Title IX – Sexual Misconduct Policy

Policies & procedures regarding sexual harassment

Drury University strives to be a safe, education-oriented and community minded campus that maintains an academic and social environment conducive to intellectual and personal development of students and promotes the safety and welfare of all members of the campus community. 

Drury University’s Sexual Misconduct Policy defines the various forms of sexual misconduct that violate the standards of our community, identifies resources, and outlines the University’s student conduct process, including the outcomes imposed for violations of this policy.  Drury University complies with Title IX, and does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its educational programs and activities. Sexual harassment, including sexual misconduct as defined in this policy, is prohibited under Title IX.
 
The following Title IX officers have been appointed from members of the senior staff to ensure that Drury University is in compliance with Title IX, and can be contacted regarding any Title IX issues. 

Title IX Coordinator
Scotti Siebert, Director of Human Resources             873-7854                    
Deputy Coordinator
Barbara Cowherd, Associate Athletic Director          873-7363
Deputy Coordinator            
Tijuana Julian, Dean of Students                                873-7215
Deputy Coordinator
Charles Taylor, Dean of the College                           873-7225

Faculty and Staff Standards
Members of the faculty or staff at Drury University shall not engage in amorous or sexual relations with, or make amorous or sexual overtures to any student over whom he or she holds a position of authority with regard to academic or administrative judgments and decision.

Reporting Incidents of Sexual Misconduct
Individuals are encouraged to report alleged incidents of sexual misconduct immediately, whether they are a victim or observer of an incident in order to maximize the University’s ability to respond promptly and effectively, and meet its Title IX obligation by taking steps to end the behavior, prevent its recurrence and address its effect. Incidents can be reported in the following manner:

  • Inform an employee of Drury University.   If information regarding an incident of sexual misconduct is shared with an employee (including student resident assistants or community assistants) of Drury University, then the employee must share this information with the appropriate designated staff members, including the Title IX Coordinator, who will initiate an investigation of the incident.
  • Even if no report has been made to an employee, employees in supervisory roles have a duty to report any incident of sexual misconduct that he or she observes
  • Confidential Reporting.  Concerned Drury citizens may report possible incidents or information relating to an incident at: ­ www.drury.edu/communitystandards/forms/inforeport.cfm

Policy Definitions and Violations
Sexual Misconduct is defined as any conduct that constitutes sexual harassment by individuals or organizations that is prohibited by Title IX.  Sexually harassing conduct that disrupts or undermines a person’s ability to participate in or to receive the benefits, services, or opportunities of the university is prohibited, especially when it interferes with an individual’s educational performance, or equal access to the university’s resources and opportunities, or when such conduct creates an intimidating, hostile, or abusive educational environment.  A member of the university community can be a victim or offender regardless of gender.  This policy is utilized by Drury University to comply with Title IX and to respond promptly to reports of the following sexual misconduct violations.

Sexual Misconduct Definitions:

  • Sexual Assault:
    Having or attempting to have non-consensual sexual intercourse with another person.  Sexual intercourse includes an act or oral, vaginal, or anal penetration, however slight, with an object or body party by any individual upon another person.
  • Non-Consensual Sexual Contact:
    Having or attempting to have non-consensual, non-accidental contact of a sexual nature with another person.  Sexual contact can include but is not limited to, touching or kissing another individual.
  • Sexual Coercion:
    The use of, or attempt to use, pressure and/or oppressive behavior, such that the application of such pressure or behavior causes the person who is the object of the pressure or behavior to engage in unwelcomed sexual activity.  Coercion can take the form of pressure, threats, intimidation, or the use of physical force, either expressed or implied, which places a person in fear of immediate harm or physical injury.  Coercion can also take the form of pressure to consume alcohol or other drugs prior to engaging in a sexual act.
  • Sexual Exploitation:
    An act or acts attempted or committed by a person for sexual gratification, financial gain, or advancement through the abuse or exploitation of another person’s sexuality.  Examples include observing individuals without consent, non-consensual audio or videotaping of sexual activity, unauthorized presentation of recordings of a sexual nature, prostituting another person, allowing others to observe a personal consensual sexual act without the knowledge or consent of all involved parties, and knowingly exposing an individual to a sexually transmittable infection or virus without his or her knowledge.
  • Stalking:
    A course of repeated non-consensual conduct directed toward another person that could be reasonably regarded as likely to alarm, harass, or cause reasonable fear of harm or injury to that person.  Stalking may include, but is not limited to, unwelcomed and repeated visual or physical proximity to a person, repeatedly convey oral or written threats, extorting money or valuables, threatening physical conduct, or any combination of these behaviors directed at or toward a person.
  • Cyber-stalking:
    A type of stalking in which electronic media, such as internet, social networks, blogs, cell phones, texts, or other similar devices or forms of contact are used to pursue, harass, or to make unwelcomed contact with another person in an unsolicited fashion.  Examples of cyber-stalking include, but are not limited to, unwelcomed or unsolicited emails, instant messages, and messages posted on on-line bulletin boards. It also includes, but is not limited to, unsolicited communications about a person, their family, friends, or co-workers, or sending or posting unwelcomed and unsolicited messages with another username.
  • Harassment:
    Intentionally targeting an individual or group with conduct that is unrelated to any legitimate educational purpose, or could be reasonably be regarded as being severe, persistent, or pervasive and would interfere with one’s ability to participate in or benefit from their university experience.  Harassing behavior could also be related to targeting an individual or group’s gender, sexual orientation, or ethnicity.  This conduct may occur in a single instance, or may be the cumulative result of a series of incidents and may include, but is not limited to, acts of verbal, nonverbal, or physical aggressions, as well as intimidation or hostility based on gender, sexual orientation, or ethnicity.

    Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, physical, or visual conduct of a sexual nature when:
    • Submission to such conduct is made or threatened to be made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of an individual’s employment or education
    • Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used or threatened to be used as the basis for academic or employment decisions affecting that individual, or
    • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s academic or professional performance or creating what a reasonable person would perceive as an intimidating, hostile, or offensive employment, education, or living environment

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
  • Sexual innuendos or sexual humor
  • Obscene gestures
  • Sexual graffiti, pictures, or posters
  • Sexually explicit profanity
  • Asking about, or telling about, sexual fantasies
  • E-mail and Internet use that violates this policy
  • Sexual assault (as defined above
  • Retaliation:
    Acts or attempts to retaliate or seek retribution against anyone involved in or connected to an allegation and/or resolution of sexual misconduct.
     
  • Consent:
    Consent to engage in sexual activity must exist from the beginning to end of each instance of sexual activity.  Consent consists of an outward demonstration indicating that someone has freely chosen to engage in sexual activity.  In the absence of an outward demonstration, consent does not exist. Consent is informed, knowing, and voluntary. Consent is demonstrated through mutually understandable words and/or actions that clearly indicate a willingness to engage in sexual activity.  Consent is not effective if it results from the use of physical force, intimidation, coercion, or incapacitation.  If a sexual act is occurring and physical force, intimidation, coercion, or incapacitation develops, there is no longer consent.

    Consent to engage in sexual activity may be withdrawn by either party at any time.  Withdrawal of consent must also be outwardly demonstrated y words or actions that clearly indicate a desire to end sexual activity.  Once withdrawal of consent has been expressed, sexual activity must cease. 
  • Incapacitation:
    The inability, temporarily or permanently, to give consent, due to mental or physical incapability, unconsciousness, or vulnerability due to drug or alcohol consumption (voluntarily or involuntarily), or for some other reason.  Examples of incapacitation may include, but are not limited to, vomiting, being unconscious, or being unable to communicate for any reason.

Privacy
All reports of sexual misconduct will be handled in confidence to the extent allowed by law.  The information reported would only be shared with those university employees who will be assisting in the investigation and/or resolution of the complaint. The University’s ability to make a meaningful investigation and take corrective action may be limited if an individual insists on complete confidentiality.

