Concordia University community members, guests, and visitors shall be able to pursue their interests in a safe and respectful environment that promotes the goals of fairness and equity in all aspects of the educational enterprise. All policies below are subject to resolution using the University Equity Grievance Process (EGP), as detailed below. When the responding party is a member of the Concordia community, the EGP is applicable regardless of the status of the reporting party who may be a member or non-member of the campus community including students, student organizations, faculty, administrators, staff, guests, visitors, etc.
Dr. Cheryl Chatman serves as the Title IX Coordinator and ADA/504 Coordinator and oversees implementation of the University’s Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Plan and the University’s policy on equal opportunity, harassment, and nondiscrimination. The Title IX Coordinator provides direction for the Title IX Team and acts with independence and authority free of conflicts of interest. To raise any concern involving a conflict of interest by Dr. Chatman, individuals should contact Rev. Dr. Tom Ries, University President at email@example.com or 651-641-8211. To raise concerns regarding a potential conflict of interest with any other administrator involved in the EGP, please contact Dr. Chatman.
Inquiries about and reports regarding this policy and procedure may be made internally to:
Dr. Cheryl Chatman
Title IX Coordinator and Executive Vice President
Poehler Administration, Second Floor 251
Title IX Deputy Coordinator and Associate Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students
Meyer Hall, First Floor 111
External inquiries may be made to the following:
Office for Civil Rights (Chicago Office)
U.S. Department of Education
500 W. Madison Street, Suite 1475
Chicago, IL 60661-4544
Minnesota Department of Human Rights
625 Robert Street North
St. Paul, MN 55155
651-539-1100 or 1-800-657-3704 (phone)
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Minneapolis Area Office
330 South Second Avenue, Suite 720
Minneapolis, MN 55401
Reports of discrimination, harassment and/or retaliation may be made using any of the following options. There is no time limitation on the filing of allegations. However, if the responding party is no longer subject to the University’s jurisdiction, the ability to investigate, respond and provide remedies may be more limited.
- Report directly to the Title IX Coordinator, Dr. Cheryl Chatman, 651-603-6151, firstname.lastname@example.org or the Title IX Deputy Coordinator, Jason Rahn, 651-641-8706, email@example.com
- Report to one of the following offices which can assist you in beginning the initial process
- Concordia University Security (24 hour contact) 651-641-8278 or 651-641-8777
- Heidi Goettl, Associate Dean of Students, 651-641-8704, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Milissa Becker, Director of Human Resources, 651-641-8268, email@example.com
- Campus Ministry Staff (Rev. Tom Gundermann or Shelly Schwalm), can be a source of initial confidential reporting.
- Student Accessibility Services Staff (Jill Carlson or Josie Hurka), can be a source of initial confidential reporting.
- Report online (anonymous option is provided) csp.edu/reporting
All reports are acted upon promptly while every effort is made by the University to preserve the privacy of reports. If an anonymous report is received, it will be investigated to determine if remedies can be provided. Additionally, all employees of the University are designated as mandatory reporters and will share a report with the Title IX Coordinator promptly. Confidentiality and mandatory reporting is addressed more specifically in later sections of this policy. Reports of misconduct or discrimination committed by the Title IX Coordinator should be reported to Rev. Dr. Tom Ries, President, 651-641-8211 or firstname.lastname@example.org
This policy applies to behaviors that take place on the campus, at University-sponsored events and may also apply off-campus and to actions online when the Title IX Coordinator determines that the off-campus conduct affects a substantial University interest. A substantial University interest is defined to include:
- Any action that constitutes a criminal offense as defined by law, this includes but is not limited to, single or repeat violation of any local, state or federal law;
- Any situation where it appears that the responding party may present a danger or threat to the health or safety of self or others;
- Any situation that significantly impinges upon the rights, property or achievements of self or others or significantly breaches the peace and/or causes social disorder; and/or
- Any situation that is detrimental to the educational interests of the University.
- Concordia University Policy on Nondiscrimination
Concordia University adheres to the specific non-discrimination policies that are detailed in the employee handbook (for faculty and staff) and in the student policies handbook (for all students). Please reference these documents for the specific policy for each group.
These policies cover nondiscrimination in employment and in access to educational opportunities. Therefore, any member of the campus community who acts to deny, deprive or limit the educational, employment, residential access, benefits and/or opportunities of any member of the campus community, guest or visitor on the basis of their actual or perceived membership in the protected classes listed above is in violation of the University policy on nondiscrimination. When brought to the attention of the University, any such discrimination will be appropriately addressed and remedied by the University according to the Equity Grievance Policy (EGP) described below. Non-members of the campus community who engage in discriminatory actions within University program or on University property are not under the jurisdiction of this policy, but can be subject to actions that limit their access and/or involvement with University programs as a result of their misconduct. All vendors serving the University through third-party contracts are subject by those contract to the policy and procedures of their employers.
- Concordia University Policy on Accommodation of Disabilities
Concordia University is committed to full compliance with the American with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA and ADAAA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibits discrimination against qualified persons with disabilities, as well as other federal and state laws pertaining to individuals with disabilities. Under the ADA and its amendments, a person has a disability if they have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity. The ADA also protects individuals who have a record of a substantially limiting impairment or who are regarded as disabled by the institution whether qualified or not. A substantial impairment is one that significantly limits or restricts a major life activity such as hearing, seeing, speaking, breathing, performing manual tasks, walking or caring for oneself.
Dr. Cheryl Chatman has been designated as the ADA/504 Coordinator responsible for coordinating efforts to comply with these disability laws, including investigation of any allegation of noncompliance.
- Students with Disabilities
Concordia University is committed to providing qualified students with disabilities with reasonable accommodations and support needed to ensure equal access to academic programs and activities of the University.
All accommodations are made on a case-by-case basis. A student requesting any accommodation should first contact the Student Accessibilities Services Office which coordinates services for students with disabilities. Student Accessibilities Service Staff review documentation provide by the student and in consultation with the student, determines which accommodations are appropriate to the student’s particular needs and academic programs.
- Employees with Disabilities
Pursuant to the ADA, Concordia University will provide reasonable accommodation(s) to all qualified employees with known disabilities, where their disability affects the performance of their essential job functions, except where doing so would be unduly disruptive or would result in undue hardship.
An employee with a disability is responsible for requesting an accommodation in writing to the Director of Human Resources and provide appropriate documentation. The Director of Human Resources or their appointed designee will work with the employee’s supervisor to identify which essential functions of the position are affect by the employee’s disability and what reasonable accommodations could enable the employee to perform those duties.
- Concordia University’s Policy on Discriminatory Harassment
Students, staff, administrators and faculty are entitled to a working environment and educational environment free of discriminatory harassment. The University’s harassment policy is not meant to inhibit or prohibit educational content or discussions inside or outside of the classroom that include germane, but controversial or sensitive subject matters protected by academic freedom. The sections below describe the specific forms of legally prohibited harassment that are also prohibited under the University’s policy.
- Discriminatory and Bias-Related Harassment
Harassment constitutes a form of discrimination that is prohibited by the University’s policy as well as the law. Concordia University condemns and will not tolerate discriminatory harassment against any employee, student, visitor or guest on the basis of any status protected by policy or law. The University will remedy all forms of harassment when reported, whether or not the harassment rises to the level of creating a hostile environment. When harassment rises to the level of creating a hostile environment, the University may also impose sanctions on the harasser through application of the Equity Grievance Process. Concordia University’s harassment policy explicitly prohibits any form of harassment, defined as unwelcome conduct on the basis of actual or perceived membership in a protected class, by any member or group of the community.
A hostile environment may be created by harassing verbal, written, graphic or physical conduct that is severe or persistent/pervasive, and objectively offensive such that it interferes with, limits or denies the ability of an individual to participate in or benefit from educational programs or activities or employment access, benefits or opportunities.
The University reserves the right to address offensive conduct and/or harassment that:
- Does not rise to the level of creating a hostile environment or
- That is of a generic nature not on the basis of a protected status.
Addressing such behaviors may not result in the imposition of discipline under University policy, but will be addressed through respectful confrontation, remedial actions, and education and/or effective conflict resolution mechanisms. For assistance with conflict resolution techniques, employees should contact the Director of Human Resources and students should contact the Associate Dean of Students.
- Sexual Harassment
The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the State of Minnesota regard sexual harassment as a form of sex/gender discrimination and, therefore as an unlawful discriminatory practice. The University has adopted the following definition of sexual harassment in order to address the special environment of an academic community, which consists not only of employer and employees but of students as well.
