Sexual Misconduct

I. Introduction

This policy addresses the responsibilities of Pacific Lutheran University (“PLU”) under Title IX and the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (“VAWA”).  Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex (gender) in education programs and activities and programs that receive federal assistance.  VAWA requires that universities have procedures in place to respond to matters of sexual assault, relationship violence and stalking. These laws are completely consistent with PLU’s Nondiscrimination Policy [LINK], its prohibition against sex discrimination (including sexual misconduct) and its philosophy of providing an environment in which students can live, work and study free from all types of gender discrimination.

This policy covers student to student-related concerns of Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct, Dating Violence or Domestic Violence (“Relationship Violence“) and Stalking.  This conduct will be referred to collectively as “Prohibited Conduct,” and PLU may assume jurisdiction of such Prohibited Conduct involving PLU students regardless of whether the alleged Prohibited Conduct occurred on or off campus.  This policy should be used if both the Impacted Party (who may also be referred to as the Complainant) and the student against whom allegations are made (the Respondent) are students. If the Impacted Party is a student and the Respondent is a member of the faculty or staff, the Impacted Party should use the PLU Human Resources Sexual Misconduct Policy.

This policy and the Student Conduct Procedures set forth the procedures that PLU will follow to assess a concern, investigate allegations of Prohibited Conduct, and determine whether a Respondent has violated this policy.  When a determination is made that a violation has occurred, PLU will issue sanctions and take such other actions as are commensurate with the violation and which reflect PLU’s determination to end such conduct, prevent its recurrence and redress its effects.

II. Statement of Policy

It is a violation of PLU policy for any PLU student to engage in any conduct defined in this policy as Sexual Misconduct, including without limitation Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct, Dating Violence or Domestic Violence (“Relationship Violence“) and Stalking, whether or not it occurs on campus.

This policy is intended to meet the requirements of applicable federal and state law.  If this policy is inconsistent with any applicable law, it is the University’s intent to follow applicable law.

III. Education Basis for Policy

In addition to and co-equal with its legal responsibilities as set out in the Introduction to this policy, PLU, by its mission, is committed to providing an environment in which students can work, live, and study free from all types of sexual misconduct. Consistent with its Equal Educational Opportunity Policy, PLU prohibits any discrimination in education and employment on the basis of gender (see also PLU Human Resources Sexual Misconduct Policy). Sexual misconduct has a serious negative impact on the quality of the education experience. When an allegation of Prohibited Conduct is reported, and a violation is found, PLU will issue sanctions which are commensurate with the violation and which reflect PLU’s determination to prevent and correct sexual misconduct to the fullest extent possible. All members of the community are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that does not infringe upon the rights of others, whether on or off campus. The Sexual Misconduct Policy has been developed to reaffirm these principles and to provide recourse for those individuals who believe they may have experienced or witnessed Prohibited Conduct. This policy and the Student Conduct Procedures also provide the standards and process for the University to determine, after the fact, if behaviors violate the PLU Student Code of Conduct. The University will work to prevent and eliminate Prohibited Conduct by providing a multi-faceted educational program to promote awareness of acceptable and unacceptable behaviors. All members of the PLU community are encouraged to play a role in making their community a safe, educational, and just community.  This policy is intended to meet the requirements of applicable federal and state laws.  If this policy is inconsistent with any applicable law, it is the University’s intent to follow applicable law.

IV. Jurisdiction

Consistent with other provisions of PLU’s Student Code of Conduct, this policy and procedures apply to all students enrolled in courses at Pacific Lutheran University. Individuals involved in incidents prior to or during a break between successive terms of enrollment may be subject to action in the Student Rights and Responsibilities System.

The University reserves the right to follow the procedures outlined in the Student Rights and Responsibilities System if a student’s behavior violates the Student Code of Conduct, regardless of where the behavior occurs. The University will generally, but not exclusively, respond to off-campus behavior if an alleged violation occurs while a student is engaged in a PLU-sponsored or sanctioned event (i.e., study away, alternative spring break, athletics, music performance, outdoor recreation), the behavior raises concern for the safety of those on-campus, or the behavior jeopardizes the university’s interests in the community.

In addition, the university may follow the procedures outlined in the Student Rights and Responsibilities System whenever a student is accused of a criminal act, regardless of the location of its occurrence.

