Title IX and the University of Portland
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a federal civil rights
law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education
programs, including athletic programs or activities that receive
Title IX states that "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."
Under Title IX, discrimination on the basis of sex can include sexual
harassment, rape, and sexual assault. A college or university that receives federal funds may be held legally responsible when it knows about and ignores sexual harassment or assault in its programs or activities. The university can be held responsible in court whether the harassment is committed by a faculty member, staff or student.
What is sexual assault?
By definition, sexual assault occurs when the act is intentional and is committed either by a) physical force, violence, threat, or intimidation; b) ignoring the objections of another person; c) causing another's intoxication or impairment through the use of drugs or alcohol; or d) taking advantage of another person's incapacitation, state of intimidation, helplessness, or other inability to consent.
It is a criminal offense for a person to engage in sexual contact or sexual intercourse with any other person without his/her consent. This may include unwanted sexual touch, penetration, forcing, or tricking a person into touching him/her, or to pose for sexually explicit photos. Some behaviors indicating sexual violence include: the use of physical force; coercion or verbal manipulation; verbal and/or visual harassment; use of drugs or alcohol to facilitate an assault.
According to Life on the Bluff, "Consent means informed, freely and voluntarily given agreement, communicated by clearly understandable words or actions, to participate in each form of sexual activity. Consent will not be assumed by silence, impairment due to alcohol or drugs, unconsciousness, sleep, physical impairment, or lack of active resistance. A current or previous dating or sexual relationship is not sufficient to constitute consent, and consent to one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity. Ultimately, consent should be verbally and/or physically communicated for every sexual act."
Sexual assault is a manipulation of trust between the offender and their intended victim. It is often an expression of hatred and anger; a tool of oppression. Family members, friends, partners, colleagues, caregivers, and other people in authority are often our perpetrators. Often that experience can be confusing as we begin to seek support after an assault.
What is the University's sexual assault policy?
The University of Portland is committed to fostering a safe community where the dignity of all members is respected. Sexual assault of any kind is inconsistent with the University mission and the maintenance of a healthy community. Sexual assault is a form of sexual harassment that is prohibited under Title IX. Any act of sexual assault is prohibited and any student found responsible may be subject to the University’s conduct process.
To foster the safety and security of the entire community, the University of Portland encourages community members to report all incidents of sexual assault. Students are sometimes afraid to report incidents of sexual assault for fear of being held accountable for other policy violations (e.g. intervisitation, intoxication, or sexual intimacy). In order to encourage reporting of sexual assault, the University will not pursue the conduct process against a student who reports sexual assault for lesser policy violations that occur in connection
with the reported incident.
When a sexual assault occurs, the University’s primary concern is for the safety, health, and wellness of those impacted by the assault. The University offers a variety of resources to minister to affected students. A person who has been assaulted who contacts the resources listed in the chart to the right will be confidentially advised where to find medical and other support. This initial contact with a confidential source does not generally commit the student to any course of action.
What is the University's sexual misconduct policy?
The University condemns all forms of non-consensual sexual contact and inappropriate expressions of sexuality. This is an affront to the dignity of both the self and others. The University reserves the right to take action when it believes that standards of human dignity have been violated. Examples of sexual misconduct offenses that are prohibited include but
are not limited to:
- Non-consensual sexual intercourse, which is any sexual intercourse by any person upon another without consent. This offense includes oral, anal, and vaginal penetration, to any degree and with any object. This type of sexual intercourse is referred to as “sexual assault” in this policy.
- Non-consensual sexual contact, which is any sexual touching with any object, by any person upon another, without consent. Sexual touching is contact of a sexual nature, however slight. Depending on the nature or extent of the contact, this form of sexual misconduct may also be considered sexual assault.
- Other forms of sexual misconduct include, but are not limited to:
- Sexual exhibitionism
- Sex-based cyber-harassment
- Prostitution or the solicitation of a prostitute
- Peeping or other voyeurism
- Possession, creation of, or use of pornography
- Going beyond the boundaries of consent, e.g., by allowing others to view
consensual sex or the non-consensual video or audiotaping of sexual activity
- Inducing incapacitation of another with the intent of initiating sexual activity with that person upon incapacitation, regardless of whether sexual activity actually takes place
Consent means informed, freely, and voluntarily given agreement, communicated by clearly understandable words or actions, to participate in each form of sexual activity. Consent will not be assumed by silence, impairment due to alcohol or drugs, unconsciousness, sleep, physical impairment, or lack of active resistance. A current or previous dating or sexual relationship is not sufficient to constitute consent, and consent to one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity. Ultimately, consent should be freely communicated, verbally and/or physically, for every sexual act. There is no consent where:
- Force or violence is threatened or used,
- Any other form of coercion or intimidation, physical or psychological, is employed,
- One party has taken advantage of a position of influence that he or she has over the other party, or
- One party is incapable of giving consent due to intoxication or impairment.
How can I report sexual assault or sexual misconduct to the University?
UP takes sexual violence seriously. To view the university's policies on sexual assault, please refer to UP's student handbook, Life on The Bluff.
If you would like to file a report on campus, you may do so by contacting Public Safety, the Student Conduct Coordinator, or a Residence Life staff person. Your report will be acted upon to ensure your safety and the safety of the campus community. If you would like to pursue an on-campus Student Conduct hearing process, an investigation will be completed by Public Safety and the hearing process will be facilitated by the Student Conduct Coordinator.
If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may submit a report to the Title IX Coordinator. The report will be mostly confidential and be shared with certain campus officials in order to assess risk to you and/or the campus community. If a potential risk is determined, action may be taken by the University to investigate or address the risk.
If you do not want to file a report, you may desire to access the strictly confidential resources available on campus, listed in the box to the right of this page.
To Make a Report
Title IX Reporting/Early Alert