Statement of Purpose
Immaculata University is committed to creating and maintaining an educational, working and living environment for all members of the campus community. Immaculata is also committed to supporting any administrator, faculty member, student, staff or visitor who believes that he or she has experienced an incident of stalking through the appropriate provision of safety and support services. 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.
Administrators, students, faculty members 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. 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.
Definition of Stalking
A person commits the crime of stalking when the person engages in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to:
1. Fear for the person’s safety or the safety of others; or
2. Suffer substantial emotional distress.
For the purposes of this definition of stalking, the following terms are important to understand:
- 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, conducts surveillance, threatens, or communicates to or about, a person, or interferes with a person’s property.
- Reasonable person means a reasonable person under 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.
- Communicates means to convey a message without intent of legitimate communication or address by oral, nonverbal, written or electronic means, including telephone, electronic mail, internet, facsimile, telex, wireless communication or similar transmission.
Pennsylvania statute defines stalking as follows:
18 Pa.C.S. §2709.1: A person commits the crime of stalking when the person either:
- engages in a course of conduct or repeatedly commits acts toward another person, including following the person without proper authority, under circumstances which demonstrate either an intent to place such other person in reasonable fear of bodily injury or to cause substantial emotional distress to such other person; or
- engages in a course of conduct or repeatedly communicates to another person under circumstances which demonstrate or communicate either an intent to place such other person in reasonable fear of bodily injury or to cause substantial emotional distress to such other person.
For purposes of this section, and as defined by 18 Pa.C.S. §2709.1, the following terms are further defined as follows:
“Communicates.” –To convey a message without intent of legitimate communication or address by oral, nonverbal, written or electronic means, including telephone, electronic mail, Internet, facsimile, telex, wireless communication or similar transmission.
“Course of conduct.” –A pattern of actions composed of more than one act over a period of time, however short, evidencing a continuity of conduct. The term includes lewd, lascivious, threatening or obscene words, language, drawings, caricatures or actions, either in person or anonymously. Acts indicating a course of conduct which occur in more than one jurisdiction may be used by any other jurisdiction in which an act occurred as evidence of a continuing pattern of conduct or a course of conduct.
“Emotional distress.” –A temporary or permanent state of mental anguish.
“Family or household member.” –Spouses or persons who have been spouses, persons living as spouses or who lived as spouses, parents and children, other persons related by consanguinity or affinity, current or former sexual or intimate partners or persons who share biological parenthood.
Stalking includes any behaviors or activities occurring on more than one occasion that collectively instill fear in a victim, and/or threaten his or her safety, mental health, or physical health. Such behaviors and activities may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Non-consensual communication, including face-to-face communication, telephone calls, voice messages, emails, text messages, written letters, gifts, or any other communications that are undesired and place another person in fear.
- Use of online, electronic, or digital technologies, including:
a. Posting of pictures or information in chat rooms or on websites
b. Sending unwanted/unsolicited email or talk requests
c. Posting private or public messages on Internet sites, social networking sites, and/or school bulletin boards
d. Installing spyware on a victim’s computer
e. Using Global Positioning Systems (GPS) to monitor a victim
- Pursuing, following, waiting or showing up uninvited at or near a residence, workplace, classroom, or other places frequented by the victim.
- Surveillance or other types of observation including staring, ‘peeping’.
- Non-consensual touching
- Direct verbal or physical threats
- Gathering information about an individual from friends, family, and/or co-workers
- Threats to harm self or others
- Defamation – lying to others about the victim
Prohibition of Retaliation
The University will not engage in or tolerate retaliation against an individual who makes are the report of stalking, serves as a witness, or provides information concerning an act of stalking. Retaliation is a serious violation of this policy. Any acts of retaliation or threatened retaliation should be reported immediately to the Department of Campus Safety and Protection, the Dean of Students, or the Director of Human Resources. Any person found to have retaliated against another individual in violation of 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.
Any administrator, faculty member, staff, or student who experiences or sees another member of the Immaculata community experiencing stalking and/or retaliation should report the behavior to a member of the Campus Safety and Protection Department, the Dean of Students, or the Director of Human Resources. If safety is an immediate concern, contact Campus Safety and Protection or the local police department for assistance.
