Sexual Misconduct Reporting Procedures
In some situations such as date rape, the victim may fear being blamed or disciplined for the rape if he or she has violated any student standards of conduct, for example, he/she had been drinking. However, the office of Student Life is committed to sensitive and fair handling of such situations with healing, safety of others, and justice as primary concerns. There will be accountability for sexual assault or misconduct, not the violation of student standards of conduct, such as alcohol, on the part of the victim. The seriousness of sexual misconduct is a major concern and the university does not want any of the circumstances (e.g., drug or alcohol use) to inhibit the reporting of sexual misconduct.
The sexual misconduct policies are stated in the Student Standards of Conduct as:
11.3 Sexual Misconduct While Under the Influence of Alcohol or Any Other Controlled Substance: Student will be subject to the disciplinary process if there is a reasonable belief that he/she knew or should have known that others involved were under the influence of alcohol or any other controlled substance at the time that the violation occurred.
11.4 Nonconsensual Sexual Contact: Nonconsensual sexual contact is: any intentional sexual touching, however slight, with any object, by a man or a woman upon a man or a woman, without effective consent.
11.5 Nonconsensual Sexual Intercourse: Nonconsensual sexual intercourse is: any sexual intercourse (anal, oral, or vaginal), however slight, with any object, by a man or woman upon a man or a woman, without effective consent.
11.6 Sexual Exploitation: Sexual exploitation occurs when a student takes or attempts to take nonconsensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for his/her own advantage or benefit, or to the benefit or advantage of anyone other than the one being exploited, and that behavior does not otherwise constitute one of other sexual misconduct offenses.
Definition of an Effective Consent
Consent may be given by words or actions unmistakable in meaning. In order to be effective, consent cannot be procured by use of physical force, compelling threats, intimidating behavior, or coercion. Coercive behavior differs 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. In order to give effective consent, one must be of legal age.
If you have sexual activity with someone you know to be or should know to be mentally or physically incapacitated (alcohol or other drug use, unconsciousness, or blackout), you are in violation of this policy and may be in violation of the law. Any time sexual activity takes place between individuals, those individuals must be capable of controlling their physical actions and be capable of making rational, reasonable decisions about their sexual behavior.
This policy also covers someone whose incapacity results from mental disability, sleep, involuntary physical restraint, or from the taking of a so-called “date-rape” drug. Possession, use, and/or distribution of any of these substances, including Rohypnol, Ketomine, GHB, Burundanga, etc., is prohibited, and administering one of these drugs to another student for the purpose of inducing incapacity is a violation of this policy. Use of alcohol or other drugs will never function to excuse behavior that violates this policy.
Sexual activity includes:
- Intentional contact with the breasts, buttock, groin, or genitals, or touching another with any of these body parts, or making another touch you or themselves with or on any of these body parts
- Intercourse, however slight, meaning vaginal penetration by a penis, object, tongue or finger, anal penetration by a penis, object, tongue, or finger, and oral copulation (mouth to genital contact or genital to mouth contact)
Confidential Support System: This process can provide confidential one-on-one support. The confidential support system provides students an opportunity to make decisions about filing or defending a formal complaint in the university’s judicial system, seeking personal counseling, and finding community resources to assist in dealing with the issue. The following offices provide confidential services to our students:
- Office of Campus Pastors
- Student Health Center
- University Counseling Center
Students are encouraged to report all incidents of rape and/or sexual assault. It is strongly advised that any student who is raped or sexually assaulted have a medical examination, even if they think that no physical injury has occurred or they do not wish to file formal charges of any kind. They may be in shock, have internal injuries, or have been exposed to an STD, etc. Treatment for injuries and STDs should be done quickly, and even more critically, physical evidence of a sexual assault or rape should be collected at the hospital within 72 hours of the assault. After that time, physical evidence can no longer be preserved.
- If rape drugs are suspected, try to obtain a sample of the drink and/or be sure to report this suspicion with the request that a urine test be done as soon as possible.
- Students are encouraged to write down all the details and recollections of the incident including descriptions of persons involved in the rape or sexual assault.
Formal Criminal Complaint
- File police report through Azusa Police Department or other appropriate law enforcement agency.
