Title IX
Used to report instances involving domestic or dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, harassment, retaliation, or bias based discrimination.
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Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 states:

“No person in the U.S. shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.”

Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in educational programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance. Pittsburg State University (PSU) is committed to providing an environment free from discrimination on the basis of sex. PSU provides many resources to students, faculty and staff to address concerns relating to discrimination on the basis of sex, including all forms of sexual misconduct.

The University is committed to responding promptly and effectively when it learns of any form of possible discrimination based on sex. The University responds to reports of sexual harassment, including sexual assault, sexual violence or other sexual misconduct, as part of its efforts to stop the harassment, prevent its recurrence and address its effects. Complaints will be addressed following the University’s Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities or discrimination complaint procedures.

 

Notice of Non-Discrimination

Pittsburg State University prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, marital or parental status, ancestry, genetic information, gender identity, gender expression, military or veteran status, or disabilities. The following person has been designated to address inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies: Director of Institutional Equity/Title IX Coordinator, 218 Russ Hall, 1701 S. Broadway, Pittsburg, KS 66762-7528, 620-235-4189, equity@pittstate.edu.

Title IX Coordinator

The Title IX Coordinator is the designated University official with primary responsibility for coordinating the University’s compliance with Title IX. This includes providing leadership for Title IX activities; providing consultation, education and training; and helping to ensure the University responds appropriately, effectively and equitably to Title IX issues.

Cindy Johnson, Director of Institutional Equity, is the Title IX Coordinator. Questions regarding Title IX, as well as concerns and complaints of non-compliance, may be directed to her at cynthia.johnson@pittstate.edu or 620-235-4185. The Office o f Institutional Equity is located in Russ Hall 218. Questions and concerns regarding student sexual misconduct also may be directed to designated University resource offices.

Deputy Title IX Coordinator

The Deputy Title IX Coordinator assists the Title IX Coordinator in addressing student complaints of sexual harassment -- including sexual assault, sexual violence or other sexual misconduct -- against other University students.

Dr. Jason Kegler, Assistant Vice President for Student Life, is the Deputy Title IX Coordinator. Questions regarding student sexual misconduct may be directed to him at ckegler@pittstate.edu or 620-235-4231. The Student Life Office is located in Russ Hall 221.

Office for Civil Rights

If you do not wish to contact the Title IX Coordinator or other designated University resource offices with your questions or concerns regarding sex discrimination at PSU, you may contact the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) with the U.S. Department of Education. Kansas’ regional OCR office is located in Kansas City and is available to provide assistance:

U.S. Department of Education
Office for Civil Rights
One Petticoat Lane
1010 Walnut St., Suite 320
Kansas City, MO 64106
OCR.KansasCity@ed.gov
Telephone: 816-268-0550
Fax: 816-268-0599

Reporting a Complaint

Against Student: An individual can elect to pursue a formal complaint against another student with the Title IX Coordinator or other designated University resource office. A formal complaint will be reviewed by the Title IX Coordinator. If the Title IX Coordinator determines that a hearing is appropriate after review of the complaint and an investigative report, a formal hearing will be scheduled before the PSU Disciplinary Hearing Committee https://studentlife.pittstate.edu/code-of-student-rights-and-responsiblities.html#undefined20. Every effort will be made to convene a hearing as soon as practicable following the conclusion of the investigation. If a formal hearing takes place, the hearing procedures set forth in the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities will apply. A copy of the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities can be viewed at https://studentlife.pittstate.edu/code-of-student-rights-and-responsiblities.html.

Against Employee: An individual student can elect to pursue a complaint against a Department or a PSU employee with the Title IX Coordinator. The procedures can be found at

https://www.pittstate.edu/office/institutional-equity/grievance-procedures.html

Review of Complaint

The University’s Title IX Coordinator, or designee, will investigate allegations of sexual misconduct (often concurrently with law enforcement and/or student discipline) 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.

Retaliation

The University will not tolerate retaliation in any form against anyone raising a concern of sexual misconduct in good faith as a complainant or participating as a witness, an investigator or in any other capacity. Retaliation is typically a significant adverse action taken against an individual because the individual participated in an internal complaint process. University policy and state and federal law prohibit retaliation against an individual for reporting discrimination, sexual violence or harassment, or for participating in an investigation. Retaliation is a serious violation that can subject the offender to sanctions independent of the merits of the allegation. Allegations of or questions about retaliation should be directed to the Title IX Coordinator or to any one of the designated University resource offices.

