Table of Contents
I. Policy Statement
III. Prohibited Conduct
IV. Consensual Relations
V. Other Related Student Misconduct
VI. Confidentiality And Student Reporting
VII. Mandatory Employee Reporting
VIII. University Sexual Misconduct Administrative Investigations
IX. Sources For Immediate Assistance
X. External Agency Resources
Bowie State University (the “University”) is committed to providing an academic and work environment free from all forms of sexual misconduct, a broad range of behavior which includes sexual harassment, sexual assault, intimate partner violence and sexual exploitation. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (“Title IX”) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”) prohibit discrimination on the basis of one’s sex in federally-funded educational programs and activities as well as the terms and conditions and privileges of employment. Sexual misconduct, as defined by this Sexual Misconduct Policy (this “Policy”) is a type of sex discrimination. The University is dedicated to the continued maintenance of an environment in which students, faculty and staff can develop intellectually, professionally, personally and socially free from intimidation, fear, coercion and reprisal. Bowie State University is a community that stands for safe and healthy interactions wherein each of its members is responsible for creating an environment free from sexual misconduct. Sexual misconduct is strictly prohibited by State and Federal law, as well as this Policy and may be subject to criminal prosecution. Sexual misconduct will not be tolerated. Any employee or student at Bowie State University found in violation of this Policy will be subject to disciplinary action by the University.
The purpose of this policy is to:
The University is committed to providing an impartial, timely and equitable process for parties to a sexual misconduct matter, such as ensuring complainant protections under Title IX and due process to accused faculty, staff and students, including a presumption of innocence until otherwise proven, consistent with this Policy.
This Policy is not intended to curtail rights guaranteed by the First Amendment. The University is committed to its educational mission, including, academic discourse and freedom. This Policy does not limit classroom teaching and/or scholarly research, publication and discourse regarding gender and sexual-related topics or material relevant to course content or subject- matter.
Employees and students are required to comply with this Policy. The Policy also applies to contractors and third parties within the University’s control.
This Policy applies to sexual misconduct:
Sexual misconduct is prohibited by Bowie State University VI-1.30-Policy on Sexual Assault; Bowie State University VI-1.20-Policy on Sexual Harassment, Bowie State University Equal Employment Opportunity Non-Discrimination Statement and the Student Affairs Handbook (“University Misconduct Policies”). The Sexual Misconduct Policy consolidates and clarifies the information contained within the University Misconduct Policies. The provisions within the Sexual Misconduct Policy define prohibited sexual/gender-based conduct and the University’s procedure for response to sexual misconduct allegations.
Sexual misconduct is a type of sexual harassment and is non-consensual behavior that is sexual or gender-based in nature. Sexual misconduct can occur between acquaintances or strangers, including individuals involved in an intimate or sexual relationship. It can be committed between a male and female or members of the same sex.
Prohibited sexual misconduct can be also be committed by force, intimidation, coercion or incapacitation (physical, mental or through the use of drugs and alcohol). Sexual misconduct includes, but is not limited to, conduct such as sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual exploitation and intimate partner violence.
A. Sexual harassment
Sexual Harassment is defined as:
The determination of whether conduct is “hostile” is based on the severity, persistence, or pervasiveness of the behavior, and is evaluated based upon both the subjective (the complainant’s) and objective (reasonable person’s) perspective.
Sexual harassment can be committed based upon an individual’s sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or gender expression.
Sexual harassment is one-sided, is undeterred, and usually involves unequal power status and/or intimidation (e.g., faculty member to student, supervisor to subordinate, coach to athlete). Sexual harassment can also occur between equals (e.g., student to student, staff to staff, faculty member to faculty member) or unequal power status (e.g., student to faculty member).
Examples of sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:
B. Sexual Assault
Sexual Assault I:
By stranger or acquaintance, rape, forcible sodomy, or forcible sexual penetration, however slight, of another person’s anal or genital opening with any object. These acts must be committed either by force, threat, intimidation or through the use of the victim’s mental or physical helplessness, of which the accused was aware or should have been made aware.
