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UNV Title IX
Trigger Warning! This training discusses topics relating to sexual harassment and sexual assault that may be difficult or triggering for someone who has experienced these behaviors. If you need to take a break, it is okay! If you would like to be connected to campus resources, please contact email@example.com.
What Is Title IX?
While it is often thought of as a law that applies to athletic programs, Title IX has a much broader reach than athletics, and impacts all of the students, faculty, and staff of Grand Canyon University.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a federal law that prohibits sex and gender-based discrimination in education programs and activities that receive federal funds. This includes gender-based harassment, and also includes sexual misconduct and sexual violence as forms of sex discrimination. Title IX applies equally to males and females in all educational programs and activities at GCU, including athletics, extracurricular activities and other programs and events. In addition to Title IX, GCU also complies with the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which amended the Clery Act to give additional rights to campus victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.
GCU will respond to alleged incidents of sexual and gender-based misconduct that occurred on campus, that were part of an official university program or activity (regardless of location), or where the reporting party and responding party are students, faculty, staff, administration, or a third-party vendor of the university (regardless of location).
Right now, some of you may be thinking, “I am an online only student. Does this requirement apply to me?” Our policies protect all students, regardless of their location. Therefore, it is important for online students to learn about our Title IX program, because prohibited conduct does not require physical touching. Various forms of misconduct, such as sexual harassment and stalking, can occur in the online environment. You may also find the information to be helpful to you outside of the online classroom.
GCU’s commitment to complying with these regulations helps to ensure our school is a safe and responsible learning and working environment. So it is important that all students, faculty, and staff are aware of GCU’s policy regarding sexual harassment and sexual misconduct. The Gender-Based and Sexual Misconduct Policy and Grievance Procedures spells out the obligations that GCU has to provide for the prompt and equitable resolution of sexual or gender-based harassment or sexual violence complaints. The policy also provides:
· An assurance that GCU will take steps to prevent the recurrence of any harassment and address any discriminatory effects
· The various ways that a complaint can be filed
· The methods GCU will utilize to conduct a full investigation of the complaint
· The rights of both the reporting and responding parties
· Interim measures and campus resources
· Sanctions for each type of violation
Policy Violation Definitions
Now let’s talk about the types of behaviors covered by the policy, starting with sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is unwelcomed, gender-based verbal or physical conduct that is based on power differentials, the creation of a hostile environment, or retaliation. In all forms, the behavior must be sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it unreasonably denies or interferes with someone’s ability to participate in or benefit from GCU’s educational programs, activities, or employment. There are three types of sexual harassment:
· Hostile environment sexual harassment occurs when the harassment has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s employment or academic purpose. Although mere offensiveness is not enough to create a hostile environment under the policy, one isolated incident that is sufficiently severe, such as sexual assault, is sufficient. Examples of behaviors that may constitute hostile environment sexual harassment include:
· Sexual comments, teasing, or jokes
· Sexual slurs, demeaning terminology, or other verbal abuse
· Videos, texts, Tweets, Facebook posts or any other social media messages when the content is sexual in nature, badgering, belittling, or includes derogatory sexual comments about another person.
· Quid Pro Quo harassment, meaning “this for that,” exists when the harassment occurs by a person having power or authority over another person. These are all types of quid pro quo sexual harassment:
· In academics, an instructor making sexual advances toward a student in return for a passing grade, or
· In athletics, a coach requesting sexual favors from a student athlete in order to have more playing time, or
· In employment, a supervisor requesting a dates from a subordinate in exchange for a raise or promotion
· Retaliatory harassment is any adverse employment or education action taken against a person because of the person’s participation in a complaint or investigation into discrimination or harassment. GCU adheres to a stringent nonretaliation policy and will take immediate action against those participating in retaliatory behaviors.
The next type of policy violation is Non-Consensual Sexual Contact. This is defined as any intentional bodily contact of a sexual manner, however slight, with any object, by one person upon another that is without consent and/or by force. This includes someone touching you, or someone making you touch yourself, or touch them. Similarly, Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse is defined as any sexual intercourse, with any object, by one person upon another, that is without consent and/or by force, no matter how slight the penetration or contact.
Sexual exploitation occurs when someone takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another person, for their own benefit or for the benefit of someone other than the person being exploited. There are a range of examples in this category, such as:
· Invasion of sexual privacy;
· Prostituting another student;
· Non-consensual video- or audio-taping of sexual activity;
· Going beyond the boundaries of consent (such as letting your friends hide in the closet to watch you having consensual sex);
· Engaging in voyeurism;
· Knowingly transmitting a sexually transmitted infection (STI) to another student;
· Exposing one’s genitals in non-consensual circumstances; inducing another to expose their genitals;
· Sexually-based stalking and/or bullying may also be forms of sexual exploitation
The policy describes other misconduct offenses that will be investigated accordingly, that are either based on sex or gender, or mandated through the VAWA regulations:
· Bullying: repeated and/or severe aggressive behavior likely to intimidate or intentionally hurt, control, or diminish another person physically or mentally.