Use of Alcohol/Drugs

While PSU does not condone underage drinking or violation of other PSU policies, PSU recognizes that sometimes students are reluctant to report an incident of sexual misconduct because of a concern that they will be charged with a policy violation, such as underage alcohol consumption. The safety and well-being of students is PSU’s primary concern and to encourage reporting of sexual misconduct. Any other policy violations will be addressed separately from a sexual misconduct allegation.

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.
The University may investigate incidents of sexual misconduct or relationship violence committed by or against a student, regardless if the alleged incident occurred on or off campus. The investigation may be pursued through the criminal justice system and/or the University discipline proceedings. Internal and University discipline proceedings are independent of criminal or external proceedings. Should the criminal or external proceedings be dismissed, or reduced, the University may continue to pursue disciplinary action.

University personnel will assist in the report process if requested by the victim. A representative from the University Police, the Office of Student Life, and/or the Office of Institutional Equity will guide the victim through the available options and support the victim in his or her decision. As a victim, the individual has the option to decline to notify law enforcement or campus authorities or to participate in an investigation.  However, circumstances may dictate that the university pursues investigation and response even without the victim’s assistance.

Investigating Alleged Sexual Misconduct
When the University receives any report of a sexual assault, the University's Title IX Coordinator will be immediately notified of the alleged assault by the office receiving the report.  The Title IX Coordinator will work directly with the Office of Student Life, and will promptly begin an investigation to determine what occurred and will inform and obtain consent from the victim before beginning any disciplinary proceedings.

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.

The University will not tolerate retaliation in any form against anyone raising a concern of sexual misconduct in good faith as a complainant or participating as a witness, an investigator or in any other capacity. Retaliation is typically a significant adverse action taken against an individual because the individual participated in an internal complaint process. University policy and state and federal law prohibit retaliation against an individual for reporting discrimination, sexual violence or harassment, or for participating in an investigation. Retaliation is a serious violation that can subject the offender to sanctions independent of the merits of the allegation. Allegations of or questions about retaliation should be directed to the Title IX Coordinator or to any one of the designated University resource offices.

The responsibility to investigate and possibly adjudicate anyone for violations of this policy is provided by the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Compliance with the provisions of VAWA does not constitute a violation of the General Education Provisions Act, commonly known as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA).

Possible Protective Measures
In an effort to protect those directly involved in an alleged incident of sexual misconduct or relationship violence, protective measures may be implemented where reasonably available. The measures may include, but are not limited to:
A.    No Contact Order
B.    Change in on-campus housing location to a different on-campus option
C.    Adjusting a student’s class schedule
D.    Altering course assignments with assistance of the assigned faculty member
E.    Assistance with transportation and working situations

In instances where the University determines there to be a risk to members of the University community, or where continued class attendance will disrupt normal operations of the University, the respondent may temporarily be suspended. This suspension may limit the respondent’s access to various University buildings, services, activities, and privileges. If a student who was temporarily suspended is later found “not in violation” all rights, responsibilities, and privileges will be restored. Any academic work missed by the student due to the suspension will be given an opportunity for completion, at the reasonable discretion of the faculty.
        

University Discipline Process
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 the discipline process will
  • 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 notice of hearing(s), the outcomes 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 disciplinary 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.


Conduct Sanctions
The purposes of imposing sanctions are twofold: to protect the University community from behaviors that are detrimental to the educational process of the community; and to assist students and student organizations in identifying acceptable parameters of their activities and consequences of future behaviors. The severity of the sanctions imposed is intended to correspond with the severity or frequency of violation, as well as the willingness of the accused to recommit to good citizenship through behaviors that fall within the conduct regulations of the University. The following disciplinary sanctions may be imposed upon students, or student organizations, found responsible of a violation either singly and/or in combination:

  1. Expulsion
  2. Suspension
  3. Residence Hall Eviction
  4. Disciplinary Probation
  5. Disciplinary Warning
  6. Restitution
  7. Suspension of the Privileges of a Registered Student Organization
  8. Termination of the Registration of a Registered Student Organization
  9. Specifically Defined Sanction
  10. Summary Suspension

 

