Student Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures: Duke's Commitment to Title IX
Duke University is committed to encouraging and sustaining a learning and living community that is free from harassment, violence, and prohibited discrimination. In that regard and consistent with federal law (e.g., Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and the Violence Against Women Act), Duke has developed this comprehensive Student Sexual Misconduct Policy, applicable to all students (undergraduate, graduate, and professional). Further, Duke conducts extensive education and awareness programs with the goal of preventing and discouraging sexual/gender violence and other forms of sexual misconduct.
As discussed more fully below, this Student Sexual Misconduct Policy prohibits all forms of sex/gender-based harassment, sexual/gender violence, sexual exploitation, relationship violence (domestic violence and dating violence), and stalking. Collectively, these terms are referred to in this policy as “Sexual Misconduct.” They are defined below under “Prohibited Conduct.” (Note that non-sex/gender-based harassment is also a violation of university policy, as described under the university’s Harassment Policy, available at http://bit.ly/dukeharassment.)
In the paragraphs that follow, the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy specifies to whom violations of this policy should be reported, the availability of confidential reporting, administrative actions available to the complainant and the respondent, how the university will investigate and resolve alleged violations, possible sanctions, and appeals.
The Office of Student Conduct is primarily responsible for implementing these procedures. Anyone with concerns about a possible violation of the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy by a student is encouraged to contact the Office of Student Conduct at 919-684-6938, email@example.com, or through an online reporting system at www.reportdukestudentmisconduct.com.
Dr. Benjamin D. Reese (919-684-8222, firstname.lastname@example.org), Vice President of the Office for Institutional Equity (www.duke.edu/web/equity), is the individual responsible for the coordination and administration of Duke’s nondiscrimination and harassment policies generally. Howard Kallem (919-684-1437, email@example.com), also in the Office for Institutional Equity, is the Director of Title IX Compliance. In this role, Mr. Kallem is responsible for overseeing the university’s Title IX compliance, including this policy and its complaint-resolution procedures; as such, Mr. Kallem receives comments/concerns from students about this policy’s implementation. The Office for Institutional Equity is located in Smith Warehouse, 114 S. Buchanan Blvd., Bay 8, Durham, North Carolina, 27708.
Information for Complainants
Complainants are strongly encouraged to seek counseling and support available through resources such as Gender Violence Prevention and Intervention (GVPI) in the Women's Center, Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), and Durham Crisis Response Center (DCRC). For more information on these resources, please see the section of this policy titled “Support Services and Options for Complainants.”
Complainants may request administrative actions and supports such as a “no contact” directive and changes to academic and living situations through the Office of Student Conduct, GVPI in the Women’s Center, and/or the Title IX Coordinator regardless of whether they file a formal report and will be notified as to what changes are reasonably available.
Information for Respondents
III. Prohibited Conduct
- submission to such conduct is explicitly or implicitly made a term or condition of an individual’s employment or education; or
- submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as a basis for decisions affecting an individual’s education or employment.
|Examples of conduct that may constitute sex/gender-based harassment include:
Harassment may be verbal, nonverbal, or physical and the above list is not exhaustive, but intended only to provide general examples of possible prohibited conduct.
- Domestic violence is any act of violence or pattern of abusive behavior committed by a student against the student’s current or former spouse/cohabitant, person similarly situated under domestic or family violence law, or anyone else protected under domestic or family violence law.
- Dating violence is any act of violence or pattern of abusive behavior committed by a student who has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the complainant. Whether there was such relationship will be gauged by its length, type, and frequency of interaction.
|Fear of retaliation should never be an obstacle to reporting an incident of alleged sex/gender-based harassment, sexual/gender violence, relationship violence, or stalking.|
|Consent is an informed decision made freely and actively by all parties. Relying solely upon nonverbal communication can lead to miscommunication. It is important not to make assumptions; if confusion or ambiguity on the issue of consent arises anytime during a sexual interaction, it is essential that each participant stops and clarifies, verbally, willingness to continue.|
The Impact of Alcohol or Other DrugsThe use of alcohol or other drugs can impair effective communication about sexual activity and can hinder one’s ability to pick up on danger cues and resist an assault. Alcohol or other drugs can also lower inhibitions and create an atmosphere of confusion over whether consent is freely and effectively given.
