The following terms are used throughout the course of this policy. Definitions of specific acts and behaviors related to sexual harassment, relationship violence, and sexual misconduct can be found in Section 4 of the policy.
The Complainant and the Respondent may each choose to be accompanied by an Advisor during any part of the process outlined in this policy. An Advisor may not contribute any information or comments during Informal or Formal proceedings but may consult privately with the party they are advising at any time during the proceedings, as long as it does not pose undue disruption to the proceedings.
The CARE (Concern, Assessment, Response, Evaluation) Team provides proactive and coordinated support for students in distress and addresses concerns about student behavior, academic progress, and personal issues, including mental health concerns for students based out of the Harrisonburg campus. The Title IX Coordinator will work with (a) CARE Team member(s) as needed to address possible academic accommodations. Core CARE Team Members include the head of the Student Life division, the Director of Residence Life, Student Accountability, and Restorative Justice, the Director of Counseling, the Coordinator of Campus Safety and Security, and the Associate Provost.
The Clery Act is a consumer protection law that aims to provide clarity around campus crime policy and statistics. The Clery Act requires all post-secondary institutions participating in the Higher Education Act’s (HEA) Title IV student financial assistance programs to disclose campus crime statistics and security information. The Clery Act offers specific rights and options to students and employees who experience sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and/or stalking.
The Complainant is an individual who is alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute a violation of this policy, including sexual harassment or retaliation for engaging in a protected activity. The Complainant may include any member of the University community (faculty, staff, or student) who experiences alleged sexual harassment, relationship violence, sexual misconduct, and/or any other conduct prohibited under this policy, even if they themselves do not make the initial report to the University. A Complainant does not have to seek formal disciplinary action to receive the supportive measures outlined for Complainants in this policy. See Appendix B: Rights of the Complainant .
Confidential Employees are those employees of EMU who are exempt from reporting incidents of conduct prohibited under this policy that are disclosed to them by students or employees while in particular confidential roles. Confidential Employees include licensed mental health clinicians, auxiliary staff working in Counseling Services, licensed medical health professionals, and licensed/credentialed campus pastors acting in their roles. Disclosures that occur when the Confidential Employee is not acting in their official capacity must be reported.
Confidential Employees are prohibited from breaching confidentiality unless there is an imminent threat of harm to self or others or the disclosure is otherwise legally required or is expressly permitted by the disclosing party. Non-personally identifying, aggregate data will be shared with EMU by Confidential Employees for statistical purposes consistent with the Clery Act .
DEPUTY TITLE IX COORDINATOR
On EMU’s Harrisonburg campus, the Deputy Title IX Coordinators fulfill the duties of the Title IX Coordinator when the Title IX Coordinator is unavailable or as the Title IX Coordinator assigns duties to them. At EMU’s Lancaster campus and Washington Community Scholars’ Center site, Deputy Title IX Coordinators serve as the point person for reports of sexual harassment, relationship violence, sexual misconduct, or other forms of conduct prohibited under this policy, and they work with the Title IX Coordinator to meet the needs of the parties involved. Deputy Title IX Coordinators are eligible to serve as members of the Title IX Assessment Team (see definition below).
FERPA / FAMILY EDUCATIONAL RIGHTS AND PRIVACY ACT
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. Section 1232g; 34 C.F.R. Part 99 , or FERPA, is a federal law designed to protect the privacy of student education records. Under FERPA, universities must receive explicit consent from a student (or a student’s guardian if the student is under age 18) in order to release a student’s education records or personally identifiable information contained therein. FERPA also allows a student (or their guardian, if under age 18) to report and have fixed any inaccuracies in the student’s records.
FERPA protects and prohibits the disclosure of all documentation related to a formal complaint, investigation, and resolution of matters involving sexual harassment, relationship violence, sexual misconduct, and/or other forms of misconduct prohibited under this policy, except as otherwise required or permitted by law.