The University 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”.
These changes will be made regardless of whether the complainant chooses to report the crime to campus police or local law enforcement.
The University provides support to victims of stalking through on and off-campus resources. Caring professionals are available to discuss the individual’s options and to offer support, compassion and practical assistance.
Be aware of on-campus resources that can assist you:
- IU Counseling Services, Bruder Center, 610 647-4400 ext 3478 or ext. 3506 (After 4:30 PM please contact IU Campus Safety and Protection and they will contact the on-call counselor for you)
- IU Campus Safety and Protection ext. 5555 (on campus) or 610 854-2451 (24 hours, off campus)
- IU Residence Life and Housing ext. 3130 (After 4:30 PM please contact IU Campus Safety and Protection and they will contact the on-call professional for you.)
- IU Student Health Services ext. 3500 (After 4:30 PM please contact IU Campus Safety and Protection and they will contact a member of the Student Health Services staff for you)
- Others on campus you feel comfortable with
Additionally, be aware of off-campus resources that can assist you:
- Crime Victim’s Center of Chester County (24-hour hotline) 610 692-7273. Counselors on a hotline are specifically trained to help assault victims and to offer confidential support and information about legal, medical, and mental health resources. www.cvcofcc.org
In cases involving potential criminal conduct, the University will determine, consistent with state and local law, whether the appropriate law enforcement agency should be notified. 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. If the complainant wishes, the University will provide assistance to the complainant in going to the law enforcement authorities. The University will proceed with its own internal investigation even while law enforcement personnel are conducting their investigation. The University may delay its investigation if directed by law enforcement based on the belief that the University’s investigation may impede the criminal investigation.
Disciplinary Proceedings and Sanctions
Any student, administrator, faculty member, or staff who, after appropriate investigation, has been found to have engaged in stalking consistent with the Policy (even if not unlawful) will be subject to appropriate disciplinary and/or corrective action, as defined in the University Policy Manual Volume VI for students, Volume IV for faculty, Volume III for employees, including but not limited to expulsion from the University or dismissal from employment.
Prevention and Awareness
Immaculata University is committed to the prevention of sexual violence and sexual misconduct (including stalking) through a variety of educational programs and awareness activities. These include:
- Programming presented as part of New Student Orientation, Respect Week (during Dating and Domestic Violence Awareness Month) and Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
- Workshops and mandatory online education courses concerning sexual violence prevention, date rape, sexual assault, and bystander intervention.
- Educational material disseminated throughout campus regarding dating safety, emotional abuse, sexual violence, and date rape drugs.
Active Bystanders play a critical role in the prevention of sexual violence and other sexual offenses. These are individuals who observe violence or conditions that may perpetuate violence and follow the appropriate reporting procedures, such as, calling 911, informing campus safety and protection and/or University officials. It is understandable that in many circumstances, the active bystander may be uncomfortable intervening or communicating concerns; however, conveying potential risks to individuals or the college community will help the University maintain a safe environment. As a support to employees, the Office of the Dean of Students provides information on the role of active bystanders. The RAINN website also has other important information on the role bystanders can play in preventing and responding to acts of sexual violence: https://rainn.org/get-information/sexual-assault-prevention/bystanders-can-help
Title IX Reporting
Complaints of sexual assault, sexual exploitation, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking or rape or other sexual offenses can also be reported to the University’s Title IX Coordinator or a Deputy Coordinator. The Title IX Coordinator can be reached at TitleIXCoordinator@immaculata.edu.
As stated in the University’s Notice of Non-Discrimination and Equal Opportunity, the University complies with the Title IX Educational Amendments of 1972. Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity. Sexual harassment, which includes sexual assault and other sexual misconduct, is a form of sex discrimination.
Additional information on the University’s commitment to prohibiting sex discrimination, sex-based harassment, and sexual assault/violence is set forth in a separate policy, Title IX Policy, in Volume II of the University Policy Manual.
If a member of the University community feels that he/she has been the victim of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking or rape or other sexual offenses, sex discrimination, or sex-based harassment, such an individual should also report the incident to the University’s designated Title IX Coordinator at TitleIXCoordinator@immaculata.edu.