Sexual Assault II:
By stranger or acquaintance, the touch of an unwilling person’s intimate parts (defined as genitalia, groin, breast, or buttocks, or clothing covering them) or forcing an unwilling person to touch another’s intimate parts. These acts must be committed by force, threat, intimidation or through the use of the victim’s mental or physical helplessness, of which the accused was aware or should have been aware.
C. Sexual Exploitation
Sexual Exploitation means taking sexual advantage of another person, without consent, for one’s own or another person’s advantage or benefit other than the person being exploited.
Examples of Sexual Exploitation
D. Intimate Partner Violence/Abuse
Intimate Partner Violence/Abuse means acts, threats or patterns of sexual or physical harm by a current or former partner or spouse intended to control, influence, humiliate, frighten or injure the other. It can vary in severity and frequency and be directed toward a male or female.
Examples of Intimate Partner Violence
E. Additional Applicable Definitions
It is a violation of this policy to retaliate against any individual making a sexual misconduct complaint and/or participating in the investigation of an allegation of sexual misconduct. For purposes of this Policy, “retaliation” is harassment, intimidation, threats or other adverse action taken against a complainant or third party. Any person committing retaliation is subject to disciplinary action independent of any sanction or interim measure imposed as a result of the underlying sexual misconduct allegation.
Retaliation should be promptly reported to the Title IX Coordinator.
Sexual or intimate relations or relationships between individuals with unequal power, such as faculty-student, administrator-student, supervisor- employee, create potential conflicts of interest and pose inherent risks. Furthermore, relationships where one person has, or in the future may reasonably have direct or indirect supervisory or evaluative responsibility over another person reflect power imbalances that jeopardize the integrity of the educational and employment environment and may indicate lack of consent.
The University does not intend to regulate private relationships that do not interfere with the University’s educational and employment mission. For the protection of all the members of the University community, relationships where power imbalance is inherent are strongly discouraged. A person with supervisory or evaluative responsibilities for another with whom s/he is involved in a consensual relationship must inform his/her supervisor so that supervisory or evaluative responsibilities can be reassigned, as necessary. Persons who fail to report such relationships, as required by this Policy, will be subject to disciplinary action. Sexual or intimate relations or relationships by employees with minors is strictly prohibited.
In accordance with this Policy, the Student Conduct Board is authorized to hear allegations of and to impose sanctions for sexual misconduct by students as well as related conduct in violation of the Code of Student Conduct. The University’s utmost concern is the health and safety of its community and it recognizes that complainants or witnesses under the influence of drugs/alcohol may be reluctant to seek assistance at the time of an incident, due to threat of disciplinary sanction for violation of the Code of Student Conduct. The University does not pursue disciplinary sanction against complainants or third parties, pursuant to the Code of Student Conduct, and Student Substance Abuse Policy for their improper use of alcohol or drugs.
Individuals who experience sexual misconduct or become aware of an incident of sexual misconduct are strongly encouraged to report the incident immediately. Any student who believes that s/he has been subjected to sexual misconduct may request that an investigation be conducted. Although there is not a time limit for invoking this Policy, prompt reporting increases the University’s ability to gather relevant physical evidence and witness testimony, investigate and take necessary action. The disciplinary process is an option until the accused student graduates.
University employees, depending upon their roles on campus, have varying reporting responsibilities and duties to maintain confidentiality of information regarding sexual misconduct shared with them. Certain employees are not required to disclose personally identifiable information, but must share limited, reported details with the Title IX Coordinator if a report of sexual misconduct is shared with them. “Responsible employees,” identified in Section VI. B. of this Policy, are required to share reported details and personally identifiable information with the Title IX Coordinator. “Confidential employees,” those holding positions provided in Section VI. C. of this Policy, will not report any details or personally identifiable information shared with him/her, without consent, unless the information relates to an imminent threat to the health or safety of an individual or the University community. If you are not certain of an employee’s reporting requirement, please inquire before disclosing information.
