Reporting a Title IX Incident

Please use this link to report a Title IX Incident that falls within the Sex/Gender Harassment, Discrimination, and Sexual Misconduct policy.

 

Sex/Gender-Based Harassment, Discrimination, and Sexual Misconduct Policy

In keeping with its core value of the sacredness of creation, Carlow University strives to create and maintain a safe and supportive climate in which the inherent dignity of each individual is celebrated. Grounded in the Catholic Mercy heritage, we honor the Catholic belief that sexual relationships, interaction, and intimacy should only occur within committed marital relationships in which persons have mutually committed, legally and spiritually, to honor and enhance another’s dignity and worth.

Members of the university community, guests and visitors have the right to be free from all forms of sex/gender harassment, discrimination and sexual misconduct, examples of which can include acts of sexual violence, sexual harassment, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. Sexual misconduct in any form (harassment, rape, sexual battery, etc.) undermines Carlow's core values and will not be tolerated within our campus community. All members of the campus community are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that does not infringe upon the rights of others.

The university takes all allegations seriously and investigates them thoroughly. All Carlow University students, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, are covered by this policy, as are third parties on Carlow property or participating in Carlow-sponsored or related activities. This policy is applicable regardless of the sexual orientation and/or gender identity of individuals engaging in the interaction.

The university supports a zero tolerance approach for sex/gender-based misconduct. Zero tolerance means that when an allegation of misconduct is brought to an appropriate administrator’s attention, protective and supportive measures will be used to reasonably ensure that such conduct ends, is not repeated, and the effects on the victim and community are remedied as much as can be achieved, including imposing sanctions when a responding party is found to have violated this policy.

This policy has been developed to reaffirm these principles and to provide recourse for those individuals who believe their rights have been violated. This policy is intended to define community expectations and policy standards as well as the procedures, which establish a mechanism for determining to the extent possible when those expectations have been violated.

The university’s commitment to academic freedom suggests that this policy is not meant to inhibit or prohibit educational content or discussions, inside or outside of the classroom, that include controversial or sensitive subject matters. Academic freedom extends to topics that are pedagogically appropriate and germane to the subject matter of courses or that touch on academic exploration of matters of public concern. In these discussions, the teachings of the Catholic Church should be honored.

The university uses the preponderance of the evidence (also known as “more likely than not”) as a standard for evaluating the evidence of whether a violation occurred. The university never assumes a responding party is in violation of university policy. Campus resolution proceedings are conducted to take into account the totality of all evidence available, from all relevant sources and apply a fundamentally fair approach to determining if a policy or policies have been violated.

 

Clarification of Terms

The expectation of our community regarding interactions, and specifically those of a sexual nature, is that they must be clear, knowing and voluntary prior to and during the interaction. Consent is permission. Consent can be given by word or action, but non-verbal consent is not as clear as talking about what you want and what you don’t. Consent to some form of interaction cannot be automatically taken as consent to any other form. Previous consent does not imply consent in the future. Silence or passivity -- without actions demonstrating permission -- cannot be assumed to show consent. Consent, once given, can be withdrawn at any time. There must be a clear indication that consent is being withdrawn.

Use of alcohol or other drugs will never function to excuse any behavior that violates this policy. Further, because alcohol or other drug use can place the capacity to consent in question, uninhibited interaction is less likely to raise such questions. When alcohol or other drugs are being used, a person will be considered unable to give valid consent if they cannot fully understand the details of an interaction including a sexual interaction (who, what, when, where, why, or how) because they lack the capacity to reasonably understand the situation. Individuals who consent to interaction must be able to understand what they are doing. Under this policy, “No” always means “No.”. Anything but a clear, knowing and voluntary consent to any interaction is equivalent to a “no.”

Sexual Misconduct Offenses Include but are not limited to:

1. Sexual Harassment
2. Non-Consensual Sexual Contact (or attempts to commit same)
3. Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse (or attempts to commit same)
4. Sexual Exploitation
5. Intimate Partner Violence

1. Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment is:
• unwelcome,
• sexual, sex-based and/or gender-based verbal, written, online and/or physical conduct.

Anyone experiencing sexual harassment in any University program is encouraged to report it immediately to the Title IX Coordinator or a Deputy Coordinator. Remedies, education and/or training will be provided in response.

Sexual harassment may be disciplined when it creates a hostile environment, or takes the form of quid pro quo harassment or retaliatory harassment.

Hostile Environment is:
A hostile environment is created when sexual harassment is:
• sufficiently severe, or
• persistent or pervasive, and
• objectively offensive that it:
o unreasonably interferes with, denies or limits someone’s ability to participate in or benefit from the university’s educational [and/or employment], social and/or residential program.

