Harassment and Non-Discrimination Policy

1. Glossary

  • Advisor means a person chosen by a party or appointed by the institution to accompany the party to meetings related to the resolution process, to advise the party on that process, and to conduct cross-examination for the party at the hearing, if any.
  • Complainant means an individual who is alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute harassment or discrimination based on a protected class; or retaliation for engaging in a protected activity.
  • Complaint (formal) means a document submitted or signed by a Complainant or signed by the Title IX Coordinator alleging harassment, discrimination, or retaliation for engaging in a protected activity against a Respondent and requesting that AdventHealth University investigate the allegation.
  • Confidential Resource means an employee who is not a Mandated Reporter of notice of harassment, discrimination, and/or retaliation (irrespective of Clery Act Campus Security Authority status).
  • Day means a business day (Monday thru Friday) when AdventHealth University is in normal operation.
  • Directly Related Evidence is evidence connected to the complaint but is neither inculpatory (tending to prove a violation) nor exculpatory (tending to disprove a violation) and will not be relied upon by the investigation report.
     
  • Education program or activity means locations, events, or circumstances where AdventHealth University exercises substantial control over both the Respondent and the context in which the sexual harassment or discrimination occurs and also includes any building owned or controlled by a student organization that is officially recognized by AdventHealth University.
  • Final Determination: A conclusion by the preponderance of the evidence standard that the alleged conduct did or did not violate policy.
  • Finding: A conclusion by the preponderance of the evidence standard that the conduct did or did not occur as alleged (as in a “finding of fact”).
  • Formal Grievance Process means “Process A,” a method of formal resolution designated by AdventHealth University to address conduct that falls within the policies included below, and which complies with the requirements of the Title IX regulations (34 CFR §106.45).
  • Grievance Process Pool includes any investigators, hearing officers, appeal officers, and advisors who may perform any or all of these roles (though not at the same time or with respect to the same case).
  • Hearing Panel refers to those who have decision-making and sanctioning authority within AdventHealth University’s Formal Grievance process.
  • Investigator means the person or persons charged by AdventHealth University with gathering facts about an alleged violation of this Policy, assessing relevance and credibility, synthesizing the evidence, and compiling this information into an investigation report and file of directly related evidence.
     
  • Mandated Reporter means an employee of AdventHealth University who is obligated by policy to share knowledge, notice, and/or reports of harassment, discrimination, and/or retaliation with the Title IX Coordinator.[1]
  • Notice means that an employee, student, or third-party informs the Title IX Coordinator or other AHU Official with Authority of the alleged occurrence of harassing, discriminatory, and/or retaliatory conduct.
  • Official with Authority (OWA) means an employee of AdventHealth University explicitly vested with the responsibility to implement corrective measures for harassment, discrimination, and/or retaliation on behalf of AdventHealth University.
  • Parties include the Complainant(s) and Respondent(s), collectively.
  • Process A means the Formal Grievance Process detailed below and defined above.
  • Process B means the administrative resolution procedures that apply only when Process A does not, as determined by the Title IX Coordinator.
  • Recipient means a postsecondary education program that is a recipient of federal funding.
  • Relevant Evidence is evidence that tends to prove or disprove an issue in the complaint.
     
  • Remedies are post-finding actions directed to the Complainant and/or the community as mechanisms to address safety, prevent recurrence, and restore access to AdventHealth University’s educational program(s).
  • Respondent means an individual who has been reported to be the perpetrator of conduct that could constitute harassment, discrimination, or retaliation for engaging in a protected activity.
  • Resolution means the result of an informal or Formal Grievance Process.
  • Sanction means a consequence imposed by AdventHealth University on a Respondent who is found to have violated this Policy.
  • Sexual Harassment is the umbrella category including the offenses of sexual harassment, sexual assault, stalking, dating violence, and domestic violence. See Section 16 for greater detail.
  • Title IX Coordinator is at least one official designated by AdventHealth University to ensure compliance with Title IX and AdventHealth University’s Title IX program. References to the Coordinator throughout this Policy may also encompass a designee of the Coordinator for specific tasks.
  • Title IX Team refers to the Title IX Coordinator, any deputy coordinators, and any member of the Grievance Process Pool.

2. Rationale for Policy

AdventHealth University is committed to providing a workplace and educational environment, as well as other benefits, programs, and activities, that are free from discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. AdventHealth University is also committed to ensuring compliance with federal and state civil rights laws and regulations, and to affirming its commitment to promoting the goals of fairness and equity in all aspects of the educational programs or activities.

AdventHealth University has developed internal policies and procedures that provide a prompt, fair, and impartial process for those involved in an allegation of discrimination, harassment, and for allegations of retaliation.

AdventHealth University values and upholds the equal dignity of all members of its community and strives to balance the rights of the parties in the grievance process.

3. Applicable Scope

The core purpose of this Policy is the prohibition of all forms of discrimination. Sometimes, discrimination involves exclusion from or different treatment in activities, such as admission, athletics, or employment. Other times, discrimination takes the form of harassment or, in the case of sex-based discrimination, can encompass sexual harassment sexual assault, stalking, sexual exploitation, dating violence or domestic violence. When an alleged violation of this anti-discrimination policy is reported, the allegations are subject to resolution using AdventHealth University’s “Process A” or “Process B,” as determined by the Title IX Coordinator, and as detailed below.

When the Respondent is a member of the AdventHealth University community, a grievance process may be available regardless of the status of the Complainant, who may or may not be a member of the AdventHealth University community.  This community includes, but is not limited to, students,[2] student organizations, faculty, administrators, staff, and third parties such as guests, visitors, volunteers, invitees, and campers.

The procedures below may be applied to incidents, to patterns, and/or to the campus climate, all of which may be addressed and investigated in accordance with this Policy.

4. Title IX Coordinator

Starr Bender serves as the Title IX Coordinator and oversees implementation of this Policy. The Title IX Coordinator has the primary responsibility for coordinating AdventHealth University’s efforts related to the intake, investigation, resolution, and implementation of supportive measures to stop, remediate, and prevent sexual harassment, and retaliation prohibited under this Policy.