The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for accepting and processing complaints and reports of sexual misconduct by University students and employees. The University encourages prompt reporting to the Title IX Coordinator in the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity Programs (“OEEOP”), by telephone at 301-860-3442, by email at TitleIXCoordinator@bowiestate.edu or in person at the OEEOP, Robinson Hall, Department of Human Resources - Room 4. http://www.bowiestate.edu/about/the-presidents-cabinet/adminfin/human-resources/equal-employment-opportunity/
Once there is notice of potential sexual misconduct, the Title IX Coordinator must preliminarily determine if formal, administrative investigation is appropriate and must take reasonable action in response to the reported information, whether or not the person impacted by the incident (“Impacted Person”) wishes to pursue a formal complaint. The University will take reasonable and appropriate steps to protect the privacy of the Impacted Person and the accused individual(s) (“Accused”).
The University shall consider requests for confidentiality and/or that no formal administrative action is taken. The Title IX Coordinator will inform the Impacted Person that requests for confidentiality may limit the University’s ability to respond. The Impacted Person will also be informed that there may be instances in which the University determines that it is necessary to conduct a formal administrative investigation and/or cannot maintain confidentiality.
The University will further inform Impacted Persons that confidentiality is not guaranteed. The Title IX Coordinator will inform parties if confidentiality cannot be maintained and/or formal administrative investigation is necessary. Every effort will be made to maintain the privacy of persons who seek help and/or report sexual misconduct to the fullest extent possible under the law, and information will be shared with individuals who have a legitimate need to know. The University complies with all federal, state and local requirements for provision of privacy, reporting and intervention in sexual misconduct matters.
B. Reporting Sexual Misconduct For University Action
Students may formally report alleged sexual misconduct to any responsible employee. Responsible employees include any supervisor, administrators, coaches, trainers, University security personnel and police officers, or Residence Life Directors. Notice to these individuals is considered official notice to the University.
Students may also report alleged sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator or the Coordinator of Student Conduct.
Title IX Coordinator
Office of Equal Employment
Charlotte Robinson Hall
Bowie State University
Coordinator of Student Conduct
Office of Student Conduct
William Henry Administration Building
Bowie State University
C. Confidential Reporting
The University encourages individuals to seek medical attention, support, information and counseling for incidents of sexual violence and other forms of sexual misconduct, whether or not they choose to make official reports. A person desiring that the details of an incident of sexual misconduct be kept confidential should speak with individuals who have professional and legal responsibility to maintain confidentiality in communications. Confidentiality will be maintained unless: there is imminent threat to health or safety, or where consent is given to share information, or there are other bases for disclosure as required by law. The following individuals are confidential sources for assistance:
D. Criminal Reporting
Persons are encouraged to report criminal concerns, including incidents of sexual misconduct, to the Department of Public Safety or other applicable law enforcement. The Title IX Coordinator, at a minimum, will inform students of the option to notify law enforcement.
A criminal investigation is independent of the University’s administrative process and does not prevent an individual from proceeding with an administrative complaint of sexual misconduct, according to this Policy. Once in receipt of a complaint of sexual misconduct, the Department of Public Safety will inform the individual of his/her right to bring a complaint under the University’s administrative process under this Policy. Because legal standards for determining a violation under this Policy differ for criminal and administrative violations, the outcome of the criminal investigative process is not determinative of whether there is a violation of this Policy. The University will not wait until the conclusion of any criminal investigation to proceed with administrative investigation, although there may be temporary delay while evidence is gathered in the criminal process.
