prompt the College to consider broader remedial action – such as increased monitoring, supervision or security at locations where the reported sexual violence occurred; increasing education and prevention efforts, including to targeted population groups; conducting climate assessments/victimization surveys; and/or revisiting its policies and practices.

If the College determines that it can respect a victim’s request for confidentiality, the College will also take immediate action as necessary to protect and assist the victim. 

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External Resources

Medical Care for Sexual Assault:

Abington Hospital Rape Crisis Center

  • 215.481.2000 120 Old York Road, Abington, PA 19001

Thomas Jefferson University Hospital Rape Crisis Center

  • 215.955.6763 239 Thompson Building1020 Samson Street, Philadelphia, PA 10107

Episcopal Hospital

  • 215.481.2000 100 E. Lehigh Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19125

Bryn Mawr Hospital

  • 610.526.3000 130 S. Bryn MawrAve., BrynMawr, PA 19010

24 Hour Hotlines:

  • Women Organized Against Rape 215.985.3333*
  • Women Against Abuse 1.866.723.3014 FREE*
  • RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) 800.656.4673 FREE*

Sexual Harassment:

  • Women’s Law Project 215.928.9801
  • Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations 215.686.4692

Prosecution:

  • Special Victims Unit 215.685.3251
  • Police Sex Crimes Unit 215.685.1180/81/82
  • Rape Prosecution Unit 215.686.8083

Please note that these resources are in Philadelphia. For locations outside of Philadelphia please call 911.

*These resources are confidential

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Procedures

Campus Response To Information of Sexual Harassment or Sexual Violence

In order to assure a prompt and equitable resolution to the complaint, you will be asked to provide an initial Statement reporting the specifics of your incident, names of individuals, date, time, place, specifics which occurred, witnesses to the events described, etc. This Statement will start the College’s investigation of the events reported.

An investigation will be conducted once a Statement is filed; Statements may be filed by you (the impacted individual), by a parent or by a third party. If requested, every effort will be made to investigate the incident confidentially. The College cannot promise complete confidentiality. Information can only be shared within the College if there is a “legitimate educational need.” In order for information to be shared outside of the College, a complainant would need to give explicit permission or that information would need to be subpoenaed. It should be noted that the College’s ability to thoroughly investigate and resolve incidents of sexual misconduct may by limited should the complainant not want his or her name or any identifiable information shared.

The person who makes the report is the complainant and the individual named in the report is the respondent. As a residential educational institution, the College has a responsibility to protect the community from potential harm.  As such, the respondent may face interim suspension from the College during an investigation, prior to the hearing, during the hearing, during deliberation or during the appeal process. If appropriate, the College will work with the respondent on electronic coursework. The respondent will be asked to provide their version of the events. The complainant’s statement will be shared with the respondent. The respondent's statement will be shared with the complainant. In the event there is little or no dispute between the versions of the events and the respondent admits the conduct, the matter may be resolved without a hearing at the discretion of the Complaint officer or designated investigator. The appropriate discipline may be imposed by the College based upon the facts admitted during the investigation. If the complainant concurs with the College’s resolution, the matter is concluded without the need for a hearing.

