Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 ("Title IX”) is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs and activities.
All public and private elementary and secondary schools, school districts, colleges, and universities receiving any Federal funds must comply with Title IX. Discrimination can include sexual harassment or sexual violence, such as rape, sexual assault, sexual misconduct, sexual battery, sexual coercion, and stalking.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University seeks to foster and maintain a community of mutual respect and concern for all of its members. There can be no greater violation of the terms of the community, or of the essential dignity of any member of it, than an act of sexual assault, sexual harassment, or other sexual misconduct. These acts constitute the deepest affront to University standards and will not be tolerated in any form.
All members of this community – students (current and applicants), faculty, staff, applicants for employment, persons doing business with or acting on behalf of the University, and visitors are protected under this Policy and share in the responsibility for creating and maintaining an environment that promotes the safety and dignity of each person. Towards that end, this Policy provides the framework for eliminating sexual assault, sexual harassment, and other sexual misconduct from our community, preventing its recurrence, and addressing its effects.
Under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX), sexual assault and other forms of sexual misconduct are forms of sexual harassment and are prohibited. Any person found responsible for such violations will face disciplinary actions up to and including suspension or dismissal from the University.
This Policy applies to all on-campus conduct, as well as any off-campus conduct that has an adverse impact on any member of the University community or the University.
The University strongly encourages reporting of the incident to the Title IX Coordinator and/or to local law enforcement. When an incident is reported, the University will respond promptly and equitably to all allegations of sexual assault, sexual harassment, or other sexual misconduct to ensure the safety of the reporting person and the Embry Riddle community, in order to provide an environment that is free from gender and sex discrimination. Finally, all University employees, except those who must maintain confidentiality by law are expected, and in some cases required, to report sexual assault, sexual harassment, and other sexual misconduct to the University authorities designated in this Policy.
Anyone making a report, filing a complaint, or participating in the investigation or resolution of an allegation of a sexual assault, sexual harassment, or other sexual misconduct is protected by law and this Policy from retaliation (see Section II.A.). The University will take prompt, responsive action to any retaliation.
When used in this Policy, a Complainant refers to the person who reports that he or she has been the subject of sexual assault, sexual harassment, or other sexual misconduct. A Respondent is the person who is reported to have committed acts of sexual assault, sexual harassment, or other sexual misconduct.
A. PROHIBITED CONDUCT
The University expects all members of the Embry Riddle community to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the University Mission Statement and the Student Rights and Responsibilities as described in the Standards of Student Conduct, and the Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual (APPM).
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University prohibits sexual assault, sexual harassment, and other sexual misconduct.
Sexual assault is having or attempting to have sexual intercourse or sexual contact with another individual without consent. This includes sexual intercourse or sexual contact achieved by the use or threat of force or coercion, where an individual does not consent to the sexual act, or where an individual is incapacitated. Sexual assault includes the following acts:
Consent and related terms are defined in Part B of this section.
Sexual exploitation is an act or omission to act that involves taking non-consensual, unjust, humiliating, or abusive sexual advantage of another, either for his or her own advantage or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the Complainant. Examples of sexual exploitation include but are not limited to the following:
Stalking is 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 fear for his or her safety, or the safety of others, or suffer substantial emotional distress. This includes cyber-stalking, a particular form of stalking in which electronic media such as the internet, social networks, blogs, cell phones, texts, or other similar devices or forms of contact are used to pursue, harass, or make unwelcome contact with another person.
Sexual harassment is unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other physical, visual, or verbal behavior of a sexual nature where:
Such conduct has the purpose or effect of:
INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE
Intimate partner violence is also sometimes known as dating violence, domestic violence, or relationship violence. The University recognizes that sexual assault, sexual exploitation, sexual harassment, stalking, and retaliation may all be forms of intimate partner violence when committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the Complainant. In general, intimate partner violence includes physically, sexually, economically and/or psychologically abusive behavior that arises in the form of a direct violent act, or indirectly as acts that expressly or implicitly threatens violence. Intimate partner violence also occurs when one partner attempts to maintain power and control over the other through one or more forms of abuse, including sexual, physical, verbal, or emotional abuse. Intimate partner violence affects individuals without regard to gender or sexual orientation, and does not discriminate by racial, social, or economic background.
