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Email: hr@wju.edu
Phone: 1-304-243-8152


Campus Life: Sexual Harassment and Sexual Midconduct Policy


Date approved:
 
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Compliance Committee:
As Scheduled

NOTE: Portions of the Wheeling Jesuit University Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Policy were adapted from the LeMoyne College Sexual Misconduct Policy and Loyola University Maryland Sexual Aggression Policy (2013)

1.0 PHILSOPHY STATEMENT

As an institution of higher education founded in the Jesuit and Catholic tradition, Wheeling Jesuit University promotes an environment and campus culture that encourages students, faculty, staff and administrators to serve others while participating in the life of the University as responsible, productive members. This includes behavior in the realm of human sexuality. Acts of sexual harassment and/or sexual misconduct undermine the dignity of individuals, the principles of equality and respect for others, and violate basic human rights; these acts can cause serious harm not only to individuals, but to the entire University community. As such, Wheeling Jesuit University does not condone and will not tolerate any conduct that would constitute as sexual harassment and/or sexual misconduct.

Wheeling Jesuit University seeks to promote an environment of safety and respect across campus, ensuring that all members of our University community can learn, live and work free from being subjected to inappropriate sexual behavior and sexual violence. All students are expected to read this policy and develop a clear understanding of what is and is not acceptable sexual behavior. Students exhibiting questionable sexual behavior may be charged with a violation of the Student
Code of Conduct and will be required to take part in a conduct review process via the Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Board (SHMB)

This policy outlines clear definitions of and procedures for reporting all categories of sexual harassment and sexual misconduct allegations that may occur between students and student groups. Any member of the University community may file charges against a student for violations of the Student Code of Conduct, including charges of sexual harassment and/or sexual misconduct.

Through these policies and procedures the University achieves the following goals:
  1. To develop a campus culture that encourages prompt reporting of sexual harassment and/or misconduct.
  2. To provide prompt professional and support services to the alleged victims of sexual harassment and/or misconduct in an effort to reduce trauma.
  3. To provide a fair, detailed process that informs alleged victims and alleged assailants of their rights and services available to them.
  4. To cultivate a campus community where instances of sexual harassment and sexual misconduct are diminished through ongoing education, training and mutual respect for each other.
  5. To provide a fair, comprehensive policy and conduct process that that protects the rights of both the accused and alleged victim. The accused student generally shall be free from sanction, pending the conclusion of a case. However, where the nature of the case indicates that there is a credible danger to the immediate well-being of any member of the University community, appropriate interim measures (including interim Housing and/or University Suspension) may be taken enforced by the Dean of Student Development and/or his/her designee.
The Wheeling Jesuit University community fully supports all local, state, and federal laws governing acts of sexual misconduct. It is the responsibility of all students to be aware of and adhere to these laws. Likewise, it is the University's expectation that students will respect the rights, dignity, and personhood of others.

2.0 USE OF POLICY

  1. Complaints Against Students
    This policy applies in those instances when a student alleges that he or she has been subject to sexual harassment or misconduct by another student. This policy also applies where a previous student, prospective student or other visitor to the campus (e.g., a guest of another student, an alumnus or alumna, or a member of a visiting team) alleges he/she has been subject to sexual harassment or sexual misconduct by a Wheeling Jesuit University student.

    If a student or visitor is an alleged victim of sexual misconduct or harassment by someone other than another student, then this policy does not apply; please read on for further information regarding complaints against non-students.
  2. Complaints Against Faculty or Staff
    If a student or visitor wishes to bring forward a complaint of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment against a faculty or staff member, the policy that applies in those situations is overseen by Wheeling Jesuit University's Office of Human Resources. The student or visitor should follow the procedures outlined in that policy but may receive information and initial guidance via the Office of the Dean of Student Development.
  3. Complaints Against Visitors or Non-Community Members
    If a student wishes to bring forward a complaint of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment against a visitor or non-community member (e.g., an alumnus or alumna, a prospective student, a guest of a student, a member of another university team, a local resident), the initial complaint should be made to Campus Safety and Security at 304-243-2486. The Director of Campus Safety & Security will investigate complaints, and the University will determine the appropriate action to be taken, which may include contacting local law enforcement.
  4. On-Campus and Off-Campus Behavior
    This policy applies to conduct that occurs on any part of Wheeling Jesuit University's campus or property. It also applies when students travel off-campus as part of a University activity, team, organization, class or event. Additionally, Wheeling Jesuit University has the discretion to discipline student behavior that occurs off-campus, and/or during a time when the University is not in session but while students are identified by the University as a current or prospective student. In making these determinations, the Dean of Student Development and/or his/her designee considers whether the behavior impacts the campus environment (as would be the case, for example, if one student sexually assaults another student at an off-campus location or if a student sends another student lewd sexual electronic messages while at home during a University break period).
  5. Timeframe for Making a Complaint
    While there is no time limit for bringing forward a complaint, the passage of time may make an incident difficult or even impossible to investigate fairly or fully and to adjudicate within our University conduct system. Therefore, students are encouraged to make a complaint as soon as possible after the incident has occurred. A former student may make a complaint against a current student. However, the reverse is not true: the complaint of a current student against a former student is not subject to adjudication pursuant to this policy. In such cases, University officials will help the complaining student to report the allegations to the appropriate offcampus authorities.

3.0 DEFINITIONS OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT & SEXUAL MISCONDUCT

For purposes of this policy the term "Sexual Misconduct" includes: Sexual Harassment, Category A and Category B Sexual Misconduct and Category C Sexual Exploitation as outlined in the definitions below. Sexual misconduct is also a form of sexual harassment prohibited by Title IX.

