I. Policy Statement: 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.
This Policy applies to sexual misconduct:
(a) on University property;
(b) at University-sponsored events or programs;
(c) posing a potential threat to the health and/or safety to a member of the University and/or the University community; or
(d) negatively impacting the education or employment of members of the University community.
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.
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) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or participation in an educational program;
b) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or academic decisions affecting that individual; or
c) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance or creating a hostile working/academic environment.
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:
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.
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
Examples of Intimate Partner Violence
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Coordinator of Student Conduct
Office of Equal Employment Office of Student Conduct
Opportunity Programs William Henry Administration Building
Charlotte Robinson Hall Bowie State University
Bowie State University (301) 860-3394
(301) 860-3442 email@example.com
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:
Contact information for additional sexual assault and intimate partner violence community resources is located at: http://www.bowiestate.edu/files/resources/sexual-assault-off-campus-resources.pdf.
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.
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 Assault I
c) Dating Violence
d) Domestic Violence
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.
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:
Upon a determination that administrative investigation is necessary when an Impacted Person has not made a report for University action, the Title IX Coordinator will contact the Impacted Person to request consent for administrative investigation. If the Impacted Person does not consent to investigation or participation, the investigation may proceed, if appropriate. The Title IX Coordinator will balance the Impacted Person’s wishes with considerations for factors, such as: 1) the seriousness of the alleged misconduct, 2) Impacted Person’s age and 3) whether there are any prior sexual misconduct complaints against the Accused.
Both parties will be notified of the investigative determination, including findings-of-fact and accommodations, if applicable, in a written Outcome Letter. The complainant and the accused have a right to request a Reconsideration of Determination Hearing before the Conduct Board if s/he disagrees with the determination of responsibility. The procedure and time frame for requesting a hearing is explained in the Outcome Letter.
If the investigative determination finds the accused responsible, the matter will proceed to the Conduct Board for a hearing to decide appropriate sanction(s) (“Sanction Hearing”). If the accused requests a hearing regarding the finding of responsibility, the Conduct Board will conduct a Reconsideration of Determination Hearing, to include determination of sanction(s), when appropriate.
Both parties have significant rights, including the right to an advisor of his/her choice during the investigation and hearing process; the right to be treated with respect, the right to a Conduct Board comprised of representatives of both genders; the right to review all documentary evidence available regarding the complaint; the right to question all witnesses who are called to give testimony; the right to introduce new evidence not presented or taken into consideration during the investigative phase and the right to request an appeal of the hearing board’s determination. Both parties will receive written notification of determination and sanction, if applicable, imposed by the Conduct Hearing Board and the procedure for filing a request for appeal. The University shall not publicly disclose the name of either party, unless as required by law.
Determination of sanctions is based on what is proportionate to the violation. Sanctions for violation of this Policy include warning, probation, removal from housing, suspension or expulsion. In determining the appropriate sanction, the Conduct Board will consider cause of the behavior, severity of the conduct, previous conduct history, University precedent, and the welfare of the Complainant and the University community.
Appeal. If the Complainant or the Accused is dissatisfied with final determination by the Conduct Board, s/he may file a request for appeal to the Coordinator of Student Conduct. The procedure and time frame for requesting an appeal is explained in the Notification of Determination Letter.
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.
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/.
Effective Date: 04/16/2014