Sexual Misconduct

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Policy No. 1107
Effective Date: 12/16/14
Revised Date:
Reviewed Date:

Sexual Misconduct Policy

Statement of Policy

1a. Beginning with the University of Nebraska charter in 1869, Nebraska law has provided that no person shall be deprived of the privileges of this institution because of sex. Discrimination on the basis of sex is also prohibited by Federal law. The University of Nebraska has programs to promote awareness of and to help prevent domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking, and to assist members of the university community who are affected by such behavior. Rape, acquaintance rape, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, sexual harassment and stalking are against the law and are unacceptable behaviors under University of Nebraska policy. These unacceptable behaviors are hereafter referred to as “sexual misconduct.” Sexual misconduct is conduct in violation of University policy and state and federal law that the University will take action to eliminate, prevent, and redress once the University has notice that sexual misconduct has occurred.

1b. The President and Chancellor shall implement procedures to address the rights of all individuals involved in cases of alleged sexual misconduct. This policy applies to all University of Nebraska employees and students regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, and to all programs and activities under the jurisdiction of the University of Nebraska. The University may respond to complaints of sexual misconduct whether they are alleged to have occurred on or off University premises and to complaints of misconduct committed by third parties who are not employees or students.

Awareness, Education, Prevention and Training Programs

As required by federal statutes and administrative regulations, the Office of the President and Chancellor shall publicize and conduct ongoing programs for new students and employees and other members of the University community to promote awareness of the problems caused by sexual misconduct and to help prevent and attempt to reduce the risk of the occurrence of sexual misconduct. These programs shall include instruction on safe and positive options for bystander intervention that may be carried out by individuals to prevent harm or intervene when there is a risk of sexual misconduct being inflicted on another person. Training shall be provided to all persons designated as campus security authorities and involved in responding to charges of sexual misconduct.

Assistance to Persons Subjected to Sexual Misconduct

3.1 Persons subjected to sexual misconduct may be helped—sometimes anonymously—whether or not a complaint of any kind is filed. Changes in academic, living, transportation, and working situations may be made available on a confidential basis by the University as remedies to protect persons, complainants, or witnesses. The President and Chancellor shall disseminate information about university programs and resources available to assist persons who have been subjected to sexual misconduct, and about agencies outside the university located throughout the state that provide related services. In addition to identifying resources available to provide counseling and medical treatment, university sexual misconduct programs must provide instruction on the importance of preserving evidence as proof of sexual misconduct, and on the availability of protection orders and other remedies that may be afforded to persons who have been subjected to sexual misconduct. Preservation of evidence is required of all parties. Concealment or destruction of evidence is prohibited under university rules and the law.

3.2 A person who has or had been involved in a dating relationship, or who has or had a marital, shared residential, or familial relationship with the actor may obtain either a harassment or domestic protection order. Persons who have not been involved in a dating relationship may qualify for a harassment protection order. Violation of harassment or domestic protection orders issued by courts of this or another state or tribal courts can result in a violator’s arrest and subject the violator to criminal penalties.

3.3 The Protection from Domestic Abuse Act makes the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) responsible to provide victims of domestic abuse emergency services, support programs, limited medical help and legal assistance in obtaining a protection order.

Complaints, Reporting and Investigation Process

A person subjected to sexual misconduct may be helped whether or not a complaint or report of any kind is filed. Changes in academic, living, transportation, and working situations may be made available by the University as remedies to protect persons, complainants, or witnesses. There are several avenues potentially available to make a report or formal complaint of sexual misconduct. A report of sexual misconduct could be made to the University, a civil suit could be filed against the actor responsible for the sexual misconduct, a criminal charge could be filed as a result of a law enforcement investigation, and/or an administrative complaint can be made to the United States Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights (OCR). A person may also choose not to make a report or take further action.

Complaints to University

4.0 Students, employees and third parties may complain of violations of the university policy against sexual misconduct. Complaints of sexual misconduct can be made to Campus Security Authorities (CSAs), Investigators, Human Resources or Student Affairs Officer, and Title IX Coordinator. Information on how to file complaints will be publicized by the President and Chancellor.

4.1. The University will protect the privacy of the parties involved in a sexual misconduct case to the extent possible under the law. In some situations, including those in which disciplinary action is a possible outcome, the law may require disclosure to respondents.

