Title IX

Title IX of the US Education Amendment reads:

"No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participating in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance."

In support of this most basic tenant of educational equal and civil rights, Bastyr University has made the following appointments:

Title IX Coordinator
Susan Weider
title9[at]bastyr[dot]edu
Title IX Deputy Coordinator
Nicole Moreno
title9BUC[at]bastyr[dot]edu

Bastyr University Policy on Non-discrimination

Bastyr University does not discriminate against any person in matters of employment, application for employment, student or applicant for admission, or participation in our programs or benefits on the basis of the following protected classes: ancestry, gender, gender identity, or expression, race, creed, color, religion (includes religious dress and grooming practices), sex (includes pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and/or related medical conditions), national origin (includes language use and possession of a driver’s license issued to persons unable to prove their presence in the United States is authorized under federal law), age (40 and above), disability (mental and physical, including HIV and AIDS), marital status, genetic information, medical condition (genetic characteristics, cancer or a record or history of cancer), veteran or military status or any other protected category under applicable local, state or federal law. 

This policy covers nondiscrimination in access to educational opportunities. Therefore, any member of the campus community who acts to deny, deprive or limit the educational, access, benefits and/or opportunities of any member of the campus community, guest or visitor on the basis of their actual or perceived membership in the protected classes listed above is in violation of the University policy on nondiscrimination.  Non-members of the campus community who engage in discriminatory actions within University/College programs or on University/College property are not under the jurisdiction of this policy, but can be subject to actions that limit their access and/or involvement with University programs as the result of their misconduct. All vendors serving the University through third-party contracts are subject by those contracts to the policies and procedures or their employers.

Bastyr University Civil Rights Policies

Accommodation of Disabilities

Bastyr University is committed to full compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA and ADAAA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibit discrimination against qualified persons with disabilities, as well as other federal and state laws pertaining to individuals with disabilities.  Under the ADA and its amendments, a person has a disability if they have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity.  The ADA also protects individuals who have a record of a substantially limiting impairment or who are regarded as disabled by the institution whether qualified or not.  A substantial impairment is one that significantly limits or restricts a major life activity such as hearing, seeing, speaking, breathing, performing manual tasks, walking or caring for oneself.    

Students with Disabilities

Bastyr University is committed to providing qualified students with disabilities with reasonable accommodations and support needed to ensure equal access to the academic programs and activities of the University.

All accommodations are made on a case-by-case basis.  A student requesting any accommodation should first contact the Student Access Support (SAS) Coordinator, via the email address studentaccess[at]bastyr[dot]edu.  The SAS Coordinator reviews documentation provided by the student and determines which accommodations are appropriate to the student’s particular needs and academic programs.

Pregnant and New Parent Students

It is our policy to ensure the protection and equal treatment of pregnant persons, individuals with pregnancy-related conditions, and new parents.  The following procedures are intended to meet this policy to the fullest extent required by law.

Reasonable accommodation

The benefits and services provided to students affected by pregnancy shall be no less than those provided to students with temporary medical conditions.  Students with pregnancy-related disabilities are entitled to reasonable accommodation so they will not be disadvantaged in their courses of study or research.  Any student in need of an accommodation is encouraged to contact the Student Access Support Coordinator at studentaccess[at]bastyr[dot]edu  Reasonable accommodations, such as modification to seating, mobility support and extended deadlines due to pregnancy-related issues must be requested through the Student Access Support (SAS) Coordinator and each request must include documentation of the accommodation need from the students’ health care provider.

Breastfeeding students will be granted reasonable time and space to pump breast milk in a location that is private, clean, and reasonably accessible.

Modified Academic Responsibilities

Students with parenting responsibilities who wish to remain engaged in their coursework while adjusting their academic responsibilities because of the birth or adoption of their child or placement of a foster child may request an academic modification period of up to 12 weeks beginning with the day of birth or day of entry of the child into the home.  Extensions may be granted where additional time is required due to documented medical necessity. 

During the modification period, the student’s didactic academic schedule will be adjusted as follows:

  • Weeks 1-3 – Student/Parents are not required to be in the classroom or engage with the instructor in any way. 
  • Weeks 4 & 5 – Student/Parents return to the classroom, and must either meet with each instructor or actively engage in email correspondence in order to set a schedule for missed work and assignments.
  • Weeks 6-9 – Student/Parents are attending classes and following the make-up schedule.
  • Weeks 10-12 – Student/Parents complete all work and finishing any incomplete classes.

