Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Stalking and Retaliation Policy
Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Stalking, and Retaliation (last revised August 7, 2015)
Purpose of Policy
Colorado State University is committed to providing an environment that respects the dignity and worth of every member of its community. The University strives to create and maintain a work and study environment that is fair, inclusive, and responsible so that each member of the University community is treated with dignity and respect and is rewarded for relevant considerations such as ability and performance. The purpose of this policy is to define the types of conduct that are prohibited by the University as a means of achieving these goals and to prevent harm arising from discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking and retaliation.
Colorado State University is committed to providing an environment that is free from discrimination and harassment based on race, age, creed, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, sex, gender, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or pregnancy. Such an environment is necessary to a healthy learning, working, and living atmosphere because discrimination and harassment undermine human dignity and the positive connection among all people at our University. Acts of discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, and retaliation will be addressed consistent with this policy.
Consistent with state and federal law, reasonable accommodation will be provided to persons with disabilities.
This Policy supersedes all prior University Policies on discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, and retaliation.
Application of Policy
This policy applies to all members of the University community who are subject to the jurisdiction and authority of the University with respect to matters of discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, and retaliation. This includes, without limitation, students, faculty, employees, affiliates, visitors, and (where provided by law or contract) agents, contractors, subcontractors, and grantees of the University. All University business units, wherever located, are covered by this policy.
As used in this policy, the following terms are to be understood and applied as follows, unless clearly stated otherwise:
A. Action or conduct, as used in this policy, also includes inaction or omission where there is a responsibility to act. Action or conduct that occurs off-campus can be subject to this policy if it involves one or more Covered Persons and (a) causes an impact to any person(s) on campus, (b) reasonably relates to the health, safety and security of the campus or any person(s) on campus, or (c) reasonably relates to the Responding Party’s fitness or capacity to act in accordance with his or her obligations and/or the policies of the University (e.g., the Student Conduct Code or any policy or code relating to the conduct of an employee).
B. Consent to sexual activity is consent that is informed, knowing and voluntary. Consent is active, not passive, and requires cooperation in act or attitude pursuant to an exercise of free will and with knowledge of the nature of the act. Silence, in and of itself, cannot be interpreted as consent. Sexual activity with someone known, or who should be known, to be mentally or physically incapacitated by alcohol or other drug use, unconscious or in a state of blackout, or otherwise unable to give consent, is not valid consent. A person is considered to be incapable of giving consent when the person lacks the cognitive ability to make an important life decision, and this measure applies even when the same persons have engaged with one another in consensual sex in the past.
C. Covered Persons are all Colorado State University students, employees (including faculty), visitors, volunteers, affiliates, and (where provided by law or contract) agents, contractors, subcontractors, and grantees
D. Dating violence means violence committed by a person:
1. who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the impacted party; and
2. where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors:
i. the length of the relationship;
ii. the type of relationship;
iii. the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
3. For the purposes of this definition, dating violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse. Dating violence does not include acts covered under the definition of domestic violence.
E. Discrimination is conduct that is based upon an individual’s race, age, creed, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, gender, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or pregnancy, and that (a) excludes an individual from participation in, (b) denies the individual the benefits of, (c) treats the individual differently from others in, or (d) otherwise adversely affects a term or condition of an individual’s employment, education, living environment or University program or activity. It is unlawful discrimination for an employer to refuse to hire, to discharge, to promote or demote, to harass during the course of employment, or to discriminate in matters of compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment against any person otherwise qualified because of any of these factors. This includes failing to provide reasonable accommodation, consistent with state and federal law, to persons with disabilities.
F. 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 State of Colorado or other jurisdiction in which this policy applies, 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.
G. Harassment covered under this policy is conduct that demonstrates hostility towards a person (or a group of persons) based upon that person’s race, age, creed, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, gender, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or pregnancy and has the purpose or effect of:
1. Creating an intimidating or hostile environment in which to work, learn, or participate in a University activity, or unreasonably interfering with or affecting any such activities; or
2. Unreasonably affecting a person's educational or work opportunities. Harassment may take various forms, including name-calling, verbal, graphic or written statements (including the use of electronic means), or other conduct that a reasonable person would find physically threatening, harmful, or humiliating. Harassment does not have to involve the intent to cause harm, be directed at a specific target, or involve repeated incidents in order to be prohibited. Sex-based harassment includes sexual harassment, which is further defined below, and non-sexual harassment based on stereotypical notions of what is female/feminine v. male/masculine or a failure to conform to those gender stereotypes.
