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- Sexual Misconduct and Complaint Procedures Policy
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Sexual Misconduct and Complaint Procedures Policy
Marywood University (the “University”) “honors the uniqueness and dignity of each human person” (Core Values of Marywood University, Respect). The University declares and affirms a commitment to maintaining a healthy and safe learning, living and working environment for all members of the Marywood community. Marywood does not condone and will not tolerate sexual harassment or sexual violence of any kind. The University prohibits rape, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking as well as discrimination or harassment based on sex.
Marywood University does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its educational programs and in other activities operated by the University and is required by Title IX, and specifically 34 C.F.R. Part 106.9, not to discriminate in such a manner. This extends to employees of and applicants for admission to Marywood University. Inquiries concerning the application of Title IX may be directed to the Title IX Coordinator or a Deputy Title IX Coordinator for the University, or to the Assistant Secretary for the Office of Civil Rights of the United States Department of Education.
Marywood University is committed to taking all necessary steps to comply with any obligations it may have under Title IX of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, and the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination (Campus SaVE) Act of 2013. These are explicit civil and legal applications of the formulation of beliefs already cherished in Marywood’s religious commitment, objectives, and practices.
The Marywood University Sexual Misconduct and Complaint Procedures Policy (“the Policy”) applies to all faculty, staff, administration, employees, students, volunteers and visitors on campus property. Additionally, the Policy applies to the conduct of all faculty, staff, administration, employees, students, volunteers and visitors at off-campus University-sponsored events, including, but not limited to, academic and educational programming, internships, study abroad programs, athletic events, and all other University programming, as well as to the conduct of all faculty, staff, administration, employees, students, volunteers and visitors occurring off-campus but having an effect on the University’s educational environment.
Preservation of Evidence
The preservation of evidence in incidents of sexual violence is critical and particularly time-sensitive. The University administrator, faculty or staff member who first hears such an incident from a complainant will inform the complainant of the importance of preserving evidence by taking the following actions:
- Seek medical assistance at the hospital, ideally within 72 hours of the incident.
- Do not shower, bathe, wash hands or face, or douche.
- Try not to urinate.
- If oral contact took place, refrain from smoking, eating, drinking, or brushing teeth.
- If clothes are changed, place soiled clothes in a paper bag (plastic destroys evidence).
During the initial meeting between the complainant and the University Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator, the importance of taking those actions will be reiterated.
Anyone believing s/he has been the victim of or a witness to, or otherwise has reason to believe or become aware of discrimination, harassment, stalking or other forms of violence based on sex by, or involving, any member of the University community, guests or visitors on University property, any property controlled by the University, including off-campus University sponsored events, or off-campus should report the incident as soon as possible to the Title IX Coordinator or one of the Deputy Title IX Coordinators.
Individuals who wish to report an instance of sexual harassment or misconduct should report to the identified individual below:
Dr. Patricia E. Dunleavy, Associate Vice President for Human Resources
Title IX Coordinator – for complaints against a member of the faculty, staff or administration
86 Liberal Arts Center
Dr. Amy Paciej-Woodruff, Assistant Vice President for Student Life
Deputy Title IX Coordinator – for complaints against students
202 Nazareth Student Center
Mr. Ross Novak, Senior Director of Student Conduct and Residence Life
Deputy Title IX Coordinator - for complaints against students
The Tony Domiano Center for Student Life
Dr. Alan M. Levine, Vice President for Academic Affairs
Deputy Title IX Coordinator – for complaints against a member of the faculty
200 Liberal Arts Center
Ms. Meghan Cruciani, Assistant Vice President for Student Success
Deputy Title IX Coordinator – for complaints against a member of the staff or administration
227 Liberal Arts Center
The Associate Vice President for Human Resources, Title IX Coordinator, in consultation with the President, will decide the appropriate course of action in cases where a conflict of interest is evident or possible.
Any member of the Marywood community may call the University Whistleblower Hot Line at 855-278-2074 and/or use the Internet based reporting system at http://marywood.ethicspoint.com. See the University Whistleblower Policy for details.
The University strongly encourages and expects all members of the University community to report suspected or actual incidents involving discrimination, harassment and violence based on sex. University faculty, staff and administrators who know, or in the exercise of reasonable care should have known, of discrimination, harassment or assault based on sex and who fail to appropriately handle the report of the incident may be subject to disciplinary action.
Marywood University will fully investigate every report of perceived discrimination, harassment or assault based on sex. The University will not allow any form of retaliation against individuals who report claims or who cooperate in the investigation of such reports in accordance with this policy.
