Appeal (Sexual Harassment Board). In cases involving Title IX/sexual harassment, the complainant and respondent have the right to appeal the decision of the Sexual Harassment Board (SHB). The complainant and respondent also have the right to written notice of any change in the outcome or sanctions imposed. This appeal must be provided in writing to the Senior Vice President. This appeal must be based on one or more of the following: (a) new evidence relevant to the reviewed matter and a reason why it was not available at the time of the hearing, (b) a perceived violation of due process and justification for the claim, (c) excessive sanctions with an explanation for the reason for such claim. The Senior Vice President will provide the Title IX Coordinator with the appeal and supporting evidence. Should the basis for appeal meet the criteria previously mentioned and be deemed valid by the Title IX Coordinator or designee, the matter will be referred to the Sexual Harassment Committee of Appeals (SHCA). The SHCA is comprised of three faculty and staff members, one of whom shall preside as Chair.
Bystanders. Bystanders are individuals who witness emergencies or situations that could lead to criminal events or violations of University policy and, by their presence, may have an opportunity to provide assistance, do nothing, or contribute to the negative behavior.
Bystander Intervention. Bystander Intervention is a philosophy and strategy for prevention of various types of violence, including bullying, sexual harassment, sexual assault, and intimate partner violence.
Coercion. Coercion is an unreasonable amount of pressure to engage in sexual activity. Coercion begins not when you make the sexual advance, but when you realize the other person does not want to be convinced and you continue to push.
Complainant. A person who believes there has been an act of discrimination against any person or group in a program or activity and brings an action through the arbitration process. This term is most utilized in cases of alleged violations of Title IX and sexual harassment.
Confidential Report of Alleged Sexual Harassment/Title IX Violations. A complaint to a University recognized confidential resource: (1) Counseling Services, (2) the University Chaplain, and (3) the Student Health Center.
Consent. Consent is a voluntary and affirmed agreement to engage in sexual activity. Someone who is incapacitated cannot consent. Initiators of sexual activity are responsible for obtaining effective consent. Silence or passivity is not effective consent. Past consent does not imply future consent. Silence or absence of resistance does not imply consent. Consent to engage in sexual activity with one person does not imply consent to engage in sexual activity with another. Consent can be withdrawn at any time. Coercion, force, or threat invalidates consent. Incapacitation, due to the use of drugs or alcohol, when a person is asleep or unconscious, or because of an intellectual or other disability, prevents an individual from having the capacity to give consent.
Dating Violence. Violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim, and where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the length of a relationship, and the type of relationship. The frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship is also a consideration.
Domestic Violence. A felony or misdemeanor crime of violence committed by: (1) a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim, (2) a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, (3) a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner, (4) a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction receiving grant monies (under VAWA), or (4) 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.
Formal Complaint of Sexual Harassment/Title IX (also referred to as a "Formal Report"). A report of a believed violation of the University's Sexual Harassment/Title IX policy to a Responsible Employee. All reports to Responsible Employees must be conveyed to the Sexual Harassment Review Committee or the Title IX or Deputy Title IX Coordinators. This information will include all relevant information, to include the complainant’s name and the name of the respondent.
Hazing. Hazing is an act that a reasonable person would consider endangering to one’s physical or mental wellness. It is often, but not exclusively, associated with admission, involvement, association, or continued membership in a group, team, or organization. Hazing may include humiliation, intimidation, and/or demeaning treatment. It may also involve alcohol, drugs, or other substances. Hazing that involves sexual harassment will be investigated by the Sexual Harassment Review Committee and the University’s Deputy Title IX Coordinators in addition to other campus officials.