Wheeling Jesuit University has defined several categories of sexual misconduct below, all of which students can be charged with and processed through the student conduct process by appearing before the Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Board (SHMB). Sexual misconduct of any nature is a serious violation of basic human rights and of the University's Student Code of Conduct; students found responsible for charges of sexual misconduct are subject to sanctions, which may include suspension and/or expulsion. Students also have the right to contact law enforcement to file offcampus charges of sexual misconduct at any level; the Director of Campus Safety and Security is available for assistance in communicating with off-campus officials when requested.
  1. Sexual Harassment
    Federal and state laws prohibit sexual harassment, which is illegal and prohibited by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Sexual harassment can take two forms, quid pro quo and hostile environment.
    1. Quid pro quo harassment occurs when submission to unwelcome sexual conduct is an explicit or implicit condition of participation in a University activity or program, or of evaluation or advancement of a student. It can also occur when a University official causes a student to believe that an educational decision will made based on whether or not the student submits to unwelcome sexual conduct.
    2. Hostile environment harassment occurs when unwelcome sexually harassing conduct is so severe, persistent, or pervasive that it affects a student's ability to participate in or benefit from an education program or activity, or creates an intimidating, threatening or abusive educational environment. A hostile environment can be created by a University employee, another student, or a visitor.
    No forms of sexual harassment will be tolerated at Wheeling Jesuit University. This includes actions that may take place in an electronic forum, including but not limited to: emails, text messages, personal blogs and social networking sites, such as message boards, tweets, status updates, and chat rooms.

    Inappropriate conduct that constitutes as acts of sexual harassment includes but is not limited to the following:
    1. Sexual remarks that relate to the gender or sexual identity of a person
    2. Touching of a sexual nature
    3. Patting, pinching, repeated brushing against the body
    4. Verbal, visual, or physical harassment based on one's sexual orientation
    5. Unwelcomed sexual advances
    6. Subtle pressure and/or requests for sexual activity or favors
    7. Solicitation or coercion of sexual activity
    8. Graffiti of a sexual nature
    9. Displaying or distributing of sexually explicit drawings, pictures and written materials
    10. Sexual gestures
    11. Sexual or "dirty" jokes
    12. Touching oneself sexually or talking about one's sexual activity in front of others
    13. Spreading rumors about or rating others as to sexual appeal, sexual activity or performance
    14. Behavior with an implied or overt promise of reward or preferential treatment, or an implied or overt threat of punishment
    15. Verbal, physical, or visual expression of a sexual nature which would create a hostile or offensive working, learning or living environment; including but not limited to derogatory name calling of a sexual nature.
    16. Whistling, leering, physically trapping, or cornering
    17. Derogatory or demeaning comments about a particular group based on sexual orientation
    18. Repeated pressure for an intimate relationship after one has said "no."
    19. Pressure for sexual activity in return for improving grade, passing a course, getting hired, or getting a raise.
    20. Recording of sexual acts without expressed permission of all parties involved.
    Wheeling Jesuit University does not condone student behaviors that sexually demeans or humiliates other community members, even if the conduct does not violate the law. Stalking is one such behavior and can be a form a sexual harassment when the person stalked is made to feel sexually uncomfortable or vulnerable as a result of the activity. Stalking refers to a person's deliberate and repeated following, observing, contacting and/or communicating with another person when the other has not consented to the activity and/or does not wish for the activity. Stalking includes, but is not limited to, repeatedly engaging in contact, face-to-face communication, telephone calls or messages, text messages, emails, letters, the giving of unwanted gifts, threatening or obscene gestures, surveillance, following, trespassing and/or vandalism.
  2. Sexual Misconduct
    Sexual misconduct includes any form of sexual contact without free and full consent of both parties and is completely contrary to the values of the University and is in serious violation of the University's behavioral expectations. Sexual misconduct includes, but is not limited to:
    1. Non-consensual sexual contact or intercourse with another person
    2. Sexual contact or intercourse with another person by use of threat, force, or intimidation
    3. Sexual contact or intercourse with another person who possesses a weapon.
    4. More specifically, sexual misconduct includes rape, acquaintance/date rape, attempted rape, fondling or touching a person's genitalia, groin, breast, or buttocks without the person's consent.

    Violations of Wheeling Jesuit University's Sexual Misconduct policy include but are not limited to the following:
    1. Level A Sexual Misconduct
      Level A sexual misconduct offenses are considered the most serious by the University and include any sexual penetration, regardless of how slight, with any type of body part or object, or sexual intercourse by a male or female upon a male or female without consent. Sexual penetration includes, but is not limited to, vaginal or anal penetration by a penis, finger, tongue or object, as well as oral copulation by mouth to genital contact or genital to mouth contact. Additionally, any other type of sexual misconduct outlined in this policy which involves any level of violence will be considered a Level A Sexual Misconduct offense.
    2. Level B Sexual Misconduct
      Level B sexual misconduct offenses are any intentional sexual touching, however slight, with any object by a man or woman upon a man or woman without consent. Sexual touching includes any bodily contact with the genitals, breasts, groin, mouth or other bodily orifice of another individual, or any other bodily contact in a sexual manner.
    3. Level C Sexual Exploitation
      Sexual exploitation occurs when a person takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for his/her own benefit or to benefit someone other than the individual being exploited, and that behavior does not otherwise constitute a violation of sexual harassment or a Level A or Level B sexual misconduct as defined above. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to:
      1. Sexual voyeurism (without consent or exceeding the bounds of consent watching another undress, use the bathroom or engage in sexual acts)
      2. Non-consensual video, photography or audio taping of sexual activity
      3. Exceeding the boundaries of consent – without consent of all involved allowing others to watch consensual sexual activity, this may or may not be by such means as hiding in a closest, webcam, etc.
      4. Knowingly engaging in sexual activity with another while knowingly being infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or another sexually transmitted disease
        (STD) without informing the other person of the infection
      5. Prostitution or promoting prostitution
      6. Administering to another person without their knowledge or consent alcohol or drugs (to include "date rape" drugs) for the purpose or with the effect of having sexual contact or attempting sexual contact with that person
      7. Hazing as outlined in the Student Code of Conduct, which involves any type of sexual overtones