Cases involving alleged discrimination, harassment or violence based on sex demand special attention to issues of confidentiality. Dissemination of information relating to these cases is limited so as to insure, as fully as possible, the privacy of the individuals involved. Additionally if the complainant wishes to remain anonymous, or not pursue a formal complaint, the complainant should be advised that the University’s response may be limited. Furthermore, because of the University’s obligation to maintain a safe environment for all members of the University community, the University may have an obligation to pursue an investigation without the complainant’s cooperation. In such cases, the University will take preventative measures to preserve confidentiality to the extent permissible by applicable law.
Complainants who wish to report in strict confidentiality should refer to applicable federal, state, or local law regarding confidentiality and privilege and then consult a professional counselor or ordained member of the clergy.
Complainants have the right to review options and available assistance for interim changes to academic, living, transportation and working conditions. If the complainant requests such an accommodation, and the accommodation is reasonably available, the University will take action to implement the requested accommodation. Any interim remedial action will not inconvenience the complainant.
Drug and Alcohol Amnesty
This policy assures the University community that when a complainant’s health and safety are in danger due to intoxication, alcohol poisoning or other drug-related emergencies, complainants who seek help for themselves or others will not be subject to conduct action for a violation of the University alcohol and other controlled substances regulations, including the Drug-Free Workplace Policy, the Code of Conduct Policy, and the Alcohol and Controlled Substances Policy for Students. Further, all members of the Marywood community should, and are encouraged to, report all known and suspected incidents relating to sexual discrimination, including harassment, assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking when drugs and alcohol are involved. Generally, no one will be penalized for violating the University’s alcohol and other controlled substances policies when reporting such related incidents. (See “Sanctions” below.)
Marywood University encourages complainants to pursue criminal charges against the person(s) believed to have committed the act in violation of this policy. The University has personnel on staff who can explain criminal complaint procedures and assist complainants in beginning the process and filing a complaint. Additionally, if necessary, University administrators will notify the appropriate law enforcement officials in accordance with any obligations under federal, state and local laws. Police investigation and legal prosecution are conducted outside of and in addition to University procedures. Criminal charges and a disciplinary charge may be pursued at the same time. However, the complainant need not pursue criminal charges in order to file a disciplinary charge with the University. Should the complainant elect to proceed with both, however, the University will comply with and help to enforce any applicable judicial no-contact, restraining, and protective order.
Complainants are encouraged to seek assistance both on-and off-campus, as needed, to address issues stemming from the incident. A list of services both on-and off-campus is included below.
Consent means an informed, freely given agreement, communicated by clearly understandable words or actions, to participate in each form of sexual activity. Consent cannot be inferred from silence, passivity, or lack of active resistance. A current or previous dating or sexual relationship is not sufficient to constitute consent, and consent to one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity. By definition, there is no consent when there is a threat of force or violence or any other form of coercion or intimidation, physical or psychological. A person who is the object of sexual aggression is not required to physically or otherwise resist the aggressor; the lack of informed, freely given consent to sexual contact constitutes sexual misconduct.
Dating violence is defined as physical, sexual, or psychological/emotional violence within a dating relationship.
Domestic violence is defined as sexual or intimate partners engaging in one or more of the following acts:
- Attempting to cause or intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing bodily injury, serious bodily injury, rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault, or indecent assault with or without a deadly weapon;
- Placing another in reasonable fear of imminent serious bodily injury;
- Inflicting false imprisonment;
- Knowingly engaging in a course of conduct or repeatedly committing acts toward another person, including following the person, without proper authority, under circumstances which place the person in reasonable fear of bodily injury.
Off-campus property includes, but is not limited to, University programming, internships, study abroad programs and sporting events.
Rape is defined as an individual engaging in sexual intercourse with another individual:
- by forcible compulsion;
- by threat of forcible compulsion that would prevent resistance by a person of reasonable resolution;
- when the other individual is unconscious or is unaware that the sexual intercourse is occurring;
- where the individual has substantially impaired the other individual’s power to appraise or control his or her conduct by administering or employing, without the knowledge of the complainant, drugs, intoxicants or other means for the purpose of preventing resistance; or
- where the other individual suffers from a mental disability which renders the complainant incapable of consent.
Sexual assault is defined as threats of, or deliberate physical contact of a sexual nature that is against another person’s will or without consent. Examples of such behavior include, but are not limited to the following:
- deliberate physical contact of a lewd type, including brushing, touching, grabbing, pinching, patting, hugging and kissing;
- deliberate or reckless threats, actual or implied, of physical contact of a sexual nature that results in reasonable fear of sexual assault or physical harm;
- coerced sexual activities, including rape. Rape, the most severe type of sexual assault, is legally defined in Pennsylvania as sexual intercourse that is coerced through force or threats of force, or with someone who is unconscious or with someone who is so mentally deranged or deficient as to be incapable of consent.