Even when there is significant difference in the facts relayed by the complainant and respondent, the College may impose interim measures on the respondent. If the facts are in dispute, and the Complaint Officer or investigator concludes there is a basis to move forward, a private disciplinary hearing will be held where the complainant and respondent will each be treated without prejudice or bias and where each will only be asked to answer questions relevant to the specific misconduct under consideration. The hearing officer will be appointed consistent with the Hearing and Appeal Procedures described hereafter. The College will use its best efforts to complete its investigation within 14 business days of the date it receives the Statements and to schedule a disciplinary hearing within another 7 business days. The parties may mutually agree to extend these time periods. This hearing will not be, and may not be, taped. Out of respect for privacy, the College requests that all students keep information from a hearing confidential and that employees exercise discretion regarding the information disclosed in the hearings. Both parties need to submit any additional documentation to the hearing officer at least 48 hours prior to the hearing; the hearing officer will share this information with the respective parties. Both parties will be shown a copy of the Statements provided by the other party; this includes Statements from any witnesses of fact. At least 72 hours notice will be given to appear at the hearing and a written decision, complete with sanctions, will be received within 10 business days after the hearing. If desired, the complainant will be permitted to attend the entire hearing. If the complaint chooses not to attend the hearing, he or she will be offered the opportunity to submit a written statement of fact to be read at the hearing. If the respondent fails to appear he or she may submit a written statement of fact to be read at the hearing. If either party declines to participate, the hearing will move forward and no adverse inference will be drawn. Both parties are permitted to bring an advisor or advocate with them to the hearing.  This advisor must be a member of the College community. This person will not be permitted to speak during the hearing but can stay for the duration to provide support. Once the original Statement has been filed, the College will use its best efforts to process the incident (this includes investigation of facts, hearing notification, the hearing, deliberation, notification of the outcome of the hearing and the appeal process) within 60 business days. Circumstances may arise that require the extension of time frames, including extension beyond sixty (60) days. Such circumstances may include the complexity of the allegations, the number of witnesses involved, the availability of the parties or witnesses, the effect of a concurrent criminal investigation, any intervening school break or vacation, or other unforeseen circumstances.  In the event that the investigation and resolution exceed this time frame, the College will notify all parties of the reason for the delay and the expected adjustment in time frames. Best efforts will be made to complete the process in a timely manner by balancing principles of thoroughness and fundamental fairness with promptness. Character witnesses are not permitted at the hearing. In determining a remedy, the College may take into consideration the prior disciplinary history of the respondent.

The College utilizes preponderance of evidence as the standard of proof in disciplinary proceedings; this standard is met if the proposition is more likely to be true than not true. Preponderance of evidence is the acceptable standard for civil cases. The complainant and respondent will be notified of the outcome of the hearing; this notification will be made in writing and will occur as concurrently as possible. The process will terminate if the respondent is no longer a student or employee. The College will cooperate to the extent permitted by law with criminal proceedings. The College does not condone retaliation towards the respondent or the complainant. Any claims of retaliation will be investigated and those individuals will be subject to disciplinary action.  Please see the end of this policy for additional information on retaliation. Mediation will not be used to resolve sexual violence complaints. Both parties have the right to appeal. A letter of appeal should be addressed to the Vice President for Student Life (if the Appellee is a student) or to the Assistant to the President for Administration and Special Projects (if the Appellee is an employee) within 3 business days of receipt of decision. This letter should include fact based reasoning for appeal, such as failure to abide by existing procedures, failure to consider relevant information, etc. The parties will receive written notice of an appeal decision within 10 business days. Additional details about the Appeal Process are described below.

Hearings

Upon receipt of a Statement involving a student or students, the Vice President for Student Life may assign a designee to investigate the matter. Hearings will be adjudicated by the Residence Coordinators, Assistant Director of Residence Life, Director of Residence Life, Dean of Student Life or the Vice President for Student Life. In reports of sexual violence, hearings will be handled by the Dean of Student Life or a designee from the Vice President for Student Life.

Upon receipt of a Statement involving faculty members or employees of the College, the Assistant to the President for Administration and Special Projects will investigate the matter or assign a designee to do so. Impartial hearing officer(s) will be appointed by the President to conduct the hearing.

The Complainant or Respondent may request the replacement of any hearing officer if they have reason to believe there is any bias on the part of the hearing officer.

Following the conclusion of the hearing, respondents will receive written notice of a decision, including sanctions if applicable, within 10 business days. The decision will summarize the evidence and the basis for the decision. When determining sanctions, the following factors will be taken into account: severity of the incident, past judicial record, attitude and willingness to make amends.

Suspension or expulsion of a student can only be decided by the President.  If the hearing officer recommends that suspension or expulsion is necessary, the matter will go to the President.

An employee may only be suspended or terminated by the President.  If the hearing officer recommends suspension or termination, the matter will go to the President.

Appeal

A party wishing to appeal a hearing decision must do so in writing within 3 business days of receipt of the decision.

