Seattle University seeks to promote and maintain an environment free from harassment of any type. Sexual harassment can interfere with a student's academic performance and emotional and physical well being. Preventing and remedying sexual harassment at Seattle University is essential to ensuring a nondiscriminatory environment in which students can learn. A complete copy of the Policy and Complaint Procedure Relating to Sexual Harassment of Students by Students is available in the office of the Vice President for Student Development.
If a student has a concern about harassment by another student or group of students, this should be reported to the Office of Public Safety, the Dean of Students, or any of the Contact Persons listed below. If a student has a concern about harassment by a member of the faculty, staff or administration, or by anyone in an employment or teaching situation, this should be reported to Human Resources and is governed by the Seattle University Policy on Sexual Harassment.
Sexual harassment is defined as any unwelcome, offensive behavior of a sexual nature; unwelcome sexual advances; requests for sexual favors; and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
Sexual harassment can occur between or among supervisors, managers and subordinates, faculty and staff, or students, peers, vendors, subcontractors, visitors, and employees or students, and any combination thereof. The harasser is often, but not always, in a more powerful position than the person being harassed. In such situations, sexual harassment is particularly serious because it may unfairly exploit the power inherent in a supervisor's or faculty member's position. All forms of sexual harassment are violations of the University's policy and will not be tolerated.
Students may consult informally or make a complaint with one of the following designated contact persons:
Darrell L. Goodwin, Dean of Students, 206.296.6066
Because sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination, it can be a violation of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. In addition to the sexual harassment Contact Persons listed above, the University has designated three individuals responsible for coordinating the University's Title IX compliance.
Students with concerns or complaints about harassment on the basis of sex in an education program or activity may also contact any one of the following Title IX coordinators:
Darrell L. Goodwin
Dean of StudentsPavilion 180
Associate Provost for Academic AffairsAdministration Bldg 104
Individuals may also contact the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education.
Those persons responsible for consulting about, investigating, and resolving complaints of sexual harassment will make efforts, to the extent possible, to protect the privacy of both the complainant and the respondent.
Any student who believes that he or she has been a victim of sexual harassment by another student or group of students and wishes to report or discuss the matter may use either a formal or informal complaint procedure. No individual shall be penalized or retaliated against in any way by a member of the University community for his or her participation in this complaint procedure.
The informal complaint procedure seeks to achieve a resolution upon which both the complainant and the alleged harasser agree. An informal complaint may be oral or in writing. It should be brought to one of the contact persons listed above. Informal complaints may have several outcomes. The person raising the issue may only want to discuss the matter with a neutral third party to clarify whether harassment may be occurring and to determine his or her options, including the pursuit of more formal action. In such a situation, the contact person will give assistance and offer suggestions on how the issue might be resolved, without drawing a conclusion as to whether harassment has occurred. In other cases, the contact person may be asked to act as a mediator, to talk to the other person(s) to see whether an informal resolution of the issue can be reached. If resolution is reached by this process, no further actions will be taken, and the matter will be considered closed.
The Dean of Students will keep a record of the complaint and its resolution, including the names of the involved parties. Issues not so resolved may require that further inquiries be made and/or that the University take a more active role in finding a solution to the problem. If a satisfactory resolution cannot be reached, the formal complaint procedure may be used at the option of the complainant, the respondent, or the University.
A complainant may make a formal complaint without first using the informal complaint procedure. A formal complaint should be in writing and submitted to the Dean of Students. The formal complaint should include: the alleged harasser's name; the times, dates, places, and circumstances surrounding the allegation of harassment; and the names of any witnesses to the incident(s). The complainant may request assistance from a contact person in preparing a written complaint. A formal complaint can be initiated by any of the contact persons, including the Dean of Students. The President, Provost, Vice Presidents or Deans may request that the Office of the Vice President for Student Development conduct an investigation or conduct a review without a formal complaint from any one individual.