5. Independence and Conflict-of-Interest

The Title IX Coordinator acts with independence and authority free from bias and conflicts of interest. The Title IX Coordinator oversees all resolutions under this Policy and these procedures.

The members of the Title IX Team are vetted and trained to ensure they are not biased for or against any party in a specific case, or for or against Complainants and/or Respondents, generally.

Concerns involving bias, conflict of interest, or reports of misconduct by the Title IX Coordinator, should be reported to the AdventHealth University President. Concerns involving bias, a potential conflict of interest, or reports of misconduct by any other Title IX Team member should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator.

6. Administrative Contact Information

Complaints or notice of alleged policy violations, or inquiries about or concerns regarding this Policy and procedures, may be made internally to:

Starr Bender
Title IX Coordinator
Campus Center, Room 330
671 Winyah Drive Orlando, FL 32803
407-303-5765
Starr.Bender@ahu.edu
Web:  Online Form

Katie Shaw
Deputy Title IX Coordinator (Denver Site)
950 W. Harvard Ave., Suite B80
Denver, CO 80210
303-765-6271
Katie.Shaw@ahu.edu

AdventHealth University has determined that the following administrators are Officials with Authority to address and correct harassment, discrimination, and/or retaliation. In addition to the Title IX Team members listed above, these Officials with Authority listed below may also accept notice or complaints on behalf of AdventHealth University. The Officials with Authority are:  Stephen Roche, Senior Vice President for Student Services; Jennifer Carpenter, Human Resources Director; Edwin Hernandez, President; Sandee Dunbar-Smalley, Provost; Len Archer, Vice President for Academic Affairs; Dan Lim, Vice President for Academic Administration for Educational Technology and Distance Education; Ruben Martinez, Senior Vice President for Finance; Lonnie Mixon, Vice President for Marketing and Public Relations’ Deena Slockett, Chief Operations Officer for AHU Online.

AdventHealth University has also classified all employees (faculty, staff, administrators, adjuncts, and RAs) as Mandated Reporters of any knowledge they have that a member of the community is experiencing harassment, discrimination, and/or retaliation.

The section below on Mandated Reporting details which employees have this responsibility and their duties, accordingly.

Inquiries may be made externally to:

Office for Civil Rights (OCR)
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C.  20202-1100
Customer Service Hotline #: (800) 421-3481
Facsimile: (202) 453-6012 
TDD#: (877) 521-2172
Email: OCR@ed.gov
Web: http://www.ed.gov/ocr

For complaints involving employees: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

7. Notice/Complaints of Discrimination, Harassment, and/or Retaliation

Notice or complaints of discrimination, harassment and/or retaliation may be made using any of the following options:

  1. File a complaint with, or give verbal notice to, the Title IX Coordinator or deputy/Officials with Authority. Such a report may be made at any time (including during non-business hours) by using the telephone number or email address, or by mail to the office address listed for the Title IX Coordinator or any other official listed.
  2. Report online, using the reporting form. Anonymous reports are accepted but can give rise to a need to investigate. AdventHealth University tries to provide supportive measures to all Complainants, which is impossible with an anonymous report. Because reporting carries no obligation to initiate a formal response, and as AdventHealth University respects Complainant requests to dismiss complaints unless there is a compelling threat to health and/or safety, the Complainant is largely in control and should not fear a loss of privacy by making a report that allows AdventHealth University to discuss and/or provide supportive measures. 
  3. Report using the sexual harassment hotline 888-92-GUIDE (48433) or https://secure.ethicspoint.com/domain/media/en/gui/73459/index.html.

A Formal Complaint means a document submitted and signed by the Complainant or signed by the Title IX Coordinator alleging a policy violation by a Respondent and requesting that AdventHealth University investigate the allegation(s).

A complaint may be filed with the Title IX Coordinator in person, by mail, or by electronic mail, by using the contact information in the section immediately above, or as described in this section. As used in this paragraph, the phrase “document filed by a Complainant” means a document or electronic submission (such as by electronic mail or through an online portal provided for this purpose by AdventHealth University) that contains the Complainant’s physical or digital signature, or otherwise indicates that the Complainant is the person filing the complaint, and requests that AdventHealth University investigate the allegations.

If notice is submitted in a form that does not meet this standard, the Title IX Coordinator will contact the Complainant to ensure that it is filed correctly.

8. Supportive Measures

AdventHealth University will offer and implement appropriate and reasonable supportive measures to the parties upon notice of alleged sexual harassment and/or retaliation.

Supportive measures are non-disciplinary, non-punitive individualized services offered as appropriate, as reasonably available, and without fee or charge to the parties to restore or preserve access to AdventHealth University’s education programs or activities, including measures designed to protect the safety of all parties or AdventHealth University’s educational environment, and/or deter , harassment, discrimination, and/or retaliation.

The Title IX Coordinator promptly makes supportive measures available to the parties upon receiving notice of a complaint. At the time that supportive measures are offered, AdventHealth University will inform the Complainant, in writing, that they may file a formal complaint with AdventHealth University either at that time or in the future, if they have not done so already.

The Title IX Coordinator works with the Complainant to ensure that their wishes are taken into account with respect to the supportive measures that are planned and implemented.

AdventHealth University will maintain the privacy of the supportive measures, provided that privacy does not impair AdventHealth University’s ability to provide the supportive measures. AdventHealth University will act to ensure as minimal an academic impact on the parties as possible.

AdventHealth University will implement measures in a way that does not unreasonably burden the other party.

These actions may include, but are not limited to:

  • Referral to counseling, medical, and/or other healthcare services
  • Referral to the Employee Assistance Program
  • Referral to community-based service providers
  • Visa and immigration assistance
  • Student financial aid counseling
  • Education to the institutional community or community subgroup(s)
  • Altering campus housing assignment(s)
  • Altering work arrangements for employees or student-employees
  • Safety planning
  • Providing campus safety escorts
  • Providing transportation accommodations
  • Implementing contact limitations (no contact orders) between the parties
  • Academic support, extensions of deadlines, or other course/program-relatedadjustments
  • Trespass or Be-On-the-Lookout (BOLO) orders
  • Timely warnings. View Timely Warning guide (PDF)
  • Class schedule modifications, withdrawals, or leaves of absence
  • Increased security and monitoring of certain areas of the campus
  • Any other actions deemed appropriate by the Title IX Coordinator

Violations of no contact orders will be referred to appropriate student or employee conduct processes for enforcement.

