You are here
Felician University Policy Regarding Sexual Misconduct and Sexual Harassment
As a Catholic/Franciscan institution of higher education, Felician University abides by values that proclaim the dignity and rights of all people. Sexual misconduct of any type is morally offensive to students, faculty, administrators, staff members, employees and guests of the University. It is also a form of unlawful sexual discrimination prohibited by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination. Felician University is committed to fostering an environment that protects the members of the University community from all forms of sexual misconduct. The University requests and expects the cooperation of every member of the community in demonstrating a respect for others, as well as in upholding Federal laws and the laws of the State of New Jersey. All members of the University community have a responsibility to be aware of both the consequences of sexual misconduct and the options available to those who are victims of such misconduct.
This Policy Regarding Sexual Misconduct applies to all Felician University students, faculty, administrators, staff members and employees, as well as vendors and guests, on and off campus. It is also applicable to those members of the University community who are involved in the University’s extension programs, such as internships, clinical practical, student teaching, etc. This policy does not replace or supersede an individual’s rights and remedies under the law.
III. DEFINITION OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT
Sexual misconduct is a broad term encompassing any non-consensual behavior of a sexual nature that is committed by force or intimidation, or that is otherwise unwelcome. The term includes sexual assault, sexual exploitation, sexual intimidation, and sexual harassment; these behaviors are described later in this section.
Sexual intimacy requires that all participants consent to the activity. Consent between two or more people is defined as an affirmative agreement--through clear actions or words--to engage in sexual activity. The person giving the consent must act freely, voluntarily, and with an understanding of his or her actions when giving the consent. Lack of protest or resistance does not constitute consent, nor does silence mean consent has been given. Relying solely on non-verbal communication can lead to misunderstanding. Persons who want to engage in the sexual activity are responsible for obtaining consent--it should never be assumed. A prior relationship or prior sexual activity is not sufficient to demonstrate consent.
Consent must be present throughout the sexual activity--at any time, a participant can communicate that he or she no longer consents to continuing the activity. If there is confusion as to whether anyone has consented or continues to consent to sexual activity, it is essential that the participants stop the activity until the confusion can be clearly resolved.
Sexual misconduct may vary in its severity and consists of a range of behaviors or attempted behaviors. It can occur between strangers or acquaintances, including people involved in an intimate or sexual relationship. Sexual misconduct can occur between members of the same or different sex and can also occur while individuals are fully clothed. Sexual misconduct includes, but is not limited to, the following examples of prohibited conduct:
- Sexual intercourse
- Unwanted touching of the genitals, buttocks, breast, or other body part
- Coercion or force to make someone else touch one's genitals, buttocks, breast, or other body part
- Inducing consent through drugs or alcohol
- Engaging in sexual activity with a person who is unable to provide consent due to the influence of drugs, alcohol, or other condition
- Distribution or publication of sexual or intimate information about another person without consent
- Electronic recording, photographing, or transmitting sexual or intimate utterances, sounds, or images without knowledge and consent of all parties
- Engaging in indecent exposure
- Sexual intimidation - Sexual intimidation is an implied or actual threat to commit a sex act against another person, or behavior used to coerce participation in a sex act
- Stalking - Stalking may take many forms including persistent calling, texting, or Internet posting, as well as physical stalking, when the context of the communication or the nature of the stalking is of a sexual or intimate nature
- Voyeurism - Voyeurism involves both secretive observation of another's sexual activity or secretive observation of another for personal sexual pleasure
- Submission to such conduct is made explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s academic evaluation or employment;
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for academic decisions or employment affecting such individual; or
- Such conduct creates a hostile, intimidating or demeaning environment that is sufficiently severe, pervasive and objectively offensive to substantially interfere with or deny participation in a student's educational activities and benefits or employment opportunities.
- Conduct or comments directed at an individual, based on the individual’s gender, that are abusive in nature;
- Sexual innuendoes in the guise of humor to coerce sexual favors;
- Sexual teasing, jokes, remarks or questions;
- Sexual remarks about a person’s body, clothing or behavior;
- Patting, pinching or other unwanted touch of another’s body;
- Leering or ogling;
- Uninvited letters, e-mails and telephone calls;
- Uninvited pressure for dates;
- Inappropriate and offensive sexual advances;
- Solicitation of sexual favors or other sexually related behavior by promise of rewards;
- Coercion of sexual activity by threat or punishment; or
- Sexual crimes, including rape, acquaintance rape, attempted rape or sexual assault.
