Notice of Non-Discrimination & Role of Title IX Coordinator
Consistent with the University’s Nondiscrimination Policy, the University does not unlawfully discriminate against any person in any of its education or employment programs and activities, including admissions, on any basis prohibited by federal, state, or other applicable law, including on the basis of sex, and it does not tolerate Discrimination or Discriminatory Harassment on the basis of sex. The University complies with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (“Title IX”) which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in the University's programs and activities; the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act) as amended by the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA) which, along with Title IX, provides the authority for this Policy and the University’s response to Sexual Assault, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence and Stalking. The University also complies with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in employment, and other applicable law.
Concerns about the University’s application of Title IX may be addressed to the University’s Title IX Coordinator (at email@example.com); the United States Department of Education, Clery Act Compliance Division (at firstname.lastname@example.org); the United States Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (at OCR@ed.gov or 800-421-3481); and/or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (at email@example.com or 800-669-4000).
To request disability accommodations in connection with this Policy and corresponding procedure, students should contact the Office of Disability Support Services at 206-286-72348 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Employees and applicants for employment should contact the Human Resources at 206-281-2809.
The Role of the Title IX Coordinator
The University has designated a Title IX Coordinator to oversee the implementation of this Policy, to ensure compliance with Title IX, and relevant portions of VAWA and Title VII, and to work with the Division of Business and Finance on compliance with the Clery Act and other applicable laws. The University’s Title IX Coordinator is Trista Truemper.
Title IX Coordinator | Section 504 Coordinator
330 West Nickerson
Seattle, WA 98119
Phone: (206) 281-2538
The University’s Title IX Coordinator oversees the University's centralized response to all reports of Sexual Harassment to ensure implementation of this Policy and compliance with applicable federal, state, and local law. To ensure compliance, the Title IX Coordinator and designated staff will:
- Communicate with all members of the University community regarding applicable law and policy and provide information about how individuals may access resources and reporting options.
- Maintain and implement applicable University policies and procedures in effort to comply with applicable law.
- Ensure that all students and employees have access to education and training regarding Title IX, related provisions of the Clery Act, and Sexual Harassment as defined in this Policy.
- Respond to any report regarding conduct that may violate this Policy. In this capacity, the Title IX Coordinator shall:
- Direct the provision of any Supportive Measures.
- Oversee the prompt and equitable investigation and/or alternative resolution of a report of Sexual Harassment.
- Take appropriate action to respond to reports of Sexual Harassment, prevent its recurrence, and remedy its effects.
- Maintain centralized records of all reports, investigations, and resolutions.
- Implement any remedies provided to a Complainant after a Respondent is found responsible for Sexual Harassment after the completion of the applicable grievance procedure.
The Title IX Coordinator maintains broad oversight responsibility but may delegate responsibilities or activities under this Policy to the University’s Deputy Title IX Coordinator (contact below), other designated administrators, or external professionals who will have appropriate training and/or experience. When used in this Policy, the term Title IX Coordinator may include an appropriate designee.
Deputy Title IX Coordinator | Director of Emergency Management and Associate Director of Safety and Security
3307 3rd Ave W, Suite 104
Seattle, WA 98119
Phone: (206) 281-2625
Key terms related to this Policy are defined immediately below. Additional important terms are defined throughout the text of the Policy.
Title IX Sexual Harassment
For the purposes of Title IX Sexual Harassment, sexual harassment means conduct on the basis of sex that satisfies one or more of the following:
- An employee of SPU conditioning an educational benefit or service of SPU on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct.
- Unwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to SPU’s education program or activity;
- A VAWA Offense, meaning “sexual assault” as defined in 20 U.S.C. 1092(f)(6)(A)(v), “dating violence” as defined in 34 U.S.C. 12291(a)(10), “domestic violence” as defined in 34 U.S.C. 12291(a)(8), or “stalking” as defined in 34 U.S.C. 12291(a)(30).
- Sexual Assault is defined as a forcible or nonforcible sex offense under the uniform crime reporting system of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. NOTE: If the following sexual assault definitions are updated in the NIBRS User Manual (available online at FBI UCR Technical Specifications), the updated definitions are applied.
- Rape (except Statutory Rape): The carnal knowledge of a person, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of their age or because of their temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.
- Sodomy: Oral or anal sexual intercourse with another person, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of their age or because of their temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.
- Sexual assault with an object: To use an object or instrument to unlawfully penetrate, however, slightly, the genital or anal opening of the body of another person, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of their age or because of their temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.
- Fondling: The touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of their age or because of their temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.
- Incest: Sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law.
- Statutory Rape: Sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent.
- Dating Violence is defined as violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. The existence of such a relationship is to be determined based on length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
- Domestic Violence – a felony or misdemeanor crime of violence committed:
- By a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the 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 of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of Washington, or
- By any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s act under the domestic or family violence laws of Washington.
- Stalking– engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to:
- Fear for the person’s safety or the safety of others; or
- Suffer substantial emotional distress.
- Sexual Assault is defined as a forcible or nonforcible sex offense under the uniform crime reporting system of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. NOTE: If the following sexual assault definitions are updated in the NIBRS User Manual (available online at FBI UCR Technical Specifications), the updated definitions are applied.
For the purposes of this definition:
- Course of conduct means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the stalker 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.
- Reasonable person means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the victim.
- Substantial emotional distress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.
Title VII Sexual Harassment
Amongst employees, harassment because of sex is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when any of the following conditions are met:
- Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment; or
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decision affecting such individual; or
- Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.
