Title IX, VAWA (Violence Against Women Act), and Campus SaVE Policies and Definitions | Shorter University
 

Title IX, VAWA (Violence Against Women Act), and Campus SaVE Policies and Definitions

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Know Your IX (Students)
Know Your IX (Employees)
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Harassment and Assault Bystander Intervention Tips
Title IX Coordinator
Title IX and Campus Save Information
Mandatory University Reporting Policy
Campus Wide Incident Report

Title IX Policy: Sexual Harassment, Discrimination on the Basis of Sex, Violence Against Women & Sexual Misconduct

Our organization is committed to building and preserving a community in which all of its members can work, live, and together, free from all forms of exploitation, intimidation and harassment, including sexual harassment.

Shorter University affirms a commitment to Christian values and works to provide a campus community environment free from harassment. Shorter also is committed to recognizing, upholding, and enforcing the laws of the United States and the State of Georgia. Violation of those laws shall not be condoned on the campus or at any activity held off campus by any constituency. It is the policy of Shorter University, in keeping with the efforts to establish an environment in which the dignity and worth of all members of the institutional community are respected, that sexual harassment of students and employees at Shorter University is unacceptable conduct and will not be tolerated. Sexual harassment may involve the behavior of a person of either sex against a person of the opposite or same sex, when that behavior falls within the definition outlined below. Shorter University‘s sexual harassment policy applies equally to all individuals classified as a student, faculty, or staff member. Any reported incident of possible sexual harassment or assault will be investigated promptly.

Harassment violates federal and state laws, including, but not limited to, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits harassment in the workplace, and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits harassment of students as a form of discrimination that denies or limits a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the College’s programs. Inquiries about Shorter‘s sexual harassment policy should be directed to the Title IX Coordinator by contacting the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs (Fitton Student Union, room 237, 706-233-7231).

Additionally, The Campus Save Act is a 2013 amendment to the federal Jeanne Clery Act. SaVE was designed by advocates along with victims/survivors and championed by a bi-partisan coalition in Congress as a companion to Title IX that will help bolster the response to and prevention of sexual violence in higher education.

SaVE requires colleges and universities, both public and private, participating in federal student aid programs (covering virtually every campus in the United States) to increase transparency about the scope of sexual violence on campus, guarantee victims enhanced rights, provide for standards in institutional conduct proceedings, and provide campus community-wide prevention educational programming. Shorter University satisfies its responsibility to educate all community members through a variety of programs. One such program is a web-based training program that all new students, new faculty, staff and coaches must complete through Workplace Answers. The training modules define Title IX, VAWA, and Campus SaVE definitions and allows users to review and respond to scenarios pertinent to discovering and understanding sexual harassment and sexual violence.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to the various campus resources available to you or contact the Title IX Coordinator by contacting the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs (Fitton Student Union, room 237, 706-233-7231).

Students, click Know Your IX For Students

Employees, click Know Your Title IX For Employees

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

Does information about a complaint remain private?

The privacy of all parties to a complaint of sexual misconduct must be respected, except insofar as it interferes with the university’s obligation to fully investigate allegations of sexual misconduct. Where privacy it not strictly kept, it will still be tightly controlled on a need-to-know basis. Dissemination of information and/or written materials to persons not involved in the complaint procedure is not permitted. Violations of the privacy of the complainant or the accused individual may lead to conduct action by the university.

In all complaints of sexual misconduct, all parties will be informed of the outcome. In some instances, the administration also may choose to make a brief public announcement of the nature of the violation and the action taken, without using the name or identifiable information of the alleged victim. Certain university administrators are informed of the outcome within the bounds of student privacy (e.g., the President of the university, Dean of Students, Director of Security). If there is a report of an act of alleged sexual misconduct to a conduct officer of the university and there is evidence that a felony has occurred, local police will be notified. This does not mean charges will be automatically filed or that a victim must speak with the police, but the institution is legally required to notify law enforcement authorities. The institution also must statistically report the occurrence on campus of major violent crimes, including certain sex offenses, in an annual report of campus crime statistics. This statistical report does not include personally identifiable information.

Will my parents be told?

No, not unless you tell them. Whether you are the complainant or the accused individual, the University’s primary relationship is to the student and not to the parent. However, in the event of major medical, disciplinary, or academic jeopardy, students are strongly encouraged to inform their parents. University officials will directly inform parents when requested to do so by a student, in a life-threatening situation, [or if an accused individual has signed the permission form at registration which allows such communication].

Will the accused individual know my identity?

Yes, if you file a formal complaint. Sexual misconduct is a serious offense and the accused individual has the right to know the identity of the complainant/alleged victim. If there is a hearing, the university does provide options for questioning without confrontation, including closed-circuit testimony, Skype, using a room divider or using separate hearing rooms.

Do I have to name the perpetrator?

Yes, if you want formal disciplinary action to be taken against the alleged perpetrator. No, if you choose to respond informally and do not file a formal complaint (but you should consult the complete confidentiality policy above to better understand the university’s legal obligations depending on what information you share with different university officials). Victims should be aware that not identifying the perpetrator may limit the institution’s ability to respond comprehensively.