9. Emergency Removal

AdventHealth University can act to remove a student Respondent entirely or partially from its education programs or activities on an emergency basis when an individualized safety and risk analysis has determined that an immediate threat to the physical health or safety of any student or other individual justifies removal.

This risk analysis is performed by the Title IX Coordinator in conjunction with the Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT) using its standard objective violence risk assessment procedures.

In all cases in which an emergency removal is imposed, the student will be given notice of the action and the option to request to meet with the Title IX Coordinator prior to such action/removal being imposed, or as soon thereafter as reasonably possible, to show cause why the action/removal should not be implemented or should be modified. A security officer will be present during this meeting. 

This meeting is not a hearing on the merits of the allegation(s), but rather is an administrative process intended to determine solely whether the emergency removal is appropriate.

When this meeting is not requested within three (3) business days, objections to the emergency removal will be deemed waived.

A Complainant and their Advisor may be permitted to participate in this meeting if the Title IX Coordinator determines it is equitable to do so.

A Respondent may be accompanied by an Advisor of their choice when meeting with the Title IX Coordinator for the show cause meeting. The Respondent will be given access to a written summary of the basis for the emergency removal prior to the meeting to allow for adequate preparation.

The Title IX Coordinator has sole discretion under this Policy to implement or stay an emergency removal and to determine the conditions and duration. Violation of an emergency removal under this Policy will be grounds for discipline, which may include expulsion.

AdventHealth University will implement the least restrictive emergency actions possible in light of the circumstances and safety concerns. As determined by the Title IX Coordinator, these actions could include, but are not limited to:

  • removing a student from a residence hall
  • temporarily re-assigning an employee
  • restricting a student’s or employee’s access to or use of facilities or equipment
  • allowing a student to withdraw or take grades of incomplete without financial penalty
  • authorizing an administrative leave
  • suspending a student’s participation in extracurricular activities, student employment, student organizational leadership, or intercollegiate/intramural athletics.

At the discretion of the Title IX Coordinator, alternative coursework options may be pursued to ensure as minimal an academic impact as possible on the parties.

Where the Respondent is an employee, existing provisions for interim action are applicable.

10. Promptness

All allegations are acted upon promptly by AdventHealth University once it has received notice or a formal complaint. Complaints can take 60-90 business days to resolve, typically. There are always exceptions and extenuating circumstances that can cause a resolution to take longer, but AdventHealth University will avoid all undue delays within its control.

Any time the general timeframes for resolution outlined in AdventHealth University procedures will be delayed, AdventHealth University will provide written notice to the parties of the delay, the cause of the delay, and an estimate of the anticipated additional time that will be needed as a result of the delay.

11. Privacy

Every effort is made by AdventHealth University to preserve the privacy of reports.[3] AdventHealth University will not share the identity of any individual who has made a report or complaint of harassment or retaliation; any Complainant, any individual who has been reported to be the perpetrator of sex discrimination, any Respondent, or any witness, except as permitted by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), 20 U.S.C. 1232g; FERPA regulations, 34 CFR part 99; or as required by law; or to carry out the purposes of 34 CFR Part 106, including the conducting of any investigation, hearing, or grievance proceeding arising under these policies and procedures.

AdventHealth University reserves the right to determine which AdventHealth University officials have a legitimate educational interest in being informed about incidents that fall within this Policy, pursuant to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

Only a small group of officials who need to know will typically be told about the complaint, including but not limited to: Office of Student Services, Compliance Office, Human Resources, and the Behavioral Intervention/Threat Assessment Team.

Information will be shared as necessary with Investigators, Hearing Panel members/Decision-makers, witnesses, and the parties. The circle of people with this knowledge will be kept as tight as possible to preserve the parties’ rights and privacy. 

AdventHealth University may contact parents/guardians to inform them of situations in which there is a significant and articulable health and/or safety risk but will usually consult with the student first before doing so.

Confidentiality and mandated reporting are addressed more specifically below.

12. Jurisdiction of AdventHealth University

This Policy applies to the education programs and activities of AdventHealth University, to conduct that takes place on the campus or on property owned or controlled by AdventHealth University, at AdventHealth University-sponsored events, or in buildings owned or controlled by AdventHealth University’s recognized student organizations. The Respondent must be a member of AdventHealth University’s community in order for its policies to apply.

This Policy can also be applicable to the effects of off-campus misconduct that effectively deprive someone of access to AdventHealth University’s educational programs. AdventHealth University may also extend jurisdiction to off-campus and/or to online conduct when the Title IX Coordinator determines that the conduct affects a substantial AdventHealth University interest.

Regardless of where the conduct occurred, AdventHealth University will address notice/complaints to determine whether the conduct occurred in the context of its employment or educational programs or activities and/or has continuing effects on campus or in off-campus sponsored programs or activities. A substantial AdventHealth University interest includes:

  1. Any action that constitutes a criminal offense as defined by law. This includes, but is not limited to, single or repeat violations of any local, state, or federal law;
  1. Any situation in which it is determined that the Respondent poses an immediate threat to the physical health or safety of any student or other individual;
  1. Any situation that significantly impinges upon the rights, property, or achievements of oneself or others or significantly breaches the peace and/or causes social disorder; and/or
  1. Any situation that is detrimental to the educational interests or mission of AdventHealth University.

If the Respondent is unknown or is not a member of AdventHealth University community, the Title IX Coordinator will assist the Complainant in identifying appropriate campus and local resources and support options and/or, when criminal conduct is alleged, in contacting local or campus law enforcement if the individual would like to file a police report.

Further, even when the Respondent is not a member of the AdventHealth University’s community, supportive measures, remedies, and resources may be accessible to the Complainant by contacting the Title IX Coordinator.