Retaliation is defined as attempts or acts to seek retribution including, but not limited to, any form of intimidation, reprisal, harassment, depriving participation in activities, or intent to prevent participation in University proceedings under this Policy. Retaliation may include continued abuse or violence, other harassment, and slander and libel. Retaliation may be committed by any individual or group of individuals, not just a Respondent or Complainant, and may be committed against the Complainant, Respondent, or any individual or group of individuals involved in the investigation and/or resolution of an allegation of sexual assault, sexual harassment, or other sexual misconduct.
B. DEFINITION OF CONSENT and related terms
Consent is an explicitly communicated, reversible mutual agreement in which all parties are capable of making a decision. Consent is informed, voluntary, and actively given. Consent exists when all parties exchange mutually understandable affirmative words or behavior indicating their agreement to participate voluntarily in sexual activity.
The following further clarifies the meaning of consent:
Consent is not effective if it results from the use or threat of physical force, intimidation, or coercion, or any other factor that would compromise an individual’s ability to exercise his or her own free will to choose whether or not to engage in any sexual activity. Coercion includes the use of pressure and/or oppressive behavior, including express or implied threats of harm or severe and/or pervasive emotional intimidation, which (a) places an individual in fear of immediate or future harm or physical injury or (b) causes a person to engage in unwelcome sexual activity. A person’s words or conduct amount to coercion if they wrongfully impair the other’s freedom of will and ability to choose whether or not to engage in sexual activity. Coercion also includes administering a drug, intoxicant, or similar substance that impairs the person’s ability to give consent. When person “A” makes it clear they do not want to engage in sexual activity, continued pressure by person “B” is considered coercion.
An individual is incapacitated when he or she is not able to make rational, reasonable judgments and therefore is incapable of giving consent. Incapacitation is the inability, temporarily or permanently, to give consent, because the individual is mentally and/or physically impaired due to alcohol or other drug consumption, either voluntarily or involuntarily, or the individual is unconscious, asleep, or otherwise unaware that the sexual activity is occurring.
In addition, an individual is incapacitated if he or she demonstrates that they are unaware of where they are, how they got there, or why or how they became engaged in a sexual activity. Where alcohol is involved, incapacitation is a state beyond drunkenness or intoxication. Some indicators of incapacitation may include, but are not limited to, lack of control over physical movements (such as walking without assistance), being unaware of circumstances or surroundings, or being unable to communicate for any reason.
An individual in a blackout state may or may not meet the definition of incapacitation. Such an individual may appear to act normally, but later may not have recall of the events in question. The extent to which a person in this state affirmatively gives words or actions indicating a willingness to engage in sexual activity and the other person is unaware – or reasonably could not have known – of the alcohol consumption or blackout, must be evaluated in determining whether consent could be considered as having been given.
ALCOHOL and OTHER DRUGS
The University considers sexual contact while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs to be risky behavior. Alcohol and other drugs impair a person’s decision-making capacity, awareness of the consequences, and ability to make informed judgments. From the perspective of the Complainant, the use of alcohol or other drugs can limit a person’s ability to freely and clearly give consent. From the perspective of a Respondent, the use of alcohol or other drugs can create an atmosphere of confusion over whether or not consent has been freely and clearly sought or given. The perspective of a reasonable person will be the basis for determining whether a Respondent should have been aware of the extent to which the use of alcohol or other drugs impacted a Complainant’s ability to give consent. Being intoxicated or impaired by alcohol or other drugs is never an excuse for sexual assault, sexual harassment or other sexual misconduct and does not diminish one’s responsibility to obtain consent.
The University requires all University employees who have a responsibility for student welfare or are in a position of authority (unless required to maintain confidentiality by law), and strongly encourages all other Embry-Riddle community members, to report information about any incident of sexual assault, sexual harassment, or other sexual misconduct involving a student, staff or faculty member, regardless of where and when the incident happened to the Title IX Coordinator.
A Complainant does not have to decide whether or not to request any specific action by the University at the time the report is made, nor is there a time limit on reporting. Embry-Riddle is committed to supporting the rights of a person reporting an incident of sexual assault, sexual harassment, or other sexual misconduct to make an informed choice among options and services available. The University will respond to all reports in an integrated, consistent manner that treats each individual with dignity and respect and will take prompt responsive action to end the misconduct, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects.
CONFIDENTIALITY AND PRIVACY CONSIDERATIONS
A. Confidential Resources
Students or employees wishing to obtain confidential assistance or access to campus resources without making a report to the University may do so by contacting the Title IX Coordinator.
B. Confidentiality Considerations
If a Complainant makes a report of sexual assault, sexual harassment, or other sexual misconduct to the University, but requests that his or her name or other identifiable information not be shared with the Respondent or that the University not pursue an investigation or take any other action, the University will balance this request with its obligation to protect the Complainant and provide a safe and non-discriminatory environment for all University community members.