Appeals
A decision reached by the Hearing Officer or Campus Judicial Officer may be appealed by the accused to the Vice President for Student Life within five (5) school days of the Hearing Committee’s decision.  Such appeal shall be in writing and shall be delivered to the Vice President for Student Life.  A student, or student organization, is entitled to only one appeal and the decision of the Vice President for Student Life shall be final.  An appeal may be sought on only two grounds:

  1. on a claim of error in the hearing procedure.
  2. on a claim of new information or information material to the case which was not available at the time of the hearing.
The appeal shall state its grounds.  The Vice President for Student Life has five (5) school days to make a written determination on the appeal.  Notification of decision regarding the appeal shall be sent to the accused, the Hearing Officer, and to the complaining party.  If the Vice President for Student Life finds that one of the two grounds for appeal existed, the matter shall be returned to the Hearing Officer for re-opening of the hearing to allow reconsideration of the original determination and/or sanctions.


Definitions

A.    Sexual Assault: An offense that meets the definition of rape, fondling, incest, or statutory rape as used in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting system.

B.    Sex Offenses: Any sexual act directed against another person, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent.

  • Rape- The 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.
  • Fondling – 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 his/her age or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental incapacity.
  • Incest – Sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law.
  • Statutory Rape – Sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent.

C.     Domestic Violence: A felony or misdemeanor crime 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 jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred;
  • 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 in which the crime of violence occurred.

D.    Dating Violence: Violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim.
  • The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the reporting party’s statement and with consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
  • 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.
  • Any incident meeting this definition is considered a crime for the purposes of Clery Act reporting.

E.     Stalking: Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to:
  • Fear for the person’s safety or the safety of others; or
  • Suffer substantial emotional distress.
For the purposes of this definition:
  • 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.
  • Reasonable person means a person under similar circumstances and with similar identity 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.
  • Any incident meeting this definition is considered a crime for the purposes of Clery Act reporting.

F.      Programs to prevent dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking: Comprehensive, intentional, and integrated programming, initiatives, strategies, and campaigns intended to end dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking that:
  • Are culturally relevant, inclusive of diverse communities and identities, sustainable, responsive to community needs, and informed by research or assessed for value, effectiveness, or outcome; and
  • Consider environmental risk and protective factors as they occur on the individual, relationship, institutional, community, and societal levels.
Programs to prevent dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking include both primary prevention and awareness programs directed at incoming students and new employees and ongoing prevention and awareness campaigns directed at students and employees.

G.    Awareness programs: Community-wide or audience specific programming, initiatives, and strategies that increase audience knowledge and share information and resources to prevent violence, promote safety, and reduce perpetration.

H.    Bystander intervention: Safe and positive options that may be carried out by an individual or individuals to prevent harm or intervene when there is a risk of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

Bystander intervention includes:
  • Recognizing situations of potential harm.
  • Understanding institutional structures and cultural conditions that facilitate violence, overcoming barriers to intervening, identifying safe and effective intervention options, and taking actions to intervene.

I.       Ongoing prevention and awareness campaigns: Programming, initiatives, and strategies that are sustained over time and focus on increasing understanding of topics relevant to and skills for addressing dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking, using a range of strategies with audiences throughout the institution.

J.       Primary prevention programs: Programming, initiatives, and strategies informed by research or assessed for value, effectiveness, or outcome that are intended to stop dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking before they occur through the promotion of positive and healthy behaviors that foster healthy, mutually respectful relationships and sexuality, encourage safe bystander intervention, and seek to change behavior and social norms in a healthy and safe direction.

K.    Risk reduction: Options designed to decrease perpetration and bystander inaction, and to increase empowerment for victims in order to promote safety and to help individuals and communities address conditions that facilitate violence.

L.     Prompt, fair, and impartial proceeding: A proceeding that is completed within reasonably prompt timeframes designated by an institution’s policy, including a process that allows for the extension of timeframes for good cause and with written notice to the accuser and the accused of the delay and the reason for the delay.
Conducted in a manner that:
  • Is consistent with the institution’s policies and transparent to the accuser and accused;
  • Includes timely notice of meetings at which the accuser or accused, or both, may be present; and
  • Provides timely and equal access to the accuser, the accused, and appropriate officials to any information that will be used during informal and formal disciplinary meetings and hearings; and
  • Conducted by officials who do not have a conflict of interest or bias for or against the accuser or the accused.