In addition, AdventHealth University may take other actions as appropriate to protect the Complainant against third parties, such as barring individuals from AdventHealth University property and/or events.

All vendors serving AdventHealth University through third-party contracts are subject to the policies and procedures of their employers. 

When the Respondent is enrolled in or employed by another institution, the Title IX Coordinator can assist the Complainant in liaising with the appropriate individual at that institution, as it may be possible to allege violations through that institution’s policies.

Similarly, the Title IX Coordinator may be able to assist and support a student or employee Complainant who experiences discrimination in an externship or other environment external to AdventHealth University where sexual harassment or non-discrimination policies and procedures of the facilitating or host organization may give recourse to the Complainant.

13. Time Limits on Reporting

There is no time limitation on providing notice/complaints to the Title IX Coordinator. However, if the Respondent is no longer subject to the AdventHealth University’s jurisdiction and/or significant time has passed, the ability to investigate, respond, and provide remedies may be more limited or impossible.

Acting on notice/complaints significantly impacted by the passage of time (including, but not limited to, the rescission or revision of policy) is at the discretion of the Title IX Coordinator, who may document allegations for future reference, offer supportive measures and/or remedies, and/or engage in informal or formal action, as appropriate.

When notice/complaint is affected by significant time delay, AdventHealth University will typically apply the policy in place at the time of the alleged misconduct and the procedures in place at the time of notice/complaint.

14. Online Harassment and Misconduct

The policies of AdventHealth University are written and interpreted broadly to include online manifestations of any of the behaviors prohibited below, when those behaviors occur in or have an effect on AdventHealth University’s education programs and activities or use AdventHealth University networks, technology, or equipment.

Although AdventHealth University may not control websites, social media, and other venues in which harassing communications are made, when such communications are reported to AdventHealth University, it will engage in a variety of means to address and mitigate the effects.

Members of the community are encouraged to be good digital citizens and to refrain from online misconduct, such as feeding anonymous gossip sites, sharing inappropriate content via social media, unwelcome sexual or sex-based messaging, distributing or threatening to distribute revenge pornography, breaches of privacy, or otherwise using the ease of transmission and/or anonymity of the Internet or other technology to harm another member of the AdventHealth University community.

15. Policy on Non-Discrimination

AdventHealth University maintains a policy of equal educational opportunities for all applicants without regard to sex, race, age, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, color, or national or ethnic origin. AdventHealth University does not discriminate in its educational or admission policies, financial affairs, employment programs, student life, or services in any University- administered program.

This notice is provided as required by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Questions, complaints, or requests for additional information regarding these laws may be forwarded to the Title IX Coordinator, Starr Bender, at:

AdventHealth University
Compliance Director/Title IX Coordinator
Attn: Starr Bender
671 Winyah Drive
Orlando, FL 32803
Ph. (407) 303-5765
starr.bender@adu.edu

16. Policy on Discriminatory Harassment

Students, staff, administrators, and faculty are entitled to an employment and educational environment that is free of discriminatory harassment. AdventHealth University’s harassment policy is not meant to inhibit or prohibit educational content or discussions inside or outside of the classroom that include germane but controversial or sensitive subject matters protected by academic freedom.

The sections below describe the specific forms of legally prohibited harassment that are also prohibited under AdventHealth University policy. When speech or conduct is protected by academic freedom it will not be considered a violation of AdventHealth University policy, though supportive measures will be offered to those impacted.

a. Discriminatory Harassment

Discriminatory harassment constitutes a form of discrimination that is prohibited by AdventHealth University policy. Discriminatory harassment is defined as unwelcome conduct by any member or group of the community on the basis of actual or perceived membership in a class protected by policy or law.

AdventHealth University does not tolerate discriminatory harassment of any employee, student, visitor, or guest. AdventHealth University will act to remedy all forms of harassment when reported, whether or not the harassment rises to the level of creating a “hostile environment.”

A hostile environment is one that unreasonably interferes with, limits, or effectively denies an individual’s educational or employment access, benefits, or opportunities.[4] This discriminatory effect results from harassing verbal, written, graphic, or physical conduct that is severe or pervasive and objectively offensive.

When discriminatory harassment rises to the level of creating a hostile environment, AdventHealth University may also impose sanctions on the Respondent through application of the grievance process below.

b. Sexual Harassment

The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and the states of Florida and Colorado regard Sexual Harassment as an unlawful discriminatory practice.

AdventHealth University has adopted the following definition of Sexual Harassment in order to address the unique environment of an academic community.

Acts of sexual harassment may be committed by any person upon any other person, regardless of the sex, sexual orientation, and/or gender identity of those involved.

Sexual Harassment, as an umbrella category, includes the actual or attempted offenses of sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking, and is defined as:

Conduct on the basis of sex/gender or that is sexual that satisfies one or more of the following:

  1. Quid Pro Quo:
    1. an employee of AdventHealth University,
    2. conditions[5] the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of AdventHealth University,
    3. on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct.
  1. Sexual Harassment: (Hostile environment sexual harassment)
    1. unwelcome conduct,
    2. determined by a reasonable person,
    3. to be so severe, and
    4. pervasive, and,
    5. objectively offensive,
    6. that it effectively denies a person equal access to AdventHealth University’s educational programs or activities.[6]
  1. Sexual assault, defined as:
    1. Sex Offenses, Forcible:
      1. Any sexual act directed against another person,
      2. without the consent of the Complainant,
      3. including instances in which the Complainant is incapable of giving consent.[7]
    2. Forcible Rape
      1. Penetration,
      2. No matter how slight,
      3. Of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or
      4. Oral penetration by a sex organ of another person,
      5. Without the consent of the Complainant.
    3. Forcible Sodomy:
      1. Oral or anal sexual intercourse with another person,
      2. forcibly,
      3. and/or against that person’s will (non-consensually), or
      4. not forcibly or against the person’s will in instances in which the Complainant is incapable of giving consent because of age[8] or because of temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity. 
    4. Sexual Assault with an Object:
      1. The use of an object or instrument to penetrate,
      2. however slightly,
      3. the genital or anal opening of the body of another person,
      4. forcibly,
      5. and/or against that person’s will (non-consensually),
      6. or not forcibly or against the person’s will in instances in which the Complainant is incapable of giving consent because of age or because of temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity. 
    5. Forcible Fondling:
      1. The touching of the private body parts of another person (buttocks, groin, breasts),
      2. for the purpose of sexual gratification,
      3. forcibly,
      4. and/or against that person’s will (non-consensually),
      5. or not forcibly or against the person’s will in instances in which the Complainant is incapable of giving consent because of age or because of temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity. 
    6. Sex Offenses, Non-forcible:
      1. Incest:
        1. Non-forcible sexual intercourse,
        2. between persons who are related to each other,
        3. within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by Florida or Colorado law. 
      2. Statutory Rape:
        1. Non-forcible sexual intercourse, with a person who is under the statutory age of consent of 18 years old in Florida and 17 years old in Colorado.
  1. Dating Violence, defined as:
    1. violence,
    2. on the basis of sex,
    3. committed by a person,
    4. who is in or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the Complainant
      1. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the Complainant’s statement and with consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. For the purposes of this definition—
      2. Dating violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse.
      3. Dating violence does not include acts covered under the definition of domestic violence.
  1. Domestic Violence*, defined as:
    1. violence,
    2. on the basis of sex,
    3. committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the Complainant,
    4. by a person with whom the Complainant shares a child in common, or
    5. by a person who is cohabitating with, or has cohabitated with, the Complainant as a spouse or intimate partner, or
    6. by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the Complainant under the domestic or family violence laws of Florida (Florida Statutes § 741.28) or Colorado (Colorado Revised Statutes § 18-6-800.3).
    7. by any other person against an adult or youth Complainant who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of Florida or Colorado.

*To categorize an incident as Domestic Violence, the relationship between the Respondent and the Complainant must be more than just two people living together as roommates. The people cohabitating must be current or former spouses or have an intimate relationship.

  1. Stalking, defined as:
    1. engaging in a course of conduct,
    2. on the basis of sex,
    3. directed at a specific person, that
      1. would cause a reasonable person to fear for the person’s safety, or
      2. the safety of others; or
      3. Suffer substantial emotional distress.

      For the purposes of this definition—
      1. Course of conduct means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the Respondent directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person, or interferes with a person’s property.
      2. Reasonable person means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the Complainant.
      3. Substantial emotional distress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may but does not necessarily require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.

AdventHealth University reserves the right to impose any level of sanction, ranging from a reprimand up to and including suspension or expulsion/termination, for any offense under this Policy.

c. Force, Coercion, Consent, and Incapacitation

As used in the offenses above, the following definitions and understandings apply:

Force: Force is the use of physical violence and/or physical imposition to gain sexual access. Force also includes threats, intimidation (implied threats), and coercion that is intended to overcome resistance or produce consent (e.g., “Have sex with me or I’ll hit you,” “Okay, don’t hit me, I’ll do what you want.”).

Sexual activity that is forced is, by definition, non-consensual, but non-consensual sexual activity is not necessarily forced. Silence or the absence of resistance alone is not consent. Consent is not demonstrated by the absence of resistance. While resistance is not required or necessary, it is a clear demonstration of non-consent.

Coercion: Coercion is unreasonable pressure for sexual activity. Coercive conduct differs from seductive conduct based on factors such as the type and/or extent of the pressure used to obtain consent. When someone makes clear that they do not want to engage in certain sexual activity, 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.

Consent is:

  • knowing, and
  • voluntary, and
  • clear permission
  • by word or action
  • to engage in sexual activity.

Individuals may experience the same interaction in different ways. Therefore, it is the responsibility of each party to determine that the other has consented before engaging in the activity.

If consent is not clearly provided prior to engaging in the activity, consent may be ratified by word or action at some point during the interaction or thereafter, but clear communication from the outset is strongly encouraged.

For consent to be valid, there must be a clear expression in words or actions that the other individual consented to that specific sexual conduct. Reasonable reciprocation can be implied. For example, if someone kisses you, you can kiss them back (if you want to) without the need to explicitly obtain their consent to being kissed back.

Consent can also be withdrawn once given, as long as the withdrawal is reasonably and clearly communicated. If consent is withdrawn, that sexual activity should cease within a reasonable time.

Consent to some sexual contact (such as kissing or fondling) cannot be presumed to be consent for other sexual activity (such as intercourse). A current or previous intimate relationship is not sufficient to constitute consent.

Proof of consent or non-consent is not a burden placed on either party involved in an incident. Instead, the burden remains on the AdventHealth University to determine whether its policy has been violated. The existence of consent is based on the totality of the circumstances evaluated from the perspective of a reasonable person in the same or similar circumstances, including the context in which the alleged incident occurred and any similar, previous patterns that may be evidenced.

Consent in relationships must also be considered in context. When parties consent to BDSM[9] or other forms of kink, non-consent may be shown by the use of a safe word. Resistance, force, violence, or even saying “no” may be part of the kink and thus consensual, so AdventHealth University’s evaluation of communication in kink situations should be guided by reasonableness, rather than strict adherence to policy that assumes non-kink relationships as a default.

Incapacitation: A person cannot consent if they are unable to understand what is happening or is disoriented, helpless, asleep, or unconscious, for any reason, including by alcohol or other drugs. As stated above, a Respondent violates this Policy if they engage in sexual activity with someone who is incapable of giving consent.

It is a defense to a sexual assault policy violation that the Respondent neither knew nor should have known the Complainant to be physically or mentally incapacitated. “Should have known” is an objective, reasonable person standard that assumes that a reasonable person is both sober and exercising sound judgment.

Incapacitation occurs when someone cannot make rational, reasonable decisions because they lack the capacity to give knowing/informed consent (e.g., to understand the “who, what, when, where, why, or how” of their sexual interaction).

Incapacitation is determined through consideration of all relevant indicators of an individual’s state and is not synonymous with intoxication, impairment, blackout, and/or being drunk.

