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Policies and Procedures

13.02 Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct Policy

 If this is an emergency, call 911.
Other emergency resources are available on the UNI Safety web page

 

   
Purpose: Members of the campus community are entitled to an educational and working environment free of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.

Policy Statement: The University of Northern Iowa is committed to achieving fairness and equity in all aspects of the educational enterprise and therefore prohibits discrimination, harassment, and retaliation under this policy. Alleged violations of this policy are subject to resolution using the Complaint Resolution Process detailed below. This policy applies regardless of the status of the parties involved, who may be members or non-members of the campus community, students, student organizations, faculty, administrators, and/or staff.

Persons who experience discrimination, harassment, or sexual misconduct may respond to the experience in many different ways, including feeling confused, vulnerable, out of control, embarrassed, angry, or depressed.  The University provides a variety of resourcesto assist individuals who have experienced discrimination, harassment, or sexual misconduct to address the effects of the incident and to help them determine whether and how to make a formal complaint about the incident. Additional resource-related information can be found in Section VIII and at uni.edu/safety.

All reports of discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation shall be promptly made to the Title IX Officer (or designated Deputy Coordinator). The Assistant to the President for Compliance and Equity Management serves as the Title IX Officer and ADA/504 Coordinator and oversees implementation of the University’s Affirmative Action Plan and the University’s Policy on Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct. The designated Title IX Deputy Coordinators are the Dean of Students, Senior Associate Athletic Director, and Associate Director of Compliance and Equity Management.  For those individuals who become aware of incidents involving discrimination, harassment, or sexual misconduct, reporting responsibilities are described in Section III below.  A complainant’s options for reporting are addressed more specifically in Section IV below.

I.      Prohibited Conduct

A.    Discrimination

The University of Northern Iowa adheres to all federal and state civil rights laws banning discrimination in public institutions of higher education. The University prohibits discrimination against any employee, applicant for employment, student or applicant for admission on the basis of any protected class. Protected classes include: age, color, creed, disability, ethnicity, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, national origin, political affiliation, pregnancy, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran or military status, or any other protected category under applicable federal, state, or local law, including protections for those opposing discrimination or participating in any complaint process on campus or with other human rights agencies.

This policy covers discrimination in employment and in access to educational opportunities. Discrimination is defined as adverse treatment of an individual based on that individual’s membership in one or more of the protected groups listed above. Therefore, any member of the campus community, guest, or visitor who acts to deny, deprive, or limit the educational, employment, housing and/or social access, benefits, and/or opportunities of any member of the campus community on the basis of their actual or perceived membership in the protected classes listed above is in violation of the University policy on discrimination. All University employees shall report all suspected incidents of discrimination or harassment (see Section III. Reporting Responsibilities).  When brought to the attention of the University, any such discrimination will be appropriately remedied by the University according to the procedures outlined in this policy.

B.    Harassment

The University prohibits harassment against any employee, student, visitor, or guest on the basis of any class protected by University policy or law as identified in Section I.A. above. This policy is not meant to inhibit or prohibit educational content or discussions inside or outside of the classroom that include germane but controversial or sensitive subject matters. The sections below describe the specific forms of prohibited harassment under University policy.

1.    Bias-Related Harassment

This policy prohibits any form of harassment on the basis of actual or perceived membership in a protected class, by any member or group of the campus community, which unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work or academic environment.

This environment may be created by verbal, written, graphic, threatening and/or physical conduct that is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive so as to interfere with, limit, or deny the ability of an individual to participate in or benefit from educational programs or activities or employment access, benefits, or opportunities. Merely offensive conduct and/or harassment of a generic nature not on the basis of membership in a protected class may not result in a violation of this policy but may be addressed through education and/or other resolution methods.

2.    Sexual Harassment

This policy prohibits any form of sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is unwelcome sexual- or gender-based verbal, written, online, and/or physical conduct. Anyone experiencing sexual harassment in any University program is encouraged to report it online, to the University’s Title IX Officer or a Deputy Coordinator, or by methods identified in the Complaint Resolution Process Section (IV.A. Confidentiality and Reporting of Offenses). Sexual harassment creates a hostile environment and may be disciplined when it is sufficiently severe, pervasive, persistent, or objectively offensive that it:

          • has the effect of unreasonably interfering with, denying, or limiting employment opportunities or the ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s educational, social, and/or residential program, or
          • is based on power differentials (quid pro quo), the creation of a hostile environment, or retaliation.

Some examples of possible sexual harassment include:

          • A professor insists that a student have sex with the professor in exchange for a good grade. This is harassment regardless of whether the student complies with the request.
          • A student repeatedly sends sexually oriented jokes on an e-mail list the student created, even when asked to stop, causing one recipient to avoid the sender on campus and in the residence hall in which they both live.
          • Two supervisors frequently rate several employees’ bodies and sex appeal, commenting suggestively about their clothing and appearance.