H. Impacted Party/Complainant: The person who reports, or is reported by another person, as having been subject to acts constituting discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking or retaliation by another.
I. Responding Party: The person reported to have been engaging in acts that may constitute a violation of this policy, including discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking or retaliation in violation of this policy.
J. Retaliation is any overt or covert act of reprisal, interference, restraint, penalty, discrimination, intimidation, or harassment, against any person or group for exercising rights under this policy, including opposing any practices forbidden under this policy, filing a complaint, testifying, assisting, or participating in any manner in an investigation or proceeding under this policy. This includes action taken against a bystander who intervened to stop or attempt to stop discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking or retaliation. Action is generally deemed retaliatory if it would deter a reasonable person in the same circumstances from opposing practices prohibited by this policy or participating in the complaint processes under this policy.
K. Sexual harassment is harassment that is of an implicitly or overtly sexual nature, or is based on a person’s actual or perceived sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. Sexual harassment, including sexual assault, can involve persons of the same or opposite sex, and includes any unwelcome sexual advance, request for sexual favors, or other conduct of a sexual nature when:
1. Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment, education or participation in a University activity;
2. Submission to, or rejection of, such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for, or a factor in, decisions affecting that individual's employment, education or participation in a University activity; or
3. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's employment or academic performance or creating an intimidating, offensive or hostile environment for that individual's employment, education or participation in a University activity.
L. Sexual misconduct is any conduct that constitutes sexual assault, sexual exploitation, or sexual violence, as follows:
1. Sexual assault means an actual or attempted sexual contact with another person without that person’s consent. Sexual assault includes, but is not limited to:
i. Involvement in any sexual contact when the victim is unable to consent.
ii. Intentional and unwelcome touching of, or coercing, forcing, or attempting to coerce or force another to touch a person’s intimate parts (defined as genital area, groin, inner thigh, buttocks, or breast).
iii. Sexual intercourse without consent, including acts commonly referred to as rape, such as penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.
iv. Fondling, including the touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of age or temporary or permanent mental incapacity.
v. Incest, including sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within degrees where marriage is prohibited by law.
vi. Statutory rape, including sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent. 2. Sexual exploitation occurs when a person takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for anyone’s advantage or benefit other than the person being exploited, and that behavior does not otherwise constitute one of the other sexual misconduct offenses defined herein. Examples of behavior that could rise to the level of sexual exploitation include:
i. Prostituting another person;
ii. Non-consensual visual (e.g., video, photograph) or audio-recording of sexual activity;
iii. Non-consensual distribution of photos, other images, or information of an individual’s sexual activity, intimate body parts, or nakedness, with the intent to or having the effect of embarrassing an individual who is the subject of such images or information;
iv. Going beyond the bounds of consent (such as letting others hide in the closet to watch you having consensual sex);
v. Engaging in non-consensual voyeurism;
vi. Knowingly transmitting a sexually transmitted disease, such as HIV, to another without disclosing your STD status;
vii. Exposing one’s genitals in non-consensual circumstances, or inducing another to expose his or her genitals; and
viii. Possessing, distributing, viewing or forcing others to view illegal pornography.
3. Sexual violence is a severe form of sexual harassment, and refers to physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent, including but not limited to rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, sexual coercion or similar acts in violation of state or federal law.
M. Stalking means engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to (a) fear for his or her safety or the safety of others, or (b) suffer substantial emotional distress. For the purposes of this definition:
i. Course of conduct means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person, or interferes with a person’s property.
ii. Reasonable person means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the victim.
iii. Substantial emotional distress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.
Examples of behaviors by a person stalking another are:
1. Follow you and show up wherever you are.
2. Send unwanted gifts, letters, cards, or e-mails.
3. Damage your home, car, or other property.
4. Monitor your phone calls or computer use.
5. Use technology, like hidden cameras or global positioning systems (GPS), to track where you go.
6. Drive by or hang out at your home, school, or work.
7. Threaten to hurt you, your family, friends, or pets.
8. Find out about you by using public records or online search services, hiring investigators, going through your garbage, or contacting friends, family, neighbors, or co-workers.