V. Complaint Resolution
A flowchart illustrating the complaint resolution process is available here.
|The Office of Student Conduct is charged with investigating reports of a possible violation of this policy when the person alleged to have committed a violation is a student. (The Office for Institutional Equity, Smith Warehouse, Bay 8, 919-684-8222, receives reports in which an alleged perpetrator is an employee or third party.) Reports involving an alleged student respondent may be filed at any time; prompt reporting can aid an investigation.|
- Student Health staff
- Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) staff
- Women's Center staff
- Clergy who are acting as such in their professional role at Duke
- Meeting with a complainant and respondent separately in order to hear or clarify each party's account of the incident, review the disciplinary process, and discuss other possible remedies.
- Launching a formal investigation through the use of an investigator who interviews witnesses, collects additional information, and submits a written report. The investigator and/or the Office of Student Conduct will determine whether to interview an identified witness and the extent to which testimony of a witness is relevant and/or will be included in a report.
- After the formal investigation, asking clarifying questions of the complainant, the respondent, and/or witnesses.
VI. Hearing Procedures
- Notice: Both the complainant and the respondent will be notified at least 120 hours in advance of the date and time of the hearing and the names of the hearing panelists.
- Hearing Packet: In advance of the hearing, the Office of Student Conduct prepares a packet with information it deems relevant to the case to be shared with the hearing panel. The Office of Student Conduct will share a copy of that packet with both the complainant and the respondent at least 120 hours in advance of the hearing. If a complainant or respondent wishes to share additional relevant written information to a hearing panel in advance of the hearing, it must be submitted to the Office of Student Conduct at least 72 hours before the hearing. If deemed relevant by the Office of Student Conduct, that material will be shared with the complainant/respondent and the hearing panel.
- Conflict of Interest: A complainant and/or respondent may challenge the participation of a panelist because of perceived conflict of interest, bias, or prejudice. Such challenges, including rationale, must be made to the Office of Student Conduct at least 48 hours prior to the commencement of the hearing. At its discretion, the Office of Student Conduct will determine whether such a conflict of interest exists and whether a panelist should be replaced.
- Witnesses A complainant and respondent may offer relevant material witnesses to provide information. Absent exceptional circumstances, the complainant and respondent should inform the Office of Student Conduct in writing at least 48 hours in advance of the hearing the names of any witnesses and what information they will provide. Names of witnesses submitted to the Office of Student Conduct by the complainant or respondent will be shared with the other party in advance of the hearing. The hearing panel may, in its sole discretion, exclude witnesses or witness testimony the panel considers irrelevant or duplicative.
- Character References: A complainant and respondent may each submit two character references written on their behalf to a hearing panel before the hearing begins. Character references may only address the character of the complainant/respondent and may not address the specific issue at hand or the character of the other party. A character reference may not also serve as a material witness.
- Electronic Devices: A respondent, complainant, advisor, and/or witness may not bring electronic devices that capture or facilitate communication (e.g., computer, cell phone, audio/video recorder, etc.) into a hearing room. The Office of Student Conduct will make an audio recording of the hearing to be kept on file for three years. Reasonable care will be taken to create a quality audio recording and minimize technical problems; however, technical problems that result in no recording or an inaudible one will not be a valid argument for appeal.
- Hearing Procedure: A hearing panel has general authority over the conduct of the hearing (e.g., it may set time frames for witness testimony and it may limit opening/closing statements or their length, etc.). The general course of procedure for a panel hearing is as follows: introductions; respondent's statement accepting or denying responsibility; opening comments from the complainant; opening comments from the respondent; questions from the panel; testimony/questions of other material witnesses (if applicable); closing comments from the complainant; and, closing comments from the respondent. A complainant or respondent may not question each other or other witnesses directly, but may raise questions to be asked of that party through the hearing panel, which will determine whether to ask them. The hearing panel determines the relevancy of any information presented/submitted at the hearing and can exclude irrelevant information.