Consensual Relationships. Consensual romantic and/or sexual relationships where a power differential exists, whether real or perceived, may constitute sexual harassment. The effect of such a relationship may render an individual’s work, academic, or social environment intimidating, offensive, or hostile. Hence, all University employees are strongly discouraged from entering into romantic and/or sexual relationships which could lead to the creation of a hostile educational, social, and/or work environment for other members of the University community.

3.    Sexual Misconduct

This policy prohibits any form of sexual misconduct. Acts of sexual misconduct may be committed by any person upon any other person, regardless of the sex, gender, sexual orientation, and/or gender identity of those involved. The definition of consent below will be used in the interpretation and application of this policy:

Consent. Consent is knowing, voluntary, and clear permission by word or action to engage in mutually agreed upon sexual activity. Since individuals may experience the same interaction in different ways, it is the responsibility of each party to make certain that the other has consented before engaging in the activity. For consent to be valid, there must be a clear expression in words or actions that the other individual consented to that specific sexual conduct. Consent to a specific sexual contact (such as kissing or fondling) cannot be presumed to be consent for another specific sexual activity (such as intercourse). A current or previous dating relationship is not sufficient to constitute consent. Silence or the absence of resistance alone is not consent. The existence of consent is based on the totality of the circumstances, including the context in which the alleged incident occurred. Individuals can withdraw consent at any time during sexual activity by expressing in words or actions that they no longer want the act to continue, and, if that happens, the other person must stop immediately.

A person cannot consent if he or she is incapacitated. Under this policy, a person is incapacitated if he or she is disabled or  deprived of ability to act or reason for one’s self, is unable to understand what is happening, or is disoriented, helpless, asleep, or unconscious for any reason, including due to alcohol or other drugs. Incapacitation is defined as a state where someone cannot make rational, reasonable decisions because they lack the capacity to give knowing consent (e.g., to understand the “who, what, when, where, why, or how” of their sexual interaction). This policy also covers a person whose incapacity results from mental disability, involuntary physical restraint, and/or from taking of an incapacitating substance. Under Iowa law, a person is incapacitated if the person is temporarily incapable of apprising or controlling the person’s own conduct due to the influence of a narcotic, anesthetic, or intoxicating substance; if a person is unable to communicate an unwillingness to act because the person is unconscious, asleep, or is otherwise physically limited; or if the person has a bodily impairment or handicap that substantially limits the person’s ability to resist or flee.

An individual who engages in sexual activity when the individual knows, or should know, that the other person is physically or mentally incapacitated has violated this policy. It is not an excuse that the respondent to a claim of sexual misconduct was intoxicated and, therefore, did not realize the other person’s incapacity.

The following are types of prohibited sexual misconduct under this policy:

a.    Sexual Harassment (defined in Section I.B.2. above)

b.    Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse

Defined as:

                  • any sexual penetration or intercourse (anal, oral, or vaginal)
                  • however slight
                  • with any object
                  • by a person upon another person
                  • that is without consent and/or by force.

Sexual penetration includes vaginal or anal penetration by a penis, tongue, finger, or object, or oral copulation by mouth-to-genital contact or genital-to-mouth contact.

c.    Non-Consensual Sexual Contact

Defined as:

                  • any intentional sexual touching
                  • however slight
                  • with any object
                  • by a person upon another person
                  • that is without consent and/or by force.

Sexual touching includes any bodily contact with the breasts, groin, genitals, mouth, or other bodily orifice of another individual or any other bodily contact in a sexual manner.

d.    Sexual Exploitation

Defined as:

                  • taking non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another; and
                  • the conduct does not fall within the definitions of sexual harassment, non-consensual sexual intercourse, or non-consensual sexual contact. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to:
                      • sexual voyeurism (such as watching a person undressing, using the bathroom, or engaging in sexual acts without the consent of the person observed)
                      • taking photographs, video recording, or audio recording of another in a sexual act or in any other private activity without the consent of all persons involved in the activity
                      • exceeding the boundaries of consent (such as allowing another person to hide in a closet and observe sexual activity or disseminating sexual pictures without the photographed person’s consent)
                      • engaging in sexual activity with another person while knowingly infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or other sexually transmitted disease (STD) without informing the other person of the infection
                      • administering alcohol or drugs (such as “date rape” drugs) to another person without the person’s knowledge or consent

e.    Relationship Violence

Defined as:

                  • violence between those in an intimate relationship (this includes romantic, dating, or domestic relationships). Examples include, but are not limited to:
                      • physical assault between two people in a current or prior intimate relationship who do not live together (Dating Violence)
                  • physical assault between two people in an intimate relationship who live together (Domestic Violence)

See Section VIII.C. below for the definition of Domestic Violence and Dating Violence under Iowa law.

f.    Stalking

Defined as:

                  • a course of conduct
                  • directed at a specific person
                  • that is unwelcome
                  • and would cause a reasonable person to feel fear or suffer substantial emotional distress. Examples include, but are not limited to:
                  • sending multiple unwanted text messages, phone calls, or electronic communications
                  • following, watching, photographing, or otherwise tracking an individual without his or her permission
                  • sending unwelcome gifts, notes, or other items to another person

See Section VIII.C. below for a definition of Stalking under Iowa law.