Understanding Consent and Incapacitation
(This definition of consent is not meant to condone sexual activity or other conduct that is in violation of the University’s Student Standards of Conduct, but is included in order to define other terms in this policy.)
For purposes of this policy, consent is knowing, voluntary and clear permission by word or action to engage in sexual activity. Since individuals may experience the same interaction in different ways, it is the responsibility of each party to determine that the other has consented before engaging in the activity. Consent to engage in one form of sexual activity does not imply or constitute consent to engage in another form of sexual activity. Consent to engage in sexual activity with one individual does not imply or constitute consent to engage in sexual activity with another.
Consent cannot be inferred from silence, passivity, or lack of verbal or physical resistance. Relying on nonverbal communication alone may result in a violation of this policy. 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 if the withdrawal is reasonably and clearly communicated. If consent is withdrawn, that sexual activity should cease within a reasonable time.
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. Even if words or conduct alone seem to imply consent, sexual activity is nonconsensual when:
- Force or coercion is threatened or used to procure compliance with the sexual activity.
- Force is the use of physical violence, physical force, threat, or intimidation to overcome resistance or gain consent to sexual activity.
- Coercion is unreasonable pressure for sexual activity. Examples of coercion may include using blackmail or extortion to overcome resistance or gain consent to sexual activity.
- The person is asleep, unconscious, or physically unable to communicate their unwillingness to engage in sexual activity; or a reasonable person would or should know that the other person lacks the mental capacity at the time of the sexual activity to be able to understand the nature or consequences of the act, whether that incapacity is produced by illness, defect, the influence of alcohol or another substance, or some other cause.
Incapacitation by drugs or alcohol
When alcohol or drugs are involved, a person is considered incapacitated or unable to give valid consent if the individual cannot fully understand the details of the sexual interaction (i.e., who, what, when, where, why, and how), and/or the individual lacks the capacity to reasonably understand the situation and to make rational, reasonable decisions.
Alcohol and other drugs impact everyone differently and determining whether an individual is incapacitated requires an individualized determination. The University does not expect Students, Faculty, or Staff to be medical experts in assessing incapacitation. Individuals should look for common and obvious warning signs that show that an individual may be incapacitated or approaching incapacitation. An individual’s level of intoxication is not always demonstrated by objective signs; however, some signs that an individual may be incapacitated include clumsiness, difficulty walking, poor judgment, difficulty concentrating, slurred speech, vomiting, combativeness, or emotional volatility.
Another effect of excessive alcohol consumption can be memory impairment or an inability to recall entire or partial events (sometimes referred to as “black-out” or “brown-out”). An individual may experience this symptom while appearing to be functioning “normally,” including communicating through actions or words that can reasonably and objectively be interpreted as communicating consent to engage in sexual activity. Total or partial loss of memory, alone, may not be sufficient, without additional evidence, to prove that an individual was incapacitated under this policy. Whether sexual activity under these circumstances constitutes Prohibited Conduct depends on the presence or absence of the outwardly observable factors indicating that an individual is incapacitated, as described above.
An individual’s level of intoxication may change over a period based on a variety of individual factors, including the amount of substance intake, speed of intake, body mass, height, weight, tolerance, quantity and pattern of food and sleep, drinking pattern, and metabolism. It is critical, therefore, that any individual engaging in sexual activity is aware of both their own and the other individual’s level of intoxication and capacity to give consent.
In evaluating affirmative consent in cases involving incapacitation, the University considers the totality of available information in determining two issues:
- Did the Respondent know the Complainant was incapacitated?; or, if not,
- Would a sober, reasonable individual in a similar set of circumstances as the Respondent have known that the Complainant was incapacitated?
If either question is answered positively, consent was absent, and the conduct is likely a violation of this Policy.
Reasonable Belief in Affirmative Consent
A Respondent may indicate that they had a reasonable belief in affirmative consent as a defense to sexual assault. In evaluating whether a Respondent’s belief was plausible and reasonable, the University will consider the totality of circumstances, including information known to the Respondent, as well as information that should reasonably have been known to the Respondent. The University will evaluate whether the communication (through clear words and/or actions) between the parties would be interpreted by a reasonable person (under similar circumstances and with similar identities) as a willingness to engage in a particular sexual act.
Belief in affirmative consent is not reasonable if it arose from a Respondent’s voluntary intoxication or recklessness, and such intoxication is not an excuse for engaging in Prohibited Conduct. Further, such belief is not reasonable if reasonable steps are not taken to determine consent.
Scope and Jurisdiction
This Policy applies to Sexual Harassment that occurs in the University’s Programs or Activities. This Policy may also apply to Sexual Harassment that occurs outside the University’s Programs or Activities when, at the discretion of the Title IX Coordinator:
- there is close proximity between the reported conduct and the University community;
- there is a sufficient nexus between the reported conduct and the University’s Programs or Activities; and/or
- the reported conduct has alleged continuing adverse effects or creates a hostile environment on campus or in the University’s Programs or Activities.
- Where reported conduct involves a potential violation of both this Policy and another University policy, the University may choose to investigate and/or adjudicate all of the alleged misconduct under the procedures set forth in this Policy, provided that doing so would not unduly delay a prompt or equitable resolution of the report.
- This Policy applies to all reports of Sexual Harassment that are received by the University on or after the effective date of this Policy, regardless of when the Sexual Harassment is alleged to have occurred. Where the date of the reported Sexual Harassment precedes the effective date of this Policy, the definition of Sexual Harassment in existence at the time of the alleged incident(s) will be used, except where use of such definition would be contrary to law. The procedures under this Policy, however, will be used to investigate and resolve all reports of Sexual Harassment subject to this Policy made on or after the effective date of this policy, regardless of when the alleged incident(s) occurred, except where the use of such procedures would be contrary to law.