· Domestic and/or Dating Violence: Any act of violence or threatened act of violence that occurs between individuals who are involved or have been involved in a sexual, dating, spousal, domestic, or other intimate relationship.
· Stalking: Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person under circumstances that would cause a reasonable person to fear bodily injury or to experience substantial emotional distress. This includes cyber-stalking.
Force, Incapacitation, and Consent
In order to fully understand the policy violations described, it is equally important to understand the role that force, incapacitation, and consent can play in non-consensual sexual incidents. Force is when violence, threats, intimidation, or coercion are used to gain sexual access to another person. Incapacitation is a state where someone cannot make rational reasonable decisions because they lack the capacity to give knowing consent. To fully consent to sexual activity, a person must fully understand the “who, what, when, where, why, and how” of the sexual interaction. Incapacity can result from mental disability, sleep, involuntary physical restraint, and alcohol or drug consumption, including those administered unknowingly. In order for individuals to engage in sexual activity of any type with each other, there must be clear, knowing, and voluntary consent prior to and during sexual activity. Consent is sexual permission. Consent can be given by word or action, but nonverbal consent is not as clear as discussing what is or isn’t sexually permissible. Consent to some form of sexual activity cannot be automatically taken as consent to any other form of sexual activity. Silence without actions demonstrating permission cannot be assumed to show consent. Consent can also be withdrawn at any point during sexual activity. Personal use of alcohol or other drugs will never function as a defense for any behavior that violates the policy. Additionally, in the absence of mutually understandable words or actions that demonstrate clear consent, it is the responsibility of the initiator of the sexual activity to make sure that they have consent from their partner.
Filing a Complaint
There are multiple options for reporting sexual harassment or sexual misconduct. All reports of sexual misconduct are submitted to the university’s Title IX Coordinator regardless of how they are initially reported. Trained investigators will work with the reporting party on options for support, resources, and resolution of complaints. If you experience sexual harassment or sexual misconduct, you have the right to choose one or more of the following options:
· Criminal complaint: You can file a criminal complaint by contacting the Phoenix Police Department or GCU’s Department of Public Safety. If you contact Public Safety, they can talk with you about reporting to the police or obtaining an order of protection, and they can also assist you in filing a report with the police. It is important to note that GCU is required to conduct their own Title IX investigation, regardless of a criminal complaint being filed with the police or not.
· You can also submit an institutional complaint for review by the university by contacting one of the following areas:
· The Title IX Coordinator – TitleIX@gcu.edu or (602) 639-5900
· An Assistant Deputy Title IX Coordinator
· For students:
Tim Griffin, Ed.D
Dean of Students
· For employees or vendors:
Director, Human Resources
· If the Responding Party participates in athletics:
Deputy Director of Athletics
Senior Women’s Administrator
· Public Safety: (602) 639-8100
· Any Resident Assistant (RA) or Resident Director (RD)
· Any staff or faculty member
· Anonymous Complaint:
You can file a complaint anonymously using the TIPS Online Reporting Tool on the Public Safety website. If you choose to provide your contact information, the university will contact you to offer information and support. If you do not provide contact information, the university’s ability to thoroughly investigate and offer support will be very limited.
· For Confidential Assistance
All GCU staff and faculty, including RAs, RDs, and Student Leaders, are considered mandatory reporters. That means they are required to report any issues or concerns that are disclosed to them and cannot promise confidentiality. If you would like to talk about an incident or discuss your options in complete confidence, you can speak with any of the staff and medical personnel in the Canyon Health and Wellness Center, or staff and licensed counselors in the Canyon Counseling Services office. Anything discussed with staff, medical providers, or licensed counselors will remain completely confidential. In addition to providing medical and counseling services, they can connect you with other campus resources that may be beneficial to you.
For all reports, the university’s Title IX Coordinator, or designee, will immediately assess the risk of harm to the reporting party and the larger campus community, and will take the necessary steps to address any risks.
If a reporting party requests to remain confidential or asks that the complaint not be pursued, the Title IX Coordinator will consider the request in the context of the need to prevent additional harm to the reporting party or community members. In these cases, GCU’s ability to respond may be limited, and GCU may decide at any time to initiate an investigation.
Interim Measures and Campus Resources
GCU will take whatever measures necessary to create a safe environment for all students. Students who experience sexual harassment or sexual misconduct can obtain assistance from GCU, regardless of whether a formal investigation takes place. Campus resources are available to reporting parties, as well as to those who are responding to complaints made against them. Although there are multiple resources and services in place to assist students, the most common assistive measures include, but are not limited to No Contact Orders; enforcing court-issued protective orders; adjustments to academic, housing, or work arrangements; and coordination of on-campus medical and counseling services.
Any member of the university community who knowingly files a false complaint of sexual harassment, or who knowingly provides false information to or intentionally misleads university officials who are investigating or reviewing a complaint of alleged sexual harassment, is subject to disciplinary action up to and including discharge for employees and dismissal for students.