A letter of appeal should be addressed to the Vice President for Student Life; or the Assistant to the President for Administration and Special Projects, as appropriate. As a small institution, there may be situations where the Vice President for Student Life is involved in the immediate care of either the respondent or complainant or takes a role in the investigation.  In these cases, a designee to handle the appeal will be appointed by the President.  In all cases, changes to this process are implemented to ensure fairness to all parties.

Letters of appeal should include fact based reasoning for appeal; this may include evidence of improper or inadequate procedure, prejudicial conduct and/or disproportionate penalty.

Appeals will go to the College Appeal’s Board. While the College Appeal’s Board consists of faculty, staff, administrators or students as appointed by the President, no students will serve on appeals related to violations of the Policy on Sexual Discrimination, Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence. The Appellant or Appellee may request the removal of any Board Member they believe may have a bias against them.  The non-appealing party will be notified that the appeal has been filed. Once it is formed, the Appeal's Board will notify the parties if additional documentation is requested and the time period for its submission. All documentation reviewed by the Board will be made available in advance for both parties to review and submit comments; comments will be shared with one another.  If evidence is discovered after the conclusion of the hearing, this new evidence will be reviewed by the Appeals Board. Both parties will be made aware of any new evidence.

The Appeals Board will, after reviewing all available evidence and documentation, make a recommendation to the Vice President for Student Life or her designee.  In cases involving a recommendation of suspension or expulsion, the recommendation of the Appeals Board will be issued to the President.  In cases not involving suspension or expulsion, there is no right for either party to appeal to the President.  Both parties will receive written notice of the appeal decisions within 10 business days after the Appeals Board has received any additional documentation it may request.

As stated earlier, the review of the Appeals Board is limited to fact based issues, this includes evidence of improper or inadequate procedure, prejudicial conduct and/or disproportionate penalty.

Sanctions, such as interim suspension from College housing or from the College itself, or from employment may be imposed during the appeals process at the decision of the Vice President for Student Life or the Assistant to the President for Administration and Special Projects.

Sanctions

Individuals found responsible for violating this policy may face one or more of the following sanctions.  The severity of the incident, past judicial record, attitude and willingness to make amends will be taken into consideration when determining sanctioning.

     Students

Disciplinary Warning: notice to the student, orally or in writing, that continuation or repetition of the conduct found wrongful, within a period of time stated in the warning, may be cause for more severe disciplinary action.
Disciplinary Probation: an official written notice to a student that violation of College policies, regulations, or patterns contrary to College standards or expectations, will not be tolerated.  Repeated offenses or violations of any conditions of probation will result in more severe action, including possible suspension or expulsion.  Disciplinary probation lasts for a stated time.

Educational Sanctions: include but are not limited to counseling, classes and/or community engagement/service.
Fines: fines range from $10 to $200 for punitive purposes and/or restitution.
Restitution: the student or group may be required to make payment to the College, or to other persons, groups or organizations for damages to or misappropriation of property.
Loss of Residency: a student will be required to leave the College residence community and may forfeit any housing costs.  The student will be barred from entering all residence halls during the time of removal from the campus.  A student who loses residency may be considered for future on-campus accommodations at the discretion of the Vice President for Student Life and the Director of Residence Life.
Disciplinary Residence Hall Room Change: an action that requires a student to vacate his/her current room and relocate to another room because of the disciplinary process.
Restrictions of Housing Lottery: an action may exclude a student from participation in a particular housing lottery or affect his/her ranking in a particular lottery.
Suspension: separation of the student/group from the College for a specified period of time.  This could include exclusion from classes and other privileges or College activities.
Expulsion: termination (after due process) of student status for an indefinite period.  The conditions of readmission, if permitted, shall be stated in the order of expulsion.

     Faculty and Staff

Faculty and staff should consult the College Standards of Conduct Policy (available in the Staff Handbook and the Faculty Manual) for full information on corrective action.  Specifically, this policy states that the College has a responsibility to respond to concerns about professional conduct and working relationships.  Concerns brought to the attention of supervisors will ordinarily be addressed by a series of gradual steps involving strategies to resolve issues that have been identified.  For example, the steps may include personal conferences, verbal and written warnings, and opportunities for assistance where applicable. When these steps are not warranted because of the seriousness of a violation, or when they do not result in a satisfactory resolution, individuals may be subject to suspension, probation, and/or dismissal.