V. Reporting and Resources

A. How to Report

A Title IX concern or a concern that Prohibited Conduct has occurred can be raised by contacting PLU’s Title IX Coordinators, Teri Phillips (phillitp@plu.edu or 253.535.7187) or Deputy Title IX Coordinators, Dr. Eva Frey, Dean of Students and/or Connie Gardner, Associate Director for Student Rights and Responsibilities. Other individuals to whom a concern may be raised are listed in this policy, categorized by the degree confidentiality the reporter may expect.

Any PLU student who believes he or she has been subjected to Sexual Misconduct is an Impacted Party, and is encouraged to report such a concern and may request that an investigation be conducted. Except for University recognized confidential resources, the following University staff members with knowledge of unreported Prohibited Conduct (or potentially Prohibited Conduct), must report such allegations to the Title IX Coordinator:

Associate Director for Student Rights and Responsibilities (253.535.7462), Human Resources (253.535.7185), Resident Directors, Resident Assistants, and Campus Safety employees (including all student employees) (253.535.7411). All faculty/staff/administrators at PLU are considered responsible employees and considered mandatory reporters for all incidents related to sexual misconduct. Students may also make a report to local law enforcement officials by calling 911.

Additionally, any person with knowledge of Prohibited Conduct is encouraged to report the concern to the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator Dr. Eva Frey or Deputy Title IX Coordinator Connie Gardner. There is no time limit on making a complaint, but prompt reporting is encouraged in order to obtain appropriate evidence and information.

B. Confidentiality & Confidential Resources

The University will make reasonable and appropriate efforts to preserve an Impacted Party’s and Respondent’s privacy and to protect the confidentiality of information. Should an Impacted Party request confidentiality, the Title IX Coordinator will inform the Impacted Party that the university’s ability to respond may therefore be limited – but that where feasible, the University will take reasonable steps to prevent Prohibited Conduct and limit its effects.

The Title IX Coordinator will further inform the Impacted Party that it is not possible to provide confidentiality in all cases and that the University’s decision to share information with others is subject to the balancing test described below in Section VII.  In summary, although the University’s goal is to limit the number of individuals who may learn about an allegation of Prohibited Conduct or an investigation, the University cannot guarantee confidentiality in all matters.

1. Confidential Resources

Should an individual not be prepared to make a report, but is seeking information and wanting a confidential resource, there are several options available to the student.  These individuals can explore different options with the Complainant and/or the Reporter without initiating further action from the University. The University encourages pastoral counselors and professional counselors, if and when they deem it appropriate, to inform the persons they are counseling of any procedures to report crimes on a voluntary, confidential basis for inclusion in the annual disclosure of crime statistics. These individuals/offices cannot and will not report the matter further, and reporting to any of these individuals/offices does not put the University on notice that Prohibited Conduct may have occurred.

Pacific Lutheran University Victim Advocate:
Website: www.plu.edu/~voices
Telephone: 253-538-6303
Office: Women’s Center, 801 121st Street
Pacific Lutheran University Counseling Center:
Email: councen@plu.edu
Telephone: 253-535-7206
Office: 106 Ramstad Hall
Pacific Lutheran University Student Health Center:
Email: health@plu.edu
Telephone: 253-535-7337
Office: 121st and Park Avenue
Pacific Lutheran University Campus Ministry:
Email: cmin@plu.edu
Telephone: 253-535-7464
Office: University Center
Pierce County Sexual Assault Center
Website: www.sexualassaultcenter.com
Telephone: 253-474-7273 or 800-756-7273
Pierce County Domestic Violence Helpline
Website: www.familyjusticecenter.us
Telephone: 253-798-4166 or 800-764-2420

2. Private Resources

A report to the college may be made to any of the following offices or individuals.  These are trained individuals who will initiate the college’s responsive action to a sexual misconduct complaint.  While not bound by confidentiality, these resources will maintain the privacy of an individual’s information within the confines of the Title IX resolution process.

