Title IX Policy

I. POLICY STATEMENT

Adventist University of Health Sciences (“University”) is committed to providing a learning, working, and living environment that promotes personal integrity, civility, and mutual respect in an environment free of discrimination on the basis of sex. The University considers Sex Discrimination (as defined below in Section IV.A.) in all its forms to be a serious offense. Sex Discrimination constitutes a violation of this policy, is unacceptable, and will not be tolerated.

Sexual Harassment (as defined below in Section IV.B), whether verbal, physical, or visual, is always inconsistent with the mission and expectations of the University, and may constitute a form Sex Discrimination in violation of this policy. Sexual Harassment also includes Sexual Violence/Assault (as defined below in Section IV.C). Examples of specific conduct that constitutes Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence/Assault are set forth below.

II. SCOPE

This policy applies to administrators, faculty, and other University employees; students; applicants for employment; customers; third-party contractors; and all other persons that participate in the University’s educational programs and activities, including third-party visitors on campus (the “University Community”). The University’s prohibition on Sex Discrimination extends to all aspects of its educational programs and activities, including, but not limited to, admissions, employment, academics, athletics, housing, and student services.

III. TITLE IX STATEMENT

It is the policy of the University to comply with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and its implementing regulations, which prohibit Sex Discrimination in the University’s educational programs and activities. Title IX and its implementing regulations also prohibit retaliation for asserting claims of Sex Discrimination. The University has designated the following Title IX Coordinator to coordinate its compliance with Title IX and to receive inquiries regarding Title IX, including complaints of Sex Discrimination:

Starr Bender
Title IX Coordinator
Campus Center Room 330
671 Winyah Drive
Orlando, FL 32803
407-303-5765
starr.bender@adu.edu

The University has also designated the following Deputy Title IX Coordinator to coordinate Title IX compliance at the Denver campus and to receive inquiries regarding Title IX, including complaints under this policy:

Katie Shaw
Deputy Title IX Coordinator
950 E. Harvard Ave., Suite B80
Denver, CO 80210
303-765-6271
Katie.Shaw@adu.edu

A person may also file a complaint of Sex Discrimination with the United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights regarding an alleged violation of Title IX by visiting www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/complaintintro.html or by calling 1-800-421-3481.

IV. SEX DISCRIMINATION

  1. Sex Discrimination

    The University prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex (“Sex Discrimination”) in all the University’s programs and activities. In compliance with Title IX and its implementing regulations, the University has implemented this policy to eliminate, prevent and address conduct that constitutes Sex Discrimination. Conduct, such as Sexual Harassment, constitutes Sex Discrimination when it denies or limits a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s programs or activities based on sex. Sexual Harassment denies or limits a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s programs and activities, when:

    • Submission to or rejection of such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of any aspect of the University’s programs and activities;

    • Submission to or rejection of such conduct by a person is used as a basis for any decision adversely affecting such person with respect to the University’s programs and activities; or

    • Such conduct is severe or pervasive, such that, considering all relevant circumstances, the conduct denies or limits a person’s ability to participate in the University’s programs and activities.

    Notwithstanding the aforementioned definition of Sex Discrimination, the University reserves the right to resolve, investigate, and/or take disciplinary action against any improper conduct of a sexual nature, including but not limited to Sexual Harassment, even though such conduct is not of the type, severity, or pervasiveness that constitutes Sex Discrimination under this policy.

  2. Definition of Sexual Harassment

    Sexual Harassment is any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual Harassment constitutes Sex Discrimination when it denies or limits a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s programs and activities. The University encourages members of the University Community to report any and all instances of Sexual Harassment, even if they are unsure whether the Sexual Harassment constitutes Sex Discrimination.

    Sexual Harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, physical, or visual conduct of a sexual nature, such as:

    • Pressure for a dating, romantic, or intimate relationship

    • Unwelcome touching, kissing, hugging, or massaging

    • Pressure for sexual activity

    • Unnecessary references to parts of the body

    • Sexual innuendos or sexual humor

    • Obscene gestures

    • Sexual graffiti, pictures, or posters

    • Sexually explicit profanity

    • Asking about, or telling about, sexual fantasies

    • E-mail and Internet use that violates this policy

    • Sexual violence/assault (as defined below

    Further examples of Sexual Harassment may be found in the Frequently Asked Questions below.

  3. Definition of Sexual Violence/Assault

    Sexual Violence/Assault is a form of Sexual Harassment. Sexual Violence/Assault includes physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent because of his or her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity or because of his or her youth. A single instance of Sexual Violence/Assault may be sufficiently severe to deny or limit a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s programs or activities, and, therefore, constitute Sex Discrimination.