For federal statistical reporting purposes, campus officials, excluding confidential reporters, are mandated to report criminal sexual misconduct and other reported criminal activity occurring on campus property to the Department of Public Safety, defined in Section VII. B. Personally identifiable information such as the name of the victim, the name of the accused individual and other identifying information is withheld and is confidential. The type of incident and general location is shared with the Department of Public Safety for inclusion in the Annual Campus Security Report, as required by law.
There are several laws which impose a duty for employees to report incidents of sexual misconduct and criminal activity involving employees and/or students to the University. To make it easier for employees to know what reporting is necessary, the University has instituted a mandated reporting requirement for all employees, excluding employees who have professional and legal obligations to keep information confidential unless there is a duty to warn the University of imminent threat to individual or community health or safety (confidential reporters). Confidential employees are solely those employees in positions provided in Section VI. C., of this Policy.
The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for accepting and processing reports of sexual misconduct. In all cases, the University’s Title IX Coordinator will be informed of employee or student sexual misconduct.
Depending upon an employee’s position and responsibilities within the University, the employee may not be required to share personally identifiable information that is shared with him/her. The Title IX Coordinator will assist the employee in disclosing only information which is necessary when initially reporting. The Title IX Coordinator may require additional information from reporting employees at a later time.
A. Sexual Misconduct Reporting
When an employee becomes aware of any alleged act of sexual misconduct, the following steps should be taken:
B. Crime Reporting
Employees should contact the Department of Public Safety if there is an actual emergency or imminent threat to individual or community health, safety or property. If not already reported to the Title IX Coordinator, employees should contact the Department of Public Safety when they become aware of the potential for any of the crimes listed below, which occur on-campus or on property immediately adjacent to campus:
Please refer to the Department of Public Safety’s website at, http://www.bowiestate.edu/campus-life/campus-police/, for additional information regarding the crimes listed above, the University’s legal reporting mandates and the University’s current and past Annual Security Reports.
C. Child Abuse & Neglect
Maryland law and University policy requires that any person who suspects that a minor child (under the age of 18) is the victim of abuse or neglect must contact a local law enforcement agency or social services agency and the University’s General Counsel. Reports must be made within 48 hours of disclosure/discovery. Direct questions to: General Counsel@bowiestate.edu.
The University seeks to address complaints of sexual misconduct promptly. Investigations and proceedings are normally completed within sixty (60) days after the University has receipt of the complaint or notice. The Title IX Coordinator may extend this time frame, when necessary and for good cause. Parties will be notified in writing if the investigation and proceedings cannot be completed within the 60- day time frame.
The University acknowledges that it is not a court of law and formal rules of evidence do not apply to administrative investigations and any subsequent proceedings under this Policy. The standard of proof is the preponderance of the evidence, i.e., that it is “more likely than not”, prohibited sexual misconduct did/did not occur.
The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for ensuring the following:
A. Administrative Investigative Process of Complaints Against Students
B. Administrative Investigative Process of Complaints Against Employees
Complaints of prohibited conduct against an employee will be evaluated and investigated by the Title IX Coordinator pursuant to the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity Program’s procedures for employee complaints. Detailed information regarding employee complaints and procedure for their resolution can be found at http://www.bowiestate.edu/about/the-presidents-cabinet/adminfin/human-resources/equal-employment-opportunity. Violations of this Policy may result in disciplinary action up to termination. Furthermore, employees who commit sexual misconduct in violation of the law may also be subject to criminal charges.
The health and safety of each of the members of the campus community is the University’s principle concern. If you or someone you know is sexually assaulted, there are several resources immediately available to assist, 24hours/7days a week. The University strongly urges that you seek immediate assistance from:
A. Steps for Self-Care and Safety Following a Sexual Assault
For additional information on what to do immediately and resources available to you at the University and in the local community, please access the Wellness Center’s Partners in Peace website, http://www.bowiestate.edu/campus-life/henry-wise-wellness-center/partners-in-peace/.
Additional information regarding Title IX and sex discrimination is available from the following agencies:
The University reserves the right to amend this Policy.
Effective Date: 04/16/2014