Title IX Policy Complaint Procedure

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Coverage

This policy covers all University administrators, students, faculty and staff.  All members of this community (current and prospective students, current and prospective faculty and current and prospective administrators and staff) are both protected by this policy and share the responsibility for creating and maintaining an environment that promotes the safety and dignity of each individual.

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (“Title IX”) prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity.  Sex discrimination includes sex-based harassment, discrimination on the basis of sex and retaliation related to complaints of sex discrimination.

Sex-based harassment is unwelcome conduct which includes both sexual harassment, including but not limited to sexual assault, other forms of sexual violence and other sexual misconduct, and gender-based harassment.  The term sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature and includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, non-verbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature.  The term gender-based harassment means non-sexual harassment of a person because of the person’s sex and/or gender, including but not limited to, harassment based upon nonconformity with gender stereotypes.

Sexual assault and violence is a form of sexual harassment prohibited by Title IX.  Under the University Sexual Assault Policy the University prohibits rape, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, indecent exposure, indecent assault, aggravated indecent assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse. 

As a recipient of federal funds, Immaculata University complies with Title IX and has appointed a Title IX Coordinator with overall responsibility for Title IX compliance.  The Title IX Coordinator may be reached at TitleIXCoordinator@immaculata.edu.

Any administrator, faculty member, student, staff, or applicant for employment or admission to the University, visitor or 3rd party who believes that he or she has been discriminated against on the basis of sex (including sexual harassment) or who has experienced an incident of sexual assault, sexual violence or other sexual misconduct, may file a complaint with the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Coordinator/s designated later in the policy as well as the Office of Civil Rights (OCR). 

The Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Coordinator/s will assist the complainant in informing him/her of the process by which a complaint will be resolved in a prompt and equitable manner.

The Title IX Coordinator is assisted by the following Deputy Title IX Coordinators:

Dennis Dougherty/Interim Title IX Coordinator
Director of Campus Safety and Protection
2 Lourdes Hall, 610-647-4400 x3270, ddougherty1@immaculata.edu

Dr. John D. Stafford/Deputy Title IX Coordinator
Vice President & Dean of Students
134 Villa Maria, 610-647-4400 x3110, jstafford@immaculata.edu

Janelle Cronmiller/Deputy Title IX Coordinator
Assistant Director of Athletics
Alumnae Hall, 610-647-4400 x3753, jcronmiller@immaculata.edu

Dr. Thomas O’Brien/Deputy Title IX Coordinator
Dean of Graduate Studies
130 Loyola Hall, 610-647-4400 x3210, tobrien@immaculata.edu>

Lydia Szyjka/Deputy Title IX Coordinator
Director of University Communications
200 Lourdes, 610-647-4400 x3143, lszyjka@immaculata.edu

Prohibition of Sex Discrimination, Sex-Based Harassment and Sexual Assault/Violence

Sex discrimination, sex-based harassment, and sexual assault/violence, in the University’s educational, working and living environment is unacceptable and a violation of this policy.   The University is committed to investigating and promptly and equitably resolving complaints of sex-discrimination, sex -ased harassment and sexual assault/violence.

The prohibitions set forth below apply not only in the working and educational environment including, but not limited to the classroom and living environment, but also to all other work-related and educational settings, such as business trips and business-related social functions, educational field trips and placements.

Further, the prohibitions apply, whether or not the incidents occur on the University campus and whether or not the incidents occur during working/educational hours.  This means that administrators, students, faculty and staff are protected under this policy in connection with all the University’s administrative, academic, educational, extracurricular, athletic, and other programs, whether those programs take place on campus or elsewhere. The University will respond to complaints that arise from events that initially occurred off University property or outside a University program or activity.  In responding to off-campus events, the University will consider the effects of the off-campus conduct on an individual’s working, educational and living experience.

It is important to remember that these prohibitions apply not only to oral and written communications, but also to e-mail, voice mail, Internet communications and searches, and other electronic (e.g., “cyber”) and technology-assisted communications.

It is of no defense to inappropriate behavior that there was no bad intent, that it was only a “joke,” or that it was not directed at any particular person.

Definition and Examples of Sex-Based Harassment

For purposes of this policy, sex-based harassment is unwelcome conduct which includes both sexual harassment, including but not limited to sexual assault, other forms of sexual violence and other sexual misconduct, and gender-based harassment. 