4.0 DEFINITIONS OF CONSENT

  1. Consent - Consent is permission. It is clear, given knowingly and voluntarily, either by actions or by words by someone capable of giving it. It must be explicit and not implied. It is the responsibility of all parties involved to make certain the other has consented to any form of sexual activity before such activity occurs. Consent to some sexual activity (i.e., kissing, fondling) cannot be presumed as consent for other sexual activity (i.e., intercourse). A past relationship or prior consenting sexual activity does not constitute consent for future sexual activity. Silence on the part of an individual and/or failure to resist does not constitute his or her consent.
  2. Incapacitation - Incapacitated persons cannot give consent. A person may be incapacitated as a result of alcohol or drugs (voluntary or involuntary), as a result of being unconscious, unaware of his/ her surroundings and/or disorientated so as to not understand what is happening, if he/she is mentally incompetent, if he/she is asleep, or if he/she is unconscious for any reason. Such a person is physically helpless and therefore incapable of giving consent.
  3. Withdrawal of Consent - Consent may be withdrawn by an individual at any time during sexual activity. This withdrawal of consent may be through words, actions or a combination of both. When such an individual indicates that he or she does not want the activity to continue, the other participant must stop the activity immediately.
  4. Legal Age of Consent - In the state of West Virginia, 16 years old is the age of consent; persons under the age of 16 years old cannot consent to sexual activity. Sexual contact with a person under16 years old is a crime as well as a violation of this policy, even if the person under the age of consent wanted to engage in the sexual act. This law is meant to protect teenagers under the age of 16 from being manipulated or forced into sex with older people. In West Virginia, persons can legally consent to sexual intercourse when they become 16 years old.
  5. Further Clarification - The following clarifications may be of assistance in helping persons to understand consent:
    1. Sexual contact includes any intentional touching of another person's private areas either directly or through clothing using any body part or other object without the consent of that person.
    2. Saying "No" means "No."
    3. Failure to resist or to be silent does not mean consent has been given.
    4. Consent means words or overt actions by a person competent to give consent.
    5. Acquaintance assault or "date rape" is a form of sexual misconduct.
    6. Being under the influence of drugs or alcohol does not diminish or relieve personal responsibility of an assaulter. A person who is under the influence of drugs/alcohol is unable to give consent. Any misuse of such an individual is abuse.
    7. Non-consensual electronic recording of sexual activity is a form of sexual violence.

6.0 REPORTING PROCEDURES

  1. Overview

    Wheeling Jesuit University strongly encourages victims and/or witnesses of sexual harassment and/or sexual misconduct to report these incidents to the proper authorities. Reports of sexual harassment and/or misconduct can be made to any University employee who will then report the case to the Dean of Student Development; however, the process works most effectively when initial reports are made to one of the following offices/individuals:
    1. Campus Security at 304-243-2486 or the Swint Annex or Swint 209 (Director's Office)
    2. Residence Life staff in the residence halls (Resident Assistant and Area Coordinator staff) or in the main office in Swint 201 or at 304-243-2257
    3. Dean of Student Development at 304-243-2350 or Swint 209.
    4. Title IX Coordinator - at 304-243-2233 or CET 2nd Floor President's Office
    Upon receipt of the initial report, the complainant will be asked to provide information; it is important that reporting students provide as much information as possible. Wheeling Jesuit University will promptly, impartially and thoroughly investigate all claims of sexual harassment and/or sexual misconduct in a focused attempt to act justly, prevent future incidents and remediate the effects of the misconduct.

    In most instances, students will contact residence life staff (either their building Area Coordinator (AC) or their floor Resident Assistant (RA) or a campus Security Office for immediate assistance in filing a report of the incident and/or obtaining medical and/or psychological treatment. Residence Life and Security personnel cannot present an anonymous report of a sexual harassment and/or sexual misconduct incident given their roles within the University; upon receipt of a report, such staff will complete a Sexual Misconduct Incident Report Form (SMIRF) and return the form to the Dean of Student Development as soon as possible, no later than 24 hours after the initial report.

    If a student(s) feels that they are in immediate danger, the student(s) need to get to a safe place and contact Campus Security at 304-243-2486 or dial 911. If student(s) are in need of medical attention dial Campus Security at 304-243-2486 or call 911. Whenever possible, it is best to notify Campus Security before dialing 911 so Security Officers can assist in directing responding emergency services personnel to student(s) campus location.

    Students may also choose to file a report without the assistance of University staff by completing the "Sexual Misconduct Incident Report Form" (SMIRF) and returning the form to the Office of the Dean of Student Development. The SMIRF is available online at wju.edu, or via the following campus offices: Dean of Student Development (Swint 209), Residence Life (Swint 201), Campus Safety & Security (Swint Annex or Swint 209 for Director's Office).

    Upon receipt of an allegation of sexual harassment and/or misconduct, the University will initiate and investigation and take actions deemed necessary to protect the emotional well-being of the individuals involved, as well as the educational environment of the University community. These actions may include, but are not limited to, relocating residence hall assignments, restricting access to certain campus buildings, prohibiting contact between the alleged offender, the complainant, or witnesses, or suspending the alleged offender from campus pending the hearing. In cases where offcampus law enforcement is involved, the University will comply with all investigative efforts and will resume its own investigation of the case when doing so does not interfere with off-campus investigations.

  2. No Retaliation Policy

    The University prohibits retaliation for filing a complaint or participating in an investigation or inquiry. No one shall be subject to any form of reprisal, discrimination, adverse treatment, or retaliation because she/he has acted in good faith to report sexual harassment and/or sexual misconduct, file a complaint, or participate in an investigation or inquiry.