- Call the Department of Campus Safety at (626) 815-3805. The department is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Campus Safety is available to arrange a neutral meeting place for your initial contact with the police and, if you wish, a representative of APU will accompany you. APU has no control over the investigatory and legal process that may result when you report a crime to the police, but will cooperate fully with it. If a student makes the decision to report, APU’s policy is to assist law enforcement, and not to take any action that would interfere with the law enforcement agency’s criminal investigation. APU will only proceed administratively when it does not compromise a pending law enforcement investigation.
- A police report is taken. This is an informational process that requires the student to recount details of the incident. The taking of this report implies that there now exists the possibility that criminal charges may be filed. The District Attorney has the option to proceed with prosecution with or without permission of the victimized student.
Formal University Complaint
- University complaints against other students are filed through the Office of Student Life Services at (626) 815-2067.
- University complaints against an employee of APU are filed through the Office of Human Resources at (626) 815-4526.
- Authorized sexual misconduct intake personnel, who are trained professional staff members, will assist if necessary. This is a group of professional staff provides the campus with services for victims of sexual assault.
- Follow-up and support of students is provided through student life offices.
When the accused is an APU student, the complainant is encouraged to pursue a 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 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.
All complaints of non-consensual sexual contact or non-consensual sexual intercourse or sexual exploitation should be immediately reported to the following authorized sexual misconduct intake personnel. All complaints made after business hours should be reported to the Department of Campus Safety immediately. The following people are trained professional staff members who provide the campus with services for victims of sexual assault. The terms “sexual misconduct”, “non-consensual sexual intercourse”, and “non-consensual sexual contact” are defined in the Sexual Misconduct Policy set forth in the Student Standard Conduct Code.
The authorized Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) is made up of four components and members include:
- Intake – The intake team will provide a student the opportunity to submit a formal complaint through an intake procedure or to notify the university of a sexual assault incident. Members include:
- Shino Simons, Associate Dean of Students
- Matthew Visser, Senior Director of the Center for Student Action
- Jillian Gilbert, Associate Director of the Center for Student Action
- Liza Alderete, Campus Safety (secondary)
- Terry Meyer, Campus Safety (secondary)
- Adjudicating – The adjudicating team will administer the university judicial process regarding sexual assault. Members include:
- Office of Residence Life (involving residential students)
- Office of Communiversity (involving commuter students)
- Confidential – These offices will provide confidential services to those students who were impacted by a sexual misconduct issues.
- University Counseling Center
- Office of Campus Pastors
- Student Health Center
- Support – The support team will provide support as the student goes through the reporting and adjudicating process. Members include:
- Elaine Walton, Director of the Women’s Resource Center
- Stacie Champine, Director of Orientation and Transitions
- Phil Brazell, Assistant Director of Orientation and Transitions
- Jenny Elsey, Associate Director of Ministry and Service
- Aaron Hinojosa, Director of Multi-Ethnic Programs
The Department of Campus Safety will serve as an office to address any immediate safety concerns.
Once a formal complaint is filed, if the respondent admits the violation, the complaint goes to a hearing to determine a sanction. For a complete outline of the hearing process, see Student Standards of Conduct overview.
Although APU encourages reporting of rape and sexual assault, it is ultimately the student’s decision whether to file a criminal and/or university complaint unless the student is a minor. If the student is a minor, the university is required to report the matter to a law enforcement agency. Confidential counseling services are made available through the University Counseling Center at (626) 815-2109. The Office of Campus Pastors and the Student Health Center are also available to provide advice on a confidential basis.
Other useful offices that will assist you:
- Office of Student Life
- Women’s Resource Center
- Project Sister, (909) 626-HELP, www.projectsister.org
- National Sexual Assault, (800) 656-HOPE, www.rainn.org
With respect to the university’s conduct process, APU reserves the right to take whatever measures it deems necessary in response to an allegation of sexual misconduct 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. Not all forms of sexual misconduct will be deemed to be equally serious offenses, and the university reserves the right to impose differing sanctions, ranging from oral warning to expulsion, depending on the severity of the offense. The university will consider the concerns and rights of both the complainant and the respondent of sexual misconduct. In appropriate circumstances, a warning may be issued to the campus community, though any such notification would not jeopardize the confidentiality of the victim.