- Allegations of discrimination and other misconduct on the basis of sex that are not covered by this Policy may be governed by other University policies or processes, including but not limited to the Code of Student Conduct, the Student Accountability Process, the Employee Handbook, the Faculty Code, the university’s Non-Discrimination Policy, and amorous relationship policies.
- This Policy supersedes any conflicting information in any other University policy with respect to the definitions or procedures relating to Sexual Harassment within the scope of this Policy and provides the exclusive University remedy for alleged Sexual Harassment within the scope of this Policy.
Understanding Privacy and Confidentiality
Issues of privacy and confidentiality play important roles in this Policy and may affect individuals differently. While they are closely related, the concepts of privacy and confidentiality are distinct terms that are explained in more detail in Appendix A.
Individuals involved in the resolution processes under this Policy are encouraged to exercise discretion in sharing information in order to safeguard the integrity of the process and to avoid the appearance of retaliation. While discretion regarding the process is important, Complainants and Respondents are not restricted from discussing and sharing information with others who may support or assist them during the process.
Intentional disclosures that are not for the purpose of preparing for the resolution process or obtaining support may be subject to the prohibition on retaliation if determined to be retaliatory in nature. All parties are encouraged to maintain the privacy of Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)-protected and/or sensitive information gathered or learned in the process.
Reporting Options and Resources
The University encourages all individuals to promptly report Sexual Harassment to the Title IX Coordinator and report VAWA Offenses to the Title IX Coordinator and law enforcement. The University also recognizes that deciding to report can be difficult and is an intensely personal decision. Complainants and witnesses are encouraged to seek assistance from campus and community resources and to explore all potential reporting and support options.
A Complainant has the right to report or decline to report crimes to law enforcement. Under limited circumstances (i.e., threats to the health or safety of an individual) or to comply with applicable law, the University may independently notify law enforcement.
University processes and law enforcement investigations operate independently of one another, although the Title IX Coordinator may coordinate information with SPU’s Office of Safety and Security as part of the intake assessment.
Anyone can make a report as follows:
- Make a report to the Title IX Coordinator in person, by telephone, by email or online:
Title IX Coordinator | Section 504 Coordinator
330 West Nickerson
Seattle, WA 98119
Phone: (206) 281-2538
- Reports can also be submitted online 24/7 using the Report a Concern. Reports can be submitted anonymously and are received by SPU’s Response Team:
- Trista Truemper, Title IX/ Section 504 Coordinator, (206) 281 2538; email@example.com.
Cheryl Michaels, Deputy Title IX Coordinator/Director of Emergency Management and Associate Director of Safety and Security, (206) 281-2625; firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If on campus, contact OSS 24/7 for assistance in filing a criminal complaint and preserving physical evidence at:
Office of Safety and Security
601 West Emerson
Seattle, WA 98119
Emergencies (from on campus): x2911 | (from off campus): 206-281-2911
- If off campus, call 911 to reach local emergency response.
An individual may pursue some or all of these steps at the same time (e.g., one may simultaneously pursue a Title IX report and a criminal complaint). When initiating any of the above options, an individual does not need to know whether they wish to request any particular course of action nor how to label what happened. As part of a report to the Title IX Coordinator, an individual can also request Supportive Measures. When a report of Sexual Harassment is made to the Title IX Coordinator, the Title IX Coordinator will promptly contact the Complainant and conduct an assessment to determine next steps, including whether the University may offer Supportive Measures. However, the University will not commence a resolution process without a Formal Complaint.
If a Title IX administrator is identified as a Respondent, Complainants and/or reporting parties may submit reports to the Assistant Vice President for Human Resources.
Anonymous reports will be preliminarily investigated to the extent possible, both to assess the underlying allegation(s) and to determine if remedies can be provided. However, anonymous reports typically limit the University’s ability to investigate, respond, and provide remedies, depending on what information is shared.
Timeframe for Reporting
There is no time limitation on reporting alleged violations of this Policy. However, if the Respondent is no longer subject to the University’s jurisdiction and/or significant time has passed, the ability to investigate, respond, and provide remedies may be more limited. Acting on allegations 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 resources and/or remedies, and/or engage in informal or formal action, as appropriate. When a significant time delay impacts the reporting of alleged violations, the University will apply the policy in place at the time of the alleged violation, and the procedures in place at the time the violation is reported.
The University seeks to eliminate barriers for Complainants and witnesses who may be hesitant to seek medical or emergency assistance, report an incident to University officials, or participate in resolutions processes because they fear that they themselves may be in violation of certain policies at the time of the incident. In general, the University will not pursue disciplinary action for pre-marital sexual activity, personal consumption of alcohol or drugs, or other activities that would would otherwise be a violation of the Code of Student Conduct against a student who makes a good faith report to the University, or participates as a party or witness to Sexual Harassment, provided the misconduct did not endanger the health or safety of others. The University may engage in an assessment or educational discussion or pursue other non-disciplinary options.