During the modification period, the student’s clinical schedule will be adjusted as follows:

  • Student/Parents may miss up to three clinic shifts without failing the entire shift.  It is presumed that those missed shifts will occur during the first three weeks, but students must be in communication with the shift supervisor to confirm which shifts will be missed.  Students are responsible for finding substitutes for the shifts they will miss while on the modified schedule.  Due to the nature of the clinical experience, any student who misses more than three shifts is at risk of failing the shift for the quarter.

In order to qualify for this modified schedule, the student must contact the SAS Coordinator well in advance of their due date, and must also have early and ongoing communication with each individual instructor and/or clinic supervisor about the modified schedule.

Academic Status, Incomplete or Leave of Absence

Student/parents who have received a modified schedule will retain their enrollment status throughout the schedule.  If desired, the student/parent may request either an incomplete for a class or a leave of absence through the regular process with the Office of the Registrar.  Faculty or staff may not require a student to take either an incomplete or a leave of absence due to pregnancy, birth, or a new child in the home.

Harassment and Sexual Misconduct

Students are entitled to an educational environment free of discriminatory harassment. Bastyr University’s harassment policy is not meant to inhibit or prohibit educational content or discussions inside or outside of the classroom that include germane, but controversial or sensitive subject matters protected by academic freedom. The sections below describe the specific forms of legally prohibited harassment that are also prohibited under University policy.

Discriminatory and Bias-Related Harassment

Harassment constitutes a form of discrimination that is prohibited by University policy as well as the law. Bastyr University condemns and will not tolerate discriminatory harassment against any student, visitor or guest on the basis of any status protected by policy or law. When harassment rises to the level of creating a hostile environment, the University may also impose sanctions on the harasser through application of the Equity Resolution Process. Bastyr University’s harassment policy explicitly prohibits any form of harassment, defined as unwelcome conduct on the basis of actual or perceived membership in a protected class, by any member or group of the community.

A hostile environment may be created by harassing verbal, written, graphic, or physical conduct that is severe or persistent and objectively offensive such that it interferes with, limits or denies the ability of an individual to participate in or benefit from educational programs, services or activities.

The University reserves the right to address offensive conduct and/or harassment that 1) does not rise to the level of creating a hostile environment, or 2) that is of a generic nature not on the basis of a protected status. Addressing such behaviors may not result in the imposition of discipline under University policy, but will be addressed through respectful confrontation, remedial actions, education and/or effective conflict resolution mechanisms.  For assistance with conflict resolution techniques, students should contact the Vice President for Student Affairs. 

Sexual Harassment

The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and the States of Washington and California regard sexual harassment as a form of sex/gender discrimination and, therefore, as an unlawful discriminatory practice.  Bastyr University has adopted the following definition of sexual harassment, in order to address the special environment of an academic community.

Sexual harassment is:

  • unwelcome,
  • sexual, sex-based and/or gender-based,
  • verbal, written, online and/or physical conduct.

Anyone experiencing sexual harassment in any University program is encouraged to report it immediately to the Title IX Coordinator.

Sexual harassment may be disciplined when it takes the form of quid pro quo harassment, retaliatory harassment and/or creates a hostile environment. 

A hostile environment is created when sexual harassment is:

  • Sufficiently severe or pervasive, and
  • Objectively offensive, such that it unreasonably interferes with, denies or limits someone’s ability to participate in or benefit from the University’s educational program.

Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment:

Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature by a person having power or authority over another constitutes sexual harassment when submission to such sexual conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of rating or evaluating an individual’s educational development or performance.

Sexual Misconduct

State law defines various violent and/or non-consensual sexual acts as crimes. While some of these acts may have parallels in criminal law, Bastyr University has defined categories of sex/gender discrimination as sexual misconduct, as stated below, for which action under this policy may be imposed. Generally speaking, Bastyr University considers Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse violations to be the most serious of these offenses, and therefore typically imposes the most severe sanctions, including suspension or expulsion. However, the University reserves the right to impose any level of sanction, ranging from a reprimand up to and including suspension or expulsion, for any act of sexual misconduct or other sex/gender-based offenses, including intimate partner (dating and/or domestic) violence, non-consensual sexual contact and/or stalking based on the facts and circumstances of the particular allegation. Acts of sexual misconduct may be committed by any person upon any other person, regardless of the sex, sexual orientation and/or gender identity of those involved.