In the event of rape or sexual assault, sanctions may include discretionary sanctions, residence hall sanctions, probation, suspension, or expulsion from the university for the responsible party, and the complainant and responsible party involved will be notified. A party found not responsible for a policy violation will not be subject to sanction. Every effort will be made to keep the identities of all parties involved in the offense confidential, although if the offense occurred on campus, the university has an obligation to inform the university community that rape or sexual assault has taken place.
- Any student found responsible of a complaint of nonconsensual sexual contact (where no intercourse has occurred) will receive a sanction ranging from warning to expulsion, depending on the severity of the incident, and taking into account any previous campus conduct code violations.*
- Any student found responsible of a complaint of nonconsensual sexual intercourse will face a recommended sanction of suspension (with conditions to reentry into the campus community) or expulsion.*
- Any student found responsible of a complaint of sexual exploitation or sexual harassment will receive a recommended sanction ranging from warning to expulsion, depending on the severity of the incident, and taking into account any previous campus conduct code violations.*
- The judicial body reserves the right to broaden or lessen any range of recommended sanctions in the complaint of serious mitigating circumstances or egregiously offensive behavior. Neither the judicial body nor any appeals body or officer will deviate from the range of recommended sanctions unless compelling justification exists to do so.*
This process applies to an appeal of sanctions received from a violation of sexual misconduct policy only. For appeal of sanctions received from a violation of other university policies, refer to the Student Standards of Conduct. Both the accuser and the accused may participate in the appeal process in accountability procedures.
Students wishing to appeal the disciplinary process must do so, in writing, to the Associate Vice President for Student Life/Chief Judicial Officer or his/her designee. Students will have only one opportunity to appeal. All appeal meetings are closed and the proceeding may be kept confidential at the discretion of the university. Appeal meetings may be recorded by the discretion of the university without the consent of the student.
The appeal shall consist of one or more of the following exclusive grounds for appeal:
- New Information - There is new and significant information that has not yet been considered. Information would be considered “new” if it did not become available to the student prior to his/her hearing.
- Sanctions - Sanctions imposed are either excessive or insufficient to the violation(s) relative to sanctions imposed for similar violations under similar facts and circumstances as determined by the Student Standards of Conduct.
- Procedural Irregularity - The student did not have opportunity to present relevant information at the hearing.
Guidelines for the letter of appeal:
- Students must submit a written appeal to the supervisor of the judicial officer or designee within three school days of the date of the written decision. Written appeal must reflect the guidelines as listed in the following point.
- The petition must include:
- Names of the parties involved
- Clear statement of the nature of the appeal (must consist of one or more of the following exclusive grounds):
- New information
- Excessive sanctions
- Procedural irregularity
- A narrative of the incident including:
- Why it occurred
- How it occurred
- Where it occurred
- Who was present
- The information on which the appeal is based
- The desired outcome
The Associate Vice President for Student Life/Chief Judicial Officer, in response to the written appeal and upon review of all information and testimony presented, will defer any appeal requests to the Student Conduct Review Committee. If practical, the Student Conduct Review Committee shall consist of two faculty members, two staff members, and two students (each selected by the Associate Vice President for Student Life/Chief Judicial Officer or designee).
The following process is such that after review of information, interview of witnesses, and deliberation, the committee will make a recommendation to the Associate Vice President for Student Life/Chief Judicial Officer or his/her designee whose decision is final. In the case of a tie or deadlock, the chair will not vote and the decision will be notified to the Associate Vice President for Student Life/Chief Judicial Officer. There must be a minimum of five members present to constitute a quorum (including the chair). If the student behavior resulting in the disciplinary process involved violent or dangerous behavior, the committee shall be required to consider the safety of the APU community in its deliberations and recommendation, and any sanction imposed on the student shall not be stayed pending the appeal.
After a decision has been reached, both students will be notified in writing by the Associate Vice President for Student Life/Chief Judicial Officer or his/her designee. Decisions made in the appeal process are final and may not be addressed through the “Grievance Process.”
Both the complainant and the respondent will be notified in writing by the adjudicating officer(s) of the outcome related to the accountability process.
APU may also extend its jurisdiction to misconduct that occurs prior to, but is not reported until after the graduation of the offender, as long as the misconduct is reported within six months of its occurrence. Otherwise, there is no time limit on reporting of violations of the Student Standards of Conduct, as long as the offending student is still enrolled at APU. However, the longer someone waits to report an offense, the harder it becomes for APU to obtain information and witness statements, and to make a determination regarding alleged violations