Requests for Anonymity
Once a report has been shared with the Title IX Coordinator, a Complainant may request that their identity not be shared with the Respondent (request for anonymity), that no investigation occur, or that no resolution process be pursued. The University will carefully balance this request in the context of the University's commitment to provide a safe and non-discriminatory environment for all University community members. The University will make all reasonable efforts to respond to the report consistent with a Complainant’s request, but to pursue a resolution against a Respondent under this Policy, the Respondent must be provided with sufficient notice of the reported conduct, including the Complainant’s identity if known. In some cases, including where the University determines that the failure to pursue a resolution process would be inconsistent with its legal obligations, the University may choose to pursue a resolution even if a Complainant requests that no resolution be pursued. More information about how to report Sexual Harassment that is in progress or threatened, and information about medical care, is available on the following website: https://spu.edu/administration/human-resources/nondiscrimination-title-ix-hr/resources-options
University Community Members’ Reporting Obligations
It is important to understand the different reporting responsibilities of University community members. Some community members are designated as Confidential Resources (e.g., pastoral counselors, health care providers and mental health counselors acting within their professional capacities) while others are Title IX Responsible Employees. Confidential Resources will generally not report personally identifying information shared with them about Sexual Harassment to the Title IX Coordinator. Conversely, Title IX Responsible Employees and are required by the University to promptly share all available information about Sexual Harassment with the Title IX Coordinator. The University encourages Complainants to seek clarification about an employee’s reporting obligations before making disclosures.
Title IX Responsible Employees are University community members who are required by this Policy to promptly report suspected or alleged incidents Sexual Harassment or potential violations of this Policy to the Title IX Coordinator. Unless identified and acting as a Confidential Resource, SPU Responsible Employees include:
- President, Provost, Vice Presidents, Deans, and Department Chairs
- Deputy, Vice, Assistant and Associate, Provosts, Deans, and individuals who directly report to any of these roles
- Athletic Director, Coaches, Assistant Coaches, Graduate Assistants and other Athletics Department employees
- All Residence Directors and Area Coordinators
- Anyone who directly supervises students, student workers, faculty, or other staff
- Managers, coordinators, program heads, directors (including deputy, vice, assistant or associate positions)
- All staff in Enrollment Management and Marketing
- Faculty Academic Advisors and Undergraduate Academic Counselors
- All staff in the Office for Inclusive Excellence
- All staff in the Department of Human Resources
- All staff in the Division of Student Formation and Community Engagement
- All staff in the Division of Finance and Administration
- Safety and Security Police Department Staff
- Individuals designated as Campus Security Authorities under the Clery Act
Responsible Employees must report all known information, including the identities of the parties, the date, time, and location, and any details about the reported incident to the Title IX Coordinator that are known. Responsible Employees may provide support and assistance to a reporting party, but they cannot promise confidentiality or withhold information about Sexual Harassment. Failure by a Responsible Employee to promptly report suspected or alleged Sexual Harassment may subject them to appropriate discipline, including removal from a position or termination of employment. There are limited exceptions to this requirement. The exceptions are:
Employees, interns, professional trainees, volunteers, contractors, and other similar individuals who have received information while providing services within their professional capacity at the Student Health Services, SPU Clinical Psychology Practicum programs or University Ministries, or while otherwise designated by SPU to provide counseling or health services.
Employees participating in preventative education for students regarding sex and gender-based violence or a related program, during which a student or employee discloses having experienced a form of Sexual Harassment.
Employees engaged in research and climate surveys which include gathering information on discrimination and harassment, during which a research participant discloses, for the purpose of the research, having experienced discrimination and harassment, unless otherwise required by applicable law.
- Employees working in Admissions or engaged in recruitment activities who learn about incidents of sexual harassment or sexual violence that may have impacted student applicants or admitted students prior to their matriculation at SPU.
- The Responsible Employee requirements described in this section do not apply when the only employee with information about conduct that may constitute Sexual Harassment is the employee-complainant.
Some Responsible Employees may also be designated as Campus Security Authorities (CSAs). All CSAs should be aware of their reporting obligations under the Clery Act and promptly report Clery crimes to the Office of Safety and Security.
Students and employees who wish to discuss Sexual Harassment in a confidential setting may consult with the list of Confidential Resources identified in Appendix B. Confidential Resources will generally not disclose personally identifying information to the Title IX Coordinator without the express permission of the Complainant. Speaking with an employee or non-employee Confidential Resource about Sexual Harassment will not constitute a report to the University or law enforcement. When an employee who is otherwise is a Confidential Resource receives information outside of their professional role in the provision of services, the individual may have institutional Reporting Obligations which requires that they share information with the Title IX Coordinator. For example, a licensed psychologist in the Student Health Center who receives a disclosure in the context of attending University lecture would be required to share the information with the Title IX Coordinator.
Although employee Confidential Resources are not obligated to report Sexual Harassment to the Title IX Coordinator, they are expected to explain their confidential status to any person who informs the confidential employee of conduct that may constitute Sexual Harassment and must provide that person with contact information for the Title IX Coordinator and explain how to report the incident, which may include providing access to this Policy.
Emergency Resources and Law Enforcement
Emergency medical assistance and campus safety/law enforcement assistance are available 24/7 both on and off campus. Individuals are encouraged to contact law enforcement and seek medical treatment as soon as possible following an incident that may pose a threat to safety or physical well-being or following a potential criminal offense. Such incidents can be reported to SPU’s Office of Safety and Security.
Members of the University community who believe their safety or the safety of others is threatened or who have experienced or witnessed Sexual Harassment that may be criminal in nature should immediately call OSS at (206) 281-2911 or call 911 to reach local law enforcement. Incidents that are reported to OSS that fall within the scope of this Policy will also be reported to the Title IX Coordinator.