C.    Retaliation

The University seeks to create an environment where its students and employees are free, without fear of reprisal, to use its procedures to determine if there has been a violation of their civil rights. Any act of retaliation will result in appropriate disciplinary action.

Retaliation is defined as any adverse action taken against a person participating in a protected activity because of their participation in that protected activity. Retaliation against an individual for alleging a violation of their civil rights, supporting a complainant, or for assisting in providing information relevant to a claim, is a serious violation of the this policy. Acts of alleged retaliation should be reported immediately to the Title IX Officer or Deputy Coordinators.  For other acts of alleged retaliation, see Policy 13.19 Retaliation and Misconduct Reporting.

D.    Other Offenses

This policy prohibits other offenses of a discriminatory, harassing, and/or retaliatory nature not included in the previous sections as follows:

        • Intimidation, defined as implied threats or acts that cause a reasonable fear of harm in another on the basis of actual or perceived membership in a protected class
        • Hazing, defined under this policy as acts likely to cause physical or psychological harm or social ostracism to any person within the University community when related to the admission, initiation, pledging, joining, or any other group-affiliation activity on the basis of actual or perceived membership in a protected class. See Section VIII.C. below for a definition of Hazing under Iowa law.
        • Bullying, defined under this policy as repeated and/or severe aggressive behavior likely to intimidate or intentionally hurt, control or diminish another person, physically or mentally on the basis of actual or perceived membership in a protected class. See Section VIII.C. below for a definition of Bullying under Iowa law.
        • Violation of any other University rule, when it is motivated by sex or gender or the actual or perceived membership of the victim in a protected class, may be pursued using this policy and process.    

    II.      Jurisdiction/Application

    This policy applies to allegations of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation that take place on UNI property or at university-sponsored events, regardless of their location. This policy may also apply to allegations of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation that occur off-campus or to actions online when the Title IX Officer or Deputy Coordinator determines that the off-campus or online conduct could have an on-campus impact or impact on the educational mission of the University. Such impact includes:

          • Any action that constitutes a criminal offense as defined by federal, state, or local law;
          • Any situation where it appears that the respondent may present a danger or threat to the health or safety of self or others;
          • Any situation that significantly impinges upon the rights, property, or achievements of others or significantly breaches the peace and/or causes social disorder; and/or
          • Any situation that is detrimental to the educational interests of the University.

      The University’s response may be limited if the respondent was a guest or is not subject to the University’s jurisdiction.

      III.     Reporting Responsibilities

      All University employees who are aware of or witness discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct, or retaliation are required to promptly report to the Title IX Officer or a Title IX Deputy Coordinator. Any student who is aware of or who witnesses discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct, or retaliation is encouraged to promptly report to the Title IX Officer or a Title IX Deputy Coordinator.  All initial contacts will be treated with the maximum possible privacy: specific information on any complaint received by any party will be reported to the Title IX Officer, but, subject to the University’s obligation to investigate and redress violations, every reasonable effort will be made to maintain the privacy of those initiating a report of a complaint. In all cases, the University will give consideration to the complainant with respect to how the complaint is pursued but reserves the right, when necessary to protect the community, to investigate and pursue a resolution when an alleged victim chooses not to initiate or participate in a formal complaint.

      Please note:  This section addresses reporting obligations for members of our campus community who are made aware of potential violations of this policy.  Methods for filing a complaint and the Complaint Resolution Process are detailed in Section IV.  Additional resource-related information can be found in Section VIII and at uni.edu/safety.

      A.    Title IX Officer and Deputy Coordinators

      University Title IX Officer:

      Leah Gutknecht, Assistant to the President for Compliance and Equity Management
      117 Gilchrist Hall, 319.273.2846, leah.gutknecht@uni.edu

      Title IX Deputy Coordinators:

      Leslie Williams, Dean of Students
      118 Gilchrist Hall, 319.273.2332, leslie.williams@uni.edu

      Jean Berger, Senior Associate Athletic Director
      310 UNI-Dome, 319.273.2556, jean.berger@uni.edu

      Gwenne Berry, Associate Director of Compliance and Equity Management
      117 Gilchrist Hall, 319.273.2846, gwenne.berry@uni.edu

      B.    Role of the Title IX Officer and Deputy Coordinators

      The Title IX Officer and Deputy Coordinators are charged with coordinating the University response to reports of misconduct under this policy. The Title IX Officer and Deputy Coordinators do not serve as advocates for either the complainant or the respondent. The Title IX Officer or Deputy Coordinators will explain to both parties the informal and formal processes outlined below and the provisions for confidentiality. Where appropriate, the Title IX Officer or Deputy Coordinators will provide to both parties information on options for obtaining advocacy, medical and counseling services, and making criminal reports, and will assist with providing information on other resources. The Title IX Officer and Deputy Coordinators will coordinate with other campus officials to take appropriate interim actions such as no contact orders, academic accommodations, and rearrangement of housing, dining, and work assignments.

