Sexual Harassment Reporting Procedures
The sexual harassment policy is stated in the Student Standards of Conduct as:
11.2 Sexual Harassment: The university is committed to fostering a positive learning, working, and living environment. Members of this community condemn sexual harassment of any kind by any employee or student. All complaints of sexual harassment will be investigated by the university and appropriate corrective action, including disciplinary measures, taken when warranted.
Definition of Sexual Harassment:
Sexual harassment is conduct that (i) is sexual in nature, (ii) is unwelcome, and (iii) denies or limits a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the university’s education program.
Sexual harassment can take different forms depending on the harasser and the nature of the harassment. The conduct can be carried out by university employees, other students, and non-employee third parties, such as a visiting speaker. Both male and female students can be victims of sexual harassment, and the harasser and the victim can be of the same gender.
The conduct can occur in any university program or activity and can take place in university facilities, on a university vehicle, or at other off-campus locations, such as a university-sponsored field trip or a training program at another location. The conduct can be verbal, nonverbal, or physical.
Some examples that may constitute unlawful sexual harassment include:
- Making sexual propositions or pressuring students for sexual favors
- Touching of a sexual nature
- Writing graffiti of a sexual nature
- Displaying or distributing sexually explicit drawings, pictures, or written materials
- Performing sexual gestures or touching oneself in front of others
- Telling sexual or dirty jokes
- Spreading sexual rumors or rating other students as to sexual activity or performance
- Circulating or showing emails or Web sites of a sexual nature
Legitimate nonsexual touching or conduct generally will not be considered sexual harassment. However, it may rise to that level if it takes on sexual connotations.
Conduct is considered unwelcome if the student did not request or invite it and considered the conduct to be undesirable or offensive. The age of the student, the nature of the conduct, and other relevant factors affect whether a student was capable of welcoming the sexual conduct. A student’s submission to the conduct or failure to complain does not always mean that the conduct was welcome.
Two general types of sexual conduct can deny or limit a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the university’s program. As discussed below, faculty and other university employees can engage in either type of conduct, while students and third parties can engage in only one type.
- Quid pro Quo: One form of sexual harassment occurs when faculty or other university employee conditions an educational decision or benefit on the student’s submission to unwelcome sexual conduct. If this occurs, it does not matter whether the student resists and suffers the threatened harm or submits to and avoids the threatened harm.
- Hostile Environment: Sexual harassment also occurs when a faculty member, university employee, other student, or third party creates a hostile environment that is sufficiently serious to deny or limit a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the university’s program. Whether such a hostile environment has been created depends on the particular circumstances of the incident(s). Relevant considerations include, but are not limited to:
- how much of an adverse effect the conduct had on the student’s education
- the type, frequency, or duration of the conduct
- the identity, age, and gender of the harasser(s) and the victim(s), and the relationship between them
- the number of individuals who engaged in the harassing conduct and at whom the harassment was directed
- the size of the school, location of the incidents, and context in which they occurred
- whether other incidents occurred at the university involving different students
Anybody who sees sexual harassment occur should report it; the individual need not be the victim of the harassment. All complaints of sexual harassment will be investigated by the university and appropriate corrective action, including disciplinary measures, taken when warranted. All students are responsible for maintaining an appropriate environment for study and work. This includes taking appropriate corrective action to prevent and eliminate harassment. Sexual harassment includes conduct that is criminal in nature, such as rape, sexual assault, dating violence, and sexually motivated stalking. Even if the university reports possible criminal conduct to the police, the university will still conduct an investigation to determine what happened and take appropriate steps to resolve the situation.
A student has the legal right at any time to raise the issue of sexual harassment without fear of reprisal or retaliation. Any student who feels that s/he has been sexually harassed should immediately bring the matter to the attention of the appropriate university official listed below by providing written documentation of the facts of the incident(s) and the name(s) of the individual(s) involved.
1. Confidential Support System
If a student does not desire to see the university respond to their concern but desire to seek the support they need, they should contact one of the following offices for confidential counseling and support:
- The University Counseling Center (626)815-2109
- Office of the Campus Pastors (626)815-3855
- Student Health Center (626)815-2100
2. Formal Support System
The formal support system provides students an opportunity to file or defend a formal complaint in the university's accountability process, seek personal counseling, and find community resources to assist in dealing with the issue. The formal reporting process can be initiated by contacting a member of one of the following offices:
- Senior Vice President for Student Life/Dean of Students: (626) 812-3061
- Associate Vice President for Student Life: (626) 815-3890
- Associate Dean of Students: (626) 815-2067
- Office of the Athletic Director: (626) 815-5087
- Department of Campus Safety: (626) 815-3805
- Office of Communiversity: (626) 812-3053
- Office of Residence Life: (626) 815-3825
- Office of Human Resources: (626) 815-4526
3. Formal Complaint
All complaints of harassment will be investigated by the university and appropriate corrective action, including disciplinary measures, taken when warranted. When the accused is an APU student or student group, the complainant is encouraged to pursue a formal university complaint. The complainant need not be a student if they are harmed on APU property by a student. A university complaint can be used to establish violations of the Student Standards of Conduct, but not whether or not a criminal act has been committed. When an individual believes that a crime has been committed, it is recommended that charges be filed with the local criminal justice system. Although there is no time limit on the filing of campus complaints as long as the offender is still a member of the APU community, prompt reporting is likely to result in a more satisfactory investigation because memories are fresh and witnesses are more readily available.
University complaints against other students or student groups should be filed through the Office of Student Life at (626) 812-3061. University complaints against an employee of APU should be filed through the Office of Human Resources at (626) 815-4526.
Once a formal complaint is filed, it goes to an information gathering and hearing process to determine the appropriate response. For a complete outline of the disciplinary process, see the Campus Policies Overview section.
With respect to the university’s disciplinary process, APU reserves the right to take whatever measures it deems necessary in order to protect students’ rights and personal safety. Such measures include, but are not limited to, modification of living arrangements, summary removal of an accused student from campus pending a hearing, and reporting to the local police. The university will consider the concerns and rights of both the complainant and the person accused of misconduct.
The university will seek through the process to achieve both education for those involved and reconciliation of the parties impacted. In these matters, the university response may include educational sanctions, residence hall sanctions, probation, suspension, or expulsion from the university for the responsible party. A party found not responsible for a policy violation will not be subject to sanction. As long as it does not interfere with the process, effort will be made to keep the identities of all parties involved confidential.