Nondiscrimination Statement & Title IX Coordinators
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in education. It reads:
"No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance."
-Legal Citation: Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and its implementing regulation at 34 C.F.R. Part 106 (Title IX)
Sex discrimination includes sexual harassment and sexual assault.
The Campus Conduct Hotline is a confidential, anonymous way to alert administrators of unsafe or unethical behavior BEFORE it spirals out of control. Dial toll-free: 866-943-5787.
Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Sexual Misconduct, Relationship (Dating) Violence, & Stalking Policy
Texas Lutheran University policy prohibits discrimination based on sex in employment and education programs and activities both on and off campus. Prohibited conduct is set forth in this policy, including under definitions. This policy applies to all students and employees and to conduct on school grounds, off-campus, and at school-sponsored activities, and through technology resources, including those provided by or used at TLU.
TLU policy and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex in employment and education programs and activities. Title IX protects all persons from sex discrimination, which includes sexual harassment and sexual violence. TLU will process all sex discrimination complaints it receives, including complaints of sexual harassment and sexual violence, regardless of where the conduct occurred, to determine whether the conduct occurred in the context of an employment or education program or activity or had continuing effects on campus. If alleged off-campus sexual harassment or sexual violence occurs in the context of an education program or activity or had continuing effects on campus, the complaint will be treated the same as a complaint involving on-campus conduct.
This includes complaints of sexual assault or harassment by students, employees, and third parties.TLU strongly urges students, faculty, staff, and third parties to promptly report incidents of conduct prohibited under this policy. Responsible employees (as defined below) are required to promptly report incidents of conduct prohibited under this policy.
Title IX Coordinators
The responsibilities of TLU’s Title IX deputy coordinators for students, faculty and non-faculty employees and third parties include investigating or overseeing the investigation of all incidents of alleged sexual assault or harassment; ensuring that consistent standards and practices apply to all investigations; being available to meet with students and employees who believe sexual assault or harassment has occurred; and assisting campus security and local law enforcement as needed.
Deputy coordinators for students, faculty and non-faculty employees and third parties report incidents whether resolved informally or formally to the University Title IX Coordinator. These reports allow the Title IX Coordinator to identify patterns in a particular area within the university and to coordinate compliance with federal regulations.
Complaints of sexual assault, sexual harassment or other conduct prohibited under this policy and inquiries concerning the application of Title IX and its regulations should be directed to the TLU Title IX Coordinator or the Deputy Coordinators listed below:
TITLE IX COORDINATOR
Vice President and Dean of Student Life & Learning
Alumni Student Center
1000 West Court Street
Seguin, TX 78155
TITLE IX DEPUTY COORDINATOR FOR STUDENTS
Associate Dean of Student Life & Learning
Alumni Student Center, Suite 102
1000 West Court Street
Seguin, TX 78155
Please contact Mr. Wych if you have a complaint against a student concerning sexual harassment, sex discrimination, sexual assault, conduct prohibited by this policy, or if you are a student with questions about Title IX.
TITLE IX DEPUTY COORDINATOR FOR FACULTY
Professor Dave Legore
Chair of Dramatic Media
C203 Weston Center
1000 West Court Street
Seguin, TX 78155
Please contact Dr. Davis if you are a faculty member with questions about Title IX or have a complaint against a faculty member concerning sexual harassment, sex discrimination, sexual assault or any conduct prohibited by this policy.
TITLE IX DEPUTY COORDINATOR FOR NON-FACULTY EMPLOYEES AND THIRD PARTIES
O.G. Beck Administration Building
1000 West Court Street, Suite 105A
Seguin, TX 78155
Please contact Ms. Turner if you are a non-faculty employee with questions about Title IX or have a complaint against a non-faculty employee concerning sexual harassment, sex discrimination, sexual assault or any conduct prohibited by this policy.
TITLE IX DEPUTY COORDINATOR FOR ATHLETICS
Associate Head Coach for Women's Basketball
145 Jones Complex
1000 West Court Street
Seguin, TX 78155
If you have a Title IX question or concern related to athletics, please contact Mr. Patterson.
Title IX Policy Definitions
Complainant means a person who submits a complaint alleging a violation of this policy.
Consent means intelligent, knowing, and voluntary consent and does not include coerced submission. “Consent” shall not be deemed or construed to mean the failure by the alleged victim to offer physical resistance to the offender. Once consent is withdrawn or revoked, the sexual activity must stop immediately.
- Consent must be voluntary and given without coercion, force, threats, or intimidation.
- Consent is not effective if it results from: (a) the use of physical force, (b) a threat of physical force, (c) intimidation, (d) coercion, (e) incapacitation, or (f) any other factor that would eliminate an individual’s ability to choose whether to engage in sexual activity.
