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Southeastern Louisiana University, hereinafter referred to as Recipient, prohibits sexual harassment and is committed to providing a learning, working, and living environment that promotes integrity, civility, and mutual respect in an environment free from sexual harassment as provided in Title IX and other applicable laws. Recipient shall take prompt and appropriate action to investigate and effectively discipline those accused of such conduct in a manner consistent with the law and due process. Recipient shall provide support and assistance to those alleging sexual harassment and shall report instances of sexual harassment in accordance with law. Recipient will strive to create and maintain safe learning, working, and living environments for all individuals who participate in Recipient’s education programs and activities, including online instruction. Any non-confidential report of sexual harassment, as defined herein, must be investigated, addressed, and resolved by Recipient under the appropriate procedures as outlined in this policy.
This policy was designed to provide a grievance process for violations of Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments which (i) prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in educational institutions and (ii) requires colleges and universities receiving federal funding to combat gender-based violence and harassment, and respond to survivors’ needs in order to ensure that all students have equal access to education.
This policy applies to Recipient’s students and faculty/staff. This policy prohibits sexual harassment committed by or against students and faculty/staff by other students, faculty/staff, or third parties.
As to cases covered by Title IX, this policy applies when sexual harassment, as defined in the policy, occurs in Recipient’s education program or activity, against a person in the United States.
All other forms of Sexual Misconduct not covered by Title IX and the process for addressing same are contained in Recipient’s Power-Based Violence & Sexual Misconduct Policy.
The Title IX Grievance Procedure and its terms supersede any policies pertaining to the investigation or adjudication or “sexual harassment” as defined in this protocol, with the exception of certain procedures related to complaints against employees who are members of the State Civil Service or are tenured faculty members.
The USDOE’s Title IX Regulations apply to both:
A. Sexual Harassment (Sec. 106.30)
Sexual Harassment is defined as conduct on the basis of sex that satisfies one or more of the following criteria:
B. Education Program or Activity
An education program or activity includes locations, events, or circumstances in which Recipient exercises substantial control over both the Respondent and the context in which the sexual harassment occurs, and also includes any building owned or controlled by a student organization that is officially recognized by Recipient. The Title IX Regulations exclude any education program or activity that does not occur in the United States. (Sec. 106.44(a).)
As required by the Title IX Regulations, Recipient is to treat Complainants and Respondents equitably by: (1) offering Supportive Measures to a complainant, and (2) following a grievance process that complies with the procedural requirements of the Title IX Regulations before the imposition of any disciplinary sanctions against a Respondent. Sec. 106.44(a); Sec. 106.45(b)(1)(i).) Supportive Measures also may be offered as need to Respondents and other individuals who belong to Recipient’s community and who may be affected by sexual harassment.
An individual’s status as a Respondent shall not be considered a negative factor during any process under this policy. Respondents are entitled to, and will receive the benefit of, a presumption that they are not responsible for the alleged conduct unless and until the process concludes and a determination regarding responsibility issued. Similarly, a person’s status as a Complainant, Respondent, or witness will not determine whether that person is deemed credible. (Sec. 106.45(b)(1)(ii-iv).)
Remedies are to be provided to a Complainant only if the grievance process described in this policy results in a determination that the Respondent is responsible for sexual harassment. Remedies are designed to restore or preserve equal access to Recipient’s education program or activity and may include the same individualized serves as Supportive Measures. Remedies may be disciplinary and punitive and may burden a Respondent (Sec. 106.45(b)(1)(i).)
Title IX Coordinators, Investigators, Decision Makers, and any person who facilitates an informal resolution process (collectively, Title I Administrators) will not have a conflict of interest or bias in favor of or against any party or participant in sexual misconduct (i.e., Complainants, Respondents, or witnesses).
For purposes of these Title IX Grievance Procedures, key terms are defined as follows:
Actual Knowledge: Notice of sexual harassment or allegations of sexual harassment to an institution’s Title IX Coordinator or any official of Recipient who has authority to institute corrective measures on behalf of Recipient.
Complainant: An individual who is alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment.
Decision Maker: The individual or the panel that makes the decisions regarding the outcome of a hearing. Makes determinations regarding relevancy of questions in cross-examination. Writes and issues the written decision letter.