9. Posting information or spreading rumors about you on the Internet, through social media, in a public place, or by word of mouth.
10. Other actions that control, track, or frighten you.
Statement of Policy Principles
It is the policy of Colorado State University to maintain an academic and work environment free of discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking and retaliation for students, faculty, and employees. Such conduct is contrary to the standards of the University community and common decency. It diminishes individual dignity, impedes equal employment and educational opportunities and equal access to freedom of academic inquiry, and creates barriers to fulfilling the University’s scholarly, research, educational, and service missions. Such conduct will not be tolerated at the University.
Discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking and retaliation also are illegal; they are prohibited in the employment context by Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, in the education context by Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, and, in both employment and education contexts, by Colorado’s anti-discrimination laws, including, but not limited to, C.R.S. §24-34-401, et seq. Such conduct also can violate federal and state criminal laws.
Colorado State University does not discriminate on the basis of race, age, creed, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, sex, gender, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or pregnancy and will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. The University complies with the Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, related Executive Orders 11246 and 11375, Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 402 of the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, as amended, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, as amended, The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Civil Rights Act of 1991, the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, and all civil rights laws of the State of Colorado. Accordingly, equal access and opportunity in treatment, employment, admissions, programs and activities shall be extended to all persons. The University shall promote equal opportunity and treatment in employment through a positive and continuing affirmative action program for ethnic minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and veterans.
To comply with federal requirements regarding non-discrimination in admissions and operations, the University’s approved non-discrimination statement must appear in major University publications such as the General Catalog. A brief required non-discrimination statement also must appear in written advertisements and University publications, including those used to inform prospective students of University programs. The required non-discrimination statements, as well as further information regarding these requirements, are available at the Office of Equal Opportunity.
The University prohibits any act of discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence or stalking by a Covered Person, and any retaliation related to reports of such acts. The University takes all allegations of such misconduct seriously. When allegations of such acts are reported, and a Covered Person is found to have violated this policy, consequences will result, up to and including dismissal from CSU. Any disciplinary action for a tenured faculty member must follow the procedures outlined in Section E.15; Disciplinary Action for Tenured Faculty, of the Faculty and Administrative Professional Manual.
All members of the CSU community are expected to not infringe upon the rights of others. This Policy has been adopted to reaffirm this principle and to provide support and recourse to those who are impacted by discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or retaliation perpetrated by a member of the University community. When the Responding Party is determined not to be a Covered Person at the time of the report, he or she may nevertheless be subject to this policy in the event that he or she becomes a Covered Person in the future, as well as being subject to other laws and policies.
Responsibilities and Procedures
1. Title IX Sex-Based Discrimination, Harassment, Misconduct and Retaliation Involving Students
CSU has appointed a Title IX Coordinator and a Deputy Title IX Coordinator to oversee and coordinate its compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. 1681 et seq. (Title IX), and its implementing regulations, 34 C.F.R. Part 106. Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs or activities by recipients of federal financial assistance. The Title IX Coordinator is the Executive Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity. The Deputy Title IX Coordinator is the Director of the Office of Support and Safety Assessment.
All CSU employees and volunteers, including faculty, staff and students acting in their employment or volunteer roles, are mandatory reporters of any violations or alleged violations of Title IX. In order to comply with this law and enable the University to proactively respond effectively and stop instances of sex-based discrimination, sexual harassment and sexual misconduct involving students at the University, all University employees must, within 24 hours of receiving the information, report information they have about alleged or possible sex-based discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, and retaliation involving students to the Deputy Title IX Coordinator in the Office of Support and Safety Assessment (SSA) or the Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO). Mandatory reporting means that information indicating that a person has allegedly committed or been the target of alleged or possible sex-based discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual misconduct involving students may not be withheld, even if confidentiality is requested by the reporting party.
