General Policy Statement

The University of Saint Mary, in compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972, prohibits sex discrimination in all of its programs and activities.  Sex discrimination may include incidents of sexual harassment and sexual violence, as defined below.   

Violations of this policy will be investigated according to the Title IX Grievance Complaint Procedures and can lead to disciplinary action, up to and including disciplinary dismissal.

Sex Discrimination

Sex discrimination in any educational program or activity is prohibited.  Sex discrimination is behavior or action that denies or limits a person’s ability to benefit from, fully participate in educational programs or activities or employment opportunities because of a person’s sex.  Examples of the types of discrimination that are covered under Title IX include, but are not limited to, sexual harassment, sexual violence, sexual assault, failure to provide equal opportunity in educational programs and co-curricular programs including athletics, discrimination based on pregnancy, and employment discrimination. 

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment can constitute sex discrimination, when it denies or limits a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s program and activities.   Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, written, physical, or nonverbal conduct of a sexual nature is a form of sexual harassment prohibited by Title IX and the University of Saint Mary.

Sexual harassment denies or limits a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s programs and activities, when:

  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of any aspect of the University’s programs and activities;

  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct by a person is used as a basis for any decision adversely affecting such person with respect to the University’s programs and activities; or

  • Such conduct is severe or pervasive, such that, considering all relevant circumstances, the conduct denies or limits a person’s ability to participate in the University’s programs and activities.

Notwithstanding the above, the University reserves the right to resolve, investigate, and/or take disciplinary action against any improper conduct of a sexual nature even though such conduct is not of the type, severity, or pervasiveness that constitutes sex discrimination or sexual harassment under this policy.

Examples of prohibited conduct include, but are not limited to, requiring sex or sexual favors in exchange for participation in any aspect of any university educational, university-sponsored or university-financed program or activity, lewd or sexually suggestive comments, slurs, or other verbal or written messages, including electronic mail messages, physical or nonverbal conduct relating to an individual’s gender, or any other display of sexually offensive material, including such things as pictures, greeting cards, articles, books, magazines, photos, cartoons, and causing sexually offensive material to appear on any electronic communication or other written material. 

Other examples of sexual harassment include:

  • Pressure for a dating, romantic, or intimate relationship

  • Unwelcome touching, kissing, hugging, or massaging

  • Pressure for sexual activity

  • Unnecessary references to parts of the body

  • Unwelcome commentary about an individual’s sexual activities

  • Threatening to engage in the commission of an unwelcome sexual act with another person

  • Sexual innuendos or sexual humor

  • Obscene gestures

  • Sexually explicit profanity

  • Asking about, or telling about, sexual fantasies

  • E-mail and Internet use that violates this policy

  • Engaging in indecent exposure or voyeurism

  • Sexual violence (as defined below)

Sexual harassment can occur between members of the opposite sex and members of the same sex, and both males and females can engage in conduct that is considered sexual harassment.

Violation of this policy is grounds for disciplinary action, up to and including disciplinary dismissal. 

Sexual Violence

Sexual violence (which is also known as sexual assault) is a severe form of sexual harassment. Sexual violence includes physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent because of his or her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity or because of his or her youth.  A single instance of sexual violence may be sufficiently severe to deny or limit a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s programs or activities, and, therefore, constitute sex discrimination.

Some examples of sexual violence include:

  • Sexual intercourse (anal, oral, or vaginal) by a man or woman upon a man or woman without consent

  • Unwilling sexual penetration (anal, vaginal, or oral) with any object or body part that is committed by force, threat, or intimidation

  • Sexual touching with an object or body part, by a man or woman upon a man or woman, without consent

  • Sexual touching with an object or body part, by a man or woman upon a man or woman, committed by force, threat, or intimidation

  • Prostituting another student

  • Non-consensual video or audio-taping of sexual activity

  • Knowingly transmitting a sexually transmitted disease to another



Lack of consent is a critical factor in determining whether sexual violence has occurred.  Consent is informed, freely given, and mutually understood.  Consent requires an affirmative act or statement by each participant.  Consent is not passive.

  • If coercion, intimidation, threats, and/or physical force are used, there is no consent.

  • If a person is mentally or physically incapacitated or impaired by alcohol or drugs such that the person cannot understand the fact, nature, or extent of the sexual situation, there is no consent.

  • If a person is asleep or unconscious, there is no consent.

  • Consent to one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity.

  • Consent can be withdrawn.  A person who initially consents to sexual activity is deemed not to have consented to any sexual activity that occurs after he or she withdraws consent.


Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking

The crimes of domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking can also constitute sexual harassment when motivated by a person’s sex.

Domestic Violence

  • The Violence Against Women Act (“VAWA”) defines domestic violence as follows:  “Domestic violence” includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of a victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner, by a person similarly situated to a spouse or the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction […], or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction.

  • For the Kansas definition of domestic violence see:

    • Kansas Statutes Annotated § 21-511


Dating Violence


  • VAWA defines Dating Violence as follows: “Dating violence” means violence committed by a person:

    • (A) who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature  with the victim; and

    • (B) where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a  consideration of the following factors:

      • (i)  The length of the relationship.

      • (ii)  The type of relationship.

      • (iii) The frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the  relationship.

  • For the Kansas definition of domestic violence see:

    • Kansas Statutes Annotated § 21-511





  • VAWA defines Stalking as follows: “Stalking” means engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to:

    • (A) fear for his or her safety or the safety of others; or

    • (B) suffer substantial emotional distress.