4.2. The University may be required by law to investigate complaints of sexual misconduct, but that investigation may be limited by the information provided by the Complainant and the Complainant's willingness to pursue a formal complaint.

4.3. If the Complainant wishes to avoid revealing his or her identity, the University will make every reasonable effort to abide by Complainant's wishes to remain anonymous; however, the University is required to balance such a request with interest in protecting the safety of other members of the community.

4.3.1. Factors that will be considered in determining whether to disclose a report of sexual misconduct, a complaint, or the identity of the Complainant to a Respondent include: the seriousness of the alleged conduct; the Complainant's age; whether there have been other complaints about the same individual; and the Respondent’s rights to receive information about the allegations.


4.3.2. If the University proceeds with an investigation or other response to the Report of sexual misconduct, then the Investigator will notify the Complainant before the Respondent is contacted. Retaliation against the Complainant or a third party in an attempt to prevent or otherwise obstruct the reporting or remediation of sexual misconduct is prohibited. The Complainant and others contacted during the course of an investigation should be notified of the University's anti-retaliation policy.


4.4. Handling of Confidential Reports

4.4.1. If the Complainant would like to remain anonymous, the Investigator will:


4.4.1.1. explain that the University endeavors to investigate the allegations as presented without revealing the Complainant's identity, but that the University cannot ensure complete confidentiality and it may be limited in its ability to take disciplinary action if the Complainant desires to remain anonymous;


4.4.1.2. advise the Complainant that the University has an obligation to investigate and document allegations of sexual misconduct, to include general information about reports of criminal sexual misconduct in annual security report statistics which do not identify either the person claiming to have been subject to criminal sexual misconduct or the actor alleged to have committed criminal sexual misconduct;


4.4.1.3. to the extent practicable, provide resources and internally manage the Complainant's situation, as the University would if the Complainant did not request anonymity; and


4.4.1.4. ask the Complainant to acknowledge and sign a document confirming that s/he has requested anonymity and that may mean that the University is unable to take disciplinary action against the Respondent.


Investigation by University

4.5. The University will investigate and act upon information that is provided to it about allegations of sexual misconduct.

4.6. The University is committed to the following when investigating sexual misconduct complaints:

4.6.1 Assigning investigators who receive annual training on the issues related to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, sexual harassment, and stalking, and how to conduct an investigation that protects the safety of persons involved;


4.6.2. Basing findings on the greater weight of the evidence standard;


4.6.3. Treating all parties fairly and equally;


4.6.4. Notifying all parties that the investigation will be impartial, prompt and equitable; and


4.6.5. Providing all parties an opportunity to be heard.


University Disciplinary Procedures

4.7 Investigations of allegations against students will be handled using the Response to Allegations of Student Sexual Misconduct disciplinary procedures.

4.8 Investigations of allegations against employees will be handled using the Response to Allegations of Employee Sexual Misconduct disciplinary procedures.

4.9 University internal investigations and any disciplinary or remedial actions are independent of any civil, criminal or external administrative investigation. The University may pursue an investigation, take appropriate remedial action and/or impose disciplinary sanctions against a member of the university community at the same time the actor is facing criminal charges for the same incident, even if the criminal prosecution is pending, has been dismissed, or the charges have been reduced.

Possible Sanctions After Sexual Misconduct Finding

Institutional sanctions that may be imposed against students for sexual misconduct range from warning to expulsion. Sanctions against students may be imposed by the Student Affairs Officer, Conduct Officer, or Conduct Board. Institutional sanctions against employees range from warning to termination. Institutional sanctions against employees will be recommended by the Investigator to the person or persons authorized to impose employee sanctions. Institutional sanctions against third parties range from loss of privileges to trespass exclusion orders. Notice of the outcome of a sexual misconduct complaint must be provided to both complainant and respondent.

