Title IX

Sexual Harassment and Assault

In supporting our Christ-centered community, Regent strives to provide a safe and secure academic and work environment for our students and employees alike. We have a federal – and Christian – obligation to prevent and efficiently and effectively address complaints of sexual harassment and assault. The Title IX Coordinator is the staff member responsible for handling and addressing these types of issues for students. Human Resources handles sexual harassment and assault issues for staff and faculty, and the Employee Handbook provides more information to address those situations. However, when a student and employee are involved in the same incident, the Title IX Coordinator and Human Resources will work together to ensure the rights and appropriate disciplinary procedures are followed for each member of the University community. This ensures that we treat our campus population equitably. All contact information is listed below in the Title IX Coordinator tab.

Furthermore, as part of Regent’s Student Code of Conduct, students are to “fully accept the teachings of the traditional biblical view with regard to the goodness of our sexuality, the importance of chastity, and the place of heterosexual marriage as God’s intended context for complete expression to occur (Gen. 2:21-24).”

What is Title IX?

Title IX of the Educational Amendments Act of 1972 is a law passed requiring gender equality for males and females in every educational institution that receives federal funding. Fundamental to this goal is the prevention of sexual harassment and assault, which can hinder a positive learning environment.

Title IX regulations fall under the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) in the U.S. Department of Education, whose mission is to “ensure equal access to education and to promote educational excellence throughout the nation through vigorous enforcement of civil rights.”

Definitions

Words or actions that demonstrate a knowing or voluntary willingness to engage in mutually-agreed-upon sexual activity constitutes consent. Consent cannot be gained by force, by ignoring objections, or by taking advantage of another’s incapacitation. Consent may not be inferred from silence or any other lack of active resistance. It may not be implied by attire or inferred from an individual by spending money on that individual (e.g., buying a meal on a date). Prior consent does not imply consent to future sexual acts. In addition, consent to one type of sexual act does not automatically imply consent to another type of sexual act.

Once a person says “no,” it does not matter if or what kind of sexual behavior has occurred at an earlier date in time. For example, if individuals have previously engaged in sexual behavior, and then during another interaction individual says “no” and the other forces penetration, it is sexual assault.

Consent may not be given by the following persons:

  • Individuals who are mentally incapacitated at the time of the sexual contact in a manner that prevents him or her from understanding the nature or consequences of the sexual act involved;
  • Individuals who are unconscious or otherwise physically helpless; and
  • Minors

Incapacitation is defined as the physical and/or mental inability to make informed, rational judgments that voids an individual’s ability to give consent. Incapacitation may be caused by a permanent or temporary physical or mental impairment. Incapacitation may also result from the consumption of alcohol or the use of drugs.

The use of alcohol or drugs may, but does not automatically affect a person’s ability to consent to sexual contact. The consumption of alcohol or drugs may create a mental incapacity if the nature and degree of the intoxication go beyond the stage of merely reduced inhibition and reach a point in which the victim does not understand the nature and consequences of the sexual act. In such case, the person cannot consent.

A person violates the sexual misconduct policy if he or she has sexual contact with someone he or she knows or should know is mentally incapacitated or has reached the degree of intoxication that results in incapacitation. The test of whether an individual should know about another’s incapacitation is whether a reasonable, sober person would know about the incapacitation.

A person who is passed out or unconscious as a result of the consumption of alcohol or drugs is physically helpless and is not able to consent.

 

Any sexual contact that occurs without consent constitutes non-consensual sexual contact. Examples of sexual contact include, but are not limited to: the intentional touching of a person’s genitalia, groin, breast, or buttocks or the clothing covering any of those areas, or using force to cause the person to touch his/her own genitalia, groin, breast, or buttocks.

The act of sexual intercourse that occurs without consent constitutes non-consensual sexual intercourse. Sexual intercourse is defined by penetration (anal, oral, or vaginal) by a penis, tongue, finger, or inanimate object.

Unwelcome sexual advances, including requests for sexual favors or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitutes sexual harassment, when one or more of the following occur:

  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct is made a term or condition of an individual’s employment or academic success;
  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis for employment or academic decisions;
  • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance or creates a hostile, intimidating, or offensive work or educational environment.

 

Taking sexual advantage of another person without effective consent constitutes sexual exploitation. This includes but is not limited to causing the incapacitation of another person for a sexual purpose; causing the prostitution of another person; electronically recording, photographing, or transmitting intimate or sexual utterances, sounds, or images of another person; allowing third parties to observe sexual acts; engaging in voyeurism; distributing intimate or sexual information about another person; and knowingly transmitting a sexually transmitted infection, including HIV, to another person.

Repeatedly contacting another person when the contact is unwanted constitutes stalking. The conduct may cause the other person reasonable apprehension of imminent physical harm or substantial impairment of the other person’s ability to perform the activities of daily life. Contact includes but is not limited to communication (in person, by phone, or by computer), following a person, and watching or remaining in the physical presence of the other person.

