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 Complaints 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
     

 

Consent


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

 

 

Stalking

 

  • 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 student 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, faculty, staff, or contractor of the university. 

Complaints may be filed electronically, through Maxient Conduct Manager.™  Students, as well as faculty and staff, may alert the university through this system.  Students may file these reports anonymously.  To file a report about an incident or concern access eSpire from the University of Saint Mary main web page (www.stmary.edu). Within eSpire, select “Report a Concern” from any quick link section. 

Complaints may be filed directly by contacting the director of campus safety and security, site director, director of residence life, 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.

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.

Contact information for the Title IX Coordinator is listed below: 

Teresa Lee
Title IX Coordinator
Director of Human Resources
University of Saint Mary
Mead Hall, Rm. 200
4100 S. 4th ST.
Leavenworth, KS 66048
(913) 758-4359
Teresa.lee@stmary.edu

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 www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/complaintintro.html 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; Email--OCR.KansasCity@ed.gov.
 

Retaliation


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