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Title IX – Policy Details

SCOPE

Medium

    • This policy applies to alleged Sexual Harassment in any medium. Sexual Harassment may manifest in many evolving forms including, but not limited to: physical, verbal, and visual, whether in person or online in any format.

Jurisdiction

    • The University has a compelling obligation to address allegations and suspected instances of Sexual Harassment when it has Actual Knowledge that this policy has been violated. The University must inform the Respondent of the allegations and may take any further action it deems appropriate, including pursuing an investigation even in cases when the Complainant is reluctant to proceed. The Complainant will be notified in advance when such action is necessary.
    • The University’s disciplinary response may be limited if the Respondent is a visitor or other third- party or is not subject to the University’s jurisdiction.

Location

    • This policy applies to alleged Sexual Harassment that takes place in a University’s educational program or activity, against a person in the United States. This includes locations, events, or circumstances over which the University exercised significant control over both the Respondent and the context in which the Sexual Harassment occurred.
    • This policy also applies to alleged Sexual Harassment that occurs off-campus, including virtual spaces, in any building owned or controlled by a Student organization that is officially recognized by the University.
    • In situations not covered above, but where the Sexual Harassment undermines the security of the University Community or the integrity of the educational process or poses a serious threat to self or others, other applicable University procedures for general misconduct may be applied.

This policy is not intended for, and will not be used to, infringe on academic freedom or to censor or punish members of the University Community who exercise their legitimate First Amendment rights.

Policy Maintenance

  • This policy is managed by the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students and the Title IX Coordinator.
  • This policy and the associated procedures will be revised by the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students after consultation with the Title IX coordinator.

RECEIVING SUPPORTIVE MEASURES

Members of the University Community impacted by Sexual Harassment are encouraged to use counseling and support services, listed in the Resources section.

EMPLOYEES WITH THE AUTHORITY TO INSTITUTE CORRECTIVE MEASURES

The University designates certain employees who have the authority to institute corrective measures on its behalf. Under this policy, their knowledge of Sexual Harassment conveys Actual Knowledge to the University.

The following employees have been designated by the University as having the authority to initiate corrective measure on its behalf:

  • Title IX Coordinator
  • Associate VP for Student Affairs/Dean of Students

When one of the above employees learns of alleged sexual harassment, that employee should contact the Title IX Coordinator in the Office of Student Affairs as soon as possible.

Employees may have additional reporting obligations provided by law and/or other University policies.

Corrective action may be taken against any individual who has a duty to report and who fails to respond in a manner consistent with the provisions of applicable laws, regulations, policies, and procedures.

EMPLOYEE DUTY TO REPORT

All University employees have reporting responsibilities to ensure the University can take appropriate action.

All University employees, except those exempted by legal privilege of confidentiality or expressly identified as a confidential reporter, have an obligation to report incidents of Sexual Assault. Any employee who receives a disclosure of Sexual Assault or becomes aware of information that would lead a reasonable person to believe that a Sexual Assault may have occurred involving anyone covered under this policy, must report the incident within five workdays of becoming aware of such information.

Employees are not required to report disclosures of information regarding Sexual Harassment pursuant to this policy in the following circumstances, unless an individual covered under this policy is implicated or the individual is explicitly seeking assistance from the University:

  • At public survivor support events including, but not limited to: “Take Back the Night,” candlelight vigils, protests, and survivor speak-outs;
  • To Student-employees when they are operating outside of their official work capacity; or
  • During an individual’s participation as a subject in an Institutional Review Board (IRB)-approved human subjects research protocol.

Contacting the Title IX Coordinator or the Associate Vice President of Student Affairs/Dean of Students in the Office of Student Affairs to share all known information will satisfy the employee duty to report.

Employees may have additional reporting obligations provided by law and/or other University policies.

The following categories of employees are exempt from the duty to report Sexual Assault and other Sexual Harassment, due to their legal or professional privilege of confidentiality or their designation by the University as a confidential reporter:

    • Professional and pastoral counselors

a) A professional counselor is a person whose official responsibilities include providing mental health counseling to members of the University Community and who is functioning within the scope of that license or certification and their university employment.

      1. This definition applies even to professional counselors who are not employees of the university but are under contract to provide counseling at the university.
      2. This also includes an individual who is not yet licensed or certified as a counselor but is acting in that role under the supervision of an individual who is licensed or certified (e.g., a Ph.D. counselor-trainee acting under the supervision of a professional counselor at the university).

b) A pastoral counselor is a person who is associated with a religious order or denomination, is recognized by that religious order or denomination as someone who provides confidential counseling and is functioning within the scope of that recognition and their role at the university.