What can you do if you or a friend experience sexual assault?
First, know that sexual assault is never your fault. After an assault has occurred, it is important to get to a safe place as soon as you are able. If you or someone else is in immediate danger, call Public Safety, (602) 639-8100, or 911. It is okay to call a supportive person, such as a friend or family member, to be with you and help you make decisions. Consider getting medical care to treat any injuries, and to check for injuries that you might not be able to see. In addition to receiving medical treatment, you may wish to have a sexual assault forensic exam to collect evidence.
After a sexual assault, important evidence may remain on your body or your clothes. Even if you are unsure if you want to press charges, making sure you do not shower, bathe, wash, change clothes, comb your hair, brush your teeth, and eat or drink will help you to preserve evidence of the assault before a physical exam. Evidence can usually be collected for up to 120 hours after an assault.
Electronic evidence is equally important to preserve and is will be very important if you decide to pursue a criminal or university investigation. Save or screenshot any text messages, social media posts, photos, snapchats, voicemails, emails, phone calls, and call logs.
You can seek support and counseling through the GCU Health and Wellness Center. Anything reported to the clinic staff, healthcare providers, or licensed counselors is done in complete confidence. They can provide information about the many support services available to you.
At GCU, we believe there is a shared responsibility to help one another. We are a community…a family…and we need to count on one another to intervene in situations where it looks like someone’s health and safety may be in danger.
Risk Reduction and Bystander Intervention Tips
How to help as a bystander:
· Talk to your friends honestly and openly about sexual assault.
· Don’t just be a bystander- if you see something, intervene in any way you can.
· Trust your gut. If something looks like it might be a bad situation, it probably is.
· Be direct. Ask someone who looks like they may need help if they’re okay.
· Get someone to help you if you see something. Enlist a friend, residential advisor, teacher, or parent to help step in.
· Keep an eye on someone who has had too much to drink.
· If you see someone who is too intoxicated to consent, enlist their friends to help them leave safely.
· Recognize the potential danger of someone who talks about planning to target another person at a party.
· Be aware if someone is deliberately trying to intoxicate, isolate, or corner someone else.
· Create a distraction, draw attention to the situation, or separate the people you are concerned about.
· Understand that if someone does not or cannot consent to sex, it is rape.
· Never blame the victim.
How to keep yourself safe
· Be aware of your surroundings.
· Try to avoid isolated areas, and don’t allow yourself to be isolated with someone you don’t know or trust.
· Walk with a purpose. Even if you don’t know where you are going, act like you do.
· Trust your instincts.
· Make sure your cell phone is with you.
· Try to stick with your friends. You can help keep each other safe.
· Don’t leave your drink unattended, and don’t accept drinks from people you don’t know or trust.
· Be true to yourself. Don’t feel obligated to do anything you don’t want to do.
· If you are uncomfortable or afraid, make an excuse to leave.
If you find yourself in the position of being the initiator of sexual behavior, you owe sexual respect to your potential partner. These suggestions may help you to reduce your risk for being accused of sexual misconduct. It is important that you fully understand the impact that these choices can have on your ability to attend or complete school, in addition to any legal ramifications that can result in a criminal record.
· Clearly communicate your intentions to your sexual partner and give them a chance to clearly relate their intentions to you.
· Understand and respect personal boundaries.
· DON’T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS about consent; about someone’s sexual availability; about whether they are attracted to you; about how far you can go or about whether they are physically and/or mentally able to consent. If there are any questions or ambiguity, then you DO NOT have consent.
· Mixed messages from your partner are a clear indication that you should stop, defuse any sexual tension, and communicate better. You may be misreading them. They may not have figured out how far they want to go with you yet. You must respect the timeline for sexual behaviors with which they are comfortable.
· Don’t take advantage of someone’s drunkenness or drugged state, even if they did it to themselves.
· Realize that your potential partner could be intimidated by you, or fearful. You may have a power advantage simply because of your gender or size. Don’t abuse that power.
· Understand that consent to some form of sexual behavior does not automatically imply consent to any other forms of sexual behavior.
· Silence and passivity cannot be interpreted as an indication of consent. Read your potential partner carefully, paying attention to verbal and nonverbal communication and body language.
Additional resources to post in resources section:
Gender-Based and Sexual Misconduct Policy and Grievance Procedures: https://www.gcu.edu/Documents/Policies/Gender-Based-and-Sexual-Misconduct-Policy-and-Grievance-Procedures.pdf
Title IX Website and Title IX Video: www.gcu.edu/titleix
GCU It’s On Us Website and Video: http://asgcu.gcu.edu/itsonus/
Title IX Resource Guide: https://www.gcu.edu/Documents/Policies/GCU-Title-IX-Resource-Guide.pdf
Title IX FAQ’s: https://www.gcu.edu/Documents/Policies/Title-IX-FAQ.pdf
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