Title IX Policies & Procedures

Sexual Misconduct Policy

I. POLICY STATEMENT
Missouri Western State University (the “University”) is committed to providing a learning, working, and living environment that promotes personal integrity, civility, and mutual respect in an environment free of discrimination on the basis of sex. The University considers sex discrimination in all its forms to be a serious offense. Sex discrimination constitutes a violation of this policy, is unacceptable, and will not be tolerated. Sex discrimination includes discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, gender identity, and failure to conform to stereotypical notions of femininity and masculinity.

Sexual harassment, whether verbal, physical, or visual, that is based on sex is a form of prohibited sex discrimination. Sexual harassment also includes sexual violence. The specific definitions of sexual harassment and sexual violence, including examples of such conduct, are set forth below.

II. SCOPE
This policy applies to administrators, faculty, and other University employees; students; applicants for employment; customers; third-party contractors; and all other persons that participate in the University’s educational programs and activities, including third-party visitors on campus (the “University Community”). This policy prohibits sex discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual violence even when the complainant and alleged perpetrator are members of the same sex, and it applies regardless of national origin, immigration status, or citizenship status. The University’s prohibition on sex discrimination and sexual harassment extends to all aspects of its educational programs and activities, including, but not limited to, admissions, employment, academics, athletics, housing, and student services.

The University has jurisdiction over Title IX-related complaints regarding conduct that occurred on campus, during or at an official University program or activity (regardless of location), or off campus when the conduct creates a hostile environment on campus. The University will investigate all complaints made under this policy and, if necessary, take action to prevent the recurrence of sex discrimination and remedy its effects.

III. TITLE IX STATEMENT
It is the policy of the University to comply with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and its implementing regulations, which prohibit discrimination based on sex in the University’s educational programs and activities. Title IX and its implementing regulations also prohibit retaliation for asserting claims of sex discrimination. The University has designated the following Title IX Coordinator to coordinate its compliance with Title IX and to receive inquiries regarding Title IX, including complaints of sex discrimination:

Adam McGowan
Title IX Coordinator
231 Blum Union                                                              
4525 Downs Drive
St. Joseph, Missouri 64507                                          

816-271-4557
amcgowan@missouriwestern.edu

Sara Freemyer
Director of Human Resources/Equal Opportunity Officer
117 Popplewell Hall
4525 Downs Drive
St. Joseph, MO 64507
816-271-4587
sfreemyer1@missouriwestern.edu

The University has also designed the following Deputy Title IX Coordinators to assist the Title IX Coordinator in carrying out his/her duties in situations involving students:

Judy Grimes
Associate Vice President for Student Affairs
228 Blum Union
4525 Downs Drive
St. Joseph, Missouri 64507
816-271-5991
grimes@missouriwestern.edu

A person may also file a complaint of sex discrimination with the United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights regarding an alleged violation of Title IX by visiting www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/complaintintro.html or by calling 1-800-421-3481.

IV. SEXUAL HARASSMENT

A. Definition of Sexual Harassment
Sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, physical, or visual conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when:

  • Submission to such conduct is made or threatened to be made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of an individual’s employment or education
  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used or threatened to be used as the basis for academic or employment decisions affecting that individual, or
  • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s academic or professional performance or creating what a reasonable person would perceive  as an intimidating, hostile, or offensive employment, education, or living environment

B. Examples of Sexual Harassment
Some examples of sexual harassment include:

  • Pressure for a dating, romantic, or intimate relationship
  • Unwelcome touching, kissing, hugging, rubbing, or massaging
  • Pressure for sexual activity
  • Unnecessary references to parts of the body
  • Sexual innuendos, jokes, or humor
  • Making sexual gestures
  • Displaying sexual graffiti, pictures, videos or posters
  • Using sexually explicit profanity
  • Asking about, or telling about, sexual fantasies, sexual preferences or sexual activities
  • E-mail and Internet use that violates this policy
  • Leering or staring at someone in a sexual way, such as staring at a person’s breasts or  groin
  • Sending sexually explicit emails or text messages
  • Commenting on a person’s dress in a sexual manner
  • Giving unwelcome personal gifts such as flowers, chocolates, or lingerie that suggest the desire for a romantic relationship
  • Commenting on a person’s body, gender, sexual relationships, or sexual activities
  • Sexual violence (as defined below)

C. Sexual Violence

1. The Definition of Sexual Violence
Sexual violence is a form of prohibited sexual harassment. Sexual violence includes physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent because of his or her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity, because of his or her youth, or because of his or her incapacitation due to the use of drugs and/or alcohol.

