Sexual Misconduct and Dating Violence Policies

Reporting Procedure   Investigation   Post Investigation

The following policy and procedures are included within the University’s Code of Student Conduct and apply to all persons taking courses through the University (including summer sessions), both full and part time, pursuing undergraduate or graduate studies, and any person residing in University housing. The University may respond to any violation of the Code of Student Conduct committed during the time in which the student is enrolled, including incidents off campus, time between semesters, during breaks, semesters abroad, and during leaves of absences.

The following policy and procedures comply with the Title IX law and regulations and U.S. Department of Education guidance. Students who wish to file a complaint under Title IX may contact:

Title IX Coordinator 

Ahn Fielding 

Associate Director of Human Resources

50 Acacia Avenue, San Rafael, CA 94945

Carriage House behind Magnolia House on Magnolia Avenue

415.482.1847                                 

ahn.fielding@dominican.edu

 

Deputy Title IX Coordinator 

Paul Raccanello, Ed.D.

Dean of Students

50 Acacia Avenue, San Rafael, CA 94945

Edgehill Mansion, Second Floor

415.485.3223

paul.raccanello@dominican.edu

Deputy Title IX Coordinator 

Wendy Lee 

Director of Human Resources

50 Acacia Avenue, San Rafael, CA 94945

Carriage House behind Magnolia House on Magnolia Avenue

415.257.1354                                 

wendy.lee@dominican.edu


 

Dominican University of California Sexual Misconduct, Harassment, Discrimination & Retaliation Policy

Dominican University of California will not tolerate acts of sexual misconduct committed by or against any member of our community.  Sexual misconduct includes:

Sexual Misconduct: Includes sexual violence, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, dating and domestic violence and gender-based stalking. 

Sexual Violence: Includes physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person's will or where a person is incapable of giving consent due to the victim's use of drugs or alcohol.  An individual may be unable to give consent due to an intellectual disability or other disability such as being under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Sexual Assault:  Defined as non-consensual physical contact of a sexual nature, sexual assault includes rape, acts using force, threat, intimidation, or coercion or using advantage gained by the victim’s inability (temporary or permanent) to make rational, reasonable decisions about sex of which the respondent was aware or should have been aware.

Sexual Exploitation:  Occurs when a person takes non-consensual, unjust or abusive sexual advantage of another person for his/her own benefit or for the benefit of anyone other than the person being exploited and does not otherwise constitute sexual harassment or assault under this policy. 

Dating Violence: Violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. The existence of a social relationship is based on the reporting party’s statement with consideration of the following factors: (i) the length of the relationship; (ii) the type of relationship; and (iii) the frequency of interaction between the persons involved.

Domestic Violence:  Domestic violence includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by family members related by blood; people who are married or used to be married; people who share or used to share a home, apartment or other common dwelling; people who have or allegedly have a child in common or a blood relationship through a child in common; people who are dating or engaged or used to date, including same sex couples; people with disabilities and their personal assistants; or violence by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction.

Stalking:  Stalking is engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety or the safety of others, or to suffer substantial emotional distress.

Discrimination:  Conduct that is based upon an individual’s protected class of perceived;

  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion
  • National Origin
  • Sex
  • Gender (including gender identity and gender expression)
  • Age
  • Marital status
  • Registered Domestic Partnership status
  • Mental or Physical Disability status
  • Religion
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Military or Veteran status
  • Genetic information
  • Any other characteristic protected by law. 

 

Sexual Harassment: Unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, including unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal, nonverbal and physical conduct of a sexual nature constitutes sexual harassment. Types of sexual harassment may include quid pro quo sexual harassment or hostile environment harassment.

Gender-Based Harassment: Acts of verbal, nonverbal, or physical aggression, intimidation, stalking or hostility based on gender or gender-stereotyping constitute gender-based harassment. Gender-based harassment can occur if one is harassed either for exhibiting what is perceived as a stereotypical characteristic for one’s sex, or for failing to conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity or femininity.  In order to constitute harassment, the conduct must be sufficiently severe or pervasive such that it has the effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, demeaning or offensive work, academic or living environment.

Retaliation: The University encourages students, faculty, and other employees to express freely, responsibly, and in an orderly way, facts, opinions, feelings or complaints of discrimination, harassment, or sexual misconduct. Retaliation against persons who report or provide information about discrimination, harassment, or sexual misconduct, or behavior that might constitute discrimination, harassment, or sexual misconduct is strictly prohibited. Any act of reprisal for reporting a violation of this policy in good faith or cooperating with an investigation, including internal interference, coercion, and restraint, by a University employee, student, or one acting on behalf of the University, is a violation of this Policy and will result in appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including termination or expulsion.

