Student Sexual Misconduct Policy
The University of Louisville prohibits all forms of sex discrimination and sexual misconduct. This policy outlines options for all students, employees, University visitors, or third parties within the University community, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Sexual misconduct offenses include, but are not limited to: sexual harassment; sexually abusive contact; sexual exploitation; or stalking.
Student sexual misconduct falls under the guidelines of the Code of Student Conduct and should be referred to the Dean of Students Office at 852-5787. The University will take immediate steps to end sexual misconduct, prevent recurrence, and correct any effects on the complainant or those involved in the complaint process. If, in the process of the investigation, the University determines that the alleged conduct does not fall within the guidelines of the University's policy on sexual harassment, both the complainant and the respondent will be notified.
For complaints against employees, contact Human Resources at 852-6688.
For complaints against a University visitor, contact University Police at 852-6111.
In an emergency situation, students should contact University Police at 852-6111 or call 911.
When an allegation of misconduct is brought to the attention of a University official and a student is found to have violated the Code of Student Conduct, sanctions will be issued. A Code of Student Conduct violation is not required in order to provide certain accommodations for the student reporting the concern. Possible remedies include but are not limited to the following: "No Contact" orders; possible changes to academic or living situations as appropriate; counseling services, escort services; medical services; academic support services; and notification of right to file a complaint with local law enforcement. This policy was developed to outline student expectations, reporting options, and resources.
A person who receives a complaint is required to provide information regarding the University's policy on sexual harassment, sexual violence and sexual assault; complaint resolution procedures; and offer options for addressing a complaint.
The University may recommend interim steps as deemed necessary to protect the safety, well-being, and privacy of the complainant, respondent, and any other member of the University community who may be directly or indirectly involved.
Sexual Misconduct Offenses May Include But Are Not Limited To:
- Sexual Harassment
- Sexually Abusive Contact
- Domestic Violence
- Dating Violence
- Sexual Exploitation
1. SEXUAL HARASSMENT
As outlined in the Code of Student Conduct under Section 10, the term "Sexual Harassment" means unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Conduct constitutes sexual harassment when:
- submission to such conduct is made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of an individual's employment, or participation in a University-sponsored education program, or activity;
- submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or academic decisions affecting such an individual;
- such conduct creates a hostile environment if the harassment is so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive so as to deny or limit a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s programs, services, opportunities, or activities; or
- such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's employment or academic performance.
In determining whether harassment has created a hostile environment, consideration will be based on the following factors:
a) Whether the conduct was unwelcome to the person who feels harassed, the degree to which the conduct affected one or more students’ education or individual’s employment;
b) The nature, scope, frequency, duration, and location of incident or incidents; and
c) The identity, number, and relationships of persons involved.
2. SEXUALLY ABUSIVE CONTACT
As outlined in the Code of Student Conduct under Section 10, the term "sexually abusive contact" means sexual intercourse; anal intercourse; oral intercourse; touching of the genitals, breast, buttocks, or inner thighs; sodomy, or any other physical conduct or touching of a sexual nature without consent and/or by force. Examples include, but are not limited to: Intentional contact with the breasts, buttocks, groin, or genitals, mouth or other orifice; or touching another with any of these body parts; or making another touch you or themselves with one any of these body parts. Vaginal penetration by a penis, object, tongue or finger; anal penetration by a penis, object, tongue, or finger; and oral copulation (mouth to genital contact or genital to mouth contact), no matter how slight the penetration or contact.
3. DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
As outlined in the Code of Student Conduct under Section 10, the term “domestic violence” means intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing physical or sexual abuse to a current or former spouse, to a person whom shares a child in common with the accused, or to a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabited with the accused as a spouse or intimate partner.
4. DATING VIOLENCE
As outlined in the Code of Student Conduct under Section 10, the term “domestic violence” means intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing physical or sexual abuse to a person who is or has been in a social relationship or a romantic or intimate nature with the accused. Whether or not a dating relationship exists is determined based on the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
5. SEXUAL EXPLOITATION
As outlined in the Code of Student Conduct under Section 10, the term ”sexual exploitation” is the taking of non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another by a person(s), or the inducement of another person to do the same; or for one's own advantage or benefit; or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited.
A form of sexual exploitation could include transmitting, recording or photographing the image or voice of another person without his/her knowledge or consent while in an environment that is considered private or where there is an expectation of privacy, such as a residence or bathroom (Code of Student Conduct, Section 10(dd)). Other examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to the following: prostituting an individual; engaging in voyeurism; knowingly transmitting an STI or HIV to another student; or exposing one's genitals in non-consensual circumstances.
