Title IX Our Community’s Responsibility for a Safer SEU Presented by: Beth Charrier, Interim Director of Health and Counseling Center
What is Title IX (and how does it involve me)? Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972: “No person in the United States shall on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”
What else does it mean then? Title IX specifically states that if the institution knows or reasonably should know about a situation where a student was sexually harassed (and all the definitions to follow), the institution MUST act to eliminate the harassment, prevent its reoccurrence, and address its effects.
What does that mean for me? You = St. Ed’s As an employee of St. Edward’s University, if YOU know…St. Ed’s knows.
What am I supposed to pay attention to? • Sexual harassment • Sexual assault • Stalking • Dating or domestic violence • Sex Offenses • Hate crimes based in gender, gender identity or sexual orientation • Any of these fall under sexual discrimination according to Title IX and are under the university’s purview as long as they involve someone in the St. Ed’s community (student, faculty, staff, guests) on St. Ed’s property or at a St. Ed’s function (including off campus).
Sexual Harassment “Sexual harassment is any unwelcome direct or indirect verbal or physical conduct that is made a condition of employment , is a basis for employment decisions, or creates an offensive work atmosphere that inhibits work performance.” http://think.stedwards.edu/hr/content/sexual-harassment Hostile Environment includes any situation in which there is harassing conduct that is sufficiently severe, pervasive/persistent and patently offensive so that it alters the conditions of education or employment, from both a subjective (the alleged victim’s) and an objective (reasonable person’s) viewpoint. The determination of whether an environment is “hostile” must be based on all of the circumstances. These may include: 1. The frequency of the conduct2. The nature and severity of the conduct3. Whether the conduct was physically threatening4. Whether the conduct was humiliating5. The effect of the conduct on the alleged victim’s mental or emotional state6. Whether the conduct was directed at more than one person7. Whether the conduct arose in the context of other discriminatory conduct8. Whether the conduct unreasonably interfered with the alleged victim’s educational or work performance9. Whether the speech or conduct deserves the protections of academic freedom http://think.stedwards.edu/deanofstudents/studenthandbook/universitysexualmisconductpolicy
Sex Offenses/Sexual Assault (Federal) • Forcible Sex Offenses – Any sexual act directed against another person forcibly, or against a person’s will, or not forcibly or against a person’s will when a person is incapable of giving consent • Non-Forcible Sex Offenses – Unlawful, non-forcible sexual intercourse (Incest, Statutory Rape)
Sexual Assault • Any unwanted sexual contact (touching, kissing, fondling or intercourse) committed without consent of the individual or against an individual who cannot reasonably consent. • Texas Penal Code 22.011 defines more specifically and legally defines the crime of sexual assault as involving penetration. • Examples: • Touching or brushing up against someone in a sexual way • Continuing sexual contact past when the other person is participating • Intercourse or sexual touching with someone too intoxicated to object, blacked out or passed out
Sexual Assault (Code of Conduct) Nonconsensual Sexual Contact is any intentional sexual touching, however slight, with any object (including body parts), by a man or a woman upon a man or a woman, without effective consent. Sexual activity includes: • Intentional contact with the breasts, buttocks, groin or genitals; touching another person with any of these body parts; making another person touch you or him or herself with or on any of these body parts; and any intentional bodily contact in a sexual manner, though not involving contact with/of/by breasts, buttocks, groin, genitals, mouth or other orifices. • Intercourse, however slight, meaning vaginal penetration by a penis, object, tongue or finger; anal penetration by a penis, object, tongue or finger; and oral copulation (mouth-to-genital contact or genital-to-mouth contact).
Let’s Talk Consent Ongoing: Must seek consent for every step of sexual activity Active Agreement: Seek Nonverbal (active participation) Verbal Consent (Will you? Why yes!) Respectful and Honest “Consent can be given by word or action, but nonverbal consent is less clear than talking about what you want and what you don’t. Consent to some form of sexual activity cannot be automatically taken as consent to any other sexual activity. Silence — without actions demonstrating permission — cannot be assumed to show consent. You will do well to keep in mind that under this policy, “No” always means “No,” and “Yes” may not always mean “Yes.”” http://think.stedwards.edu/deanofstudents/studenthandbook/universitysexualmisconductpolicy
Stalking (Violence Against Women Act) The term “stalking” means engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to-- (A) fear for his or her safety or the safety of others; or (B) suffer substantial emotional distress. • Source – 42 USCS § 13925(a)
Stalking (Texas) A person commits an offense if the person, on more than one occasion and pursuant to the same scheme or course of conduct that is directed specifically at another person, knowingly engages in conduct, including following the other person, that: (1) the actor knows or reasonably believes the other person will regard as threatening: (A) bodily injury or death for the other person; (B) bodily injury or death for a member of the other person's family or household; or (C) that an offense will be committed against the other person's property; (2) causes the other person or a member of the other person's family or household to be placed in fear of bodily injury or death or fear that an offense will be committed against the other person's property(including the above A, B, C) Texas code 47.072
Stalking (Employee Handbook and Code of Conduct) Prohibited conduct by employees, consultants, or visitors on university premises or engaging in university-related activity includes but is not limited to: Threats of any kind; Intimidating, menacing, hostile, physically aggressive, or violent behavior, including stalking and surveillance; Behavior that suggests a tendency towards violence, including belligerent speech, excessive arguing or swearing, or a demonstrated pattern of refusal to follow university policies and procedures; Defacing or damaging university property; Bringing weapons or firearms of any kind on university premises, in university parking lots, or while conducting university business (except law enforcement personnel); and Any conduct that adversely affects the university's legitimate interests and that could potentially result in violation of any laws relating to threats or violent acts. Employee Handbook Workplace Violence Section Stalking defined as pursuing in a repetitive and menacing way, following, harassing or interfering with the peace or safety of a member of the community or the safety of any of the immediate family of members of the community. - Student Code of Conduct