- In evaluating the relevance of information, the Office of Student Conduct or the hearing panel, as appropriate, considers, among other things, whether the information bears on a fact at issue in the case, is more prejudicial than probative, or is duplicative.
- A complainant's or respondent's prior or subsequent sexual activity is typically not relevant and will only be considered as evidence when the previous or subsequent behavior was substantially similar to the conduct at issue or indicates a pattern of behavior and substantial conformity with that pattern.
The Appellate Board will generally decide an appeal within 15 business days from when the appeal was received; if the decision will take longer, the Appellate Board will let the parties know. The Appellate Board will provide written notification of the final decision to the complainant and respondent at approximately the same time.
Getting HelpAny student at Duke University who experiences sexual/gender violenceâ€”regardless of sex/genderâ€”may contact the Womenâ€™s Center at 919-886-6814 or email WCHelp@duke.edu. See â€œSupport Services and Options for Complainantsâ€ below for additional information. In case of emergency or immediate threat, call 911 or Duke Police at 919-684-2444.
Support Services and Options for Complainants
A variety of support resources are available on campus and in the community to assist students in dealing with sexual misconduct, whether it happened recently or in the past. The following is a list of helpful resources. Additional resource information is available at studentaffairs.duke.edu/wc.
Information, advocacy, counseling, and emotional support. The Office of Gender Violence Prevention and Intervention (GVPI) provides education, advocacy, and support for students who experience sexual and relationship violence, sex/gender-based harassment, and sex/gender-based stalking, as well as for their friends and families. Students of any gender can receive information, support, and accompaniment regarding medical treatment, reporting options, academic and residential accommodations, referrals, legal options, and trauma-focused therapy. Walk-in or scheduled appointments with the GVPI Coordinator are available during business hours by calling 919-684-3897, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or by visiting the Women's Center located at 107 Few Fed Building near the bus stop across from the Allen Building. Emergency after-hours assistance is available by calling 919-886-6814. All services are free and confidential and do not require making a formal report to the police or the university.
Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) also offers ongoing counseling services; call 919-660-1000 for an appointment. For 24-hour crisis information and referral, contact the GVPI information line at 919-681-6882, the Dean on-Call (pager number 919-970-4169), or the Durham Crisis Response Center at 919-403-6562 (for 24-hour hotline). All services are confidential and do not require making a formal report to the police or the university.
Medical concerns. Students should seek medical attention immediately to have the most options for the prevention of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. Even if physical injuries are not apparent, one may have injuries as a result of sexual assault that are not easily seen. For immediate and urgent medical concerns, students may go directly to the Emergency Department (ED) of Duke Medical Center (off Erwin Road near Trent Hall). Duke Police (911 or 919-684-2444 from non-campus phones) can provide transportation without students having to make a report. Services available at the Emergency Department are: medical care, evidence collection, emergency contraception, and sexually transmitted infection prevention.
Evidence can be collected anonymously. Evidence is best collected within 120 hours of the assault. Pursuing a criminal case is not necessary in order to have the evidence collected anonymously. A blind report can be filed that includes no identifying information other than a case number. A student may decide later whether to file a police report. Health insurance and the State of North Carolina may cover portions of the costs of medical care. The GVPI coordinator in the Women's Center will help students address any concerns they have about covering the costs of the medical exam or other related expenses. Both the Emergency Department and Student Health have Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE), who are specially trained to work with individual who have been sexually assaulted.
For less immediate medical concerns, students may schedule an appointment at Student Health (919-681-WELL). The services available are: medical care, emergency contraception, and sexually transmitted infection prevention. The student health fee covers all services, except for a minimal charge for emergency contraception. Staff from GVPI can accompany students to the ED or Student Health.