Sexual harassment is:
- sexual, sex-based and/or gender based,
- verbal, written, online and/or physical conduct.
Anyone experiencing sexual harassment in any University program is encouraged to report it immediately to the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Coordinator. Remedies, education and/or training will be provided in response.
Sexual harassment may be disciplined when it takes the form of quid pro quo harassment, retaliatory harassment and/or creates a hostile environment.
A hostile environment is created when sexual harassment is:
- Severe, or
- persistent or pervasive, and
- objectively offensive such that it:
- unreasonably interferes with, denies or limits someone’s ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s educational, employment or residential program.
Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment:
Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature by a person having power or authority over another constitutes sexual harassment when submission to such sexual conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly to a term or condition of rating or evaluation an individual’s educational development or performance
Some examples of possible Sexual Harassment include:
- A professor insists that a student have sex with him/her in exchange for a good grade. This is harassment regardless of whether the student accedes to the requests and irrespective of whether a good grade is promised or a bad grade is threatened.
- A student repeatedly sends sexually oriented jokes around on an email list s/he created, even when asked to stop, causing one recipient to avoid the sender on campus and in the residence hall in which they both live.
- Explicit sexual pictures are displayed on a professor’s door or on the exterior of a residence hall door.
- Two supervisors frequently ‘rate’ several employees’ bodies and sex appeal, commenting suggestively about their clothing or appearance.
- A professor engages students in her class in discussions about their past sexual experiences yet the conversation is not in any way germane to the subject matter of the class. She probes for explicit details, and demands that students answer her, though they are clearly uncomfortable and hesitant.
- An ex-girlfriend widely spreads false stories about her sex life with her former boyfriend to the clear discomfort of the boyfriend, turning him into a social pariah on campus.
- Male students take to calling a particular brunette student “Monica” because of her resemblance to Monica Lewinsky. Soon, everyone adopts this nickname for her, and she is the target of relentless remarks about cigars, the president, and “sexual relations” and Weight Watchers.
- A student grabbed another student by the hair, then grabbed her breast and put his mouth on it. While this is sexual harassment, it is also a form of sexual violence.
Policy Expectations with Respect to Consensual Relationships
There are inherent risks in any romantic or sexual relationship between individuals in unequal positions (such as faculty and student, supervisor and employee). These relationships may be less consensual than perceived by the individual whose position confers power. The relationship may also be viewed in different ways by each of the parties, particularly in retrospect. Furthermore, circumstances may change, and conduct that was previously welcome may become unwelcome. Even when both parties have consented at the outset to a romantic or sexual involvement, this past consent may not remove grounds for later charge of a violation or applicable sections of this policy. The University does not wish to interfere with the private choices regarding personal relationships when these relationships do not interfere with the goals and policies of the University. For the personal protection of members of this community, relationships in which power differentials are inherent (faculty-student, staff-student, administrator-student) are generally discouraged.
Consensual romantic or sexual relationships in which one party maintains a direct supervisory or evaluative role over the other party are unethical. Therefore a person with direct supervisory or evaluative responsibilities who are involved in such relationships must bring those relationships to the timely attention of their supervisor, and will likely result in the necessity to remove the employee from the supervisory or evaluative responsibilities or shift a part out of being supervised or evaluated by someone with whom they have established a consensual relationship. While no relationships are prohibited by this policy, failure to timely self-report such relationships to a supervisor as required can result in disciplinary action for an employee.
- Sexual Misconduct
State law defines various violent and/or non-consensual sexual acts as crimes. While some of these acts may have parallels in criminal law, the University has defined categories of sex/gender discrimination as sexual misconduct, as stated below, for which action under this policy may be imposed. Generally speaking, Concordia University considers Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse violations to be the most serious of these offenses, and therefore typically imposes the most severe sanctions, including suspension or expulsion for students and termination for employees. However, the University reserves the right to impose any level of sanction, ranging from a warning up to and including suspension or expulsion/termination, for any act of sexual misconduct or other sex/gender-based offenses, including intimate partner (dating and/or domestic) violence, non-consensual sexual contact and/or stalking based on the facts and circumstance of the particular allegation. Acts of sexual misconduct may be committed by any person upon any other person, regardless of the sex, sexual orientation and/or gender identity of those involved.
- Sexual Harassment (as defined in section b above)
- Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse
- any sexual intercourse
- however slight
- with any object
- by a person upon another person
- that is without consent and/or by force
Sexual intercourse includes:
Vaginal or anal penetration by a penis, tongue, finger or object, or oral copulation (mouth to genital contact) no matter slight the penetration or contact.
- Non-Consensual Sexual Contact
- any intentional sexual touching
- however slight
- with any object
- by a person upon another person
- that is without consent and/or by force
Sexual touching includes:
- Intentional contact with the breasts, groin, or genitals, mouth or touching another with any of these body parts, or making another touch you or themselves with or on any of these body parts: or
- Any other bodily contact in a sexual manner.
- Sexual Exploitation
Sexual exploitation refers to a situation in which a person takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another, and that behavior does not otherwise fall within the definitions of Sexual Harassment, Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse or Non-Consensual Sexual Contact. Examples of Sexual Exploitation include, but are not limited to:
- Sexual voyeurism (such as watching a person undressing, using the bathroom or engaged in sexual acts without the consent of the person observed).
- Invasion of sexual privacy.
- Taking pictures or video or audio recording another in a sexual act or in any other private activity without the consent of all involved in the activity, or exceeding the boundaries of consent (such as allowing another person to hide in a closet and observe sexual activity or disseminating sexual pictures without the photographed person’s consent).
- Sexual exploitation also includes engaging in sexual activity with another person while knowingly infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), a sexually transmitted disease (STD) or infection (STI) without informing the other person of the infection.
- Administering alcohol or drugs (such as “date rape” drugs) to another person without his or her knowledge or consent (assuming the act is not completed).
- Exposing one’s genitals in non-consensual circumstances.
- Sexually-based staling and/or bullying may also be forms of sexual exploitation.
- Force and Consent
Force: Force is the use of physical violence and/or imposing on someone physically to gain sexual access. Force also includes threats, intimidation (implied threats) and coercion that overcome resistance or produce consent (“Have sex with me or I’ll hit you.” “Okay, don’t hit me, I’ll do what you want.”).
Coercion is unreasonable pressure for sexual activity. Coercive behavior differ from seductive behavior based on the type of pressure someone uses to get consent from another. When someone makes clear to you that they do not want sex, that they want to stop, or that they do not want to go past a certain point of sexual interaction continued pressure beyond that point can be coercive.
NOTE: Silence or the absence of resistance alone is not consent. There is no requirement on a party to resist the sexual advance or request, but resistance is a clear demonstration of non-consent. The presence of consent is not demonstrated by the absence of resistance. Sexual activity that is forced is by definition non-consensual, but non-consensual sexual activity is not by definition forced.
Consent: Consent is knowing, voluntary and clear permission by word or action to engage in mutually agreed upon sexual activity. Since individuals may experience the same interaction in different ways, it is the responsibility of each party to make certain that the other has consented before engaging in the activity. For consent to be valid, there must be a clear expression in words or actions that the other individual consented to that specific sexual conduct. Consent can be withdrawn once given, as long as the withdrawal is clearly communicated.
Consent to some sexual contact (such as kissing or fondling) cannot be presumed to be consent for other sexual activity (such as intercourse). A current or previous dating relationship is not sufficient to constitute consent. The existence of consent is based on the totality of the circumstances, including the context in which the alleged incident occurred and any similar previous patterns that may be evidenced.
Incapacitation: A person cannot consent if they are unable to understand what is happening or is disoriented, helpless, asleep or unconscious for any reason, including due to alcohol or other drugs. An individual who engages in sexual activity when the individual knows, or should know, that the other person is physically or mentally incapacitated has violated this policy.
It is not an excuse that the responding party was intoxicated and therefore, did not realize the incapacity of the reporting party.
Incapacitation is defined as a state were someone cannot make rational, reasonable decisions because they lack the capacity to give knowing/informed consent (e.g., to understand the “who, what, when, where, why or how” of their sexual interaction). This policy also covers a person whose incapacity results from mental disability, involuntary physical restraint and/or from the taking of incapacitating drugs.