Quid Pro Quo Harassment is:
• Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature
• By a person having power or authority over another
• Harassment subject to disciplinary action when:
• Submission to such sexual conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of rating or evaluating an individual’s educational [or employment] progress, development, or performance.
• When submission to such conduct would be a condition for access to receiving the benefits of any educational [or employment] program.

Examples include: an attempt to coerce an unwilling person into a sexual relationship; to repeatedly subject a person to egregious, unwelcome sexual attention; to punish a refusal to comply with a sexual based request; to condition a benefit on submitting to sexual advances; sexual violence; intimate partner violence, stalking; gender-based bullying.

Some examples of possible Sexual Harassment include:
Unwanted sexual advances; demands for sexual favors in exchange for favorable treatment or continued employment; verbal abuse of a sexual nature; graphic commentary about an individual's body, sexual prowess, or sexual deficiencies; leering; whistling; touching; pinching; assault; coerced sexual acts; suggestive, insulting or obscene comments or gestures; stalking; and displaying sexually suggestible objects or pictures. Carlow University prohibits all conduct of this nature whether or not such conduct violates any applicable laws.

2. Non-consensual Sexual Contact
Non-Consensual Sexual Contact is:
• any intentional sexual touching,
• however slight,
• with any object,
• by a person upon another person,
• that is without consent and/or by force.

Sexual Contact includes:
• Intentional contact with the breasts, buttock, groin, or genitals, or touching another with any of these body parts, or making another touch you or themselves with or on any of these body parts;
• Any other intentional bodily contact in a sexual manner.

3. Non-consensual Sexual Intercourse

Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse is:
• any sexual intercourse
• however slight,
• with any object,
• by a person upon another person,
• that is without consent and/or by force.

Intercourse includes:
• vaginal or anal penetration by a penis, object, tongue or finger, and oral copulation (mouth to genital contact), no matter how slight the penetration or contact.

4. Sexual Exploitation
Sexual exploitation occurs when one person takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for his/her own advantage or benefit, or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited, and that behavior does not otherwise constitute one of the other sexual misconduct offenses. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to:

• Invasion of sexual privacy;
• Prostituting another person;
• Non-consensual digital, video, or audio recording of nudity or sexual activity;
• Unauthorized sharing or distribution of digital, video, or audio recording of nudity or sexual activity;
• Engaging in voyeurism;
• Going beyond the boundaries of consent (such as allowing someone to hide in the closet to watch consensual sex);
• Knowingly exposing someone to or transmitting an STI, STD or HIV to another person;
• Intentionally or recklessly exposing one’s genitals in non-consensual circumstances; inducing another to expose their genitals;
• Sexually-based stalking and/or bullying may also be forms of sexual exploitation

5. Intimate Partner Violence
• Violence or abuse between those in an intimate relationship to each other

6. Other Misconduct Offenses that will fall under Title IX when Sex or Gender Based
• Threatening or causing physical harm, extreme verbal abuse, or other conduct which threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person;
• Discrimination, defined as actions that deprive other members of the community of educational or employment access, benefits or opportunities on the basis of sex or gender;
• Intimidation, defined as implied threats or acts that cause an unreasonable fear of harm in another;
• Hazing, defined as acts likely to cause physical or psychological harm or social ostracism to any person within the university community, when related to the admission, initiation, pledging, joining, or any other group-affiliation activity.

• Bullying, defined as
O Repeated and/or severe
O Aggressive behavior
O Likely to intimidate or intentionally hurt, control or diminish another person, physically or mentally
o Stalking
o Repetitive and menacing
O Pursuit, following, harassing, and/or interfering with the peace and/or safety of another

Any other University or Code of Conduct policy may fall within this section when a violation is motivated by the actual or perceived membership of the reporting party’s sex or gender.

False Reports

Carlow University will not tolerate intentional false reporting of incidents. It is a violation of this policy to make an intentionally false report of any policy violation, and it may also violate state criminal statutes and civil defamation laws.

Retaliation

Retaliation is defined as any adverse action taken against a person participating in a protected activity because of their participation in that protected activity. Retaliation against an individual for an allegation, for supporting a reporting party, or for assisting in providing information relevant to an allegation will be investigated as a separate violation of university policy and processed as appropriate thought the Student Conduct Review Process.

