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ARTICLE 20. SEXUAL MISCONDUCT AND RELATIONSHIP VIOLENCE

Pittsburg State University prohibits all forms of sexual misconduct and relationship violence to include rape, acquaintance rape, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking. 

Victims of sexual misconduct or relationship violence may choose for the investigation to be pursued through the criminal justice system and/or the university discipline process (see Article 34, 6. Discipline Process, 8. Hearing Procedures for Sexual Misconduct Cases). University personnel will assist in the report process if requested by the victim. A representative from the University Police, the Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities, and/or the Title IX Officer will guide the victim through the available options and support the victim in his or her decision. While the university will investigate the complaint and may pursue appropriate discipline action with or without the victim's consent, discussing a matter of sexual assault with a university official does not compel the victim to participate actively in pursuing disciplinary charges.  As a victim, the individual has the option to decline to notify law enforcement or campus authorities.

 

Definition of Terms 

Sexual Misconduct:  Any unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature that is committed without consent or by force, intimidation, coercion, or manipulation. Sexual misconduct can occur between persons of the same or different sex and is represented by a continuum of conduct from forcible rape and sexual assault to nonphysical forms of pressure that compel individuals to engage in sexual activity against their will. It includes any physical contact of a sexual nature that is committed either by force, coercion, intimidation, or manipulation or through the use of a person’s mental or physical incapacity, including incapacitation caused by the use of drugs or alcohol. 

Consent:   A freely and affirmatively communicated willingness to participate in sexual activity, expressed either by words or clear, unambiguous actions. It is the responsibility of the initiator of the sexual activity to ensure he or she has the other person’s consent to engage in sexual activity. Consent must be present throughout the sexual activity by all parties involved. At any time, a participant can communicate that he or she no longer consents to continuing the activity.

Consent may never be—

  • obtained through the use of force, coercion, intimidation, or manipulation or if the victim is mentally or physically disabled or incapacitated, including through the use of drugs or alcohol, or,
  • assumed because of the existence of a dating relationship between the persons involved or due to the existence of a current or previous sexual relationship between the persons. 

Dating Violence:  Violence that occurs between individuals who are in a dating relationship. For the purposes of this definition, “dating relationship" means a social relationship of a romantic nature. In addition to any other factors the university may consider the following when making a determination of whether a relationship exists or existed: Nature of the relationship, length of time the relationship existed, frequency of interaction between the parties and time since termination of the relationship, if applicable. 

Sexual Assault:  Includes any physical contact of a sexual nature that is committed either by force, coercion, intimidation, or manipulation or through the use of a person’s mental or physical incapacity, including incapacitation caused by the use of drugs or alcohol. 

The following definitions, adapted from Kansas Statutes, are used by university personnel when conducting an investigation of sexual misconduct. To access the original statute, please refer to http://kslegislature.org/li/b2013_14/statute/. 

Domestic Violence (K.S.A. 21-5111):  The act or threatened act of violence against a person with whom the offender is involved or has been involved in a dating relationship, or an act or threatened act of violence against a family or household member by a family or household member. Domestic violence also includes any other crime committed against a person or against property, or any municipal ordinance violation against a person or against property, when directed against a person with whom the offender is involved or has been involved in a dating relationship or when directed against a family or household member by a family or household member. 

For the purposes of this definition:

  1. "Dating relationship" means a social relationship of a romantic nature. Factors used to establish a “dating relationship” include:
    1. Nature of the relationship,
    2. length of time the relationship existed,
    3. frequency of interaction between the parties and,
    4. time since termination of the relationship
    5. "Family or household member" means persons 18 years of age or older who are spouses, former spouses, parents or stepparents and children or stepchildren, and persons who are presently residing together or have resided together in the past, and persons who have a child in common regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together at any time. Family or household member also includes a man and woman if the woman is pregnant and the man is alleged to be the father, regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together at any time. 