2. Examples of Sexual Violence
Some examples of sexual violence include:

  • Rape or sexual assault: sexual intercourse (anal, oral, or vaginal) by a man or woman upon a man or woman without consent
  • Unwilling sexual penetration (anal, vaginal, or oral) with any object or body part that is committed by force, threat, or intimidation
  • Sexual touching with an object or body part, by a man or woman upon a man or woman, without consent
  • Sexual touching with an object or body part, by a man or woman upon a man or woman, committed by force, threat, or intimidation
  • Knowingly transmitting a sexually transmitted disease to another
  • The use of force or coercion to effect sexual intercourse or some other form of sexual contact with a person who has not given consent
  • Having sexual intercourse with a person who is unconscious because of drug or alcohol use
  • Hazing that involves penetrating a person’s vagina or anus with an object
  • Use of the “date rape drug” to effect sexual intercourse or some other form of sexual contact with a person
  • One partner in a romantic relationship forcing the other to have sexual intercourse without the partner’s consent
  • Exceeding the scope of consent by engaging in a different form of sexual activity than a person has consented to
  • Knowingly transmitting a sexually transmitted disease such as HIV to another person through sexual activity
  • Coercing someone into having sexual intercourse by threatening to expose their secrets
  • Secretly videotaping sexual activity where the other party has not consented
  • Prostituting another student

D. Sexual Misconduct
Collectively, sex discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual violence will be referred to as “sexual misconduct” through the remainder of this policy and the complaint resolution procedures.

E. Definition of Consent
Lack of consent is a critical factor in determining whether sexual violence has occurred. Consent is informed, freely given, and mutually understood. Consent requires an affirmative act or statement by each participant. Consent is not passive.

  • If coercion, intimidation, threats, and/or physical force are used, there is no consent.
  • If a person is mentally or physically incapacitated or impaired by alcohol or drugs such that the person cannot understand the fact, nature, or extent of the sexual situation,there is no consent.
  • If a person is asleep or unconscious, there is no consent.
  • Consent to one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity.
  • Consent can be withdrawn. A person who initially consents to sexual activity is deemed not to have consented to any sexual activity that occurs after he or she withdraws consent.
  • For purposes of this policy, coercion is defined as unreasonable pressure that overrides a person’s ability to freely choose to engage in the activity in question.  Examples of unreasonable pressure include the use of physical force, threats of bodily harm to a person, threats of bodily harm to family members or friends, restricting a person’s movement, and threats to reveal private or damaging information. Merely persuading someone to engage in sexual activity is not coercion. Similarly, the mere fact of asking someone to engage in sexual activity more than once is not coercion. However, repeated requests to engage in sexual activity after such requests have been rejected may rise to the level of coercion, particularly if there are aggravating factors, such as a power differential.  Irrespective of whether such repeated requests constitute coercion, such requests may constitute sexual harassment, as defined herein.

F. Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking
The crimes of domestic violence, dating violence and stalking can also constitute sexual misconduct when motivated by a person’s sex. These crimes, no matter the motivation behind them, are a violation of this policy.

1. Domestic Violence
“Domestic violence” includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of a victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner, by a person similarly situated to a spouse or the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction […], or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction.

• Missouri’s definition of domestic violence can be found at Mo. Rev. Stat. § 455.010.
• Under Missouri law, domestic violence also includes the crime of “domestic assault”       which can be found at Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 565.072-565.074.

2. Dating Violence

“Dating violence” means violence committed by a person:

(A) who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim; and
(B) where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors:

 (i) The length of the relationship.
(ii) The type of relationship.
(iii) The frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.

• Missouri law does not specifically define dating violence, but conduct of this nature is covered by Missouri’s definitions of domestic violence and   domestic assault.

3. Stalking
“Stalking” means engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to:
(A) fear for his or her safety or the safety of others; or
(B) suffer substantial emotional distress.

• Missouri’s definition of stalking can be found at Mo. Rev. Stat. § 455.010 and § 565.225.

V. ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

A. Title IX Coordinator
It is the responsibility of the Title IX Coordinator to: (1) receive complaints under this policy; (2) coordinate dissemination of information and education and training programs; (3) assist members of the University Community in understanding that sexual misconduct is prohibited by this policy; (4) answer questions about this policy; (5) appoint investigators and ensure that they are trained to respond to and investigate complaints of sexual misconduct; (6) ensure that employees and students are aware of the procedures for reporting and addressing complaints of sexual misconduct; and (7) to implement the Complaint Resolution Procedures or to designate appropriate persons for implementing the Complaint Resolution Procedures.

