IMPORTANT NOTICE: In compliance with the U.S. Department of Education’s Title IX Final Rule, effective August 14, 2020, Seattle University implemented a new policy, the Policy for Complying with the Title IX Regulations-Title IX Final Rule, which impacts the application of the Sexual Offenses, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence and Stalking Policy. Please see the policy and the Office of Institutional Equity’s web page for additional information.
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 Department of Public Safety, 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.
Click through the sections below to learn more about this policy, or download the full Sexual Harassment Policy (PDF).
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 the following designated contact person:
Dr. James Willette
Associate Vice President/Dean of Students
Student Center 140
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 Person listed above, the University has designated 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 the following Title IX coordinator:
Interim Assistant Vice President for Institutional Equity | Title IX Coordinator | ADA/504 Coordinator
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 their participation in this complaint procedure.
Informal 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 their 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 Associate Vice President/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.
Formal Complaint Procedure
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 Associate Vice President/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 Associate Vice President/Dean of Students or their 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 Associate Vice President/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 Associate Vice President/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.