Retaliation

Chestnut Hill College strictly prohibits retaliation against any individual for reporting, providing information, exercising one’s rights or responsibilities, or otherwise being involved in the process of responding to, investigating, or addressing allegations of sex discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual violence.  Therefore, any retaliation, intimidation, threats, coercion, or discrimination against any such individual, undertaken or attempted either directly or by someone acting on behalf of another, will be addressed in the most serious way by the College, and individuals who engage in such actions are subject to discipline up to and including suspension, exclusion, or dismissal.  These behaviors will result in subsequent disciplinary proceedings.  Anyone who is aware of possible retaliation or has other concerns regarding the response to a complaint of sexual misconduct should report such concerns to the Title IX Coordinator or to any Deputy Coordinator, who shall take appropriate actions to address such conduct in a prompt and equitable manner.

Title IX Coordinator

The College designates the Senior Vice President for Financial Affairs, Lauri Strimkovsky, (215.248-7168), as its Title IX coordinator. Any questions or complaints regarding the College’s Policy or its implementation should be promptly brought to the attention of the Title IX coordinator. The Title IX Coordinator will maintain a confidential list of the complaints made under this policy, the disposition of these complaints and the timeline for resolution.

To File a Complaint with the Office of Civil Rights

Anyone who wishes to file a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) may do so through the mail, email or online.  Prior to filing a complaint with OCR against an institution, a potential complainant may want to find out about the institution’s grievance process and use that process to have the complaint resolved. However, a complainant is not required by law to use the institutional grievance process before filing a complaint with OCR. If a complainant uses an institutional grievance process and also chooses to file the complaint with OCR, the complaint must be filed with OCR within 60 days after completion of the institutional grievance process.  For more information on filing a complaint, please visit the OCR website at http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr.

Record Keeping

After a matter is concluded, the individual who conducted the investigation shall prepare a written summary of the matter. The purpose of the summary is (1) to insure the College is aware of repeat incidents by the same individual and (2) for record keeping purposes so the College can evaluate the effectiveness of its anti-harassment policy and procedures. This summary will be kept in a separate file which may be consulted for the two purposes stated. 

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Prevention and Education

Campus Wide Prevention Efforts

Prevention efforts focus not only on education, but also primary prevention techniques such as bystander intervention, as well as providing alternative programming for individuals.  Alternative programming sometimes has an educational component, but sometimes it is purely designed to provide an alcohol and drug free environment for individuals, thus helping to minimize their own risk.  Examples of programs are included in the chart below:

Type of Program

Examples

Lectures

“Drunk Sex or Date Rape: Can you Tell the Difference” – Brett Sokolow, JD
“DUI: A Powerful Lesson” – Mark Sterner
Women Organized Against Rape Workshop

Awareness Programs

Alcohol 101 (in first year seminars and for policy violators)

Denim Day
Sobriety/Safe Drinking Pledge
DUI Simulator
Virtual Bar
Various Residence Hall Programs
National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week
Day of Silence

Alcohol Free Programming

Fridays After Dark (every Friday after 9 pm), Midnight Madness (funded by an NCAA CHOICES grant, Alternative programming on high risk days (Super Bowl, Halloween, St. Patrick’s Day, etc.)

Training

Step UP to be a Dear Neighbor (bystander intervention training)

Responsible Employee/Campus Security Authority Training

Sexual Harassment Training

Electronic

Social Media campaigns

Use of campus wide TVs

Educational Resources

Our goal is to always prevent an incident from occurring.  With this goal in mind, the remaining section includes examples of policy violations and risk reduction tips. 

Examples

Amanda and Bill meet at a party.  They spend the evening dancing and getting to know each other.  Bill convinces Amanda to come up to his room.  From 11:00pm until 3:00am, Bill uses every line he can think of to convince Amanda to have sex with him, but she adamantly refuses.  He keeps at her, and begins to question her religious convictions, and accuses her of being “a prude.”   Finally, it seems to Bill that her resolve is weakening, and he convinces her to give him a "hand job" (hand to genital contact).  Amanda would never had done it but for Bill's incessant advances.   He feels that he successfully seduced her, and that she wanted to do it all along, but was playing shy and hard to get.  Why else would she have come up to his room alone after the party?  If she really didn't want it, she could have left. 