Affirmative Consent:  Affirmative consent is defined as positive, unambiguous, and voluntary agreement to engage in specific sexual activity.  Affirmative consent maintains the value that all persons have the right to feel respected, acknowledged, and safe during sexual interactions.  The following points are important aspects of affirmative consent:

  • It is the responsibility of each person involved in sexual activity to ensure that he or she has the affirmative consent of the other or others to engage in sexual activity.
  • Consent must be mutual and ongoing throughout a sexual encounter and can be revoked at any time.
  • Consent can be communicated verbally or by action(s). In whatever way consent is communicated, it must be mutually understandable. Although consent does not need to be verbal, verbal communication is the most reliable form of asking for and gauging consent, participants in a relationship are thus urged to seek consent in verbal form. Talking with sexual partners about desires and limits may seem awkward, but serves as the basis for positive sexual experiences shaped by mutual willingness and respect.
  • Consent to some sexual acts does not imply consent to others, nor does past consent to a given act imply present or future consent.
  • The existence of a dating relationship between the persons involved, or the fact of past sexual relations between them, should never by itself be assumed to be an indicator of consent.
  • Silence alone (absent a non-verbal action clearly demonstrating consent) and lack of protest or resistance are not considered consent. Consent cannot be inferred from the absence of a “no”; a clear “yes”, verbal or otherwise, is necessary.
  • Minors, mentally disabled individuals or incapacitated persons can never give affirmative consent. Examples of incapacitation include, but are not limited to, being intoxicated due to drugs, alcohol or medication, blacked out, passed out, asleep, unable to communicate due to a mental or physical condition or subjected to violence. Physical indicators of incapacitation may include slurred speech, unsteady gait or stumbling, vomiting, unfocused or bloodshot eyes, disorientation, unresponsiveness or outrageous or unusual behavior. Engaging in sexual activity with a person who is known to be – or reasonably known to be incapacitated constitutes sexual assault.
  • Consent can only be accurately gauged through direct communication about the decision to engage in sexual activity. Presumptions based upon contextual factors (such as clothing, alcohol consumption, or dancing) are unwarranted, and should not be considered as evidence for consent.
  • Affirmative consent cannot result from force, or threat of force, coercion, fraud, intimidation, or incapacitation. Physical force includes but is not limited to: hitting, kicking and restraining. Intimidation is generally understood to mean forcing someone into some action or deterring a person from some action by inducing fear. Coercion is generally understood to mean the use of express or implied threats of violence or reprisal or other intimidating behavior that puts a person in immediate fear of the consequences in order to compel that person to act against his/her will. Threatening someone can come in the form of words, gestures, or non-verbal actions. It is not possible to obtain consent for a sexual act through the above-described means.
  • If at any time consent is withdrawn, the activity must stop immediately.

Reporting Procedure

A student who is the victim of sexual misconduct is encouraged to seek assistance as soon as possible after the incident. Community members who become aware of sexual misconduct (regardless of their involvement) are likewise encouraged to report the information in order for the University to assist potential victims and protect the community.

To make a report or complaint of discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct or retaliation against a student, contact Title IX Coordinator Ahn Fielding, 415.482.1847. If the report is made after business hours, please contact Campus Security at 415.269-6070.

The following individuals are required to report information regarding alleged sexual misconduct involving students (as victim or accused) to the Dean of Students/Title IX Deputy Coordinator in order to ensure victims receive support and understand their rights:

  • University administrators
  • University athletic personnel including coaches, assistant coaches and trainers
  • Campus Ministry staff except for the University Chaplain or priests acting in a role as a pastoral counselor
  • University faculty
  • Public Safety Officers and Administrators
  • Residence Life Staff including Resident Assistants and professional staff members
  • Seminary Faculty, Staff and Administrators
  • University Staff

The following individuals, if requested by the victim, may maintain confidentiality and are thus not required to submit an identifiable report to the Dean of Students/Title IX Deputy Coordinator:

  • University Counselors
  • Health Services Staff
  • The University Chaplain or priests acting in a role as a pastoral counselor

A victim can also contact Community Violence Solutions (CVS) in San Rafael by directly by calling 415.259.2850. CVS can provide counseling, emotional support and information regarding legal options. An advocate of the CVS will normally meet a victim at the Hospital Emergency Room at the victim’s request.

Anonymous Complaints

The University will reasonably respond to all allegations of discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct, and/or retaliation. However, due to the inherent difficulty of investigating and resolving allegations from unknown persons, it may be difficult for the University to resolve an anonymous complaint. The University may be unable to properly investigation or impose disciplinary action against a person or group who has allegedly committed discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct, and/or retaliation if a complainant insists that his/her name not be revealed.  Confidential, anonymous complaints may be made through the Campus Conduct Hotline at www.campusconduct.com/incident.aspx or call 866.943.5787. 