Being a mandatory reporter is consistent with having concern for and supporting those involved in violations or alleged violations. It signifies that campus safety is at the forefront of the community’s concern. When a Covered Person discloses information, it is best for the employee or volunteer to mention they are a mandated reporter and will have to share the information with the University, but that the Covered Person will still always have the choice whether or not to share their story with others at the University whose responsibility it is to investigate. Examples of mandatory reporters include, but are not limited to:
a. Faculty member to whom a student reveals an incident of sexual harassment or sexual misconduct involving the student or other Covered Persons protected under this policy.
b. A Resident Assistant who receives information from one of their residents that they were assaulted by another student at an off campus party.
c. A person who is acting as a volunteer at a CSU-hosted activity who observes another person engaging in sexual contact with a child in the program.
Remember, these are just examples. Sex-based discrimination, harassment, misconduct and retaliation must be reported no matter what the circumstances if they involve students. Employees exempt from these mandatory reporting requirements are only those employees who are statutorily prohibited from reporting such information, for example, licensed healthcare professionals acting within the scope of the professional-patient relationship, and Sexual Assault Victim Assistance Team members. If you are unsure whether or not you are exempt, you must contact OEO to determine whether or not an exemption applies. Teachers are not exempt from reporting incidents involving students unless one of these special statutory exemptions applies.
Reports of any violation or suspected violation of the protections of Title IX involving a student may be made to the Deputy Title IX Coordinator, whose name and contact information is always available online at http://www.supportandsafety.colostate.edu/sexual-harassment or by calling 970-491-7407.
Upon receiving a report of alleged or possible sex-based discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, sexual assault, or retaliation, the Deputy Title IX Coordinator will evaluate the information received and determine what further actions should be taken. Further action may include contacting the CSU Police Department. If, after such evaluation, it reasonably appears that a violation of this policy by a student or an employee has occurred, SSA will follow the appropriate procedures referenced below.
When the Responding Party is a student, the Deputy Title IX Coordinator will determine what further actions shall be taken, which may include investigation of the report and referral to the Office of Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct Services for possible disciplinary action and imposition of sanctions as set forth under the Student Conduct Code.
2. Sexual Misconduct, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Stalking and Retaliation Involving Non-Students who are Covered Persons
The Office of Support and Safety Assessment also handles complaints of sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, and related retaliation, involving non-students who are Covered Persons under this policy, and may refer such matters (or receive referrals from the CSU Police Department or other law enforcement agencies. Reports of such incidents should be made to SSA or CSUPD.
3. Employment-Related Discrimination, Harassment, and Other Violations
The Office of Equal Opportunity handles reports of discrimination and harassment in employment or educational opportunity, including sexual harassment complaints involving both students and non-student Covered Persons. (Note: student-to-student discrimination and harassment may be reported directly to the Office of Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct Services (CRSCC) at 491-7165).
There are two conditions under which the OEO will take steps, either directly with the Impacted Party or through a reporting employee, to provide information about the University’s procedures for filing a complaint:
a. when the Impacted Party is a student and the Responding Party consists of either faculty, employees, affiliates, or visitors;
b. when the Impacted Party and the Responding Party are non-students.
The OEO will maintain, publish and follow procedures for the review and resolution of complaints where the Responding Party is not a student.
When the person alleged to have committed the violation is an agent or contractor of the University who is not subject to any disciplinary procedures of the University and it reasonably appears that a violation has occurred, the matter will be referred to the appropriate official or department for further action. This may include, as appropriate, any or all of the following:
a. The Director of Contracting Services, for action that may be taken under the terms of a university contract, such as contract suspension or termination, demanding a change of personnel working under a contract, or initiation of contractor debarment;
b. The CSU Police Department, for initiation of a criminal investigation and/or complaint;
c.An outside law enforcement or governmental agency with actual or apparent jurisdiction over the alleged perpetrator.
4. First Amendment
The protections of the First Amendment must be considered if issues of speech or artistic expression are involved. Free speech rights apply in the classroom and in all other education programs and activities of public institutions, and First Amendment rights apply to the speech of students and teachers. Great care must be taken not to inhibit open discussion, academic debate, and expression of personal opinion, particularly in the classroom. Nonetheless, speech or conduct of a sexual or hostile nature that occurs in the context of educational instruction may exceed the protections of academic freedom and constitute prohibited harassment or sexual harassment if it meets the definition of harassment or sexual harassment as contained in this policy and (1) is reasonably regarded as non-professional speech (i.e., advances a personal interest of the faculty member as opposed to furthering the learning process or legitimate objectives of the course) or (2) lacks accepted pedagogical purpose or is not germane to the academic subject matter.