Examples of sexual harassment include unwelcome or unsolicited sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
- submission to such conduct is made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of an individual’s employment or education; or
- submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for employment or educational decisions affecting such individual; or
- such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially or unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or educational performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment.
Other examples of sexual harassment include: obscene gestures, visual harassment such as derogatory cartoons, posters and drawings, sexually explicit e-mail, texting, or voice mail and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature such as uninvited touching of a sexual nature or sexually related comments. Depending upon the circumstances, prohibited conduct can also include sexual joking, vulgar or offensive conversation or jokes, commenting about an individual’s physical appearance, conversation about an individual’s own or someone else’s sex life, teasing or other conduct directed toward a person because of his or her gender which is sufficiently severe or pervasive to create a hostile working environment. It may range from inappropriate sexual suggestions to coerced sexual relations.
Stalking is defined as engaging in a course of conduct or repeatedly committing acts towards another person, including following the person without proper authority, under circumstances which demonstrate either an intent to place the other person in reasonable fear of bodily injury or to cause substantial emotional distress to the other person or engaging in a course of conduct or repeatedly communicating to another person under circumstances which demonstrate or communicate either an intent to place such other person in reasonable fear of bodily injury or to cause substantial emotional distress to the other person.
Individuals are encouraged to file complaints with the Title IX Coordinator or the appropriate Deputy Title IX Coordinator. Once a report of an incident is made to the Title IX Coordinator or a Deputy Coordinator by a witness to an incident or an individual comes forward to report an incident of sexual harassment or other form of sexual misconduct, the Title IX Coordinator or a Deputy Coordinator will meet with the alleged victim to discuss the importance of preserving evidence, the right to file a criminal complaint, potential interim accommodations, and the right to file a complaint with the University.
If the complainant chooses to file a complaint with the University, the individual may proceed formally or informally.
In situations when the complainant elects to proceed informally, the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator will determine the steps to take to resolve the issue. The parties may elect to resolve the matter through mediation UNLESS the situation involves sexual assault and/or sexual violence. Should the complainant elect to proceed informally, s/he may elect to stop the informal process at any time and proceed through the formal process.
If the complainant decides to proceed formally, either initially or after opting out of the informal process, the complainant should submit within ten (10) working days a formal complaint, preferably in writing, to the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator who originally fielded the complaint. The complaint must include detailed factual information concerning the incident(s), and should include what the complainant feels will correct the situation. The Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator will appoint an investigator from a pool of trained faculty, administrators and professional staff.
Within five (5) working days after receipt of a formal complaint, the investigator will commence a thorough investigation. Investigations will be conducted as expeditiously as possible. The entire process, as outlined below, should be completed within sixty (60) calendar days after the complaint, either formal or informal, is filed. This timeframe may vary, however, depending on confidentiality requests, availability of witnesses, the scope of the investigation and any unforeseen circumstances.
Within ten (10) working days after the initiation of the investigation, and every ten (10) working days thereafter until receipt of the final outcome, the investigator must provide, simultaneously, a written summary of the complaint and the proceedings to date to both the complainant and the alleged offender.
Should the investigation include meetings with the complainant and/or the alleged offender, the complainant and the alleged offender are permitted to be accompanied by the advisor of their choice.
Upon conclusion of the investigation, the Title IX Coordinator (in conjunction with the Deputy Title IX Coordinator for cases involving student complaints against students) will appoint a hearing panel of three independent members from the pool of trained investigators. The investigator will present his/her findings to the hearing panel, who may question the investigator, the complainant, and/or the alleged offender.
The hearing panel will determine, based on a preponderance of the evidence, whether the alleged offender violated the Policy. The hearing panel will then provide conclusions and disciplinary recommendations to the Title IX Coordinator (and the Deputy Title IX Coordinator as appropriate). After a decision is made concerning resolution of the complaint and any disciplinary actions to be imposed, the Title IX Coordinator (or the Deputy Title IX Coordinator as appropriate) will notify simultaneously the complainant and the alleged offender in writing of the outcome of the investigation.