    Some examples of sexual violence/assault include:

    • Sexual intercourse (anal, oral, or vaginal) by a man or woman upon a man or woman without consent

    • Unwilling sexual penetration (anal, vaginal, or oral) with any object or body part that is committed by force, threat, or intimidation

    • Sexual touching with an object or body part, by a man or woman upon a man or woman, without consent

    • Sexual touching with an object or body part, by a man or woman upon a man or woman, committed by force, threat, or intimidation

    • Prostituting another student

    • Non-consensual video or audio-taping of sexual activity

    • Knowingly transmitting a sexually transmitted disease to another

    Further examples of Sexual Violence/Assault may be found in the Frequently Asked Questions below.

  4. Definition of Consent

    Lack of consent is a critical factor in determining whether sexual violence/assault has occurred. Consent is informed, freely given, and mutually understood. Consent requires an affirmative act or statement by each participant. Consent is not passive.

    • If coercion, intimidation, threats, and/or physical force are used, there is no consent.

    • If a person is mentally or physically incapacitated or impaired by alcohol or drugs such that the person cannot understand the fact, nature, or extent of the sexual situation, there is no consent.

    • If a person is asleep or unconscious, there is no consent.

    • Consent to one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity.

    • Consent can be withdrawn. A person who initially consents to sexual activity is deemed not to have consented to any sexual activity that occurs after he or she withdraws consent.

  5. Definitions of Domestic Violence, Dating Violence and Stalking

    The crimes of Domestic Violence, Dating Violence and Stalking can also constitute Sexual Harassment when motivated by a person’s sex. These crimes, no matter the motivation behind them, are a violation of this policy.

    Domestic Violence

    • The Violence Against Women Act (“VAWA”) defines Domestic Violence as follows: “Domestic violence” includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of a victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner, by a person similarly situated to a spouse or the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction […], or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction.

    • For state law definitions covering Domestic Violence see:

    Dating Violence

    • VAWA defines Dating Violence as follows: “Dating violence” means violence committed by a person:

      1. who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim; and

      2. where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors:

        1. The length of the relationship.

        2. The type of relationship.

        3. The frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.

    • For state law definitions covering Dating Violence see:

      • Florida Statutes § 784.046(d)

        More Info

      • Dating Violence is not defined under Colorado law but such incidents would typically be covered under the definition of Domestic Violence in the Colorado Revised Statutes § 18-6-800.3.

    Stalking

    • VAWA defines Stalking as follows: “Stalking” means engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to:

      1. fear for his or her safety or the safety of others; or

      2. suffer substantial emotional distress.

    • For state law definitions of Stalking see:

V. ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

  1. Title IX Coordinator

    It is the responsibility of the Title IX Coordinator to coordinate dissemination of information and education and training programs to: (1) assist members of the University community in understanding that Sex Discrimination is prohibited by this policy; (2) ensure that investigators are trained to respond to and investigate complaints of Sex Discrimination; (3) ensure that employees and students are aware of the procedures for reporting and addressing complaints of Sex Discrimination; and (4) to implement the Title IX Complaint Resolution Procedures or to designate appropriate persons for implementing the Title IX Complaint Resolution Procedures.

  2. Administrators, Deans, Department Chairs, and Other Managers

    It is the responsibility of administrators, deans, department chairs, and other managers (i.e., those that formally supervise other employees) to:

    • Inform employees under their direction or supervision of this policy

    • Work with the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator to implement education and training programs for employees and students

    • Implement any corrective actions that are imposed as a result of findings of a violation of this policy

  3. All Employees

    It is the responsibility of all employees to review this policy and comply with it.

  4. Students

    It is the responsibility of all students to review this policy and comply with it.

  5. The University

    When the University is aware that a member of the University Community may have been subjected to or affected by conduct that constitutes Sex Discrimination, the University will take prompt action, including a review of the matter and, if necessary, an investigation and appropriate steps to stop and remedy the prohibited conduct. The University will act in accordance with its Title IX Complaint Resolution Procedures, described below.

VI. COMPLAINTS

  1. Making a Complaint

    1. Employees

      All University employees have a duty to file a complaint with the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator when they believe or receive information indicating that a member of the University Community may have been subjected to conduct that constitutes prohibited Sex Discrimination.

