Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 prohibits sex discrimination in educational institutions. It states, “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”. Title IX compliance is overseen by the Office of Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education. It is an amendment to the Higher Education Act of 1965 which, itself, sprang from the Civil Rights Act of 1964, including Title IV, which broadly prohibits harassment and discrimination on the basis of many personal characteristics including race, color, sex, religion, or national origin. Consequently, the University is responsible to promptly, equitably, and reliably address allegations of sexual harassment, discrimination, violence, and retaliation.
The Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act (Campus SaVE Act) of 2013 reauthorizes the earlier Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). With guidance from the U.S. Departments of Justice, Education, and Health and Human Services, institutions of higher education such as Webber International University are required to report annual statistics of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, and sexual assault. The University must make community members aware of resources for victims of such acts, provide prompt, equitable, and reliable investigations of such reports, and establish sexual violence education and prevention programs.
For the purpose of clarity, sexual harassment, misconduct, violence, retaliation, and domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking may be referred to as acts of “sexual discrimination”. Unless otherwise specified, referring to one form of sexual discrimination does not exclude any other form. The term “harassment” will always be understood to comprise all forms of harassment, including sexual discrimination and harassment.
It is the policy of St. Andrews University that no member of the University community shall be subjected to any form of unlawful discrimination, harassment, retaliation, or violence by any other member of this institution.
For the purpose of this policy, “harassment” is defined as sexual harassment or harassment due to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity, age, national origin, mental or physical disability, marital status, medical condition, veteran status, citizenship or sexual orientation. Inappropriate and illegal verbal, physical or electronic conduct constitutes harassment when:
Harassment, including sexual harassment, while taking many forms, would include, but not be limited to, the following types of conduct:
Verbal: Inappropriate noises, remarks or jokes; negative stereotyping; unwelcome remarks about a person’s body, color, physical characteristics or appearance; sexual propositions; sexual innuendoes or sexual remarks about clothing, body or sexual activities.
Nonverbal: Demeaning or offensive pictures, posters, calendars, objects, cartoons, cards, inappropriate gestures or offensive notes or letters. No messages with derogatory or inflammatory remarks about an individual’s or group’s race, religion, national origin, physical attributes, disability, age, gender, or sexual preference will be tolerated or transmitted; unwanted, protracted staring or leering are also forms of nonverbal sexual harassment.
Physical: Aggressive or violent touching, imitating or exaggerating another’s physical characteristics, threatening or intimidating behavior; touching, hugging, patting, or pinching that is uninvited and/or unwanted.
Retaliatory: Assigning low grades, changing work assignments, or refusing to cooperate with a person who has complained about or resisted harassment or discrimination; denying participation, membership; making retaliating verbal or physical threats to a person who has reported or resisted harassment or discrimination; imposing physical, social, or emotional sanctions on a person who has reported or resisted harassment or discrimination (see also section on Retaliation and Reprisals, below).
Harassment, including sexual harassment, includes harassment of women by men, men by women, women by women and men by men. It can occur between teachers and students, teachers and staff, staff and students, and those at different levels of management, as well as between persons of the same University status, i.e., student-student, faculty-faculty, and staff-staff. Harassment, including sexual harassment, can also occur between any Webber International University community member (student, faculty, or staff) and a third party. It may be found in a single episode, as well as in persistent behavior.
Many times, the person accused of harassment is unaware that behavior is inappropriate, coercive or misunderstood. Even the accusation of harassment can have a destructive impact on the academic community. As such, the University will not tolerate any form of discrimination or harassment, or false accusations of such.
In the interest of protecting the University community, Webber International University has developed procedures to investigate and resolve harassment complaints. Those procedures are set forth in Section III of this policy.
It is the policy of the University to provide fair, equitable, reliable, and compassionate responses to reports of any type of sexual discrimination or violence and that no member of the University community shall be subjected to any form of unlawful discrimination, including sexual discrimination (sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, sexual violence, retaliation, and domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking). Examples of sexual harassment are provided in the previous section and examples of these other forms of sexual discrimination are described below. None of them will be tolerated at Webber International University. All forms of sexual discrimination involve unwelcome and/or non-consensual actions.
If an investigation results in a finding that the Reporting Party intentionally falsely accused another of sexual discrimination (including sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, or sexual violence), the Reporting Party will be subject to appropriate sanctions, as described below, including the possibility of expulsion, suspension and/or termination (in the case of employees). The fact that no action is taken as a result of the complaint against the Responding Party does not mean that the complaint was not false or malicious.
The University provides Title IX/Campus SaVE Act sexual violence education and preventive information to all campus community members through presentations and handouts.
If you have any questions about Title IX policies, please contact Dr. Timothy Verhey, the Title IX Coordinator at [email protected] or 910-277-5145.
Appendix F of the Student Handbook contains the Anti-Discrimination & Harassment Policies for St. Andrews. Click to view or download the appendix.