M.   Advisor: Any individual who provides the accuser or accused support, guidance, or advice.

N.   Proceeding: All activities related to a non-criminal resolution of an institutional disciplinary complaint, including, but not limited to, fact-finding investigations, formal or informal meetings, and hearings.
Proceeding does not include communications and meetings between officials and victims concerning accommodations or protective measures to be provided to a victim.

O.   Result: Any initial, interim, and final decision by any official or entity authorized to resolve disciplinary matters within the institution.
The result must include any sanctions imposed by the institution.


NOTE: The above definitions are a requirement for compliance with federal mandates. Violations of Kansas State Statutes relating to sexual assault or sexual misconduct may also be adjudicated as part of this policy.

Policy

Title IX prohibits educational institutions from discriminating against pregnant students because of childbirth, false pregnancy or recovery from related conditions, or based upon their marital status. Title IX provides for equal educational opportunities for pregnant and parenting students, and the University seeks to treat all students equitably, regardless of their actual or potential parental or familial status.

It is the policy of the University to provide appropriate, reasonable adjustments to educational programs and activities to support pregnant and parenting students allowing them to continue their education at the University.

Requests for an Adjustment for Pregnant or Parenting Students

A student in need of an educational adjustment should consult with the Title IX Coordinator and work with her professors to develop an educational adjustment plan to make up missed assignments and exams.

If a student is unable to consult with the Title IX Coordinator because of her condition, an appropriate representative of the student may contact the Title IX Coordinator on her behalf, and the student may confirm the request when she becomes able to do so. The Title IX Coordinator will consult with the student/appropriate representative and appropriate University officials, including faculty members and department chairs, to develop an educational adjustment appropriate for the student.

Necessary Medical Leave

Absences due to pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions must be excused and cannot be treated or penalized like unexcused absences. Professors must provide the student a leave of absence for as long as it is deemed necessary by the student’s medical doctor. Pregnant or parenting students who must take a medically necessary extended leave shall be allowed to return to the same academic and extracurricular status as before the leave began. Financial aid does not have a leave of absence option. Any student looking to take time off must review the refund and Return of Title IV funds policy. The student should also speak with the Registrar and Financial Assistance offices before ceasing attendance.

After returning from an excused absence, professors must allow a reasonable amount of time for the student to make up missed assignments and exams. The makeup assignments and exams must be reasonably equivalent to those missed, but need not be identical. If a professor provides specific “points” or other advantages to students based on class attendance, the student must be given the opportunity to earn back the credit from classes missed due to pregnancy.

Under Title IX, pregnant students are entitled to the same benefits offered to students with other medical conditions, illness or injury. To request a medical leave and accompanying academic adjustments, a student should follow the request procedure outlined above. Please contact Student Financial Assistance directly for questions regarding absence away from the university, including incompletes and withdrawal.

When questions arise as to whether or not it is reasonable to grant a student extra time to make up course work and exams missed because of pregnant or parenting status, the Title IX Coordinator, appropriate faculty member(s), and the department chair together shall make this determination based on, among other things, the length of the absence requested and the ability of the student to complete coursework outside of the classroom. If it is unreasonable for a student to receive extra time to complete a course, the student will be given the option to withdraw from the class without penalty.

Lactation Room

PSU cares about helping nursing mothers feel welcome on campus and to have the resources they need to balance school, work and family. A Lactation Room is located in the Overman Student Center, Room 104. This is a Lactation Room and Personal Health Room open to all members of the campus community and guests. This clean, private space has an electrical outlet, locking door, chair, countertop with sink and paper towels.

While some people prefer to nurse their babies in a private, distraction-free environment, it is important to stress that this is a choice, not a requirement. Kansas law (KSA 65-1,248) gives a woman the legal right to nurse her baby in public.

Reporting Harassment or Discrimination Due to a Qualifying Condition

Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex – including pregnancy, parenting and all related conditions – in education and in programs and activities that receive federal funding. Pregnant or parenting students who believe they have been discriminated against or harassed because of a qualifying condition may file a complaint with the Title IX Coordinator. Complaints of discrimination or harassment under this policy will be processed in accordance with the University’s Sexual Harassment Policy. The law prohibits anyone from retaliating against a person for filing a complaint or raising a concern.