  • For the Kansas definition of domestic violence see:

    • Kansas Statutes Annotated § 21-5427


Bringing a Complaint

In addition to its moral obligation, the university has an obligation, under Title IX, to fully investigate all allegations and actions whether or not outside legal action is taken.  The university also has an obligation under Title IX to protect those who bring complaints against retaliation.  Complaints may be filed by the harmed individual(s) and by outside parties who have knowledge of the incident(s). 

If you or someone you know has been harmed through violations of this policy, there are several avenues for bringing a complaint against another student, employee, or contractor of the university. 

Complaints may be filed electronically, through Maxient Conduct Manager.™  Students, as well as employees, may alert the university through this system.  Students may file these reports anonymously.  Employees may not file reports anonymously.  To file a report about an incident or concern you may access eSpire from the University of Saint Mary main web page ( Within eSpire, select “Report a Concern” from any quick link section.  You may also access the "Report a Concern" link rom the Campus Safety and Security web page which is available to the public ( or directly via

Complaints may be filed directly by contacting the assistant dean of student services, site director, assistant director of residence life, athletic director, vice president of student life, assistant director of facilities or the director of human resources. These personnel will direct the complaint to the Title IX Coordinator.  Any other employee who receives information regarding an incident of sex discrimination, sexual harassment or sexual violence has a duty to provide such information to the Title IX Coordinator.  Students are encouraged to make such reports.

In the event a complainant requests confidentiality or asks that a complaint not be investigated, the University will take all reasonable steps to investigate and respond to the complaint consistent with the request for confidentiality or request not to pursue an investigation.  If a complainant insists that his or her name not be disclosed to the alleged perpetrator, the University’s ability to respond may be limited.  The University reserves the right to initiate and proceed with an investigation despite a complainant’s request for confidentiality in limited circumstances involving serious or repeated conduct or where the alleged perpetrator may pose a continuing threat to the university community.  If confidentiality has been requested and records must me made public for the benefit of legal complaiance and/or community safety, the institution will protect complainant confidentiality by withholding the complainant's identify to the extent permissable by law.

The University of Saint Mary will allow for internal no-contact orders, and honor any external orders of protection, restraining orders, or similar orders issued by a criminal, civil, or tribal court. The institution will provide options for, and offer assistance in, changing academic, living, transportation, and working situations if those changes are requested by the complainant and reasonably available, regardless of whether the complainant reports the offence to campus safety and security or local police.

Students may file a grievance by contacting the Title IX coordinator at the University of Saint Mary.  The Title IX Coordinator is the University employee responsible for coordinating the dissemination of information and education programs to (1) assist members of the University community in understanding this policy; (2) ensure that investigators are trained to respond to and investigate complaints; (3) ensure that employees and students are aware of the procedures for reporting and addressing complaints; and (4) implement the Title IX Grievance Complaint Procedures.  These procedures provide prompt, fair, and impartial investigation and resolution of complaints conducted by officials who receive annual training on issues related to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking, as well as how to conduct a hearing process that protects complainant safety and promotes accountability. Both complainant and accused are entitled to have others present during an internal disciplinary proceeding, including the opportunity to be accompanied to any related meeting by an advisor of their choice. Both accuser and accused will receive simultaneous written notice of the outcome of the disciplinary hearing, the institution’s appeal procedures, any change to the results before the results are final, and when the results become final.

The University of Saint Mary offers education programs promoting the prevention of rape, acquaintance rape, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking including an online primary awareness program for incoming students and new employees, as well as bystander intervention training(s) to promote ongoing awareness for current students and employees. Current students and employees who started work before the online module was available may participate in it by contacting the Title IX Coordinator or either of the Deputy Title IX Coordinators.

Contact information for the Title IX Coordinator is listed below: 

Sarah B. Kent
Title IX Coordinator & Chief Compliance Officer
Saint Mary Hall, Room 101
4100 South 4th Street
Leavenworth, KS  66048

A person may also file a complaint with the United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights regarding an alleged violation of Title IX by visiting or by calling 1-800-421-3481.  The local office is at 8930 Ward Parkway, Ste. 2037, Kansas City, MO 64114-3302.  Contact information for the local office is as follows:   Phone--(916) 268-0550; Fax:--(816) 823-1404;


Retaliation against any person(s) who files a grievance complaint or person(s) who participate in an investigation of a complaint, whether by an individual directly involved or by his/her associates, is a violation of law and University policy.  Complainants who utilize these procedures or persons who participate in an investigation of a complaint should not be subjected to retaliation. Retaliation may take the form of unwanted personal contact from the respondent or giving additional assignments that are not assigned to others in similar situations, poor grades or unreasonable course assignments.  Phone calls, e-mail or other attempts to discuss the complaint may be perceived as retaliation under certain circumstances. Disciplinary action, harassment, unsupported evaluations, or other adverse changes in the conditions of employment or the educational environment may also constitute retaliation.  Retaliation will not be tolerated and could result in suspension, reassignment, salary reduction, termination, expulsion or other disciplinary action. 

Complaint Resolution

The university has a responsibility to adequately and impartially investigate all complaints in a timely fashion, to notify the complainant and respondent of the outcome of the investigation and to prevent reoccurrences, consistent with the nature and severity of the violations of this policy.  The Title IX Grievance Complaint Procedures have been written to meet these responsibilities.

Revised:  08/05/2014, 09/26/2014, 02/19/2015, 07/10/2015