      1. In this context, a pastor or priest who is functioning as an athletic director or as a Student advocate would not be exempt from the reporting obligations.
  • Other employees with a professional license requiring confidentiality who are functioning within the scope of that license or certification and their university employment.

a) For example, a physician with a dual appointment as a clinician and professor would be required to report instances of Sexual Harassment of which they become aware in the scope of their employment as a professor, but must keep such information confidential and privileged if learned in the scope of their duties as a physician unless there is a mandatory reporting requirement under state law.

Corrective action may be taken against any individual who has a duty to report and who fails to respond in a manner consistent with the provisions of applicable laws, regulations, policies, and procedures.

REPORTING ALLEGATIONS OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT

Any person may report sexual harassment. By way of example, this includes:

  • Students
  • Employees
  • Parents/Guardians
  • Any University Community member or other individual who is directly involved in, observes, or reasonably believes that Sexual Harassment may have occurred.

Reports can be made to the Title IX Coordinator in the following ways:

  • In-Person: Trinity Hall 105
  • Mail: 2701 Spring Street, Fort Wayne, IN 46808
  • Phone: 260-399-7700 ext.6745
  • Email: rpastoor@sf.edu

Making a report to the University and to law enforcement are mutually exclusive events. Making a report to the University does not preclude the individual from filing a report of a crime with law enforcement nor does it extend time limits that may apply in criminal processes. Filing a report with law enforcement is not a prerequisite of making a report with the University. However, individuals may request assistance from the Title IX Coordinator or designee to notify law enforcement.

  • Fort Wayne Police Department: Emergency 911,
    Non-emergency 260-427-1222

CONFIDENTIALITY AND PRIVACY

The University recognizes the importance of confidentiality and privacy. See the Resources section for a list of confidential support, non-confidential support, and medical resources. Information received in connection with the reporting, investigation, and resolution of allegations will be treated as private and will only involve individuals whom the University determines are necessary to conduct an appropriate investigation, to provide assistance and resources to parties, to perform other appropriate University functions or when the University is required to provide information under the law.

If an incident is disclosed or reported to the University and the individual requests that no investigation be conducted or disciplinary action be taken, the Title IX Coordinator or designee will explain that the University prohibits Retaliation and explain the steps the University will take to prevent and respond to Retaliation if the individual participates in a resolution process. The Title IX Coordinator or designee will evaluate the request to determine whether the University can honor the request while still providing a safe and nondiscriminatory environment.

A decision to proceed despite an individual’s request will be made on a case-by-case basis after an individualized review, and the Complainant will be notified if such a decision is made. If the University proceeds with an investigation, the Complainant is under no obligation to proceed as a part of the investigation.

All individuals involved in the process should observe the same standard of discretion and respect for everyone involved in the process.

RETALIATION

Retaliation is prohibited by University policy and law. The University will not tolerate Retaliation in any form against any individual who makes an allegation, files a report, serves as a witness, assists a Complainant, or participates in an investigation of discrimination or harassment.

Retaliation is a serious violation that can subject the offender to discipline, up to and including termination of employment and/or suspension or dismissal of a Student, independent of the merits of the underlying allegation.

Allegations of Retaliation should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator.

INVESTIGATION AND RESOLUTION OPTIONS

Initial Assessment

    • The Office of Student Affairs reviews all reports of Sexual Harassment under this policy under the direction of the Title IX Coordinator or designee for an initial assessment of the reported information. The available resolution options will be guided by the availability of information or evidence suggesting that a policy violation may have occurred; the University’s obligation to investigate and provide appropriate remedies to eliminate, prevent, and address the effects of the prohibited conduct; and the desire of the Complainant to participate in an investigation or other resolution.
    • Upon completion of an initial assessment, the Title IX Coordinator or designee will determine the available options for resolution and will communicate the options to the parties.

Informal Resolution

    • Informal resolution may be utilized in some circumstances if the University deems appropriate and both parties agree to it.

Investigative Resolution

    • The Office of Student Affairs may resolve a report of Sexual Harassment through investigative resolution when the alleged Sexual Harassment, if true, would be prohibited under applicable University policy.  In instances when informal resolution is inappropriate, when the party requests, or when the University requires formal investigation, the University will consider the concerns and rights of all parties and provide a prompt, fair, impartial, and equitable process.

