Response to Sexual Assault and Harassment

Philosophy

Sexual assault is a serious violent crime. It is a crime of hostility and aggression, as well as a violation of human dignity. Sexual assault is also a very sensitive crime which is unique in its physical and mental impact upon the victim. When it occurs at Spalding University, it is also a flagrant violation of University policy, standards of the learning community and the honor code.

The Spalding University learning community is based on compassion and expects its members to treat other persons with respect and dignity. The university will not tolerate any form of sexual assault or sexual misconduct.

Sexual activity of any kind should be explicitly agreed upon by all parties involved BEFORE moving forward with the activity. Consent is defined as informed, freely and actively given, mutually understandable words or communication. A person has the right AT AN Y TIME during the sexual encounter to say “no” to sexual activity and trust that it will be respected and the activity ceased. Verbal communications of nonconsent, nonverbal acts of resistance or rejection, or mental incapacitation of the victim due to any cause including the victim’s use of alcohol or drugs constitute a lack of consent.

The same holds whether the assailant is a stranger, an acquaintance or a friend/dating partner. The use of alcohol or drugs will not be accepted as an explanation for the actions of any person charged with the violation of this policy. In addition, the use of alcohol or other mind-altering substances by either party does not have to be known by both parties for the offense to be considered sexual assault or sexual misconduct.

Wanton, unacceptable conduct will be addressed severely for the good of the students and the academic community.

Students who violate this policy will be disciplined under the University’s Honor Code and may be prosecuted under Kentucky’s criminal statutes. Whether or not a criminal prosecution occurs, Spalding retains the right to proceed with disciplinary action at any time, and the University need not await the dispensation of any such criminal prosecution. Appropriate disciplinary action may include counseling, educational sanctions, disciplinary probation, suspension, expulsion, and referral to the proper law enforcement authorities for prosecution.

Mandated Reporters

In keeping with the university's committment to fostering a safe and compassionate environment the following positions have been designated as mandated reporters and are required to report any and all allegations of sexual misconduct, harassment or assult to the Dean of Students/Title IX Coordinator.

  • All Faculty 
  • All Dean, Chairs or Program Directors
  • All Coaches and Coaching Staff 
  • All Staff
  • All Administrators

Employees with a legal obligation or privilege of confidentiality (including health care providers, counselors, lawyers, and their associated staff) are not considered Mandated Reporters and are not required to report when the information is learned in the course of a confidential communication.

This also means that the employee seeking the exemption is employed by the University for that specific purpose and was acting in that capacity when the confidential disclosure was made e.g., a social worker or psychologist teaching a class is in the role of professor for the student and NOT in the role of the student's therapist regardless of certifications or licenses held. If the information is not learned in the course of confidential communication context such as counseling or the provision of direct healthcare (for example, during an academic advising appointment or classroom discussion) then the employee has the same obligation as a Mandated Reporter.

Definitions

The following definitions are offered to inform the Spalding University community of the various types of sex offenses that occur most frequently on college campuses. The Honor Code encompasses all of these under the policy against Sexual Misconduct, Harassment and Assault.

Forcible Sex Offenses

Forcible sex offenses include any sexual act directed against another person, forcibly and/or against that person’s will; or not forcibly or against the person’s will where the victim is incapable of giving consent (e.g. under the influence of alcohol or other mind-altering substances). This includes forcible rape, sodomy, sexual assault with an object, and forcible fondling. Sexual assault serves primarily nonsexual needs; regardless of the form, sexual assault is an act of aggression and control, rather than of sexual desire. The defining issue in sexual assault is the lack of consent by the victim.

Non-Forcible Sex Offenses

Non-forcible sex offenses include incest and statutory rape. Depending on the circumstances, acquaintance rape could be in either category.

Sexual Misconduct Sexual misconduct is a more comprehensive term that includes forcible and non- forcible sex offenses, but is not limited to: rape, sexual assault, indecent exposure, obscene phone calls, sexual abuse, forcible fondling, sexual battery, conduct that contributes to sex offenses, as well as attempts to perform such acts. Verbal consent to any form of sexual activity by both parties, without force, threat of force or intimidation, or coercion is required. Sexual acts against a person who is unconscious, sleeping, or otherwise unable to give consent are prohibited. Acts of complicity (e.g. spiking drinks, getting someone drunk for the purpose of committing a sex offense, being a silent bystander, etc.) also violate the policy.