    2. Students and Other Persons

      Students who believe they or another member of the University Community may have been subjected to conduct that constitutes prohibited Sex Discrimination are encouraged to file a complaint with the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator. Students and other persons may also file a complaint with the United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, as set forth in Section III. above.

    3. Content of the Complaint

      So that the University has sufficient information to investigate a complaint, the complaint should include: (1) the date(s) and time(s) of the alleged Sex Discrimination; (2) the names of all person(s) involved in the alleged Sex Discrimination, including possible witnesses; (3) all details outlining what happened; and (4) contact information for the complainant so that the University may follow up appropriately.

    4. Conduct that Constitutes a Crime

      Any person who believes they have been subject to Sex Discrimination that also constitutes a crime—including Sexual Violence/Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, or Stalking—is encouraged to make a complaint to local law enforcement, as well as to the University’s Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator. If requested, the University will assist the complainant in notifying the appropriate law enforcement authorities. In the event of an emergency, please contact 911. A victim may decline to notify such authorities.

    5. Special Guidance Concerning Complaints of Sexual Violence/Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, or Stalking

      If you are the victim of Sexual Violence/Assault, Domestic Violence, or Dating Violence do not blame yourself. These crimes are never the victim’s fault. The University recommends that you immediately go to the emergency room of a local hospital and contact local law enforcement, in addition to making a prompt complaint under this policy.

      If you are the victim of Sexual Violence/Assault, Domestic Violence, or Dating Violence, do everything possible to preserve evidence by making certain that the crime scene is not disturbed. Preservation of evidence may be necessary for proof of the crime or in obtaining a protection order. Victims of Sexual Violence/Assault, Domestic Violence, or Dating Violence should not bathe, urinate, douche, brush teeth, or drink liquids until after they are examined and, if necessary, a rape examination is completed. Clothes should not be changed. When necessary, seek immediate medical attention at an area hospital and take a full change of clothing, including shoes, for use after a medical examination.

      It is also important to take steps to preserve evidence in cases of Stalking, to the extent such evidence exists. In cases of Stalking, evidence is more likely to be in the form of letters, emails, text messages, etc. rather than evidence of physical contact and violence.

      Once a complaint of Sexual Violence/Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, or Stalking is made, the complainant has several options such as, but not limited to:

      • contacting parents or a relative

      • seeking legal advice

      • seeking personal counseling (always recommended)

      • pursuing legal action against the perpetrator

      • pursing disciplinary action

      • requesting that no further action be taken

      A complainant will also be given a copy of the document titled “Rights and Options After Filing a Complaint Under the Title IX Policy.”

    6. Vendors, Contractors, and Third-Parties

      This policy applies to the conduct of vendors, contractors, and third parties. Persons who believe they have been discriminated against or harassed in violation of this policy should make a complaint in the manner set forth in this section.

    7. Retaliation

      It is a violation of this policy to retaliate against any member of the University Community who reports or assists in making a complaint of Sex Discrimination or who participates in the investigation of a complaint in any way. Persons who believe they have been retaliated against in violation of this policy should make a complaint in the manner set forth in this section.

    8. Protecting the Complainant

      Pending final outcome of an investigation in accordance with the Title IX Complaint Resolution Procedures, the University will take steps to protect the complainant from further Sex Discrimination or retaliation. This may include assisting and allowing the complainant to change his or her academic, living, transportation, or work situation if options to do so are reasonably available. Such changes may be available regardless of whether the victim chooses to report the crime to campus police or local law enforcement.

      If a complainant has obtained a temporary restraining order or other no contact order against the alleged perpetrator from a criminal, civil, or tribal court, the complainant should provide such information to the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator. The University will take all reasonable and legal action to implement the order.

  2. Timing of Complaints

    The University encourages persons to make complaints of Sex Discrimination as soon as possible because late reporting may limit the University’s ability to investigate and respond to the conduct complained of.

  3. Investigation and Confidentiality

    All complaints of Sex Discrimination will be promptly and thoroughly investigated in accordance with the Title IX Complaint Resolution Procedures, and the University will take disciplinary and remedial action where appropriate. The University will make reasonable and appropriate efforts to preserve an individual’s privacy and protect the confidentiality of information when investigating and resolving a complaint. However, because of laws relating to reporting and other state and federal laws, the University cannot guarantee confidentiality to those who make complaints. In the event that the complainant’s confidentiality cannot be ensured, the University will notify the complainant.