- Consent can be withdrawn or revoked. Consent to one form of sexual activity (or one sexual act) does not constitute consent to other forms of sexual activity (or other sexual acts). Consent to sexual activity given on one occasion does not constitute consent to sexual activity on another occasion. The fact that two people are or were in a dating or sexual relationship does not constitute consent to engage in sexual activity.
- Consent cannot be given by a person who is incapacitated. A person cannot give consent if s/he is unconscious or coming in and out of consciousness. Examples of incapacitation include unconsciousness, sleep and blackouts. Whether an intoxicated person (due to using alcohol or other drugs) is incapacitated depends on the extent to which the person’s decision-making capacity, awareness of consequences, and ability to make fully informed judgments is impaired.
- Being intoxicated by drugs or alcohol does not diminish a person’s responsibility to obtain consent from the other party before engaging in sexual activity. Factors to be considered when determining culpability include whether the person knew, or whether a reasonable person in the accused’s position should have known, that the victim could not give, did not give, or revoked, consent; was incapacitated; or was otherwise incapable of giving consent.
Individuals who consent to sex must be able to fully understand what they are doing. Under TLU’s Title IX and student and employee disciplinary/sexual misconduct policy, “no” always means “no,” and “yes” may not always mean “yes.” For example, when alcohol or other drugs are used, a person will be considered unable to give valid consent if the person cannot appreciate the who, what, where, when, why, or how of a sexual interaction. In addition, silence — without clear action demonstrating permission —will not be assumed to indicate consent. Further, there is a difference between seduction and coercion; coercion is defined as unreasonably pressuring another person for sex. Coercing someone into engaging in sexual activity violates Title IX, student conduct and workplace policy in the same way as physically forcing someone into engaging in sexual activity.
Domestic violence is abuse or violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the complainant, by a person with whom the complainant shares a child in common, by a person with whom the complainant is cohabiting (or has cohabited) with a spouse or intimate partner, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the complainant under the domestic or family violence laws of the State of Texas, 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 State of Texas. An act of violence constitutes domestic violence if it is committed against a family member, a household member or someone the offender is currently dating or dated in the past, including a spouse, former spouse, person related by blood or marriage, a foster child or foster parent, and persons who are parents of a child in common.
HOSTILE EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT
Harassment creates a hostile environment when the conduct is sufficiently severe, pervasive, or persistent to interfere with or limit a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or opportunities offered by a school.
Rape means nonconsensual sexual intercourse or sexual penetration, which, in addition to intercourse, means nonconsensual oral or anal intercourse, or any other intrusion, however slight, by a sex organ into another person's body. It may or may not involve force or a threat of force, coercion, violence, or immediate bodily injury, threats of future retaliation, or duress.
Rape occurs when an actor compels another person to submit to or engage in sexual penetration against the person’s will, including when the victim is mentally incapable of consent. A person commits sexual assault if he or she causes the penetration of the anus or sexual organ of another person by any means, without that person's consent; causes the penetration of the mouth of another person by the sexual organ of the actor without that person's consent; or causes the sexual organ of another person, without that person's consent, to contact or penetrate the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of another person, including the actor. A sexual assault is without the consent if:
a. the actor compels the other person to submit or participate by the use of physical force or violence;
b. the actor compels the other person to submit or participate by threatening to use force or violence against the other person, and the other person believes the actor has the ability to execute the threat;
c. the other person has not consented and the actor knows the other person is unconscious or physically unable to resist;
d. the actor knows that as a result of mental disease or defect the other person is at the time of the sexual assault incapable either of appraising the nature of the act or resisting it;
e. the other person has not consented and the actor knows the other person is unaware the sexual assault is occurring;
f. the actor has intentionally impaired the other person's power to appraise or control the other person's conduct by administering any substance without the other person's knowledge; or
g. the actor compels the other person to submit or participate by threatening to use force or violence against any person and the other person believes that the actor has the ability to execute the threat.
Acquaintance Rape is a form of sexual violence committed by an individual known to the victim. This includes a person the victim may have just met, such as at a party, been introduced to through a friend, or met on a social networking website.
Respondent means the person alleged to be responsible for prohibited conduct alleged in a complaint.
Responsible Employee means a TLU employee who has a duty to promptly report incidents of sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual misconduct, domestic or dating violence, and stalking to the University Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinators. Responsible employees are not confidential reporting resources.