In Minnesota, a minor (meaning a person under the age of 16 years) cannot consent to sexual activity. This means that sexual contact by an adult with a person younger than 16 years old may be a crime, and potential violation of this policy, even if the minor wanted to engage in the act.
Examples of lack of consent:
- Amanda and Bill meet at a party. They spend the evening dancing and getting to know each other. Bill convinces Amanda to come up to his room. From 11pm to 3am, Bill uses every line he can think of to convince Amanda to have sex with him, but she adamantly refuses. He keeps at her and begins to question her religious convictions, and accuses her of “being a prude”. Finally it seems that her resolve is weakening, and he convinces her to give him a “hand job” (hand to genital contact). Amanda would never have done it but for Bill’s incessant advances. He feels that he successfully seduced her, and that she wanted to do it all along but was playing shy and hard to get. Why else would she have come up to his room alone after the party? If she really didn’t want it she could have left.
**Bill is responsible for violating the university’s Non-Consensual Sexual Contact policy. It is likely that the campus decision-makers would find that the degree and duration of the pressure Bill applied to Amanda are unreasonable. Bill coerced Amanda into performing unwanted sexual touching upon him. Where sexual activity is coerced, it is forced. Consent is not valid when forced. Sex without consent is sexual misconduct.
- Jiang is junior at the university. Beth is a sophomore. Jiang comes to Beth’s residence hall room with some mutual friends to watch a movie. Jiang and Beth, who have never met before, are attracted to each other. After the movie, everyone leaves and Jiang and Beth are alone. They hit it off, and soon are becoming intimate. They start to make out. Jiang verbally expresses his desire to have sex with Beth. Beth, who was abused by a baby-sitter when she was five and has not had any sexual relations since, is shocked at how quickly things are progressing. As Jiang takes her by the wrist over to the bed, lays her down, undresses her and begins to have intercourse with her, Beth has a severe flashback to her childhood trauma. She wants to tell Jiang to stop but cannot. Beth is stiff and unresponsive during this intercourse. Is this a policy violation?
**Jiang would be held responsible in this scenario for Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse. It is the duty of the sexual initiator, Jiang, to make sure that he has mutually understandable consent to engage in sex. Though consent need not be verbal, it is the clearest form of consent. Here, Jiang had no verbal or non-verbal mutually understandable indication from Beth that she consented to sexual intercourse. Of course, whenever possible, it is important to be as clear as possible as to whether or not sexual contact is desired, and to be aware that for psychological reasons, or because of alcohol or drug use, one’s partner may not be in a position to provide as clear an indicator as the policy requires. As the policy makes clear, consent must be actively, not passively given.
- Kevin and Joanna are at a party. Kevin is not sure how much Joanna has been drinking, but he is pretty sure it’s a lot. After the party, he walks Joanna to her room and Joanna comes on to Kevin initiating sexual activity. Kevin asks her if she is really up to this and Joanna says yes. Clothes go flying, and they end up in Joanna’s bed. Suddenly, Joanna runs for the bathroom. When she returns her face is pale and Kevin thinks she may have thrown up. Joanna gets back into bed and they begin to have sexual intercourse. Kevin is having a good time, though he can’t help but to notice that Joanna seems pretty groggy and passive and he thinks Joanna may have even passed out briefly during the sex, but he does not let that stop him. When Kevin runs into Joanna the next day, he thanks her for the wild night. Joanna remembers nothing and decides to make a report to the Dean.
**This is a violation of the Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse Policy. Kevin should have known that Joanna was incapacitated of making a rational, reasonable decision about sex. Even if Joanna seemed to consent, Kevin was well aware that Joanna had consumed a large amount of alcohol and Kevin thought Joanna was physically ill and that she passed out during sex. Kevin should be held accountable for taking advantage of Joanna in her condition.
- Other Civil Right Offenses
In addition to the forms of sexual misconduct described above, the following behaviors are also prohibited as forms of discrimination when the act is based upon the reporting party’s actual or perceived membership in a protected class.
- Threatening or causing physical harm, extreme verbal abuse, or other conduct which threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person;
- Discrimination, defined as actions that deprive, limit or deny other members of the community of educational or employment access, benefits or opportunities;
- Intimidation, defined as implied threats or acts that cause an unreasonable fear of harm in another;
- Hazing, 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 activity;
- Bullying, defined as
- Repeated and/or severe
- Aggressive behavior
- Likely to intimidate or intentionally hurt, control, or diminish another person, physically or mentally
- That is not speech or conduct otherwise protected by the 1st
- Intimate Partner Violence, defined as violence or abuse between those in an intimate relationship to each other;
- A boyfriend shoves his girlfriend into a wall upon seeing her talking to a male friend. This physical assault based in jealousy is a violation of the Intimate Partner Violence policy.
- An ex-girlfriend shames her former partner, threatening to share the partner’s previous sexual history if they doesn’t give the ex another chance. Psychological abuse is a form of Intimate Partner Violence.
- A graduate student refuses to wear a condom and forces his girlfriend to take hormonal birth control though it makes her ill, in order to prevent pregnancy.
- Married employees are witnessed in the parking garage, with one partner slapping and scratching the other in the midst of an argument.
- Stalking 1
- A course of conduct
- Directed at a specific person
- On the basis of actual or perceived membership in a protected class
- That is unwelcome, AND
- Would cause a reasonable person to feel fear
- Stalking 2
- Repetitive and Menacing
- Pursuit, following, harassing and/or interfering with the peace and/or safety of another
- Examples of Stalking
- A student repeatedly shows up at another student’s on-campus residence, always notifying the front desk attendant that they are there to see the resident. Upon a call to the resident, the student informs residence hall staff that this visitor is uninvited and continuously attempts to see them, even so far as waiting for them outside of classes and showing up to their on-campus place of employment and requesting that they go out on a date together (Stalking 1).
- A graduate student working as an on-campus tutor receives flowers and gifts delivered to their office. After learning the gifts were from a student they recently tutored, the graduate student thanked the student and stated that it was not necessary and would appreciate if the gift deliveries stop. The student then started leaving notes of love and gratitude on the graduate assistant’s car, both on-campus and at home. Asked again to stop, the student stated by email: “You can ask me to stop by I’m not giving up. We are meant to be together, and I’ll do anything necessary to make you have the feelings for me that I have for you.” When the tutor did not respond, the student emailed again, “You cannot escape me. I will track you to the ends of the earth. We are meant to be together.” (Stalking 2).
- Any other University policies may fall within this section when a violation is motivated by the actual or perceived membership of the reporting party’s sex or gender.
- Stalking 1
Sanctions for the above-listed “Other Civil Rights Behaviors” behaviors range from reprimand through expulsion (students) or termination of employment.
Retaliation is defined as any adverse action taken against a person in a protected activity because of their participation in that protected activity. Retaliation against an individual for alleging harassment, supporting a party bringing an allegation or for assisting in providing information relevant to a claim of harassment is a serious violation of University policy and will be treated as another possible instance of harassment or discrimination. Acts of alleged retaliation should be reported immediately to the Title IX Coordinator and will be promptly investigated. Concordia University is prepared to take appropriate steps to protect individuals who fear that they may be subjected to retaliation.
Examples of Retaliation:
- Student-athlete A files an allegation against a coach for sexual harassment; the coach subsequently cuts the student athlete’s playing time in half without a legitimate justification.
- A faculty member complains of gender inequity in pay within her department; the Department Chair then revokes his prior approval allowing her to attend a national conference, citing a faculty member’s tendency to “ruffle feathers.”
- A student from Organization A participates in a sexual misconduct case against the reporting individual –also a member of Organization A; the student is subsequently removed as a member of Organization A because he participated in the case.
- Remedial Action
Upon notice of alleged discrimination, Concordia University will implement initial remedial, responsive and/or protective actions upon notice of alleged harassment, retaliation and/or discrimination. Such action could include but are not limited to: no contact orders, providing counseling and/or medical services, academic support, living arrangement adjustments, transportation accommodations, visa and immigration assistance, student financial aid counseling, providing a campus escort, academic or work schedule and assignment accommodations, safety planning, referral to campus and community support resources.
The University will take additional prompt remedial and/or disciplinary action with respect to any member of the community, guest or visitor upon a finding that they have engaged in harassing or discriminatory behavior or retaliation.
Concordia University will maintain as confidential any accommodations or proactive measures, provided confidentiality does not impair the University’s ability to provide the accommodations or protective measures.
Procedures for handling reported incidents are fully described below.