Incapacitation. The physical and/or mental inability to make informed, rational judgments that voids an individual's ability to give consent. Incapacitation may be caused by a permanent or temporary physical or mental impairment. Incapacitation may also result from the consumption of alcohol or the use of drugs. The use of alcohol or drugs may, but does not automatically affect a person's ability to consent to sexual contact. The consumption of alcohol or drugs may create a mental incapacity if the nature and degree of the intoxication goes beyond the stage of merely reduced inhibition and reaches a point in which the victim does not understand the nature and consequences of the sexual act. In such cases, the person cannot consent. A person violates the sexual harassment policy if he or she has sexual contact with someone he or she knows or should know is mentally incapacitated or has reached the degree of intoxication that results in incapacitation. The test of whether an individual should know about another's incapacitation is whether a reasonable, sober person would know about the incapacitation. An accused student cannot rebut a sexual harassment charge merely by arguing that he or she was drunk or otherwise impaired and, as a result did not know that the other person was incapacitated. A person who is passed out or unconscious because of the consumption of alcohol or drugs is physically helpless and is not able to consent.
Mentor (SHB). In cases of alleged Title IX/Sexual Harassment cases, the complainant and respondent may choose their parent, legal representation, or other person to serve as their mentor. However, regardless of the relationship with the student, a mentor shall not be afforded the right to participate or influence the proceedings or the findings of the Sexual Harassment Board.
No Contact Agreement. An agreement signed by two or more individuals to practice “social avoidance” and prevent retaliation while an investigation is ongoing and, often, continued as a portion of the sanction delivered. After signing the no contact order, if a student makes contact (in person, electronically, through peers, etc.) with a person they have agreed to have no contact with they may face further sanctions for failure to abide by the signed agreement.
Non-Consensual Sexual Contact. Any sexual contact that occurs without consent constitutes non-consensual sexual contact. Examples of sexual contact include, but are not limited to, intentional touching of a person's genitalia, groin, breast, or buttocks or the clothing covering any of those areas, or using force to cause the person to touch his/her own genitalia, groin, breast, or buttocks.
Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse. The act of sexual intercourse that occurs without consent constitutes non-consensual sexual intercourse. Sexual intercourse is defined by penetration (anal, oral, or vaginal) by a penis, tongue, finger, or inanimate object.
Rape. Penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.
Relationship Violence. Physical assault or credible threat of bodily harm involving adults who are in an intimate relationship.
Respondent. An individual who is alleged to have violated University policy. This term is most utilized in cases of alleged violations of Title IX and sexual harassment.
Responsible Employee. Individuals that have an obligation to report incidents of sexual harassment/harassment to Campus Security, the Sexual Harassment Review Committee, the Title IX Coordinator, or Deputy Title IX Coordinators. Certain individuals are exempt from reporting and may speak with a complainant in confidence. These individuals may maintain confidentiality unless there is a belief of imminent danger to the community or an individual. Exempt employees are Counseling Services, the University Chaplain, and Student Health Center. All other individuals in employment or a volunteer capacity, part- or full-time at Virginia Wesleyan University are responsible for reporting.
Result. The finding(s) of the Sexual Harassment/Title IX, and Community Arbitration proceedings. Results may range from an unfounded report to permanent dismissal from the University. Both the complainant and the respondent will be notified of the results per compliance with Title IX.
Sexual Assault with an Object. To use an object or instrument to unlawfully penetrate, however slightly, the genital or anal opening of the body of another person, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her age or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.
Sexual Exploitation. Taking sexual advantage of another person without effective consent constitutes sexual exploitation. This includes but is not limited to causing the incapacitation of another person for a sexual purpose; causing the prostitution of another person; electronically recording, photographing, or transmitting intimate or sexual utterances, sounds, or images of another person; allowing third parties to observe sexual acts; engaging in voyeurism; distributing intimate or sexual information about another person; and knowingly transmitting a sexually transmitted infection, including HIV, to another person.
Sexual Harassment conduct on the basis of sex that satisfies one or more of the following: (i) A school employee conditioning education benefits on participation in unwelcome sexual conduct (i.e., quidpro quo); or (ii) Unwelcome conduct that a reasonable person would determine is so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the school's education program or activity; or (iii) Sexual assault (as defined in the Clery Act), dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking as defined in the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
Sexual Harassment Board (SHB). The Senior Vice President (who will preside as chair), a faculty member, and a staff member shall convene to hear incidents involving allegations of harassment of a sexual nature. Should there be other alleged infractions of University policy reported to have occurred relevant to the alleged incident of sexual harassment; those infractions will be adjudicated by the SHB. The overtones of a courtroom are to be avoided and the procedural rules held to the minimum consistent with efficient proceedings and due process. The SHB will use a “preponderance of the evidence” standard to develop its decisions, which will be binding on the parties involved. SHB hearings may be videotaped and/or audiotaped for record keeping and review purposes.
