» Policies and Definitions

+ - Definitions

Consent

Consent means an affirmative, conscious, voluntary agreement between equal partners to engage in sexual activity, Affirmative consent must be continuously present throughout an interaction, for all activities, and may be revoked at any time. It is the responsibility of each person involved in the activity to ensure he/she has the affirmative consent of the other or others to engage in sexual activity. It should also be noted affirmative consent includes the following:

  • Past consent does not constitute present consent.
  • Equal partners requires individuals who have the capacity to consent
  • Voluntary means subject to modification or withdrawal at any time
  • Consent cannot be any of the following:
  • Inferred from silence, the absence of a "no", or the lack or protest or resistance.
  • Obtained from a person who is asleep or otherwise mentally or physically incapacitated and this condition was known or reasonably should have been known by the other individual(s) involved in the designated incident.
  • Obtained from a person who is incapacitated by intoxicants such as alcohol or drugs, and this condition was known or reasonably should have been known by the other individual(s) involved in the designated incident. Incapacitation is defined as a state where someone cannot make rational, reasonable decisions because they lack the capacity to give knowing consent (e.g., to understand the “who, what, when, where, why or how” of the sexual interaction).
    • Note: a person may still be conscious, but lack the capacity to consent to a sexual act(s).
  • Obtained by threat or force.
  • Obtained through coercion. Coercion is the application of verbal, emotional, or physical manipulation to convince another person to do something he/she may not want to do, in this case to engage in sexual acts that the individual does not want to do. This includes tactics of post-refusal sexual persistence; in other words, verbally or physically persisting with a sexual act (attempting to wear him or her down) after the individual has already refused to participate in it. Coercing someone into having sex or performing specified sexual acts is violates the boundaries of consent.
  • The intoxication of the respondent does not diminish his or her responsibility for an act of sexual misconduct. It is also important to note that intent is not an acceptable defense for violating the sexual misconduct policy. For instance, it is no defense to a report of sexual harassment that the respondent did not intend to harass.

Prohibited behaviors

Any sexual or romantic behavior, attempted or completed, that goes beyond the boundaries of consent (as described above). Intoxication of the respondent does not diminish his or her responsibility for an act of sexual misconduct. The following behaviors are prohibited:

  • Relationship Abuse and Domestic/Interpersonal Violence - Relationship abuse and violence involves one or more of the following elements:
    • Domestic Violence is defined as felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current of former spouse of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child, by a person who is cohabiting with or has cohabited with the victim as a spouse, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction and/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 of the jurisdiction.

Dating Violence

Dating violence is defined as violence committed by a person who:

(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 consideration of the following factors:

  • Length of the relationship
  • The type of the relationship
  • The frequency of interaction between persons involved in the relationship

Domestic or Dating Violence may include, but is not limited to, the following types of behavior

  • Battering that causes bodily injury.
  • Emotional abuse reflecting apprehension of bodily injury or property damage.
  • Repeated telephonic or other forms of communication -anonymously or directly - using coarse language or threats in order to intimidate, terrify, annoy, harass, threaten, or offend.
  • Sexual assault or harassment.
  • Forcible denial of use of or access to owned or shared assets, or limiting or controlling access to educational or work opportunities.
  • Coercion used to compel another to act as directed.
  • Isolation used to deprive another of personal freedom of movement or access to friends, family, or support systems.

Retaliation

Retaliating against anyone for exercising the right to report or make a complaint for any of the behaviors prohibited in the Sexual Misconduct policy. This includes attempts or threats of retaliation, violation of a no-contact order harassment, or efforts to impede an investigation. Retaliation is a violation of policy whether or not the underlying complaint of harassment, discrimination, or any type of sexual misconduct is proven.

Sexual Assault

An offense that may be committed by a stranger or an individual(s) known to the reporting person that is classified as forcible or non-forcible sex offense under the uniform crime reporting system of the Federal Bureau of Investigations. This may include but not be limited to an act accomplished by force or by threats of bodily injury and involving penetration of a person’s genitalia or anal openings in relation to the following: sodomy (anal intercourse); forced oral copulation (oral genital contact); rape by a foreign object (forced penetration by a foreign object, including a finger); vaginal-penile penetration (intercourse). Any penetration, however slight the penetration, is sufficient to complete the act of sexual assault.

Sexual Battery

Touching without consent the sexual or other human parts of another, directly or through clothing, in order to gratify sexual desire or to cause injury, humiliate, harass, or degrade another.

Sexual Exploitation

Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to, prostituting another student; non-consensual video or audio-taping of sexual activity or distribution of such; going beyond the boundaries of consent (such as letting your friends surreptitiously watch you having consensual sex); engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a third party; engaging in voyeurism; exhibitionism; and knowingly transmitting an STI/STD or HIV to another student.