A Formal Complaint is a document signed electronically or in hard copy by a Complainant, or signed by the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator alleging a violation of this policy against a Respondent and requesting that the University investigate the allegation(s). At the time of filing a Formal Complaint, a Complainant must be participating in or attempting to participate in the education program or activity of the University with which the Formal Complaint is filed. A Formal Complaint may be filed with the Title IX Coordinator by completing the EMU RVSM Complaint Form . A Formal Complaint may alternately be filed in person, by mail, or by electronic mail, or by using the contact information found on the University’s website. When the Title IX Coordinator signs a Formal Complaint, the Title IX Coordinator is not a Complainant or otherwise a party to the complaint.
Gender Expression is a person’s outward expression of their gender through clothing, grooming, speech, hairstyle, body language, social interactions, and other behaviors. A person’s gender expression may not conform with societal expectations of how a person of a perceived gender should present.
Gender Identity is a person’s internal sense of being male, female, neither, both, or another gender. The internal sense of a person’s gender may be different than the sex assigned to the person at birth.
GENDER IDENTITY BIAS / GENDER BIAS
Gender Bias is a pre-formed negative opinion or attitude toward a person or group of persons based on their actual or perceived gender identity, e.g., bias against transgender or gender nonconforming individuals.
A Hostile Environment results from sexually harassing, written, graphic, or physical conduct that is severe or pervasive and objectively offensive. This term is further defined, with examples, in Section 4: Prohibited Conduct.
Every faculty, staff, volunteer, or third party who works with students or minors on campus is a Mandated Reporter. All Mandated Reporters and every person identified as a Campus Security Authority (defined above) under the Clery Act must immediately report to the Title IX Coordinator any knowledge, notice, and/or reports of sexual harassment, relationship violence, sexual misconduct, or other form of conduct prohibited under this policy reported to them or observed by them, including the name of the Complainant or Respondent, if known, and all other known details. This reporting can be done by calling (540) 432-4849, emailing email@example.com , or completing a Campus Safety and Care Reporting Form at https://emu.edu/safecampus/ . The University requires everyone in the campus community, including Confidential Employees, to report the suspected abuse of those under the age of 18.
PREPONDERANCE OF THE EVIDENCE
The Preponderance of the Evidence is the standard of proof used to determine whether a violation of this policy occurred. This is a standard of proof in which the totality of the evidence offered in support of a fact is greater or more convincing than the evidence that is offered in opposition to it. In other words, the Preponderance of the Evidence suggests that, with the totality of the available information, the reported version of events is more likely than not to have occured. Preponderance of the Evidence is understood to require more than 50 percent certainty to determine responsibility for violating this policy (51% or greater).
Relationship Violence is a broad term used by EMU to categorize types of violence, threats, coercion, or intimidation, other than sexual harassment, that occurs in the context of an intimate relationship. This term is further defined in Section 4: Prohibited Conduct.
A Respondent is an individual who has been reported to be responsible for conduct that could constitute a violation of this policy, including sexual harassment or retaliation for engaging in a protected activity. A Respondent may be any member of the University community (current faculty, staff, students and contracted third parties) who is alleged to have carried out an incident of sexual harassment, relationship violence, sexual misconduct, or any other conduct prohibited under this policy. See Appendix C: Rights of the Respondent .
Sexual harassment is a broad term that includes quid pro quo, sexual harassment that results from unwelcome conduct, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking. Each of these terms are defined, with examples, in Section 4: Prohibited Conduct.
As opposed to sexual harassment defined above, sexual misconduct is a broad term used by EMU to refer to other violence of a sexual nature, and encompasses sexual exploitation and sexual misconduct that results in a hostile environment. Each of these terms are defined, with examples, in Section 4: Prohibited Conduct.
Supportive measures are the non-disciplinary, non-punitive individualized services offered as appropriate, as reasonably available, and without fee or charge to the Complainant or the Respondent before or after the filing of a Formal Complaint or where no Formal Complaint has been filed. Such measures are designed to restore or preserve equal access to the University’s education program or activity without unreasonably burdening the other party, including measures designed to protect the safety of all parties or the University’s educational environment, or deter sexual harassment. The University will maintain as confidential any Supportive Measures provided to the Complainant or Respondent, to the extent that maintaining such confidentiality would not impair EMU’s ability to provide Supportive Measures. The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for coordinating the effective implementation of Supportive Measures which may include, for example, removal from campus housing, the issuance of a no contact order (see Section 126.96.36.199), or adjustment of class schedule.