- Confidentiality and Reporting of Offenses Under This Policy
All Concordia University employees (faculty, staff, and administrators) are expected to report actual or suspected discrimination or harassment to appropriate officials immediately, though there are some limited exceptions. In order to make informed choices, it is important to be aware of confidentiality and mandatory reporting requirements when consulting campus resources. On campus, some resources may maintain confidentiality-meaning they are not required to report actual or suspected discrimination or harassment to appropriate university officials –thereby offering options and advice without any obligation to inform an outside agency or campus official unless a reporting party has requested information to be shared. Other resources exist for reporting parties to report crimes and policy violations and these resources will take action when an incident is reported to them. The following describes the reporting options at the University:
- Confidential Reporting
If a reporting party would like the details of an incident to be kept confidential, the reporting party may speak with:
- Tom Gundermann, CSP Pastor, 651-641-8271, email@example.com
- Shelly Schwalm, Campus Ministry Associate, 651-641-8212, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Jill Carlson, Director of Counseling & Student Accessibility Services, email@example.com
- Josie Hurka, Assistant Director of Student Accessibility Services, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sexual Offense Services 651-266-1000
- Crisis Connection 612-379-6363 (24 hours); 612-379-6367 (24-hour men’s hotline)
- Region’s Hospital 651-254-5000
- Cigna Behavior Support (employee resource) 866-726-5267
All of the above-listed individuals will maintain confidentiality except in extreme cases of immediacy of threat or danger or abuse of a minor. Concordia University employees listed above will submit anonymous statistical information for Clery Act purposes unless they believe it would be harmful to their client, patient or parishioner.
- Formal Reporting Options
All Concordia University employees have a duty to report, unless they fall under the “Confidential Reporting” section above. Reporting parties may want to consider carefully whether they share personally identifiable details with non-confidential employees, as those details must be shared with the Title IX Coordinator. Employees must promptly share all details of the reports they receive. Generally, climate surveys, classroom writing assignments or discussion, human subjects research, or events where individuals may speak out do not provide notice that must be reported to the Coordinator by employees, unless the reporting party clearly indicates that they wish a report to be made. Remedial actions may result from such disclosure without formal University action.
If a reporting party does not wish for their name to be shared, does not wish for an investigation to take place, or does not want a formal resolution to be pursued, the reporting party may make such a request to the Title IX Coordinator, who will evaluate that request in light of the duty to ensure the safety of the campus and comply with federal law. Note that the University’s ability to remedy and respond to a reported incident may be limited if the reporting party does not want the institution to proceed with an investigation and/or the Equity Grievance Policy.
In cases indicating pattern, predation, threat, weapons and/or violence, the University will likely be unable to honor a request for confidentiality. In cases where the reporting party requests confidentiality and the circumstances allow the University to honor that request, the University will offer interim supports and remedies to the reporting party and the community, but will not otherwise pursue formal action. A reporting party has the right and can expect, to have allegations taken seriously by the University when formally reported and to have those incident investigated and properly resolved through these procedures.
Formal reporting still affords privacy to the reporter, and only a small group of officials who need to know will be told, including but not limited to: necessary Title IX team members, members of Student Affairs, Campus Security, Behavioral Intervention Team, and other individuals who the Title IX Coordinator or investigators deem necessary to provide support to the reporting party while still respecting confidentiality. Information will be shared as necessary with investigators, witnesses and the reporting party. The circle of people with this knowledge will be kept as tight as possible to preserve a reporting party’s rights and policy.
Additionally, anonymous reports can be made by victims and/or third parties using the online reporting from posted at www.csp.edu/reporting. Please note that these anonymous reports may prompt a need for the institution to investigate.
Failure of a non-confidential employee, as described in this section, to report an incident or incidents of sex/gender harassment or discrimination of which they become aware is a violation of University policy and can be subject to disciplinary action for failure to comply.
- Federal Timely Warning Obligations
Parties reporting sexual misconduct should be aware the under the Clery Act, University administrators must issue timely warnings for incidents reported to them that pose a substantial threat of bodily harm or danger to members of the campus community. The University will ensure that a victim’s name or other identifying information is not disclosed, while still providing enough information for community members to make safety decisions in light of the potential danger.
- False Allegations
Deliberately false and/or malicious accusations under this policy, as opposed to allegations which, even if erroneous are made in good faith, are a serious offense and will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.
- Amnesty for Reporting Party and Witnesses
The University community will encourage the reporting of misconduct and crimes by reporting parties and witnesses. Sometimes, reporting parties or witnesses are hesitant to report to University officials or participate in resolution processes because they fear that they themselves may be accused of policy violations, such as underage drinking at the time of the incident. It is in the best interest of this community that reporting parties choose to report to university officials, and that witnesses come forward to share what they know. To encourage reporting, Concordia University pursues a policy of offering reporting parties and witnesses amnesty from minor policy violations related to the incident.
Students: Sometimes, students are hesitant to offer assistance to others for fear that they may get themselves in trouble (for, example, a student who has been drinking underage might hesitate to take a sexual misconduct victim to Campus Security). The University pursues a policy of amnesty for student who offer help to others in need. (While policy violations cannot be overlooked, the University will provide educational options, rather than punishment, to those who offer their assistance to others in need).
Employees: Sometimes employees are also hesitant to report harassment or discrimination they have experienced for fear that they may get themselves in trouble. For example, an employee who has violated the consensual relationship policy and then is assaulted in the course of the relationship might hesitate to report the incident to University officials. The institution may, at its discretion, offer employee reporting parties amnesty from such policy violations (typically more minor policy violations) related to the incident. Amnesty may also be granted to witnesses on a case-by-case basis.
- Parental Notification (allegations involving students)
The University reserves the right to notify parents/guardians of dependent students regarding any health or safety risk, change in student status or conduct situation, particularly alcohol and other drug violations. The University may also notify parents/guardians of non-dependent students who are under age 21 of alcohol and/or drug policy violations. Where a student is non-dependent, the University will contact parents/guardians to inform them of situations in which there is a significant and articulable health and/or safety risk. The University also reserves the right to designate which university officials have a need to know about incidents that fall within this policy, pursuant to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
- Federal Statistical Reporting Obligations
Certain campus officials –those deemed Campus Security Authorities –have a duty to report sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking for federal statistical reporting purposes (Clery Act). All personally identifiable information is kept confidential, but statistical information must be passed along to campus security 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 Security Report. This report helps to provide the community with a clear picture of the extent and nature of campus crime, to encourage greater community safety. Mandated federal reporters include: student affairs/student conduct, campus security, local police, coaches, athletic directors, residence life staff, student activities staff, human resources staff, advisors to student organization and any other official with significant responsibility for student and campus activities. The information to be shared includes the date, the location of the incident (using Clery location categories) and the Clery crime category. This reporting protects the identity of the victim and may be done anonymously.
Equity Resolution Process for Allegations of Harassment, Sexual Misconduct and Other Forms of Discrimination
Concordia University will act on any formal or informal allegation or notice of violation of the policy on Equal Opportunity, Harassment and Nondiscrimination, that is received by the Title IX Coordinator or a member of the administration, faculty or other employee.
The procedures described below apply to all allegations of harassment or discrimination on the basis of protected class involving students, staff or faculty members. These procedures may also be used to address collateral misconduct occurring in conjunction with harassing or discriminatory conduct (e.g.: vandalism, physical abuse of another, etc.). All other allegations of misconduct unrelated to incidents covered by this policy will be addressed through the procedures elaborated in the respective student, faculty and staff handbooks.
Upon notice to the Title IX Coordinator, this resolution process involves a prompt preliminary inquiry to determine if there is reasonable cause to believe the nondiscrimination policy has been violated. If so, the University will initiate a confidential investigation that is thorough, reliable, impartial, prompt and fair. The investigation and the subsequent resolution process determines whether the nondiscrimination policy has been violated. If so, the University will promptly implement effective remedies designated to end the discrimination, prevent its recurrence and address its effects.
