Seattle University affirms
respect, responsibility, and care between all persons. Conduct constituting a
sexual offense, such as non-consensual sexual intercourse, non-consensual
sexual contact, sexual exploitation 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 (RCW 9A) and/or disciplined under the
Code of Student Conduct. 26
A central concept to understanding what constitutes a sexual
offense under this policy is consent.
Consent is the
equal approval, given freely, willingly, and knowingly of each participant to
desired sexual involvement in accordance with age of consent laws. A person
compelled to engage in sexual contact by force, threat of force, or coercion
has not consented to contact. Lack of mutual consent is the crucial factor in
sexual offenses. Consent cannot be given if a person's ability to resist or
consent is impaired because of a mental or physical condition or if there is
incapacitation due to drugs or alcohol or if there is a perceived power
differential. Providing alcohol or drugs to facilitate sexual activity is a
violation of this policy. Use of alcohol or other drugs will not excuse
behavior that violates this policy.
will not recognize consent if the complainant is:
Consent to one
form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual
activity. Similarly, previous relationships or consent does not imply consent
to future sexual activity. The requirements of this policy apply regardless of
the sexual orientation and/or gender expression or identity of individuals
engaging in sexual activity.
University's goal is to prevent sexual offenses 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 such information include
Office of Wellness and Health Promotion, Integrity Formation, Public Safety,
and Housing and Residence Life. The Counseling and Psychological Services
Office also offers counseling, referral information and support.
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
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.
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
A victim of a sexual offense on
campus is strongly encouraged to notify the Crimes Against Persons Officer in
Public Safety (USB 102, 206.296.5990, 206.296.5911 for emergency). Once the sexual
offense is reported, Public Safety 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
impartial 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.
Public Safety staff will report the incident to the campus Director of Public
Safety and the Title IX Coordinator. In addition, if the alleged assailant is a
student, the Office of Integrity Formation 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 Vice President for Human Resources is
If a victim
of a sexual offense wishes to remain anonymous, Public Safety 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.
When a sexual
offense occurs off campus, the investigative authority of 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.
received as part of the University reporting procedure is expected to remain
confidential. Whenever possible, the name of the victim will be withheld if the
victim so desires. Action requiring disclosure of the victim's identity or
identifying the victim in some manner will generally not take place without the
victim's consent. In some cases the University may not be able to honor a
request of confidentiality if doing so would endanger the safety or well-being
of the victim or other members of the University community.
will respond to all reports of sexual offense in a timely, effective, and
consistent manner. Factors the University may consider in determining which
response procedure(s) to follow include when the report is filed and how the
respondent chooses to proceed. All students are encouraged to report violations
of this policy to the University. A student who believes s/he or any student is
a victim of sexual offense is encouraged to promptly report the incident to
Public Safety, Residence Hall Staff, the Office of Student Development or
Student Health Services. Students may also consider a direct report to the
Seattle Police Department or contacting the Harborview's Center for Sexual
Assault & Traumatic Stress.
complainant requests measures such as a change in academic or living
arrangements, options will be discussed and reasonable efforts will be made to
accommodate the request. The complainant and respondent will be informed of the
various support services available through the University, including counseling
and medical assistance.
University reserves the right to take whatever measures it deems necessary in
response to an allegation of sexual offense in order to protect individuals'
rights and personal safety. Such measures include, but are not limited to,
modification of living arrangements, and interim suspension from campus pending
University's integrity formation conduct process for sexual offense complaints
will be prompt and equitable and conducted in consultation with Public Safety.
Informal Resolution is not appropriate for sexual offense cases. The University
will investigate all complaints of sexual offense in a prompt, adequate,
reliable and impartial manner. The investigation will include a review of
statements obtained from the complainant and the respondent, interviews with
both parties, interviews with witnesses as appropriate, and review of relevant
documentation and physical evidence. Except in extraordinary circumstances, the
University will conclude its investigation and conduct process within sixty
(60) calendar days following receipt of a complaint. The University will
provide both the complainant and the respondent a thorough explanation of the
procedures to be followed during the course of the conduct process. The
procedures will follow those that are set forth in Sections 5.2 and 5.3 of the
Redhawk Commitment and Code of Conduct, but to the extent that anything set out
in those sections is inconsistent with this policy, the process set out in this
policy shall apply. These procedures include:
parties will be advised that the resources listed in this policy are available.
Associate Dean of Students or his/her designee will issue a written "no
contact order" order to all parties involved in an alleged sexual offense.
University will utilize a pool of conduct officers trained to hear sexual
offense cases (referred to herein as the "Sexual Offense Review
Board"). Every effort is made to ensure that the members selected to sit
on the Sexual Offense Review Board represent the diverse campus community.
D. All sexual
offense cases will go before the University Sexual Offense Review Board (SORB).
E. All Sexual
Offense Review Board members will receive training specific to sexual offense
cases, with appropriate training conducted prior to the beginning of each
academic year and refresher training prior to a hearing. 30
F. The Title IX Coordinator will be informed of and provided
all information regarding a sexual offense complaint and investigation and any
subsequent conduct process.
G. The Sexual
Offense Review Board will determine responsibility using a preponderance of the
evidence standard, i.e., more likely than not a sexual offense did or did not
H. All parties
will be treated equitably during the hearing process, including having the
right to an advisor, witnesses, and the right to appeal.
importance of physical presence at a Sexual Offense Review Board will be
discussed with the complainant.
J. The hearing
location will have separate waiting rooms available for the complainant and the
K. All parties
will be informed of the Sexual Offense Review Board's findings and sanctions.
Either party may appeal the decision and all appeals are shared with the other
party. Appeals must be made in writing and submitted to the Office of Integrity
Formation within 3 business days following receipt of the official notification
of the findings and sanctions. Except in extraordinary circumstances, appeals
will be resolved within thirty (30) calendar days following receipt of the
request for appeal.
Not all forms
of sexual offense will be deemed to be equally serious offenses. The University
reserves the right to impose differing sanctions, ranging from written warning
to suspension or expulsion, depending on the severity of the offense. The
University will consider the concerns and rights of both the complainant and
the respondent of the sexual offense.