Bill is responsible for violating the Non-Consensual or Forced Sexual Contact section of this policy. It is likely that a College hearing would find that the degree and duration of the pressure Bill applied to Amanda are unreasonable.  Bill coerced Amanda into performing unwanted sexual touching upon him.  Where sexual activity is coerced, it is forced.  Consent is not effective when forced.  Sex without effective consent is sexual misconduct.

Jiang is a junior and Beth is a sophomore.  Jiang comes to Beth’s dorm room with some mutual friends to watch a movie.  Jiang and Beth, who have never met before, are attracted to each other.  After the movie, everyone leaves, and Jiang and Beth are alone.  They hit it off, and are soon becoming more intimate.  They start to make out.  Jiang verbally expresses his desire to have sex with Beth.  Beth, who was abused by a baby-sitter when she was five, and has not had any sexual relations since, is shocked at how quickly things are progressing.  As Jiang takes her by the wrist over to the bed, lays her down, undresses her, and begins to have intercourse with her, Beth has a severe flashback to her childhood trauma.  She wants to tell Jiang to stop, but cannot.  Beth is stiff and unresponsive during the intercourse.  Is this a policy violation?

Jiang would be held responsible in this scenario for Non Consensual Sexual Intercourse.  It is the duty of the sexual initiator, Jiang, to make sure that he has mutually understandable consent to engage in sex.  Though consent need not be verbal, it is the clearest form of consent.  Here, Jiang had no verbal or non-verbal mutually understandable indication from Beth that she consented to sexual intercourse.  Of course, wherever possible, students should attempt to be as clear as possible as to whether or not sexual contact is desired, but students must be aware that for psychological reasons, or because of alcohol or drug use, one’s partner may not be in a position to provide as clear an indication as the policy requires.  As the policy makes clear, consent must be actively, not passively, given.

Kevin and Amy are at a party.  Kevin is not sure how much Amy has been drinking, but he is pretty sure it’s a lot. After the party, he walks Amy to her room, and Amy comes on to Kevin, initiating sexual activity.  Kevin asks her if she is really up to this, and Amy says yes.  Clothes go flying, and they end up in Amy’s bed.  Suddenly, Amy runs for the bathroom.  When she returns, her face is pale, and Kevin thinks she may have thrown up.  Amy gets back into bed, and they begin to have sexual intercourse.  Kevin is having a good time, though he can’t help but notice that Amy seems pretty groggy and passive, and he thinks Amy may have even passed out briefly during the sex, but he does not let that stop him.  When Kevin runs into Amy the next day, he thanks her for the wild night.  Amy remembers nothing, and decides to make a complaint to the Dean. 

This is a violation of the Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse Policy.  Kevin should have known that Amy was incapable of making a rational, reasonable decision about sex.  Even if Amy seemed to consent, Kevin was well aware that Amy had consumed a large amount of alcohol, and Kevin thought Amy was physically ill, and that she passed out during sex.  Kevin should be held accountable for taking advantage of Amy in her condition.  This is not the level of respectful conduct expected of students.

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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, suggestions to avoid committing a non-consensual sexual act are also offered:

  • If you have limits, make them known as early as possible.
  • Tell a sexual aggressor “NO” clearly and firmly.
  • Try to remove yourself from the physical presence of a sexual aggressor.
  • Find someone nearby and ask for help.
  • 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.
  • 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.  These suggestions may help you to reduce your risk for being accused of sexual misconduct:

Clearly communicate your intentions to your sexual partner and give them a chance to clearly relate their intentions to you. 

  • Understand and respect personal boundaries.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Don’t take advantage of someone’s drunkenness or drugged state, even if they did it to themselves.
  • 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.  Don’t abuse that power.
  • Understand that consent to some form of sexual behavior does not automatically imply consent to any other forms of sexual behavior. 
  • 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.
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