Retaliation means adverse educational or employment consequences, including workplace conduct or other conduct that adversely affects the academic, employment, or other institutional status of a student or employee of the University, visitor, applicant for admission to or employment with the University, because an individual has, in good faith, brought a complaint under this policy, opposed an unlawful practice, participated in an investigation, or requested accommodations. Examples of retaliation include, but are not limited to unfair grades, denial of promotion, non-selection/refusal to hire, denial of job benefits, demotion; suspension, discharge, threats, reprimands, negative evaluations, harassment, or other adverse treatment that is likely to deter a reasonable student or employee from pursuing his or her rights. Retaliation is strictly prohibited.
Sex discrimination is an adverse action taken against an individual because of sex, including sexual harassment, sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking as prohibited by Title IX, Title IV, VAWA/Campus SaVE Act, and other laws and regulations. Both men and women can be victims of sex discrimination.
Sexual Assault includes rape, fondling, and statutory rape.
Sexual harassment is any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. This includes unwelcome verbal, nonverbal or physical conduct including but not limited to unwelcome sexual advances; requests for sexual favors; and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature, such as sexual violence, sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and indecent exposure, where:
a. Submission to, or rejection of, the conduct is explicitly or implicitly used as the basis for any decision affecting a student’s academic status or progress, or access to benefits and services, honors, programs, or activities available at or through TLU; or
b. Such conduct is unwelcome; or
c. Submission to, or rejection of, the conduct by a TLU employee is explicitly or implicitly used as the basis for any decision affecting a term or condition of employment, or an employment decision or action; or
d. Such conduct is sufficiently severe or pervasive to create a hostile educational or employment environment.
Sexual harassment also includes acts of verbal, non-verbal (e.g., written) and physical aggression, intimidation or hostility based on sex or gender stereotyping, even if these acts are not sexual in nature.
a. Hostile Environment sexual harassment includes situations where harassment is sufficiently severe, pervasive or persistent and objectively offensive that it unreasonably interferes with, limits or denies the ability to participate in or benefit from the university educational or employment program or activities, sanctions can be imposed for the creation of a hostile environment. The determination of whether an environment is “hostile” must be based on all the circumstances. These circumstances could include, but are not limited to:
- The frequency of the speech or conduct;
- The nature and severity of the speech or conduct;
- Whether the conduct was physically threatening;
- Whether the speech or conduct was humiliating;
- The effect of the speech or conduct on the alleged victim’s mental and/or emotional state;
- Whether the speech or conduct was directed at more than one person;
- Whether the speech or conduct arose in the context of other discriminatory conduct;
- Whether the speech or conduct unreasonably interfered with the alleged victim’s educational or work performance;
- Whether a statement is a mere utterance of an epithet, which engenders offense in a student or offends by mere discourtesy or rudeness.
b. Quid Pro Quo sexual harassment exists when there are unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature where submission to, or rejection of, such conduct results in adverse educational or employment action. Quid pro quo harassment may also exist when a threat of adverse action or a promise of a benefit is explicitly conditioned on submission to, or rejection of, such requests.
Sexual Misconduct is behavior or conduct of a sexual nature that is unprofessional and/or inappropriate for the educational or working environment. Behaviors that may constitute sexual misconduct include, but are not limited to:
a. repeatedly engaging in sexually oriented conversations, comments, or horseplay, including the use of language or the telling of jokes or anecdotes of a sexual nature in the workplace, office, or classroom, even if such conduct is not objected to by those present;
b. gratuitous use of sexually oriented materials not directly related to the subject matter of a class, course, or meeting, even if not objected to by those present;
c. failure to observe the appropriate boundaries of the supervisor/subordinate or faculty member/student relationship, including the participation of a supervisor, teacher, advisor, or coach in an unreported consensual romantic or sexual relationship with a subordinate employee or student; or
d. engaging in sexual exploitation. Sexual exploitation occurs when an individual takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for his or her own benefit or to benefit anyone other than the one being exploited. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to, engaging in voyeurism; forwarding of pornographic or other sexually inappropriate material by email, text, or other channels to non-consenting students/groups; and any activity that goes beyond the boundaries of consent, such as recording of sexual activity, letting others watch consensual sex, or knowingly transmitting a sexually transmitted disease (STD) to another.
Sexual Violence is a form of sexual harassment and means physical sexual acts, such as unwelcome sexual touching, sexual assault, sexual battery, rape, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking (if based on sex), taken against an individual against his or her will and without consent or against an individual who is incapable of giving consent due to the use of drugs or alcohol, being a minor, or an intellectual or other disability. Sexual violence includes acts of physical force, violence, threats, and intimidation, ignoring the objections of the other person, causing the other person’s intoxication or incapacitation through drugs or alcohol, or taking advantage of another person’s incapacitation, including voluntary drug or alcohol intoxication. Incapacitated means the victim is temporarily incapable of appraising or controlling his/her conduct due to the influence of a narcotic, anesthetic or other substance administered without consent or due to any other act committed upon the victim without consent.1
Sexual violence can be carried out by school employees, other students, or third parties. All acts of sexual violence are forms of sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX. Both men and women can be victims of sexual violence.
