Section IV. Sexual Misconduct, Assault and Harrassment Policy | Spalding University Student Handbook

Section IV. Sexual Misconduct, Assault and Harrassment Policy


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 Complainant . 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 Complainant  due to any cause including the Complainant ’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.

Process for Reporting an Incident

To learn more about the process for reporting an incident of sexual misconduct please visit the Spalding University Title IX page.  

This policy outlines options for a student who believes they may have been or currently are a Complainant  of sexual misconduct by a student, University visitor, or employee within the University community. Sexual misconduct offenses include, but are not limited to: sexual harassment; sexually abusive contact sexual exploitation; or stalking.

Clarification of Consent

In order for individuals to engage in sexual activity of any type, there must be consent prior to and during sexual activity. The Code of Student Conduct defines consent in the following way:

"Consent means freely given agreement by a competent person. A person is deemed incompetent to give consent when that person is under such an incapacitation that he or she does not appreciate the nature of the consent, or if the person is a minor." 

Consent to an act of sexual activity will not be automatically taken as consent to any other act of sexual activity. "No" always means "No." Failure to say "No" cannot be interpreted as "Yes." Silence without clear actions demonstrating permission will not be assumed to indicate consent.

Incapacitation is a state in which a person cannot make rational, reasonable decisions because he or she lacks the ability to give knowing consent (i.e., to understand the "who, what, when, where, why or how" of his or her sexual interaction). Incapacitation also covers a person whose incapacity results from mental disability, sleep, involuntary physical restraint, or from the effects of alcohol or other drugs.

Because alcohol or other drug use can place the capacity to consent in question - sober sex is less likely to raise concerns. When using alcohol or other drugs, a person may be considered unable to give consent. Likewise, consent can become less clear when the following occurs: an attempt to coerce an unwilling person into a sexual activity; repeatedly subjecting a person to unwelcome sexual attention; or punishing or retaliating against a person for a refusal to consent to sexual conduct. Conduct alleged to be sexual misconduct will be evaluated by considering the totality of the particular circumstances, including the, frequency, intensity, isolation or duration of the questioned behavior.

Some forms of harassment and discrimination may violate federal and state laws, and a complainant or respondent may choose to contact the following agencies regarding their complaint:


Kentucky Commission on Human Rights

332 W. Broadway, 7th Floor

Louisville, KY 40202

Phone: (502) 595-4024 or 1-800-292-5566



Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

600 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Place

Suite 268

Louisville, Kentucky 40202

Phone: 1-800-669-4000

TTY: 1-800-669-6820




Privacy, and Reporting Students should be aware of confidentiality, privacy, and mandatory reporting requirements in order to make informed choices.


If one desires that details of the incident be kept confidential, the resources listed below are appropriate. In addition, members of the clergy and chaplains are allowed by law to keep reports confidential. However, seeking support from any of these resource organizations is not considered an official report of sexual violence, sexual misconduct, intimate partner violence, sexual harassment, sexual exploitation or stalking to the University, but the individuals at these resource organizations can help facilitate a report and advocate for a Complainant .


One may seek advice from certain individuals who are not required to tell anyone else private, personally identifiable information unless there is cause or fear for your safety or the safety of others. These are individuals whom the University has not specifically designated as "responsible employees" for purposes of putting the institution on notice and for whom mandatory reporting is not required, other than in the stated limited circumstances, such as statistical reporting for the Clery Act (see federal statistical report obligations on Pg. 10).


Counseling and Medical Resources

On campus:

Student Counseling and Psychological Services Center

(502) 873-4458

In the community: Center for Women and Families Crisis Line: (877) 803-7577

927 South 2nd Street

Louisville, Kentucky 40201 Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) (502) 562-4064 In Jefferson County, most examinations that include the collection of evidence (sexual assault, sexual misconduct, intimate partner abuse) are performed by the Louisville SANE Program at one of their two locations:


University of Louisville Hospital

Emergency Room (502) 562-4064

530 South Jackson Street

Louisville, KY 40202


Center for Women and Families SANE Clinic (502) 581-7200

921 South 2nd Street

Louisville, KY 40201

All emergency rooms in the Commonwealth of Kentucky are authorized and required to provide service. These services can be provided by a physician, sexual assault nurse examiner, or another qualified medical professional.

For a complete list of prohibited student conduct, all students should familiarize themselves with the Honor Code of Spalding University.


Federal Statistical Reporting Obligations

Certain campus officials have a duty to report sexual misconduct for federal statistical reporting purposes such as the Clery Act. All personally identifiable information is kept confidential, but statistical information must be passed along to campus law enforcement regarding the type of incident and its general location (on or off-campus; in the surrounding area, but no addresses are given) for publication in the annual Campus Security Report. This report helps to provide the community with a clear picture of the extent and nature of campus crime, to ensure greater community safety.


Federal Timely Warning Reporting Obligations

Complainant s of sexual misconduct should also be aware that University administrators must issue immediate timely warnings for incidents reported to them that are confirmed to pose a substantial threat of bodily harm or danger to members of the campus community. The University will make every effort to ensure that a Complainant 's name and other identifying information is not disclosed, while still providing enough information for community members to make safety decisions in light of the danger. The reporters for timely warning purposes are exactly the same as detailed at the end of the above paragraph.


Kentucky Law Requiring Mandatory Reporting

Kentucky law requires that any person who suspects that a minor child (under 18) is the Complainant  of abuse or neglect must immediately contact a local law enforcement agency or other agency authorized by statute. KRS 620.030. The University Police Department (852-6111) constitutes a local law enforcement agency for purposes of Kentucky's mandatory reporting law for child abuse and neglect. Failure to report suspected abuse may result in criminal charges and/or disciplinary action.


Kentucky law also requires that any person who suspects that a person is a Complainant  of spousal abuse must also immediately report this information to the appropriate agency. KRS 209A.030.


Recommended Action

The purpose of the following material is to provide information and assistance to Complainant s of sexual assault and sexual misconduct, and persons who may come in contact with a Complainant . 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.


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 Complainant .


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 Complainant  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 Complainant  should bring a change of clothing to wear home. The police will be contacted to take possession of the samples until the Complainant  makes a decision about whether or not to press charges.


University of Louisville Hospital

530 S. Jackson St. Louisville, K Y 40202



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 Complainant s decide what further steps may be taken following an assault. The best resources are the Center for Women and Families and the University Counseling 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 Complainant  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.


Educational Programs

To foster awareness of sex offenses, unhealthy relationships, and Complainant s’ options, and to promote responsible behavior, Spalding University offers educational sessions through Student Development & Campus Life comprised of representative from the following areas: 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.




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:

  1. either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of a student’s status in a program, course or activity;
  2. 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
  3. 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:

  1. physical assault;
  2. propositions of a sexual nature;
  3. direct or implied threats that submission to sexual advances is a condition of employment, promotion, good grades, recommendations, etc.; and
  4. 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 number 4 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.



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 are possible outcomes if the formal grievance procedures of the University are invoked. Nevertheless, the guiding principles of this policy are to:


  1. respond in a timely manner to a reported incident of sexual harassment;
  2. take whatever measures are appropriate;
  3. take all reasonable measures to prevent the incident from recurring.


The University has established mediation and resolution procedures in order to respond immediately to a sexual harassment complaint and investigate it fully. The procedure is designed to mediate 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.


Grievance Procedures

In as much 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.



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.



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.