The term sexual harassment includes any unwelcome or unwanted conduct of a sexual nature, sexual attention, sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature, whether by a person of the opposite or the same gender where:

1. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis or factor in decisions affecting the terms or conditions of employment, educational instruction or status and/or participation in other University program or activity; or

2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used either explicitly or implicitly as a basis for a decision affecting an individual’s employment, educational instruction or status and/or participation in other University program or activity; or

3. Severe or pervasive conduct occurs that has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s working conditions, educational experience, living experience, and/or participation in a program or activity by creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive academic, employment, educational, or living environment.  Hostile environment sexual harassment is only one form of sexual harassment. 

Examples of the types of conduct that are inappropriate and violate this policy, regardless of whether they constitute unlawful sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:

  • Threatening adverse employment or academic actions if sexual favors are not granted;

  • Unwanted and unnecessary physical contact;

  • Demands for sexual favors in exchange for favorable treatment or continued employment/academic standing;

  • Display of and/or exposure to pornographic material;

  • Excessively offensive remarks, including unwelcome graphic or suggestive comments about an individual’s body, appearance or dress;

  • Obscene jokes or other inappropriate use of sexually explicit or offensive language;

  • The display of sexually suggestive objects or pictures which create an intimidating or hostile work, living or academic environment;

  • Other unwelcome and unwanted conduct of a sexual nature, such as leering, name calling and sexual innuendos.

The term gender-based harassment means non-sexual harassment of a person because of the person’s sex and/or gender, including but not limited to, harassment based upon nonconformity with gender stereotypes, whether by a person of the opposite or same gender.

Note:  In determining whether the alleged conduct constitutes sex-based harassment, consideration shall be given to the record as a whole and to the totality of circumstances, including the nature and frequency of the conduct and the context in which the alleged incidents occurred.  However, the University recognizes that a single instance of sex-based harassment and/or sexual assault may be sufficient to constitute a hostile environment.  Further, both objective and subjective factors will be considered in determining whether sexual harassment has occurred.

All members of the Immaculata community are referred to and must comply with the policy on Personal Relationships set forth in Volume III of the Immaculata University Policy Manual.

Definition and Examples of Sexual Assault/Violence

Sexual harassment also includes acts of sexual assault, sexual violence, and other sexual misconduct (collectively, “sexual assault/violence”).

Sexual assault/violence, as that term is used in this policy, refers to when a person is physically forced to engage in a sexual act or contact against a person’s will, is coerced into engaging in such acts or where a person is physically or mentally incapable of giving consent including, for example, due to the use of drugs or alcohol or an intellectual or other disability.

A number of different acts fall into the category of sexual assault/violence, including rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking and sexual coercion/exploitation, whether such acts are engaged in by a stranger or an individual with whom someone has an intimate relationship.  All such acts of sexual assault/violence against members of the Immaculata University community are forms of sexual harassment covered under this policy and are strictly prohibited by the University.

See the University’s sexual assault/violence policy for additional information and counseling and resources, in Volume II of the Immaculata University Policy Manuals - Sexual Assault and online at http://www.immaculata.edu/heoa.

Roles and Responsibilities

It is the responsibility of the Title IX Coordinator to coordinate the dissemination of information and educational and training programs to:

  • Assist members of the University community in understanding what behavior is prohibited under this policy, regardless of whether it is criminal in nature;
  • Ensure investigators are trained to respond to and investigate complaints of sex-discrimination, sex-based harassment and sexual assault/violence; and
  • Ensure members of the Immaculata University community are aware of the procedures for addressing complaints of sex-discrimination, sex-based harassment and sexual assault/violence.

Additional information about the role and responsibility of the Title IX coordinator and the Title IX deputy coordinators is available in Appendix 2B.

It is the responsibility of all University personnel with supervisory responsibilities (i.e., those who formally supervise other employees), to:

  • Inform employees under their direction or supervision of the Nondiscrimination/Anti-Harassment and Anti-Retaliation Policy;

  • Notify the Title IX Coordinator or the Title IX Deputy Coordinators promptly when they receive reports, witness or otherwise learn of complaints of discrimination and/or harassment; and

  • Implement any corrective actions that are imposed as a result of findings of violations of this policy.

It is the responsibility of all administrators, students, faculty and staff to review this Title IX Policy and comply with it.  Students, faculty and employees are strongly encouraged to immediately report incidents of sex discrimination, sex-based harassment and sexual assault/violence.

How to Report an Incident of Sex Discrimination, Sex-Based Harassment or Sexual Assault/Violence

Immaculata University requires any University employee who is an executive officer or other officer, manager, or supervisor and/or has a responsibility for student welfare or is in a position of authority (unless required to maintain confidentiality by law), and strongly encourages all other Immaculata community members, to report information about any incident of sex discrimination, sex-based harassment, sexual assault/violence, or other sexual misconduct involving a student, administrator, staff or faculty member, regardless of where and when the incident happened.