      C.    Police Reporting

      In addition to required campus reporting, reports may also be made to the police, especially if a crime is or may be involved, by calling the following numbers:

      Emergency 9-1-1
      UNI Police, 30 Gilchrist Hall, 319.273.2712 (on-campus incidents)
      Cedar Falls/Waterloo Police, 319.291.2515 (off-campus incidents)

      D.    Federal Timely Warning Obligations

      Victims of sexual misconduct should be aware that University administrators must issue crime alerts for incidents reported to them that represent a serious or continuing threat to students or employees. The University will withhold a victim’s name and other identifying information while providing enough information for community members to make safety decisions in light of the potential danger.

      IV.    Complaint Resolution Process

      The University will respond to any alleged violation of this policy received by the Title IX Officer or Deputy Coordinators.  This section outlines ways in which offenses can be reported by individuals choosing to pursue complaint options.  Additional resource-related information can be found in Section VIII and at uni.edu/safety.

      A.    Confidentiality and Reporting of Offenses

      The University of Northern Iowa will make every effort to safeguard the identities of individuals who seek help and/or report discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation. While steps are taken to protect the privacy of victims, the University may need to investigate an incident and take action once an allegation is known, whether or not the reporting individual chooses to pursue a complaint.

      When a report is made, personally identifiable information (name of victim, name of respondent, etc.) may be initially withheld in cases where the victim is hesitant to come forward. Subsequently, campus officials may need additional information. The University Title IX Officer or Deputy Coordinator will conduct an initial inquiry, looking for any sign of pattern, predation, violence, or threat. When such exists, institutional action may be required in an effort to ensure campus safety. No employee should ever promise absolute confidentiality except those as described below in Section IV.A.2.  Reports may be private, but not confidential, as described below in Section IV.A.3.  Reports to police and/or Title IX officials do not obligate the complainant to file any criminal or university conduct charges.

      The University will not pursue disciplinary action for improper use of alcohol or other drugs against an alleged victim of sexual misconduct or against another student who shares information as either a witness to or as a reporter of sexual misconduct as long as the report is made in good faith. See “Good Samaritan Provision,” Article III(4), Student Conduct Code.

      Deliberately false and/or malicious accusations of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation, as opposed to complaints which, even if erroneous, are made in good faith, are just as serious an offense as discrimination, harassment, or retaliation and will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.

      Complaints and reports should be made as soon as possible after an incident. Information and resources are available through the UNI Safety page, uni.edu/safety. Options for filing a report include:

      1.    Anonymous and Third Party Reporting

      The Title IX Officer and Deputy Coordinators accept anonymous and third-party reports of conduct alleged to violate this policy and will follow up on such reports. The individual making the report is encouraged to provide as much detailed information as possible to allow the Title IX Officer or Deputy Coordinators to investigate and respond as appropriate. The University may be limited in its ability to investigate an anonymous or third party report unless sufficient information is provided.  (See uni.edu/safety to file a report or complaint.)

      2.    Confidential Reporting

      If a reporting party would like the details of an incident to be kept confidential, the reporting party may speak with counselors, health service providers, victim services advocates, domestic violence resources, local or state assistance agencies, or members of the clergy who are permitted by law to maintain confidentiality (except in extreme cases of immediacy of threat or danger or abuse of a minor). These sources will submit anonymous statistical information for timely warning and Clery Act purposes. If a reporting party is unsure of a resource’s ability to maintain confidentiality, the reporting party is advised to ask them before talking to them. See uni.edu/safety for additional information on these resources.

      UNI counselors for students and/or the Employee Assistance Program for employees are available to help free of charge and can be seen on an emergency basis

      3.    Private Reporting

      Reports to University employees who are not confidential resources listed above in Section IV.A.2. will be treated with the maximum possible privacy. If a reporting party is unsure of a resource’s ability to maintain privacy, the reporting party is advised to ask them before talking to them. The resource will be able to explain the resource’s reporting obligations and help a reporting party make decisions about who is in the best position to help. If personally identifiable information is shared, it will be shared with as few people as possible under the circumstances and efforts will be made to protect privacy to the greatest extent reasonably possible.

      4.    Fomal Reporting

      Complainants are encouraged to speak to University officials, such as the Title IX Officer or Deputy Coordinators or UNI Police, to make formal reports. Complainants have the right, and can expect, to have complaints taken seriously by the University when formally reported and to have those incidents investigated and properly resolved through these procedures. Formal reporting still affords privacy to the reporter and only a small group of officials who need to know will be told. Information will be shared as necessary with investigator(s), witnesses, and the respondent. The number of people with this knowledge will be kept as low as reasonably possible to preserve a complainant’s rights and privacy.