REMEDIES

When the University makes a finding of a policy violation, it will take steps, whether individual or systemic, to stop the alleged Sexual Harassment, prevent its recurrence, and remedy the discriminatory effects on the Complainant and others, as appropriate.

Corrective Actions/Sanctions

    • When the Respondent is a Student, potential sanctions include formal reprimand, disciplinary probation, suspension, dismissal, and other appropriate educational sanctions.
    • When the Respondent is an employee, corrective actions may be taken pursuant to the Corrective Action/Termination Policy, Student Employment Policy, and/or Faculty Rules. Disciplinary corrective actions include coaching, development plans, reduction in supervisory duties and leadership responsibilities, changes in salary, termination, and other appropriate corrective actions.
    • Student employees may be subject to corrective action and sanctions under Student and/or employee policies depending on the nature of the complaint. For instance, a Student employee who is dismissed from the university may also be subject to termination or other corrective actions.

Any corrective actions or sanctions will not take effect until any appeals have been completed.

Interim Supportive Measures

    • Supportive measures will be made available to both the Complainant and Respondent whether or not a formal complaint is filed to ensure equal access to the University’s education and employment programs and activities. The Title IX Coordinator or designee will conduct an individualized assessment and will review requests from Complainant and Respondent to determine supportive measures that are appropriate and reasonably available at no cost to the Complainant or Respondent. Supportive measures may include, but are not limited to:

a. No contact directives;

b. Referral to campus and community resources for victim advocacy, counseling, health services, legal assistance, immigration assistance, disability services;

c. Academic support including extensions of time and other course-related adjustments;

d. Modification of work or class schedules;

e. Change in work or housing locations;

f. Change in reporting relationship;

g. Consideration of leave requests; and

h. Assistance with academic petitions.

    • During the period of any investigation a Respondent can be put on administrative leave if they are an employee of the University. If the Respondent is a Student of the University, they may be removed from educational activities following an individualized safety and risk analysis if it is determined that the Respondent poses an imminent threat to the physical health or safety of anyone due to the allegations made. If a Student is removed from educational activities in this way, they have the right to challenge the determination of the safety and risk analysis.
    • The Title IX Coordinator or designee will coordinate the provision of interim supportive measures. Parties will not be required to arrange such measures by themselves but may need to participate in communication with supervisors, faculty, and other University employees with a need to know.

Other Remedial Measures

  • When the university is unable to proceed with investigative resolution, such as lack of information in the report or request by the Complainant that an investigation not move forward, the university may take other remedial measures as appropriate to remedy the effects of the alleged Sexual Harassment and/or prevent its recurrence. Remedial measures may also be implemented when it is determined that inappropriate behavior occurred, but that the behavior did not rise to the level of a policy violation.
  • Remedial measures may include and are not limited to:

a. Providing training on Sexual Harassment;

b. Increasing security in a designated space;

c. Changing policy or procedure; and

d. Conducting climate checks.

FALSE ALLEGATIONS

It is a violation of this policy for anyone to make a false allegation of Sexual Harassment in bad faith. Corrective action/sanctions may be imposed on individuals who in bad faith make false allegations of Sexual Harassment.

The absence of a finding of a policy violation is not equivalent to finding that the Complainant acted in bad faith.

PROCESS ABUSE

No member of the University Community may:

  • Obstruct, prohibit, exert improper influence over, or interfere with any individual making a report, participating in a process, or carrying out a responsibility covered by this policy;
  • Make, in bad faith, materially false statements in or related to a process covered by this policy;
  • Disrupt or interfere with the orderly conduct of any proceeding conducted under this policy; or
  • Fail to comply with any directive, sanction, or corrective action issued pursuant to this policy.

TRAINING

All faculty, staff, Student employees, graduate associates, and Students are required to take annual Sexual Harassment training as directed by the university.

FEDERAL STATISTICAL REPORTING OBLIGATIONS

Certain campus officials have a duty to report sexual misconduct for federal statistical reporting purposes (Clery Act).  All personally identifiable information is kept confidential, but statistical information must be passed along to Campus Security 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, to ensure grater community safety. Mandated federal reporters include: student/conduct affairs, campus security, 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 and campus activities. The information to be 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 Reporting Party and may be done anonymously.

FEDERAL TIMELY WARNING REPORTING OBLIGATIONS

Victims of sexual misconduct should also be aware the University administrators must 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 Reporting Party’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.