This Policy also covers a person whose incapacity results from a temporary or permanent physical or mental health condition, involuntary physical restraint, and/or the consumption of incapacitating drugs.

d. Other Civil Rights Offenses

In addition to the forms of sexual harassment described above, which are covered by Title IX, the Recipient additionally prohibits the following offenses as forms of discrimination that my be within or outside of Title IX when the act is based upon the Complainant’s actual or perceived membership in a protected class.

  • Sexual Exploitation, defined as: taking non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for their own benefit or for the benefit of anyone other than the person being exploited, and that conduct does not otherwise constitute sexual harassment under this Policy. Examples of Sexual Exploitation include, but are not limited to:
    • Sexual voyeurism (such as observing or allowing others to observe a person undressing or using the bathroom or engaging in sexual acts, without the consent of the person being observed)
    • Invasion of sexual privacy.
    • Taking pictures, video, or audio recording of another in a sexual act, or in any other sexually-related activity when there is a reasonable expectation of privacy during the activity, without the consent of all involved in the activity, or exceeding the boundaries of consent (such as allowing another person to hide in a closet and observe sexual activity, or disseminating sexual pictures without the photographed person’s consent), including the making or posting of revenge pornography
    • Prostituting another person
    • Engaging in sexual activity with another person while knowingly infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or a sexually-transmitted disease (STD) or infection (STI), without informing the other person of the infection
    • Causing or attempting to cause the incapacitation of another person (through alcohol, drugs, or any other means) for the purpose of compromising that person’s ability to give consent to sexual activity, or for the purpose of making that person vulnerable to non-consensual sexual activity
    • Misappropriation of another person’s identity on apps, websites, or other venues designed for dating or sexual connections
    • Forcing a person to take an action against that person’s will by threatening to show, post, or share information, video, audio, or an image that depicts the person’s nudity or sexual activity
    • Knowingly soliciting a minor for sexual activity
    • Engaging in sex trafficking
    • Creation, possession, or dissemination or child pornography
  • Threatening or causing physical harm, extreme verbal, emotional, or psychological abuse, or other conduct which threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person;
  • Discrimination, defined as actions that deprive, limit, or deny other members of the community of educational or employment access, benefits, or opportunities;
  • Intimidation, defined as implied threats or acts that cause an unreasonable fear of harm in another;
  • Hazing, defined as acts likely to cause physical or psychological harm or social ostracism to any person within the Recipient community, when related to the admission, initiation, pledging, joining, or any other group-affiliation activity (as defined further in the Hazing Policy);
  • Bullying, defined as:
    • Repeated and/or severe o Aggressive behavior
    • Likely to intimidate or intentionally hurt, control, or diminish another person, physically and/or mentally
    • That is not speech or conduct otherwise protected by the First Amendment.

Violation of any other Recipient policies may constitute a Civil Rights Offense when a violation is motivated by actual or perceived membership in a protected class, and the result is a discriminatory limitation or denial of employment or educational access, benefits, or opportunities.

Sanctions for the above-listed Civil Rights Offenses range from reprimand through expulsion/termination.

17. Retaliation

Protected activity under this Policy includes reporting an incident that may implicate this Policy, participating in the grievance process, supporting a Complainant or Respondent, assisting in providing information relevant to an investigation, and/or acting in good faith to oppose conduct that constitutes a violation of this policy.

Acts of alleged retaliation should be reported immediately to the Title IX Coordinator and will be promptly investigated. AdventHealth University will take all appropriate and available steps to protect individuals who fear that they may be subjected to retaliation.

AdventHealth University and any member of AdventHealth University’s community are prohibited from taking or attempting to take materially adverse action by intimidating, threatening, coercing, harassing, or discriminating against any individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by law or policy, or because the individual has made a report or complaint, testified, assisted, or participated or refused to participate in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under this Policy and procedure.

Filing a complaint within Process B could be considered retaliatory if those charges could be applicable under Process A, when the Process B charges are made for the purpose of interfering with or circumventing any right or privilege provided within Process A that is not provided by Process B. Therefore, AdventHealth University vets all complaints carefully to ensure this does not happen, and to assure that complaints are tracked to the appropriate process.

The exercise of rights protected under the First Amendment does not constitute retaliation.

Charging an individual with a code of conduct violation for making a materially false statement in bad faith in the course of a grievance proceeding under this Policy and procedure does not constitute retaliation, provided that a determination regarding responsibility, alone, is not sufficient to conclude that any party has made a materially false statement in bad faith.

18. Mandated Reporting

All AdventHealth University employees (faculty, staff, administrators, adjuncts, and RAs) are expected to report actual or suspected sexual harassment or retaliation to appropriate officials immediately, though there are some limited exceptions. Student workers other than RAs are not mandatory reporters but are encouraged to report.

In order to make informed choices, it is important to be aware of confidentiality and mandatory reporting requirements when consulting campus resources. On campus, some resources may maintain confidentiality and are not required to report actual or suspected sexual harassment or retaliation. They may offer options and resources without any obligation to inform an outside agency or campus official unless a Complainant has requested the information be shared.

If a Complainant expects formal action in response to their allegations, reporting to any Mandated Reporter can connect them with resources to report crimes and/or policy violations, and these employees will immediately pass reports to the Title IX Coordinator (and/or police, if desired by the Complainant), who will take action when an incident is reported to them.

The following sections describe the reporting options at AdventHealth University for a Complainant or third-party (including parents/guardians when appropriate):

a. Confidential Resources

If a Complainant would like the details of an incident to be kept confidential, the Complainant may speak with:

  • On-campus licensed professional counselors working within the scope of their licensure
  • On-campus members of the clergy/chaplains working within the scope of their licensure or ordination
  • Off-campus (non-employees):
    • Licensed professional counselors and other medical providers
    • Local rape crisis counselors
    • Domestic violence resources
    • Local or state assistance agencies
    • Clergy/Chaplains
    • Attorneys

All of the above-listed individuals will maintain confidentiality when acting under the scope of their licensure, professional ethics, and/or professional credentials, except in extreme cases of immediacy of threat or danger or abuse of a minor/elder/individual with a disability, or when required to disclose by law or court order.