Further, if a report of misconduct discloses an immediate threat to the university campus community, where timely notice must be given to protect the health or safety of the community, the university may not be able to maintain the same level of confidentiality.  Immediately threatening circumstances include, but are not limited to, reported incidents of sexual misconduct that included the use of force, a weapon, or other circumstances that represent a serious and ongoing threat to students, faculty, staff, or visitors.
 
Incidents may be reported confidentiality to the Counseling Center.  University mental health counselors are bound to professional standards regarding confidentiality, and will not reveal the identity of victims, unless there is an imminent safety concern or as otherwise required by law.

Resources and Support
Drury University offers non-judgmental support to any party involved in a sexual misconduct incident. 

Information Available and Rights for the Complainant:

  • Notification of available on and off-campus resources, including medical assistance, mental health counseling services, law enforcement agencies, and campus conduct options.
  • Information regarding notification of proper law enforcement authorities, including assistance from Springfield Police Department substation officers, if the victim desires to file formal civil charges.
  • Opportunity to request that the university take steps to prevent further contact or proximity to the alleged offender.  Such measures may include housing relocation of the complainant or alleged offender, adjustment to course schedules, and no contact by either party. Other academic accommodations may include transferring class sections, withdrawal from a class, taking an incomplete grade in a class, and pursuing alternative course completion options.
  • Opportunity to immediately report incidents of retaliation.
  • Right to investigation and appropriate resolution of all credible complaints of sexual misconduct made in good faith to university officials. Reports made in bad faith can subject the complainant to discipline.
  • Right to be informed of the outcome and sanction of any disciplinary hearing involving sexual misconduct, usually within 24 hours of the conduct hearing.
  • Right to appeal the outcome of the judicial board, in accordance with the standards cited in the Procedures for Student Conduct Administration.
  • Right to ask the investigators to question and interview relevant witnesses.
  • Right to have an advisor present through each level of the investigation process, as well as the conduct hearing.  The advisor (not a lawyer) may not take part directly in the hearing itself, but may communicate with the complainant as necessary.
  • The right to the preservation of privacy, to the extent possible and allowed by law.
  • The right to request that any member of the conduct board be removed on the basis of demonstrated bias.
  • The right to have university policies and procedures followed without deviation.

Information Available and Rights for the Respondent:

  • Notification of available on and off-campus resources, including medical assistance, mental health counseling services, law enforcement agencies, and campus conduct options.
  • Opportunity to meet with a member of the Student Conduct staff to answer questions or concerns regarding a complaint.
  • Opportunity to request that the university take steps to prevent further contact or proximity to the alleged victim.  Such measures may include housing relocation of the alleged victim and offender, adjustment to course schedules and no contact by either party.
  • Opportunity to immediately report incidents of retaliation.
  • Right to investigation and appropriate resolution of all credible complaints of sexual misconduct made in good faith to university officials.
  • Right to be informed of the outcome and sanction of any disciplinary hearing involving sexual misconduct, usually within 24 hours of the conduct hearing.
  • Right to appeal the outcome of the judicial board, in accordance with the standards cited in the Procedures for Student Conduct Administration.
  • Right to ask the investigators to question and interview relevant witnesses.
  • Right to have an advisor present through each level of the investigation process, as well as the conduct hearing.  The advisor (not a lawyer) may not take part directly in the hearing itself, but may communicate with the complainant as necessary.
  • The right to the preservation of privacy, to the extent possible and allowed by law.
  • The right to request that any member of the conduct board be removed on the basis of demonstrated bias.
  • The right to have university policies and procedures followed without deviation.

Process for Investigating Reports of Sexual Misconduct
Drury University is committed to providing all members of the university community with a safe place to live and learn. Consistent with this philosophy, the university will investigate all allegations of sexual misconduct.  Any individual may bring an allegation, as outlined in the Sexual Misconduct Policy, which will activate the investigation steps outlined below.

