Sexual Violence/Sexual Harassment Policy

Sexual violence and sexual harassment are not tolerated within our community. Forms of sexual violence and sexual harassment are crimes punishable by both civil and criminal legal action and are a serious violation of the University's standards of conduct. Sexual harassment includes sexual violence. Sexual violence includes rape, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, sexual battery, and sexual coercion. Allegations of such behavior will be investigated and acted upon on campus, regardless of where it occurred, and all reports will be reviewed by the University's Title IX Coordinator. If you feel that you have been a victim of sexual violence or sexual harassment, please read the policy section below on "What to do if you've been raped, sexually assaulted, harassed, coerced or exploited," for help, options, and possible remedies.

  1. Proscribed behavior and definition of terms

    1. Effective consent: Informed, freely, and actively given or mutually understandable words or actions that indicate a willingness to participate in mutually agreed-upon sexual activity. Consent may never be given by:

      1. Minors to legal adults (statutory rape).

      2. Developmentally disabled persons

      3. Physically incapacitated persons (one who is physically incapacitated as a result of alcohol or other drug consumption - voluntary or involuntary - who is unconscious, unaware or otherwise physically helpless).

    2. Rape: Rape is defined as any sexual intercourse (vaginal, oral, or anal), however slight, with any object by a man or woman upon a man or woman, by forcible compulsion or without effective consent (please read above).

    3. Sexual Assault: Sexual assault is defined as any sexual touching, however slight, with any object, by a man or woman upon a man or woman, without effective consent (please read above).

    4. Sexual Coercion: Sexual coercion is an act of using pressure or force to have sexual contact with someone who has already refused.

    5. Sexual Exploitation: Sexual exploitation is defined as one person taking nonconsensual, unjust, or abusive sexual advantage of another that does not otherwise constitute rape, sexual assault, or sexual harassment. Examples of sexual exploitation include knowingly transmitting a socially transmitted disease or HIV to another person or inducing incapacitation with the intent to rape or sexually assault another.

    6. Sexual Harassment: Sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to, unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual's educational or work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational or work environment. Sexual harassment can occur in a variety of circumstances, including by not limited to the following:

      1. The victim as well as the harasser may be a woman or a man. The victim does not have to be of the opposite sex.

      2. The harasser can be the victim's instructor, supervisor, an agent of an employer, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, a student, or a nonemployee.

      3. The victim does not have to be the person harassed but could be anyone affected by the offensive conduct.

      4. Unlawful sexual harassment may occur without economic injury to or discharge of the victim.

      5. The harasser's conduct must be unwelcome

    It is helpful for the victim to inform the harasser directly that the conduct is unwelcome and must stop. The victim is encouraged, but not limited, to use any SMU complaint mechanism. When investigating allegations of sexual harassment, the institution will examine all evidence of the incident. A determination on the allegations is made from the facts on a case-by-case basis.

  2. Steps to take if you've been raped, sexually assaulted, harassed, coerced, or sexually exploited

    1. Tell someone. It is important that you find someone you trust to talk with about what has happened. You probably will feel stunned and confused, and you will need support, understanding and assistance.; Don't isolate yourself. On campus, you can visit the Counseling and Wellness Resource Center in OM room 203 (360-438-4513/4371). If you don't feel comfortable talking to someone face to face, you can use any of the following services over the phone:

      1. The Crisis Clinic, 360-586-2800 (information/referral to community resources)

      2. St. Peter Hospital, 360-491-9480

      3. SafePlace (rape relief/women's shelter), 360-754-6300

      4. Domestic Violence Hotline, 1-800-562-6025

    2. You are encouraged to report any incident of sexual violence to the police. You can report what has happened to the local police without taking legal action against the assailant. You also can contact the local police department to press either civil or criminal charges.

    3. Get medical attention within 72 hours. Any hospital emergency room can provide you with necessary care including, but not limited to sexually transmitted disease/infection (STD/I) testing and a rape kit. Locally, St. Peter's Hospital will perform examinations free of charge in cases of sexual violence. Remember, you should seek medical attention BEFORE you shower or even eat, drink, or smoke.

    4. Conduct may constitute a violation of University policy even if it would not constitute criminal activity; therefore you are encouraged to report any incident which you believe may be an act of sexual violence or sexual harassment on campus whether or not law enforcement authorities have been contacted. Several different options are available to you to report what happened. You can report to the Dean of Students (360-438-4367), Director of Housing and Residence Life (360-486-8856), Director of Public Safety (360-486-8876), or the University's Title IX Coordinator (360-486-8131). After normal business hours, you may contact Public Safety (360-438-4555) or the on-call Housing staff (360-507-2511/2512) for assistance. University personnel will be available to assist you should you choose to report the incident to law enforcement.

    5. While promptness in reporting is desirable, the case may be investigated as long as the alleged perpetrator continues to be a student or employee at the University.

    6. Depending on the circumstances, some of the possible remedies available to you as a result of reporting the incident to the University include: temporary or permanent no-contact orders, providing escorts to ensure your ability to move safely between classes and other campus activities, removal of alleged perpetrator from classes you both attend, moving to a different residence hall, counseling services, medical service, academic support services, and/or accommodation for re-taking classes without penalty.

  3. University investigation and resolution of complaint

    1. Once reported, the University will begin an investigation and, if warranted, initiate disciplinary proceedings in keeping with the Code of Conduct (in cases involving another student) or University grievance procedures (in cases involving staff or faculty). Regardless of the type of complaint proceeding, no form of mediation will be used to resolve sexual violence complaints. Generally, investigations will be completed within 30 days and conduct cases resolved no more than 60 days from the report; however, the University reserves the right to extend the process under reasonable conditions and with appropriate notice.

    2. If you request confidentiality or ask that the complaint not be pursued, the University will take all reasonable steps to investigate and respond to the complaint consistent with your request. The University prohibits retaliation and University officials will not only take steps to prevent retaliation but also take strong responsive action if it occurs. If you insist that your name or other identifiable information not be disclosed to the alleged perpetrator, the University's ability to respond may be limited. If you continue to ask that your name not be revealed, the University will evaluate that request in the context of its responsibility to provide a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for all students. The University may weigh the request for confidentiality against several factors and will inform you if it cannot ensure confidentiality.

    3. Even if the University cannot take disciplinary action against the alleged perpetrator because you insist on confidentiality, it will pursue all other steps to limit the effects of the alleged misconduct and prevent its recurrence.

    4. The University will take steps throughout the process to protect you from further intimidation, harassment, trauma, or retaliation. You will be afforded all rights available to the accused including the right to review reports and statements, to make an impact statement, to present evidence and witnesses, to be notified of the outcome of the case, to appeal that outcome, if necessary, to be notified of any appeal by the accused, and to be notified of the outcome of any appeal. The University will utilize a preponderance of evidence standard ("more likely than not")in reviewing the case, whether through the Student Conduct Committee, an administrative hearing, or a University grievance body.