IV. DEFINITIONS USED FOR REPORTING CRIMES
The following definitions are used for reporting crimes in accordance with the Uniform Crime Reporting Program for Sexual Misconduct of the Federal Bureau of Investigation:
FORCIBLE SEX OFFENSES
- Forcible Rape – The carnal knowledge of a person, forcibly and/or against that person’s will, whereby the victim is incapable of giving consent.
- Forcible Sodomy – Oral or anal sexual intercourse with another person, forcibly and/or against that person’s will, where the victim is incapable of giving consent.
- Sexual Assault with an Object – the use of an object or instrument to unlawfully penetrate, however slightly, the genital or anal opening of the body of another person, forcibly and/or against that person’s will, whereby the victim is incapable of giving consent.
- Forcible Fondling – The touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, forcibly and/or against that person’s will, where the victim is incapable of giving consent.
NON-FORCIBLE SEX OFFENSES
- Incest – Non-forcible sexual intercourse between persons who are related to one another within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law.
- Statutory Rape – Non-forcible sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent.
- Domestic Violence – Felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction…or 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.
- 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; and
- Where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors:
- the length of the relationship
- the type of relationship
- the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship
- Stalking – 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
- suffer substantial emotional distress
A criminal offense committed against a person or property which is motivated, in whole or part, by the offender’s bias based on race, gender, religion, disability, sexual orientation or ethnicity/national origin.
- Category A: Murder and Non-negligent manslaughter; Forcible sex offenses; Non-forcible sex offenses; Robbery; Aggravated assault; Burglary; Motor vehicle theft; Arson.
- Category B: Larceny-theft; Simple assault; Intimidation; Destruction/damage/vandalism of property.
V. PROCEDURES FOR ADDRESSING AND RESOLVING AN INCIDENT OF ALLEGED SEXUAL MISCONDUCT
Students or staff who subjected to sexual misconduct should report their concerns and/or information regarding occurrences of sexual harassment or misconduct to a designated Campus Security Authority.
Campus Security Authorities for sexual misconduct, sexual harassment or sexual assault include:
Dean of Students: Dr. Ronald Gray - 201-559-3541
Center for Health: Carolyn Lewis - 201-559-3586
Residence Life: Laura Pierotti - 201-559-3505
Director, Community Rights and Responsibilities: Tara Brugnoni - 201-559-3082
Assistant Dean of Students: Patrick Dezort - 201-355-1474
Director, Human Resources/Title IX Coordinator: Ginny Topolski - 201-559-6055
The above Campus Security Authorities (CSA) will assist the individual in obtaining help, either through campus resources or through outside referrals, and also initiate a complaint process through the Title IX Coordinator, the Director of Human Resources.
All CSA are required by Title IX to report incidents of sexual assault. The only persons exempt from this reporting requirement are licensed counselors in the Counseling Center and with the Bergen County Rape Crisis center, 201-587-2227.
The Bergen County Rape Crisis Center, recently renamed “The Healing Space”, provides confidential sexual violence advocacy. Representatives are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Counseling can be the most important step in the healing process after an assault. Counseling services are available in the Counseling Center located on the main floor of the Student Center on the Rutherford campus. Counseling services on campus are free and confidential. Additional information about services provided by the Counseling Center is available on the University website.
Reporting the incident to the police and/or filing a complaint is encouraged, but not necessary for the victim to receive counseling or other support services.
If a victim discloses and incident of sexual assault to a staff or faculty member, a report must be made to the Director of Human Resources.
The new legislation of the SaVE Act requires Universitys and Universities to disclose statistics on incidents of domestic violence, dating violence and stalking.