Confidential, anonymous complaints may also be made through the Campus Conduct Hotline at www.campusconduct.com/incident.aspx or call 866.943-5787. 

Prompt reporting of a complaint of discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct, and/or retaliation as defined in this policy is strongly encouraged, as it facilitates faster resolution. However, the University may need to investigate and take appropriate action in response to all reports regardless of when the alleged conduct occurred.  The ability of the University to respond is limited if the respondent is no longer a member of the University community. If a University staff member, faculty member or student leaves the University with a pending complaint against them, they will not be permitted to return to the University until the case is resolved through the University’s resolution procedures.

Investigation

When the Title IX Coordinator receives a report from a victim, community member, or University personnel, the Title IX Coordinator (or designee) will be contacted in order to initiate an investigation. This investigation may include, but is not limited to: meeting with the victim, meeting with the accused respondent, and meeting with anyone who may have information regarding the alleged incident.

The University’s investigation will be handled separately from any other investigation (including criminal or civil) and every attempt will be made to have the University’s investigation completed in a timely manner independent of any other investigation.

Victims have the option to share as much or as little information as they are comfortable disclosing, and the University will maintain the strictest privacy possible. Information will only be disclosed to those responsible for the investigation and/or resolution of the situation when absolutely necessary.

While a victim can decide whether or not he or she wishes to pursue disciplinary action against the accused individual through the University’s sexual harassment policy or the student conduct process, as applicable, the University reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to pursue an investigation and disciplinary process in order to protect the University community.

Interim Measures

Persons bringing a complaint of discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct, or retaliation under this policy may seek the following arrangements from the responsible administrator handling the complaint, who will consult with the appropriate individuals and grant the request if alternative arrangements are reasonably available.  The University may take whatever measures are deemed necessary in response to an allegation in order to protect the personal safety and well-being of the complainant and the respondent; and the safety of the University community and/or preservation of University property

Interim measures include, but are not limited to:

  1. An interim suspension or reassignment (immediate, temporary suspension pending the outcome of the complaint or student conduct resolution process)
  2.  A no contact order (an order that an individual refrain from direct/indirect contact with another person[s])
  3. Providing an escort to ensure movement safely between classes, activities or work assignments,
  4. Restrictions on access to campus or areas of campus
  5. Appropriate changes in academic schedule, housing arrangements, office location or work assignment
  6. Reporting the matter to local police.

 Evidence Protection

A victim of sexual assault should:

  • Try to preserve all physical evidence.
  • Do not wash, use the toilet, bathe, shower, or change clothing if it can be avoided. If clothes are changed, place all clothing worn at the time of the assault or immediately following the assault in a paper (not plastic) bag. Victims should also preserve bedding (I.e. sheets, pillows, blankets, etc.) whenever possible.
  • Get medical attention as soon as possible to make sure there are not any physical injuries or other health related issues and to collect important evidence that will assist with a prosecution.

Coordination with Law Enforcement

In cases involving potential crimes, including sexual assault, dating or domestic violence, or gender-based stalking, individuals are encouraged to file a report with the local police department.  

The University’s resolution procedures and the legal system work independently from one another and the University will proceed with its process, regardless of action or inaction by outside authorities. Decisions made or sanctions/remedies imposed through these grievance/judicial procedures are not subject to change because criminal or civil charges arising from the same conduct are dismissed, reduced, or rejected in favor of or against the respondent. 

In certain instances, the University may need to report conduct to law enforcement authorities even when the complainant has not decided to do so. Such circumstances include incidents that warrant the undertaking of additional safety and security measures for the protection of the complainant and the campus community or other situations in which there is clear and imminent danger or when a minor is involved.

Student Conduct Process
Once an investigation has concluded, the Title IX Coordinator will provide a report of the investigation to the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities.  Upon receipt of the report, the findings will be reviewed and sanctions determined.  The “preponderance of the evidence” standard will be applied in the Student Conduct Process.

Post Investigation

The following sanctions may be considered by the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities when it is determined that there is a violation of the policy. The sanction(s) will be structured to end the conduct, prevent its recurrence, and remedy its effects on the complainant and the University community.

Not all violations will be deemed equally serious offenses, and the University reserves the right to impose different sanctions, ranging from warning to expulsion/termination, depending on the severity of the offense. The sanctions will be implemented immediately and will be in effect pending the outcome of any appeal. Where appropriate, the sanctions will be reported to the complainant and the respondent in writing.

Possible sanctions include, but are not limited to:

     A written warning

     A letter of reprimand

     Mandatory participation in an educational program on discrimination, harassment, and/or sexual misconduct

     Mandatory referral for psychological assessment and compliance with any resulting treatment plan

     Change in room assignment

     Probation, suspension or expulsion from residence halls

     Probation, suspension of expulsion from non-academic campus activities

     Suspension for up to one year

    Expulsion from the University