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Policy Statement:

It is the policy of East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania to comply with Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, which prohibits sex-based discrimination (including sexual harassment, sexual violence, and other forms of sexual misconduct) in all of the University’s educational programs, services, and activities.

Further, retaliation for asserting claims of sex discrimination is also prohibited in compliance with Title IX.

The University will take prompt and equitable action to address acts of sexual harassment, sexual violence and sexual misconduct by educating members of its community, identifying clear reporting requirements, investigating all alleged violations of policy, and as appropriate, disciplining members of the community found in violation of the policy.

Disciplinary action may range from disciplinary warning to expulsion or termination from the University.

Reason For Policy:

East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania seeks to provide an environment where faculty, staff, and students can work, educate, learn and grow free from sex-based discrimination.

To that end, the University is committed to fostering a community that promotes prompt reporting of all types of sex-based discrimination as well as timely and fair resolution of any allegations of sex-based discrimination.

Assuring a safe campus environment is the responsibility of all the members of the University community.

This policy has been developed to affirm these principles and provide recourse for those persons whose rights have been violated.

The intention of this policy is to define community expectations and to establish a process for responding to any reports of sex-based discrimination.

Appeal Statement:

Both the accuser and the accused are entitled to appeal student conduct code hearing decisions. Student appeals should be submitted to the ESU Title IX Coordinator.

In the case of investigations conducted through the Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity, the accuser or accused may appeal an adverse determination by the Director of Diversity and Equal Opportunity to the President of the University.

Definitions:

Sexual Harassment is a form of sex discrimination.

It is defined as unwelcome gender-based verbal or physical conduct that is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive, whether accompanied by promises or threats or not, and other sexual conduct when:

  • submission to or rejection of such conduct is made explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s education or employment or participation in other University activities; or
  • submission to or rejection of, such conduct by an individual is used as the basis or substantial factor in assignment, advancement, or evaluation, or in making other academic or employment decisions affecting an individual; or
  • such conduct is so severe or pervasive so as to create a hostile or abusive work or educational environment, which unreasonably interferes with work or educational performance or negatively effects an individual’s employment or education opportunities.

Sexual Violence is a term that encompasses all forms of sex-based coercive acts, bullying and emotional abuse.

It includes: non-consensual sexual contact (or attempts to commit same); non-consensual sexual intercourse (or attempts to commit same); sexual exploitation; all forms of intimate partner violence (inclusive of dating violence and domestic violence); and reproductive coercion. Definitions for all forms of sexual violence are identified below:

  • Consent is clear, knowing and voluntary. Consent is active, not passive. Silence, in and of itself, cannot be interpreted as consent. Consent can be given by words or actions, as long as the words or actions create mutually understandable clear permission regarding willingness to engage in (and the conditions of) sexual activity. Consent to any one form of sexual activity cannot automatically imply consent to any other form of sexual activity. Previous relationships or prior consent cannot imply consent to future sexual acts. Consent can also be withdrawn at any point in sexual activity.
  • Non-consensual Sexual Contact (or attempts to commit same) includes any intentional sexual touching, however slight, with any object, by a man or a woman upon a man or a woman that is without consent and/or by force. Sexual contact includes intentional contact with the breasts, buttocks, groin or genitals, or touching another with any of these body parts, or forcing an individual to touch another or themselves with or on any of these body parts; any intentional bodily contact in a sexual manner, though not involving contact with/of/by breasts, buttocks, groin, genitals, mouth or other orifice.
  • Non-consensual Sexual Intercourse (or attempts to commit same) includes any sexual intercourse, however slight, with any object, by a man or a woman upon a man or a woman that is without consent and/or by force. Intercourse includes 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.
  • Sexual Exploitation occurs when a person takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for his/her own advantage or benefit, or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited, and that behavior does not otherwise constitute one of the other sexual misconduct offenses. Sexual exploitation includes but is not limited to: invasion of sexual privacy; prostituting another person; non-consensual video, photography or audio-taping of sexual activity; going beyond the boundaries or consent (permitting others to watch you have consensual sex); voyeurism; knowingly transmitting an STD or HIV to another person- exposing one’s genitals in non-consensual circumstances or inducing another to commit same; and sexually-based stalking.
  • Intimate Partner Violence occurs between two people in a close relationship. The term “intimate partner” includes current and former spouses, cohabitating persons, dating partners, and individuals with a child in common. Intimate Partner Violence exists along a continuum from a single episode of violence to ongoing battering. The four behavioral types of Intimate Partner Violence include: physical violence (person hurts or tries to hurt a partner by use of physical force); sexual violence (person forces partner to engage in a sex act without consent); threats (use of words gestures, weapons, or other means to communicate the intent to cause harm); and emotional abuse (threatening a partner, his or her possessions or loved ones, or harming a partner’s self-worth, as in stalking, name-calling, intimidation or isolation from friends and family).
  • Dating Violence is a pattern of assaultive and controlling behaviors that one person uses against another person in order to gain or maintain power and control in a relationship. The abuser intentionally behaves in ways that cause fear, degradation, and humiliation to control the other person.
  • Domestic Violence is any abusive, violent, coercive, forceful or threatening act or word inflicted by one member of a family or household on another.
  • Reproductive Coercion is representative of explicit male behaviors to promote pregnancy (unwanted by the woman). Reproductive coercion can include, “birth control sabotage” or interference with contraception and/or “pregnancy coercion” in which the woman is told not to use contraception or threatened if she doesn’t get pregnant.

Other Sexual Misconduct is a collective term used to identify other offenses that when gender-based are in violation of Title IX and prohibited by this policy.

  • Hazing is defined as acts likely to cause physical or psychological harm or social ostracism to any person within the University community, when related to the admission, initiation, pledging, joining, or any other group affiliation.
  • Bullying and Cyber-Bullying are defined as repeated and/or severe aggressive behaviors likely to intimidate or intentionally hurt, control or diminish another person, physically or mentally, not inclusive of speech or conduct protected by the First Amendment. Cyber—bullying is when an individual is tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed and otherwise targeted by another person using the Internet, interactive and digital technologies, or mobile phones.
  • Stalking and Cyber-stalking are defined as repetitive and/or menacing pursuit, following, harassment and/or interference with the peace and/or safety of a member of the community and their immediate family members. Cyber-stalking is the use of the Internet, email, or other electronic devices to stalk another person.

Gender Discrimination is the unequal or disadvantageous treatment of an individual or group of individuals based on gender.

Retaliatory Harassment is defined as intentional action(s) taken by an accused individual or allied third party, absent legitimate non-discriminatory purposes, that harms an individual as reprisal for reporting, filing or participating in grievance proceeding.

Accuser is defined as the person who is alleging a violation of the Title IX Compliance Policy.

Accused is the person whose actions are alleged to have violated the Title IX Compliance Policy.

Title IX Coordinator is responsible for implementing and monitoring Title IX compliance efforts on behalf of the University. The Title IX Coordinator will serve as a resource to members of the ESU community wishing to report any acts of sexual harassment, sexual violence or sexual misconduct as defined in the Title IX Compliance policy.

The Coordinator will provide oversight for all Title IX complaints and identify patterns, issues, problems regarding those complaints, their investigation, and resolution.

The Coordinator will assure that educational initiatives are provided for all members of the campus community and that these initiatives clearly identify sexual violence, sexual harassment and sexual misconduct as forms of sexual discrimination.

Correspondingly educational initiatives will include information about expectations related to reporting, investigation, and the resolution of complaints as well as the provision of resources.

The Vice President for Student Affairs serves as the University’s Title IX Coordinator, and can be reached by calling 570-422-3463. Inquiries regarding Title IX compliance and training, and reports of alleged violation of this policy should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator for follow up and/or investigation and resolution.

Other Relevant Information:

See Sexual Harassment and Title IX compliance Procedures for Training, reporting, and resolution processes.