B. Administrators, Deans, Department Chairs, and Other Managers
It is the responsibility of administrators, deans, department chairs, and other managers (i.e., those that formally supervise other employees) to:

  •  Inform employees under their direction or supervision of this policy
  • Work with the Title IX Coordinator to implement education and training programs for employees and students
  • Implement any corrective actions that are imposed as a result of findings of a violation of this policy

C. All Employees
It is the responsibility of all employees to review this policy and comply with it.

D. Students
It is the responsibility of all students to review this policy and comply with it.

E. The University
When the University is aware that a member of the University Community may have been subjected to or affected by conduct that violates this policy, the University will take prompt action, including a review of the matter and, if necessary, an investigation and appropriate steps to stop and remedy the sexual misconduct. The University will act in accordance with its Complaint Resolution Procedures.

VI. COMPLAINTS
A. Making a Complaint
1. Faculty and Employees
All University employees have a duty to promptly report sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator when they observe such conduct or a report of sexual conduct is made to them. This does not apply to the employees who may maintain confidentiality as described in Section VI.A.3 of this policy.

2. Students
Students are encouraged to file a report under this policy when they experience or witness sexual misconduct. Students who wish to report sexual misconduct should file a complaint with the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX  Coordinator. Students should be aware that all faculty and employees at the University, except those who may maintain confidentiality as described in Section VI.A.3 of this policy, have an obligation to report sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator if they observe such conduct or receive a report of such conduct.

Students may also file a complaint with the United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, as set forth in Section III above.

3. Confidential Reports
If a victim desires to talk confidentially about his or her situation, s/he may contact: Missouri Western State University Counseling Center, located at 203 Eder Hall; 816-271-4327. Hours are 8am-4:30pm, Monday through Friday; or Missouri Western State University Esry Student Health Center, located at 203 Blum Union; 816-271-4495; health@missouriwestern.edu. Hours are 8am-4:30pm, Monday through Friday.

They are available to assist you and will not report your circumstances to the University for investigation without your permission. Notwithstanding, Missouri Western State University Counseling Center, (203 Eder Hall; 816-271-4327) or Missouri Western State University Esry Student Health Center,(203 Blum Union; 816-271-4495; health@missouriwestern.edu) will report a crime to the appropriate University personnel for inclusion in the University’s annual crime statistics disclosure, though your name will be withheld from this report.

4. Content of the Complaint
So that the University has sufficient information to investigate a complaint, the complaint should include: (1) the date(s) and time(s) of the alleged conduct; (2) the names of all person(s) involved in the alleged conduct, including possible witnesses; (3) all details outlining what happened; and (4) contact information for the complainant so that the University may follow up appropriately.

5. Conduct that Constitutes a Crime
Any person who wishes to make a complaint of sexual misconduct that also constitutes a crime—including sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking—is encouraged to make a complaint to local law enforcement. If requested, the University will assist the complainant in notifying the appropriate law enforcement authorities. In the event of an emergency, please contact 911. A victim may decline to notify such authorities.

6. Special Guidance Concerning Complaints of Sexual Violence, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, or Stalking
If you are the victim of sexual violence (including sexual assault), domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking, do not blame yourself. These crimes are never the victim’s fault. When physical violence of a sexual nature has perpetrated against you, the University recommends that you immediately go to the emergency room of a local hospital and contact local law enforcement (911 if emergency), in addition to making a prompt complaint to the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Student Coordinator. You may also wish to call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-HOPE.

If you are the victim of sexual violence, domestic violence, or dating violence, do everything possible to preserve evidence by making certain that the crime scene is not disturbed. Preservation of evidence may be necessary for proof of the crime or in obtaining a protection order. Victims of sexual violence, domestic violence, or dating violence should not bathe, urinate, douche, brush teeth, or drink liquids until after they are examined and, if necessary, a rape examination is completed. Clothes should not be changed. When necessary, seek immediate medical attention at an area hospital and take a full change of clothing, including shoes, for use after a medical examination.

It is also important to take steps to preserve evidence in cases of stalking, to the extent such evidence exists. In cases of stalking, evidence is more likely to be in the form of letters, emails, text messages, etc. rather than evidence of physical contact and violence.

Once a complaint of sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking is made, the complainant has several options such as, but not limited to:

• contacting parents or a relative
• seeking legal advice
• seeking personal counseling (always recommended)
• pursuing legal action against the perpetrator
• pursuing disciplinary action
• requesting that no further action be taken

A complainant who makes a claim related to sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking will be given a copy of the document titled “Explanation of Rights and Options After Filing a Complaint of Sexual Violence, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, or Stalking.”