As outlined in the Code of Student Conduct under Section, 10, the term “stalking” means a course of behavior directed at a specific person(s) involving repeated (two or more occasions) visual or physical proximity, non-consensual communication, expressed or implied threats of death or bodily harm, or a combination thereof, causing a reasonable person fear. Stalking behaviors may include persistent patterns of leaving or sending the person(s) unwanted items or gifts ranging from seemingly romantic to bizarre, following the person(s), or lying in wait for the person(s), or harassing the person(s) via the internet or other forms of online and computer communications (i.e., cyberstalking).
As outlined in the Code of Student Conduct under Section, 10, the term “retaliation” means action taken by an accused individual or an action taken by a third party against any person because that person has reported a violation of the University’s sexual misconduct policies or because that person has filed a complaint, served as a witness, assisted, or participated in an investigation or proceeding. This includes action taken against a bystander who intervened to stop or attempt to stop discrimination, harassment, or sexual misconduct. Retaliation includes intimidating, threatening, or coercing an individual because of the individual’s complaint or participation.
Clarification of Consent
In order for individuals to engage in sexual activity of any type, there must be consent prior to and during sexual activity. The Code of Student Conduct defines consent in the following way:
"Consent means freely given agreement by a competent person. A person is deemed incompetent to give consent when that person is under such an incapacitation that he or she does not appreciate the nature of the consent, or if the person is a minor."
Consent to an act of sexual activity will not be automatically taken as consent to any other act of sexual activity. "No" always means "No." Failure to say "No" cannot be interpreted as "Yes." Silence without clear actions demonstrating permission will not be assumed to indicate consent.
Incapacitation is a state in which a person cannot make rational, reasonable decisions because he or she lacks the ability to give knowing consent (i.e., to understand the "who, what, when, where, why or how" of his or her sexual interaction). Incapacitation also covers a person whose incapacity results from mental disability, sleep, involuntary physical restraint, or from the effects of alcohol or other drugs.
Because alcohol or other drug use can place the capacity to consent in question - sober sex is less likely to raise concerns. When using alcohol or other drugs, a person may be considered unable to give consent. Likewise, consent can become less clear when the following occurs: an attempt to coerce an unwilling person into a sexual activity; repeatedly subjecting a person to unwelcome sexual attention; or punishing or retaliating against a person for a refusal to consent to sexual conduct. Conduct alleged to be sexual misconduct will be evaluated by considering the totality of the particular circumstances, including the, frequency, intensity, isolation or duration of the questioned behavior.
For the Kentucky criminal definition of consent, refer to Kentucky Revised Statutes 510.020. http://www.lrc.ky.gov/statutes/statute.aspx?id=40849.
Reporting a Sexual Misconduct Complaint
The purpose of reporting a complaint is to inform the University that sexual misconduct may have, is, or may be occurring, and to provide information sufficient to identify the parties involved. Any person with knowledge of sexual harassment can report the information to any of the following:
Title IX Coordinators
Dr. Michael Mardis, Associate Title IX Administrator (for complaints against students)
Associate Vice President for Student Affairs
Dean of Students
2100 S. Floyd Street
Student Activities Center – W301
Louisville, KY 40208
Phone: (502) 852-5787
Mary Elizabeth Miles, Associate Title IX Administrator (for complaints against employees)
Director of Staff Development and Employee Relations
1980 Arthur Street
Louisville, KY 40208-2770
Phone: (502) 852-6688
Wayne Hall, Associate Title IX Administrator (for complaints against non-University community members)
Chief of Police
Floyd Street Parking Garage
Louisville, KY 40292
Phone: (502) 852-7293 or 852-6111
David Wiegman, Title IX Coordinator for Health Sciences Campus
Vice Dean for Academic Affairs
Department of Physiology
530 S. Jackson Street
Phone: (502) 852-5184
Time Period for Filing a Complaint
Prompt reporting of a complaint to a University Official is strongly recommended to allow rapid response and resolution. The complaint should be filed within one hundred eighty days (180) of the incident. However, in its discretion, the Dean of Students Office may investigate any allegation of sexual misconduct brought to its attention.
Informal Complaint Resolution
The primary goal or objective of informal complaint resolution is to stop the behavior and resolve the conflict. While informal complaint resolution is underway an informal complaint may advance to formal complaint resolution at any time. There are several options available in resolving a complaint through informal complaint resolution:
The complainant may immediately voice his or her concern to the person(s) whose actions he or she finds offensive. The complainant should document the incident(s) for his or her own records and include the date of the incident(s) and the name(s) of anyone who was involved. The complainant should also include the name(s) of anyone who may have witnessed the incident(s) or who may have overheard the incident(s).