      5.    Criminal Reporting

      If someone is in immediate danger or is a victim of a crime, call 9-1-1. Some acts of discrimination and harassment may also be crimes, such as sexual assault or stalking. Allegations of criminal conduct should be reported to law enforcement even when it is not clear whether the conduct rises to the level of a crime. Regardless, law enforcement can assist with obtaining medical care, getting immediate law enforcement response and protection, connecting with victim advocate services and counseling support, initiating a criminal investigation as appropriate, and answering questions about the criminal process.

      B.    Informal Resolution Process

      Informal resolution is an alternative to the formal complaint resolution process. The Title IX Officer will determine if informal resolution is appropriate, based on the willingness of the parties and the nature of the alleged conduct. Sanctions are generally not pursued as the result of an informal resolution process, though the parties may agree to appropriate remedies. The Title IX Officer will keep records of any resolution that is reached. The University reserves the right to cancel informal resolution if sufficient evidence suggests a formal investigation or other sanctions or remedies may be necessary and appropriate.

      It is not necessary to pursue informal resolution first in order to make a formal complaint, and anyone participating in informal resolution can stop that process at any time and request to continue through the formal process.

      Except in cases involving criminal activity and/or sexual assault, an employee or student alleging discrimination, harassment and/or retaliation against an employee under this policy is encouraged to discuss the allegation with the head of the department in which the alleged discrimination, harassment and/or retaliation occurred. The department head will then consult with the Office of Compliance and Equity Management to determine an appropriate course of action. If it is appropriate, an attempt to facilitate an informal resolution of the matter will be made. In the event that an informal resolution is not reached, is not appropriate, or is not pursued, the student or employee who is alleging the discrimination, harassment, or retaliation may consult with the Office of Compliance and Equity Management to initiate a formal investigation. If, at any time, the employee or student is not comfortable addressing the department head, the Office of Compliance and Equity Management may be contacted directly.

      Note: If an allegation includes actions that involve criminal activity and/or sexual assault, reports will be coordinated by the Title IX Officer. Individuals are strongly encouraged to also file a report with UNI Police.

      C.    Formal Resolution Process

      1.    Filing a Complaint

      Any individual who believes that this policy has been violated should contact the Title IX Officer or any Title IX Deputy Coordinator. The University website also includes a reporting form at uni.edu/safety which may serve to initiate a complaint.

      a. Complaint Intake
      Following receipt of notice or a complaint, the Title IX Officer or Deputy Coordinator will normally, within four business days, make an initial determination as to whether the information has merit to reasonably indicate there may have been a violation of University policy. If it appears a violation may have occurred, an investigation will begin. If the complaint does not appear to allege a policy violation or if conflict resolution is desired by the complainant and appears appropriate given the nature of the alleged behavior, then the complaint does not proceed to investigation. An investigation will be pursued if there is sufficient information to suggest a policy violation may exist, a pattern of misconduct, and/or a perceived threat of further harm to the community or any of its members.

      b. Interim Action
      The University will implement interim and/or protective actions upon notice of alleged discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation and will take additional prompt remedial and/or disciplinary action with respect to any member of the community, guest, or visitor who has violated this policy.

      Interim actions include but are not limited to: no contact orders, no trespass notices, providing counseling and/or medical services, academic support, living arrangement adjustments, providing a campus escort, academic or work schedule and assignment accommodations, safety planning, and referral to campus and community resources.

      The University may suspend, on an interim basis, a student or student organization or place an employee on administrative leave pending the completion of the investigation and procedures. In cases in which an interim suspension or administrative leave is imposed, the student, employee, or student organization will be given the opportunity to meet with an appropriate administrator prior to such action being imposed, or as soon thereafter as reasonably possible, to show cause why the action should not be implemented. Violation of interim provisions will be grounds for disciplinary action.

      During an interim suspension or administrative leave, a student or employee may be denied access to University housing and/or the University campus, facilities, or events, either entirely or with specific application. As determined by the appropriate administrative officer, this restriction includes classes and/or all other University activities or privileges for which the individual might otherwise be eligible. At the discretion of the appropriate administrative officer, alternative coursework options may be pursued to ensure as minimal an impact as possible on the respondent student. At the discretion of the appropriate administrative officer, alternative employment/work options may be pursued to ensure as minimal an impact as possible on the respondent employee.

      2.    Notice of Charges

      Once an investigator has been assigned, written notice of the allegations will be provided to the parties involved. If the respondent is an employee, the written notice will be copied to the employee’s department head/director, dean, vice president, and president.