Rape (K.S.A. 21-5503):

(1)        Knowingly engaging in sexual intercourse with a victim who does not consent to the sexual intercourse under any of the following circumstances:

(A) When the victim is overcome by force or fear; or

(B) when the victim is unconscious or physically powerless;

(2)        Knowingly engaging in sexual intercourse with a victim when the victim is incapable of giving consent because of mental deficiency or disease, or when the victim is incapable of giving consent because of the effect of any alcoholic liquor, narcotic, drug or other substance, which condition was known by the offender or was reasonably apparent to the offender;

(3)        sexual intercourse with a child who is under 14 years of age;

(4)        sexual intercourse with a victim when the victim's consent was obtained through a knowing misrepresentation made by the offender that the sexual intercourse was a medically or therapeutically necessary procedure; or

(5)        sexual intercourse with a victim when the victim's consent was obtained through a knowing misrepresentation made by the offender that the sexual intercourse was a legally required procedure within the scope of the offender's authority. 

Acquaintance Rape:  Rape, which occurs by someone the victim knows. 

Stalking (K.S.A. 21-5427):  Recklessly engaging in a course of conduct targeted at a specific person, which would cause a reasonable person in the circumstances to fear for their safety, or the safety of their family. Engaging in conduct toward a specific person with knowledge that the conduct will place the person in fear for their safety or the safety of a member of their immediate family. Additionally stalking can occur after being served with, or otherwise provided notice of, any protective order which prohibits contact (personal or electronic) with the person(s) who are named in the protective order. 

University Discipline Proceedings 

Special guidelines for cases involving sexual misconduct, rape, acquaintance rape, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking are detailed in Article 34 of the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities, available at www.pittstate.edu/audiences/current-students/policies/rights-and-responsibilities/student-conduct-code.dot.  

The Code of Students Rights and Responsibilities provides, in part, that such proceedings will:

  • provide for a prompt, fair, and impartial investigation and resolution of the allegations; 
  • be conducted by officials who receive annual training on the issues related to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking; the procedures for conducting an investigation; and the protocols for conducting a hearing process that protects the safety of victims and promotes accountability;
  • provide for a prompt, fair, and impartial investigation and resolution of allegations;
  • 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;
  • provide the accuser and the accused equal opportunity to have others present during an institutional disciplinary proceeding including the opportunity to be accompanied to any related meeting or proceedings by an advisor of their choosing (not as a representative or presenter of information, but as an advisor);
  • inform in writing both the accuser and the accused simultaneously of the outcome of any institutional disciplinary proceeding that arises from an allegation, the procedures for the accused and the victim to appeal the results of the proceedings, any change to the results that occurs prior to the time that such results become final, and the date when such results become final. 

Standard of Evidence: For any Pittsburg State University discipline proceedings (including those arising from allegations of rape, acquaintance rape, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking) the “preponderance of evidence” standard of proof will be utilized.  A preponderance of evidence standard evaluates whether it is more likely than not, based on the evidence available, that a violation occurred. 

Possible Sanctions: A student found responsible for any form of sexual assault or relationship violence (rape, acquaintance rape, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking) could be criminally prosecuted and is subject to a range of sanctions up to and including prohibition from contact with the victim(s) as well as suspension or expulsion from the University. 

Title IX Investigation 

When the university receives any report of sexual misconduct, the University's Title IX Coordinator will be immediately notified of the allegation by the office receiving the report.  The Title IX Coordinator will promptly begin an investigation to determine what occurred and will inform and obtain consent from the victim before beginning the investigation. If the victim requests confidentiality or asks that the complaint not be pursued, the University will take all reasonable steps to investigate and respond to the complaint consistent with the request for confidentiality or request not to pursue an investigation. If a victim insists that his or her name or other identifiable information not be disclosed to the alleged perpetrator, the University's ability to respond may be limited.  

Pittsburg State University prohibits retaliation by its officers, employees, or agents against a person who exercises his or her rights or responsibilities under any provision of this policy and/or provisions of the Campus SaVE Act.