Another option is the complainant may submit his or her complaint in writing to the person(s) who offended him or her. The written complaint should include three elements:
- Describe the incident
- Explain how it made you feel
- State that you want it to stop
The complainant should keep a copy of the written reports. If the behavior does not stop, the complainant should submit a copy of the written complaint to the Dean of Students Office.
The complainant may request that the Dean of Students Office or designee act as mediator to bring all parties together to resolve the issue. However, in cases involving sexual violence or assault mediated resolution is not appropriate.
A person who acts as a mediator under these guidelines is required to submit a written report of the incident and any action taken to the Dean of Students Office.
Resolution at this level may include, but is not be limited to, an agreement in which one or more of the parties involved agree(s) to seek counseling or accept disciplinary action, or any other such action as may be warranted by the circumstances of each case and as determined by the Dean of Students Office.
If there is no mediated solution after 10 days, or if the respondent does not comply with the mediated solution, formal complaint resolution will be initiated. If the complainant does not wish for a formal resolution, the Dean of Students Office will take that feedback into consideration before determining if a respondent should be charged with violating the Code of Student Conduct. The Dean of Students Office shall determine whether any action should be taken in response to the report. The Dean of Students Office will inform the respondent within five (5) University business days of notification that an informal complaint has been filed and the nature of the complaint. This option may allow the complainant to maintain anonymity.
The complaint may at any time file a formal complaint that the student respondent should be charged with violating the Code of Student Conduct.
Formal Complaint Resolution
The complainant may file formal allegations that the respondent student violated the Code of Student Conduct at the onset, or if the outcome of informal complaint resolution was not satisfactory, either party may elect to proceed directly to formal complaint resolution. While informal complaint resolution is underway, an informal complaint may advance to formal complaint resolution at any time.
During a formal complaint resolution process, the University will conduct an adequate, reliable, and impartial investigation. The formal complaint resolution requires that the complainant submit the complaint in writing (letter, statement, and/or email) to the Dean of Students Office. Upon receipt of the complaint, an investigation will be initiated.
Title IX requires an institution to take steps to ensure equal access to its education programs and activities and protect the complainant as necessary, including taking interim measures before the final outcome of an investigation. The institution will take these steps promptly once it has notice of a sexual violence allegation and will provide the complainant with periodic updates on the status of the investigation. The institution will notify the complainant of his or her options to avoid contact with the respondent and allow the complainant to change academic and extracurricular activities or his or her living, transportation, dining, and working situation as appropriate. The institution will provide the complainant with information on his/her Title IX rights and any available resources, such as victim advocacy, housing assistance, academic support, counseling, disability services, health and mental health services, and the right to report a crime to campus or local law enforcement.
Purpose and Scope of the Investigation
Upon receipt of the written notice of complaint, the investigator will acknowledge receipt within five (5) business days. The formal complaint resolution begins with an investigation of the facts. This fact-finding process is completed as expeditiously as possible. The Dean of Students Office generally allows 60 University business days to process the complaint. The Dean of Students may extend the amount of time needed to process the complaint as deemed necessary, upon notice to both parties.
The University will comply with law enforcement requests for cooperation and such cooperation may require the University to temporarily suspend the fact-finding aspect of a Title IX investigation while the law enforcement agency is in the process of gathering information. The University will promptly resume its Title IX investigation as soon as notified by the law enforcement agency that it has completed the information gathering process. This typically takes 3 – 10 business days although the delay in the University’s investigation may be longer in certain instances.
The investigative process is an internal University process; therefore, it is not open to persons, including counsel from outside of the University community. However, the complainant and respondent may meet with internal and/or external advisors, including counsel from outside the University community, throughout the process.
In addition to interviewing the complainant and respondent, the investigator may interview witnesses as provided by the complainant, respondent, and/or anyone whom he or she feels may offer relevant information. Additional information may also be gathered, such as records and documents deemed necessary.
Information of prior sexual misconduct and/or sexual harassment of the respondent may be considered, but prior sexual activities of either the respondent or the complainant, which are not relevant to the current issue, will not be permissible.
Upon completion of the investigation, a case summary report will be completed in order to document the scope of the investigation as well as a determination (based on the preponderance of the information) of whether the information supports the allegation(s) of the complaint. These confidential findings will be submitted to the appropriate administrator(s) to render any disciplinary action (as appropriate) that is deemed necessary.