      3.    Investigation

      If a complainant wishes to pursue a formal complaint or if the University determines an investigation is necessary, the Title IX Officer will assign an investigator, usually within two business days of determining that a complaint should proceed. Investigations will be thorough and impartial and will entail interviews with relevant parties and witnesses, and obtaining available evidence. The University aims to complete investigations within 60 days, which can be extended as necessary for appropriate cause by the Title IX Officer with notice to the parties. Investigation may take longer when initial complaints fail to provide direct first-hand information. The University may undertake a short delay (usually 3-10 days, to allow evidence collection) when criminal charges are being investigated. University action will continue regardless of the status of civil or criminal charges involving the same incident.

      a. Student Withdrawal While Charges Pending

      Should a responding student decide to withdraw from the University and/or not participate in the investigation and/or hearing, the process will nonetheless proceed in the student’s absence to a reasonable resolution and that student will not be permitted to return to the University unless any and all sanctions have been satisfied. The Title IX Officer will continue to act to promptly and effectively remedy the effects of the conduct upon the victim and the community.

      b. Employee Resignation While Charges Pending

      Should a responding employee resign while charges are pending, the records of the Title IX Officer will reflect that status, as will University responses to any future inquiries regarding employment references for that individual. Should an employee decide to leave and not participate in the investigation and/or hearing, the process will nonetheless proceed in the employee’s absence to a reasonable resolution and that employee will not be permitted to return to the University unless any and all sanctions have been satisfied. The Title IX Officer will continue to act to promptly and effectively remedy the effects of the conduct upon the victim and the community.

      4.    Investigation Findings

      a.    For Students

      Upon receipt of the investigative report, the Title IX Officer will forward it to the Dean of Students or designee for an appropriate hearing per Student Conduct Code procedures. Following the hearing, the decision of whether a policy violation has occurred will be determined by using a preponderance of the evidence standard. A finding of a policy violation by a preponderance of the evidence means that it is more likely than not that the policy violation occurred. If, following the hearing, the decision is that no policy violation has occurred the process will end. Regardless of the outcome, the complainant, the respondent, and the Title IX Officer will be notified of the finding in writing.

      If, following a hearing, the student is found to have violated University policy, appropriate disciplinary sanctions will be determined after consultation with the Title IX Officer. The Dean of Students (or designee) will notify the respondent, the complainant, and the Title IX Officer in writing of the Dean of Students’ decision. This written decision must be issued within fifteen working days of the date of receipt of the investigative report from the Title IX Officer.

      b.    For Employees

      Upon receipt of the investigative report, the Title IX Officer will determine if this policy has been violated by using a preponderance of the evidence standard. A finding of a policy violation by a preponderance of the evidence means that it is more likely than not that the policy violation occurred. If the Title IX Officer decides that no policy violation has occurred, then the process will end. Regardless of the outcome, the complainant and the respondent will be notified of the finding in writing. The respondent’s department head/director, Dean, Vice President, and the President will also be notified of the finding.

      In the event that the employee violated University policy, the Vice President of the respondent will determine appropriate disciplinary sanctions based on the recommendation from the Title IX Officer. Regardless of the outcome, the complainant, the respondent, and the Title IX Officer will be notified in writing of the outcome within fifteen working days of the date of the notice from the Title IX Officer. If
      the Vice President serves as a party or witness in the investigation, the Title IX Officer’s recommendation will be sent to the President for determination of disciplinary sanctions.

      5.    Sanctions

      Sanctions will be recommended by the Title IX Officer and forwarded to the decision-making authority as noted above in Section IV.C.4. Factors considered when determining a sanction may include:

              • The nature of, severity of, and circumstances surrounding the violation
              • The respondent’s disciplinary history
              • Previously founded complaints or allegations against the respondent involving similar conduct
              • Any other information deemed relevant by the Title IX Officer
              • The need to bring an end to the discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation
              • The need to prevent the future recurrence of discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation
              • The need to remedy the effects of the discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation on the victim and the community

      a.    Student Sanctions

      The following are sanctions that may be imposed upon students under this policy:

                • Warning: A formal statement that the behavior was unacceptable and a warning that any further infraction of any University policy, procedure, or directive may result in more severe sanctions or responsive actions.
                • Probation: A written reprimand for violation of the Student Conduct Code that provides for more severe disciplinary sanctions in the event that the student or organization is found in viola­tion of any University policy, procedure, or directive within a specified period of time. Terms of the probation will be specified and may include denial of specified social privileges, exclusion from co-­curricular activities, no contact orders, and/or other measures deemed appropriate.
                • Deferred Suspension: A serious and final warning that any violation of university policy could result in immediate separation of the student from the University for a specified period of time, after which the student is eligible to return. Conditions for readmission may be specified.
                • Suspension: Termination of student status for a definite period of time and/or until specific criteria are met. This sanction will be noted as a Conduct Suspension on the student’s official transcript. Conditions for readmission may be specified.
                • Expulsion: Permanent termination of student status, revocation of rights to be on campus for any reason, and/or attend University-sponsored events. This sanction will be noted as a Conduct Expulsion on the student’s official transcript.
                • Withholding Diploma: The University may withhold a student’s diploma for a specified period of time and/or deny a student participation in commencement activities if the student has a complaint pending or as a sanction if the student is found responsible for an alleged violation.
                • Revocation of Degree: The University reserves the right to revoke a degree awarded from the University for fraud, misrepresentation, or other violation of University policies, procedures, or directives in obtaining the degree, or for other serious violations committed by a student prior to graduation.
                • Organizational Sanctions: Deactivation, de-recognition, or loss of all privileges (including University registration), for a specified period of time or permanently.
                • Other Actions: In addition to or in place of the above sanctions, the University may assign any other sanction(s) as deemed appropriate.