If the alleged offender is found to have violated the Policy, action will be taken to eliminate the discriminatory or harassing conduct, including but not limited to extending the interim remedial actions, as well as issuing a warning, no contact order, suspension, transfer, discharge or dismissal of the offender or anyone making a knowingly false complaint. In situations where the alleged offender is found to have violated the Policy by committing stalking, the recommended sanctions include no contact order, suspension, transfer, and in extreme situations and at the University’s discretion, discharge or dismissal from the University. In situations where the alleged offender is found to have violated the Policy by committing sexual assault, rape, domestic violence, or dating violence, the recommended sanction will be suspension or dismissal from the University. The University reserves the right to modify sanctions depending on the facts and circumstances of the particular incident.
Students involved in such incidents will be required to meet with the Senior Director of Student Conduct and Residence Life or designee shortly thereafter to address the issues that caused the risk to the student’s well-being. To assist students in learning from the experience, the student(s) may be required to complete an alcohol/other drug assessment and/or to participate in counseling. Only in the case of a repeated pattern of similar incidents or failure to cooperate, the Senior Director of Student Conduct and Residence Life may review the situation on an individual basis and determine whether conduct action and/or potential sanctions are appropriate. If additional or egregious policy violations occur during the same incident, the Senior Director of Student Conduct and Residence Life reserves the right to adjudicate the non-alcohol related violations.
Employees involved in such incidents may be subject to other existing University policies for repeated patterns of similar incidents, failure to cooperate, or additional or egregious policy violations.
Either party, if not satisfied with the final outcome of the hearing panel and the Title IX Coordinator/Deputy Title IX Coordinator, will have ten (10) working days after receipt of the outcome to file an appeal for one of the following reasons:
- The presentation of new evidence;
- Allegation that relevant evidence was not considered;
- Allegation of procedural error;
- Disproportionate sanctions.
Appeals must be in writing and submitted to the Associate Vice President for Human Resources, Title IX Coordinator, who will determine, within 3 days, whether the appeal has merit based on one of the above-stated reasons. The Associate Vice President for Human Resources, Title IX Coordinator will then forward the written appeal to the President of the University. Within five (5) working days the President will direct the appeal to the appropriate University body, described below. The appeals committee will have thirty (30) working days to review and make a recommendation to the President of the University. The appeals committee may review the initial investigation as well as independently investigate the claim. Within ten (10) working days after receipt of the recommendation from the appeals committee the President of the University will provide a written response to both parties in the original complaint. The decision of the President of the University is final and binding.
Claims against Faculty Members including Librarians, Administrators, Professional Staff, and Support Staff
The President of the University will appoint and convene a committee of five (5) employees comprised of professional staff, administrators and/or faculty who are independent of the claim.
Claims against Students
The President of the University will refer the appeal to the Vice President for Enrollment Services and Student Success who will convene an Appeal Board. The Appeal Board will review the complaint and make a recommendation to the Vice President for Enrollment Services and Student Success who will notify the President of the recommendation.
Retaliation of any kind is prohibited. Anyone who reports an actual or suspected incident of harassment, discrimination or violence based on sex, or who participates in an investigation, will not be subjected to retaliation. If a Complainant or witness believes s/he has been subjected to retaliation s/he should contact the Associate Vice President for Human Resources, Title IX Coordinator or the Senior Director of Student Conduct and Residence Life, Deputy Title IX Coordinator. Anyone found to be in violation of this retaliation provision will be subject to disciplinary action.
A list of Marywood University and community resources is available below and in the Human Resources Office, the Senior Director of Student Conduct and Residence Life Office, the Student Health Services Office, the Office of Disabilities Services and the Counseling and Student Development Center.
Students are encouraged to use the services of the Counseling and Student Development Center, the Student Health Services Office and the Office of Disabilities Services on campus. Employees are encouraged to contact the University’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) or the Associate Vice President for Human Resources for a list of providers.
On Campus Resources:
Counseling and Student Development Center
Dr. Robert Shaw, Director
McGowan Center Room 1017
Senior Director of Student Conduct and Residence Life Office
Mr. Ross Novak, Senior Director of Student Conduct and Residence Life/Deputy Title IX Coordinator
The Tony Domiano Center for Student Life
Office of Disabilities Services
Ms. Diane Webber, Associate Director
Liberal Arts Center Room 223
Human Resources Office
Dr. Patricia E. Dunleavy, Associate Vice President/Title IX Coordinator
Liberal Arts Center Room 86
Student Health Services Office
Ms. Linda McDade, RN, Director
Loughran Hall Terrace Level
Geisinger Community Medical Center
1800 Mulberry Street
Scranton PA 18510
Moses Taylor Hospital
700 Quincy Avenue
Scranton PA 18510
Regional Hospital of Scranton
746 Jefferson Avenue
Scranton PA 18510
Women’s Resource Center