Formal Complaint: Under the Title IX Grievance Procedures, a document filed by Complainant or signed by the Title I Coordinator alleging sexual harassment against a Respondent and requesting that Recipient investigate the allegation. At the time of filing a Formal Complaint, a Complainant must be participating in or attempting to participate in the education program or activity of Recipient with which the Formal Complaint is filed. A Formal Complaint maybe filed with the Title IX Coordinator in person, by mail, by e-mail, or by any additional method designated by Recipient.
Investigator: The individual who collects statements and other evidence regarding a Formal Complaint of sexual harassment. The Investigator also writes a summary report.
Parties: The Complainant(s) and Respondents(s) involved in a Formal Complaint.
Perpetrator: An individual found guilty of sexual misconduct.
Recipient: An education entity receiving federal funds.
Relevance: The tendency of a given item of evidence to prove or disprove one of the legal elements of the case, or to have probative value (“tending to prove”) to make one of the elements of the case likelier or not.
Remedies. Methods of restoring or preserving equal access to Recipient’s education program or activity. Such remedies may include supportive measures; remedies need not be non-disciplinary or non-punitive and need not avoid burdening Respondent.
Respondent: An individual alleged to be the perpetrator of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment under Title IX.
Supportive Measures: Non-disciplinary, non-punitive individualized services offered as appropriate, as reasonably available, and without fee or charge to the parties before or after the filing of a Formal Complaint or where no Formal Complaint has been filed. Such measures are designed to restore or preserve equal access to the education program or activity without unreasonably burdening the other party, including measures designed to protect the safety of all parties or Recipient’s educational environment, or deter sexual harassment. Supportive Measures may include counseling, extensions of deadlines or other course-related adjustments, modifications of work or class schedules, campus escort services, mutual restrictions on contact between the parties, changes in work or housing locations, leaves of absence, increased security and monitoring of certain areas of the campus, and other similar measures.
Victim: An individual who, after all due investigation and/or adjudication, has been found
to be the target of sexual harassment.
This section outlines the steps taken to initiate a grievance and procedural requirements for investigations and adjudications of Formal Complaints in accordance with federal regulations.
Upon dismissal, Recipient must promptly send written notice of the dismissal and reason(s) simultaneously to the parties.
Upon Actual Knowledge of a Report of alleged sexual misconduct, the Title IX Office is required to perform an initial assessment consistent with information outlined in Section VI(A) and Section VI(B) in the Power-Based Violence & Sexual Misconduct Policy, which includes making initial contact with the alleged victim.
As soon as is practicable (but no later than five working days following actual notice), the individual investigating the complaint shall contact the Complainant and schedule an initial meeting. At the initial meeting the Investigator will:
If the initial assessment reveals that the alleged conduct does meet the definition of sexual harassment as contained within the USDOE’s Title IX Regulations, the investigation will proceed pursuant to the Title IX Formal Grievance Procedures below. If the alleged conduct does not meet the USDOE’s definition of sexual harassment, the investigation will be handled by the Office of Student Advocacy and Accountability pursuant to Recipient’s Power-Based Violence & Sexual Misconduct Policy.
Recipient, once in receipt of a report of sexual misconduct, shall take all reasonable measures to protect the privacy of the Complainant and of the Respondent, while promptly investigating and responding to the report. Recipient shall take appropriate action to maintain the confidentiality of the information reported, which information is subject to privacy requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”), while considering its responsibility to provide a safe and non-discriminatory environment for students, including the Complainant.
The Recipient will respect the confidentiality of alleged victims of possible sexual misconduct, consistent with Recipient’s legal obligations. Individuals who wish to report or discuss incidents of sexual misconduct should be aware that employees on campus have different reporting responsibilities and different abilities to maintain confidentiality or privacy, depending on their roles at the University.
A. Limited Confidentiality of Reports to Employees
When considering reporting options, Complainants should be aware that certain Recipient personnel must maintain strict confidentiality, while others have mandatory reporting and response obligations. Recipient personnel who are Mandatory Reporters and who receive a report of alleged sexual misconduct are required to share the information with appropriate administrative authorities for investigation and follow up. Recipient will protect a Complainant’s confidentiality by refusing to disclose his or her information to anyone outside Recipient to the maximum extent permitted by law. As for confidentiality of information within Recipient, Recipient must balance a Complainant’s request for confidentiality with its responsibility to provide a safe and non-discriminatory environment for the Recipient community.