After receipt of the formal complaint, the Dean of Students or his/her designee will review student files and will consult with the complainant, the person against whom the complaint is made, any witnesses, and appropriate faculty, staff, and students, in an attempt to resolve the matter and/or to determine whether further investigation is warranted. A copy of the formal complaint will be provided to the individual against whom the complaint is made. A formal investigation can be terminated at any time, e.g., if a satisfactory resolution is agreed to before a written finding is made, or if an appropriate resolution is implemented. Upon completion of the investigation, the Dean of Students will determine if the complaint merits adjudication and will notify the complainant and respondent, if any, in writing, of the findings and recommendations. Even where prohibited harassment is not found, the Office of the Vice President for Student Development may determine that the conduct is inappropriate or otherwise violates the Code of Student Conduct. A complainant or respondent dissatisfied with the findings or recommendations may file a rebuttal statement with the Dean of Students for inclusion in the investigative file. In cases warranting adjudication, the Office of the Vice President for Student Development retains the right to determine whether the review will be conducted by the faculty/student review board, the peer review board, or by an administrator designated by the Vice President for Student Development. The proceedings will be conducted in accordance with the Code of Student Conduct.
Seattle University affirms respect, responsibility, and caring between all persons. Admission to the University carries with it the presumption that students will conduct themselves as responsible members of the community, and refrain from actions that would endanger the health, welfare or safety of others. Conduct constituting a sexual offense, such as rape, acquaintance rape or sexual assault, will not be tolerated. Behavior of this nature is inconsistent with Seattle University values, and is a violation of the Code of Student Conduct, University policy and state and federal law. Students committing a sexual offense in any form can be prosecuted under the Washington State Criminal Code (Title 9A RCW) and/or disciplined under the Code of Student Conduct.
Prevention Through Education
Educational Opportunities - Seattle University is committed to educating students, faculty and staff about sexual assault and about the prevention of sexual assault. The University's goal is to prevent sexual assault through education and deterrence, and through the creation of an atmosphere of improved understanding and communication. Educational opportunities on sexual assault awareness, prevention and safety are presented during new student orientation and throughout the year. Offices and programs providing suchinformation include Public Safety and Housing and Residence Life. The Student Counseling Center offers counseling, referral information and support. Reducing the Risk of a Sexual Assault or Offense - No one asks or deserves to be sexually assaulted. While there is no absolute protection against a sexual assault or sexual offense, there are precautions you can take to help reduce your exposure to the risk of a sexual offense. Some suggestions include:
When out with someone, be sure you have money for a taxi, your bus pass, and the phone number of a friend, so you are not dependent on your companion for a ride home. Acquaintance and date rape are familiar terms to students, but they are not legal terms. They are often used to differentiate between rape committed by someone the victim knows and rape by a stranger. The same criminal laws, penalties, and University sanctions apply in cases of acquaintance rape as in cases of stranger rape.
A victim of a sexual offense can experience varying degrees of trauma and anxiety. Emotional and physical symptoms such as fear, anxiety, anger, shock, depression, insomnia, headaches and/or nausea are common. Many victims also feel guilt and self-blame, especially if the suspect is an acquaintance. Regardless of the symptoms you experience, if you are a victim of a sexual offense:
On-campus A victim of a sexual offense on campus is strongly encouraged to notify the Crimes Against Persons Officer in the campus Public Safety Office (USB 102, 296-5990, 296-5911 for emergency). Once the sexual offense is reported, the Public Safety Office will notify appropriate University officials or third parties who are identified as having a need to know. The primary role of Public Safety in a sexual offense incident is to collect information in an unbiased manner and preserve all relevant evidence. Public Safety notification procedures may vary depending on certain factors such as whether the alleged assailant is a member of the University community, whether the incident took place on or off campus, and whether the victim wishes to remain anonymous. Generally, the Public Safety Office will report the incident to the campus Director of Public Safety. In addition, if the alleged assailant is a student, the Office of the Vice President for Student Development is notified; if the alleged assailant is a faculty member, the Office of the Provost is notified; if the alleged assailant is a staff member, the Assistant Vice President for Human Resources is notified.
Anonymous Report If a victim of a sexual offense wishes to remain anonymous, the Public Safety Office will take a "third person" report. This report allows a person to provide a detailed report about the offense without the obligation of pursuing an investigation and/or pressing charges. The University cannot fully investigate or initiate disciplinary action against the alleged offender based on a third person report. However, reporting is still encouraged as it may provide important information for protecting the community-at-large.
Off Campus When a sexual offense occurs off campus, the investigative authority of Seattle University Public Safety is limited. However, Public Safety does work in close cooperation with the Seattle Police Department in investigating the complaint. The same reporting and notification procedures as for an on campus incident will occur. If the assailant is a Seattle University student, faculty, or staff member, the University may, at its discretion, suspend disciplinary action or related proceedings until the SPD investigation and/or court action is complete.