In addition, those employees who are “campus security authorities” under the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (“Clery Act”) are legally required to report such incidents to the Office of Campus Safety and Protection.  All such employees to whom an incident is reported should strongly encourage the reporting party, whether it is the complainant or a third party, to speak directly with the Office of Campus Safety and Protection, or the Title IX Coordinator or one of the Title IX Deputies.

A complainant does not have to decide whether or not to request any specific action by the University at the time the report is made, nor is there a time limit on reporting.  Immaculata is committed to supporting the rights of a person reporting an incident of sexual assault, sexual harassment, or other sexual misconduct to make an informed choice among options and services available.  See the University’s sexual assault/violence policy for additional information and counseling and resources, in Volume II of the Immaculata University Policy Manuals- Sexual Assault and online at http://www.immaculata.edu/heoa

Immaculata will respond to all reports in an integrated, consistent manner that treats each individual with dignity and respect and will take prompt responsive action to end the misconduct, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects.

Absence of a Complainant; Anonymous Reporting

Regardless of whether a complaint under the University’s complaint procedures is filed (including where a complainant is unwilling to participate in the investigation process), if the University has notice – either direct or indirect – of a possible incident of sex discrimination, sex-based harassment or sexual assault/violence or other sexual misconduct or retaliation against a member of its community, it will take immediate and appropriate steps to evaluate what occurred and determine if further action is required as well as prevent any further recurrence.  Any response to such notice may be limited if the events giving rise to such notice cannot be verified by independent facts.

Further, in general, the University shall conduct such an inquiry regardless of whether there is a concurrent criminal investigation being conducted by the local authorities.

By way of example, the University will investigate allegations of sexual harassment and/or sexual assault, and shall take appropriate action, even if a complainant does not wish to pursue the disciplinary process; or reports a complaint without disclosing his/her name or identifying the respondent.  However, a complainant should be aware that any response by the University may be hindered by the complainant’s wish for anonymity and/or inaction.

Interim Protections

The Universy will take interim measures as necessary to prevent the complainant from being subjected to discrimination or harassment during the investigative and complaint process.  The University will take steps to ensure that any interim measures taken do not adversely affect the complainant and will provide written notice to a complainant of such options.  By way of example only, such changes may include, but are not limited to, arranging for excused absences, extended periods of time to make up examinations, tutoring or changes in class schedule, placing the respondent on leave, make alternative living arrangements, or authorize other types of temporary measures to ensure the safety and well-being of the complainant and the campus community while the investigation and complaint process is pending, including but not limited to "no contact orders".

Complaint Procedure

An employee, faculty member, student or other participant in the University’s programs or activities who wishes to file a formal complaint should contact the Title IX Coordinator or a Title IX Deputy Coordinator.  

The Title IX Coordinator or a deputy coordinator will then promptly assist the complainant in developing the written complaint.  The University strongly urges individuals to put their complaint in writing; however, the University will investigate a complaint even in the absence of a written complaint, signed by the complainant.

Note: A complainant has the option to file a formal criminal complaint with the appropriate law enforcement agency, to pursue the University’s internal complaint process or to pursue both processes simultaneously.  Upon receipt of a complaint of sexual assault, violence or other sexual misconduct, the complainant will be provided with written notice describing these options and the potential consequences of pursuing both options (i.e., possible deferral of Immaculata’s investigative and disciplinary process).  If the complainant wishes, the University will provide assistance to the complainant in going to the law enforcement authorities.  

Where both an external criminal complaint is being investigated as well as an internal complaint is being investigated by the University, the University will proceed with its own internal investigation and will not unduly delay such investigation, even while law enforcement personnel are conducting their investigation.  As a limited exception, the University may delay its investigation if directed by law enforcement based on law enforcement’s belief that the University’s investigation may impede the criminal investigation.  However, under extraordinary circumstances, the University may continue to investigate where it has reason to believe that the alleged harasser may be a continued threat to the complainant or other members of the University community.

Complainants and other individuals bringing complaints will also be informed about the range of possible outcomes of the report, including interim protections, remedies, and disciplinary actions that might be taken against the accused as a result of the complaint, including information about the procedures leading to such outcomes.

The respondent will be given the option to respond in person or in writing within a reasonable time determined by the Title IX coordinator. If a respondent chooses not to participate or refuses to answer a complaint, such nonparticipation will not prevent the matter from proceeding.

The full and complete cooperation of the complainant is encouraged for the prompt and effective investigation and remediation of all complaints, as the University’s response may be limited if information contained in the complaint report cannot be verified by independent facts.

In cases involving potential criminal conduct, the University will determine, consistent with state and local law, whether appropriate law enforcement or other authorities should be notified.