Grievance Procedure for Sexual Assault/Misconduct

If an assault occurs, it should be reported to Campus Safety, the Dean of Students/Title IX Coordinator , Director of Residence Life or the Counseling Center. Confidentiality will be maintained unless another student is involved or a potential risk of harm to self or others exists. Information will be shared only with relevant medical and/or therapeutic personnel until such time that a decision is made or temporary, indirect, or direct action taken.

Assaults that occur by an assailant not affiliated with the University and/or off-campus should be reported to local police (911). If law enforcement officials are notified first, it is still recommended to contact a campus resource person so that appropriate measures can be taken and support provided.

When an alleged sexual assault is reported, campus resource persons will notify the victim of the range of resources and alternatives available to him/her both on campus and in the Louisville community. The discussion will include encouraging the victim to report the incident to law enforcement authorities. The University can help arrange a meeting with law enforcement authorities and will accompany and support the victim during the meetings.

Informal Action

  • Immediate medical attention (U of L Hospital has the most comprehensive rape response unit locally).
  • Referral to free, trained therapists.
  • Access to legal advocacy.
  • Access to printed information to enable informed decisions regarding crime and assistance, and criminal and disciplinary proceedings.

Formal Procedures

The victim is encouraged to file a formal report, not only in order to deter such assaults from happening to others, but also to receive services that enhance recovery. However, the choice as to how to proceed after the assault belongs to the victim. A student who has been sexually assaulted may pursue a complete professional investigation before making a decision about how to proceed with the case. Not all incidents of sexual assault result in criminal proceedings. In some cases, the victim chooses not to press criminal charges. In other cases the prosecutor may decide that there is insufficient evidence to meet the burden of proof “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Whether or not criminal proceedings are initiated, campus disciplinary proceedings will be started when the evidence warrants. This will be discussed with the student. A victim’s identity will be kept confidential as much as possible and only released on a need to know basis.

The Louisville Metro Police may be involved. Even if charges are not pursued, reporting the assault is a way to regain a sense of personal power and control by enabling the victim to do something about the offense committed. Furthermore, information provided helps in the prevention of sexual assault and the protection of other potential victims. Most sex offenders are repeat offenders.

Rights of Victims

The victim’s rights include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following:

  • The right to remain silent. If the victim decides to exercise his/her right, the process will continue and a decision will be made based on the remaining evidence. The individual will be made aware of the results of the investigation/hearing regardless of their willingness to participate.
  • The right to confer with an advocate of not more than one person to be chosen by the victim from the Spalding University campus community (student, faculty, or staff member) to help prepare information to present at the hearing. This advocate may be present at the hearing, but only to answer questions that the victim may have during the course of the proceedings. The advocate may not speak at the hearing unless specifically requested to do so by the chairperson of the hearing panel.
  • The right to make his or her statement without being in the presence of the accused in the hearing.
  • The right to make a “Victim Impact Statement,” which is an oral statement that describes the effect that the incident has had on the victim emotionally or physically. This statement is typically delivered following the Findings but before Sanctions are assigned. 
  • The right to not have his or her past sexual history with other persons other than the accused discussed during the hearing.
  • The right to call witnesses (other than character witnesses) to testify at the hearing. However, the hearing panel may establish a reasonable limit to the number of witnesses.
  • The right to read the written statements of all involved.
  • The right to have witnesses (other than character witnesses) submit written statements.
  • The right to withdraw a complaint at any time prior to the imposition of sanctions.
  • The right to appeal the decision according to the regular judicial procedures.