Employees who are confidential resources and who receive reports within the scope of their confidential roles will timely submit anonymous statistical information for Clery Act purposes to the Title IX Coordinator.

b. Anonymous Notice to Mandated Reporters

At the request of a Complainant, notice may be given by a Mandated Reporter to the Title IX Coordinator anonymously, without identification of the Complainant. The Mandated Reporter cannot remain anonymous themselves.

If a Complainant has requested that a Mandated Reporter maintain the Complainant’s anonymity, the Mandated Reporter may do so unless it is reasonable to believe that a compelling threat to health or safety could exist. The Mandated Reporter can consult with the Title IX Coordinator on that assessment without revealing personally identifiable information.

An anonymous notice will be investigated by AdventHealth University to the extent possible, both to assess the underlying allegation(s) and to determine if supportive measures or remedies can be provided.

However, an anonymous notice typically limits AdventHealth University’s ability to investigate, respond, and provide remedies, depending on what information is shared.

When a Complainant has made a request for anonymity, the Complainant’s personally identifiable information may be withheld by a Mandated Reporter, but all other details must be shared with the Title IX Coordinator. Mandated reporters may not be able to maintain requests for anonymity for Complainants who are minors, elderly, and/or disabled, depending on state reporting of abuse requirements.

c. Mandated Reporters and Formal Notice/Complaints

All employees of AdventHealth University (including student employees), with the exception of those who are designated as Confidential Resources, are Mandated Reporters and must promptly share with the Title IX Coordinator all known details of a report made to them in the course of their employment.

Employees must also promptly share all details of behaviors under this Policy that they observe or have knowledge of, even if not reported to them by a Complainant or third-party.

Complainants may want to carefully consider whether they share personally identifiable details with non-confidential Mandated Reporters, as those details must be shared with the Title IX Coordinator.

Generally, disclosures in climate surveys, classroom writing assignments or discussions, human subjects research, or at events such as “Take Back the Night” marches or speak-outs do not provide notice that must be reported to the Title IX Coordinator by employees, unless the Complainant clearly indicates that they desire a report to be made or to seek a specific response from AdventHealth University.

Supportive measures may be offered as the result of such disclosures without formal AdventHealth University action.

Failure of a Mandated Reporter, as described above in this section, to report an incident of sexual harassment or retaliation of which they become aware is a violation of AdventHealth University policy and can be subject to disciplinary action for failure to comply.

Though this may seem obvious, when a Mandated Reporter is engaged in harassment or other violations of this Policy, they still have a duty to report their own misconduct, though AdventHealth University is technically not on notice when a harasser is also a Mandated Reporter unless the harasser does in fact report themselves.

Finally, it is important to clarify that a Mandated Reporter who is themselves a target of harassment or other misconduct under this Policy is not required to report their own experience, though they are, of course, encouraged to do so.

19. When a Complainant Does Not Wish to Proceed

If a Complainant does not wish for their name to be shared, does not wish for an investigation to take place, or does not want a formal complaint to be pursued, they may make such a request to the Title IX Coordinator, who will evaluate that request in light of the duty to ensure the safety of the campus and to comply with state or federal law.

The Title IX Coordinator has ultimate discretion over whether AdventHealth University proceeds when the Complainant does not wish to do so, and the Title IX Coordinator may sign a formal complaint to initiate a grievance process upon completion of an appropriate violence risk assessment.

The Title IX Coordinator’s decision should be based on results of the violence risk assessment that show a compelling risk to health and/or safety that requires AdventHealth University to pursue formal action to protect the community.

A compelling risk to health and/or safety may result from evidence of patterns of misconduct, predatory conduct, threats, abuse of minors, use of weapons, and/or violence. AdventHealth University may be compelled to act on alleged employee misconduct irrespective of a Complainant’s wishes.

The Title IX Coordinator must also consider the effect that non-participation by the Complainant may have on the availability of evidence and AdventHealth University’s ability to pursue a Formal Grievance Process fairly and effectively.

When the Title IX Coordinator executes the written complaint, they do not become the Complainant. The Complainant is the individual who is alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute a violation of this Policy.

When AdventHealth University proceeds, the Complainant (or their Advisor) may have as much or as little involvement in the process as they wish. The Complainant retains all rights of a Complainant under this Policy irrespective of their level of participation. Typically, when the Complainant chooses not to participate, the Advisor may be appointed as proxy for the Complainant throughout the process, acting to ensure and protect the rights of the Complainant, though this does not extend to the provision of evidence or testimony.

Note that AdventHealth University’s ability to remedy and respond to notice may be limited if the Complainant does not want AdventHealth University to proceed with an investigation and/or grievance process. The goal is to provide the Complainant with as much control over the process as possible, while balancing AdventHealth University’s obligation to protect its community.

In cases in which the Complainant requests confidentiality/no formal action and the circumstances allow AdventHealth University to honor that request, AdventHealth University will offer informal resolution options (see below), supportive measures, and remedies to the Complainant and the community, but will not otherwise pursue formal action.

If the Complainant elects to take no action, they can change that decision if they decide to pursue a formal complaint at a later date. Upon making a formal complaint, a Complainant has the right, and can expect, to have allegations taken seriously by AdventHealth University, and to have the incidents investigated and properly resolved through these procedures. Please consider that delays may cause limitations on access to evidence, or present issues with respect to the status of the parties.

20. Federal Timely Warning Obligations

Parties reporting sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and/or stalking should be aware that under the Clery Act, AdventHealth University must issue timely warnings for incidents reported to them that pose a serious or continuing threat of bodily harm or danger to members of the campus community.

AdventHealth University will ensure that a Complainant’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 potential danger.

21. False Allegations and Evidence

Deliberately false and/or malicious accusations under this Policy are a serious offense and will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action. This does not include allegations that are made in good faith but are ultimately shown to be erroneous or do not result in a policy violation determination.