Upon receipt of a report of Sexual Harassment, the Title IX Coordinator will promptly contact the Complainant to (1) discuss the availability of and the Complainant’s wishes with respect to Supportive Measures and (2) explain the process for filing a Formal Complaint. As part of the intake assessment, the Title IX Coordinator will typically:
- assess the nature and circumstances of the report, including whether it provides the names and/or any other information that identifies the Complainant, the Respondent, any witness and/or any other individual with knowledge of the reported incident;
- assess the nature and circumstances of the report to determine whether the reported conduct raises a potential Policy violation, and whether the reported conduct is within the scope of this Policy;
- address immediate physical safety and emotional well-being;
- notify the Complainant of their right to contact (or decline to contact) law enforcement or seek a civil protection order;
- notify the Complainant of the right to seek medical treatment;
- notify the Complainant of the importance of preservation of evidence;
- consult with the OSS or other University administrators as appropriate;
- refer the report to OSS to enter the report into the University’s daily crime log if required by the Clery Act;
- with OSS, assess the reported conduct and discern the need for a timely warning under the Clery Act;
- provide the Complainant with written information about campus and community resources;
- notify the Complainant of the right to reasonable Supportive Measures regardless of whether they choose to file a Formal Complaint;
- provide the Complainant with an explanation of the procedural options, including formal resolution and alternative resolution;
- notify the Complainant of the right to be accompanied at any meeting by an advisor of their choice;
- assess the available information for any pattern of alleged conduct by Respondent;
- discuss the Complainant’s expressed preference for the manner of resolution and any barriers to proceeding (e.g., confidentiality concerns);
- explain the University’s policy prohibiting retaliation and how to report acts of retaliation; and
- determine the age of the Complainant; and if the Complainant is a minor, make the appropriate report of suspected abuse consistent with the University’s Reporting Expectations Policy
- determine whether the allegations would prompt an evaluation of NSF notification and reporting requirements.
If the allegations in the report would not, if true, rise to the level of Sexual Harassment as defined in this Policy, the Title IX Coordinator may nevertheless continue to offer Supportive Measures. If the reported conduct, if true, would constitute Sexual Harassment under this Policy but took place outside the University’s Programs or Activities, the Title IX Coordinator has the discretion to determine whether to proceed under the procedures set forth in this Policy (based on the factors discussed in the Scope and Jurisdiction section above) or refer to another University office for review and resolution.
The intake assessment will be conducted promptly, with the timeframe for the intake assessment tailored to the context and circumstances. The University will seek to complete the intake assessment within 10 Business Days, but recognizes that there may be circumstances in which this assessment takes longer.
Supportive measures are non-disciplinary, non-punitive individualized services, accommodations, and other assistance that the University may put in place, without fee or charge, after receiving notice of possible Sexual Harassment. Supportive Measures are designed to restore or preserve access to the University’s education programs and activities and protect the safety of all parties and the University’s educational environment while not being punitive in nature or unreasonably burdening any party. Whether a possible Supportive Measure for one party would unreasonably burden another party is a fact-specific determination that considers the nature of the educational programs, activities, opportunities, and benefits in which an individual is participating.
- Upon receipt of a report of Sexual Harassment, the Title IX Coordinator, will contact a Complainant to:
- discuss the availability of Supportive Measures
- explain that Supportive Measures are available with or without the filing of a Formal Complaint.
- The Title IX Coordinator will consider the Complainant’s wishes with respect to implementation of Supportive Measures.
- Reasonable and appropriate Supportive Measures are also available to the Respondent. The University may provide reasonable Supportive Measures to third parties as appropriate and available, considering the role of the third party and the nature of any contractual relationship with the University.
- To determine the appropriate Supportive Measure(s) to be implemented, the University conducts an individualized assessment based on the unique facts and circumstances of each situation. The University will consider a number of factors, including:
- the needs of the individual seeking supportive measures;
- the severity and/or pervasiveness of the alleged conduct;
- any continuing effects on the parties;
- whether the Complainant and the Respondent share the same residence hall, academic course(s), or job location(s); and
- whether court proceedings have been used to protect any parties (e.g., protective orders).
- The University will work in good faith to implement the requirements of judicially issued protective orders and similar orders, to the extent that doing so is within its authority.
- The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for ensuring the implementation of Supportive Measures and coordinating the University's response with the appropriate offices on campus. The Title IX Coordinator has the discretion to impose and/or modify any Supportive Measure based on all available information and is available to meet with a Complainant or Respondent to address any concerns about the provision of Supportive Measures.
- The University will maintain the privacy of any Supportive Measures provided under this Policy to the extent that maintaining such confidentiality would not impair the University’s ability to provide the Supportive Measures, and the University will promptly address any violation of a Supportive Measure.
Supportive Measures may include:
- facilitating access to counseling and medical services;
- guidance in obtaining a sexual assault forensic examination;
- assistance in arranging rescheduling of exams and assignments and extensions of deadlines;
- academic support;
- assistance in requesting long-term academic accommodations through Disability Support Services (DSS) if the individual qualifies as an individual with a disability;
- change in class schedule, including the ability to transfer course sections or withdraw from a course;
- allowing either a Complainant or a Respondent to drop a class in which both parties are enrolled in the same section without penalty;
- changes in the Complainant’s or Respondent’s University work schedule or job and/or leadership assignments;
- change in campus housing;
- escort and other safety planning steps;
- mutual "no contact directive," an administrative remedy designed to curtail contact and communications between two or more individuals;
- voluntary leave of absence;
- referral to resources to assist in obtaining a protective order;
- referral to resources to assist with any financial aid, visa or immigration concerns;
- limiting an individual's access to certain University facilities or activities; and/or
- any other remedial measure, as appropriate, that is non-disciplinary, non-punitive, and does not unreasonably burden any party’s access to the University’s education programs and activities.
