Sexual Assault and Harassment Policy
July 1, 1993, amendments to the Campus Safety Act required that all institutions of higher education have campus sexual assault programs. Institutions must also establish and publish procedures to be followed when a sex offense has occurred.
It is a violation of University regulations to commit a sexual assault (including rape). Sexual assault is attempted or unwanted sexual activity. Rape is defined as sexual penetration without mutual consent. In addition to possible civil and criminal charges, any member of the University community who is found guilty of sexual assault will be subject to disciplinary procedures. Termination of employment or dismissal from school is the maximum penalty the University may impose.
Victims of rape or sexual assault are strongly encouraged to take some type of action following the incident. The University’s prime concern is that a victim receives proper medical attention and counseling. Victims may contact any of the following resources for confidential information concerning counseling, mental health or medical services:
• Campus Safety Department: 479-215-5000
• University Health Center: 479-524-7320
• Student Counseling Office: 479-524-7251
• The Office of Christian Formation: 479-524-7213
• Any University Resident Hall Director
• NWA Rape Crisis 24 Hour Hotline: 800-794-4175 or 479-927-1020
SEXUAL OR OTHER HARASSMENT POLICY
John Brown University is committed to an environment in which all people are treated with respect and dignity. Each individual has the right to live and study in an atmosphere that promotes learning opportunities and prohibits practices such as harassment. Therefore, John Brown University expects that all relationships among students and employees will be collegial and free of harassment.
John Brown University encourages reporting of all perceived incidents of harassment. It is the policy of JBU to investigate such reports. JBU prohibits retaliation against any person who reports harassment or participates in an investigation of such reports.
Definitions of Harassment
1. Sexual harassment may include a range of subtle and not so subtle behaviors and may involve individuals of the same or different gender. Depending on the circumstances, these behaviors may include, but are not limited to: unwanted sexual advances or requests for sexual favors; sexual jokes and innuendo; verbal abuse of a sexual nature; commentary about an individual’s body, sexual prowess or sexual deficiencies; leering, whistling or touching; insulting or obscene comments or gestures; display in the residence hall of sexually suggestive objects or pictures; and other physical, verbal or visual conduct of a sexual nature.
2. Harassment on the basis of any other protected characteristic is also strictly prohibited. Under this policy, harassment is verbal or physical conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward a person because of his/her race, color, sex, national origin, age, disability, marital status, citizenship or any other characteristic protected by law or that of his/her relatives, friends or associates, and that: (i) has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment; (ii) has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s performance; or (iii) otherwise adversely affects an individual’s opportunities. Harassing conduct includes, but is not limited to: epithets, slurs or negative stereotyping; threatening, intimidating or hostile acts; denigrating jokes; and written or graphic material that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual or group and that is placed on walls or elsewhere on the campus or at outlying centers, or circulated in the workplace.
Reporting an Incident of Harassment, Discrimination or Retaliation
John Brown University encourages reporting of all perceived incidents of harassment or retaliation, regardless of the offender’s identity or position. Students who believe that they have been the victim of such conduct should discuss their concerns with their Resident Director, the Dean of Students, the Vice President for Student Development or the University’s Title IX compliance officer (currently, the Vice President of Finance and Administration). See the Complaint Procedure described below.
In addition, JBU encourages students who believe they are being subjected to such conduct to advise the offender promptly that his or her behavior is unwelcome and request that it be discontinued. Often this action alone will resolve the problem. JBU recognizes, however, that an individual may prefer to pursue the matter through informal or formal complaint procedures.
If for any reason an individual does not wish to address the offender directly, or if such action does not successfully end the offensive conduct, the student should notify his/her Resident Director, the Dean of Students, the Vice President for Student Development or the University’s Title IX compliance officer who may, if the student so requests, talk to the alleged offender on the student’s behalf. In addition, there may be instances in which a student seeks only to discuss matters with one of the JBU designated representatives, and such discussion is encouraged.
A student reporting harassment or retaliation should be aware, however, that JBU may decide it is necessary to take action to address such conduct beyond an informal discussion. This decision will be discussed with the student. The best course of action in any case will depend on many factors and, therefore, the informal procedure will remain flexible. Moreover, the informal procedure is not a required first step for the reporting individual.
As noted above, students who believe they have been the victims of conduct prohibited by this policy statement or believe they have witnessed such conduct should discuss their concerns with the Dean of Students, Vice President for Student Development or the University’s Title IX compliance officer. John Brown University encourages the prompt reporting of complaints or concerns so that rapid and constructive action can be taken before relationships become irreparably strained.
Therefore, while no fixed reporting period has been established, early reporting and intervention have proven to be the most effective method of resolving actual or perceived incidents of harassment. Any reported allegations of harassment, discrimination or retaliation will be investigated promptly, in conjunction with the Campus Safety department. The investigation may include individual interviews with the parties involved and, where necessary, with individuals who may have observed the alleged conduct or may have other relevant knowledge. Confidentiality will be maintained throughout the investigatory process to the extent consistent with adequate investigation and appropriate corrective action. Sexual assault victims are entitled to have a person(s) of his/her choice present during any and all segments of the hearing process. Sexual assault victims are entitled to be informed of the general status of the hearing process, including the outcome. Retaliation against a student for reporting harassment or discrimination or for participating in an investigation of a claim of harassment or discrimination is a serious violation of this policy and, like harassment itself, will be subject to disciplinary action. Acts of retaliation should be reported immediately and will be promptly investigated and addressed. Misconduct constituting harassment, discrimination or retaliation will be dealt with appropriately. Responsive action may include, for example, training, referral to counseling and/or disciplinary action such as warning, reprimand, housing reassignment, temporary suspension or dismissal, as JBU believes appropriate under the circumstances. If a party to a complaint does not agree with its resolution, that party may appeal to the President. False and malicious complaints of harassment or retaliation as opposed to complaints, which, even if erroneous, are made in good faith, may be the subject of appropriate disciplinary action.
John Brown University has developed this policy to ensure that all its students can live and work in an environment free from harassment and retaliation. JBU will make every reasonable effort to ensure that all concerned are familiar with these policies and aware that any complaint in violation of such policies will be investigated and resolved appropriately. Any student who has any questions or concerns about these policies should talk with Dean of Students or the University’s Title IX compliance officer. Finally, these policies should not, and may not, be used as a basis for excluding or separating students of a particular gender, or any other protected characteristic, from participating in academic and social activities or discussions. In other words, no one should make the mistake of engaging in exclusion in order to avoid allegations of harassment. The law and the policies of John Brown University prohibit disparate treatment on the basis of sex or any other protected characteristic, with regard to terms, conditions, privileges and perquisites of attendance. The prohibitions against harassment and retaliation are intended to complement and further those policies, not to form the basis of an exception to them.