Pacific Lutheran University Campus Safety
Email: campussafety@plu.edu
Telephone: 253-535-7441, emergencies: 253-535-7911
Office: Basement of Harstad Hall
Pacific Lutheran University Title IX Coordinator
Website: www.plu.edu/title-ix
Telephone: 253-535-7187
Office: Garfield Station
Pacific Lutheran University Student Rights and Responsibilities
Email: srr@plu.edu
Telephone: 253-535-7462
Office: Nesvig Garden Level
Pacific Lutheran University Residential Life
Email: rlif@plu.edu
Telephone: 253-535-7200
Office: University Center
Additional contacts include your Resident Assistant and Resident Director.

3. Reports to Law Enforcement

The University encourages anyone who believes they have experienced a violation of this Sexual Misconduct Policy to make a report through the Police Department.  PLU Campus Safety is willing and able to assist with referring students to this resource.  The University also encourages Impacted Parties to be aware of the importance of preserving evidence that may assist in proving that an alleged criminal offense occurred or may be helpful in obtaining a protection order.  An Impacted Parties may also, in his or her discretion, decline to notify law enforcement officials.

Impacted Parties also have the right to seek other forms of relief from civil authorities, such as no contact orders, restraining orders or similar.  As set out in Section VI: A below, the University may enter such no contact orders and take such other Interim Measures to assist the Impacted Party.

4. Anonymous Reports

The University welcomes students to submit anonymous reports of Prohibited Conduct, however, the University may not be able to fully address anonymous reports unless sufficient information is furnished to enable the University to conduct a meaningful and fair investigation. The University will make sure all anonymous reports are taken seriously, and address the concern in whatever steps it deems appropriate in the best interest of the overall University community.

The University will take steps to protect the confidentiality of the Impacted Party and others involved in the reporting process.  Publicly available recordkeeping, including Clery Act reporting and disclosures will be done without personally identifying information about the Impacted Party.  Additionally the University will maintain as confidential any accommodations or protective measures provided to the Impacted Party, to the extent that maintaining such confidentiality would not impair the ability of the institution to provide the accommodations or protective measures.

5. Support Persons

The above resources can be utilized by both the Complainant(s) and the Respondent(s) for cases involving allegations of Sexual Misconduct.  Additionally, the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities will provide a Support Person to serve as a resource during the Sexual Misconduct process.  These ombudspersons are able to provide the following: emotional support, acts as a liaison for academic and campus services, and provides referrals to counseling and support groups.

6. Respect for Medical Amnesty Provisions

It is in the best interest of the PLU community for students to report cases of Sexual Misconduct; because of that, an individual who reports Sexual Misconduct, either as a Complainant or a Reporter, will have the focus of the investigation on the Prohibited Conduct and no other policy violations.  While other potential policy violations cannot be overlooked, the University will work to address these situations by focusing on educational resources for the individuals.

VI. Response Procedure

Upon receipt of a report, PLU will take immediate steps to ensure that services have been offered to the Impacted Party, and Interim Steps have been taken for the safety and security of the Impacted Party and the PLU community. Then PLU will generally proceed as described below. PLU may take different steps, additional steps or fewer steps in its sole discretion:

A. Interim Measures and Remedies

Interim Measures as defined in this paragraph may be taken at any time after a report of Prohibited Conduct has been received. Interim Measures may be taken with respect to both the Impacted Party and the Respondent(s) in order to eliminate a hostile environment, protect all parties involved, and maintain the status quo. Interim Measures may include, without limitation:

  • Separation of academic and living situations
  • Imposing No Contact Orders/Orders of Protection
  • Providing alternate course completion options (with approval from faculty)
  • Interim suspension
  • Providing an escort around campus
  • Limit an individual’s access to certain University facilities or activities
  • Counseling and/or tutoring scheduling assistance
  • Any other remedy that could be tailored to the involved parties to achieve the goals of this policy

The University reserves the right to take any measures it believes, in its sole discretion, are in the best interests of the parties and the University community.

B. Initial Title IX Assessment

Upon notice of any concern regarding Prohibited Conduct, the Title IX Coordinator or her designee will assess whether a formal Title IX investigation will be conducted under this policy; that is whether the allegation if true would rise to the level of a policy violation and, if so, whether a formal investigation is appropriate under the circumstances. The Title IX Coordinator determines whether an investigation should be commenced based on a variety of factors including but not limited to the Impacted Party’s wish to pursue disciplinary action, the risk posed to any individual or the campus community by not proceeding, and the nature of the allegation.