The University may also impose an administrative leave (on either a paid or unpaid basis) for an employee following a Formal Complaint and during the pendency of a resolution process. The decision to impose an administrative leave may be made at any point in the process.
The Title IX Coordinator, in consultation with other University employees as appropriate, retains the right to remove a Respondent from the University’s Program or Activities on an emergency basis. A Respondent may be removed on an emergency basis when, based on an individualized safety and risk analysis, the University determines that an immediate threat to the physical health or safety of any individual arising from the allegations of Sexual Harassment justifies removal. A Respondent who is subject to emergency removal from the University’s Programs and Activities will be provided notice and an opportunity to challenge the decision promptly following the removal.
Advisor of Choice
During intake, and throughout this Policy’s procedures, each party has the right to consult with an advisor of their choosing, including but not limited to, an attorney. Each party may be accompanied by no more than one advisor to a meeting or proceeding related to the resolution of a report under this Policy. The advisor may provide support and advice to the parties at any meeting and/or proceeding. Other than at a live hearing for the sole purpose of conducting any cross-examination, an advisor may not speak on behalf of a party or otherwise participate in, or in any manner delay, disrupt, or interfere with meetings and/or proceedings. The University will not unduly delay the scheduling of meetings or proceedings based on an advisor’s unavailability. An advisor may be asked to meet with a University administrator in advance of any proceedings to understand the expectations of the role, privacy considerations, and appropriate decorum.
Initiating a Formal Complaint
Formal Complaints alleging a violation(s) of this Policy may be resolved using the Title IX Sexual Harassment and Related Conduct Resolution Procedure.
Appendix A: Privacy, Confidentiality & Record Keeping
Privacy refers to the discretion that will be exercised by the University, including the Title IX Office, in the course of any process under this Policy. Information related to a report of Sexual Harassment will be handled discreetly and shared with a limited circle of University employees or designees who need to know in order to assist in the assessment, investigation, resolution of the report, and related issues. Individuals will receive training on how to safeguard private information. The University will make reasonable efforts to investigate and address reports of Sexual Harassment under this Policy, and information may be disclosed to participants in the resolution process as necessary to facilitate the thoroughness and integrity of the resolution process. In all such proceedings, the University will maintain the privacy of the parties to the extent reasonably possible. The privacy of student education records will be protected in accordance with the University’s Policy on the Privacy of Student Records, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), and Title IX. Access to an employee’s personnel records is also governed by university policy and by applicable local laws.
Confidentiality refers to the statutory protections provided to individuals who disclose information in legally protected or privileged relationships, including professional mental health counselors, medical professionals, and ordained clergy. These professionals must maintain the confidentiality of communications disclosed within the scope of the provision of professional services and they may not disclose the protected information to any third party without the individual's permission or unless permitted or required consistent with ethical or legal obligations. Similarly, medical and counseling records cannot be released without the individual's permission or unless permitted or required consistent with ethical or legal obligations.
Clery Act Reporting
Pursuant to the Clery Act, the University includes statistics about certain offenses in its daily crime log and annual security report and provides those statistics to the United States Department of Education in a manner that does not include any personally identifying information about individuals involved in an incident. The Office of Safety and Security makes the crime log for open to public review during normal business hours for the most recent 60 day period. Any portion of the crime log beyond 60 days, if not immediately available, will be made accessible within two business days of a request for public inspection. The University’s student newspaper, The Falcon, publishes a crime blotter on a regular basis. The Clery Act also requires the University to issue timely warnings to the University community about certain crimes that have been reported and may continue to pose a serious or continuing threat to campus safety. Consistent with the Clery Act, the University withholds the names and other personally identifying information of complainants when issuing timely warnings to the University community. Some Confidential Resources (see Appendix C) are required to submit non-personally identifiable information about Clery reportable crimes to the Office of Safety and Security.
The University will maintain for a period of at least seven years records of:
- Each Sexual Harassment investigation including any determination regarding responsibility and any audio or audiovisual recording or transcript required under 34 CFR 106.45, any disciplinary sanctions imposed on the Respondent, and any remedies provided to the Complainant designed to restore or preserve equal access to the University’s education program or activity;
- Any appeal and the result therefrom;
- Any informal resolution and the result therefrom; and
- All materials used to train the Title IX Coordinator, any Deputy Title IX Coordinator, Investigators, Decision Makers, Appeal Reviewers, and Informal Process Facilitators.
The University will make the training materials used to train the Title IX Coordinator, any Deputy Title IX Coordinator, Investigators, Decision Makers, Appeal Reviewers, and Informal Process Facilitators publicly available on its website. Regardless of whether a Formal Complaint is filed, in each case that the University is required to respond to a report of Sexual Harassment under Title IX and 34 CFR 106.44, the University will create, and maintain for a period of seven years, records of any actions, including any Supportive Measures, taken in response to a report or Formal Complaint of Sexual Harassment. In each instance, the University will document the basis for its conclusion that its response was not deliberately indifferent, and document that it has taken measures designed to restore or preserve equal access to the University’s education program or activity. If the University does not provide a Complainant with Supportive Measures, then the University will document the reasons why such a response was not clearly unreasonable in light of the known circumstances. The documentation of certain bases or measures does not limit the University in the future from providing additional explanations or detailing additional measures taken.