Rights of Accused

The rights of the accused include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following:

  • The right to remain silent. If the accused decided to exercise this right, the process will continue and a decision will be made based on the remaining evidence.
  • The right to confer with an advocate of not more than one person to be chosen by the accused from the Spalding University campus community (student, faculty, or staff member) to help prepare information to present at the hearing. This advocate may be present at the hearing, but only to answer questions that the accused might have during the course of the proceedings. The advocate may not speak at the hearing unless specifically requested to do so by the chairperson to the Hearing Panel.
  • The right to make his or her statement without being in the presence of the victim in the hearing.
  • The right to be informed of the charges in writing, the time and place of the offense, and his or her victim.
  • The right to not have his or her past sexual history with other persons other than the victim discussed during the hearing.
  • The right to call witnesses (other than character witnesses) to testify at the hearing. However, the hearing panel may establish a reasonable limit to the number of witnesses.
  • The right to read the written statements of all involved.
  • The right to have witnesses (other than character witnesses) submit written statements.
  • The right to appeal the decision according to the regular judicial procedures.

 

Student Conduct Procedures for Allegations of Sexual Misconduct.

The adjudication of sexual misconduct cases is complicated by several factors including: the nature of the offense; the fact that the alleged victim and perpetrator may know one another, have classes together, or live in the same residence hall, apartment complex, or living unit; the event may have occurred sometime before it was reported, and, in some cases, the use/abuse of alcohol or drugs by either or both individuals.

Both the accuser and the accused shall be informed of the outcome of any campus student conduct proceeding alleging a sex offense. However, in accordance with the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, the victim must be informed that the information provided may not be shared with any other person without the assailant’s signed written consent. Interim Protective Orders The University owes a duty to care for the students within its charge and, for this reason, must make every effort to ensure the safety and well-being of all students.

When a report has been filed and both parties have been informed of the charges, the University may remove the alleged assailant from his or her living arrangement, pending the hearing. This may include moving students to different residence halls or having a student reside at home or off campus if possible for the duration of the investigation/hearing. In addition, the Dean of Students /Title IX Coordinator or his/her designee may issue an interim “no contact” order to help ensure that the victim is not harassed by the alleged assailant. All forms of contact between the alleged victim and assailant will be prohibited. Harassment by either party or their acquaintances will also be prohibited. Such interim measures will be in effect through the end of the student conduct hearing process, and may be extended after the hearing at the Dean of Student’s and/or Honor Board’s discretion. Living Arrangements When the victim and the alleged assailant in a sexual misconduct case live in campus housing, alternative living arrangements for the accused and/or the victim may be made when reasonably available and if so requested by the victim. Unless requested by the victim, the alleged assailant will, most likely, be the one to move as the victim can be further victimized by having to move.

Academic Considerations

Should the victim and alleged assailant be enrolled in the same class, alternative class assignments may be made when reasonably available, and if requested by the victim. Recommended Action The purpose of this material is to provide information and assistance to victims of sexual assault and sexual misconduct, and persons who may come in contact with a victim. The University encourages reporting all incidents of sexual assault or misconduct to Campus Safety and/or the Dean of Students.

On-campus sexual assault or sexual misconduct should also be reported as quickly as possible to a campus resource person.

Campus Resources


  • Campus Safety: 502.873.4444
  • Dean of Students: 502.873.4488
  • Counseling Center: 502.873.4458
  • Director of Residence Life: 502.873.4458


The best off-campus resource is

the Center for Women and Families, 1.877.803.7577 (24 hour Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Line 581.7222). There an individual can receive counseling and/or be directed to a safe place if the individual feels they are in danger of further harm.

Making decisions and regaining control are important to the healing process after an offense. The choice of how to proceed after the assault belongs largely with the victim. The following are a number of factors to consider.

Emotional Trauma

Emotional Trauma can be severe after a sexual assault or misconduct. The violation, loss of trust, and loss of control can have a serious long-term impact. It is not unusual for a person to withdraw, feel guilty or distrustful. However, there are many people who understand and places where support is available while one is recovering. The University Counseling Center is the best on-campus resource for students.

Medical Attention Medical attention is critical. Even if the victim ultimately decides not to report the assault, it is still very important to seek immediate medical attention for possible internal injuries or sexually transmitted diseases. Also, the collection of medical evidence becomes critical in the event of prosecution. Therefore, it is important to seek medical attention promptly and to refrain from:

  • Taking a shower or washing any part of the body;
  • Douching;
  • Brushing teeth;
  • Drinking liquids;
  • Changing clothes or changing sheets before seeking medical help; and
  • Putting anything in the mouth (gum, cigarettes, mints).

