Online Inquiry Form
All UI&U degrees and certificates
For new and returning students
effective October 15, 2014, as Revised
Union Institute & University (UI&U) is committed to providing a learning environment free from violence. UI&U will not tolerate any sexual offense(s) in the work or academic setting. This sexual assault policy is designed to specifically address the public well-being of students, faculty, staff, visitors, and the university’s governing board. The university prohibits any activity that constitutes sexual assault or violence against women: offenders may be subject to disciplinary action and/or criminal proceedings.
This policy, as revised, incorporates actions defined within the federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) of March 7, 2013, which include domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking, in addition to sexual assault. At UI&U, none of these actions will be tolerated, regardless of whether the victim is male or female.
The policy is classified as an interim policy, representing a good faith effort to comply with the new federal regulations, which will not be finalized until later this year.
This policy is not meant to encompass all sexual assaults, rapes, stalking, domestic and dating violence that might be perpetrated against or by UI&U employees, students, and other members of the university community. The purview of this policy extends only to incidents that occur at university facilities and their immediate vicinity or during university sponsored off campus events and that involve a member of the university community: a student, employee, prospective student, member of the governing board, or visitor. For example, the policy does not apply if a UI&U student or employee is assaulted (or is the perpetrator of an assault) in the course of the student’s activities apart from UI&U, if the other involved party has no relationship to the university.
Mutually understandable consent is almost always an objective standard. Consent is mutually understandable when a reasonable person would consider the words or actions of the parties to have manifested an agreement between them to do the same thing, in the same way, at the same time, with one another.
Dating violence means 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 existing of such a relationship shall be determined based on consideration of the following factors: the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
Domestic violence includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner 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 or intimate partner, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction receiving grant monies, 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.
A criminal offense of any type committed against a person, property or society which is motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity, or national origin.
Rape is a violent form of sexual assault—an act of violence in which sex is used as a weapon. It includes any sexual intercourse with a person that occurs without his or her effective consent or when the person is unable to give consent. There are several different circumstances under which rape can occur.
The victim of sexual assault is never to blame for behavior of the perpetrator. For the purposes of this policy, sexual assault includes, but is not limited to, those activities described within the phrase “gross sexual imposition.” See university policies on “Harassment Avoidance” (employees) and “Discriminatory and Sexual Harassment” (students).Gross sexual imposition involves:
Sexual assault encompasses a range of unwanted sexual contacts and acts, including, but not limited to: rape and attempted rape, child sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, exhibitionism, voyeurism, fondling, and obscene phone calls. While sexual assault can take many forms, it is important to remember that the loss of power and control that a victim of sexual assault experiences is a common thread. Both women and men can sexually assault; both can be sexually assaulted.
Stalking means 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.
UI&U strives to foster a safe learning and working environment, considering both physical surroundings and the university’s response to allegations of sexual assault. The university monitors the physical surroundings of its centers to enhance security and safety through lighting, limited facilities access, security staff, etc. Occurrences or alleged occurrences of sexual assault and other actions covered under this policy at UI&U facilities and activities have been extremely rare.
While there is no absolute way to prevent a sexual assault or any of the other actions prohibited under this policy, there are a number of simple precautions that can be taken to minimize risk. Individuals should be aware of their surroundings and not let alcohol or other drugs cloud their judgment. Other preventative actions include:
Victims of sexual assault and other forms of violence covered under this policy are strongly encouraged to tell someone about the incident and to seek medical attention. A UI&U student, faculty or staff member, or visitor who is a victim of sexual assault, domestic or dating violence, or stalking has several options—there is no single plan of action. Options include any/all of the following:
UI&U will respond to all allegations of sexual assault and other actions covered under this policy made by students, faculty, staff, and visitors. The university’s response to a report of sexual assault may involve a number of individuals and organizations. The victim may be presented with options about how s/he wants to pursue the complaint.
For the safety of the university community, individuals who have been experienced any of the violations covered under this policy are strongly encouraged to report the incident to local law enforcement and/or the university. UI&U encourages all members of its learning community who believe they are victims of sexual assault, domestic or dating violence, or stalking to immediately report the incident to the police agency of jurisdiction. Reporting the incident to police can empower the victim by exercising her/his legal rights; it can also help protect others from similar assaults. The victim can report the incident directly, or request that the university make the report. In the event of a medical and/or police emergency resulting from an incident, medical response personnel and/or police should be contacted by calling 911. Victims of assault, rape, and domestic or dating violence are encouraged to seek medical attention and to avoid destroying evidence by bathing, douching, changing clothes or cleaning up in any way. Any additional evidence should be preserved by storing items in a paper bag.
