Seattle Pacific University (“SPU”) is committed to maintaining an environment free of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and other forms of sexual misconduct. This policy identifies prohibited conduct for Employees and Volunteers (as defined below) and outlines SPU’s response to reports of such conduct. While all forms of nonconsensual sexual conduct are prohibited, certain terms and concepts are explicitly highlighted in this policy both for clarity and to help satisfy certain legal and insurance requirements applicable to SPU.
For purposes of this policy, the following definitions apply:
- “Child” or “Minor” means an individual who is less than 18 years old.
- “Child Molestation” means any actual or alleged illegal or otherwise wrongful sexual conduct with a Minor.
- “Employee” means any employee of SPU other than a Student Employee.
- “Serial Non-Student Sexual Misconduct” means any actual or alleged illegal or otherwise wrongful sexual conduct (a) with more than one victim, and (b) committed by or alleged to have been committed by any perpetrator who is not a student of SPU.
- “Sexual Harassment,” “VAWA Offense,” “Sexual Assault,” “Dating Violence,” “Domestic Violence,” and “Stalking” have the meanings assigned in the Title IX Sexual Harassment and Related Conduct Policy.
- “Student Employee” means an SPU student who is employed by SPU through SPU’s student employment program.
- “Volunteers” are individuals who provide voluntary service to SPU.
All Employees and Volunteers are prohibited from engaging in Child Molestation, Serial Non-Student Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, and Stalking (collectively defined as “Prohibited Conduct” for purposes of this policy).
SPU Response to Employee, Volunteer, or other Non-Student Prohibited Conduct
This section outlines how SPU generally responds to reports alleging Prohibited Conduct by Employees, Volunteers, or other non-students.
- SPU investigates all reports of Prohibited Conduct alleged to have been committed by an Employee or Volunteer against a Minor, an SPU student, an Employee, a Volunteer, or a guest to SPU’s campus.
- The nature and extent of the investigation will vary depending on the circumstances. The scope of SPU’s investigation may be limited if there is limited information, the alleged incidents are not directly connected to the SPU campus or community, and/or the victim requests that SPU not take any action.
- Investigations generally will be coordinated by the Office of Safety and Security, the Office of Human Resources, the Office for Inclusive Excellence, or the area vice president(s) overseeing the individual(s) involved in the alleged acts.
- SPU may also investigate other reports of Prohibited Conduct allegedly committed by non-students, depending on the circumstances.
- When an SPU Employee receives a report of Prohibited Conduct allegedly committed by an Employee or Volunteer, the report will be shared with the Title IX Coordinator and generally will also be shared with, the University Counsel, and the area vice president(s) overseeing the individual(s) involved in the alleged acts. Depending on the circumstances, the report may also be shared with other SPU administrators, SPU’s outside legal counsel, and SPU’s liability insurance carrier.
- If the report involves Child Molestation, then the report may also be shared with government agencies and law enforcement officials, as required or permitted by applicable law. In addition, the parents or legal guardians of the Child may also be notified of the report. SPU reserves the right to make a report of Child Molestation to law enforcement officials and government agencies, in its discretion, even if the veracity of the report is unclear.
- The accused individual generally will also be notified of a report of alleged Prohibited Conduct. However, the timing and manner of the notification will vary depending on the circumstances, and consideration will be given to factors such as the wishes of the alleged victim(s), obligations imposed on SPU by applicable law and insurance carriers, and the safety of the community.
- When an SPU Employee receives a report of Prohibited Conduct allegedly committed by an Employee or Volunteer and the alleged victim is an SPU student or Employee, SPU will seek to help the alleged victim understand available support resources.
- Depending on the circumstances, SPU may also help victims who are not SPU students or Employees understand support resources.
- SPU reserves the right to respond with whatever measures it deems appropriate to prevent sexual misconduct and preserve the safety and well-being of its students, Employees, Volunteers, and guests. This may include, but is not limited to, adjusting or suspending the Employee’s or Volunteer’s service to SPU pending investigation of the report. If the accused is a person who is not an Employee, Volunteer, or SPU student, then SPU’s options for protective action may be limited.
- Protective actions are usually determined by the area vice president(s) responsible for overseeing the individual(s) involved in the alleged acts, in consultation with some or all of the University Counsel, the Office of Human Resources, and the Office of Safety and Security.
- The Title IX Sexual Harassment and Related Conduct Procedure applies to formal complaints of sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking.
- For reports of Prohibited Conduct alleged to have been committed by someone other than an Employee or SPU student, the Title IX Coordinator, University Counsel, Office of Safety and Security, and area vice president(s) overseeing the individual(s) involved in the alleged acts will determine an appropriate response to the report.
- Employees who engage in Prohibited Conduct generally will not be indemnified by SPU if any legal claims are brought against them.
- This policy, and the making of any complaint or report under this policy, does not create a right for any Employee or Volunteer to any ongoing employment or volunteer opportunity.
- Retaliation against anyone who makes a report to SPU in good faith alleging Prohibited Conduct is strictly prohibited and is subject to discipline, up to and including possible termination of employment and/or of volunteer opportunities.
- For the avoidance of doubt, all medical personnel working at any dispensary, clinic, infirmary, student health center, athletic facility, or similar facility on campus are prohibited from engaging in any Prohibited Conduct.