The University will take all reasonable steps to investigate and respond to the report consistent with the request for confidentiality or request not to pursue an investigation, but its ability to respond may be limited by the request for confidentiality. The University will weigh the request for confidentiality against the following factors: the seriousness of the alleged conduct, any potential threats to community safety, the respective ages and positions of the Complainant and the Respondent, whether there have been other complaints against the Respondent, and the Respondent’s right to receive information under applicable law. At all times, the University will seek to respect the request of the Complainant, and where it cannot do so, the University will keep the Complainant informed about the University’s chosen course of action. Even if the University cannot take disciplinary action against a Respondent because of a Complainant's request for confidentiality, it will endeavor to pursue such steps as it deems appropriate in its discretion to limit the effects of the alleged misconduct and to aid in the prevention of its recurrence.
C. Anonymous Reporting
A Complainant may report an incident without disclosing his/her name, identifying the Respondent, or requesting any action. Depending on the level of information available about the incident or the individuals involved, however, the University’s ability to respond may be limited. All anonymous reports will be referred to the Title IX Coordinator.
D. Privacy Considerations
The University is committed to protecting the privacy of all individuals involved in a report of sexual assault, sexual harassment, or other sexual misconduct. Information related to a report to the University of sexual assault, sexual harassment, or other sexual misconduct will be kept private by the University unless disclosure is required by law; thus, it will be shared only with those University officials with a legitimate interest in order to assist in the investigation and/or in the resolution of the complaint. Under no circumstances will the University release the name of the Complainant to the general public without the express consent of the Complainant.
MAKING A REPORT
A Complainant may report to the Title IX Coordinator and/or to local law enforcement. The individual may pursue a complaint through the criminal process or through the University student conduct process consecutively or concurrently.
The University encourages individuals to seek immediate medical treatment and to make a prompt report to law enforcement in response to an incident of sexual assault or other sexual misconduct in order to address immediate safety concerns, allow for the preservation of evidence, and trigger a prompt investigative and remedial response. When the incident is reported to a campus resource, the University will help the individual get to a safe place and assist the Complainant in seeking immediate medical attention or in reporting an allegation to local law enforcement. The University will provide complaint process. The University will also provide appropriate interim measures, as needed, to help ensure the safety and well-being of the parties affected.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Worldwide
An individual’s physical well-being should be addressed as soon as possible, whether or not that individual wishes to make a report to the University or local law enforcement. A medical provider can provide emergency and/or follow-up medical services, which has two goals: first, to diagnose and treat the full extent of any injury or physical effect and second, to properly collect and preserve evidence. There is a limited window of time (typically 72 to 96 hours) following an incident of sexual assault to preserve physical and other forms of evidence for proof of a criminal offense. In the event of a report immediately following an incident of sexual assault, a Complainant is encouraged to not shower, bathe, douche, brush teeth, drink, or change clothing prior to seeking medical treatment. Similarly, any clothing or bedding should remain untouched pending collection by law enforcement. Whether or not an individual has chosen how to proceed at the time of the medical examination, taking the step to gather evidence will preserve the full range of options to seek resolution through the University's complaint processes or through the pursuit of criminal action.
REPORTING / University Student Conduct Process
A. In General
When an incident of sexual assault, sexual harassment, or other sexual misconduct is reported the Title IX Coordinator will designate an investigator of its choosing. The Title IX Coordinator or his/her designee will typically oversee the investigation of all reports involving a sexual assault or where the Respondent is a student. The Human Resources Title IX Deputy Officer or his/her designee will typically oversee the investigation of all reports (other than a sexual assault) involving a Respondent who is a University employee (faculty or staff). Normally, the investigation will include interviewing the parties, interviewing witnesses as appropriate, and collecting relevant documentary, electronic, or other evidence.
At the conclusion of the fact-finding investigation, findings are shared with the University authorities empowered to act on violations of University policy. The specific resolution process will be determined by the role of the Respondent, as specified in this Policy:
B. Time Frame for Resolution
Generally speaking, the University will complete the investigation and resolution of all reports within 60 calendar days of receiving a complaint. A Complainant and Respondent can expect to receive periodic updates as to the status of the review or investigation. Each case is unique, and the process for handling the incident will be impacted by factors such as the complexity of the investigation, the scope of the allegation, the parties’ schedules and availability, and the academic calendar. In the event that the investigation and resolution exceed this 60-day time frame, the University will notify all parties of the need for additional time and best efforts will be made to complete the process in a timely manner. In no case will these time frames delay University-provided support services, resources or other measures.