Statutory rape is unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor under 17 years old, even if the intercourse is consensual. Stalking means a course of conduct directed at a specific person (1) intended to harass, annoy, alarm, abuse, torment, or embarrass that person or (2) which the actor knows or reasonably should know the other person will regard as threatening and causes or cause the person to fear:
Stalking means a course of conduct directed at a specific person (1) intended to harass, annoy, alarm, abuse, torment, or embarrass that person2 or (2) which the actor knows or reasonably should know the other person will regard as threatening and causes or cause the person to fear:
a. bodily injury or death;
b. bodily injury to or death of a member of the other person's family or household or an individual with whom they have a dating relationship; or
c. that an offense will be committed against the other person's property;
d. to feel harassed, annoyed, alarmed, abused, tormented, embarrassed, or offended; and
e. would cause a reasonable person to:
i. fear bodily injury or death for himself or herself;
ii. fear bodily injury or death for a member of the person's family or household or for an individual with whom the person has a dating relationship;
iii. fear that an offense will be committed against the person's property; or
iv. feel harassed, annoyed, alarmed, abused, tormented, embarrassed, or offended. 3
Cyberstalking means to engaging in a course of conduct to communicate or cause to be communicated, words, images, or language by or through the use of a computer, electronic mail or electronic communication4, directed at a specific person, causing substantial emotional distress to that person and serving no legitimate purpose. This includes online harassment as defined by sections 33.07 and 42.07 of the laws of the State of Texas.
1 Persons who are drugged, incapacitated, or under the age of 17 are unable to give consent.
2 Under section 42.07.
3 Sections 42.072 and 42.07.
4 "Electronic communication" means a transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data, or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic, photoelectronic, or photo-optical system.
Title IX Prohibited Conduct
Any conduct by an employee, student, or third party that denies or limits the ability of a student or employee to participate in or receive the benefits, services, or opportunities of employment or any TLU program or activity based on sex is prohibited. This includes any circumstance where:
- An employment or educational decision or benefit is conditioned on submission to unwelcome sexual advances or conduct;
- Submission to, or rejection of, unwelcome sexual conduct is used as a basis for denying employment or an opportunity to participate in or benefit from any school program or activity;
- Conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with, denying or limiting a student ability to participate in or benefit from any school program or activity or a term, condition or benefit of employment;
- Conduct alters the educational environment to the degree that it adversely affects the student’s ability to participate in or benefit from any school program whether or not that student is the target of the harassment;
- There is a pattern and practice of sexual harassment;
- A teacher, administrator or other person in a position of authority engages in sex discrimination or sexual harassment of a student or employee; and/or
- A student or a group of students engages in sexual harassment of another student or students.
The following are examples of behaviors that are prohibited under this policy. This is not intended to be an exhaustive list:
- Unwelcome sexual flirtations, advances or propositions;
- Derogatory, vulgar or graphic written or oral statements regarding one’s sexuality;
- Unwanted touching, patting, pinching, or other attention to an individual’s body;
- Attempted or actual physical assault;
- Any nonconsensual sexual act, including but not limited to, rape, sexual assault, sexual battery and sexual coercion;
- Unwelcome sexual comments, innuendoes, suggestions or jokes;
- Display of sexually suggestive pictures or objects;
- Domestic violence, dating violence, sexual violence, and stalking, including cyberstalking;
- Sending text messages, e-mails, or other electronic communications with nude or sexually suggestive photos, videos, or other images; and
- Sharing or sending nude or sexually suggestive images over the Internet.
This policy specifically includes electronic communications, including but not limited to phone calls, text messages, e-mail, and communications using social media such as Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and Facebook.
Reporting Sexual Misconduct or Filing a Complaint
Where To Report
Sexual assault, sexual harassment, sexual violence and other behavior prohibited by this policy should be reported to:
FOR COMPLAINTS AGAINST STUDENTS
830-372-8060 or firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR COMPLAINTS AGAINST FACULTY
Professor Dave Legore
830-372-6021 or email@example.com
FOR COMPLAINTS AGAINST ADMINISTRATORS, STAFF, OR NON-EMPLOYEES/THIRD PARTIES
830-372-8019 or firstname.lastname@example.org
A report can also be made to the Texas Lutheran University Police Department by dialing “0” on a campus phone or 830- 267-4877, or to Interim Police Chief Irene Garcia by dialing ext. “6309” on a campus phone or 830-372-8000, or to the City of Seguin Police Department by dialing “911.”