A third party is any person on campus that is not directly employed by the University but is contracted to provide services to the University community. For example, employees of Pioneer Catering, EMU’s bookstore, and construction workers are third parties on campus. Third parties are considered Mandated Reporters and must disclose any sexual harassment, relationship violence, sexual misconduct, or other form of conduct prohibited under this policy reported to them or observed by them to the University.
A timely warning is a warning required by the Clery Act that alerts the campus community to potentially dangerous circumstances. The need for a timely warning is determined by considering the nature of the act reported and the likelihood that continuing danger exists for the campus community. In cases of sexual harassment, relationship violence, sexual misconduct, or other forms of conduct prohibited under this policy, the Title IX safety team will meet to determine the need for a timely warning. If warranted, a timely warning will be issued by the Coordinator of Campus Safety and Security, who has the final authority to make the determination according to Virginia law .
TITLE IX SAFETY TEAM
The Title IX Safety Team is composed of the Title IX Coordinator, the Coordinator of Campus Safety and Security, and the head of the Student Life Division. The Title IX Safety Team receives all electronic Campus Safety Incident Form submissions. After a report is received, the Safety Team will determine the need for administrative leave (in the case of employees), emergency removal (in the case of students), and/or a timely warning to be issued within the 72 hour notice to the Commonwealth’s Attorney and local law enforcement, and will, if deemed necessary make those notifications. A timely warning is required by the Clery Act and alerts the campus community to potentially dangerous circumstances. The need for a timely warning is determined by considering the nature of the act reported and the likelihood that continuing danger exists for the campus community. If warranted, a timely warning will be issued by the Coordinator of Campus Safety and Security, who has the final authority to make the determination. In cases involving an employee, the Director of Human Resources will also be consulted.
Title IX is a federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in educational institutions that receive federal funding. Under Title IX , no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.
TITLE IX ASSESSMENT TEAM
The Title IX Assessment Team consists of the Title IX Coordinator and one or more Deputy Title IX Coordinators, identified by the Title IX Coordinator for assistance according to their primary role in the University system. The Title IX Assessment Team will include the Director of Human Resources when an employee is involved in a report. The Title IX Assessment Team facilitates disciplinary outcomes, if any, for the Respondent in an informal resolution process or refers cases to a formal process as necessary. See Appendix A, Section A.3.3.2 for more information.
TITLE IX COORDINATOR
The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for overseeing and coordinating the resolution of all reports of sex discrimination covered by this policy, and identifying and addressing any patterns or systemic concerns that arise during the review of such reports at EMU. The coordinator’s responsibilities include oversight of a prompt, fair, equitable investigation and resolution process for reports of sexual harassment, relationship violence, sexual misconduct, or other forms of conduct prohibited under this policy. The Title IX Coordinator also evaluates trends on campus by using information reported to them and makes recommendations for campus-wide training and education programs and other remedial actions designed to eliminate sexual harassment, relationship violence and sexual misconduct, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects.
In addition to the Title IX Coordinator’s core responsibilities, additional services to the University community include working with campus resources to provide ongoing training to new and current students, faculty, and staff on Title IX issues and procedures. The University will ensure that Mandated Reporters know how to respond appropriately to reports of prohibited conduct, that they are obligated to report sexual harassment, relationship violence, sexual misconduct, or other forms of conduct prohibited under this policy to the Title IX Coordinator, and that all employees understand how to respond to such reports.
Title IX Investigators serve as designees for the Title IX Coordinator to carry out the investigation of cases and prepare a written investigation report. Title IX Investigators conduct thorough and impartial investigations of a Formal Complaint, including interviewing the Complainant(s), the Respondent(s), witnesses, or others who may have relevant information, and collecting any other evidence deemed relevant to a case.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a federal law that prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, and religion. Particularly of relevance to this policy are the prohibitions that Title VII establishes towards sex-based discrimination, including discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, related medical conditions, or sexual harassment in the workplace carried out by either the institution or other coworkers.