C. Timely Warning
If a report under this Policy discloses a serious or continuing threat to the University campus community, the University may issue a timely warning to the community to protect the health or safety of the broader campus community. Any such warning to the campus community, when determined by the University to be appropriate under the circumstances, is limited to a brief account of the incident, a description of the assailant when needed to apprehend, and the name of any individual who has been arrested and charged with a crime.
REPORTING TO LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT
The University process and the criminal justice process are separate and independent courses of action. A Complainant who wishes to pursue a criminal complaint is encouraged to make a report to local law enforcement. Notifying local law enforcement will generally result in the Complainant and in some cases the Respondent, being contacted by an officer. In most cases, the Law Enforcement Agency will cooperatively send an officer to take the report. The Agency, in conjunction with the County Attorney, will determine if a criminal investigation will occur and if the case will be referred for prosecution. Unless there are compelling circumstances, the University will typically not file an independent police report without the consent of the Complainant.
Other Potential Standard of Student Conduct Violations
Consistent with the University’s Mission and belief that all members have an obligation to promote and protect the health, safety, and welfare of our community, the University strongly encourages all individuals to report sexual assault, sexual harassment, and other sexual misconduct so that those affected can receive support and resources. A student who reports such misconduct, either as a Complainant or a third party witness, will not be subject to disciplinary action for his/her own personal consumption of alcohol or other drugs in violation of the University’s Special Procedures as described in the Standards of Student Conduct. The University may, however, initiate an educational discussion about the use of alcohol or drugs and their impact or pursue other educational remedies.
The University strongly encourages all community members to take reasonable and prudent actions to prevent or stop an act of sexual assault, sexual harassment, or other sexual misconduct. Taking action may include direct intervention, calling law enforcement, or seeking assistance from a person in authority. Community members who choose to exercise this positive moral obligation will be supported by the University and protected from retaliation.
Submission of a good faith complaint, concern, or report under this Policy will not affect a Complainant’s employment, grades, academic standing, or work assignments. However, an individual found to have made a false complaint or report, or to have knowingly and willingly given false information during an investigation, will be subject to disciplinary action. A good faith complaint that is not substantiated does not constitute a false report.
Interim Measures to Protect Safety and Well-Being
The University will determine the necessity and scope of any interim measures pending the completion of the complaint process. Even when a Complainant or Respondent does not specifically request that protective action be taken, the University may still choose to impose interim measures at its discretion to ensure the safety of any individual, the broader University community, or the integrity of the review process.
All individuals are encouraged to report concerns about failure of another individual to abide by any restrictions imposed by an interim measure. The University will take prompt responsive action to enforce a previously implemented interim measure. The University may impose any remedy that can be tailored to achieve the goals of this Policy, even if not specifically listed here. The range of interim measures includes, but are not limited to:
Title IX Notice
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (“Title IX”) prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity. Sexual harassment, which includes sexual assault and other sexual misconduct, is a form of sex discrimination. Under the University Sexual Assault, Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Policy, the University prohibits sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, stalking and retaliation. Title IX and the University’s Policy also applies to acts of intimate partner violence. As a recipient of federal funds, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University complies with Title IX and has appointed Linda T. Dammer, Director of Student Affairs, as its Title IX Coordinator with overall responsibility for Title IX compliance. Linda can be reached at 386-226-6396 or 1-888-292-5787, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Any student, employee or applicant for employment or admission to the University who believes that he or she has been discriminated against on the basis of sex, in violation of Title IX, or has been a victim of sexual assault, sexual harassment or other sexual misconduct, may file a complaint with the Title IX Coordinator. The Title IX Coordinator will assist the complainant in identifying the appropriate University policy (with its grievance procedure) to resolve the complaint in a prompt and equitable manner. The Title IX Coordinator may consult with other Embry-Riddle administrators, as needed, to resolve the complaint in the most effective manner.
Notice of Non-Discrimination
The University seeks to provide all Embry-Riddle community members with a safe and non-discriminatory environment free from harassment. The University does not discriminate on the basis of personal characteristics such as race, color, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, veteran status, disability, or any other basis protected by federal or state law. Please see the University’s general Non-discrimination policy. The University does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs and activities or in the context of employment. Sexual harassment, including sexual misconduct as defined in this policy, is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Title IX requires that 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. Sexual harassment is also prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other applicable statutes.