A complaint or report may be verbal or written and does not need to take a particular form.
Students may also report any incident of sexual violence or sexual harassment that may create or contribute to the creation of a hostile environment to any instructor or school employee. Students, staff and faculty may notify the head of their department or unit, their supervisor, or any member of the administration with whom they are comfortable. Any instructor or other employee receiving such a report is responsible for reporting it to the Title IX coordinator. Failure to comply with this policy shall be grounds for disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
A representative of TLU, typically a Deputy Title IX coordinator, will meet with the complainant, give the complainant a copy of this policy, and explain:
- The importance of seeking immediate medical attention for sexual assaults
- The importance of preserving evidence
- The right to report a crime to campus or local law enforcement
- The right to not report a crime to law enforcement or file criminal charges
- The right to simultaneously file both a criminal complaint with campus security or local law enforcement and an institutional Title IX complaint
- The right to assistance from school officials with filing a criminal complaint, if assistance is requested
- Internal options, including informal and formal resolution1
- Available health care, victim advocacy, academic support, mental health, legal assistance resources and counseling services available both on and off campus, including the campus health center, the campus counseling center and sexual assault resource centers, and pastoral counselors, which can be found here.
- Even if a complainant asks TLU not to take any action, the University is obligated to investigate the complaint
- Prohibitions against retaliation
- Interim measures that may be put in place, including a no-contact order pending the outcome of the investigation, providing support services, changing living arrangements or course schedules, assignments, or tests, and temporary removal of the respondent from the campus community pending the outcome of an investigation.
- Options for avoiding contact with the respondent(s), including being allowed to change academic and extracurricular activities and living, transportation, dining, and working situations as appropriate
- Complaints against students may be referred to the Office of the Vice President and Dean of Student Life and Learning for adjudication through the student conduct process.
- Complaints against employees may be referred for disciplinary action by Human Resources and/or Academic Affairs.
When implementing interim protective measures and taking steps to separate complainants from respondents, TLU will attempt to minimize the burden on the complainant.
TLU will make reasonable and appropriate efforts to preserve student complainants’ and student respondents’ privacy and to protect the confidentiality of information. TLU will only disclose information regarding complaints under this policy on a need to know basis, primarily to persons who are responsible for its investigation and any reporting requirements.
TLU strongly supports a complainant’s interest in confidentiality in cases involving sexual violence. If a student complainant requests confidentiality, the Title IX coordinator will determine whether TLU can honor this request while providing a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for all students, including the student who reported the sexual violence. A request for confidentiality could preclude a meaningful investigation; therefore, TLU will consider whether there are circumstances present that demonstrate a risk that the respondent may commit additional acts of sexual violence or other violence. These include whether other sexual violence complaints have been received about the same respondent; whether the respondent has a history of arrests; whether the respondent has records from a prior school indicating a history of violence; whether the respondent threatened further sexual violence or other violence against the complainant or others; and whether the sexual violence was committed by multiple perpetrators. Other factors include whether the sexual violence was perpetrated with a weapon, and the age of the student subjected to the sexual violence.
If the complainant asks that the complaint not be pursued, TLU will take reasonable steps to investigate and respond to the complaint consistent with the request not to pursue an investigation.
Even when a student asks that a complaint not be pursued or that information be kept confidential, if necessary, TLU will take action to protect the student. This includes providing support services and changing living arrangements or course schedules, assignments, or tests as appropriate.
1 Mediation cannot be used in cases of alleged sexual assault.
Complaints under this policy will be investigated by the Title IX coordinator, deputy or a designee (referred as the “investigator”). Other university officials may assist in gathering facts during the investigation and information from TLU campus security or local law enforcement officials may be considered. Both parties will be given the same opportunity to present relevant evidence and witnesses, including character witnesses. If the respondent is allowed to review the complainant’s statement, the complainant may also review any statement by the respondent.
No other witness statements or documents will be available for review by the parties during the investigation. In cases of alleged domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking, proceedings under this policy shall provide a prompt, fair, and impartial investigation and resolution; and be conducted by officials who receive annual training on the issues related to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking and how to conduct an investigation and hearing process that protects the safety of victims and promotes accountability.
TLU will make every effort to complete its investigation of Title IX sex discrimination complaints within 60 days. If additional time is needed, both the complainant and respondent will be notified. In addition, the complainant and respondent will receive periodic status updates on the progress of the complaint.