  3. Anonymous Reporting

    Students seeking confidential medical and counseling services as a result of an incident of sexual harassment or sexual misconduct may contact the following offices:
    1. Health Services at 304-243-2275 or in Swint 208
    2. Counseling Services at 304-243-2081 or Suite 101, Whelan Hall
    Both of these offices can provide students with any necessary medical (health center) and psychological (counseling center) services. Professional staff in these offices can also help students report incidents of sexual harassment and/or sexual misconduct by completing the Sexual Misconduct Incident Report Form (SMIRF) without identifying the alleged victim and forwarding the form to the Dean of Student Development.

    An anonymous SMIRF completed by the Health Center or Counseling Center does not constitute a security incident report, a Residence Life or a police report. This form is strictly for Jeanne Cleary Act disclosure purposes and will not necessarily initiate an investigation, per the alleged victim's wishes. This person will not be contacted by anyone outside of Health Center or Counseling Center unless he/she so desires. The Dean of Student Development will communicate with the anonymous complainant via the Health Center or Counseling Staff filing the SMIRF to ensure the student is well aware of his/her rights and options within the Sexual Misconduct Policy and to also to determine if it may be necessary for the University to pursue investigation notwithstanding the student's wishes and/or to take action when there is a risk to the safety of the campus community or when otherwise legally obligated to do so.

  4. Sexual Misconduct Incident Report Form (SMIRF)

    Students filing reports of sexual harassment and/or sexual misconduct can do so by completing the "Sexual Misconduct Incident Report Form" (SMIRF) and returning the form to the Office of the Dean of Student Development. The SMIRF is available online at wju.edu, or via the following campus offices: Dean of Student Development (Swint 209), Residence Life (Swint 201), Campus Safety & Security (Swint Annex or Swint 209 for Director's Office).

    A student may also file an official report regarding sexual harassment and/or misconduct at any time, 24 hours a day, and seven days a week with Campus Security located in the Swint Annex or Swint 209 (Director's Office). The report could include the alleged victim's name, as well as the suspect(s) if known. A preliminary investigation will be conducted by Campus Security, which may include notifying the local law enforcement agency. The Campus Security report will be forwarded to Dean of Student Development, who will follow the procedures outlined in this policy.

    Upon receipt of a SMIRF, the Dean of Student Development will follow-up in a timely fashion with information to the University community of incidents that are considered to be a threat to other students and/or employees. Safety considerations will be balanced with the privacy interests of complainants and others involved in such incidents.

    If after filing a report, the complainant does not wish for the investigation to continue, the University will give due consideration to the complainant's request. However, it may be necessary for the University to pursue the investigation notwithstanding the student's wishes and to take action when there is a risk to the safety of the campus community or when otherwise legally obligated to do so.

    The University will comply with the Cleary Act by providing anonymous statistics on the occurrence of sexual harassment and/or sexual misconduct on campus. Incident reports of sexual misconduct will be used to provide these statistics. The Director of Safety and Security will report all such statistics on the Uniform Crime Report to the West Virginia State Police. Students are encouraged to report sexual misconduct violations to Safety and Security and may report the incident anonymously. Members of the community (other than the alleged victim) are also encouraged to report the offense to Campus Safety and Security and may do so anonymously as well.

    The University will also comply with all applicable federal laws and acts in attempting to prevent, report, and investigate sexual offenses that occur on campus, this includes Title IX legislation.

  5. Criminal Reports

    A student who has been the victim of sexual misconduct, including but not limited to instances of sexual assault, is strongly encouraged to contact local law enforcement directly by dialing 911 or with the assistance of Campus Security at 304-243-2486. Filing an official police report is different than filing an incident report at Wheeling Jesuit University. When a student files a sexual misconduct report with local law enforcement a criminal investigation is initiated and that investigation is often transferred to either the Wheeling Police Department or the Ohio County Sheriff's Office for further investigation. A determination will be made if the case will be prosecuted following a criminal investigation.

    A criminal investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct does not end the University's' duty to investigate and resolve complaints promptly and equitably. After the police have completed their initial evidence gathering phase of their investigation in appropriate cases, Wheeling Jesuit University will proceed with its own fact-finding investigation and procedures under this policy. The University does not have to wait for the completion of any civil or criminal case before proceeding with campus conduct procedures, although the University may slightly delay their investigation should a criminal investigation proceed at the same time.

7.0 CONFIDENTIALITY

Wheeling Jesuit University understands that a student who has been the victim of sexual misconduct and/or sexual harassment may wish to talk about the incident with the assurance that the discussion will be confidential. There are several support resources that students may utilize on a confidential basis. These include Health Center and the Counseling Center staff members and members of the Jesuit community. Students are encouraged to consult these sources for confidential emotional support. Because these services are confidential, a discussion with any of these sources will not necessarily result in a complaint being filed with the University or in action being taken by the University to respond to the incident. A student who wants emotional support only should contact the confidential health and counseling resources noted above.

The University endeavors to respect and follow the wishes of an individual who brings forward a sexual misconduct and/or sexual harassment concern. However, students should understand Wheeling Jesuit University may have ethical and legal obligations to investigate, attempt to resolve or adjudicate incidents of sexual misconduct and/or sexual harassment that come to its attention. Therefore, depending on the circumstances, it may not be possible for a conversation with personnel in the Division of Student Development, or other administrators, to be kept in confidence (or, said another way, for these individuals simply to listen without taking action).

Also see "Anonymous" information in Section V: Reporting.

8.0 STUDENT CONDUCT PROCESS

Through the Division of Student Development, Wheeling Jesuit University will initiate conduct proceedings when a report is filed alleging sexual harassment and/or sexual misconduct. In most cases, both the complainant and the accused will meet separately with a member of the Division of Student Development and will be provided information pertaining to the rights students have when going through the student conduct process to have reports handled as fairly, discreetly, and as timely as possible. Upon an initial report of wrong-doing, the University will immediately initiate an investigation and arrange for a Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Board hearing; investigations and hearings will be concluded within 30 days on receipt of the initial report.