      b.    Employee Sanctions
      Sanctions for an employee who has violated this policy may include, but are not limited to, verbal or written warning, required counseling, training, demotion, reassignment, suspension with or without pay, and termination.

      6.    Appeals

      Appeals of the decision of the Dean of Students (for students) or the Vice President/President (for employees) may be filed by the complainant or the respondent or both. All requests for appeal considerations must be submitted in writing to the Title IX Officer within five business days of the date of the final written notice.

      Appeals are limited to allegations of the following:

              • A procedural error or omission occurred that significantly impacted the outcome.
              • There is new evidence, unknown or unavailable during the investigation, that could substantially impact the finding or sanction. A summary of this new evidence and its potential impact upon the investigation must be included in the appeal.
              • The sanctions imposed are substantially disproportionate to the severity of the violation.

      The original finding and sanction/responsive actions will stand if the appeal is not timely or is not based on the grounds listed above, and such a finding and sanction/responsive action(s) are final. When a party requests an appeal, the other party (parties) will be notified and given an opportunity to respond.

      For students:  In cases involving student conduct, a person designated by the Vice President for Student Affairs will review the appeal request(s).

      For employees:  In cases involving employee conduct, a person designated by the President will review the appeal request(s).

      Where the designee finds that at least one of the grounds is met, and proceeds with the appeal, additional principles governing the hearing of appeals include the following:

              • The original decision will only be changed when there is a compelling justification to do so.
              • Appeals are not intended to be full re-hearings of the complaint. Appeals are confined to a review of the written documentation or record of the original hearing and pertinent documentation regarding the grounds for appeal.
              • Sanctions will not be imposed pending the outcome of the appeal. Interim and/or protective actions may be imposed and/or continued as appropriate.
              • The designee will render a decision within ten business days to the Title IX Officer who will normally provide written notice of the appeal to all parties within two to three business days from the date of the appeal review.
              • All parties should be informed of whether the grounds for an appeal are accepted and the results of the appeal decision.
              • Once an appeal is decided, the outcome is final: further appeals are not permitted under this policy.

      7.    Failure to Complete Sanctions

      All respondents are expected to comply with conduct sanctions within the time frame specified in their written notice. Failure to follow through on conduct sanctions by the date specified, whether by refusal, neglect, or any other reason, may result in additional sanctions and/or suspension, expulsion, and/or termination from the University. For students, failure to comply may result in transcript notation and/or a hold to prevent future registration.

      V.    Remedial Actions

      In addition to the interim actions outlined in Section IV.C.1.b, the Title IX Officer (or designee) may provide remedial actions intended to address the short or long-term effects of harassment, discrimination, and/or retaliation. That is, remedial actions may be taken at the conclusion of the process in addition to any actions that may have been taken on an interim basis, in order to redress harm to the complainant and the community and to prevent further harassment or violations. Remedial actions may also be used when, in the judgment of the Title IX Officer (or designee), the safety or well-being of any member(s) of the campus community may be jeopardized by the presence on campus of the respondent or the ongoing activity of a student organization whose behavior is in question.

      These remedies may include referral to counseling and health services or to the Employee Assistance Program, education to the community, altering the housing situation of a respondent student or resident employee (or the alleged complainant, if desired), altering work arrangements, providing campus escorts, implementing contact limitations between the parties, or offering adjustments to academic deadlines and/or course schedules.

      VI. Statement of Rights for Complainants and Respondents

      Both complainants and respondents will be afforded the following rights under this policy:

        • To be treated with respect by University officials
        • To take advantage of campus support resources (such as Counseling Services and University Health Services for students, or EAP services for employees)
        • To experience a safe educational and work environment
        • To have an advisor (students) or representative (employees) during this process
        • To refuse to have an allegation resolved through informal procedures
        • To be free from retaliation
        • To have complaints heard in substantial accordance with these procedures
        • To reasonable and necessary participation in the process

        VII. Records
        In implementing this policy, records of all complaints, resolutions, and hearings will be kept by the Title IX Officer indefinitely in the Office of Compliance and Equity Management.

        VIII. Resources

        A.    University Title IX Officer and Deputy Coordinators

        Contact information on the Title IX Officer and Deputies can be found above in Section III.A. and at www.uni.edu/equity/title-ix-reporting.