The respondent will be provided a notice in writing of the outcome of the complaint and the appeal process as outlined in Section 13 of the Code of Student Conduct. The notice will include the finding(s), sanctions, and appeal process. The complainant will also be provided a notice in writing of the outcome of the complaint and the appeal process as outlined in Section 13 of the Code of Student Conduct. The notice will include the findings(s), sanctions imposed that directly relate to the complainant, and any other steps the institution has taken to eliminate the hostile environment and prevent recurrence.
The University of Louisville reserves the right to investigate inappropriate activities or behaviors even in the absence of an allegation brought forward by an individual.
Guidelines for the Respondent
If you are a person accused of sexual misconduct (respondent), the complaint should be taken seriously and, where applicable, any offending behavior should cease immediately. You should not retaliate against the complainant or have others retaliate against the complainant on your behalf. You should document your version of the alleged incident. You should include the date and name of any person who may have been involved in the alleged incident. You should include the name of any person who may have witnessed the alleged incident or who may have overheard the alleged incident. You should document any conversations or communications regarding the alleged incident or conduct of which you are accused.
Jurisdiction and Standard of Proof
Jurisdiction (or Inherent Authority) and Standard of Proof are described in The Code of Student Conduct.
The University reserves the right to take necessary and appropriate action to protect the safety and well-being of the campus community. The Code applies to incidents that take place on University premises or at University-sponsored activities.
The Vice President for Student Affairs or designee may determine that acts prohibited by the Code, but not committed on University premises, could also be grounds for disciplinary action. Such action will be taken if a student acts in a way that substantially interferes with or endangers the University community, or for behavior with significant potential to disrupt the educational environment. Such acts include, but are not limited to, drug trafficking, hazing and acts or threats of violence against persons.
STANDARD OF PROOF
The standard of proof for incidents of non-academic misconduct is a preponderance of information. Preponderance of information is defined as information that a reasonable person would find persuasive or more likely than not to have occurred. The technical rules of evidence applicable to civil and criminal cases shall not apply when resolving incidents as outlined in the Code of Student Conduct.
Title IX Mandatory Reporters at the University of Louisville Include the Following:
- Vice Presidents, Deans, Department Chairs, Directors, and Coaches
- Assistant or Associate Vice Presidents, Deans, and Provosts
- Any employee in a supervisory or management role
- Any faculty member responsible for supervising any activities or programs that include direct contact with students outside of classroom (including faculty advisors to recognized student organizations)
- University of Louisville Police Officers and any contracted security personnel
Some forms of harassment and discrimination may violate federal and state laws, and a complainant or respondent may choose to contact the following agencies regarding their complaint:
Philadelphia Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Education
The Wanamaker Building
100 Penn Square East, Suite 515
Philadelphia, PA 19107-3323
Phone: (215) 656-8541
Kentucky Commission on Human Rights
332 W. Broadway, 7th Floor
Louisville, KY 40202
Phone: (502) 595-4024 or 1-800-292-5566
Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
600 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Place
Louisville, Kentucky 40202
Confidentiality, Privacy, and Reporting
Students should be aware of confidentiality, privacy, and mandatory reporting requirements (PDF document) in order to make informed choices.
If one desires that details of the incident be kept confidential, the resources listed below are appropriate. In addition, members of the clergy and chaplains are allowed by law to keep reports confidential. However, seeking support from any of these resource organizations is not considered an official report of sexual violence, sexual misconduct, intimate partner violence, sexual harassment, sexual exploitation or stalking to the University, but the individuals at these resource organizations can help facilitate a report and advocate for a victim. For more information, refer to Options for Survivors (PDF).
One may seek advice from certain individuals who are not required to tell anyone else private, personally identifiable information unless there is cause or fear for your safety or the safety of others. These are individuals whom the University has not specifically designated as "responsible employees" for purposes of putting the institution on notice and for whom mandatory reporting is not required, other than in the stated limited circumstances, such as statistical reporting for the Clery Act (see federal statistical report obligations on Pg. 10).
Prevention, Education and Advocacy on Campus and in the Community (PEACC)
PEACC is available to provide advocacy and assistance to University students, staff, and faculty who are affected by sexual misconduct, sexual violence, intimate partner violence, and stalking. An advocate is available 24 hours a day to listen and review your options.