    In the event a complainant requests confidentiality or asks that a complaint not be investigated, the University will take all reasonable steps to investigate and respond to the complaint consistent with the request for confidentiality or request not to pursue an investigation. If a complainant insists that his or her name not be disclosed to the alleged perpetrator, the University’s ability to respond may be limited. The University reserves the right to initiate and proceed with an investigation despite a complainant’s request for confidentiality in limited circumstances involving serious or repeated conduct or where the alleged perpetrator may pose a continuing threat to the University Community.

  4. Resolution

    If a complaint of Sex Discrimination is found to be substantiated, the University will take appropriate corrective and remedial action. Students, faculty, and employees found to be in violation of this policy will be subject to discipline up to and including written reprimand, suspension, demotion, termination, or expulsion. Affiliates and program participants may be removed from University programs and/or prevented from returning to campus. Remedial steps may also include counseling for the complainant, academic, work, transportation, or living accommodations for the complainant, separation of the parties, and training for the respondent and other persons.

  5. Bad Faith Complaints

    While the University encourages all good faith complaints of Sex Discrimination, the University has the responsibility to balance the rights of all parties. Therefore, if the University’s investigation reveals that a complaint was knowingly false, the complaint will be dismissed and the person who filed the knowingly false complaint may be subject to discipline.

VII. ACADEMIC FREEDOM

While the University is committed to the principles of free inquiry and free expression, conduct constituting Sex Discrimination is neither legally protected expression nor the proper exercise of academic freedom.

VIII. EDUCATION

Because the University recognizes the prevention of Sex Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Violence/Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking is an important issue, it offers educational programming to a variety of groups such as: campus personnel; incoming students and new employees participating in orientation; and members of student organizations. Among other items, such training will cover relevant definitions, procedures, and sanctions; will provide safe and positive options for bystander intervention; and will provide risk reduction information, including recognizing warning signs of abusive behavior and how to avoid potential attacks. To learn more about educational resources, please contact the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator.

The University will provide written notification to students and employees about existing counseling, health, mental health, victim advocacy, legal assistance, and other services available for victims, both on-campus and in the community.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

1. What kinds of conduct constitute prohibited Sex Discrimination?

All discrimination on the basis of sex in the University’s programs and activities is prohibited under this policy. Sexual Harassment, defined as any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, is one way a person may discriminate against another due to his or her sex. The University has a duty under Title IX to take the steps outlined in this policy when conduct, like Sexual Harassment, denies or limits a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s programs and activities. In such circumstances, Sexual Harassment constitutes Sex Discrimination. The University encourages you to report any and all instances of Sexual Harassment, even if you are unsure whether the Sexual Harassment constitutes Sex Discrimination.

Sexual Violence/Assault is a particularly severe form of Sexual Harassment that includes physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is for some reason incapable of giving consent. Even a single instance of Sexual Violence/Assault can constitute Sex Discrimination under this policy and should always be reported.

For further descriptions and examples of Sexual Harassment, Sexual Violence/Assault, and Sex Discrimination, please see Questions 2 and 4 below, as well as Section IV of the University’s Title IX Policy.

2. What are some additional examples of Sexual Harassment?

Sexual Harassment is any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual Harassment constitutes a form of prohibited Sex Discrimination when it denies or limits a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s programs and activities. The University’s policies protect men and women equally from Sexual Harassment, including harassment by members of the same sex. Staff, faculty, and students are protected from Sexual Harassment by any other staff, faculty, student, or contractor. Examples of kinds of conduct that constitute Sexual Harassment include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Engaging in unwelcome sexual advances

  • Leering or staring at someone in a sexual way, such as staring at a person’s breasts or groin

  • Sending sexually explicit emails or text messages

  • Telling unwelcome, sexually-explicit jokes

  • Displaying sexually suggestive or lewd photographs, videos, or graffiti

  • Making unwelcome and unwanted physical contact, such as rubbing, touching, pinching, or patting

  • Making unwelcome and suggestive sounds, such as “cat calls” or whistling

  • Commenting on a person’s dress in a sexual manner

  • Making sexual gestures

  • Repeatedly asking someone for a date after the person has expressed disinterest

  • Giving unwelcome personal gifts such as flowers, chocolates, or lingerie that suggest the desire for a romantic relationship

  • Telling another person of one’s sexual fantasies, sexual preferences, or sexual activities

  • Commenting on a person’s body, gender, sexual relationships, or sexual activities

  • Using sexually explicit profanity

3. What should I do if I have been sexually harassed?

The University encourages you to report Sexual Harassment as soon as possible. Ignoring Sexual Harassment does not make it go away. And delayed reporting may limit the University’s ability to investigate and remedy the Sexual Harassment.

