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Eastern Mennonite University prohibits harassment of, and discrimination against any and all EMU community members. This policy applies to students who are registered or enrolled in credit- or non-credit-bearing coursework (students); all University employees, consisting of full-time and part-time faculty and staff, including temporary and adjunct roles (employees); and contractors, vendors, visitors, volunteers, guests (third parties) on any EMU campus or site.
This policy pertains to acts of sexual harassment, relationship violence, sexual misconduct, and other forms of prohibited conduct that may be based on sex or gender and are committed by or against students, employees, and third parties (See Section 4: Prohibited Conduct)
This policy applies when:
- The conduct occurs on University property or other property owned or controlled by the University;
- The conduct occurs in the context of a University employment or educational program or activity including, but not limited to, University-sponsored cross-culturals, research, online, or internship/practicum programs;
- The conduct occurs off-campus but is likely to have a substantial adverse effect on a member of the EMU community;
- The conduct occurs outside the context of a University employment or educational program or activity but has continuing adverse effects on, or has the propensity to create a hostile environment for students, employees, or third parties while on University property, other property owned or controlled by the University, or in any University employment or education program/activity; or
- The Complainant must be participating in or attempting to participate in EMU’s education programs or activities.
Supportive Measures may be available to the Complainant(s) in the event that a report does not fall within any of the above criteria.
3.1. NOTICE OF NON-DISCRIMINATION
The University is committed to maintaining an environment free from harassment and discrimination for everyone. EMU does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other protected status in any of its education or employment programs and activities. This policy prohibits specific forms of behavior that may violate Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX); relevant provisions of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA); Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII); the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act); and corresponding state laws and regulations in Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Washington, DC.
The University recognizes that it is important to coordinate this policy with other existing policies related to conduct, harassment and discrimination, knowing that sex discrimination can occur in conjunction with discrimination or harassment related to a person’s race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, age, disability, and/or other protected status, as well as other prohibited misconduct. Reports that include both sex discrimination and other prohibited discrimination, harassment, or misconduct may be adjudicated under this policy and any related University policies, including those pertaining to other protected status(es) (for example, EMU’s bias policy). Questions about which policy applies in a specific instance should be directed to the Title IX coordinator.
This policy covers sexual harassment, relationship violence, sexual misconduct, and other prohibited misconduct. Employees should seek further information regarding equal opportunity, disability, harassment, discrimination, and retaliation that is not based on sex or gender discrimination with the Director of Human Resources at (540) 432-4148 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bias is prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair. EMU makes every effort to recognize and mitigate the impacts of bias. The University strongly encourages all parties involved to identify, name, and work to address the various forms of bias that may impact the campus community.
3.3. CONFLICT OF INTEREST
Conflict of interest means that a person may have the potential to undermine the impartiality of a process due to the possibility of a conflict between the person’s self-interest and/or professional or public interest. The University makes every effort to identify and prevent conflicts of interest at any and every level. Should a conflict of interest be identified, the University will identify and utilize alternative (up to and including external) resources.
3.4. PRIVACY AND CONFIDENTIALITY
The University is committed to protecting the privacy of all individuals involved in the investigation and resolution of a report under this policy. The University will provide assistance to help students, employees, and third parties make informed choices. With respect to any report under this policy, the University will make reasonable efforts to protect the privacy of participants, in accordance with applicable state and federal law, while balancing the need to gather information to assess the report and to take steps to eliminate the sexual harassment, relationship violence, sexual misconduct, and other misconduct; prevent its recurrence; and remedy its effects. Privacy and confidentiality have distinct meanings under this policy.
Privacy means that information related to a report of sexual harassment, relationship violence, sexual misconduct, or other forms of conduct prohibited under this policy will be shared with a limited circle of University employees who have a legitimate need to assist in the assessment, investigation, and adjudication of the report. All employees who are involved in the University’s response to reports of sexual harassment, relationship violence, sexual misconduct, or other forms of conduct prohibited under this policy receive guidance and must comply with practices that safeguard private information in accordance with federal and state law.
The privacy of student education records will be protected in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). All documentation related to a student’s report, investigation, and resolution are protected by FERPA and will not be released, except as required by law. Non-identifying information about a report will be shared with Campus Safety and Security to comply with the Clery Act. All publicly available record keeping, including those required under Clery such as the daily crime log, annual security report, and timely warnings, are maintained without the inclusion of personally identifiable information. In addition, any person involved in a case of sexual harassment, relationship violence, sexual misconduct, and/or any other form of conduct prohibited under this policy may request that their directory information on file be removed from public sources by contacting the Title IX Coordinator at email@example.com or by calling 540-432-4849.
The privacy of an individual’s medical and related records is generally protected by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), except health records protected by FERPA and by Virginia’s Health Records Privacy Act, Va. Code § 32.1-127.1:03. Access to an employee’s personnel records may also be restricted.
Confidentiality means that information shared by an individual with Confidential Employees cannot be revealed to any other individual without the express permission of the disclosing party. The University has designated groups of individuals who can have privileged communications as Confidential Employees and are therefore exempt from reporting incidents prohibited under this policy that are disclosed to them while they are serving in particular confidential roles.
Disclosures which occur while Confidential Employees are acting in their role as a Confidential Employee will remain confidential. Disclosures that occur when the Confidential Employee is not acting in this official capacity must be reported on the Safety and Care Reporting Form or directly to the Title IX Coordinator.