        B.    External Sources

        A complainant may choose to file a complaint with the state and federal agencies listed below.

        Office for Civil Rights (OCR) – Chicago Office
        U.S. Department of Education
        Citigroup Center
        500 W. Madison Street, Suite 1475
        Chicago, IL 60661
        Phone: (312) 730-1560
        Fax: (312) 730-1576  TDD: (877) 521-2172
        Email: OCR.Chicago@ed.gov
        Web: www.ed.gov/ocr

        Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
        Reuss Federal Plaza
        310 W. Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 800
        Milwaukee, WI 53203-2292
        Phone: (800) 669-4000
        Fax: (414) 297-4133
        TTY: (800) 669-6820
        Web: www.eeoc.gov/

        Iowa Civil Rights Commission (ICRC)
        Grimes State Office Building
        400 E. 14th Street
        Des Moines, IA 50319
        Toll free: (800) 457-4416
        Phone: (515) 281-4121
        Fax: (515) 242-5840
        TDD: (877) 521-2172
        Web: https://icrc.iowa.gov/  

        C.    Iowa State Law Definitions

        1. Hazing
        Under Iowa Code § 708.10, a person commits an act of hazing when the person intentionally or recklessly engages in any act or acts involving forced activity which endanger the physical health or safety of a student for the purpose of initiation or admission into, or affiliation with, any organization operating in connection with a school, college, or university. Prohibited acts include, but are not limited to, any brutality of a physical nature such as whipping, forced confinement, or any other forced activity which endangers the physical health or safety of the student. Under § 708.10, forced activity means any activity which is a condition of initiation or admission into, or affiliation with, an organization, regardless of a student’s willingness to participate in the activity.
        2. Stalking
        Under Iowa Code § 708.11, a person commits stalking when all of the following occur: (a) The person purposefully engages in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear bodily injury to, or the death of, that specific person or a member of the specific person’s immediate family. (b) The person has knowledge or should have knowledge that the specific person will be placed in reasonable fear of bodily injury to, or the death of, that specific person or a member of the specific person’s immediate family by the course of conduct. (c) The person’s course of conduct induces fear in the specific person of bodily injury to, or the death of, the specific person or a member of the specific person’s immediate family.
        3. Bullying
        Harassment and bullying are defined in Iowa Code § 280.28 as any electronic, written, verbal, or physical act or conduct toward a student which is based on any actual or perceived trait or characteristic of the student and which creates an objectively hostile school environment that meets one or more of the following conditions: (1) Places the student in reasonable fear of harm to the student’s person or property.  (2) Has a substantially detrimental effect on the student’s physical or mental health. (3) Has the effect of substantially interfering with a student’s academic performance. (4) Has the effect of substantially interfering with the student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by a school.
        4. Domestic Violence and Dating Violence
        Domestic violence and dating violence are covered by Iowa Code § 236.2, which defines “domestic abuse.” Domestic abuse means committing assault as defined in section 708.1 (criminal assault) under any of the following circumstances:
                1. The assault is between family or household members who resided together at the time of the assault.
                2. The assault is between separated spouses or persons divorced from each other and not residing together at the time of the assault.
                3. The assault is between persons who are parents of the same minor child, regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together at any time.
                4. The assault is between persons who have been family or household members residing together within the past year and are not residing together at the time of the assault.
                5. (1) The assault is between persons who are in an intimate relationship or have been in an intimate relationship and have had contact within the past year of the assault. In determining whether persons are or have been in an intimate relationship, the court may consider the following nonexclusive list of factors: (a) The duration of the relationship. (b) The frequency of interaction. (c) Whether the relationship has been terminated. (d) The nature of the relationship, characterized by either party’s expectation of sexual or romantic involvement.
                                       (2) A person may be involved in an intimate relationship with more than one person at a time.

        D. Other University Policies
        3.02 Student Conduct Code

        13.03 Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination Statement
        13.19 Retaliation and Misconduct Reporting Policy
        13.20 Duty to Report Child Abuse
        13.15 Accommodations of Disabilities

        E. Support Resources
        uni.edu/safety

        Violence Intervention Services

        Revisions:  These policies and procedures will be reviewed and updated regularly by the Title IX Officer. The Title IX Officer may make minor modifications to procedure that do not materially change the process. However, the Title IX Officer may also vary procedures materially with notice (on the University’s policy website, with appropriate date of effect identified) upon determining that changes to law or regulation require policy or procedural alterations not reflected in this policy and procedure. Procedures in effect at the time of its implementation will apply. Policy in effect at the time of the offense will apply even if the policy is changed subsequently, unless the parties consent to be bound by the current policy or applicable law requires otherwise.
         
        Office of Compliance and Equity Management; and Office of Dean of Students, approved December 23, 2013
        President’s Cabinet, approved May 12, 2014
        President and Executive Management Team, approved June 6, 2014

         

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