Wheeling Jesuit University's student conduct system is not meant to mirror t-campus criminal due process system. Specifically, in university proceedings the burden of proof is "preponderance of he offevidence" (or a "more likely than not" to have occurred), students do not have right to legal counsel during the process, and complainants do not need to appear in the same room as the accused student. "Evidence" does not have to be in the form of physical evidence nor does the violation have to be witnessed; circumstantial information can be sufficient in some instances for the SHMB to determine that a violation was "more likely than not" to have occurred. Additionally, complainants have the same appeal rights as accused students.
  1. Sexual Harassment & Misconduct Board (SHMB)

    The Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Board (SMHB)) is responsible for adjudicating sexual harassment and sexual misconduct cases. The SHMB is a six-member body consisting of five voting members from the faculty, staff and/or administration and one non-voting chair (Dean of Student Development or his/her designee). SHMB members undergo appropriate training to assist in the processing of formal complaints against students alleging sexual harassment and/or sexual misconduct.

  2. Hearing Procedures

    The following is a general description of the formal SHMB process. The process may vary as appropriate for specific hearings.

    The accused student shall receive written notification which may include electronic mail from the Dean of Student Development at least 72 hours before any hearing; this notice will indicate the charges against the student. Both the alleged offender and the complainant have a right to similar timely access to information that will be used at the hearing, including reports; both students will also be asked to attend individual meetings to review the charges and the SHMB process. Although hearing materials become part of a charged student's educational record under FERPA, the University reserves the right to share relevant case materials with both parties.

    If a student cannot attend the hearing, the University has the right to conduct the hearing without the student present.

    Students may only bring a faculty/staff member or an administrator as an advisor to the hearing. Advisors may furnish advice only and may not question witnesses or other individuals involved in the proceedings. Advisors are not allowed to address the SHMB or to question witnesses. The advisor must be a full-time member of the Wheeling Jesuit University community and cannot be an attorney or hold a law degree.

    The hearing will be presided over and administered by the chair, who will determine the order and method of proceeding. The chair will exercise control to prevent needless consumption of time, disruption, harassment, intimidation or other conduct not conducive to the purpose of the hearing. The chair will read the charges during the hearing and may exclude from the hearing any person who engages in conduct not conducive to the review.

    The hearing generally will be closed to anyone other than the accused student and the complainant, their respective permitted advisors, and (during their testimony) any witnesses, but the chair may in his or her discretion permit others to attend if he or she deems that their presence may be helpful to the review and determination of the charges or that there are other compelling reasons for their presence. Parents, family, legal counsel and any non-Wheeling Jesuit University community member will not be permitted to attend the hearing.

    The complainant and the accused student may each request the presence of witnesses at the hearing. Such requests must be submitted to the chair in writing at least 24 hours before the hearing and must describe the requested witnesses' expected testimony. All questions posed to non-board members from the complainant and/or student charged must be asked through the chairperson. There is no limitation placed on the number of eyewitnesses or corroborating witnesses. In the event that a witness cannot attend a hearing, a written statement signed by the witness and completed in the presence of a Security Office or Student Development professional staff members may be submitted in a hearing. Students are limited to two character witnesses to testify on their behalf. Character witnesses should be prepared to speak about the character of the student who asked them to testify and may do so in person or in writing.

    The chair may refuse to call a requested witness or otherwise limit their testimony if the chair determines that the expected testimony is not sufficiently relevant to the charges, would be duplicative of other testimony, or would otherwise not be significantly helpful to the review and determination of the charges. The chair may also call additional witnesses on his or her initiative. The hearing will begin with the SHMB chair going over the student rights and responsibilities for the alleged offender, and then reading his/her charges. The alleged offender will have the opportunity to present an opening statement to the SHMB that describes his/her involvement and/or responsibility in the incident. The complainant will then have an opportunity to present his/her statement to the SHMB. The complainant may choose to present his/her testimony without the alleged offender being present. Several options exist when the complainant does not want to be present in the room with the alleged offender. The testimony presented to the SHMB can be recorded and replayed for the alleged offender to hear before he/she gives any testimony and presents evidence. The alleged offender can also listen to the testimony by intercom, if available. The complainant has the right to be present for or listen to all testimony given during the hearing, if he/she so chooses.

    The SHMB will then call witnesses and has the ability to recall the alleged offender, any witness, and the complainant for clarification if needed. The complainant has the right to enter an impact statement in writing, which describes how the incident has affected him/her. The impact statement is introduced after all of the witnesses have been heard from.

    Statements or questions regarding the past sexual history of the alleged offender or complainant will generally not be permissible as evidence during the hearing except as they relate to the past sexual history of the alleged offender with the complainant.

    The degree of impairment of the complainant's ability to give or withhold consent may be introduced as evidence.

    Both the complainant and the student charged will be allowed to make opening and closing statements.

    The board deliberates in closed session and determines if the student is responsible for the alleged violation(s) by using a preponderance of evidence standard. A simple majority of the five voting board members is sufficient for determining a student's responsibility for violations.

    If a student is found responsible, the board shall receive the record of any previous student conduct violations and sanctions and any other information relevant to recommending sanctions. The board members will continue to deliberate in private and decide on the appropriate sanction. Drug or alcohol use by the offender is not a defense to a charge of sexual misconduct and will not be considered a mitigating factor in assessing an appropriate sanction.

    The chair in a timely manner will inform the complainant and the student charged of the decision. The decision of the board is effective immediately following the hearing and shall be substantiated in writing within five working days of the hearing. The findings and sanctions that pertain to the complainant will be communicated in writing.

    A recording of the proceedings may be made at formal hearings.