A particularly well-equipped emergency room with a Sexual Assault Response Team is located at University of Louisville Hospital. At the Emergency Room, the doctor will collect hair samples, semen samples, and other evidence, including clothing. A victim should bring a change of clothing to wear home. The police will be contacted to take possession of the samples until the victim makes a decision about whether or not to press charges.

University of Louisville Hospital

530 S. Jackson St.

Louisville, K Y 40202

 

Counseling

Counseling is a very important step in helping someone who has been sexually assaulted regain control of his/her life. Sexual assault is an extremely traumatic experience that needs professional attention. The University urges students involved in a sexual assault to meet with a counselor. Among other things, counselors can help victims decide what further steps may be taken following an assault.

The best resources are the Center for Women and Families and the Spalding Counseling and Psychologial Services Center.

Note to Friends, Faculty, and Staff If someone who has been sexually assaulted comes to you, encourage the person to report the incident, seek medical attention, and pursue counseling. If the victim will not report the offense, anyone with knowledge of the assault may inform the Dean of Students and/or the University Counseling Center that a sexual assault has occurred.

Campus Statistics

In compliance with the Campus Security Act and the Higher Education Amendments of 1998, Spalding University annually publishes statistics on campus crimes, including reported sex offenses. These statistics are located in the Student Handbook.

Educational Programs

To foster awareness of sex offenses, unhealthy relationships, and victims’ options, and to promote responsible behavior, Spalding University offers educational sessions through Student Development & Campus Life comprised of representative from the following areas: Campus Safety, Residence Life, Counseling Services and the Dean of Students Office. These programs are offered to Spalding University students, faculty, and staff on an ongoing basis. Additional programs are offered specifically to residential students.

Retaliation

Students are encouraged to report incidents sexual misconduct, harassment or assault. Any member of the University community who attempts to interfere, restrain, coerce, discriminate against, or harass (whether overtly or covertly) any individual responsibly pursuing a complaint of sexual misconduct, harassment or assult will be subject to prompt and appropriate disciplinary action through the appropriate policy e.g., Honor Code, Faculty Handbook, Staff Handbook.

Sexual Harassment Policy

Sexual harassment will not be tolerated in the University community. It subverts the mission of the University and threatens the well-being, educational experiences, and careers of students, faculty, and staff. It is especially threatening in the context of a teacher-student or supervisor-supervisee relationship, in that it can exploit the power inherent in the position of teacher or supervisor regarding grades, recommendations and success in a program. Any member of the student body of the University who believes that he or she has been or is being subjected to sexual harassment should consult with the Dean of Students/Title IX Coordinator .

Definition of Sexual Harassment Prohibited Actions It is a violation for any member of the University community to engage in sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when submission to such conduct is made: either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of a student’s status in a program, course or activity; submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or educational decisions affecting an individual; and/or such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an student’s educational performance, or creating an intimidating, hostile educational environment.

Examples of Sexual Harassment


  • Any sexual attention that is unwelcome could constitute sexual harassment. Specific acts of sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:
  • physical assault;
  • propositions of a sexual nature;
  • direct or implied threats that submission to sexual advances is a condition of enrollment, continued enrollment, grade, employment, promotion, recommendations, etc.;
  • and unwelcome physical or verbal conduct of a sexual nature which an individual regards as undesirable, or offensive, including but not necessarily limited to sexually explicit jokes, statements, and questions or unsolicited remarks about sexual activity or experience.


Inadvertent and Isolated Offenses

A member of the University community who exhibits a singular or isolated act of conduct expressed in the above cited example may simply lack the sensitivity to know that these actions or statements are creating discomfort or may be humiliating to others. Any member of the University community who becomes aware of such activity is encouraged to caution the individual directly about the questionable conduct in a discreet and confidential manner. Any repeated or ongoing behavior in violation of this standard should be reported to the Dean of Students/Title IX Coordinator.

Procedures

The underlying philosophy of this student sexual harassment policy is one of correction rather than punishment, although specific sanctions, depending on the nature and severity of the incident(s), ranging from a letter of reprimand, suspension,termination of campus employment, or expulsion from the university are possible outcomes if the formal grievance procedures of the University are invoked. Nevertheless, the guiding principles of this policy are to: respond in a timely manner to a reported incident of sexual harassment; take whatever measures are appropriate; take all reasonable measures to prevent the incident from recurring. The University has established procedures in order to respond immediately to a sexual harassment complaint and investigate it fully. The procedure is designed to respond to and resolve such complaints promptly and fairly.