In circumstances in which the Title IX Coordinator determines that there is no ongoing risk of harm to the community and that Interim Measures, such as a No Contact letter, have addressed the concerns, the Title IX Coordinator may forgo a formal investigation. If the determination is that no further action is necessary or that the Interim Measures will remain in place as ongoing Accommodations, the Complainant will be provided an Outcome Letter. To the extent appropriate under this Policy and if involved in the assessment, the Respondent will also be provided an Outcome Letter. To the extent that the Outcome Letter states that the University will not investigator the report of Prohibited Conduct, that determination may be appealed under Section XI.

C. Prohibited Conduct

If the Title IX Coordinator determines that an investigation will be initiated, the Impacted Party will be contacted by a staff member in the Student Rights and Responsibilities office who will explain options and will schedule a formal report meeting with a trained investigator. If the Impacted Party is willing to participate in the Student Rights and Responsibilities process, the Impacted Party may be designated as the Complainant. (In some cases, the University make act as the Complainant, in its sole discretion.) The individual alleged to have engaged in the Prohibited Conduct and who must respond to the allegations is designated as the Respondent.

D. Investigation

The Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities will designate an un-biased, trained investigator to investigate each allegation of Prohibited Conduct. The investigator will conduct a thorough, fact-finding investigation, which will typically include interviews with the Complainant(s), the Respondent(s) and witnesses. The interviews will be supplemented by the gathering of any physical, documentary, or other evidence. As part of the investigation, PLU will allow all parties to provide witnesses and other evidence as appropriate. The investigation is designed to be thorough, impartial and fair, and all individuals will be treated with appropriate sensitivity and respect. The investigation will be conducted in a manner that is respectful of individual privacy concerns.

Throughout the process, any person participating in the process may have a Support Person present at any meeting related to the review of the reported Prohibited Conduct. However, the Complainant(s), Respondent(s), and witnesses are expected to speak for themselves and Support Persons must not be disruptive to the interview or process. Students may be represented by legal counsel during the investigation process, but lawyers are subject to the same rules as other Support Persons. See the definition of Support Person for additional detail.

E. Investigation Findings and Outcomes

At the conclusion of the investigation, the Investigator will prepare a written report synthesizing the facts and the conclusions of the investigation. The Investigator will recommend a possible outcome in the report. The report will be sent to the Title IX Coordinator, who will verify the report and investigation were valid and thorough, and then be passed on to the Review Officers. The Review Officers are two faculty/staff/administrators who have been trained in conduct and Title IX procedures, and are designated by the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities. The Review Officers will make a determination on the outcome of the case, and determine sanctions, if applicable.

Both Complainant(s) and Respondent(s) will be notified at or near the same time when the decision is made, in writing.

F. Standard of Proof

The Investigator, along with the Review Officers, will make a recommendation or decision based on the Preponderance of Evidence standard. This standard requires that the information supporting a finding of responsible be more convincing than the information in opposition to it. Under this standard, individuals are presumed not to have engaged in a policy violation of sexual misconduct unless it is “more likely than not” based on the evidence, that a violation did occur.

G. Timeline of Process

A Title IX Investigation should normally be completed within 60 calendar days after the University has notification of a complaint. If the timeline is extended for any reasonable reason, the Investigator will communicate with all affected parties.

H. Sanctioning

If the Respondent is found responsible for violation of this Sexual Misconduct policy, the University will initiate a sanctioning process designed to eliminate the misconduct, prevent its recurrence, and remedy its effects, while supporting the University’s educational mission and Title IX obligations. Sanctions or interventions may also serve to promote safety or deter students from similar future behavior. Potential sanctions can include, but are not limited to:

  • Expulsion from Pacific Lutheran University
  • Suspension from Pacific Lutheran University for a designated period of time
  • Removal from campus housing
  • Mandated counseling/assessment
  • Letter of Mutual Understanding
  • Removal of Privileges
  • Disciplinary Probation

I. Appeal Process:

In the case of a Sexual Misconduct investigation, the Respondent and the Complainant have the right to appeal a determination. Grounds for Appeal are:

  • Procedural error that substantially impacted the outcome of the investigation process
  • Bias unknown at the beginning of the investigation that substantially impacted the outcome of the investigation
  • New information, previously unavailable, that would substantially impact the outcome of the investigation
  • Severity of sanction

All appeals must be received in writing by the deadline indicated in the written outcome letter, with the deadline typically 72 hours after the outcome was given. The student should complete the Appeal. Form and submit it to the Associate Director for Student Rights and Responsibilities.