    SHMB members are required to maintain confidentiality as to all aspects of the case reviewed, including student conduct records, the deliberations and votes taken. In addition, all student participants are expected to maintain confidentiality regarding the proceedings, except that the complainant and the alleged offender may not be required to maintain confidentiality as to the outcome of the proceedings. In recognition of the unique nature of sexual misconduct cases, the procedures specified in this section supersede any conflicting provisions of the University student conduct process.

  3. Sanctions

    In assessing a disciplinary penalty, the seriousness of the sexual harassment and/or misconduct incident will be evaluated. Violations of the sexual harassment and/or sexual misconduct are serious and although there are no standard sanctions outlined for violations of this policy, the University reserves the right to impose any level of discipline, up to and including a Level IV: Suspension or a Level V: Expulsion based on the facts and circumstances of the particular case.

  4. Statement of Student Rights

    A student who reports an incident of sexual harassment and/or sexual misconduct is entitled:
    1. To be treated with respect by University officials;
    2. To take advantage of campus support services available to him/her. On campus support services include the Counseling Center: (304) 243-2081, the Health Center: (304)2432275, Dean of Student Development: (304) 243-2350, Title IX Coordinator: (304)-2432233, or Campus Ministry: (304) 243-2385.
    3. To have reports of sexual harassment and sexual misconduct responded to in accordance with University policy;
    4. To request transfer to alternative classes and/or housing and to have such request accommodated if such classes and/or housing are reasonably available.
    5. To have an advisor present during the Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Board proceedings;
    6. To have irrelevant prior sexual history disallowed from the Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Board hearing;
    7. To not be charged with minor misconduct that is ancillary to the sexual harassment and/or sexual misconduct incident; To receive notification of options for and available assistance in changing academic and living situations after an alleged incident;
    8. To be free from retaliation;
    9. To be informed of the names of all witnesses who will be called to the hearing prior to the hearing;
    10. To be informed in writing of the outcome of any formal disciplinary hearing;
    11. To appeal the outcome of the hearing;
    12. To have the right to a hearing by means other than having to face the accused student;
    13. To pursue the case both within the institution and through the off-campus courts; University proceedings are separate and different from the legal, off-campus proceedings.
    14. To have access to and use of off-campus resources, including:
      1. Upper Ohio Valley Sexual Assault Help Center, a Wheeling based non-profit organization dedicated to providing assistance to the community in dealing with the crime of sexual assault; all victim services are provided free of charge and may include a 24-hour hotline, group and individual counseling, advocacy and support services, information and referral services, and community education: 304-234-8519 (24-hour local hotline) or 800-884-7242 (24-hour national hotline).
      2. West Virginia Foundation for Rape Information and Services, West Virginia's state sexual assault coalition: 304-366-9500, fris.org, or wvfris@frontier.com
      3. City of Wheeling Police Department Dial: 911 or 304-234-3661 o Ohio County Sheriff's Office Dial: 911 or 304-234-3688
      4. Wheeling Hospital Emergency Room: 304-243-3000 (information number) o Ohio Valley Medical Center Emergency Room: 304-234-0123 (information number)
    If the alleged victim chooses to file charges off-campus through the court and legal system, the University will cooperate with law enforcement personnel and support both the alleged victim and assailant through this process as is appropriate (i.e. provide information about off-campus processes, assist in communicating with off-campus authorities, etc.)

    A student who is accused of an incident of sexual harassment and/or sexual misconduct is entitled:
    1. To be treated with respect by University officials;
    2. To take advantage of campus support services available to him/her. On campus support services include the Counseling Center: (304) 243-2081, the Health Center: (304)243-2275, Dean of Student Development: (304) 243-2350, Title IX Coordinator: (304-243-2233), or Campus Ministry: (304) 243-2385.
    3. To have reports of sexual harassment and sexual misconduct responded to in accordance with University policy;
    4. To have a self-appointed advisor present during the Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Board proceedings;
    5. To have irrelevant prior sexual history disallowed from the Sexual Harassment and
      Misconduct Board hearing;
    6. To be free from retaliation;
    7. To be considered not responsible until proven responsible;
    8. To be informed of the names of all witnesses who will be called to the hearing prior to the hearing;
    9. To be informed in writing of the outcome of any formal disciplinary hearing;
    10. To appeal the outcome of the hearing;
    11. To have access to and use of off-campus resources, including:
      1. West Virginia Foundation for Rape Information and Services, West Virginia's state sexual assault coalition: 304-366-9500, fris.org, or wvfris@frontier.com
      2. City of Wheeling Police Department Dial: 911 or 304-234-3661
      3. Ohio County Sheriff's Office Dial: 911 or 304-234-3688

  5. When Complainants Do Not Want to Pursue Student Conduct Action

  6. If the alleged victim chooses not to pursue student conduct actions, the University will document its conclusion of the investigation, and ask him/her to sign a statement acknowledging that he/she concurs with the University's conclusion and that no further action may be taken. This statement will indicate that he/she understands that his/her choice not to pursue student conduct actions may prevent the University from pursuing the complaint to resolution.

    The alleged victim may still choose to pursue the case through the off-campus courts since University proceedings are separate and different from the legal proceedings.

    In all cases, the University may still conduct an investigation and follow-up in the following ways: :
    1. Evidence may be gathered from third party witnesses and a hearing may be held without testimony of the alleged victim.
    2. The University can pursue other conduct violations that may have occurred during the incident that led to the allegation of sexual violence.
    3. The University may require the alleged assailant to attend counseling to explore attitudes about men, women, and sexuality; the University can also require that the assailant participate in other types of educational or awareness raising experiences.