During the investigation and any subsequent hearing process or appeal, TLU may implement interim actions including, but are not limited to no-contact orders pending the outcome of the investigation and/or appeal, providing academic support and counseling services, changing living arrangements or course schedules, assignments, or tests, temporary removal of the respondent from the campus community pending the outcome of an investigation, and options for avoiding contact, including being allowed to change academic and extracurricular activities and living, transportation, dining, and working situations as appropriate.
RELEVANT INFORMATION FOR INVESTIGATION
At the outset of an investigation, the Title IX coordinator/investigator will notify the respondent of the allegations against him or her and request a written response. In addition, the Title IX coordinator/investigator may collect and consider the following types of information:
- Statements by the complainant and respondent about the alleged incident(s);
- Statements by witnesses to the alleged incident(s);
- Evidence about the credibility of the complainant and the respondent;
- Evidence that the respondent has been found to have harassed other;
- Evidence that the complainant has made false allegations against other individuals;
- Evidence as to whether the complainant’s reaction or behavior after the alleged harassment;
- Evidence as to whether the complainant filed a complaint or took other action to address the conduct soon after the incident occurred; and
- Other evidence of the harassment (e.g., reporting conduct to parents, counselors or friends, or medical records)
- The fact of a current or previous consensual dating or sexual relationship between the parties will not imply consent or preclude a finding of sexual violence.
The Title IX coordinator/investigator has broad discretion in determining whether a proffered witness or documentary information would be relevant or helpful to a determination.
A “preponderance of the evidence” standard will be used.
TIME FRAME FOR INVESTIGATION AND COMPLETION OF REPORT
An investigation and report should normally be completed within 60 calendar days after notice of a complaint. This time may be extended for good cause, including breaks or the unavailability of the complainant or respondent. A written decision should be completed and provided to the parties at the conclusion of the investigation.
All faculty, staff and students are required to cooperate in the investigation process. Refusal to cooperate will result in disciplinary action based on failure to cooperate in an official university investigation for employees and disciplinary action potentially leading to dismissal.
NOTICE OF INVESTIGATION
At the outset of an investigation, the investigator will advise the respondent of the allegations against him or her in writing.
OPPORTUNITY TO PARTICIPATE
Both the complainant and the respondent will have the same opportunity to meet with the investigator, to submit relevant documentary or other evidence, including character evidence, and to request that the investigator speak with relevant witnesses and evaluate written documents and statements. The investigator may exclude any third party (including legal counsel, family members, or character witnesses) from such meetings and interviews.
PENDING CRIMINAL MATTERS
The internal investigation will proceed whether a related criminal matter is pending or not. If there is an ongoing criminal investigation, TLU will not wait for the conclusion of the criminal investigation or criminal proceeding to begin its own Title IX investigation. However, TLU may temporarily delay the fact-finding portion of a Title IX investigation while the police or other law enforcement officials are gathering evidence.
Hearings & Appeals
Once the Title IX investigation concludes, a decision must be made concerning disciplinary action. When the complaint involves a student respondent, the investigator's final report will be submitted to the Vice President and Dean of Student Life & Learning who will determine whether to charge the student with a disciplinary infraction. When the complaint involves an employee, the report will be forwarded to the Vice President for Academic Affairs or the Vice President for Finance to determine whether to proceed with disciplinary action. For non-faculty employees, standard disciplinary and termination procedures will be followed. For faculty respondents, disciplinary and termination procedures for faculty will be followed. No complaint will be forwarded for a hearing unless there is reasonable cause to believe policy has been violated. “Reasonable cause” is defined as some credible information to support each element of the offense, even if that information is merely a credible witness or an alleged victim’s statement. A complaint wholly unsupported by any credible information will not be forwarded for a hearing.
HEARING PROCESS FOR STUDENT RESPONDENTS
If the Vice President and Dean of Student Life & Learning refers the matter for a hearing, both the complainant and respondent will receive notice of the hearing and be given the opportunity to present evidence and witnesses, as well as have an advisor of their choice present, though that advisor may not participate in any of the proceedings. The Student Code of Conduct hearing process and hearing procedures contained in the Student Handbook will be followed unless a different process is stated below. The notice will be in writing and may be delivered by one or more of the following methods: in person by the Associate Dean of Students (or a designee); mailed to the local or permanent address of the student as indicated in official university records; or emailed to the student’s university-issued email account. Once mailed, emailed and/or received in-person, such notice will be presumed delivered.