The University may also include information in an employee's personnel file or other employment records regarding any allegations of Sexual Harassment and any findings made at the conclusion of a grievance procedure. The University has no obligation to provide access to records or copies of records to any person, unless the law or a University policy gives a person such right. Requirements in this Policy to provide access to evidence to the parties or their advisors will only apply while a Formal Complaint proceeding is in process, unless otherwise required by law.
Appendix B: Campus, Community, and Emergency Resources; Confidential Resources
The University offers resources and assistance to impacted members of the University community regardless of whether the University ultimately determines that Sexual Harassment occurred. The University may also assist those individuals in identifying and contacting external law enforcement agencies and community resources. The University encourage the development of a network of support, such as friends and family, and the utilization of campus resources such as the following:
- Office of Safety and Security: 206-281-2911 (for safety, security, and transportation)
- Office of Student Life: 206-281-2481 (for guidance about academics and on-campus housing)
- Human Resources: 206-281-3809 (for faculty/staff employment, leave, and accommodations)
- Office of International Student Services: 206-281-2550 (for visa/immigration)
- Office of Disability Support Services: 206-281-2475 (student disability accommodations)
Confidential Resources will not disclose personally identifying information about you to the Title IX Coordinator without your permission. Some Confidential Resources can maintain the confidentiality of communications under applicable law as discussed in the Confidentiality section of Appendix B. Speaking with a Confidential Resource who is acting within the scope of their employment about Sexual Harassment will not constitute a report to the University or law enforcement.
Confidential resources at SPU include:
- Student Counseling Center: 206-281-2657 (for counseling and mental health - undergraduate students only).
- Student Health Services: 206-281-2231 (for medical and health care).
- Employee Assistance Program: Customer Service (888) 293-6948.
- University Ministries: 206-281-2966.
Off-campus resources are also available. Please confirm confidentiality with individual providers:
- King County Sexual Assault 24-Hour Resource Center: 888-998-6423, kcsarc.org. KCSARC can assist with crisis response, advocacy, legal advocacy, and other support.
- Rape Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN): 800-656-HOPE, rainn.org.
- Harborview Center for Sexual Assault & Traumatic Stress: 206-744-1600, depts.washington.edu/hcsats
- Sexual Violence Law Center: 206-832-3632 (or 1-888-998-6423), svlawcenter.org. SVLC provides services for survivors including legal representation, consulting, resources, and referrals.
- Male Survivor: malesurvivor.org
- 1in6: 1in6.org
- Abused Deaf Women’s Advocacy Services: 206-812-1001, adwas.org
- API Chaya: multilingual, culturally relevant survivor support: 877-922-5292, apichaya.org
Medical Treatment and Preservation of Evidence
Regardless of whether a report is filed with local law enforcement, individuals should preserve all evidence that could be relevant to any criminal charges that may be brought or that might be needed to obtain a protection order. In general, "evidence" is anything that can help prove that an incident of sexual misconduct occurred. Evidence can vary depending on the incident. For example, evidence of stalking may include emails, texts, or other examples of such unwanted communications - in this case, be sure to keep copies of all such messages.
Individuals who have been subjected to sexual assault are encouraged to obtain a physical examination by a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) as soon as possible. Before obtaining a SANE or SAFE examination, individuals should avoid showering, washing, changing clothes, combing hair, drinking, eating or altering their physical appearance. Even if a SANE exam or SAFE is not sought, all victims of violence should consider obtaining medical attention so that any issues relating to possible injury or disease from the incident may be addressed. For victims assaulted in Washington State, the medical forensic exam, evidence collection and post assault lab work and medications are billed to the Washington Crime Victims Compensation Program. These services are paid for regardless of whether a victim makes a report to law enforcement or chooses to participate in the criminal justice system.
Appendix C: Balancing Complainant Autonomy with University Responsibility to Investigate
The Title IX Coordinator may proceed with an investigation even if a Complainant specifically requests that the matter not be pursued and declines to file a Formal Complaint. The Title IX Coordinator may decide to sign a Formal Complaint and initiate an investigation of potential violations of this Policy even absent a formal report or identified Complainant or Respondent and even if a report has been withdrawn. In such circumstances, the Title IX Coordinator will take into account a Complainant's articulated concerns, the safety of the campus community, fairness to all individuals involved, and the university's obligations under Title IX. The Title IX Coordinator will balance a Complainant’s request that a matter not be pursued against the following factors in reaching a determination on whether the request can be honored:
- the totality of the known circumstances;
- the nature and scope of the alleged conduct, including whether the reported behavior involves the use of a weapon;
- the respective ages and roles of the Complainant and Respondent;
- the risk posed to any individual or to the campus community by not proceeding, including the risk of additional violence;
- whether there have been other reports of other Sexual Harassment or other misconduct by the Respondent;
- whether the report reveals a pattern of misconduct related to Sexual Harassment (e.g., illicit use of drugs or alcohol) at a given location or by a particular group;
- a Complainant’s interest in the university not pursuing an investigation or resolution process and the impact of such actions on the Complainant; • whether the university possesses other means to obtain relevant evidence;
- fairness considerations for both the Complainant and the Respondent;
- the university’s obligation to provide a safe and non-discriminatory environment; and
- any other available and relevant information.
Determination that a Complainant's request(s) can be honored
Where the Title IX Coordinator determines that a Complainant’s request(s) that a matter not be pursued can be honored, the University may nevertheless take other appropriate steps to eliminate the reported conduct, prevent its recurrence and remedy its effects on the Complainant and the University community. Those steps may include offering appropriate Supportive Measures, providing targeted training and prevention programs, and/or providing or imposing other remedies. The Title IX Coordinator may also reopen a Formal Complaint if any new or additional information becomes available, and/or if the Complainant later decides that they would like to file a Formal Complaint. The Title IX Coordinator will also document the decision to not file a Formal Complaint, explaining why the University determined that it did not need to proceed with the resolution process.