Violations include:

  • Sexual Harassment (as defined above)
  • Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse, defined as:
    • any sexual intercourse
    • however slight
    • with any object
    • by a person upon another person
    • that is without consent and/or by force
  • Sexual intercourse includes:
    • Vaginal or anal penetration by a penis, tongue, finger or object, or oral copulation (mouth to genital contact) no matter how slight the penetration or contact.
  • Non-Consensual Sexual Contact, defined as:
    • any intentional sexual touching
    • however slight
    • with any object
    • by a person upon another person
    • that is without consent and/or by force
      • Sexual touching includes:
  1. Intentional contact with the breasts, groin, or genitals, mouth or touching another with any of these body parts, or making another touch you or themselves with or on any of these body parts; or
  2. Any other bodily contact in a sexual manner.

Sexual Exploitation

Sexual Exploitation refers to a situation in which a person takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another, and that behavior does not otherwise fall within the definitions of Sexual Harassment, Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse or Non-Consensual Sexual Contact.

Force and Consent

Force: Force is the use of physical violence and/or imposing on someone physically to gain sexual access. Force also includes threats, intimidation (implied threats) and coercion that overcome resistance or produce consent.  

Coercion is unreasonable pressure for sexual activity.  Coercive behavior differs from seductive behavior based on the type of pressure someone uses to get consent from another.  When someone makes clear to you that they do not want sex, that they want to stop, or that they do not want to go past a certain point of sexual interaction, continued pressure beyond that point can be coercive. 

NOTE: Silence or the absence of resistance alone is not consent. There is no requirement on a party to resist the sexual advance or request, but resistance is a clear demonstration of non-consent. The presence of consent is not demonstrated by the absence of resistance. Sexual activity that is forced is by definition non-consensual, but non-consensual sexual activity is not by definition forced.

Consent: Consent is knowing, voluntary, and clear permission by word or action to engage in mutually agreed upon sexual activity. Since individuals may experience the same interaction in different ways, it is the responsibility of each party to make certain that the other has consented before engaging in the activity. For consent to be valid, there must be a clear expression in words or actions that the other individual consented to that specific sexual conduct. Consent can be withdrawn once given, as long as the withdrawal is clearly communicated.

Consent to some sexual contact (such as kissing or fondling) cannot be presumed to be consent for other sexual activity (such as intercourse). A current or previous dating relationship is not sufficient to constitute consent. The existence of consent is based on the totality of the circumstances, including the context in which the alleged incident occurred and any similar previous patterns that may be evidenced.

Incapacitation: A person cannot consent if they are unable to understand what is happening or is disoriented, helpless, asleep or unconscious for any reason, including due to alcohol or other drugs. An individual who engages in sexual activity when the individual knows, or should know, that the other person is physically or mentally incapacitated has violated this policy. 

It is not an excuse that the responding party was intoxicated and, therefore, did not realize the incapacity of the reporting party.

Incapacitation is defined as a state where someone cannot make rational, reasonable decisions because they lack the capacity to give knowing/informed consent (e.g., to understand the “who, what, when, where, why or how” of their sexual interaction). This policy also covers a person whose incapacity results from mental disability, involuntary physical restraint and/or from the taking of incapacitating drugs.

In Washington State, a minor (meaning a person under the age of 16 years) cannot consent to sexual activity. In California, the age of consent is 18.  This means that sexual contact by an adult with a person younger than the age of consent may be a crime, and a potential violation of this policy, even if the minor wanted to engage in the act. 

Threatening, Intimidation, Bullying, Partner Violence, Stalking

In addition to the forms of sexual misconduct described above, the following behaviors are also prohibited as forms of discrimination -

  • Threatening or causing physical harm, extreme verbal abuse, or other conduct which threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person;
  • Discrimination, defined as actions that deprive, limit or deny other members of the community of educational access, benefits or opportunities;
  • Intimidation, defined as implied threats or acts that cause an unreasonable fear of harm in another;
  • Hazing, defined as acts likely to cause physical or psychological harm or social ostracism to any person within the university community, when related to the admission, initiation, pledging, joining, or any other group-affiliation activity (as defined further in the Hazing Policy);
  • Bullying, defined as
    • Repeated and/or severe
    • Aggressive behavior
    • Likely to intimidate or intentionally hurt, control or diminish another person, physically or mentally
    • That is not speech or conduct otherwise protected by the 1st Amendment.
  • Intimate Partner Violence, defined as violence or abuse between those in an intimate relationship to each other. 