SaVE requires that incidents of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking be disclosed in annual campus crime statistic reports. Additionally, students or employees reporting victimization will be provided with their written rights to:
- Be assisted by campus authorities if reporting a crime to law enforcement
- Change academic, living, transportation or working situations to avoid a hostile environment
- Obtain or enforce a “no contact” directive or restraining order
- Have a clear description of their institution’s disciplinary process and the range of possible sanctions
- Receive contact information about existing counseling, health, mental health, victim advocacy, legal assistance and other services available both on-campus and in the community
SEXUAL ASSAULT VICTIM’S BILL OF RIGHTS
BILL OF RIGHTS
- On the campus of any public or independent institution of higher education in the state of New Jersey
- Where the victim or alleged perpetrator is a student at that institution
- When the victim is a student involved in an off-campus sexual assault
HUMAN DIGNITY RIGHTS
- To be free of any suggestion that victims must report the crimes to be assured of any other right guaranteed under this policy
- To have any allegations of sexual assault treated seriously and the right to be treated with dignity
- To be free from any suggestion that victims are responsible for the commission of crimes against them
- To be free from any pressure from campus personnel to:
- Report crimes if the victim does not wish to do so
- Report crimes as lesser offenses than the victim perceives the crime to be
- Refrain from reporting crimes to avoid unwanted personal publicity
RIGHTS TO RESOURCES ON AND OFF CAMPUS
- To be notified of existing campus and community based medical services, counseling services, mental health and student services for victims of sexual assault whether or not the crime is formally reported to campus or civilian authorities.
- To have access to campus counseling under the same terms and conditions as apply to other students of the institution.
- To be informed of and assisted in exercising:
- Any rights to confidential or anonymous testing for sexually transmitted diseases, human immunodeficiency virus and/or pregnancy
- Any rights that may be provided by law to compel and disclose the results of testing of sexual assault suspects for communicable diseases
CAMPUS JUDICIAL RIGHTS
- To be afforded the same access to legal assistance as the accused
- To be afforded the same opportunity to have others present during any campus disciplinary proceeding that is allowed the accused
- To be notified of the outcome of the sexual assault disciplinary proceeding against the accused
- Have any allegations of sexual assault investigated and adjudicated by the appropriate criminal and civil authorities of the jurisdiction in which the sexual assault is reported
- Receive full and prompt cooperation and assistance of campus personnel in notifying the proper authorities
- Receive full, prompt and victim-sensitive cooperation of campus personnel with regard to obtaining, securing and maintaining evidence, including medical examination when it is necessary to preserve evidence of the assault
CAMPUS INTERVENTION RIGHTS
- To require campus personnel to take reasonable and necessary actions to prevent further unwanted contact of victims by their alleged assailants
- To be notified of the options for and provided assistance in changing academic and living situations if such changes are reasonably available
- Each campus must guarantee that this Bill of Rights is implemented. It is the obligation of each individual campus governing board to examine resources dedicated to services required and to make appropriate requests to increase or reallocate resources where necessary to ensure implementation.
- Each campus shall make every effort to ensure that every student at the institution receives a copy of this document.
- Nothing in this Act or in any “Campus Assault Victim’s Bill of Rights” developed in accordance with the provisions of the Act shall be construed to preclude or in any way restrict any public or independent institution of higher education in the State from reporting any suspected crime or offense to the appropriate law enforcement authorities.
Misconduct will be dealt with appropriately. Responsive action may include training, referral to counseling, and disciplinary action such as warnings, reprimands, withholding of a promotion, reassignment, temporary suspension without pay or discharge for cause (for an employee), and expulsion (for a student). Students accused of sexual harassment/misconduct will be referred to the University’s judicial officer for appropriate action under the Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities and Conduct.
False charges may result in corrective action or sanctions against the accuser, countercharges, or any other appropriate response.
Retaliation against an individual who has made a claim of sexual harassment is prohibited. Retaliation will subject an individual to disciplinary action
VIII. STATEMENT ON CONSENSUAL RELATIONSHIPS
The University considers it inappropriate for any member of the community to establish an intimate relationship with a student, subordinate or colleague on whose academic or work performance he or she will be required to make professional judgments. The University requires that the individual cease such conduct and divest himself/herself of the professional responsibility for supervision or oversight, should an intimate relationship develop.