Confidential Employees, which include licensed mental health clinicians, auxiliary staff working in Counseling Services, licensed medical health professionals, and licensed/credentialed campus pastors acting in their roles, are prohibited from breaching confidentiality unless there is an imminent threat of harm to self or others or the disclosure is otherwise legally required or is expressly permitted by the disclosing party. Non-personally identifying, aggregate data will be shared with EMU by Confidential Employees for statistical purposes consistent with the Clery Act.
The University will document non-identifying information in the campus incident log as required by the Clery Act. Should the university determine there is a serious or imminent threat, a timely warning notice will be shared with the campus community.
The University will also honor the confidentiality of any Supportive Measures provided to the Complainant(s) and the Respondent(s), to the extent that maintaining such privacy does not impair the University’s ability to provide the Supportive Measures.
3.5. EMPLOYEE REPORTING RESPONSIBILITIES
Title IX uses the concept of notice, and imposes obligations for a “prompt and effective remedy” on colleges and universities when notice of sex and/or gender discrimination or harassment is given to an official with authority. An Official with Authority (“OWA”) means an EMU employee who is explicitly vested with the responsibility to implement corrective measures for harassment, discrimination, and/or retaliation on behalf of EMU. The following members of the EMU community are an OWA:
- University President
- Associate & Assistant Provost
- Dean of School of Social Sciences & Professions
- Dean of School of Theology, Humanities, & Performing Arts
- Dean of School of Science, Engineering, Art, and Nursing
- Dean of Students
- Director of Human Resources
- Title IX Coordinator
- Director of Athletics
- Student Life Directors
- Deputy Title IX Coordinators
Notice means that an employee, student, or third-party informs the Title IX Coordinator or other OWA of the alleged occurrence of harassing, discriminatory, and/or retaliatory conduct, which includes the sexual harassment, relationship violence, and other sexual misconduct prohibited under this policy.
All Mandated Reporters must immediately report to the Title IX Coordinator any incident of alleged sexual harassment, relationship violence, sexual misconduct, or other forms of conduct prohibited under this policy reported to them or observed by them, including the name of the Complainant and Respondent, if known, and all known details. This reporting can be done by calling (540) 432-4849, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or completing a campus safety incident form at Safety and Care Reporting Form. The University requires everyone in the campus community, including Confidential Employees, to report suspected abuse of children.
Faculty and staff who receive disclosures through classroom discussions or assignments are not under obligation to report to the Title IX Coordinator if the intent of the individual was not to seek support services or make an official report to the University. The determination as to intent may be made in conversation between the employee and student, and/or in consultation with the Title IX Coordinator.
Public awareness events, open forums or disclosures made during formal Institutional Review Board projects are not considered a report or notice under this policy and therefore will not initiate the University’s obligation to investigate these particular incident(s). Such events may, however, inform the need for campus-wide education and prevention efforts.
3.6. REQUEST FOR ANONYMITY BY A REPORTING PARTY
Complainants who experience sexual harassment, relationship violence, sexual misconduct, or other forms of conduct prohibited under this policy may request anonymity, including that their name not be shared with the Respondent, that the Respondent not be notified of the report, and/or that no investigation occur. When the Complainant requests to either the Mandated Reporter or the Title IX Coordinator that their identity not be shared with the Respondent or that the University not pursue an investigation, the University will balance this request with the University’s responsibility to provide a safe and non-discriminatory environment for all University community members as required under the Clery Act.Consideration of requests for anonymity will take the following dynamics into account:
- The respective ages and roles of the Complainant and the Respondent;
- Whether there have been other reports of sexual harassment, relationship violence, sexual misconduct, or other forms of conduct prohibited under this policy involving the Respondent;
- Whether the circumstances suggest there is a risk of the Respondent committing additional acts of sexual harassment, relationship violence, sexual misconduct, or other forms of conduct prohibited under this policy;
- Whether the Respondent has a history of arrests or records indicating a history of violence;
- Whether the report indicates the Respondent has threatened further sexual violence or other violence against the Complainant and other individuals involved;
- Whether the reported conduct was committed by multiple individuals;
- Whether the circumstances suggest there is a risk of future acts of sexual harassment, relationship violence, sexual misconduct, or other forms of conduct prohibited under this policy under similar circumstances;
- Whether the reported conduct was perpetrated with a weapon;
- Whether the University possesses other means to obtain relevant evidence (e.g., security cameras or security personnel, physical evidence).
The Complainant’s request for anonymity and allegations of misconduct will be communicated to the University via the EMU RVSM Complaint Form reviewed and to the extent possible honored, while giving consideration to an assessment of the underlying allegation(s) and to determine if Supportive Measures can be provided while honoring such a request. Anonymous complaints typically limit the University’s availability to investigate, respond, and provide remedies, depending on what information is shared. When the University is unable to act consistent with the Complainant(s) request for anonymity, the Title IX Coordinator will inform the Complainant(s).
As a part of the University’s response to a Formal Complaint, the Complainant’s identity will be disclosed to the Respondent(s) and other individuals who need to know in order to protect the safety of the campus community. In such cases, the University will notify the Complainant that it intends to move forward with its grievance process, including an investigation, but in no event will the Complainant(s) be required to participate in any such actions undertaken by the University.
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