9.0 APPEALS PROCESS

The University President and/or his/her designee(s) will hear cases of appeals submitted as a result of a decision by the SHMB. Depending on the nature of the case, one or more designee(s) will be appointed to hear an appeal. This/these individual(s) will respond to appeals from students who have had disciplinary sanctions placed upon them by a SHMB or from complainants who may not be satisfied with the outcome from the board decision. The individual(s) hearing the appeal, as determined by the University President, will not be involved with the SHMB or any aspect of the original case.
  1. Initiating

  2. Both the complainant and the accused student have equal rights to appeal a decision of the SHMB; the process is the same for both. Appeals must be made in writing and submitted to the President's Office, within five business days of the date of the SHMB findings letter. A student may appeal only on one or several of the following grounds:
    1. The hearing was not conducted in the manner provided under the Student Code Conduct and/or the Sexual Misconduct Policy. In conformity with prescribed procedures, the complaining party will be given a reasonable opportunity to prepare and to present information that the community standards were violated, and the accused student will be given a reasonable opportunity to prepare and to present a response to those allegations. Deviations from designated procedures will not be a basis for sustaining an appeal unless significant prejudice results.
    2. There was insufficient evidence to establish responsibility and/or there was sufficient evidence to establish responsibility.
    3. There is new evidence that exonerates, clears the student, or puts the conduct situation into a different context.
    4. There is new and substantial information not previously considered in the disciplinary process, because such information and/or facts were not known or available to the person appealing at the time of the original hearing. Failure to participate in the hearing may not be used as a basis for filing an appeal under this section.
    5. The student witnessed or experienced bias or discrimination during the conduct process.
    6. The imposed sanction was too severe for the level of violation concluded to have occurred and/or the imposed sanction was not severe enough for the level of violation concluded to have occurred.
    Students are to clearly make their case in their written appeal, identify which of the above grounds of appeal on which they are appealing and why. If the appeal does not meet one of the six criteria noted above, the student will be notified in writing that the request for appeal is denied and the initial decision and sanction(s) will remain in effect. To be considered, written appeals should provide sufficient detail for the reason for the appeal; lack of sufficient information contained within a written appeal is grounds for denial.

  3. Timeline

    If the appeal meets at least one of the criteria above, appeals submitted to the President's Office will be reviewed and, under normal circumstances, will be decided within 10 business days (2 weeks) of the receipt of the appeal; should an appeal require more time due to nature of the appeal(s) and/or the when the appeal is submitted, the University has a right to extend the time to decide upon an appeal to up to 20 business days (4 weeks).

  4. Review

    When an appeal letter is submitted, the other party will be given notice of the grounds of the appeal and will be provided the opportunity to submit a response. In cases where appeals are submitted by both parties, both appeals will be reviewed by the same individual, as appointed by the University President. Each student will have the ability to present his/her grounds for appeal and any new evidence, as well as respond to questions from the individual hearing the appeal and hear the rationale from the Chair of the SHMB that made the original decision. The burden is on each student to present grounds for his/her appeal to the hearing officer who will then make the final decision regarding the findings and sanction(s) of the case. If only one party appeals, the other party has the right to respond to the appeal even if he/she choose not to submit an appeal.

    In some instances, students appealing a decision may be asked to an appeals meeting to review the situation and take questions; however, such meetings are not necessary for an appeal to be considered and decided upon. The non-appealing party may also be asked to attend an appeals meeting to take questions.

    Upon receipt of an appeal, the hearing officer(s) may affirm, reverse or modify the decision regarding the violation and/or sanctions imposed. Specifically, one of four options will be decided:
    1. The appeal is granted, and the sanctions are overturned.
    2. The appeal is granted, and the sanctions are modified.
    3. The appeal is denied, and the sanctions remain in effect.
    4. The appeal is denied and additional sanctions are imposed.
    An appeal does not postpone/delay the imposition and/or completion of sanctions.

    The hearing officer(s) reviewing the appeal shall review the appeal and the written documentation from the original hearing. If they desire, they may also review the recording of the hearing, ask questions of the complainant/student(s) charged, ask questions of the SHMB chair and/or request additional information.

    The final decision of the hearing officer(s) reviewing the appeal is not subject to further review; students are limited to one appeal.

    Review of appeals is not open to the public, other members of the University community, parents, family members, friends, or legal counsel.

    The hearing officer(s) reviewing an appeal are required to maintain confidentiality as to all information presented in the case, including but not limited to: student conduct records, the deliberations, and votes taken.

10.0 ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

  1. Educational Programs

    It is essential for all Wheeling Jesuit University students to understand the limitations governing sexual acts and/or contact between persons. Educational programs about sexual misconduct are offered annually during first-year orientation programs. Educational programs and flyers raising awareness of the issues of sexual misconduct on college campus also take place in the residence halls and throughout campus during the academic year; it is ultimately the students' responsibility to be aware of acts that violate campus policy and to not encourage in environments that promote acts of sexual harassment and/or sexual misconduct within our University community. Campus programs are announced to the University community through regular means of advertising information and/or events across campus.

  2. Support Services

    Wheeling Jesuit University has a variety of support services immediately available to students involved in cases of sexual harassment and/or sexual misconduct.