Amnesty for Victims and Witnesses

The university community encourages reporting of misconduct and crimes by victims and witnesses. Sometimes, victims or witnesses are hesitant to report to university officials or to participate in resolution processes because they fear that they themselves may be accused of policy violations, such as underage alcohol or drug use at the time of the incident. It is in the best interests of this community that as many victims as possible choose to report to university officials, and that witnesses come forward to share what they know. To encourage reporting, Carlow University maintains a policy of offering victims of misconduct and witnesses amnesty from minor policy violations related to the incident.

Parental Notification

The university reserves the right to notify parents/guardians of dependent students regarding any health or safety risk, change in student status or conduct situation, particularly alcohol and other drug violations. The university may also notify parents/guardians of non-dependent students who are under age 21 of alcohol and/or drug policy violations. Where a student is non-dependent, the university may contact parents/guardians to inform them of situations in which there is a significant and articulable health and/or safety risk. The university also reserves the right to designate which university officials have a need to know about individual conduct reports pursuant to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

Reporting Offences Under This Policy

The University encourages any individual who has experienced sexual misconduct to make a formal report and to fully pursue the matter through both campus conduct and external legal or law enforcement channels.
We encourage students to make a report as early as possible to facilitate the investigation and any future campus or potential legal processes.

Reporting sexual misconduct to the University Police or other campus authorities does not automatically require someone to pursue legal action.

All information disclosed is shared strictly on a need-to-know basis with those in the university with a legitimate need to know. Privacy of student information is protected from disclosure by the federal law FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act).

Additionally, Pennsylvania law requires the availability for students and others to file anonymous reports. While anonymous reporting may limit the scope of an investigation and the University’s ability to pursue such matters, all such reports will be investigated to the extent reasonable and possible. Those wishing to file an anonymous report may do so via the Carlow University website under the Title IX link.

All university employees (faculty, staff, administrators) are expected to immediately report actual or suspected discrimination or harassment to appropriate officials, though there are some limited exceptions. In order to make informed choices, it is important to be aware of confidentiality and mandatory reporting requirements when consulting campus resources. On campus, some resources may maintain confidentiality – meaning they are not required to report actual or suspected discrimination or harassment to appropriate university officials - thereby offering options and advice without any obligation to inform an outside agency or individual unless a victim has requested information to be shared. Other campus reporting sources exist for a victim to report crimes and policy violations and these resources are required to take action when an incident is reported to them. The following describes the two reporting options at Carlow:

Confidential Reporting

The University Counselors, the Campus Minister, and the Special Assistant to the President for Mercy Heritage fall within the Title IX reporting exemption for personal and pastoral counselors and are therefore not required to report crimes or violations identified in this policy in the same way as the mandatory reporters. However, these individuals will encourage students to use campus reporting procedures and connect with other resources.
Additional on-campus and off-campus confidential resources includes:

Carlow University Health and Counseling Center has a registered nurse and two licensed counselors on staff, supported by a consulting arrangement with UPMC Adolescent Medicine and a consulting psychiatrist. Any student who has experienced sexual misconduct at any time, on or off campus, past or present, is encouraged to use these support services.
Director of Health Services: 412.578.6174
University Counselors: 412.578.6306 or 412.578.8731

Magee Women's Hospital (300 Halket Street, Pittsburgh 1.866.MyMagee) and UPMC Mercy (1400 Locus Street, Pittsburgh 412.232.8111) have Forensic Nurses available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at their emergency departments. These Forensic Nurses, called Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE), are highly trained to collect evidence and connect individuals with advocates and community resources.

Pittsburgh Action Against Rape (PAAR) provides prevention and education services on campus. PAAR also provides a 24 hour confidential hotline (1.866.END.RAPE), counseling, and support through the medical and legal process. 412.431.5665.
Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) is the largest anti-sexual assault organization in the country. They provide access to a wide variety of support and educational services to survivors of sexual misconduct and those who support them. 1.800.656.HOPE (4673)

Campus Mandated Reporters
All university employees have a duty to report, unless they fall under the “Confidential Reporting” section above. Complainants may want to consider carefully whether they share personally identifiable details with non-confidential employees, as those details must be shared by the employee with the Title IX Coordinator. Employees must share all details of the reports they receive. Generally, climate surveys, classroom writing assignments, human subjects research, or events such as marches or speak-outs do not provide notice that must be reported to the Coordinator by employees. Supportive measures may be provided to the Complainant without formal university action.