7. Vendors, Contractors, and Third-Parties
This policy applies to the conduct of vendors, contractors, and third parties. If any of these people believe they have been subject to sexual misconduct in violation of this policy should make a report to the Title IX Coordinator. They may also file a complaint with the United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, as set forth in Section III above.

Likewise, members of the University Community can file complaints under this policy against vendors, contractors, and third parties.

8. Retaliation
It is a violation of this policy to retaliate against any member of the University Community who reports or assists in making a complaint of sexual misconduct or who participates in the investigation of a complaint in any way. Persons who believe they have been retaliated against in violation of this policy should make a complaint in the manner set forth in this section.

9. Protecting the Complainant
Pending final outcome of an investigation in accordance with the Complaint Resolution Procedures, the University will take steps to protect the complainant from further discrimination or harassment. This may include assisting and allowing the complainant to change his or her academic, transportation, work, or living situation if options to do so are reasonably available. Such changes may be available regardless of whether the victim chooses to report the crime to campus police or local law enforcement.

If a complainant has obtained an order of protection, temporary restraining order or other no contact order against the alleged perpetrator from a criminal, civil, or tribal court, the complainant should provide such information to the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator. The University will take all reasonable and legal action to implement the order.

B. Timing of Complaints
There is no statute of limitations for complaints under the Sexual Misconduct Policy. However, the University encourages persons to make complaints of sexual misconduct as soon as possible because late reporting may limit the University’s ability to investigate and respond to the conduct complained of.

C. Investigation and Confidentiality
All complaints of sexual misconduct will be promptly and thoroughly investigated in accordance with the Complaint Resolution Procedures, and the University will take disciplinary action where appropriate. The University will make reasonable and appropriate efforts to preserve an individual’s privacy and protect the confidentiality of information when investigating and resolving a complaint. However, because of laws relating to reporting and other state and federal laws, the University cannot guarantee confidentiality to those who make complaints.

In the event a complainant requests confidentiality or asks that a complaint not be investigated, the University will take all reasonable steps to investigate and respond to the complaint consistent with the request for confidentiality or request not to pursue an investigation. If a complainant insists that his or her name not be disclosed to the alleged perpetrator, the University’s ability to respond may be limited. The University reserves the right to initiate an investigation despite a complainant’s request for confidentiality in limited circumstances involving serious or repeated conduct or where the alleged perpetrator may pose a continuing threat to the University Community.

The Title IX Coordinator is the person responsible for evaluating requests for confidentiality.

D. Resolution
If a complaint of sexual misconduct is found to be substantiated, the University will take appropriate corrective and remedial action to prevent the recurrence of the conduct and correct its discriminatory effects. Students, faculty, and employees found to be in violation of this policy will be subject to discipline up to and including written reprimand, suspension, demotion, termination, or expulsion. Affiliates and program participants may be removed from University programs and/or prevented from returning to campus. Remedial steps may also include counseling for the complainant, academic, transportation, work, or living accommodations for the complainant, separation of the parties, and training for the respondent and other persons.

E. Bad Faith Complaints
While the University encourages all good faith complaints of sexual misconduct, the University has the responsibility to balance the rights of all parties. Therefore, if the University’s investigation reveals that a complaint was knowingly false, the complaint will be dismissed and the person who filed the knowingly false complaint may be subject to discipline.

F. Limited Amnesty
The University recognizes that an individual who has been drinking alcohol or using drugs may be hesitant to report sexual misconduct arising from the same setting where the alcohol or drugs were consumed. To encourage reporting, the University will not take disciplinary action under the conduct code for drug or alcohol use against an individual who makes a good faith report of sexual misconduct, either as a reporter/complainant or as a witness, or against an individual who is an alleged victim of the sexual misconduct reported, provided that the conduct violations did not and do not place the health or safety or any other person at risk. The University may, however, require such individuals to participate in non-punitive measures intended to prevent the recurrence of such conduct in the future, such as counseling, training, or a behavior plan. The University’s commitment to amnesty in these situations does not prevent action by local police or other legal authorities against an individual who has illegally consumed alcohol or drugs.

VII. ACADEMIC FREEDOM
While the University is committed to the principles of free inquiry and free expression, sexual misconduct is neither legally protected expression nor the proper exercise of academic freedom.

VIII. EDUCATION
Because the University recognizes that the prevention of sexual misconduct, as well as domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking, is important, it offers educational programming to a variety of groups such as: campus personnel; incoming students and new employees participating in orientation; and members of student organizations. Among other elements, such training will cover relevant definitions, procedures, and sanctions; will provide safe and positive options for bystander intervention; and will provide risk reduction information, including recognizing warning signs of abusive behavior and how to avoid potential attacks. To learn more about education resources, please contact the Title IX Coordinator.