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 Where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors: i) length of relationship ii) type of relationship iii) frequency of interaction between persons involved in the relationship 42 USCS § 13925(a) An act that is intended to cause physical harm, bodily injury, assault or sexual assault or reasonably places an individual in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault or sexual assault committed by a person: (includes A&B from USCS) Texas Code 71.0021
Domestic (Family) Violence • Federal Law: • The term “domestic violence” includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction receiving grant monies, or by 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. (42 USCS § 13925(a)) • Crimes of violence committed by current or former spouse or intimate partner: share a child in common; is or has cohabitated with; or another person similarly situated (Texas Code 47.004)
Hate Crimes (VAWA) • An underlying crime (assault, graffiti) that is motivated by bias/prejudice with regards to: • Actual or perceived race • Gender • Religion • Sexual orientation • Ethnicity • Disability • National origin • Gender identity
Hate Crimes Because of these [Holy Cross] values, St. Edward’s University is committed to ensuring and protecting personal and cultural diversity, affirming tolerance, and promoting social justice through recognizing the dignity and worth of each person. The university is committed to a policy of tolerance and is opposed, in both philosophy and practice, to the oppression of diversity by individuals, groups, or the institutional abuse of power. Intolerance refers to an attitude, feeling, or belief wherein an individual shows contempt for other individuals or groups based on arbitrarily selected characteristics. Employee Handbook Statement Against Intolerance Section St. Edward's University is a community of persons from diverse cultural backgrounds (ethnic, racial, creed, religious, gender, sexual orientation, age, disabled and socioeconomic). All parties in this community must strive to understand the individuality and uniqueness of those around us and to value those differences, as well as learn from one another in an atmosphere of positive encouragement and mutual respect. St. Edward's does not condone any form of conduct that goes beyond the legally defined boundaries of discrimination. We will not tolerate verbal or written abuse, threats, intimidation, violence or other forms of harassment against any member of the St. Edward's community. Code of Conduct
How Often Does This Happen? 1 in 4 women & 1 in 7 men are victims of severe physical violence at the hands of an intimate partner 1 in 4 college women are victims of completed or attempted sexual assault.
34% of women of a traditional college age experience stalking. 30% of men of a traditional college age experience stalking. (http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/nisvs/index.html)
Dynamics to be aware of Survivors of any of these crimes might react in a variety of ways *this does not discredit their statement* Survivors may consider the welfare of others (including the perpetrator) when deciding to report Our culture is saturated in myths surrounding interpersonal violence If you don’t keep your reactions in check, you may silence a survivor.
What do I do if I become aware of a situation like this? Whoever is telling you needs: Empathy Information More Empathy
The Information The Complainant Needs • You have to report. • “I really appreciate you sharing something so sensitive with me. I need to let you know that as a member of this community I am required to protect the safety of our SEU community, including you. Part of my responsibility in that is a requirement to report something of this nature to our campus Title IX Coordinator. Let me tell you a little more information about what that might mean for you so you can make the decisions you feel most comfortable with.”
The Information The Complainant Needs • Reporting Choices: • Complainant can report to the University (Director of Human Resources or Associate Dean of Students) • Can refuse to participate in investigation that has been started • Complainant can report to University Police or Austin Police • Although these entities might work together, the investigations are separate and parallel processes.
What kinds of help are available? • Counseling – Students, faculty and staff have a variety of options for counseling to help process their experience • Safety Planning and Emergency Housing – there are options on and off campus for a survivor to begin to feel more safe • Legal Help – Several advocate resources also serve as legal advocates
The Information The Complainant Needs Resources for Support: Counseling * Legal * Safety Planning * Housing Confidential Sources on Campus Health & Counseling Center 512-448-8538 Campus Ministry priests 512-448-8499 SEU Employee EAP (800) 343-3822 Confidential Sources Off Campus Safe Place 512-267-SAFE Saheli 877-281-8371 YWCA (512) 326-1222
Who do I report to? Associate Dean of Students Complaint against Steven Pinkenburg, Student Title IX Deputy 512-448-8408 Mary Dellinger Complaint against Human Resources Faculty/Staff 512-448-8542 Any confusion about Lisa Kirkpatrick who to? Title IX Coordinator 512-448-8408
What happens next (University side)? • Title IX Coordinator and other key campus offices will work to enact immediate remedies to ensure safety of the complainant and others • Housing • Class Schedules • No contact/protective orders • Title IX Investigators will begin to gather information, which may include talking to the survivor/complainant, the accused/respondent, any “witnesses”. • Both parties are able to have an advisor (HCC advocate, attorney) present
What happens next (University side cont.)? • Title IX investigators will simultaneously alert complainant and accused of steps taken in the process and the outcome, including sanctions • Both the complainant and the accused are able to appeal • The entire University process is to take no longer than 60 days (so action is quick)
What happens next (law enforcement)? An officer will likely contact the student to gather more information and inquire about whether the student wants to press charges. The student can decline to participate at all. Law enforcement may follow-up by questioning any witnesses or the alleged perpetrator depending on the information they have/get. Investigations where both Dean of Students and University Police are involved are done concurrently and collaboratively as much as possible.