- Equity Grievance Process(EGP)
Allegations under the policy on nondiscrimination are resolved using the Equity Grievance Process. Members of the EGP team are announced in the annual distribution of this policy to campus, prospective students, their parents and prospective employees. The list of members and a description of this team can be found at www.csp.edu/reporting. Members of the EGP team are trained in all aspect of the resolution process and can serve in any of the following roles, at the direction of the Title IX Coordinator:
- To provide sensitive intake for and initial advice pertaining to allegations
- To serve in a mediation or restorative justice role in conflict resolution
- To investigate allegations
- To act as process advocates to those involved in the Equity Grievance Process
- To offer recommendations based on the investigation to the Title IX Coordinator
- To serve on the appeal panel for allegations
EGP team members also recommend proactive policies and serve in an educative role for the campus. The Title IX Coordinator consults with the President to appoint members to the EGP team, which reports to the Title IX Coordinator. EGP tem members receive annual training organized by the Title IX Deputy Coordinator, including a review of University policies and procedures as well as applicable federal and state laws and regulations so that they are able to appropriately address allegations, provide accurate information to members of the community, protect safety and promote accountability. This training will include but is not limited to: how to appropriately remedy, investigate, render findings and determine appropriate sanctions in reference to all forms of harassment and discrimination allegations; the University’s Discrimination and Harassment Policies and Procedures (including Sexual Misconduct; confidentiality and privacy; and applicable laws, regulations and federal regulatory guidance. All EGP team members are required to attend this annual training to be eligible to serve.
Concordia University’s Equity Grievance Process team members include:
- Title IX Coordinator
- Deputy Title IX Coordinator
- Investigators representing a cross segment of University employees. Individuals may represent the following areas however investigators from other departments on campus are considered to create the greatest representation of the campus through the team.
- Human Resources
- Student Life
- Academic Advising
EGP team members are typically appointed. Appointments to the team should be made with attention to representation of groups protected by the harassment and non-discrimination policy. Individuals who are interested in serving in the pool are encouraged to contact the Title IX Coordinator. No member of the team may be a practicing attorney.
- Reporting Misconduct
Any member of the community, guest or visitor who believes that the policy on Equal Opportunity, Harassment and Nondiscrimination (including the Sexual Misconduct Policy) has been violated should contact the Title IX Coordinator.
It is also possible for employees to notify a supervisor, or for students to notify an academic advisor, staff or faculty member. Any member of the community, including visitors, may contact the Security Department to make a report. These individuals will in turn notify the Title IX Coordinator. The University’s website also includes a reporting form which may be completed anonymously at www.csp.edu/reporting which may serve to initiate the resolution process.
All Concordia University employees, with the exception of confidential employees (campus ministry staff), receiving reports of a potential violation of the University policy are expected to promptly contact the Title IX Coordinator within 24 hours of becoming aware of a report or incident. All initial contacts will be treated with privacy; specific information on any allegations received by any party will be reported to the Title IX Coordinator, but, subject to the University’s obligation to redress violations, every effort will be made to maintain the privacy of those initiating an allegation. In all cases, Concordia University will give consideration to the reporting party with respect to how the reported misconduct is pursued, but reserves the right, when necessary to protect the community, to investigate and pursue a resolution even when the reporting party chooses not to initiate or participate in the resolution process.
- Preliminary Inquiry
Following receipt of notice or a report of misconduct, the Title IX Coordinator or their appointed designee engages in a preliminary inquiry to determine if there is reasonable cause to believe the nondiscrimination policy has been violated. The preliminary inquiry is typically 1-3 days in duration. This inquiry may also serve to help the Title IX Coordinator to determine if the allegations evidence violence, threat, pattern, predation and/or weapon, in the event that the reporting party has asked for no action to be taken. In any case where violence, threat, pattern, predation, and/or weapon is not evidenced, the Title IX Coordinator may respect a reporting party’s request for no action and will investigate only so far as necessary to determine appropriate remedies. As necessary, the University reserves that right to initiate resolution proceedings without a formal report or participation by the reporting party.
In cases where the reporting party wishes to proceed or the University determines it must proceed, and the preliminary inquiry shows that reasonable cause exists, the Title IX Coordinator will direct a formal investigation to commence and the allegation will be resolved through one of the processes discussed briefly here and in greater detail below:
- Conflict Resolution –typically used for less serious offenses and only when both parties agree to conflict resolution
- Administrative Resolution –resolution by a trained administrator
The process followed considers the preference of the parties, but is ultimately determined at the discretion of the Title IX Coordinator. Conflict Resolution may only occur if selected by all parties, otherwise the Administrative Resolution Process applies.
If conflict resolution is desired by the reporting party and appears appropriate given the nature of the alleged behavior, then the report does not proceed to investigation, unless a pattern of misconduct is suspected or there is an actual or perceived threat of further harm to the community or any of its members.
Once a formal investigation is commenced, the Title IX Coordinator will provide written notification of the investigation to the responding party at an appropriate time during the investigation. The University aims to complete all investigations within a sixty (60) calendar day time period, which can be extended as necessary for appropriate cause by the Title IX Coordinator with notice to the parties as appropriate.
If, during the preliminary inquiry or at any point during the formal investigation, the Title IX Coordinator determines that there is no reasonable cause to believe that policy has been violated, the process will end unless the reporting party requests that the Title IX Coordinator makes an extraordinary determination to re-open the investigation. This decision lies in the sole discretion of the Title IX Coordinator.
- Interim Remedies/Actions
The Title IX Coordinator may provide interim remedies intended to address the short-term effects of harassment, discrimination and/or retaliation, i.e., to redress harm to the reporting party and the community and to prevent further violations. These remedies may include, but are not limited to:
- Referral to counseling and health services
- Referral to the Employee Assistance Program
- Education to the community
- Altering the housing situation of the responding party (resident student or resident employee (or the reporting party, if desired))
- Providing campus escorts
- Providing transportation accommodations
- Implementing contact limitations between the parties
- Offering adjustments to academic deadlines, course schedules, etc.
The University may interim suspend a student, employee or organization pending the completion of the EGP investigation and procedures, particularly when in the judgement of the Title IX Coordinator the safety or well-being of any member(s) of the campus community may be jeopardized by the presence on-campus of the responding party or the ongoing activity of a student organization whose behavior is in question. In all cases in which an interim suspension is imposed, the student, employee or student organization will be given the option to meet with the Title IX Coordinator prior to such suspension being imposed, or as soon thereafter as reasonably possible, to show cause why the suspension should not be implemented. The Title IX Coordinator has sole discretion to implement or stay an interim suspension and to determine its conditions and duration. Violation of an interim suspension under this policy will be grounds for expulsion or termination.
During an interim suspension or administrative leave, a student or employee may be denied access to University housing and/or the University campus, facilities and events. As determined by the Title IX Coordinator, this restriction can include classes and/or all other University activities or privileges for which the student might otherwise be eligible. At the discretion of the Title IX Coordinator, alternative coursework options may be pursued to ensure as minimal an impact as possible on the parties involved.
The institution will maintain as confidential any interim actions or protective measures, provide confidentiality does not impair the institution’s ability to provide the interim actions or protective measures.
Once the decision is made to commence a formal investigation, the Title IX Coordinator appoints EGP team members to conduct the investigation (typically using a team of two EGP investigators), usually within two (2) days of determining that an investigation should proceed. Investigations are completed expeditiously, normally within ten (10) days, though some investigations take weeks or even months, depending on the nature, extent and complexity of the allegations, availability of witnesses, police involvement, etc.
The University may undertake a short delay in its investigation (several days to weeks, to allow evidence collection) when criminal charges on the basis of the same behaviors that invoke this process are being investigated. The University will promptly resume its investigation and resolution process once notified by law enforcement that the initial evidence collection process is complete. University action will not typically be altered or precluded on the grounds that civil or criminal charges involving the same incident have been filed or that charges have been dismissed or reduced.
All investigations will be thorough, reliable, impartial, prompt and fair. Investigations entail interviews with all relevant parties and witnesses, obtaining available evidence and identifying sources of expert information as necessary.
The investigators will typically take the following steps, if not already completed (not necessarily in order):
- In coordination with campus partners (e.g.: the Title IX Coordinator), initiate or assist with any remedial actions;
- Determine the identity and contact information of the reporting party;
- Identify all polices allegedly violated;
- Assist the Title IX Coordinator with an immediate preliminary inquiry to determine if there is reasonable cause to believe the reporting party has violated policy.