Sexual Harassment Committee of Appeals (SCA). The Title IX Coordinator will convene the members of the SHCA, which shall consist of three individuals drawn from a pool of faculty and staff. The SCMA is not a hearing body, but is rather an appeals committee. Therefore, it will not conduct an additional hearing, but will be responsible for reviewing documents, reports, transcripts, and findings of the SHB for procedural errors pertinent to the original hearing. When necessary, the SHCA may contact members of the SHB to discuss their deliberations and the rationale for their findings.
Sexual Harassment Review Committee (SHRC). The individuals responsible for examining the allegations shall henceforth be referred to as the Sexual Harassment Review Committee (SHRC). This Committee will be made up of the Title IX Coordinator or a designee, Campus Life representatives, and the Director of Campus Security or a designee. The Committee will meet within 72 hours of the matter being brought to the attention of the Title IX Coordinator, the Deputy Title IX Coordinators, or their designees. The SHRC will determine whether or not the allegation of sexual harassment requires additional investigation and subsequent adjudication through the Sexual Harassment Board. In the event that the SHRC cannot reach consensus with regard to whether or not the alleged harassment constitutes a felony, the Director of Campus Security or a designee shall immediately disclose such information to the law- enforcement agency that would be responsible for investigating the alleged act of sexual violence. In cases in which the alleged sexual harassment may constitute a crime, as determined by consensus or per the opinion of one or more members of the Committee, the SHRC will inform a local attorney for the Commonwealth. This notification will occur within 24 hours after this determination is reached. Upon this disclosure, the Title IX Coordinator or a designee shall notify the victim that such disclosure is being made. See Code of Virginia (§23-9.2:15)
Sexual Violence. Sexual violence refers to physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent due to the victim’s use of drugs or alcohol. An individual also may be unable to give consent due to an intellectual or other disability. A number of different acts fall into the category of sexual violence, including rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, and sexual coercion. All such acts of sexual violence are forms of sexual harassment or harassment covered under Title IX.
Sodomy. Oral or anal sexual intercourse with another person, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her age or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.
Stalking. Engaging in a course of conduct, directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety/the safety of others or to suffer substantial emotional distress. Repeatedly contacting another person when the contact is unwanted constitutes stalking. Contact includes but is not limited to communication (in person, by phone, or by computer), following a person, and watching or remaining in the physical presence of the other person.
Title IX Coordinator (TIX Coordinator) and Deputy Title IX Coordinator(s) (DTIX Coordinator). The TIX Coordinator and DTIX Coordinators seek first to ensure that the victim is safe and that the campus community is protected. They will meet with the complainant of the reported sexual harassment and the respondent to discuss the alleged harassment and provide information about University policies and procedures. During the inquiry process, the DTIX Coordinators will meet with other individuals and visit relevant locations as needed. The DTIX Coordinators are trained in University sexual harassment and will provide expert and empathetic counsel to the complainant and respondent. The TIX Coordinator serves as a member of the Sexual Harassment Review Committee.
Transcripts (Sexual Harassment). The University will prominently note on a student's official academic transcript a student's Suspension, Dismissal, or Withdrawal while under investigation, or after having been disciplined, for violating policies governing sexual harassment. The University shall remove from the student's academic transcript any notation placed on such transcript upon completion of a term of suspension, or in cases where the student had withdrawn from the institution but was subsequently found not responsible for violating sexual harassment policies. Students dismissed from the University for violating policies governing sexual harassment will retain a permanent notation on the official academic transcript. Code of Virginia (§23-9.2:18)
Withdrawal (Sexual Harassment). The University will prominently note on a student’s official academic transcript a student’s withdrawal while under investigation for violating policies governing sexual harassment. The University shall remove from the student’s academic transcript any notation placed on such transcript in cases where the student had withdrawn from the University, but was subsequently found not responsible for violating sexual harassment policies.