Formal Investigation and Resolution of the Complaint

A Title IX deputy or deputies will be assigned by the Title IX coordinator to conduct the investigation.  Any investigator assigned to the case will be impartial.  The investigator(s) will not have an actual or perceived conflict.  In the rare instance where such a conflict exists, the University will disclose the conflict and, if necessary, another investigator(s) will be assigned. 

Formal Investigation Timeframe

The University will strive to complete the formal investigation, including the issuance of a final report of findings and, if applicable, summary of discipline, to the complainant and respondent, in as timely and efficient a manner as possible within sixty (60) days of receipt of a written complaint (or within 60 days after it is determined that a written complaint will not be provided).  However, this timeframe may be extended based on factors such as, but not limited to, schedule and availability of witnesses, holidays or semester breaks, and complexity of the complaint.  If an investigation cannot be completed within sixty (60) days of receipt of the complaint, then the investigator(s) will notify the complainant and respondent of that fact and provide a timeframe for completing the investigation.

Investigation Procedures

In conducting the investigation, the investigator may interview the parties if available and any other persons believed to have relevant factual knowledge, as well as a review of relevant documents/statements as appropriate. The parties shall have an equal opportunity to present relevant witnesses and other evidence. However, neither party shall have the right to cross-examine the other party.

As stated above, at any time during the investigation, the investigator may recommend that interim protections or remedies for the complainant or witnesses be provided by appropriate University officials.  These protections or remedies may include separating the parties, placing limitations on contact between the parties, or making alternative workplace, academic setting or student housing arrangements.  Failure to comply with the terms of interim protections may be considered a separate violation of the University’s policies.

Upon conclusion of the investigation, the investigator shall make a determination as to whether the alleged violations occurred.  In making that determination, the investigator will use the preponderance of the evidence standard.

If the Title IX Coordinator, a Title IX Deputy Investigator or a designated investigator determines that the matter should be referred for further disciplinary action, the case will proceed as follows:

1. If the respondent is a student, the investigator/s will forward the outcome of the investigation to the office of the vice president for student development and engagement for formal disciplinary resolution under procedures set forth in Volume VI of the Immaculata University Policy Manual.

2. If the respondent is an administrator or staff employee, the investigator/s will forward the outcome of the investigation to the employee’s respective supervisor or division vice president for formal resolution under the discipline and termination of employment policies set forth in Volume III of the Immaculata University Policy Manual.

3. If the respondent is a faculty member, the investigator/s will forward the outcome of the investigation to the employee’s respective supervisor or vice president for academic affairs for formal resolution under the faculty dismissal/corrective discipline procedures set forth in Volume IV of the Immaculata University Policy Manual.

Written Notification of Outcome

Written notification of the disciplinary resolution will be provided to the Title IX Coordinator by the respective administrative officer managing the disciplinary proceedings.

The Title IX Coordinator will provide written notification of the disciplinary outcome to the parties.  Unless otherwise prohibited by applicable privacy law (e.g., FERPA), the notification will contain the following information: the name of the respondent; whether the accused has been found responsible or not responsible for violation of the University’s Title IX policy; and the sanction imposed, if any.

Appeals

Both parties will be afforded an opportunity to file an appeal of the resolution in accordance with established University Grievance Policy set forth in Volume II of the Immaculata University Policy Manual.

Confidentiality

The University will keep the complaint and investigation confidential, to the extent possible.

Relevant University Polices

Based on the nature of the complaint, this conduct may also constitute a violation of the Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment and Anti-Retaliation Policy set forth in Volume II of the Immaculata University Policy Manual.                                                         .

Prohibition of Retaliation

The University will not retaliate against an individual who makes a report of discrimination, harassment sexual assault/violence or other sexual misconduct and/or retaliation; or who provides information relating to or serves as a witness; nor permit any other employee or student to do so.  Retaliation is a serious violation of this policy.  Any acts of retaliation or threatened retaliation should be reported immediately to the Title IX Coordinator or an officer in the Department of Campus Safety and Protection.  Any person found to have retaliated against another individual for making a report under this policy will be subject to appropriate sanctions.  Individuals who believe they have been subject to any acts of retaliation or threatened with retaliation, should promptly report the same pursuant to the complaint procedure outlined in this policy. 

1145 King Road, Immaculata, PA. 19345
p. 610-647-4400 or call toll-free: 1-877-42 TODAY
Federal Compliance Links | Clery | Employment
Copyright ©2015 All Rights Reserved

1145 King Road, Immaculata, PA. 19345 p. 610-647-4400 or call toll-free: 1-877-42 TODAY
Federal Compliance Links | Clery | Employment
Immaculata University | Copyright ©2015 All Rights Reserved