- Commence a thorough, reliable and impartial investigation by developing a strategic investigation plan, including a witness list, evidence list, intended timeframe, and order of interviews for all witnesses and the responding party, who may be given prior notice to or at the time of the interview;
- Prepare the notice of allegation (charges) on the basis of the preliminary inquiry;
- Meet with the reporting party to finalize their statement if necessary;
- If possible, provide written notification to the parties prior to their interviews that they may have the assistance of an EGP team member or other advocate of their choosing present for all meetings attended by the advisee;
- Provide reporting party and responding party with a written description of the alleged violation(s), a list of all policies allegedly violated, a description of the applicable procedures and a statement of the potential sanctions/responsive actions that could result;
- Prior to the conclusion of the investigation, provide the reporting party and the responding party with a list of witnesses whose information will be used to render a finding;
- Allow each party the opportunity to suggest questions they wish the investigators to ask of the other party and witnesses
- Provide parties with all relevant evidence to be used in rendering a determination and provide each with a full and fair opportunity to address that evidence prior to a finding being rendered;
- Complete the investigation promptly, and without unreasonable deviation from the intended timeline;
- Provide regular updates to the reporting party throughout the investigation, and to the responding party as appropriate;
- Once the report is completed, the report may be shared with the parties for their review and comments. The investigators may incorporate feedback from the parties as appropriate;
- Recommend to the Title IX Coordinator a finding, based on a preponderance of the evidence (whether a policy violation is more likely than not);
- The Title IX Coordinator finalizes and presents the findings to the parties, simultaneously, usually via email with prior notice to both parties as to when the findings will be sent.
At any point during the investigation if it is determined there is no reasonable cause to believe that University policy has been violated, the Title IX Coordinator has authority to terminate the investigation and end resolution proceedings.
Witnesses (as distinguished from the parties) are expected to cooperate with and participate in the University investigation and the Equity Grievance Process. Failure of a witness to cooperate with and/or participate with the investigation or EGP constitutes a violation of policy and may be subject to discipline. Witnesses may provide written statements of lieu of interviews during the investigation and may be interviewed remotely by phone, Skype (or similar technology) if they cannot be interviewed in person or if the investigators determine that timeliness or efficiency dictates a need for remote interviewing. Parties who elect not to participate in the investigation or to withhold information from the investigation do not have the ability to offer evidence later during the appeal if it could have been offered during the investigation. Failure to offer evidence prior to an appeal does not constitute grounds for appeal on the basis of new evidence.
No unauthorized audio or video recording of any kind is permitted during investigation meetings or ether Equity Grievance Process proceedings.
Each party is allowed to have an advisor of their choice present with them for all EGP meetings and proceedings, from intake through to final determination. The parties may select whomever they wish to serve as their advisor as long as the advisor is eligible and available, and usually otherwise not involved in the resolution process such as serving as a witness. The advisor may be a friend, mentor, family member, attorney, or any other supporter a party chooses to advise them who is available and eligible. Witnesses cannot also serve as advisors. The parties may choose advisors from inside or outside the campus community. The Title IX Coordinator will also offer to assign a trained EGP team member to work as an advisor/advocate for any party. The parties may choose their advisor from the EGP team, choose a non-trained advisor from outside the team, if preferred, or proceed without an advisor.
The parties may be accompanied by their advisor in all meetings and interviews at which the party is entitled to be present, including intake and interviews. Advisors should help their advisees prepare for each meeting, and are expected to advise ethically, with integrity and in good faith. The university cannot guarantee equal advisory rights, meaning that if one party selects an advisor who is an attorney, but the other party does not or cannot afford an attorney, the University is not obligated to provide one.
All advisors are subject to the same campus rules, whether they are attorneys or not. Advisors may not address campus officials in a meeting or interview unless invited to. The advisor may not make a presentation or represent the reporting party or the responding party during any meeting or proceeding and may not speak on behalf of the advisee to the investigators. The parties are expected to ask and respond to questions on their own behalf, without representation by their advisor. Advisors may confer quietly with their advisee or in writing as necessary, as long as they do not disrupt the process. For longer or more involved discussions, the parties and their advisors should ask for breaks or step out of meetings to allow for private conversations. Advisors will typically be given an opportunity to meet in advance of any interview or meeting with the administrative officials conducting the interview or meeting. This pre-meeting will allow advisors to clarify any questions they may have and allows the University an opportunity to clarify the role the advisor is expected to take.
Advisors are expected to refrain from interference with the investigation and resolution. Ay advisor who steps out of their role will be warned once and only once. If the advisor continues to disrupt or otherwise fails to respect the limits of the advisor role, the advisor will be asked to leave the meeting. When an advisor is removed from a meeting, that meeting will typically continue without the advisor present. Subsequently, the Title IX Coordinator will determine whether the advisor may be reinstated, may be replaced by a different advisor, or whether the party will forfeit the right an advisor for the remainder of the process.
The University expects that the parties will wish to share documentation related to the allegations with their advisors. The University provides a consent form that authorizes such sharing. The parties must complete this form before the University is able to share records with an advisor, though parties may share the information directly with their advisor if they wish. Advisors are expected to maintain the privacy of the records shared with them. These records may not be shared with 3rd parties, disclosed publicly, or used for purposes not explicitly authorized by the University. The University may seek to restrict the role of any advisor who does not respect the sensitive nature of the process or who fails to abide by the University’s privacy expectations.
The University expects an advisor to adjust their schedule to allow them to attend University meetings when scheduled. The University does not typically change scheduled meetings to accommodate an advisor’s in ability to attend. The University will however, make reasonable provisions to allow an advisor who cannot attend in person to attend a meeting by telephone, video and/or virtual meeting technologies as may be convenient and available. Advisors may not meet with investigators without their advisee present.
A party may elect to change advisors during the process and is not locked into using the same advisor throughout.
The parties must advise the investigators of the identity of their advisor at least one (1) day before the date of their first meeting with investigators (or as soon as possible if a more expeditious meeting is necessary or desired). The parties must provide timey notice to investigators if they change advisors at any time.
Proceedings are private. All persons present at any time during the resolution process are expected to maintain the privacy of the proceedings in accord with University policy. While the contents of the hearing are private, the parties have discretion to share their own experiences if they so choose, and should discuss doing so with their advisor.
- Conflict Resolution
Conflict Resolution is often used for less serious, yet inappropriate behaviors, and is encouraged as an alternative to the formal hearing process to resolve conflicts. The Title IX Coordinator will determine if conflict resolution is appropriate, based on the willingness of the parties, the nature of the conduct at issue and the susceptibility of the conduct to conflict resolution. In a conflict resolution meeting, a trained administrator will facilitate a dialogue with the parties to an effective resolution, if possible. Sanctions are not possible as the result of a conflict resolution process, though the parties may agree to appropriate remedies. The Title IX Coordinator will keep records of any resolution that is reached, and failure to abide by the accord can result in appropriate responsive actions.
Conflict resolution will not be the primary resolution mechanism used to address reports of violent behavior of any kind or in other cases of serious violations of policy though it may be made available after the formal process is completed should the parties and Title IX Coordinator believe that it could be beneficial. Mediation will not be used in cases of sexual violence. It is not necessary to pursue conflict resolution first in order to pursue Administrative Resolution, and any party participating in conflict resolution can stop that process at any time and request a shift to Administrative Resolution.
- Administrative Resolution
Administrative Resolution can be pursued for any behavior that falls within the policy on Equal Opportunity, Harassment and Nondiscrimination, at any time during the process.
In Administrative Resolution, the Title IX Coordinator has the authority to address all collateral misconduct, meaning that they hear all allegations of discrimination, harassment and retaliation, but also may address any additional alleged policy violations that have occurred in concert with the discrimination, harassment or retaliation, even though those collateral allegations may not specifically fall within the policy on Equal Opportunity, Harassment and Nondiscrimination. Accordingly, investigation’s should be conducted with as wide a scope as necessary.
Administrative Resolution relies on the evidence, information and recommended findings within the investigation report to render a determination. Upon completion of the investigation, the investigator will provide the Title IX Coordinator with a written report summarizing the evidence gathered and determined, including an assessment of credibility of the parties and witnesses, an analysis of the information and a recommended finding and sanction(if applicable). The Title IX Coordinator will conduct any additional necessary inquiry and then finalize a determination in accordance with the procedures below. The Title IX Coordinator will consider, but is not bound by, the recommendation of the investigation.
Any evidence that the Title IX Coordinator believes is relevant or credible may be considered, including history and pattern evidence. The Title IX Coordinator may exclude irrelevant or immaterial evidence and may choose to disregard evidence lacking in credibility or that is improperly prejudicial.