If you are a student, you may report Sexual Harassment to the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator. If you are the victim of Sexual Harassment that constitutes a crime, the University encourages you to also file a complaint with local law enforcement and to press charges. If requested, the University will assist you in filing a complaint with local law enforcement.

You always have the option to directly confront the person that is harassing you. Sometimes, individuals are not aware that their behavior is offensive and quickly apologize and change their behavior once it is brought to their attention. However, you are not required or expected to confront your harasser prior to filing a complaint.

4. What are some additional examples of Sexual Violence/Assault?

Sexual Violence/Assault is a form of prohibited Sexual Harassment. Sexual Violence/Assault includes physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent due to use of drugs and/or alcohol or to an intellectual or other disability. Examples of kinds of conduct that constitute Sexual Violence/Assault include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • The use of force or coercion to effect sexual intercourse or some other form of sexual contact with a person who has not given consent

  • Having sexual intercourse with a person who is unconscious because of drug or alcohol use

  • Hazing that involves penetrating a person’s vagina or anus with an object

  • Use of the “date rape drug” to effect sexual intercourse or some other form of sexual contact with a person

  • One partner in a romantic relationship forcing the other to have sexual intercourse without the partner’s consent

  • Exceeding the scope of consent by engaging in a different form of sexual activity than a person has consented to

  • Groping a person’s breasts or groin on the dance floor or at a bar

  • Knowingly transmitting a sexually transmitted disease such as HIV to another person through sexual activity

  • Coercing someone into having sexual intercourse by threatening to expose their secrets

  • Secretly videotaping sexual activity where the other party has not consented

5. What constitutes “consent” for purposes of Sexual Violence/Assault?

Lack of consent is the critical factor in determining whether Sexual Violence has occurred. Consent is informed, freely given, and mutually understood. Consent requires an affirmative act or statement by each participant. Consent is not passive.

  • If coercion, intimidation, threats, and/or physical force are used, there is no consent.

  • If a person is mentally or physically incapacitated or impaired by alcohol or drugs such that the person cannot understand the fact, nature, or extent of the sexual situation, there is no consent.

  • If a person is asleep or unconscious, there is no consent.

  • Consent to one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity.

  • Consent can be withdrawn. A person who initially consents to sexual activity is deemed not to have consented to any sexual activity that occurs after he or she withdraws consent.

6. What should I do if I am a victim of Sexual Violence/Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, or Stalking?

If you are the victim of Sexual Violence/Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, or Stalking, do not blame yourself. These crimes are never the victim’s fault. Please contact the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator as soon as possible for information on options and resources available to you. You may also wish to call local law enforcement (911 if an emergency), or the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE.

If you are the victim of Sexual Violence/Assault, Domestic Violence, or Dating Violence, do everything possible to preserve evidence by making certain that the crime scene is not disturbed. Preservation of evidence may be necessary for proof of the crime or in obtaining a protection order. Victims of Sexual Violence/Assault, Domestic Violence, or Dating Violence should not bathe, urinate, douche, brush teeth, or drink liquids until after they are examined and, if necessary, a rape examination is completed. Clothes should not be changed. When necessary, seek immediate medical attention at an area hospital and take a full change of clothing, including shoes, for use after a medical examination.

It is also important to take steps to preserve evidence in cases of Stalking, to the extent such evidence exists. In cases of Stalking, evidence is more likely to be in the form of letters, emails, text messages, etc. rather than evidence of physical contact and violence.

7. Can I make a complaint of Sexual Violence/Assault against my boyfriend or girlfriend?

Anyone can commit Sexual Violence/Assault, even if you and that person are in a romantic relationship. The critical factor is consent. If your boyfriend or girlfriend perpetrates a sexual act against you without your consent, such conduct constitutes Sexual Violence/Assault, and you may make a complaint. This type of conduct and other types of conduct perpetrated by your boyfriend or girlfriend may also be classified as Domestic Violence or Dating Violence.

8. What should I do if I am sexually harassed by someone who is not a University student or employee?

The University’s policies protect you from discriminatory Sexual Harassment by vendors, contractors, and other third parties that you encounter in your University learning, living, and employment environment. If you believe that you have been sexually harassed, you should report the Sexual Harassment just as if it were committed by a University student or employee.

9. What should I do if I am sexually harassed by a student but we are off campus?

It is possible for off-campus conduct between University employees or students to contribute to a hostile working or academic environment or otherwise violate the University’s policies. You may make a complaint of Sexual Harassment even if the conduct occurs off-campus.