J. Coordination with Concurrent Legal Proceedings:

Students may engage criminal prosecution procedures and/or civil litigation in connection with the same behavior that forms the basis of a sexual misconduct report under this policy. In such cases, the University will cooperate and assist with coordination with local law enforcement and may, if requested and appropriate, share information with those agencies. The University will fulfill its legal and ethical obligation to take immediate and appropriate action to investigate possible violations of this policy, even if there are external processes or procedures pending in connection with that same report of Prohibited Conduct.

Standards for criminal investigations are different than the standards for a violation of this policy, and therefore the University will not base its decisions under this policy solely on law enforcement reports and/or action. Accordingly, the University will not normally wait for the conclusion of a criminal investigation or other proceedings before implementing its review of reported sexual misconduct under this policy.

K. Reporting Prohibited Conduct to Law Enforcement and for Statistical Disclosure

Students who believe any Prohibited Conduct they have experienced may be criminal in nature will receive support and assistance in contacting law enforcement and or reporting the conduct for Statistical Disclosure under the Cleary Act. PLU encourages accurate and prompt reporting of all crimes to the campus police and the appropriate police agencies, when the victim of a crime elects to, or is unable to, make such a report.

As a part of its prevention and awareness programs for incoming students and new employees, and its ongoing prevention and awareness programs for students and employees, PLU includes the definitions of sexual assault, the definition of consent in reference to sexual activity, and the definitions of domestic violence, dating violence and stalking that are used by the criminal laws in applicable jurisdictions. The criminal law definitions used in Washington State are described in Appendix A for the sake of information only. However, PLU utilizes its own definitions of these prohibited behaviors for purposes of this policy that are consistent with the Clery Act, as amended effective 2014 (and expand upon the Clery act as noted above), and determines responsibility for violations of PLU policy through its own procedures and standards of proof (that is, by a preponderance of the evidence standard), not through the procedures or standards of proof employed in the criminal justice system.

VII. Immediate Help/Steps for Victims

If you believe you or someone you know has been impacted by Sexual Misconduct, you are urged to immediately notify the police and/or seek medical attention.

A. Confidential Health and Safety

Medical Treatment: Students who believe they have been sexually assaulted may seek medical attention without reporting the crime to police. The hospital emergency room will assist in treatment of injuries, prevention of sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy, and crisis intervention and emotional support services. Physical evidence can also be collected at this time.

Tacoma General Hospital
315 Martin Luther King Way, Tacoma 98405
253.403.1000 (hospital operator)
Sexual Assault Center of Pierce County emergency hotline
1-800-756-7273

Any local hospital

VIII. False Reports

Pacific Lutheran University takes all allegations of Sexual Misconduct very seriously and will not tolerate intentional false reporting of incidents. It is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct to make an intentionally false report of any policy violation, and it may also violate state criminal statues and civil defamation laws. Any false reports will be addressed using the Student Rights and Responsibilities Procedures.

IX. Student Rights and Expectations

Federal law requires Pacific Lutheran University to afford the Complainant and the Respondent rights throughout the Sexual Misconduct Investigation process. Basic rights include:

A. Respect for Privacy

Information regarding sexual misconduct reports, and any investigation or review of these reports, including sanctioning determinations, will be shared among University employees on a “need to know” basis only, and only under applicable law.

B. Choice to Participate

All Complainants, Respondents, Reporters, or witnesses may choose to participate or decline to participate in the Title IX Investigation process. However, even if the Complainant or Respondent decline to participate, the University may continue to investigate the matter and make sanctioning decisions based on the incident and information gathered.

C. Confidential Assistance and Resources

All Complainants, Respondents, Reporters, and witnesses have the right to seek additional, confidential resources if needed. Confidential services include the Health Center, Counseling Center, Victim Advocate, and Pastor’s office. All information shared with these offices and individuals will remain confidential to the extent permitted by law and University policy. Discussions with these individuals will not be considered a report to the University as it relates to the investigation.

D. A Fair Process

The University will take appropriate steps to ensure that the Respondent and Complainant are treated fairly throughout the investigation, without bias.