Determination that a Complainant's request(s) cannot be honored
In those instances when the Title IX Coordinator determines that the University must proceed with an investigation despite a Complainant’s request that it not occur, the Title IX Coordinator will notify the Complainant that the University intends to initiate an investigation. Where a report of Sexual Harassment is involved, the Title IX Coordinator will sign a Formal Complaint to begin the investigative process. The Title IX Coordinator will also document the decision to file a Formal Complaint, explaining why the university determined that it must proceed with the resolution process.
The Complainant is not required to participate in the investigation or in any of the actions taken by the University. However, while the Complainant may choose not to participate in the resolution process initiated by the Title IX Coordinator’s signing of a Formal Complaint, the Complainant will still be treated as a party entitled to inspect and review evidence and to receive all notices, including the notice of allegations, the notice of hearing, and the notice of outcome.
The University’s ability to investigate and respond fully to a report may be limited if a Complainant declines to participate in an investigation. In all cases, the final decision on whether, how and to what extent the University will conduct an investigation and whether other Supportive Measures will be taken in connection with a report of Sexual Harassment will be made in a manner consistent with this Policy.
Appendix D: Sexual Violence: Risk Reduction Tips
Risk reduction tips can often take a victim-blaming tone, even unintentionally. Only those who commit sexual violence are responsible for those actions. We offer the tips below with no intention to victim-blame, but rather with recognition that these suggestions may nevertheless help individuals reduce their risk of experiencing a non-consensual sexual act. Below, suggestions to avoid committing a non-consensual sexual act are also offered:
- If you have limits, make them known as early as possible.
- Tell a sexual aggressor “NO” clearly and firmly.
- Try to remove yourself from the physical presence of a sexual aggressor.
- Find someone nearby and ask for help.
- Take affirmative responsibility for your alcohol intake/drug use, and acknowledge that alcohol/drugs lower your sexual inhibitions and may make you vulnerable to someone who views a drunk or high person as a sexual opportunity.
- Give thought to sharing your intimate content, pictures, images, and videos with others, even those you may trust. If you do choose to share, clarify your expectations as to how or if those images may be used, shared, or disseminated.
- Take care of your friends and ask that they take care of you. Real friends will challenge you if you are about to make a mistake. Respect them when they do.
If you find yourself in the position of being the initiator of sexual behavior, you owe sexual respect to your potential partner. These suggestions may help you to reduce your risk for being accused of sexual misconduct:
- Clearly communicate your intentions to sexual partners and give them a chance to clearly relate their intentions to you.
- Understand and respect personal boundaries.
- DON’T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS about consent; about someone’s sexual availability; about whether others are attracted to you; about how far you can go; or about whether potential partners are physically and/or mentally able to consent. Consent should be affirmative and continuous. If there are any questions or ambiguity, then you DO NOT have consent.
- Mixed messages from your partner are a clear indication that you should stop, defuse any sexual tension, and communicate better. You may be misreading the person. Individuals may not have figured out how far they want to go with you yet. You must respect the timeline for sexual behaviors with which each person is comfortable.
- Don’t take advantage of someone’s drunkenness or altered state, even if the person willingly consumed alcohol or substances.
- Realize that your potential partner could feel intimidated or coerced by you. You may have a power advantage simply because of your gender or physical presence. Don’t abuse that power.
- Do not share intimate content, pictures, images, and videos that are shared with you.
- Understand that consent to some form of sexual behavior does not automatically imply consent to any other forms of sexual behavior.
- Silence, passivity, or non-responsiveness cannot be interpreted as an indication of consent. Read your potential partner carefully, paying attention to verbal and non-verbal communication and body language.
Definition of Terms
an individual who is alleged to have experienced Sexual Harassment.
an individual who has been reported to be the perpetrator of conduct that could constitute Sexual Harassment.
a document filed by a Complainant or signed by the Title IX Coordinator alleging Sexual Harassment against a Respondent and requesting that the University investigate the allegation of Sexual Harassment.
|University Programs or Activities|
means any operation of the University, including: (1) locations, events, or circumstances where the University exercised substantial control over both the Respondent and the context in which the sexual harassment occurs; and (2) any building owned or controlled by a student organization officially recognized by the university.
|Business Day||means any day other than a Saturday, Sunday, or University holiday. For this purpose, “University holiday” means those holidays scheduled on the University's master calendar when the University's administrative offices are closed for business. If a particular stage in this Policy or corresponding Procedure is required to be completed within a prescribed number of days, then the day that includes the event that starts the time period will not be counted, but the last day of the time period will be counted. Any action required by the end of any time period must be completed by 5 pm on the last day of the period.|
|Standard of Evidence|
The Decision Maker (and, if applicable, the Appeal Reviewer) will make a decision using a preponderance of the evidence standard (that is, whether a finding is more likely than not). This standard of evidence will apply for all determinations regarding Formal Complaints under this Policy, whether against students or employees.
|Violence||Violence means, in the context of Dating Violence and Domestic Violence, the use of, or threatened use of, physical force with intent, effect, or reasonable likelihood of causing pain, harm, injury or damage to any person or property.|
|Course of Conduct||Course of conduct means, in the context of Stalking, two or more acts, including but not limited to, acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, devise, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person, or interferes with a person’s property.|
|Substantial Emotional Distress||Substantial emotional distress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.|
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