If the victim decides to notify the police directly, he or she has the option of making a “blind” report: notifying the police of the incident but giving no names or other identification. The victim may also choose to report the incident at a later date, but should be aware that such delays may hinder the criminal justice system’s efforts to locate and/or prosecute the perpetrator.
If the victim chooses to report an incident to university authorities, he or she may do so by contacting the vice president for academic affairs (VPAA) or the vice president for human resources (VPHR), or by reporting the incident to any UI&U employee, asking her or him to make the report to university officials. Individuals reporting a sexual assault to the university should be aware that UI&U must report the incident to the appropriate law enforcement agency. Victims can be assured that, when they notify university officials, confidentiality will be preserved insofar as is possible within the framework of university policies and applicable state and federal regulations. (See the university procedure for reporting criminal incidents, within the policy statement on Facilities Access and Use.) Upon receipt of a report of an incident, the university will initiate a preliminary investigation.
While the preliminary university investigation is under way, the VPAA and/or VPHR may do any/all of the following:
During this preliminary investigation, UI&U will respect the rights of both the complainant and the accused. Following the preliminary investigation, if the complaint is found to have merit, a hearing will be held. Both parties (complainant and the accused) have the right to participate in that hearing; both parties also have the right to include an advisor of choice. The advisor may participate in the hearing only in an advisory capacity to his or her client: he or she has no voice in the hearing itself. The hearing will be conducted by a standing committee of university employees approved by the president. After the hearing has ended, the standing committee will make a recommendation about appropriate action by the university to either the VPAA or VPHR. Both parties will be informed, simultaneously, in writing, of the decision made by the VPAA or VPHR. Those notifications will include information on the procedure for appealing the decision.
Disciplinary action taken by the university against an employee or student found to be guilty of sexual assault or any of the other actions covered by this policy will depend on the severity of the case, up to and including termination of employment (employees) and dismissal from the university (students).
Any individual who is found to have intentionally filed a false report of sexual assault or any of the other behaviors prohibited under this policy will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment (employees) and dismissal from the university (students).
Under the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (as amended in 2000), UI&U has the discretionary authority to disclose to a victim of an alleged crime of violence the final results of disciplinary action taken by the university against the individual found to be the perpetrator of that crime. The victim may not disclose this information, but the university may choose to release certain information regarding the final results of a disciplinary hearing, if the hearing was related to an alleged crime of violence for which an individual was found to be in violation of university rules or policies. Information released will include only the perpetrator’s name, the violation committed, and the sanctions imposed by the university against the individual.
Both parties involved in the incident have the right to appeal the decision of the panel. Appeals must be submitted to the president, in writing, within 30 days of the written notification of the disciplinary action. Any appeal must contain new information pertinent to the incident that was not considered in the hearing. The president will consider the appeal and respond, in writing, within 30 days, notifying both parties to the incident simultaneously. Any appeal that includes a reference to legal action to be taken against the university will not be considered by the president, but will, instead, be immediately forwarded to the university’s legal counsel.
Both parties involved in the incident have the right to appeal the decision made by the VPAA or VPHR. Appeals must be submitted to the president, in writing, within 30 days of the written notification of the disciplinary action. Any appeal must contain new information pertinent to the incident that was not considered in the hearing. The president will consider the appeal and respond, in writing, within 30 days, notifying both parties to the incident simultaneously. Any appeal that includes a reference to legal action to be taken against the university will not be considered by the president, but will, instead, be immediately forwarded to the university’s legal counsel.
UI&U prohibits retaliation against individuals who report any of the types of incidents prohibited under this policy. Victims should immediately report any form of retaliation. Students, faculty or staff found to have engaged in retaliation against a victim will be subject to disciplinary action as provided in UI&U’s applicable policies.
The use of alcohol or drugs by a victim will not adversely affect his or her report of sexual assault or rape or status with UI&U in its consideration of an incident. Individuals should, however, be aware about the role that drugs and alcohol often play in cases of sexual assault. Alcohol consumption and certain drugs may reduce inhibitions and impair judgment, making individuals more vulnerable to assault. Individuals should also be aware of the so-called “rape drugs” (rohypnol, GHB, etc.), which may be given to an intended victim without her or his knowledge, resulting in loss of control or consciousness and inability to remember what happened while under the influence of the drug. For this reason, no one should accept an open drink from another person, nor should drinks be left unattended. Individuals who suspect that they have been given a drug should seek medical assistance immediately, not only to decrease medical risks but to allow for a blood test that will confirm the presence of a drug.