B. Employees Required to Maintain Confidentiality
The following individuals are not required to report information about an incident to the Title IX Officer without a Complainant’s permission. Non-reporters include physical and mental health professionals, including licensed counselors who provide mental health counseling to members of the University community and those who act under the supervision of a health care employee. Those offices are:
University Counseling Center
University Health Center
These offices will maintain confidentiality in accordance with the law and their professional rules of conduct. They will assist in a crisis and provide information about possible resources, some of which may include law enforcement, medical assistance, psychological counseling, victim advocacy assistance, legal assistance, University disciplinary action, immigration services, and criminal prosecution. They will not reveal the Complainant’s identity to anyone without the Complainant’s permission except under very limited exceptions (e.g., if an immediate threat to the complainant or others is present, or if the complainant is a minor). Complainants need not reveal their names if calling these individuals for information. These offices are obligated to report complaints to the University Police Department for purposes of the Clery Act but not in a way that identifies an alleged victim or an accused individual unless otherwise required to do so by law.
C. Confidentiality Requests and Supportive Measures
Recipient’s inability to take disciplinary action against a Respondent accused of
sexual misconduct because of a Complainant’s insistence of confidentiality will not
restrict the Recipient’s ability to provide appropriate Supportive Measures for the
reasonable safety of the Complainant or the Recipient community. Recipient may also
use the information as an anonymous report for data collection purposes under the
D. Victim Identity Protected from Open Records
The identity of those complaining of sexual misconduct will be withheld unless mandated by court order or otherwise required to be released by law.
Both parties may appeal a determination regarding responsibility, and of a dismissal by Recipient of a Formal Complaint or any allegations therein, on the following bases:
The dismissal of a Formal Complaint or any allegations contained therein may also be appealed.
An employee appeal must be directed to the President or his/her designee within ten (10) working days of being notified of the decision. Such appeals shall be in writing and shall be delivered to the President. The rendered sanction is in effect as of the date identified on the sanction letter, or until an appeal is granted. Supportive Measures will continue to remain in place during the appeal process. All other parties shall be notified in writing in the event any party files an appeal. Parties shall be given a reasonable opportunity to submit a written statement in support of, or challenging, the outcome. Within ten working days, the President’s final and unreviewable decision will be made available to the participating parties, in writing, simultaneously.
At any time prior to reaching a determination regarding responsibility, Recipient may facilitate an informal resolution process, such as mediation, that does not involve a full investigation and adjudication. Recipient may not offer an informal resolution process unless a Formal Complaint has been filed. Recipient shall not require the parties to participate in an informal resolution process and will not require them to waive their right to a formal grievance process. (Sec. 106.45(b)(9)).
The informal resolution process shall not be allowed in any case where an employee of Recipient is a Respondent.
Recipient may not require as a condition of enrollment or continuing enrollment, or employment or continuing employment, or enjoyment of any other right, waiver of the right to an investigation and adjudication of Formal Complaints. Likewise, Recipient may not require the parties to participate in an informal resolution process.
Acts or attempted acts for the purpose of interfering with any report, investigation, or proceeding under the policy, or as retribution or revenge against anyone who has reported Sexual Harassment, or who has participated (or is expected to participate) in any manner in an investigation or proceeding under this policy. Prohibited retaliatory acts include, but are not limited to, intimidation, threats, coercion, and discrimination. Title IX prohibits retaliation. For purposes of this policy, an attempt requires a substantial step towards committing a violation.
Recipient must maintain, for seven (7) years, records of:
Recipient must create and maintain, for seven (7) years, records of any action, including any Supportive Measures, taken in response to a report or Formal Complaint of Sexual Harassment. In each instance, Recipient must document the basis for its conclusion that its response was not deliberately indifferent, and document that it has taken measures designed to restore or preserve equal access to its education program or activity. If Recipient does not provide a Complainant with Supportive Measures, then it must document the reasons why such a response was not clearly unreasonable in light of the known circumstance. The documentation of certain cases or measures does not limit Recipient in the future from providing additional explanations or detailing addition measures taken.
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