10. Should I contact the University if I have already notified the police about Sexual Violence/Assault?

Calling the local police or filing a police report is not the same as filing a Sex Discrimination complaint with the University. You should not assume that local law enforcement will forward your complaint to the University. As such, anyone who reports Sexual Violence/Assault to local police is also encouraged to report the matter to the University’s Title IX Coordinator so that the University can begin to investigate the issue as quickly as possible.

11. What should I do if I observe Sexual Harassment, but it is not directed at me?

Anyone who witnesses conduct that constitutes Sex Discrimination, such as discriminatory Sexual Harassment, even it is directed at someone else, can still feel uncomfortable and harassed. If you are a student and witness conduct that you believe constitutes Sex Discrimination, including Sexual Harassment, please make a complaint in the same manner as if the conduct was directed against you. If you are an employee or staff member of the University, it is your duty to report conduct that constitutes Sex Discrimination of any kind.

12. What is the role of the Title IX Coordinator?

The Title IX Coordinator oversees the University’s compliance with Title IX and receives inquiries regarding Title IX, including complaints of Sex Discrimination. The Title IX Coordinator has received special training on the University’s policies and procedures pertaining to Sex Discrimination, and is available to answer questions about those policies and procedures, respond to complaints, and assist you in identifying other resources to aid in your situation. The Deputy Title IX Coordinator performs a similar function at the Denver campus.

13. If I make a complaint of Sex Discrimination, will it be treated confidentially?

The University will take reasonable and appropriate steps to preserve the confidentiality of the parties to the complaint and to protect the confidentiality of information gathered during the investigation. However, the University has an obligation to provide a safe and non-discriminatory environment for all students and employees. Therefore, no unconditional promises of confidentiality can be provided. If your confidentiality cannot be guaranteed, the University will notify you.

14. Who is typically involved in investigating a complaint of Sex Discrimination?

The University’s Title IX Coordinator, Deputy Title IX Coordinator, or designees will be involved in investigating complaints of Sex Discrimination. The Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator may appoint another member of the staff to investigate and resolve the complaint. The process of gathering evidence will necessarily require the involvement of the complainant, the respondent, and any witnesses to the incident that gave rise to the complaint. In sum, it will involve those persons necessary to fairly and completely investigate the complaint and resolve it.

15. What are the possible outcomes of an investigation into a complaint?

The outcome will be determined based on the totality of the evidence using a preponderance of the evidence standard. If the preponderance of the evidence does not support a finding that the incident occurred, then the complaint is resolved in favor of the accused. If, however, the preponderance of the evidence supports a finding that Sex Discrimination occurred, the actions taken by the University will include those necessary to maintain an environment free from discrimination and to protect the safety and well-being of the complainant and other members of the University community. In addition, the University may, in its discretion, take action if the preponderance of evidence supports that improper conduct of a sexual nature, including Sexual Harassment, has occurred, even if such conduct does not rise to the level of Sex Discrimination under this policy. The University’s actions will include reasonable steps to correct the effects of such conduct on the complainant and others and to prevent the recurrence of discrimination and retaliation. Examples of such action include: no-contact orders, classroom reassignment, the provision of counseling or other support services, training, and discipline for the perpetrator, including up to termination, expulsion, or other appropriate institutional sanctions.

16. May I have a support person with me in the investigation process?

During the investigation process, both a complainant and a respondent may ask a support person to accompany him or her at all stages of the process. In cases involving multiple complainants or respondents, the support person cannot be another complainant or respondent. The support person does not serve as an advocate on behalf of the complainant or respondent, may not be actively involved in any proceedings, and he or she must agree to maintain the confidentiality of the process.

17. What should I do if I am retaliated against for making a complaint of Sex Discrimination?

The University’s Title IX Policy prohibits retaliation against any person for making a good faith complaint of Sex Discrimination, and/or cooperating in the investigation of (including testifying as a witness to) such a complaint. Retaliation is a serious violation that can subject the offender to sanctions independent of the merits of the underlying allegation of Sex Discrimination. If you feel you are the victim of retaliation in violation of this policy, you should report the retaliation just as you would a complaint of Sex Discrimination.

18. How does the University handle a bad faith allegation of Sex Discrimination?

A bad faith allegation of Sex Discrimination occurs when the accuser intentionally reports information or incidents that he or she knows to be untrue. Failure to prove a complaint of Sex Discrimination is not equivalent to a bad faith allegation. The University may impose sanctions against an individual who knowingly makes false allegations of Sex Discrimination.

