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Sexual Misconduct

Responsible Department
Title IX Compliance
Effective Date
01/14/2019
  1. .

    Policy Purpose

    The purpose of this policy is to articulate the University’s policy on sexual misconduct and identify individuals responsible for compliance with Title IX of the Education amendments of 1972.

  2. .

    Definitions

    1. Complainant:  An individual lodging a complaint. The complainant may not always be the alleged victim.

    2. Consent: Words or actions that show a knowing and voluntary willingness to engage in mutually agreed-upon sexual activity. Consent cannot be gained by force, intimidation or coercion, by ignoring or acting in spite of objections of another, or by taking advantage of the incapacitation of another, where the Respondent knows or reasonably should have known of such incapacitation. Consent is also absent when the activity in question exceeds the scope of consent previously given. Past consent does not imply present or future consent. Silence or an absence of resistance does not imply consent. Consent can be withdrawn at any time by either party using clear words or actions. Minors under the age of 16 cannot legally consent under Georgia law.

    3. Dating Violence: Violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the alleged victim. 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.

    4. Domestic Violence: Violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the alleged victim; by a person with whom the alleged 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, or by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the alleged victim.

    5. Incapacitation: The physical and/or mental inability to make informed, rational judgments. It can result from mental disability, sleep, involuntary physical restraint, status as a minor under the age of 16, or from intentional or unintentional taking of alcohol and/or other drugs. Whether someone is incapacitated is to be judged from the perspective of an objectively reasonable person.

    6. Nonconsensual Sexual Contact: Any physical contact with another person of a sexual nature without the person’s consent. It includes but is not limited to touching (or penetrating) of a person’s intimate parts (such as genitalia, groin, breasts, or buttocks); touching (or penetrating) a person with one’s own intimate parts; or forcing a person to touch his or her own or another person’s intimate parts.

    7. Privileged Employees: Individuals employed by the University to whom a Complainant or alleged victim may talk in confidence, as provided by law. Disclosure to these employees will not automatically trigger an investigation against the Complainant’s or alleged victim’s wishes. Privileged Employees include those providing counseling, advocacy, health, mental health, or sexual-assault related services (e.g., sexual assault resource centers, campus health centers, pastoral counselors, and campus mental health centers) or as otherwise provided by applicable law. Exceptions to confidentiality exist where the conduct involves suspected abuse of a minor (in Georgia, under the age of 18) or otherwise provided by law, such as imminent threat of serious harm.

    8. Respondent: Individual who is accused to have engaged in conduct that violates this Policy.

    9. Responsible Employees: Those employees who must promptly and fully report complaints of or information regarding Sexual Misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator. The University has defined Responsible Employees as including all administrators, supervisors, faculty members, and other employees who are not Privileged Employees. This includes student employees who serve in a supervisory, advisory, or managerial role, or are in a position of authority for purposes of this policy (e.g., teaching assistants, residential assistants, student managers, orientation leaders, etc.).

    10. Sexual Exploitation: Taking nonconsensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for one’s own advantage or benefit, or for the benefit or advantage of anyone other than the one being exploited.
      Examples of sexual exploitation may include, but are not limited to, the following:

      1. Invasion of sexual privacy;
      2. Prostituting another individual;
      3. Nonconsensual photos, video, or audio of sexual activity;
      4. Nonconsensual distribution of photo, video, or audio of sexual activity, even if the sexual activity was consensual;
      5. Intentional observation of nonconsenting individuals who are partially undressed, naked, or engaged in sexual acts;
      6. Knowingly transmitting an STD or HIV to another individual through sexual activity;
      7. Intentionally and inappropriately exposing one’s breasts, buttocks, groin, or genitals in nonconsensual circumstances; and/or
      8. Sexually-based bullying.

    11. Sexual Harassment: Unwelcome verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct, based on sex or on gender stereotypes, that is implicitly or explicitly a term or condition of employment or status in a course, program, or activity; is a basis for employment or educational decisions; or is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive to interfere with one’s work or educational performance creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or learning environment, or interfering with or limiting one’s ability to participate in or to benefit from a University program or activity.

    12. Sexual Misconduct: Includes, but is not limited to, such unwanted behavior as Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, nonconsensual sexual contact, Sexual Exploitation, Sexual Harassment and Stalking.

    13. Stalking: Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety or the safety of others or suffer substantial emotional distress. 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 person’s property. Reasonable person means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the victim. Substantial emotional distress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.

    14. Title IX Coordinator: The designated University official with primary responsibility for coordinating the University's compliance with Title IX and other federal and state laws and regulations relating to sex-based discrimination.

    15. University Community: Students, faculty and staff, as well as contractors, vendors, visitors, and guests.
  3. .

    Policy Statement

    1. The University of North Georgia (the “University”) is committed to providing a safe work, learning, and living environment free from Sexual Misconduct, assault, harassment, or any form of discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, or gender-related identity.  Sexual Misconduct is a form of discrimination prohibited by state and federal laws (including Title IX of the education Amendments of 1972 as amended (Title IX), the Campus SaVE Act, and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended), may constitute criminal activity, and is a form of Sex Discrimination in violation of the University’s Non-Discrimination Policy.  Sexual Misconduct is a broad term describing a range of behavior, including the prohibited conduct defined above (i.e., Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, Nonconsensual Sexual Contact, Sexual Exploitation, Sexual Harassment, and Stalking).  Sexual Misconduct is prohibited and will not be tolerated.