The university is obligated to investigate all allegations of sexual misconduct, regardless if the investigation culminates in a hearing.  The university investigation is independent of any civil criminal investigation, which could lead to the criminal justice system. The university investigation process should be thorough, prompt, and impartial, and should follow the steps outlined below:

  • The Title IX Coordinator, or Deputy Coordinator, meets with the complainant and outlines the options available to them (both internal and external).
  • An assessment will be made regarding the implementation of initial remedial actions, which might include interim separation or duty to warn the university community.
  • If the complainant wants to address the issue through the college conduct process, the student will be asked to describe the incident verbally.  They will also be given the option to provide a written account of the incident, and asked to identify any witnesses.  If it is concluded that the student has provided enough details to determine if there is reasonable cause to believe that a specific policy(ies) has/have been violated, then the policy violation(s) will be identified, and the investigation process will begin.
  • The Title IX Coordinator, or Deputy Coordinator, will then assign the case for investigation to one or more trained investigators.  This investigation may or may not lead to a conduct hearing.
  • The investigators begin collecting information.  This should include interviewing witnesses, friends, the complainant, and the respondent.  Investigators may also include consideration of prior allegations of, or findings of responsibility for, sexual misconduct by the alleged offender.
  • The Title IX Coordinator, or Deputy Coordinator, informs the respondent that a complaint has been made against the individual.  The respondent is asked to provide his/her perspective of the incident.
  • The Title IX Coordinator, or Deputy Coordinator, determines (based on the preponderance of evidence), if reasonable cause exists to believe the sexual misconduct policy has been violated, and that the process should therefore continue.
  • The Title IX Coordinator, or Deputy Coordinator, receives the investigation report and shares the report with the complainant and the respondent. The university official will also notify both parties if it has been concluded, based on the preponderance of evidence, that there was a violation of the sexual misconduct policy.
  • Based on the information received above, sanctions will be imposed, and an attempt will be made to resolve the incident through an administrative resolution.
  • If there is no administrative resolution, or the accused would like to invoke their right to a hearing at the next level, then the guidelines for Student Judicial Conduct Hearings will be followed.
  • The Hearing Board will consist of three faculty/staff members selected from a pool of trained members.  Students will not serve on judicial conduct hearing boards that involve situations of sexual misconduct.
  • The Chair of the Judicial Conduct Hearing Board will share the Board’s decision, along with the appropriate sanctions with the Title IX Coordinator, or Deputy Coordinator.
  • The Title IX Coordinator, or Deputy Coordinator, informs both the complainant and respondent of the outcome.  The notification of each party should occur at nearly the same time.
  • If one of the parties wishes to dispute the outcome of the Judicial Board Hearing, it may be appealed at the next level, which is to the President of the University.  In such cases, the other party is given an opportunity to view the request and offer his/her own appeal so there is only one appeal process.
  • The appeal process to dispute the decision of the Judicial Board is outlined in the Student Affairs Community Standards Handbook.  The President’s decision is final.

Process for Resolution
Resolutions of Sexual Misconduct allegations are achieved in the following manners.  These correlate to the type of process that is pursued.

  • No resolution or imposed sanctions: The Title IX Coordinator, or Deputy Coordinator, determines (based on the preponderance of evidence), that there is no reasonable cause to believe that the sexual misconduct policy has been violated.
  • Administrative Resolution:  Based on the information received through the investigative process, sanctions will be imposed, and the issue will be resolved through an administrative resolution.  Both the complainant and respondent agree to all aspects of the resolution, and there are no further appeals.
  • Formal Resolution:  If there is no Administrative Resolution, or if the complainant or respondent appeals the Administrative Resolution, either party may invoke their right to a hearing by the Judicial Conduct Board.

Hearing
Guidelines for Judicial Conduct Board hearings are outlined in the Student Affairs Community Standards Handbook.  The Hearing Board will consist of three faculty/staff members selected from a pool of trained board members.  Unlike membership of the Judicial Board for other areas of Student Conduct, those for cases involving sexual misconduct will not include student membership.