X. Retaliation is Prohibited

Pacific Lutheran University will take appropriate steps to ensure that a person who in good faith reports, complains about, or participates in a sexual misconduct investigation will not be subjected to retaliation by the Respondent or by others with knowledge of the incident and report. Anyone who believes they are experiencing retaliation is strongly encouraged to report that concern to the appropriate parties.

XI. Definitions - General

Pacific Lutheran University, for the purposes of this policy, defines the following terms as follows. Please note that some of these terms may also be used in other contexts, and that they may have different meanings in those contexts.

Complainant: The individual complaining of Sexual Misconduct. See also Respondent.
Respondent: The individual accused of Sexual Misconduct. See also Complainant
Sexual Activity: Intentional contact with the breast, buttock, groin, or genitals, or touching another with any of these body parts, or making someone touch another person with or on any of these body parts; any other intentional bodily contact in a sexual manner. Intercourse (anal, oral, or vaginal), however slight, with any object. In the context of this policy, Sexual Activity may also include the conduct preliminary to or involved in Sexual Harassment, Sexual Exploitation, and Sexual Intimidation.

Consent: Consent is permission explicitly granted by an individual who is physically and mentally capable of providing it. It is the responsibility of the person who wants to engage in Sexual Activity to insure that she or he has the valid Consent of the other to engage in the activity. PLU further defines Consent to include the following:

  • Consent is informed, knowing, and voluntary. Consent is active, not passive. Silence, in and of itself, cannot be interpreted as Consent. Consent can be given by words or actions, as long as those words or actions create clear and mutually understandable permission regarding the conditions of sexual activity.
  • Consent to one form of Sexual Activity cannot imply Consent to other forms of Sexual Activity, even within the same intimate situation. Previous relationships or Consent cannot imply Consent to future Sexual activity.
  • Consent cannot be procured by use of force, threats, intimidating behavior, or coercion.
    Some individuals are unable to give Consent by reason of Incapacity or Physical Helplessness (defined below). It is a violation of this policy to engage in Sexual Activity with someone you know to be, or should have known to be, Incapacitated or Physically Helpless.

Incapacity: For the purpose of this policy, Incapacity is a condition existing at the time of the incident which prevents a person from understanding the nature or consequences of the Sexual Activity whether that condition is produced by the influence of a substance, or from some other cause. Incapacity is a state where one cannot make a rational, reasonable decision because she or he lacks the ability to understand the who, what, when, where, why or how of the sexual interaction.

The use of alcohol or drugs can prevent an individual from giving valid Consent, even if the person appears to agree to Sexual Activity in the moment. Incapacity may also result from the influence of substances commonly known as “date rape” drugs. Possession, use, and/or distribution of any “date rape” substances, including, without limitation, Rohypnol, Ketamine, GHB, Burundanga, etc. is prohibited, and administering one of these drugs to another student is a violation of PLU policy. Incapacity may also result from, without limitation, developmental disability, mental disorder, chemical dependency, and/or age.

Physical Helplessness: Physical Helplessness refers to a person who is asleep, unconscious or for any other reason is physically unable to communicate, verbally or non-verbally, valid Consent.
Coercion: Coercion is unreasonable pressure for sexual activity. Coercive behavior differs from seductive behavior based on the type of pressure someone uses to obtain Consent from another. When someone makes it clear that they do not want to engage in Sexual Activity, that they want to stop, or that they do not want to go past a certain point of sexual interaction, continued pressure beyond that point can be coercive if Consent is not voluntarily or freely given, or if the individual giving it is not capable of doing so.

Investigator: An appropriately trained individual, who may be a PLU employee, who reviews and investigates reports of Prohibited Conduct under this policy.

Reporter: An individual who reports to the University a concern regarding possible Prohibited Conduct. A Reporter does not need to be a Complainant.

Support Person: An individual or individuals chosen by the Complainant, Respondent, Reporter, or witness to provide support during the investigation of a report of possible Prohibited Conduct under this policy. The Support Person chosen may not already be directly involved in the investigative process (Example – cannot be a witness, or Reporter), and may not speak on behalf of the person they are supporting, but instead may be present only to provide assistance or advice to the individual they are supporting. A Support Person must be part of the PLU community.