5. Affirmative Action
The University takes affirmative action to employ qualified women, minorities, veterans, and individuals with disabilities. For information on this Affirmative Action commitment and program, contact the OEO at email@example.com or 970-491-5836.
Retaliation against members of the University community for making good faith reports of non-compliance with laws, regulations, or University policies is strictly prohibited, and is subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination or dismissal from employment or enrollment at the University. It is prohibited to discharge, demote, suspend, threaten, harass, intimidate or otherwise retaliate against an individual in the terms or conditions of employment or educational opportunity based on the individual’s good faith report of potential non-compliance, or based on the individual’s cooperation with an investigation or hearing regarding a report of potential non-compliance. Retaliation includes violation of no contact orders as well as contact with the impacted party/complainant through third parties, such as private investigators. Such retaliation is prohibited regardless of whether the matter reported is substantiated.
Colorado State University protects all participants in the complaint and grievance processes from retaliation. No person shall restrain, interfere with, coerce, attempt to intimidate, or take any reprisal against a participant under these procedures. Failure to comply with this expectation may result in the imposition of University sanctions up to an including termination or dismissal.
Acts or threats of retaliation constitute a serious violation of University policy, and the University encourages prompt reporting of any retaliatory action. Students should report retaliation to OEO, SSA or Conflict Resolution & Student Conduct Services (CRSCS). Employees should normally report retaliation to their supervisor, but, if the supervisor is involved in the matter, or for any reason an individual is uncomfortable speaking with his or her supervisor, the report may be made to the responsible department head, the Office of Equal Opportunity, or by using the CSU System’s Compliance Reporting Hotline which may be accessed online (http://reportinghotline.colostate.edu/) or by calling, toll-free, 1-855-263-1884. The Hotline allows anonymous reporting if desired.
7. Required Training
Federal law requires that all newly hired CSU employees (including faculty) and incoming students participate in primary prevention and awareness programs, and that students and faculty engage in prevention and awareness programs on an ongoing basis. These programs may be offered by OEO, SSA, the President’s Commission on Women and Gender Equity (PCWGE), CRSCS, and other University programs. Sexual Harassment Awareness Training is offered by OEO and may be retaken anytime as a refresher by contacting OEO at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 970-491-5836.
8. Procedures for Complaints
The University provides fair, understandable, and legally sound procedures for handling all complaints of discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment and sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking and retaliation. These procedures can vary depending on the nature of the complaint and the status of the persons involved (i.e., student, faculty, employee, or non-employed party). The responsible departments are required to maintain, publish, and follow appropriate procedures.
Filing with External Agencies
Persons who believe that they have been subjected to discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, or stalking may be able to file a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Division, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. Information regarding filing charges with any of these agencies may be obtained from the Office of Equal Opportunity.
Expectations for Members of the University Community
Cooperation and participation by the members of the University community in the resolution of a complaint under these procedures is necessary. All University community members asked to participate should do so. If an Impacted Party/Complainant does not participate, the University may continue the investigation, invoke necessary interim and permanent remedies, or conclude the complaint. If a Respondent does not participate, the University will move forward with the complaint with the information it is able to collect and ascertain.
The Impacted Party/Complainant(s), Respondent(s), and all witnesses shall be truthful in their testimony. This includes statements made verbally and in writing. Failure to comply with this expectation may result in the implementation of University sanctions.
An Impacted Party may report confidentially to the following campus resources that provide support and guidance:
Sexual Assault Victim Assistance Team (970) 492-4242
Women and Gender Advocacy Center (970) 491-6384
Women’s Clinic at CSU Health Network (970) 491-1754
Counseling Services (970) 491-6053
The following are other campus resources. These resources do not provide complete confidentiality.
Deputy Title IX Coordinator/Director of Support and Safety Assessment (970) 491-7407
Colorado State University Police Department (970) 491-6425
Director of Student Case Management & Referral Coordination (970) 491-8051