Coercion is an unreasonable amount of pressure to engage in sexual activity. Coercion begins not when you make the sexual advance, but when you realize they do not want to be convinced and you continue to push.

Force equated with violence or the use of a weapon constitutes physical force. No matter how slight, any intentional physical impact upon another, use of physical restraint, or the presence of a weapon constitutes the use of force.

Threats cause a person to do something that he or she would not have done without the threat (forcible compulsion), e.g., “If you do not have sex with me, I will:

  • harm someone close to you.”
  • tell people you are gay.”
  • tell people you are a whore.”

 

Intimidation can be defined as an implied threat, i.e., “If you make-out with me, I will let you join my football team.”

Physical assault(s), or credible threat(s) of bodily harm, involving adults who are in an intimate relationship.

This is an act that, as an explicit or implicit condition for initiation to, admission into, affiliation with, or continued membership in a group organization, could be seen by a reasonable person as endangering the physical health of an individual or as causing mental distress to an individual through, for example, humiliating, intimidating, or demeaning treatment; destroys or removes public or private property; involves the consumption of alcohol, other drugs, or other substances; or violates any of the policies of the University. Hazing that involves sexual offenses fall under Title IX purview.

**All definitions are reproduced with permission from the University of Richmond.

Go here for a compilation of Virginia law specific sexual offense definitions, age limits, and statute of limitations.

Filing a Complaint

  1. Title IX Coordinator receives complaint (via personal visit, phone call, email, anonymous reporting form), one of several ways:
    1. Victim notifies Title IX Coordinator of incident
    2. Victim notifies Regent employee who then notifies Title IX Coordinator of incident
    3. Third-party (i.e. Regent staff member, professor, RA, Life Group Leader, Campus Police, another student, parent, anonymous reporting form) notifies Title IX Coordinator of an alleged incident
  2. Title IX Coordinator meets with alleged victim/student
    1. Ensure victim feels protected and safe on campus through possible appropriate action:
      1. Issuance of a “no-contact directive”
      2. Police presence
      3. Police escorts on campus
      4. Change in housing assignment, when feasible
      5. Change in class schedule, when feasible
      6. Alternate times for offices to address needs
      7. Individual counseling
    2. Advise student of informal versus formal grievance procedures
    3. Inform student of University’s reporting obligations to collect campus crime statistics under federal law (see the Jeanne Clery Act for more information)
    4. Student decides whether to file a formal or informal complaint (see both processes below)

* May vary depending on the individual and incident

To request the university to investigate and adjudicate an alleged incident

  1. Following all of the Initial Complaint Procedures (as indicated above), alleged victim/student decides to file a formal complaint. (This individual now becomes the complainant.)
  2. Complainant is presented with Statement of Rights.
  3. A review committee for reports of sexual violence will consist of the Title IX Coordinator (Amber Steele), the Assistant Vice President for Student Life (Adam Williams), and representatives from Campus Police (Detective David Manseau & Captain John Troyer).
  4. When the Title IX Coordinator (T9C) receives a report of alleged sexual violence, she will promptly notify the review committee of the details via email, with General Council (Lou Isakoff).
  5. Within 72 hours of receiving the report of sexual violence, the review committee shall meet to determine whether disclosure of the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals.
    • If the committee cannot reach consensus on this decision, the PD representative will make the final determination.
    • If disclosure is necessary, the PD representative will immediately disclose the information to the law enforcement agency responsible for investigating the report.
    • If disclosure is necessary, the T9C will notify the victim.
    • The committee must determine whether the disclosure will include personally identifiable information. Such determination will be made based on whether the personally identifiable information is necessary for action.
  6. If the alleged act of sexual violence would constitute a felony violation, the PD representative will inform the review committee, and will consult with the attorney responsible for prosecution within 24 hours.
    • The disclosure to the attorney will only include personally identifiable information if that information was deemed necessary under 3.d.
  7. The T9C and PD representative have the authority to proceed with investigation and action. Both will keep independent records of their investigation and action.
  8. The committee will meet again as necessary as new information becomes available.
  9. Title IX Coordinator begins investigation (takes no longer than 60 days, unless extenuating circumstances).
    • Collects evidence in collaboration with Campus Police, as appropriate. Examples of evidence include: text messages, handwritten notes, Facebook posts, emails, Discussion Board posts, pictures, bed sheets, clothing, undergarments, and other items present during the alleged assault.
    • Interviews complainant, accused (respondent), any witnesses.
    • All parties are notified that retaliation is not tolerated.
    • Accused is presented with Statement of Rights.
    • All parties are advised of all resources on and off campus (i.e. counseling services, Campus Ministries, health center).
  10. Once parties’ testimonies are secured with their signatures, the accused and respondent are able to read the other parties’ testimonies and pose inquiries to be asked of certain individuals by the Title IX Coordinator.
  11. Thereafter all testimonies are settled, all evidence and testimony documents are forwarded to the Director of Residence Life and Community Standards for the student adjudication board.
    • The board will hear cases and render decisions based on the facts of the case and from individual testimony. Either the accused or respondent may appeal the decision, which would go to the Executive Director of Student Services. Read more about the Student Adjudication Process here.