Similarly, a formal grievance structure for handling complaints that cannot be resolved through mediation is also available. In general, any individual with supervisory authority who obtains knowledge of an incident of sexual harassment occurring within his or her area is expected to take the proper steps immediately to address the situation.

SEXUAL HARASSMENT PROCEDURES

Step 1- Unofficial

It is often the case that a student of the University, believing that he/she may be experiencing a form of sexual harassment, will attempt to resolve the situation on one’s own, or consult with another individual within the University community. The Dean of Students /Title IX Coordinator can assist students seeking unoffical resolution by assigning a member of the Student Development & Campus Life team to act as an advisor to the student. With the aid of the advisor, the individual may attempt to resolve the situation in an informal and unofficial manner. The advisor, acting with discretion and in confidence, may assist the individual in reviewing the situation in the context in which it occurred, aid the individual in identifying the problem, and review the options for resolution that are available.

Step 2- Official

If the matter cannot be resolved through the unofficial, informal method cited in Step 1, or if the student chooses not to obtain the help of an unofficial advisor, the complainant may file an official complaint with the Dean of Students./Title IX Coordinator The role of the Dean of Students /Title IX Coordinator will be to fact-find, mediate, and resolve the complaint, if possible.

The Dean or his/her designee will handle complaints independently and follow these procedures:

be available to dialogue with the complainant or other concerned individuals and the individual accused to determine the nature of the incident related to sexual harassment and the context in which it occurred; conduct a discreet inquiry into the complaint, gathering and examining all relevant facts;


  • respond to and resolve the complaint informally if possible;
  • inform the parties of the formal grievance procedures available when no resolution is forthcoming or if either party is dissatisfied with the progress of the mediation;
  • keep confidential all information gathered during the investigation, and all processes of mediation and resolution; and
  • prepare a record of the complaint, the investigation and findings, the mediation and resolution, if any.


If the matter has been resolved through mediation, and no further incident occurs regarding the accused individual within this period, the record will be destroyed. After a successful mediation, if the behavior is reported as continuing, the record will be retained and can be made available to the appropriate formal grievance body.

If the matter has not been successfully mediated and either party wishes to proceed with formal grievance procedures, the official University resource per- son will submit the record of the attempted mediation to the formal grievance structure to be utilized in the particular case.

Grievance Procedures

Inasmuch as a formal grievance procedure is expected to be used as a last resort, it is assumed that all efforts to resolve the complaint through the mediation and resolution procedures cited above have been conducted. Formal grievance procedures for students are found in the Honor Code section of the Student Handbook and Student Grievance section of the University Catalog. If the alleged perpetrator of harassment is a faculty or staff of the university then Human Resources is informed and the relevant policy of the Faculty or Staff Handbook applied.

Confidentiality

Sexual harassment is a matter of grave concern for both the complainant and the accused; therefore all procedures designed to deal with sexual harassment should be handled with the utmost sensitivity. All mediations/resolution procedures, as well as formal grievance procedures, shall be held in strict confidence to reasonably insure the privacy of all parties concerned (complainant, accused, and witnesses, if any) and to offer as much protection of the careers and reputations of the parties involved as possible.

Retaliation

Students are encouraged to express their feelings in a responsible manner regarding a problem of sexual harassment. Any member of the University community who attempts to interfere, restrain, coerce, discriminate against, or harass (whether overtly or covertly) any individual responsibly pursuing a complaint of sexual harassment will be subject to prompt and appropriate disciplinary action through the appropriate policy e.g., Honor Code, Faculty Handbook, Staff Handbook.

False and Malicious Charges

The use of this policy for false or malicious purposes is strictly prohibited. Any student who exercises bad faith and brings a false, malicious charge of sexual harassment against another member of the University community will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.

Dissemination of Policy

It is the responsibility of the Director of Human Resources to distribute the sexual harassment policy to all all employees within their respective areas. The Dean of Students/Title IX Coordinator will make the policy available to all students as may be appropriate during orientation and registration periods.