Stalking

  • Stalking :
    • A course of conduct
    • Directed at a specific person
    • On the basis of actual or perceived membership in a protected class
    • That is unwelcome, AND
    • Would cause a reasonable person to feel fear
    • Repetitive and Menacing
    • Pursuit, following, harassing and/or interfering with the peace and/or safety of another

Retaliation

Retaliation is defined as any adverse action taken against a person participating in a protected activity because of their participation in that protected activity. Retaliation against an individual for alleging harassment, supporting a party bringing an allegation or for assisting in providing information relevant to a claim of harassment is a serious violation of University policy and will be treated as another possible instance of harassment or discrimination.

Consensual Relationship Policy

This policy refers to relationships between a student and an employee of the University.  While not strictly a Civil Rights policy, Bastyr University recognizes that consensual relationships are a part of the institution’s environment. However, there are situations where consensual relationships can cause a conflict of interest, either in appearance or in reality. Consensual relationships that are of concern to the University are those amorous, romantic, or sexual relationships in which both parties appear to have consented, but where one party can exercise power or influence over the other.

If a conflict of interest is perceived or exists, the Human Resources Department, in conjunction with the Vice President will decide, on a case-by-case basis, the appropriate course of action to take to resolve such situations.

Examples of Civil Rights Policy Violations

Examples of possible Sexual Harassment include:

  • A professor insists that a student have sex with him/her in exchange for a good grade. This is harassment regardless of whether the student accedes to the request and irrespective of whether a good grade is promised or a bad grade is threatened.
  • A student repeatedly sends sexually oriented jokes around on an email list s/he created, even when asked to stop, causing one recipient to avoid the sender on campus and in the hall in which they both live. 
  • Explicit sexual pictures are displayed in a professor’s office or on the exterior of a residence hall door.
  • A professor engages students in her class in discussions about their past sexual experiences, yet the conversation is not in any way germane to the subject matter of the class.  She probes for explicit details, and demands that students answer her, though they are clearly uncomfortable and hesitant. 
  • An ex-girlfriend widely spreads false stories about her sex life with her former boyfriend to the clear discomfort of the boyfriend, turning him into a social pariah on campus.
  • Male students take to calling a particular brunette student “Monica” because of her resemblance to Monica Lewinsky.  Soon, everyone adopts this nickname for her, and she is the target of relentless remarks about cigars, the president, “sexual relations” and Weight Watchers.
  • A student grabbed another student by the hair, then grabbed her breast and put his mouth on it.  While this is sexual harassment, it is also a form of sexual violence.

Examples of Sexual Exploitation include, but are not limited to:

  • Sexual voyeurism (such as watching a person undressing, using the bathroom or engaged in sexual acts without the consent of the person observed).
  • Invasion of sexual privacy.
  • Taking pictures or video or audio recording another in a sexual act, or in any other private activity without the consent of all involved in the activity, or exceeding the boundaries of consent (such as allowing another person to hide in a closet and observe sexual activity, or disseminating sexual pictures without the photographed person’s consent).
  • Prostitution.
  • Sexual exploitation also includes engaging in sexual activity with another person while knowingly infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), a sexually transmitted disease (STD) or infection (STI) without informing the other person of the infection.
  • Administering alcohol or drugs (such as “date rape” drugs) to another person without his or her knowledge or consent (assuming the act is not completed).
  • Exposing one’s genitals in non-consensual circumstances.
  • Sexually-based stalking and/or bullying may also be forms of sexual exploitation.

Examples of lack of consent:

  • Amanda and Bill meet at a party.  They spend the evening getting to know each other.  Bill convinces Amanda to come up to his apartment.  From 11:00pm until 3:00am, Bill uses every line he can think of to convince Amanda to have sex with him, but she adamantly refuses.  He keeps at her, and begins to question her religious convictions, and accuses her of being “a prude.”   Finally, it seems to Bill that her resolve is weakening, and he convinces her to give him a "hand job" (hand to genital contact).  Amanda would never had done it but for Bill's incessant advances.   He feels that he successfully seduced her, and that she wanted to do it all along, but was playing shy and hard to get.  Why else would she have come to his apartment?  If she really didn't want it, she could have left.  Bill is responsible for violating the university Non-Consensual Sexual Contact policy. It is likely that campus decision-makers would find that the degree and duration of the pressure Bill applied to Amanda are unreasonable.  Bill coerced Amanda into performing unwanted sexual touching upon him.  Where sexual activity is coerced, it is forced.  Consent is not valid when forced.  Sex without consent is sexual misconduct.
  • Kevin and John are at a party.  Kevin is not sure how much John has been drinking, but he is pretty sure it’s a lot. After the party, he walks John to his room, and John comes on to Kevin, initiating sexual activity.  Kevin asks him if he is really up to this, and John says yes.  They undress and end up in John’s bed.  Suddenly, John runs for the bathroom.  When he returns, his face is pale, and Kevin thinks he may have thrown up.  John gets back into bed, and they begin to have sexual intercourse.  Kevin is having a good time, though he can’t help but notice that John seems pretty groggy and passive, and he thinks John may have even passed out briefly during the sex, but he does not let that stop him. When Kevin runs into John the next day, he thanks him for the wild night. John remembers nothing, and decides to make a report to the Dean.  This is a violation of the Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse Policy.  Kevin should have known that John was incapable of making a rational, reasonable decision about sex.  Even if John seemed to consent, Kevin was well aware that John had consumed a large amount of alcohol, and Kevin thought John was physically ill, and that he passed out during sex.  Kevin should be held accountable for taking advantage of John in his condition.  This is not the level of respectful conduct the university expects.

Examples of Intimate Partner Violence

  • A boyfriend shoves his girlfriend into a wall upon seeing her talking to a male friend. This physical assault based in jealousy is a violation of the Intimate Partner Violence policy.
  • An ex-girlfriend shames her female partner, threatening to out her as a lesbian if she doesn’t give the ex another chance. Psychological abuse is a form of Intimate Partner Violence.
  • A student refuses to wear a condom and forces his girlfriend to take hormonal birth control though it makes her ill, in order to prevent pregnancy. 
  • Married students are witnessed in the parking garage, with one partner slapping and scratching the other in the midst of an argument.

Examples of Stalking

  • A student repeatedly shows up at another student's Student Village hall, always notifying whomever opens the door that they are there to see the resident. Upon a call to the resident, the student informs residence hall staff that this visitor is uninvited and continuously attempts to see them, even so far as waiting for them outside of classes and showing up to their on-campus place of employment requesting that they go out on a date together (Stalking 1).
  • A student working as an on-campus tutor received flowers and gifts. After learning the gifts were from a student they recently tutored, the graduate student thanked the student and stated that it was not necessary and would appreciate if the gift deliveries stop. The student then started leaving notes of love and gratitude on the graduate assistant's car, both on-campus and at home. Asked again to stop, the student stated by email: “You can ask me to stop, but I’m not giving up. We are meant to be together, and I’ll do anything necessary to make you have the feelings for me that I have for you.” When the tutor did not respond, the student emailed again, “You cannot escape me. We are meant to be together” (Stalking 2).

Examples of Retaliation:

  • Student clinician A files an allegation against a supervising doctor for sexual harassment; the doctor subsequently gives the student clinician a failure for the shift without a legitimate justification
  • A student from Organization A participates in a sexual misconduct hearing against the responding individual – also a member of Organization A; the student is subsequently removed as a member of Organization A because he participated in the hearing.
Title IX Staffing

The Vice President for Student Affairs serves as the Title IX Coordinator and oversees implementation of the University’s Civil Rights policies. The Title IX Coordinator acts with independence and authority free of conflicts of interest. To raise any concern involving a conflict of interest by the Title IX Coordinator, contact the University President, Dr. Mac Powell.

External Resources

Inquiries about this policy may be made externally to:

Office for Civil Rights (OCR)
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-1100

Customer Service Hotline #: (800) 421-3481
Facsimile: (202) 453-6012 
TDD#: (877) 521-2172

Email: OCR[at]ed[dot]gov
Web: http://www.ed.gov/ocr

Adoption and Revision of Policies

These policies will be reviewed and updated annually by the Title IX Coordinator.  The University reserves the right to make changes to this document as necessary and once those changes are posted online, they are in effect. If government regulations change in a way that impacts this document, this document will be construed to comply with government regulations in their most recent form.

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©2015.  THE NCHERM GROUP, LLC/ATIXA

Information about a possible violation of the Bastyr University Civil Rights policies may be submitted via the following form:

All Core Faculty, management level or above employees, all Student Affairs division employees, including Student Village staff, and all Security staff must report information and include their name. All others may report anonymously or may include their name if they choose.
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