Legal Counsel: Either or both a Complainant or Respondent may be represented by legal counsel at his or her own expense during the process. Like Support Persons, Lawyers may not speak on behalf of the person they are supporting, but instead may be present only to provide assistance or advice to the individual they are representing. A lawyer need not be a member of the PLU community.

Responsible Employee/Mandatory Reporter: An individual who is a PLU employee who has the authority to redress sexual violence, who has the duty to report incidents of sexual violence or other student misconduct, or who a student could reasonably believe as this authority or duty. A responsible employee must report any information about Prohibited Conduct, a Title IX complaint or incident to the Title IX Coordinator on-campus. A list of responsible employees at PLU include: Resident Assistants, the Residential Life professional staff, Campus Safety, Student Rights and Responsibilities, Dean of Students, Faculty, and other staff members on campus.

Title IX: Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a federal law that prohibits sex-based discrimination. This includes sexual harassment and sexual assault, and applies to all programs that receive federal financial aid.

Title IX Coordinator: The University official charged with ensuring PLU’s overall compliance with Title IX and related University Policy.

Violations of Sexual Misconduct – VAWA Definitions: Violations of Sexual Misconduct under the PLU policy include, but are not limited to the following prohibited behaviors:

  1. Dating Violence: Violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim; and where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors: The length of the relationship The type of relationship The frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship
  2. Domestic Violence: A pattern of abusive behavior that is used by an intimate partner to gain or maintain power and control over the other intimate partner. Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone.
  3. Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse: Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse is any sexual intercourse (anal, oral, or vaginal), however slight, with any object, by a person upon another regardless of gender, without consent.
  4. Non-Consensual Sexual Contact: Non-Consensual Sexual Contact is any intentional sexual touching, however slight, with any object, by a person upon another regardless of gender, without consent.
  5. Relationship Violence: Dating Violence and/or Domestic violence.
  6. Sexual Assault: Any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs by force or without consent of the recipient of the unwanted sexual activity. Falling under the definition of sexual assault is sexual activity such as forced sexual intercourse, sodomy, child molestation, incest, fondling, and attempted rape. It includes sexual acts against people who are unable to consent either due to age or lack of capacity.
  7. Sexual Harassment: Sexual Harassment is gender-based verbal or physical conduct that unreasonably interferes with or deprives someone of educational access, benefits or opportunities. There are three types of Sexual Harassment:
    • Prostituting another person
    • Recording images (e.g. video, photography) or audio of another person’s sexual activity, intimate body parts, or nakedness without that person’s consent
    • Distributing images (e.g. video, photography) or audio of another person’s sexual activity, intimate body parks, or nakedness, if the individual distributing the images or audio knows or should have known that the person depicted in the images or audio did not Consent to such disclosure and objects to such disclosure
    • Viewing another person’s sexual activity, intimate body parts, or nakedness in a place where that person would have a reasonable expectation of privacy, without that person’s consent, and for the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire.
  8. Sexual Intimidation: A form of Sexual Harassment: Sexual Intimidation involves, without limitation, threatening another person with a sex act against them, stalking (including cyber-stalking), and/or engaging in indecent exposure.
  9. Sexual Misconduct: Sexual Misconduct includes Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct, Dating Violence or Domestic Violence (“Relationship Violence”) and Stalking.
  10. Stalking: a pattern of repeated and unwanted attention, harassment, contact, or any other course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear.

XII. Retaliation

Pacific Lutheran University prohibits retaliation against any person who reports a Sexual Misconduct violation, any witness who testifies in an investigation related to allegations of Sexual Misconduct, or anyone who engages in any similarly protected activity. Retaliation is an adverse action taken against another for reporting a complaint or supporting another’s complaint.

XIII. Miscellaneous Provisions

When a report of Prohibited Conduct is received, PLU will provide written notification to students and employees the services listed in this policy, and about possible legal assistance, visa and immigration assistance, student financial aid, and other services available for victims of sexual assault, both within the university and in the community;

The University will provide written notification to victims about options for, available assistance in, and how to request changes to academic, living, transportation, and working situations or protective measures. The University will make such accommodations or provide such protective measures if an Impacted Party requests them and if they are reasonably available, regardless of whether the Impacted chooses to report the crime to campus police or local law enforcement.

Last Modified: March 15, 2016 at 10:54 pm