At the hearing, there shall be no authority to compel the attendance of witnesses. The following applies:
a. Both parties will be given similar and timely access to information that will be used at the hearing
b. Any conflicts of interest between a party and the fact-finder or decision-maker at a hearing must be disclosed
c. Both parties will be given the same opportunity to present relevant evidence and witnesses, including character witnesses
d. If the respondent is allowed to review the complainant’s statement, the complainant may also to review the respondent’s statement
e. The parties are prohibited from personally questioning each other at hearings
f. If the institution allows attorneys to attend the disciplinary hearings, the attorneys for both sides must have the same opportunity to speak and participate
g. If attorneys are allowed to attend in an advisory capacity both sides must have the same opportunity to provide advice.
h. TLU will maintain documentation of all disciplinary hearing proceedings, including written findings of facts, transcripts, and any audio recordings
i. The fact of a current or previous consensual dating or sexual relationship between the parties does not itself imply consent or preclude a finding of sexual violence.
j. If a complainant or respondent refuses to participate in a Title IX hearing that the Vice President and Dean of Student Life & Learning has determined should occur, the hearing shall proceed and the matter determined in their absence.
The hearing can be held before an administrative hearing officer or disciplinary panel at the Vice President’s or a designee’s discretion. The respondent and complainant may question their own or opposing witnesses, although the hearing officer of disciplinary panel can require that questions be submitted to and asked by the panel or officer at its/his/her discretion. The complainant and respondent shall not be allowed to question one another during the hearing. Witnesses may be questioned by the hearing panel or administrative hearing officer. The respondent and complainant shall have an equal opportunity to submit questions to the hearing officer or disciplinary panel to be asked of witnesses.
COMPOSITION OF THE HEARING PANEL
All hearings will be conducted by a three-member administrative panel drawn from the panel pool and trained about Title IX on an annual basis.
The past sexual history or sexual character of a complainant or respondent will be inadmissible in hearings unless determined to be highly relevant by the panel chair. Such information sought to be admitted by a party or the university will be presumed irrelevant until a showing of relevance is made, at least five (5) days prior to the hearing, to the chair. Demonstration of pattern, repeated, and/or predatory behavior by the responding student, in the form of previous findings in any legal or campus proceeding, or in the form of previous good faith allegations, will generally be relevant to the finding, not just the sanction. The complainant and respondent will be notified in advance if any such information is deemed relevant and will be introduced in the hearing.
The three-member administrative panel will determine whether it is more likely than not that a violation of policy occurred and issue a written decision. The written decision will include, but not be limited to, whether the allegations were substantiated, and if so, disciplinary sanctions and remedial measures. The hearing decision will be provided to both parties, although the content of each letter may be modified subject to the limitations of FERPA and other federal or state privacy laws. In cases of alleged sexual assault, the result of the hearing and any sanction imposed with disclosed to both parties regardless of whether the hearing concludes an assault was committed. The complainant and respondent will both be sent notice of the hearing panel’s findings in writing within the same 48-hour period. The written recommendation will be relayed to the respondent and complainant, with any restrictions or sanctions. If the complaint is against a faculty member or other employee, the hearing decision will be submitted to the appropriate Vice President, who will make a recommendation concerning restrictions or sanctions to the President. The President or the President's designee will make the final determination as to any recommended actions or sanctions.
Any person who serves as a hearing officer, a disciplinary panel member or on a hearing board related to Title IX sexual misconduct must receive annual training on legal requirements and the University’s policies and procedures related to sexual harassment and sexual violence.
A student may appeal a decision of the panel to the Vice President or designee. The appeal must be submitted in writing within three business days of receiving written notification of hearing outcome.
GROUNDS FOR APPEAL
Appeal requests are limited to the following grounds:
- A procedural error that significantly impacted the outcome of the hearing;
- To consider new evidence that was no available during the original hearing or investigation and could substantially impact the original finding or sanction.1
- A summary of this new evidence and its potential impact must be included;2
- The sanctions imposed are disproportionate to the severity of the violation and the student’s overall conduct record.
Appeals must be filed in writing with the Dean of Students Office within three business days of the notice of the outcome of the hearing, and either the respondent or complainant may file an appeal. Appeals filed after the deadline will not be considered.
The Vice President or designee will issue a decision in writing no later than 30 days after the request for an appeal has been submitted. This deadline may be extended. If this deadline is extended, the Vice President or designee will notify the complainant and respondent in writing.
1 Failure to provide information during or participate in an investigation or a hearing, even resulting from concern over pending criminal or civil proceedings, does not make evidence “unavailable” at the time of the hearing.
2 The Associate Dean of Students is expected to consult with the chair of the original panel to inquire as to whether the new evidence would, in the opinion of the chair, have substantially impacted the original finding or sanction.
Sanctions & Protective Measures
If a violation of this policy is proven by a preponderance of the evidence (i.e., that it is more likely than not that sexual harassment occurred), immediate action, including protective measures, will be implemented to end the harassment and prevent its reoccurrence. The recommended action will depend on the degree of control TLU has over the respondent and the nature, frequency and severity of the substantiated sexual harassment. In all instances, the Title IX coordinator or a deputy coordinator will follow up and communicate with the complainant at the conclusion of the hearing process.