If a victim does not wish for their name to be shared, does not wish for an investigation to take place, or does not want a formal resolution to be pursued, the victim may make such a request to the Title IX Coordinator, who will evaluate that request in light of the duty to ensure the safety of the campus and comply with federal law. In cases indicating pattern, predation, threat, weapons and/or violence, the University will likely be unable to honor a request for confidentiality. In cases where the victim requests confidentiality and the circumstances allow the University to honor that request, the University will offer interim supports and remedies to the victim and the community, but will not otherwise pursue formal action. A Complainant has the right, and can expect, to have reports taken seriously by the University when formally reported, and to have those incidents investigated and properly resolved through these procedures.

Formal reporting still affords privacy to the reporter, and only a small group of officials who need to know will be told.

Where to Officially Report Sexual Misconduct:

a. The University Police (412.578.6007)
b. The Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students (Title IX Coordinator) (412.578.6087)
c. The Assistant Dean of Students (412.578.8774)
d. The Director of Residence Life (412.578.8776)
e. The Director of Human Resources (412.578.8897)
f. Any member of the Residence Life staff (RAs and GRDs)
g. Any Campus Security Authorities (CSAs). A list of CSAs is published each semester.
h. The President, all the members of the President’s Cabinet, administrators at our Cranberry and Greenburg sites, and several members of the Student Affairs staff serve as CSA’s for this purpose.

Students who experience sexual misconduct away from campus are also encouraged to report the matter to the Vice President of Student Affairs, University Police, Health Services, or Counseling staff. Even if the incident does not fall under the investigatory, campus conduct, or legal jurisdiction of Carlow University, our goal is to ensure that students have the support and resources they need, and which the University can offer or arrange.


Title IX Coordinator

The university’s Title IX Coordinator oversees compliance with all aspects of the sex/gender harassment, discrimination and misconduct policy. The Coordinator is housed in the office of Student Affairs, University Commons 218. Questions about this policy should be directed to the Title IX Coordinator. Anyone wishing to make a report relating to discrimination or harassment may do so by reporting the concern to the university Title IX Coordinator:

Timothy P. Phillips, Ph.D.
Vice President of Studnt Affairs & Dean of Students
Title IX Coordinator
Office of Student Affairs, University Commons 218
3333 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15206
(412) 578-6087
Email: tpphillips@carlow.edu

Individuals experiencing harassment or discrimination also always have the right to file a formal grievance with government authorities:

Office for Civil Rights (OCR)
Western Region
Dr. Teresa R. Randleman, Regional Manager
301 Fifth Avenue
Suite 410, Platt Place
Pittsburgh, PA 15222-1210
412-565-7607
Email: OCR@ed.gov
Web: http://www.ed.gov/ocr

By e-mail to education@usdoj.gov
By telephone at (202) 514-4092 or 1-877-292-3804 (toll-free)
By facsimile at (202) 514-8337

In the event that an incident involves alleged misconduct by the Title IX Coordinator, reports should be made directly to Bridgette Cofield, Assistant Vice President for Human Resources, Diversity, & Inclusion, 412-578-8897, or bncofield@carlow.edu.

Responding to Allegations

When appropriate, residence hall assignments and class schedules may be modified to reduce or prevent contact between the complainant and the responding party, and no-contact requirements or interim suspensions may be used to protect the safety of those involved.
Both the complainant and the responding party are entitled to the assistance of an advisor of their choice to provide ongoing advice and support.

Both the complainant and the responding party will be provided with a written outline of their rights and responsibilities.

As in other major campus conduct proceedings, sexual misconduct cases will be heard by a Student Conduct Review Board of trained faculty, staff, and students who will make recommendations to the Vice President for Student Affairs based on a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not) standard of proof. Both parties to the process will receive written notice of the outcomes of any campus conduct proceedings.
The University Police will facilitate and support any complainant who wishes to file legal charges with the City of Pittsburgh Police in addition to or instead of campus conduct proceedings. Internal campus proceedings and external legal processes are conducted independent of each other and the outcome of one does not necessarily influence the other.

Sanctions

Students accused of sexual misconduct will face campus conduct proceedings in which the sanctions may include removal from the University or from specific residence halls or programs, as well as possible civil or criminal legal liability under federal and state laws, including Title IX. The following sanctions may be imposed upon any member of the community found to have violated the Sex/Gender Harassment, Discrimination and Misconduct Policy. The following are the typical sanctions that may be imposed upon students or organizations singly or in combination:

Student sanctions include, but are not limited to [see the full list and description in the Student Conduct Review section, Student Handbook]
• Warning
• Probation
• Suspension
• Expulsion
• Withholding Diploma
• Revocation of Degree
• Transcript Notation
• Other Actions noted in the Student Conduct Review section, Student Handbook