Unless the Title IX Coordinator determines it is appropriate, the investigation and the finding will not consider: (1) incidents not directly related to the possible violation, unless they show a pattern, (2) the sexual history between the party (though there may be a limited exception made in regards to the sexual history between the parties), (3) or the character of the reporting party. While previous conduct violations by the responding party are not general admissible as information about the present allegation, the investigator will supply the Title IX Coordinator with information about previous good faith allegations and/or findings to be considered as evidence of pattern and/or predatory conduct.
Neither the Title IX Coordinator nor investigators will meet with character witnesses, but investigators will accept up to two (2) letters supporting the character of each of the parties.
The Title IX Coordinator will base the determination(s) on the preponderance of the evidence, whether it is more likely than not that the responding party violated violate policy alleged.
The responding party may choose to admit responsibility for all or part of the alleged policy violations at any point during the investigation or Administrative Resolution process. If the responding party admits responsibility, the Title IX Coordinator will render a determination that the individual is in violation of University policy.
If the responding party admits the violation, or is found in violation, the Title IX Coordinator in consultation with others as appropriate, will determine an appropriate sanction or responsive action, will implement it, and act promptly and effectively to stop the harassment or discrimination, prevent it’s recurrence and remedy the effects of the discriminatory conduct.
The Title IX Coordinator will inform the parties of the final determination within three (3) days of the resolution, simultaneously. Notification that a determination has been made will be emailed to both parties with consideration of both the reporting party and responding party’s class schedule. This allows both parties to choose where they would like to be and who they would like to be present when they receive the notification. Emails will be sent to party’s CSP accounts if they are both students or to the preferred email of a non-CSP individual that is shared at an intake. Once mailed, emailed and/or received in person, notice will be presumptively delivered. The notification of outcomes will specify the finding on each alleged policy violation, any sanctions that may result which the University is permitted to share according to state or federal law, and the rationale supporting the essential findings to the extent the University is permitted to share under state or federal law. The notice will also include information on when the results are considered by the University to be final, any changes that occur prior to finalization, and any appeals options that are available.
Factors considered when determining a sanction/responsive action may include:
- The nature, severity of, and circumstances surrounding violations
- An individual’s disciplinary history
- Previous allegations or allegations involving similar conduct
- Any other information deemed relevant by the investigators
- The need for sanctions/responsive actions to bring an end to the discrimination, harassment and/or retaliation
- The need for sanctions/responsive actions to prevent the further recurrence of discrimination, harassment and/or retaliation
- The need to remedy the effects of the discrimination, harassment and/or retaliation on the reporting party and the community.
- Student Sanctions
- Community Service Requirements
- Restrictions of Privileges
- Loss of Privileges
- Ineligibility to hold any office in a student organization or hold an elected or appointed office at the University
- Ineligibility to represent the University to anyone else outside of the University in any way including: participation in study abroad trips, attending conferences, representing the University at an official event, function or intercollegiate competition as a player, manager or student coach
- Confiscation of Prohibited Property
- Behavior Requirements
- Alcohol Education
- Educational Programing
- Random Drug Testing
- No Contact Order
- Parental Notification
- Housing Probation
- Housing Reassignment
- Housing Suspension
- Housing Expulsion
- Disciplinary Probation
- Suspension Held in Abeyance
- Disciplinary Suspension
- Delayed Registration
- Rescinding of Admission
- Withholding of Degree
- Revocation of Degree
- Class Reassignment
- Academic Program Notification
- Inability to Participate in Commencement
- Employee Sanctions
- Community Service Requirements
- Restrictions of Privileges
- Loss of Privileges
- Ineligibility to hold an elected or appointed office at the University
- Ineligibility to represent the University to anyone else outside of the University in any way including: participation in study abroad trips, attending conferences, representing the University at an official event, or function
- Confiscation of Prohibited Property
- Behavior Requirements
- Conflict Resolution Plan
- Referral to EAP
- Alcohol Education
- Performance Plan/Educational Programming
- Random Drug Testing
- Position Reassignment
- Job Description Revision
- No Contact Order
- Housing Expulsion(for employees in campus housing facilities)
- Disciplinary Probation
- Suspension Held in Abeyance
- Suspension with no pay
- Suspension with pay
- Demotion or Reassignment
- Withdrawal or Resignation While Charges Pending
Students: Should a student decide to leave and/or not participate in the EGP, the process will nonetheless proceed in the student’s absence to a reasonable resolution and that student will not be permitted to return to the University unless all sanctions have been satisfied. The student will not have access to an academic transcript until the allegations have been resolved.
Employees: Should an employee resign with unresolved allegations pending, the records of the Title IX Coordinator will reflect that status, and any University response to future inquiries regarding employment references for that individual will indicate the former employee is ineligible for rehire.
All requests for appeal consideration must be submitted in writing to the Title IX Coordinator within three (3) business days of the delivery of the written finding of the Title IX Coordinator. Any party may appeal the findings and/or sanctions only under the grounds described below.
An appeal panel chosen from the EGP team will be designated by the Title IX Coordinator from those who have not been involved in the process previously. Any party may be appeal, but appeals are limited to the following grounds:
- A procedural error or omission occurred that significantly impacted the outcome of the hearing (e.g. substantial bias, material deviation from established procedure, etc).
- To consider new evidence, unknown or unavailable during the original hearing or investigation, that could substantially impact the original finding or sanction. A summary of this new evidence or its potential impact must be included.
- The sanctions imposed fall outside the range of sanctions the University has designated for this offense and the cumulative record of the responding party.
The appeals panel will review the appeal request(s). The original finding and sanction/responsive actions will stand if the appeal is not timely or is not based on the grounds listed above, and such a decision is final. The party requesting appeal must show the grounds have not been met, and the other party or parties may show the grounds have not been met, or that additional grounds are met. The original findings and sanctions are presumed to have been decided reasonably and appropriately. When any party requests an appeal, the Title IX Coordinator will share the appeal request with the other party(ies), who may file a response within three (3) business days and/or bring their own appeal on separate grounds. If new grounds are raised, the original appealing party will be permitted to submit a written response to these new grounds within three (3) business days. These responses or appeal requests will be shared with each party.
Where the appeals panel finds that at least one of the grounds is met by at least one party, additional principles governing the hearing of appeals will include the following:
- Decisions by the appeals panel are to be deferential to the original decision, making changes to the finding only where there is clear error and to the sanction/responsive action only if there is a compelling justification to do so.
- Appeals are not intended to be full-rehearing (de novo) of the allegation. In most cases, appeals are confined to a review of the written documentation or record of the investigation, and pertinent documentation regarding the grounds for appeal. An appeal is not an opportunity for appeals panelists to substitute their judgement for that of the original investigators(s) or Title IX Coordinator merely because they disagree with its finding and/or sanctions.
- Appeals granted based on new evidence should normally be remanded to the investigator(s) for reconsideration. Other appeals may be remanded at the discretion of the Title IX Coordinator or, in limited circumstances, heard by the appeals panel.
- Sanctions imposed as the result of Administrative Resolution are implemented immediately unless the Title IX Coordinator or designee stays their implementation in extraordinary circumstances, pending the outcome of the appeal.
- For students: Graduation, study abroad, internships, etc. do NOT in and of themselves constitute exigent circumstances, and students may not be able to participate in those activities during their appeal.
- The Title IX Coordinator will confer with the appeals panel, incorporate the results of any remanded grounds, and render a written decision on the appeal to all parties within three (3) business days of the resolution of the appeal or remand.
- Once an appeal is decided, the outcome is final: further appeals are not permitted even if a decision or sanction is changed on remand.
- All parties will be informed in writing within three (3) business days of the outcome of the appeal panel without significant time delay between notification and in accordance with the standards for notice of outcome as defined above.
- In rare cases where a procedural or substantive error cannot be cured by the original investigator(s ) and/or the Title IX Coordinator (as in cases of bias), the appeals panel may recommend a new investigation and/or EGP, including
- In cases where the appeals result in reinstatement to the University or resumption of privileges, all reasonable attempts will be made to restore the responding party to their prior status, recognizing that some opportunities lost may be irreparable in the short term.
- Long-Term Remedies/Actions
Following the conclusion of the EGP and in addition to any sanctions implemented, the Title IX Coordinator may utilize long-term remedies or actions to stop the harassment or discrimination, remedy its effects and prevent their reoccurrence. These remedies/actions may include but are not limited to:
- Referral to counseling and/or community health services
- Referral to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
- Education to the community
- Permanently altering the housing situation of the responding party (resident student or resident employee (or the reporting party, if desired))
- Permanently altering work arrangements for employees
- Providing campus escorts
- Climate surveys
- Policy modification
- Providing transportation accommodations
- Implementing long-term contact limitations between the parties
- Offering adjustments to academic deadlines, course schedules, etc.