    2. The University endeavors to foster a climate free from Sexual Misconduct through training, education, and prevention programs, as well as by following policies and procedures that promote prompt reporting.  This also means the University works to investigate and resolve reports or complaints of Sexual Misconduct in a reasonably prompt timeframe.  It will also take prompt action to effectively address and work to prevent Sexual Misconduct.

    3. Members of the University Community found to have violated this policy will be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with the University’s Policies and Procedures.

    4. The Title IX Coordinator administers this Policy and coordinates the University’s efforts to carry out its obligations under Title IX.  The Title IX Coordinator receives reports of Sexual Misconduct and directs investigations into the allegations contained in those reports.  No other employee (other than Public Safety or the Coordinator’s designee) is authorized to investigate or resolve reports of Sexual Misconduct without the involvement of the Title IX Coordinator.  Please report allegations of Sexual Misconduct or possible violations of this policy to the Title IX Coordinator:

      David Marling
      Title IX Coordinator
      Room111, Downtown Office Building
      60 West Main Street
      Dahlonega, Georgia 30597
      706-867-4560
      TitleIX@ung.edu
      https://ung.edu/sexual-assault-and-violence-education/title-ix.php

    5. Jurisdiction

      The University will take necessary and appropriate action to protect the safety and well-being of its Community. Sexual Misconduct allegedly committed by a member of the University Community is covered by this Policy when the conduct (i) occurs on University property or at any University facility, (ii) happens in connection with a University-sponsored, recognized, approved or affiliated event, (iii) impedes equal access to any University education program or activity or has the effect of creating a hostile education or employment environment for a member of the University Community, or (iv) threatens the health or safety of any member(s) of the University Community.

      Nothing in this policy supersedes or replaces any obligations imposed by federal law or state law and/or policy.

    6. Investigations

      All reports of Sexual Misconduct alleged to have been committed must be handled consistently with requirements set forth in USG policy and UNG’s Sexual Misconduct Investigation and Adjudication Procedures for University Students and Employees.

    7. Retaliation

      Anyone who, in good faith, reports what he or she believes to be misconduct under this Policy, or who participates or cooperates in, or is otherwise associated with any investigation, shall not be subjected to retaliation. Anyone who believes that he or she has been the target of retaliation for reporting, participating, cooperating in, or otherwise being associated with an investigation should immediately contact the Title IX Coordinator. Any person found to have engaged in retaliation in violation of this Policy shall be subject to disciplinary action.

    8. False Complaints

      Individuals are prohibited from intentionally giving false statements to a University official during a Title IX Investigation. Any person found to have intentionally submitted false complaints, accusations, or statements, including during a hearing, in violation of this Policy shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action and adjudicated under the appropriate student conduct or human resources policy.

    9. Amnesty

      A student may request amnesty from disciplinary action under the Code of Student Conduct related to alcohol or drug use when reporting an incident of sexual misconduct to University officials and the incident occurred while the student was using alcohol or drugs. For a full explanation of the University’s amnesty policy for students, including its’ limitations, visit https://policy.ung.edu/policy/amnesty-for-students

    10. Support Services

      Once a student or employee makes a complaint or receives notice that a complaint has been made against him or her, or the coordinator otherwise learns of a complaint of Sexual Misconduct, the Complainant, Respondent and alleged victim (where applicable) will receive written information about support services, such as counseling, advocacy, housing assistance, academic support, disability services, health and mental services, and legal assistance, available at the University. Information on support services will be provided regardless as to whether an individual elects to go forward with filing a formal complaint of Sexual Misconduct or with notifying law enforcement. Information on support services will also be provided to students and employees, regardless of where the alleged misconduct occurs. Available support services are listed on UNG’s Title IX website www.ung.edu/SAVE

    11. Interim Measures

      Interim measures may be necessary at any point after UNG becomes aware of an allegation of Sexual Misconduct to protect the alleged victim and the community. Before an interim suspension is issued, the University must make all reasonable efforts to give the affected individuals the opportunity to be heard, consistent with the provisions in BOR Policy 4.6.5.

    12. Advisors

      Both the alleged victim and Respondent, as parties to the matter, shall have the opportunity to use an advisor (who may or may not be an attorney) of the party’s choosing at the party’s own expense for the express purpose of providing advice and counsel, pursuant to the provisions of BOR Policy 4.6.5.

    13. Timeframe

      Efforts will be made to complete the investigation within a reasonable timeframe, which will be determined based upon the allegations, availability of witnesses and/or evidence, in a particular case. When the timeframe will extend past the reasonable timeframe, the parties will be informed of the delay and the reason for the delay. The investigator shall keep the parties informed of the status of the investigation.

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