    On campus support services for complainants and/or alleged assailants include:
    1. Counseling Center: Suite 101, Whelan Hall, (304) 243-2081. The Counseling Center provides qualified professionals who can help students clarify their feelings about sexuality and intimacy and help students develop communication and coping skills that may be useful in managing potentially difficult situations. Counseling staff are available to students at no cost for counseling or for referral networking consults; contact the Counseling Center to schedule an appointment.
    2. Health Center: 208 Swint Hall, (304) 243-2081. The Health Center can provide medical support to students seeking assistance with physical effects of an instance of sexual misconduct. A part-time Nurse Coordinator is available to students at no charge; contact the Health Center for nurse hours and/or to schedule an appointment.
    3. Campus Ministry: Ground Floor, Chapel (304) 243-2385. Campus Ministry staff are equipped to assist students who may be struggling with issues of spirituality related to sexual relationships, sexual identity, gender roles, and/or experiences with sexual misconduct.
    4. Dean of Student Development: 209 Swint Hall, (304) 243-2350. The Dean's Office can provide general support services, ranging from referral to on and off-campus resources to answering questions about the student conduct process in cases of sexual misconduct.
    5. Title IX Coordinator: President's Office, 2nd Floor CET Building (304)-243-2233. The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for monitoring the overall implementation of Title IX legislation compliance for the University. Students concerned that their student rights were violated and/or that the University failed to adequately respond to cases of sexual harassment and/or sexual misconduct may contact the Title IX Coordinator to share their concerns.
    Off campus support services for complainants and/or alleged assailants of acts of sexual misconduct include:
    1. Upper Ohio Valley Sexual Assault Help Center, a Wheeling based non-profit organization dedicated to providing assistance to the community in dealing with the crime of sexual assault; all victim services are provided free of charge and may include a 24-hour hotline, group and individual counseling, advocacy and support services, information and referral services, and community education: 304-234-8519 (24-hour local hotline) or 800-884-7242 (24-hour national hotline).
    2. West Virginia Foundation for Rape Information and Services, West Virginia's state sexual assault coalition: 304-366-9500, fris.org, or wvfris@frontier.com. Students can also access information online at http://www.fris.org/ -City of Wheeling Police Department Dial: 911 (for emergencies) or 304-234-3661 -Ohio County Sheriff's Office Dial: 911 (for emergencies) or 304-234-3688
    3. Wheeling Hospital Emergency Room: 304-243-3000 (information number). -Ohio Valley Medical Center Emergency Room: 304-234-0123 (information number)
  3. Assisting Victims

    All persons assisting victims of acts of sexual misconduct should be sensitive to the following concerns:
    1. To a person who has been sexually violated, a medical rape exam may seem like a second rape. However, if the victim decides to file charges against the assailant at a later time, physical evidence is necessary. Encourage the victim to have a medical examination, and emphasize concern for the person's health. Suggest to the victim that someone such as a trained Sexual Assault Help Center (SAHC) advocate is with him/her for support at the hospital. Whenever possible, the hospital performing the rape kit will bring in a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) to be with the victim during the exam; the SANE nurse is specifically trained to assist victims of sexual assault and will be able to assist the victim in seeking assistance from local resources
    2. Many victims are reluctant to report sexual misconduct and to file charges against the assailant. The victim should view these questions separately. All victims should be encouraged to report acts of violence so that the University can respond with additional resources, programs, and security. The victim can also receive needed support and help in understanding his/her own feelings. Filing a Sexual Misconduct Incident Report Form (SMIRF) report does not mean that further action must be taken by a victim.
    3. The question of filing legal charges or pursuing Student Conduct action is a much more difficult decision to make. Some individuals may be more emotionally able to handle the stress of a trial or hearing than others. Those who feel emotionally able to prosecute will be encouraged to do so. However, when a victim decides not to file charges, he/she should not be criticized.
    While most victims of sexual misconduct are women, men can also be victims. Male victims experience symptoms of psychological trauma similar to those experienced by women. Support services provided for female victims have been shown to be equally helpful for male victims; these services, both on and off campus, are equally available to all victims, regardless of gender.

    Since acts of sexual misconduct can occur in many different circumstances and locations on and around university campuses, it is important for members of the University community to know how to respond and be sensitive to the following when they become aware of an act of sexual misconduct:
    1. In compliance with the Clery Act, any university employee who becomes aware of sexual misconduct needs to report the incident through proper channels to the Dean of Student Development, while honoring the alleged victim's desire for confidentiality and with the primary concern being for his/her welfare.
    2. Upon notification of an immediate violent act, the alleged victim should be encouraged to obtain immediate medical treatment (both to provide for his/her health and well-being and for documentation). Every effort should be made to encourage victims to report sexual violence through official means to allow for campus follow-up.
    3. In the event of a sexual assault, the victim should be given information about preserving evidence, such as the importance of not bathing, washing or brushing teeth until after a medical exam. Evidence of the assault, such as bedding, towels, and clothing, anything touched should be collected, wet articles should be placed in a paper (not plastic) bag to preserve evidence. Clothing or bedding should be carefully folded, not shaken.
    4. Once notified, employees will arrange for transportation to the hospital if needed. Medical attention should be obtained as soon as possible (after 72 hours all physical evidence will be gone). Hospital personnel can answer questions regarding possible pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Even if a period of time has elapsed, a victim should, ideally, be examined by a physician.
    5. The Dean of Student Development or his/her designee will begin an immediate investigation of the incident if he or she determines that the University should respond. If an immediate removal of the alleged assailant from the campus is in the best interest of the alleged victim, the alleged assailant, or the University community, the alleged assailant may be removed temporarily from campus pending the outcome of the investigation. Such action is in compliance with federal regulations.
    6. The Dean of Student Development will inform the alleged assailant that the case will remain open for a reasonable amount of time should the alleged victim decide to initiate Student Conduct action. The Dean will also recommend counseling for all parties involved in the incident and he or she will forward reports of any incidents of sexual violence to a counselor.
    7. With the alleged victim's permission, the university counselor and/or the university nurse will meet with him/her as soon as possible to discuss the various options available and other decisions the victim may need to take.
      1. The counselor and/or nurse will provide support, information on resources available to the victim both on and off campus, and counseling through the stages of rape trauma syndrome.
      2. If the alleged victim makes a decision to pursue university student conduct action, the counselor and/or nurse will refer the victim to the Dean of Student Development.
    8. The Director of Residence Life, if requested by the alleged victim, can make arrangements to modify housing immediately if he/she and the alleged assailant live in the same residence hall, if such action will facilitate the recovery of the alleged victim, and if housing structures make it feasible to do so.

11.0 AUTHORIZATION


12.0 ATTACHMENTS



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