What do I do if I am accused of sexual misconduct?

DO NOT contact the alleged victim. You may immediately want to contact someone in the campus community who can act as your advisor. You may also contact the Student Conduct Office, which can explain the university’s procedures for addressing sexual misconduct complaints. You may also want to talk to a confidential counselor at the counseling center or seek other community assistance. See below regarding legal representation.

What about changing residence hall rooms?

If you want to move, you may request a room change. Room changes under these circumstances are considered emergencies. It is typically institutional policy that in emergency room changes, the student is moved to the first available suitable room. If you want the accused individual to move, and believe that you have been the victim of sexual misconduct, you must be willing to pursue a formal or informal university complaint. No contact orders can be imposed and room changes for the accused individual can usually be arranged quickly. Other accommodations available to you might include:

–Assistance from university support staff in completing the relocation;

–Arranging to dissolve a housing contract and pro-rating a refund;

–Assistance with or rescheduling an academic assignment (paper, exams, etc.);

–Taking an incomplete in a class;

— Assistance with transferring class sections;

–Temporary withdrawal;

— Assistance with alternative course completion options;

–Other accommodations for safety as necessary.

What should I do about preserving evidence of a sexual assault?

Police are in the best position to secure evidence of a crime. Physical evidence of a criminal sexual assault must be collected from the alleged victim’s person within 120 hours, though evidence can often be obtained from towels, sheets, clothes, etc. for much longer periods of time. If you believe you have been a victim of a criminal sexual assault, you should go to the Hospital Emergency Room, before washing yourself or your clothing. The Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (a specially trained nurse) at the hospital is usually on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (call the Emergency Room if you first want to speak to the nurse; ER will refer you). The Director of Student Support Services or Student Health Services can also accompany you to the hospital and law enforcement or Campus Safety can provide transportation. If a victim goes to the hospital, local police will be called, but s/he is not obligated to talk to the police or to pursue prosecution. Having the evidence collected in this manner will help to keep all options available to a victim, but will not obligation him or her to any course of action. Collecting evidence can assist the authorities in pursuing criminal charges, should the victim decide later to exercise it.

For the Victim: the hospital staff will collect evidence, check for injuries, address pregnancy concerns and address the possibility of exposure to sexually transmitted infections. If you have changed clothing since the assault, bring the clothing you had on at the time of the assault with you to the hospital in a clean, sanitary container such as a clean paper grocery bag or wrapped in a clean sheet (plastic containers do not breathe, and may render evidence useless). If you have not changed clothes, bring a change of clothes with you to the hospital, if possible, as they will likely keep the clothes you are wearing as evidence. You can take a support person with you to the hospital, and they can accompany you through the exam, if you want. Do not disturb the crime scene—leave all sheets, towels, etc. that may bear evidence for the police to collect.

Will a victim be sanctioned when reporting a sexual misconduct policy violation if he/she has illegally used drugs or alcohol?

No. The severity of the infraction will determine the nature of the university’s response, but whenever possible the university will respond educationally rather than punitively to the illegal use of drugs and/or alcohol. The seriousness of sexual misconduct is a major concern and the university does not want any of the circumstances (e.g., drug or alcohol use) to inhibit the reporting of sexual misconduct.

Will the use of drugs or alcohol affect the outcome of a sexual misconduct conduct complaint?

The use of alcohol and/or drugs by either party will not diminish the accused individual’s responsibility. On the other hand, alcohol and/or drug use is likely to affect the complainant’s memory and, therefore, may affect the outcome of the complaint. A person bringing a complaint of sexual misconduct must either remember the alleged incident or have sufficient circumstantial evidence, physical evidence and/or witnesses to prove his/her complaint. If the complainant does not remember the circumstances of the alleged incident, it may not be possible to impose sanctions on the accused without further corroborating information. Use of alcohol and/or other drugs will never excuse a violation by an accused individual.

Will either party’s prior use of drugs and/or alcohol be a factor when reporting sexual misconduct?

Not unless there is a compelling reason to believe that prior use or abuse is relevant to the present complaint.

What should I do if I am uncertain about what happened?

If you believe that you have experienced sexual misconduct, but are unsure of whether it was a violation of the institution’s sexual misconduct policy, you should contact the institution’s student conduct office or victim advocate’s office. The institution provides advisors who can help you to define and clarify the event(s), and advise you of your options.

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Title IX Policy: Sexual Harassment, Discrimination on the Basis of Sex, Violence Against Women & Sexual Misconduct adapted from California Baptist University Student Handbook

FAQs provided by The NCHERM Group, LLC and ATIXA.

The NCHERM Group, LLC is a law and consulting firm dedicated to systems–‐level solutions for safer schools and campuses. The NCHERM Group, LLC represents 35 Colleges and Universities.

Of risk management topics.• ATIXA, the Association of Title IX Administrators, Is a membership association and Leading source of expertise and professional development on Title IX for school and college officials with over 1,000 active members. ATIXA has certified more than 2,000 school and campus Title IX Coordinators and Investigators through its Comprehensive training programs.

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