TITLE IX: COMPLAINT RESOLUTION PROCEDURES

I. GENERAL PRINCIPLES

  1. Administration

    For purposes of these complaint resolution procedures, “Investigating Officer” means the Title IX Coordinator, Deputy Title IX Coordinator, or designees. The Investigating Officer shall have responsibility for administering these complaint resolution procedures.

  2. Promptness, Fairness and Impartiality

    These procedures provide for prompt, fair, and impartial investigations and resolutions. The Investigating Officer shall discharge his or her obligations under these complaint resolution procedures fairly and impartially. If the Investigating Officer determines that he or she cannot apply these procedures fairly and impartially because of the identity of a complainant, respondent, or witness, or due to any other conflict of interest, the Investigating Officer shall designate another appropriate individual to administer these procedures.

  3. Training

    These procedures will be implemented by officials who receive annual training on the issues related to Sex Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Violence/Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking and on how to conduct an investigation and hearing process that protects the safety of victims and promotes accountability.

II. INVESTIGATION AND RESOLUTION OF THE COMPLAINT

  1. Commencement of the Investigation

    Once a complaint is made, the Investigating Officer will commence an investigation of it as soon as practicable, but not later than seven (7) days after the complaint is made. The purpose of the investigation is to determinate whether it is more likely than not that the alleged behavior occurred and, if so, whether it constitutes Sex Discrimination. During the course of the investigation, the Investigating Officer may receive counsel from University administrators, the University’s attorneys, or other parties as needed.

    In certain narrow circumstances, the Investigating Officer may commence an investigation even if the complainant requests that the matter not be pursued. In such a circumstance, the Investigating Officer will take all reasonable steps to investigate and respond to the matter in a manner that is informed by the complainant’s articulated concerns.

  2. Content of the Investigation

    During the investigation, the complainant will have the opportunity to describe his or her allegations and present supporting witnesses or other evidence. The respondent will have the opportunity to respond to the allegations and present supporting witnesses or other evidence. The Investigating Officer will review the statements and evidence presented and may, depending on the circumstances, interview others with relevant knowledge, review documentary materials, and take any other appropriate action to gather and consider information relevant to the complaint. All parties and witnesses involved in the investigation are expected to cooperate and provide complete and truthful information.

  3. Support Person

    During the investigation process, both a complainant and a respondent may ask a support person to accompany him or her at all stages of the process. In cases involving multiple complainants or respondents, the support person cannot be another complainant or respondent. The support person does not serve as an advocate on behalf of the complainant or respondent, may not be actively involved in any proceedings, and he or she must agree to maintain the confidentiality of the process.

  4. Interim Measures

    At any time during the investigation, the Investigating Officer may determine that interim remedies or protections for the parties involved or witnesses are appropriate. These interim remedies may include separating the parties, placing limitations on contact between the parties, suspension, or making alternative class-placement or workplace arrangements. Failure to comply with the terms of these interim remedies or protections may constitute a separate violation of the University’s Title IX Policy.

  5. Pending Criminal Investigation

    Some instances of Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence/Assault may also constitute criminal conduct. In such instances, the complainant is also encouraged to file a report with the appropriate law enforcement authorities and, if requested, the University will assist the complainant in doing so. The pendency of a criminal investigation, however, does not relieve the University of its responsibilities under Title IX. Therefore, to the extent doing so does not interfere with any criminal investigation, the University will proceed with its own investigation and resolution of the complaint.

  6. Resolution

    At the conclusion of the investigation, the Investigating Officer will prepare a written report. The written report will explain the scope of the investigation, identify findings of fact, and state whether any allegations in the complaint were found to be substantiated by a preponderance of the evidence.

    If the written report determines that Sex Discrimination occurred, the Investigating Officer shall set forth in an addendum to the written report those steps necessary to maintain an environment free from Sex Discrimination and to protect the safety and well-being of the complainant and other members of the University community. Such actions will also include reasonable steps to correct the effects of such conduct on the complainant and others and to prevent the recurrence of Sex Discrimination and retaliation. Examples of such action include: no-contact orders, classroom reassignment, the provision of counseling or other support services, training, and discipline for the perpetrator, including up to termination, expulsion, or other appropriate institutional sanctions.

    The complainant and the respondent will receive a copy of the written report and any addendum within three (3) days of its completion. If necessary, the version of the addendum provided to the complainant and/or respondent will be redacted to ensure that information concerning any remedial and/or disciplinary measures is disclosed in a manner consistent with Title IX, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”), and the Clery Act, as explained by the April 4, 2011 Dear Colleague Letter issued by the U.S. Department of Education, available at http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/letters/colleague-201104.pdf.