At the discretion of the Title IX Coordinator, long term remedies may also be provided even when the responding party is found not responsible.
The institution will maintain as confidential any long-term remedies/actions or protective measures, provided confidentiality does not impair the institutions ability to provide the action or protective measures.
- Failure to Complete Sanctions/Comply with Interim and Long-Term Remedies/Responsive Actions
All responding parties are expected to comply with conduct sanctions, responsive actions and corrective actions within the timeframe specified by the Title IX Coordinator. Failure to abide by these conduct sanctions, responsive actions and corrective actions by the date specified, whether by refusal, neglect or any other reason, may result in additional sanctions/responsive/corrective actions and/or suspension, expulsion and/or termination from the University and may be noted on a student’s official transcript. A suspension will only be lifted when compliance is achieved to the satisfaction of the Title IX Coordinator.
In implementing this policy, records of all allegations, investigations, resolutions and other related documents will be kept by the Title IX Coordinator indefinitely in the Maxient Title IX Coordinator database.
- Statement of the Rights of the Parties
Statement of the Reporting Party’s rights:
- The right to investigation and appropriate resolution of all credible allegations of sexual misconduct or discrimination made in good faith to University officials;
- The right to be informed in advance of any public release of information regarding the incident;
- The right not to have any personally identifiable information released to the public, without their consent;
- The right to be treated with respect by University officials;
- The right to have University policies and procedures followed without material deviation;
- The right not be pressured to mediate or otherwise informally resolve any reported misconduct involving violence, including sexual violence;
- The right not to be discouraged by University officials from reporting sexual misconduct or discrimination to both on-campus and off-campus authorities;
- The right to be informed by University officials of options to notify proper law enforcement authorities including on-campus and local police; and the option to be assisted by campus authorities in notifying such authorities; if the reporting party so chooses. This also includes the right not to be pressured to report as well;
- The right to have reports of sexual misconduct responded to promptly and with sensitivity by campus security and other campus officials;
- The right to be notified of available counseling, mental health, victim advocacy, health, legal assistance, student financial aid, visa and immigration assistance, or other student services, both on campus and in the community;
- The right to a campus no contact order (or a trespass order against a non-affiliated third party) when someone has engaged in or threatens to engage in stalking, threatening, harassing or other improper behavior that presents a danger to the welfare to the reporting party or others;
- The right to notification of and options for, and available assistance in, changing academic and living situations after and an alleged sexual misconduct incident, if so requested by the reporting party and if such changes are reasonably available (no formal report, or investigation, campus or criminal, need occur before this option is available). Accommodations may include:
- Change of an on-campus student’s housing to a different on-campus location;
- Assistance from University support staff in completing the relocation;
- Transportation accommodations;
- Arranging to dissolve a housing contract an pro-rating a refund;
- Academic rescheduling or extensions for items such as exams, papers or assignment;
- Taking an incomplete in class;
- Transferring class sections;
- Temporary withdrawal;
- Alternative course completion options.
- The right to have the University maintain such accommodations for as long as is necessary and for protective measures to remain confidential, provided confidentiality does not impair the institution’s ability to provide the accommodations or protective measures;
- The right to be fully informed of campus policies and procedures as well as the nature and extent of all alleged violations contained within the report;
- The right to ask investigators to identify and question relevant witnesses, including expert witnesses;
- The right to be informed of the names of all witnesses whose information will be used to render a finding, in advance of that finding, except in cases where a witness’s identity will not be revealed to the responding party for compelling safety reasons (this does not include the name of the reporting party, which will always be revealed);
- The right not to have irrelevant prior sexual history admitted as evidence;
- The right to regular updates on the status of the investigation and/or resolution;
- The right to have reports addressed by investigators and the Title IX Coordinator who have received annual sexual misconduct training;
- The right to preservation of privacy, to the extent possible and permitted by law;
- The right to meeting and/or interviews that are closed to the public;
- The right to petition that any University representative in the process be recused on the basis of demonstrated basis of demonstrated bias or conflict-of-interest;
- The right to bring a victim advocate or advisor of the reporting party’s choosing to all phases of the investigation and resolution proceeding;
- The right to submit an impact statement in writing to the Title IX Coordinator following the determination of responsibility, but prior to sanctioning;
- The right to be promptly informed of the outcome and sanction of the resolution process in writing, without undue delay between the notification to the parties;
- The right to be informed in writing of when a decision by the University is considered final, any changes to the sanction to occur before the decision is finalized, to be informed of the right to appeal the finding and sanction of the resolution process, and the procedures for doing so in accordance with the standards for appeal established by the University.
Statement of the Responding Party’s rights:
The rights of the responding party should also be prominently indicated. These include:
- The right to investigation and appropriate resolution of all credible reports of sexual misconduct and/or discrimination made in good faith to University administrators;
- The right to be informed in advance, when possible, or any public release of information regarding the report;
- The right to be treated with respect by University officials;
- The right to have University policies and procedures followed without material deviation;
- The right to be informed of and have access to campus resources for medical, health, counseling and advisory services;
- The right to timely written notice of all alleged violations, including the nature of the violation, the applicable policies and procedures and possible sanctions;
- The right to review all documentary evidence available regarding the report, subject to the privacy limitations imposed by state and federal law, prior to the finding by the Title IX Coordinator;
- The right to be informed of the names of all witnesses whose information will be used to render a finding, prior to final determination, except in cases where a witness’s identity will not be revealed to the responding party for compelling safety reasons (this does not include the name of the reporting party which will always be revealed):
- The right not to have irrelevant prior sexual history admitted as evidence in a campus resolution process;
- The right to have reports addressed by investigators and Title IX Coordinators who have received at least 8 hours of annual training;
- The right to petition that any University representative be recused from the resolution process on the basis of demonstrated bias and/or conflict-of-interest;
- The right to meetings and interviews that are closed to the public;
- The right to have the University compel the participation of student, faculty and staff witnesses, and the opportunity to provide the investigators with a list of potential questions to ask witnesses, and the right to challenge documentary evidence;
- The right to have an advisor of their choice to accompany and assist throughout the campus resolution process;
- The right to a fundamentally fair resolution, as defined in these procedures;
- The right to provide an impact statement in writing to the Title IX Coordinator following any determination of responsibility but prior to sanctioning;
- The right to a decision based solely on evidence presented during the resolution process. Such evidence shall be credible, relevant, based in fact and without prejudice;
- The right to be promptly informed of the outcome and sanction of the resolution process in writing, without undue delay between the notification of the parties;
- The right to be informed in writing of when a decision of the University is considered final, any changes to the sanction to occur before the decision is finalized, to be informed of the rights to appeal the finding and sanction of the resolution process, and the procedures for doing so in accordance with the standards for appeal established by the University.
- Disabilities Accommodation in the Equity Grievance Process
Concordia University is committed to providing qualified students, employees or others with disabilities with reasonable accommodations and support needed to ensure equal access to the Equity Grievance Process. Anyone needing such accommodations or support should contact the Student Accessibilities Office, who will review the request and in consultation with the person requesting the accommodation, and the Title IX Coordinator determine which accommodations are appropriate and necessary for full participation.
These policies and procedures will be reviewed and updated annually by the Title IX Coordinator and Deputy Title IX Coordinator. The University reserves the right to make changes to this document as necessary and once these changes are posted online, they are in effect. The Title IX Coordinator/Deputy Coordinator may make minor modifications to procedures that do not materially jeopardize the fairness owed to any party, such as to accommodate summer schedules, etc. The Title IX Coordinator/Deputy Coordinator may also vary procedures materially with notice (on the institutional we site) with appropriate date of effect identified upon determining that changes to law or regulation require policy or procedural alternation not reflected in this policy and procedure. Procedures in effect at the time of the resolution will apply to resolution of incidents, regardless of when the incident occurred. Policy in effect at the time of the offense will apply even if the policy is changed subsequently but prior to resolution, unless the parties consent to be bound by the current policy. If government regulations change in a way that impacts this document, this document will be constructed to comply with government regulation in their most recent form.
This document does not create legally enforceable protections beyond the protection of Minnesota laws and federal laws which frame such codes generally.
Last modified: January 25, 2018