Depending on whether the respondent is a student, teacher, staff member, or third party, sanctions can include a verbal warning, written reprimand, a no-contact order, short-term or long-term suspension, expulsion, or dismissal/termination. Counseling for the complainant and respondent will also be considered as remedial action. In addition, the following protective measures may be imposed following a final determination of rape, acquaintance rape, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking:
PROTECTIVE OR REMEDIAL MEASURES
Available protective and remedial measures include, but are not limited to:
a. Providing an escort to ensure that the complainant can move safely between classes and activities;
b. Ensuring the complainant and perpetrator do not share classes or extracurricular activities;
c. Moving the perpetrator or complainant (if the complainant requests to be moved) to a different residence hall;
d. Providing comprehensive, holistic victim services including medical, counseling and academic support services, such as tutoring;
e. Arranging for the complainant to have extra time to complete or re-take a class or withdraw from a class without an academic or financial penalty; and
f. Reviewing any disciplinary actions taken against the complainant to see whether there is a causal connection between the sexual violence and the misconduct that may have resulted in the complainant being disciplined
Any sanction imposed on the perpetrator of sexual assault or harassment that relates directly to the victim, such as a “no contact” order, transfer to different classes or housing, or a suspension will be disclosed to the complainant. The perpetrator will not be notified of the individual remedies offered or provided to the complainant other than no-contact orders. In cases of alleged sexual violence, the result of the hearing and any sanction imposed with disclosed to both parties regardless of whether the hearing concludes an assault was committed.
Informal Resolution, FERPA Rights, Non-retaliation, & Dissemination of Policy
If the complainant requests mediation or informal resolution, he/she will not be required to work out problems directly with the respondent. Mediation cannot be used in cases of alleged sexual assault. In addition, the complainant has the right to terminate the informal resolution procedure at any time and pursue a formal complaint.
ALLEGED STUDENT PERPETRATOR’S RIGHTS UNDER THE FAMILY EDUCATIONAL RIGHTS AND PRIVACY ACT (FERPA)
Under FERPA, an alleged student perpetrator may ask to inspect and review information about the allegations against him or her if the information directly relates to the respondent and is maintained as an education record. In such a case, TLU will either redact the complainant’s name and all identifying information before allowing the respondent to inspect and review the sections of the complaint that relate to him or her, or notify the respondent of the specific information in the complaint that is about the respondent. See 34 C.F.R. § 99.12(a).
Retaliation against a student, employee, or other individual who reports or complains about sex discrimination to an appropriate school official or participates in a report, investigation or proceeding involving a claim or allegation under this policy because he or she made a complaint, testified, or participated in an investigation or proceedings is prohibited.
DISSEMINATION OF POLICY
This policy must be distributed to:
- Administrators, faculty, and other employees
- Applicants for admission
- Applicants for employment
This policy must be available:
- On the TLU website
- In hard copy at multiple campus locations
- In both printed and electronic publications, including student, staff, and faculty handbooks, codes of conduct, and catalogs
Health Care, Victims’ Advocacy Support, and Related Services and Providers
TLU POLICE DEPARTMENT
Dial “0” from any campus phone or call
Law enforcement for on-campus incidents
DEAN OF STUDENTS OFFICE
Alumni Student Center 102
Offers support services, conducts investigations, and coordinates responses to specific concerns
TLU COUNSELING SERVICES
Alumni Student Center, Meadows Center
Provides confidential counseling services and crisis services at no charge to TLU students
TLU HEALTH CENTER
Provides confidential medical services to TLU students
INTERIM CAMPUS PASTORS
Rev. Kelsie Theiss & Rev. Marcus Bigott
Chapel Of The Abiding Presence
email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Provides confidential spiritual assistance for students while going through crisis
GUADALUPE REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER ER
1215 E Court St., Seguin, Texas
SEGUIN COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTER
205 N. King St., Seguin, Texas
CRIME VICTIMS’ SERVICES
GUADALUPE VALLEY FAMILY VIOLENCE SHELTER
CITY OF SEGUIN POLICE DEPARTMENT
350 N. Guadalupe St., Seguin, Texas
Victim Liaison: Renee Billings
Texas Lutheran University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age in its programs and activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Kristi Quiros, Title IX Coordinator, 830-372-8060. TLU's Title IX policies are outlined at www.tlu.edu/titleix. For further information on notice of non-discrimination, click here for the address and phone number of the office that serves your area, or call 1-800-421-3481.