    The written report of the Investigating Officer shall be final subject only to the right of appeal set forth in Section IV below.

  7. Special Procedure Concerning Complaints Against The President, The Title IX Coordinator, Deputy Title IX Coordinator, Or Any University Official Outranking The Title IX Coordinator Or Deputy Title IX Coordinator

    If a complaint involves alleged conduct on the part of the University President, the University Board of Trustees will designate the Investigating Officer. Based on the information gathered by the investigation, the University Board of Trustees will prepare and issue the written report determining the complaint. The determination of the University Board of Trustees is final and not subject to appeal.

    If a complaint involves alleged conduct on the part of the Title IX Coordinator, Deputy Title IX Coordinator, or a University official who outranks the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator, the University President will designate the Investigating Officer. Based on the information gathered by the investigation, the University President will prepare and issue the written report determining the complaint. The determination of the University President is final and not subject to appeal.

  8. Informal Resolution

    Informal means of resolution, such as mediation, may be used in lieu of the formal investigation and determination procedure. However, informal means may only be used with the complainant’s voluntary cooperation and the involvement of the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator. The complainant, however, will not be required to work out the problem directly with the respondent. Moreover, the complainant may terminate any such informal means at any time. In any event, informal means, even on a voluntary basis, will not be used to resolve complaints alleging any form of Sexual Violence/Assault.

  9. Timing Of the Investigation

    The University will endeavor to conclude its investigation and resolution of the complaint within sixty (60) calendar days of receiving it. Both the complainant and the respondent will be given periodic updates regarding the status of the investigation. If either the complainant or respondent needs additional time to prepare or to gather their witnesses or information, they shall notify the Investigating Officer in writing explaining how much additional time is needed and why it is needed. The Investigating Officer shall respond to any such request within three (3) days.

III. RIGHTS OF THE PARTIES

During the investigation and resolution of a complaint, the complainant and respondent shall have equal rights. They include:

  • Equal opportunity to identify and have considered witnesses and other relevant evidence

  • Similar and timely access to all information considered by the Investigating Officer

  • Equal opportunity to review any statements or evidence provided by the other party

  • Equal access to review and comment upon any information independently developed by the Investigating Officer

IV. APPEALS

  1. Grounds of Appeal

    The complainant or respondent may appeal the determination of a complaint only on the following grounds:

    • The decision was contrary to the substantial weight of the evidence

    • There is a substantial likelihood that newly discovered information, not available at the time evidence was presented to the Investigating Officer, would result in a different decision

    • Bias or prejudice on the part of the Investigating Officer, or

    • The punishment or the corrective action imposed is disproportionate to the offense

  2. Method of Appeal

    Appeals must be filed with Edwin Hernández, President, within ten (10) days of receipt of the written report determining the outcome of the complaint. The appeal must be in writing and contain the following:

    • Name of the complainant

    • Name of the respondent

    • A statement of the determination of the complaint, including corrective action if any

    • A detailed statement of the basis for the appeal including the specific facts, circumstances, and argument in support of it, and

    • Requested action, if any.

    The appellant may request a meeting with the President but the decision to grant a meeting is within the President’s discretion. However, if a meeting is granted, then the other party will be granted a similar opportunity.

V. RESOLUTION OF THE APPEAL

The President will resolve the appeal within fifteen (15) days of receiving it and may take any and all actions that he/she determines to be in the interest of a fair and just decision. The decision of the President is final. The President shall issue a short and plain, written statement of the resolution of the appeal, including any changes made to the Investigating Officer’s previous written determination. The written statement shall be provided to the complainant, respondent, and the Title IX Coordinator and/or Deputy Title IX Coordinator within three (3) days of the resolution.

VI. DOCUMENTATION

Throughout all stages of the investigation, resolution, and appeal, the Investigating Officer, the Title IX Coordinator and/or Deputy Title IX Coordinator, and the President, as the case may be, are responsible for maintaining documentation of the investigation and appeal, including documentation of all proceedings conducted under these complaint resolution procedures, which may include written findings of fact, transcripts, and audio recordings.

VII. INTERSECTION WITH OTHER PROCEDURES

These complaint resolution procedures are the exclusive means of resolving complaints alleging violations of the University’s Title IX Policy. To the extent there are any inconsistencies between these complaint resolution procedures and other University grievance, complaint, or discipline procedures, these complaint resolution procedures will control the resolution of complaints alleging violations of the Title IX Policy.