Additionally, witnesses and parties knowingly providing false evidence, tampering with or destroying evidence, or deliberately misleading an official conducting an investigation, can be subject to discipline under AdventHealth University policy.

22. Amnesty for Complainants and Witnesses

AdventHealth University encourages the reporting of misconduct and crimes by Complainants and witnesses. Sometimes, Complainants or witnesses are hesitant to report to AdventHealth University officials or participate in grievance processes because they fear that they themselves may be in violation of certain policies, such as underage drinking or use of illicit drugs at the time of the incident. Respondents may hesitate to be forthcoming during the process for the same reasons.

It is in the best interests of the AdventHealth University’s community that Complainants choose to report misconduct to AdventHealth University officials, that witnesses come forward to share what they know, and that all parties be forthcoming during the process.

To encourage reporting and participation in the process, AdventHealth University maintains a policy of offering parties and witnesses amnesty from minor policy violations – such as underage consumption of alcohol or the use of illicit drugs – related to the incident.

Amnesty does not apply to more serious allegations such as physical abuse of another or illicit drug distribution. The decision not to offer amnesty is based on neither sex nor gender, but on the fact that collateral misconduct is typically addressed for all students within a progressive discipline system, and the rationale for amnesty – the incentive to report serious misconduct – is rarely applicable to Respondent with respect to a Complainant.

Students: Sometimes, students are hesitant to assist others for fear that they may get in trouble themselves.  For example, an underage student who has been drinking or using marijuana might hesitate to help take an individual who has experienced sexual assault to the Office of Security.

AdventHealth University maintains a policy of amnesty for students who offer help to others in need.

Employees: Sometimes, employees are hesitant to report sexual harassment or retaliation they have experienced for fear that they may get in trouble themselves. For example, an employee who has violated the consensual relationship policy and is then assaulted in the course of that relationship might hesitate to report the incident to AdventHealth University officials.

AdventHealth University may, at its discretion, offer employee Complainants amnesty from such policy violations (typically more minor policy violations) related to the incident. Amnesty may also be granted to Respondents and witnesses on a case-by-case basis.

23. Preservation of Evidence

The preservation of evidence in incidents of sexual assault is critical to potential criminal prosecution and to obtaining restraining orders, and particularly time-sensitive. The Recipient will inform the Complainant of the importance of preserving evidence by taking the following actions:

  1. Seek forensic medical assistance at the hospital, ideally within 120 hours of the incident (sooner is better)
  2. Avoid showering, bathing, washing hands or face, or douching, if possible, but evidence may still be collected even if you do.
  3. Try not to urinate.
  4. If oral sexual contact took place, refrain from smoking, eating, drinking, or brushing teeth.
  5. If clothes are changed, place soiled clothes in a paper bag (plastic destroys evidence).
  6. Seeking medical treatment can be essential even if it is not for the purposes of collecting forensic evidence.

During the initial meeting between the Complainant and the Title IX Coordinator, the importance of taking these actions will be reiterated, if timely.

This Policy is effective August 14, 2020.

ATIXA 2020 Interim Model Sexual Harassment Policy
Use and adaptation of this model with citation to ATIXA is permitted though a limited license
to AdventHealth University
All other rights reserved.
©2020.ATIXA


[1] Not to be confused with those mandated by state law to report child abuse, elder abuse, and/or abuse of individuals with disabilities to appropriate officials, though these responsibilities may overlap with those who have mandated reporting responsibility in this Policy.

[2] For the purpose of this Policy, the AdventHealth University defines “student” as any individual who has been successfully admitted and who matriculates and attends class.

3For the purpose of this Policy, privacy and confidentiality have distinct meanings. Privacy means that information related to a complaint will be shared with a limited number of AdventHealth University employees who “need to know” in order to assist in the assessment, investigation, and resolution of the report. All employees who are involved in the AdventHealth University’s response to notice under this Policy receive specific training and guidance about sharing and safeguarding private information in accordance with state and federal law. The privacy of student education records will be protected in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”), as outlined in the AdventHealth University’s Student Records Policy. The privacy of employee records will be protected in accordance with Human Resources policies. Confidentiality exists in the context of laws that protect certain relationships, including those who provide services related to chaplains and mental health counselors. The law creates a privilege between certain health care providers, mental health care providers, attorneys, clergy, spouses, and others, with their patients, clients, parishioners, and spouses. AdventHealth University has designated individuals who have the ability to have privileged communications as Confidential Resources. For more information about Confidential Resources, see page 16. When information is shared by a Complainant with a Confidential Resource, the Confidential Resource cannot reveal the information to any third party except when an applicable law or a court order requires or permits disclosure of such information. For example, information may be disclosed when: (i) the individual gives written consent for its disclosure; (ii) there is a concern that the individual will likely cause serious physical harm to self or others; or (iii) the information concerns conduct involving suspected abuse or neglect of a minor under the age of 18, elders, or individuals with disabilities. Non-identifiable information may be shared by Confidential Resources for statistical tracking purposes as required by the federal Clery Act. Other information may be shared as required by law.

[4] This definition of hostile environment is based on Federal Register / Vol. 59, No. 47 / Thursday, March 10, 1994: Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, Racial Incidents and Harassment Against Students At Educational Recipients Investigative Guidance

[5] Implicitly or explicitly.

[6] Unwelcomeness is subjective and determined by the Complainant (except when the Complainant is younger than the age of consent). Severity, pervasiveness, and objective offensiveness are evaluated based on the totality of the circumstances from the perspective of a reasonable person in the same or similar circumstances (“in the shoes of the Complainant”), including the context in which the alleged incident occurred and any similar, previous patterns that may be evidenced.

[7] This definition set is not taken from Summary Reporting System/National Incident Based Reporting System (SRS/NIBRS) verbatim. ATIXA has substituted Complainant for “victim,” has removed references to his/her throughout, has defined “private body parts,” has removed the confusing and unnecessary term “unlawfully,” and has inserted language clarifying that AdventHealth University interprets “against the person’s will” to mean “non-consensually.”

[8] Per state law.

[9] Bondage, discipline/dominance, submission/sadism, and masochism.