Sexual Harassment

Events or actions (verbal, visual, or physical in nature) that are unwelcome (neither solicited nor incited and are regarded by the recipient as undesirable or offensive) conduct of a sexual nature that would be offensive to a reasonable person, which could interfere with an individual's academic pursuits or create or substantially contribute to an intimidating or hostile work, academic, or student living environment. Sexual harassment may be found in a single episode, as well as in persistent

Stalking

Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to:

  • fear for his or her safety or the safety of others: or
  • suffer substantial emotional distress
  • this may include but not be limited to:
    • Non-consensual communication or threats, including face-to-face, telephone calls, voice messages, emails, chat requests, friend or contact requests on social networking sites, text messages, posting of statements or pictures on social networking sites, written letters, gifts or any other communications that are undesired.
    • Surveillance or other types of observation of another through computer spyware, GPS systems, pursuing, repeatedly staring, following, waiting or showing up uninvited at class, residence, workplace, or other places frequented by the specified individual, gathering information about an individual from friends, family, or co-workers, or third party stalking or stalking by proxy.
    • Behavior in which an individual willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly engages in knowing course of conduct directed at a specific person which reasonably and seriously alarms, torments, or terrorizes the person.

If you were involved in a sexual misconduct incident where any of these policies were violated, the University can take action and offenders can be officially sanctioned.

+ - Sanctioning for Sexual Misconduct

The sanctions generally applicable to a student who is found responsible for violating Chapman’s Student Conduct Code are found within the sanctions section of the Code. Engaging in Sexual Misconduct is a violation of the Student Conduct Code and will result in the imposition of one or more of such sanctions from warnings, educational sanctions, up to and including suspension or expulsion, depending on the severity of the incident in question and the student’s prior conduct history. Sanctions against an employee who is found to have engaged in behavior that violates the Harassment and Discrimination policy (including sexual harassment or sexual violence) or may include, but are not limited to, verbal or written warnings, suspension, or termination from employment. If termination of a faculty member is contemplated, applicable governing rules will be followed.

+ - Investigation Process

1) Report a Sexual Misconduct Incident or Complaint

Students can make a report with any professional staff member, however all sexual misconduct incidents are referred to Chapman's designated Title IX Coordinators.

2) Meet with a Title IX Coordinator

A Title IX coordinator will meet with the reporting person to review the details of the report and explain the following investigative steps involving sexual misconduct violations. The Coordinator will determine if an investigation should be initiated.

3) Investigation for Student to Student Cases

Once an investigation has been initiated, the Title IX Coordinator will notify both parties, complainant and respondent, that an investigation will be conducted. The investigation will then begin by separately interviewing the complainant, respondent, and any identified witnesses. Both parties will be given the opportunity to present evidence and provide names of witnesses. Both parties may also have an advisor of their choice (including an attorney) to attend meetings or hearings with them. For more information regarding the role of an advisor/support person, please see the Student Conduct Code.

After the interviewing of all parties and witnesses, the investigator will review the information. Using the preponderance of evidence standard, the investigator will determine if it is more likely than not any policy violation occurred. These determinations are referred to as findings. An investigation can result in no findings or may result in findings and recommendations (recommendations are likely to include subsequent sanctions). The respondent may choose to accept the findings and recommendations, reject the findings and recommendations, or reject some portion of the findings and recommendations. If the respondent elects to reject some or all of the findings, the matter will most likely be referred to a student conduct hearing for review.

4) Sanctioning for Sexual Misconduct

The sanctions generally applicable to a student who is found responsible for violating Chapman’s Student Conduct Code are found within the sanctions section of the Code. Engaging in Sexual Misconduct is a violation of the Student Conduct Code and will result in the imposition of one or more of such sanctions from warnings, educational sanctions, up to and including suspension or expulsion, depending on the severity of the incident in question and the student’s prior conduct history.

+ - Rights of the Complainant (Survivor)

It is Chapman’s responsibility to assure students who report an incident of sexual misconduct that:

Complainants have the right to a fair, impartial, prompt investigation and proceedings, including an appropriate resolution of the complaint
University officials will treat the incident seriously and that the incident will be investigated and adjudicated by appropriate criminal and/or University officials. Proceedings shall be conducted by officials trained on sexual assault and other intimate partner violence issues and shall use preponderance of the evidence standard (which is “more likely than not” and the standard used by civil courts in the United States).

Complainants will be treated with dignity, respect, and in a non-judgmental manner.

University officials will inform complainants of their option to notify appropriate law enforcement authorities, including on-campus security and local police, and offer assistance in notifying proper authorities when an individual discloses an incident of sexual misconduct.

University personnel will not discourage anyone from reporting, nor encourage them to under-report or report the incident as a lesser crime.
University officials will prohibit retaliation and will not only take steps to prevent retaliation but also take strong responsive action if it occurs. They will also follow up with complaints to determine whether any retaliation or new incidents of harassment have occurred.

Complainants will be provided with written notification of on and off campus available services for mental health, complainant advocacy, and other available community resources.

Complainants can obtain no contact/restraining orders or enforce an order already in existence to prevent unnecessary or unwanted contact or proximity to an alleged perpetrator when reasonably available.

Complainants will be afforded the opportunity to request immediate alterations in housing, academics, transportation, or other steps to prevent unnecessary or unwanted contact or proximity to an alleged perpetrator when reasonably available.

Complainants are informed that he/she is entitled to be accompanied to any related meeting or proceeding by an advisor of their choice (including attorneys), knowing that the respondent also has the same opportunity to have others present during any proceeding. For more information on the role of an advisor/support person, please see the Student Conduct Code.

Complainants are informed that he/she is entitled to receive, in writing, the findings (if any) of an investigation or hearing and sanctions related to him/her within one business day of such outcome being reached.