Definitions

For purposes of addressing complaints of sexual misconduct against or by University students and employees, the following uniform definitions shall be used by the University.
a. “Actor” means a person accused of sexual misconduct.
b. “Advisor” means any person, including legal counsel, who assists the Respondent, Complainant or Investigator during a Conduct proceeding.
c. “Bodily injury” shall mean physical pain, illness, or any impairment of physical condition.
d. “Campus security authority” (CSA) is a University official charged with the duty to report incidents of sexual misconduct to the person in charge of Clery Act reporting. All officers of a university police department or a campus security department are campus security authorities, but there are other CSAs outside of those offices. The Office of the President and Chancellor shall prepare and publicize a list of designated campus security authorities.
e. “Complainant” means any individual who comes forward to complain of sexual misconduct against or by a member of the University community or a third party.
f. “Confidentiality” means that the University will not disclose the names of individuals involved in sexual misconduct cases to others except on a need to know basis or as required by law. The University will instruct employees and students about the requirement not to disclose confidential information. Confidentiality is not the same as anonymity, where an individual is not named or personally identified.
g. “Consent” means agreement, approval, or permission as to some act or purpose, given voluntarily by a competent person. Nebraska law states “without consent” means:

(1) (i) The person was compelled to submit due to the use of force or threat of force or coercion, or (ii) the person expressed a lack of consent through words, or (iii) the person expressed a lack of consent through conduct, or (iv) the consent, if any was actually given, was the result of the actor's deception as to the identity of the actor or the nature or purpose of the act on the part of the actor;
(2) The person need only resist, either verbally or physically, so as to make the person's refusal to consent genuine and real and so as to reasonably make known to the actor the person's refusal to consent; and
(3) A person need not resist verbally or physically where it would be useless or futile to do so.
(4) In the above text, the word “person” means the individual against whom a wrongful act was allegedly committed, and the word “actor” is the individual alleged to have committed a wrongful act. When the actor knew or should have known that a person was mentally or physically incapable of resisting or understanding the nature of his or her conduct, there is no consent. A person may be incapacitated due to intoxication, mental illness or deficiency or by physical illness or disability to the extent that personal decision-making is impossible. Surprise may also prevent resistance, as where a person is grabbed from behind.
There are some persons who the law presumes are incapable of consenting to sexual contact or penetration by an actor by reason of their age. Under Nebraska law an actor nineteen years of age or older may not subject a person under the age of sixteen years of age to sexual penetration, or a person under fifteen years of age to sexual contact.

h. “Dating violence” is included within the definition of “domestic assault.”
i. “Domestic assault” has three definitions which depend on the harm threatened or inflicted by an actor on a person. An actor commits domestic assault if he or she (i) intentionally and knowingly causes bodily injury to his or her intimate partner; (ii) threatens an intimate partner with imminent bodily injury; or (iii) threatens an intimate partner in a menacing manner. An actor commits a more severe form of domestic assault if he or she intentionally and knowingly causes bodily injury to his or her intimate partner with a dangerous instrument. An actor commits the worst form of domestic assault if he or she intentionally and knowingly causes serious bodily injury to his or her intimate partner.
j. “Domestic violence” is included with the definition of “domestic assault.”
k. “Force or threat of force” means (a) the use of physical force which overcomes the person’s resistance or (b) the threat of physical force, express or implied, against the person or a third party that places the person in fear of death or in fear of serious personal injury to the person of a third party where the person reasonably believes that the actor has the present or future ability to execute the threat.
l. “Intimate partner” means a spouse; a former spouse; persons who have a child in common whether or not they have been married or lived together at any time; and persons who are or were involved in a dating relationship. For purposes of this definition, dating relationship means frequent, intimate associations primarily characterized by the expectation of affection or sexual involvement, but does not include a casual relationship or an ordinary association between persons in a business or social context.
m. “Intimate parts” means the genital area, groin, inner thighs, buttocks or breasts.
n. The term “Investigator” means a University official authorized to investigate and recommend remediation of complaints of sexual misconduct.
o. “In violation” means that it is more likely than not that an actor has committed one or more acts of sexual misconduct. In other words, a greater weight of the evidence standard must be used to find sexual misconduct.
p. The term “may” is used in the permissive sense.
q. “Member of the University community” includes any individual who is a student, staff, faculty member, University official, or any other individual employed by, or acting on behalf of, the University. An individual’s status in a particular situation shall be determined by the Investigator or Title IX Coordinator.
r. The term “not in violation” means that it is more likely than not that a member of the University community did not commit one or more acts of sexual misconduct.
s. “Past sexual behavior” means a person’s sexual behavior other than when the sexual misconduct is alleged to have occurred.
t. “Person” means the individual who allegedly was, or was determined to have been, subjected to sexual misconduct.
u. “Rape” is included under the definition of sexual assault and means an actor’s sexual penetration of a person without consent.
v. “Respondent” is any member of the University who is charged with one or more acts of sexual misconduct.
w. “Retaliation” includes intimidation, threats, harassment, and other adverse action threatened or taken against the Complainant or a third party in an attempt to prevent or otherwise obstruct the reporting of sexual misconduct.
x. “Serious bodily injury” shall mean bodily injury which involves a substantial risk of death, or which involves substantial risk of serious physical disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any part or organ of the body.
y. “Serious personal injury” means great bodily injury or disfigurement, extreme mental anguish or mental trauma, pregnancy, disease, or loss or impairment of a sexual or reproductive organ.
z. “Sexual assault” is committed when an actor subjects a person to sexual penetration (i) without the consent of the person, (ii) when the actor knew or should have known that the person was mentally or physically incapable of resisting or appreciating the nature of the person’s own conduct, (iii) when the actor is at least nineteen years of age and the person is under twelve, or (iv) when the actor is twenty-five years of age or older when the person is at least twelve years of age but less than sixteen years of age.
Sexual assault is also committed when an actor subjects a person to sexual contact (a) without consent of the person, or (b) when the actor knew or should have known that the person was physically or mentally incapable of resisting or appraising the nature of the person’s own conduct. Sexual assault by contact should be punished more severely if the actor causes serious personal injury to a person than if the actor shall not have caused serious personal injury.
aa. “Sexual contact” means the intentional touching of a person’s intimate parts or the intentional touching of a person’s clothing covering the immediate area of the person’s intimate parts. Sexual contact also means the touching by the person of the actor’s intimate parts or the clothing covering the immediate area of the actor’s intimate parts when such touching is intentionally caused by the actor. Sexual contact shall include only such conduct which can be reasonably construed as being for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification of either party.
bb. “Sexual harassment” is unwelcome conduct or behavior of a sexual nature. Both violent and non-violent sexual harassment is prohibited. Sexual harassment can include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Conduct that is sufficiently serious to limit or deny a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s educational program creates a hostile environment, and is prohibited. Examples of sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:

(1) an exposure of an actor’s genitals done with the intent to affront or alarm any person, and
(2) viewing a person in a state of undress without his or her consent or knowledge.

cc. “Sexual misconduct” includes dating violence, domestic assault, domestic violence, rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, and stalking.
dd. “Sexual penetration” means sexual intercourse in its ordinary meaning, cunninlingus, fellatio, anal intercourse or any intrusion, however slight, of any part of the actor’s or person’s body or any object manipulated by the actor into the genital or anal openings of the person’s body which can be reasonably construed as being for nonmedical or nonhealth purposes. Sexual penetration does not require emission of semen.
ee. The term “shall” is used in the imperative sense.
ff. “Stalking” means to engage in a knowing and willful course of conduct directed at a specific person or a family or household member of such person with the intent to injure, terrify, threaten, or intimidate.
gg. The term “student” includes all individuals taking courses at the University, whether full-time or part-time, pursuing undergraduate, graduate, or professional studies, whether or not they reside in the University residence halls. Individuals who withdraw after having allegedly committed sexual misconduct, or who are not officially enrolled for a particular term, but who have an expected continued academic relationship with the University, may be considered “students.”
hh. The “Student Affairs Officer” is the individual authorized by the University and the University Chancellor to be responsible for the administration of the Student Disciplinary Code, and in certain circumstances includes his or her designee.
ii. The “Title IX Coordinator” is the individual designated by the campus to respond to allegations of sexual misconduct by members of the university community, and in some circumstances can include his or her designee.
jj. The term “University” means University of Nebraska Medical Center.
kk. The term “University business day” means any calendar day where the campus offices are open for business and classes are in session, excluding weekends and national holidays.
ll.“University official” includes any individual employed by, associated with, or performing assigned administrative or professional responsibilities in the interests of the University. University officials who are designated as campus security authorities must report crimes to the person in charge of Clery Act reporting. Counselors and Healthcare Professionals are bound by professional rules that may preclude their reporting violations of University rules when they are acting within the scope of their counseling or professional responsibilities.
mm. The term “University premises” includes all land, buildings, facilities, University approved housing and other property in the possession of, or owned, used, or controlled by the University, including adjacent streets and sidewalks.

Additional Information

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