To simply notify the Title IX Coordinator for record-keeping purposes
(formal complaint process can begin at any time)

  1. Following all of the Initial Complaint Procedures (as mentioned above), victim decides to file an informal complaint.
  2. Title IX Coordinator gathers as much evidence (i.e. text messages, handwritten notes, Facebook posts, emails, Discussion Board posts, pictures, etc.) as the victim allows.
  3. Title IX Coordinator takes copious notes for record keeping.
    1. Should anything happen in the future regarding the alleged offender and another or the same student, this incident would be on record for potential follow-up.
    2. Should the alleged incident represent a potential ongoing threat to the university community, the Title IX Coordinator will move forward with the formal complaint process with or without the victim’s permission and participation.

Per federal regulations, any victim has the right to notify and file charges with local authorities about any sexual assault offense incident at any time, whether or not the individual has notified the university.

Campus Police

Virginia Beach Police Department

Regent University coordinates and cooperates with campus and local law enforcement agencies. Per regulations, a criminal investigation cannot and does not derail the University’s obligation to promptly and thoroughly investigate a complaint. These two types of investigations will often be conducted simultaneously, as each party deems appropriate.

Resources

On-Campus

Regent faculty and staff are required by law to report any information they have regarding alleged harassment or assault to the Title IX coordinator. However, certain offices and occupations are exempt from mandatory reporting and are not required to inform the Title IX coordinator about incidents, under the law. These include: pastoral roles, professional counselors and trainees, and health centers. These offices are strictly confidential, to the extent permitted by law. However, they still provide aggregate data (i.e. dates and locations) on offenses, per Clery Act compliance, but they do not provide names of victims or the accused.

The Regent employees and offices below are exempt from mandatory reporting:

Off-Campus

Response Sexual Assault Support Services of the YMCA (in Norfolk, VA)

Find a Local Crisis Center

National Sexual Assault Hotline – 1.800.656.HOPE (4673)

National Center for Victims of Crime Victim Service Helpline – 1.800.FYI.CALL (394.2255)

National Center for Victims of Crimes: www.victimsofcrime.org

Get Help Bulletin for Crime Victims

How Crime Victims React to Trauma

Help a Loved One: Some of the many ways family and friends can assist a victim of a sexual offense is to listen and not be judgmental, be patient, create a safe place, and possibly encourage the individual to seek professional help. Learn more about these and additional ways to help here.

Self-Care for Survivors: The healing process for a survivor of a sexual offense can look different for each individual with special care and concern for the following areas: food, exercise, sleep, medical care, counseling, journaling, and relaxation exercises. Learn more about self-care for survivors.

Self-Care for Family/Friends: These individuals may feel a wide range of emotions when a loved one experiences a sexual offense, among them are: shock, anger, sadness, anxiety, and fear. It’s incredibly important that family and friends of survivors take healthy care of themselves as well. Learn more about ways to cope with feelings here.

Office of Civil Rights’ Sexual Harassment Resources

RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network)’s website addresses topics such as, but not limited to: determining if one was sexually assaulted, effects of sexual violence, aftermath of sexual violence, federal and state policies. Also, learn more about Virginia state rights regarding rape, abuse, and incest.

Regent University Sexual Harassment and Assault Policy

Regent University Student Adjudication Process

Annual Security and Fire Safety Report: The CBN/Regent Campus Police Department prepares this report to comply with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Act.

Coordinator

Each university is required to have a Title IX Coordinator — who is responsible for reporting, investigating, and educating the campus on matters related to sexual harassment and assault.

  • REPORTING: takes all reports and complaints of sexual harassment and assault; identifies and addresses any systemic patterns; works with Clery Compliance Officer
  • INVESTIGATING: promptly and thoroughly investigates each complaint and interviews all parties involved, maintaining confidentiality as requested by the victim and as appropriate in the context of campus safety
  • EDUCATING: trains students, faculty, and staff on Title IX-related issues and how to report; answers questions on subject matter

Regent University’s Title IX coordinators and investigators are listed below. Should you have any questions or concerns about any information on this website, please contact the appropriate representative.

Coordinator for Students Coordinator for Employees (including prospects)
Title IX or Age Discrimination:
Amber Steele
Title IX Coordinator
asteele@regent.edu
757-352-4928Jocelyn Dean
Deputy Title IX Coordinator
jgreene@regent.edu
757-352-4661Brennan Smith
Assistant Director of Career Services
Title IX Investigator
bsmith@regent.edu
757-352-4348
Title IX or Age Discrimination:
Jana Nattermann
Assistant Director of Human Resources
Title IX Investigator
jnattermann@regent.edu
757-352-4053