PEACC Program Crisis Line: (502) 714-8923
Non-Crisis Phone Number: (502) 852-2663
100 Student Services Annex
2207 South Brook Street
Louisville, KY 40292
Counseling and Medical Resources
Belknap Campus (502) 852-6585
100 Student Services Annex
2207 South Brook Street
Louisville, KY 40292
Health Sciences Campus (502) 852-0996
500 South Preston Street
A Building - Suite 210
Louisville, KY 40292
Cardinal Station Center (502) 852-6479
215 Central Avenue - Suite 110
Louisville, KY 40208
Health Sciences Center (502) 852-6446
University of Louisville Outpatient Care Center
401 East Chestnut Street, Suite 110
Louisville, KY 40202
In the community:
Center for Women and Families Crisis Line: (877) 803-7577
927 South 2nd Street
Louisville, Kentucky 40201
Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) (502) 562-4064
In Jefferson County, most examinations that include the collection of evidence (sexual assault, sexual misconduct, intimate partner abuse) are performed by the Louisville SANE Program at one of their two locations:
University of Louisville Hospital Emergency Room (502) 562-4064
530 South Jackson Street
Louisville, KY 40202
Center for Women and Families SANE Clinic (502) 581-7200
927 South 2nd Street
Louisville, KY 40201
All emergency rooms in the Commonwealth of Kentucky are authorized and required to provide service. These services can be provided by a physician, sexual assault nurse examiner, or another qualified medical professional. Physical evidence of a criminal sexual assault must be collected from the alleged victim’s person as soon as possible. Evidence can often be obtained from towels, sheets, clothes, etc. and needs to be collected as soon as possible as well. Having evidence collected will help to keep all options available to a victim, but will not obligate to any course of action; however, may assist the authorities should the victim decide later to pursue criminal charges.
- For information on how to reduce your risk of being a target of gender-based or sexual misconduct, or being respondent of such conduct, please see Risk Reduction, Sexual Harassment Prevention FAQ, and the Sexual Misconduct Brochure (PDF document).
- For a complete list of prohibited student conduct, all students should familiarize themselves with the Code of Student Conduct.
Federal Statistical Reporting Obligations
Certain campus officials have a duty to report sexual misconduct for federal statistical reporting purposes such as the Clery Act. All personally identifiable information is kept confidential, but statistical information must be passed along to campus law enforcement regarding the type of incident and its general location (on or off-campus; in the surrounding area, but no addresses are given) for publication in the annual Campus Security Report. This report helps to provide the community with a clear picture of the extent and nature of campus crime, to ensure greater community safety.
Federal Timely Warning Reporting Obligations
Victims of sexual misconduct should also be aware that University administrators must issue immediate timely warnings for incidents reported to them that are confirmed to pose a substantial threat of bodily harm or danger to members of the campus community. The University will make every effort to ensure that a victim's name and other identifying information is not disclosed, while still providing enough information for community members to make safety decisions in light of the danger. The reporters for timely warning purposes are exactly the same as detailed at the end of the above paragraph.
Kentucky Law Requiring Mandatory Reporting
Kentucky law requires that any person who suspects that a minor child (under 18) is the victim of abuse or neglect must immediately contact a local law enforcement agency or other agency authorized by statute. KRS 620.030. The University Police Department (852-6111) constitutes a local law enforcement agency for purposes of Kentucky's mandatory reporting law for child abuse and neglect. Failure to report suspected abuse may result in criminal charges and/or disciplinary action.
Kentucky law also requires that any person who suspects that a person is a victim of spousal abuse must also immediately report this information to the appropriate agency. KRS 209A.030.
The University Police Department can be reached at 852-6111.
Consensual Sexual Relations Between Students & Faculty
University Policy Approved by Board of Trustees - September 27, 1999
Sexual relations between students and faculty members or between students and other University employees with whom they have an academic or evaluative relationship are fraught with the potential for exploitation. The respect and trust accorded a professor or a supervisor in an academic or evaluative role make voluntary consent by the student suspect. Even when both parties initially have consented, the development of a sexual relationship renders both faculty member or supervisor and the institution vulnerable to possible later allegations of sexual harassment, in light of the significant power differential that exists between students and faculty members or supervisors.
In their relationship with students, members of the faculty or University employees who supervise students are expected to be aware of their professional responsibilities and avoid apparent or actual conflict of interest, favoritism, or bias. No faculty member or supervisor may participate in the evaluation of a student's performance or any decisions that may reward or penalize the student if a sexual relationship exists or has existed between the student and that faculty member or supervisor.
Approved August 15, 2014
Effective August 15, 2014