Reporting to the police. Sexual misconduct may be criminal in nature, and a student may choose to file a report with law enforcement. Duke Police (911 or 919-684-2444 from non-campus phones) will respond to emergencies and non-emergencies to provide assistance by intervening in cases of assault, providing transportation to the Emergency Department, taking reports of an assault, and/or investigating and participating in legal or disciplinary action. They are responsible for notifying the community in a case of continuing danger, issuing a trespass order that requires an individual to stay away from campus or a particular area of campus when needed, and providing referrals and information including how to obtain a restraining order. Assaults that occur off campus may fall under the jurisdiction of the Durham Police Department or other law enforcement agency. Students may contact the Durham Police directly (911 off campus or 919-560-4427/560-4609) or the GVPI office or Duke Police can help facilitate reporting. Blind reporting--filing a report without one's name attached to it--is an available option with both Duke Police and Durham Police. Regardless of whether a complainant pursues a criminal complaint, the university will investigate the incident in question and take appropriate responsive action to ensure that the educational environment at Duke is free of harassment and to prevent the recurrence of a hostile environment, and, as appropriate, to remedy the effects of the harassment.
Examples of Sexual Misconduct
Angela and Aaron have been in an ongoing relationship for a year and a half and have engaged in consensual sexual intercourse. One night while becoming intimate, Angela stops and says she doesn't feel like having sex that night. Aaron continues to touch her, saying that she got him excited and it wasn't fair of her to lead him on like that. Again, Angela tells him she does not want to have sex, and then is silent. Aaron decides she has given in, and proceeds to have sexual intercourse with her.
This is a violation of the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy. Aaron had sexual intercourse with Angela against her will. The fact that Angela has freely consented to sexual intercourse with Aaron in the past does NOT mean he has her consent in this situation.
Erin is talking to several of her friends in the hallway at a crowded party. Ryan, a student she knows from chemistry class, comes up behind her and places his arms around her waist. She says hi to Ryan and continues her conversation. Ryan gradually moves his hands up to her breasts. She turns to him and tells him to stop, saying she doesn't want to be touched in that way and that he should have more respect for her. He laughs, tells her she takes herself too seriously, and again begins to grope her.
This is a violation of the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy. Ryan touched Erin in a sexual way without her consent, and continued to do so after she told him to stop. This behavior is a form of sexual/gender violence.
Kristen and Myra have been intimate for a few weeks. One night, Myra calls Kristen and asks her to come over. When she arrives, Myra kisses Kristen passionately and leads her into the bedroom. They each express their excitement and desire to "hook up," and are soon making out heavily in Myra's bed. After a while, Kristen tries to engage in oral sex with Myra. Myra tells Kristen that she really likes her, but that she doesn't feel ready for that. Kristen tells Myra she's just being shy, and ignores her when she repeats that she doesn't feel ready. Finally, Kristen threatens to reveal on the Internet that Myra is a lesbian. Because Myra has not yet come out to her friends and family, she becomes frightened and silent. Kristen proceeds with oral sex.
This is a violation of the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy. Because of Kristen's manipulative and threatening arguments, Myra was afraid and unable to freely give her consent. Kristen did not receive consent from Myra and has committed sexual/gender violence.
Liz and Tom have been together for six months. Liz often tells her friends stories of Tom's sexual prowess, and decides to prove it to them. One night, she and Tom engage in consensual sexual intercourse. Without Tom's knowledge, Liz sets up her digital camera to videotape them having sex. The next evening, she uploads the video to an online video-sharing site and discusses it with her friends online.
This is a violation of the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy. Tom's consent to engage in sexual intercourse with Liz did NOT mean Liz had obtained his consent to videotape it. This is a form of sexual exploitation.
Andrew and Felix have been flirting with each other all night at a party. Around 12:30 a.m., Felix excuses himself to find a bathroom. Andrew notices Felix slurring his speech. Andrew wonders if Felix went to the bathroom to vomit. When Felix returns, the two begin flirting more heavily and move to a couch. As the conversation continues, the two become more relaxed and more physically affectionate. Andrew soon suggests they go back to his room, and Felix agrees. As they walk down the stairs, Andrew notices that Felix looks unstable and offers his arm for support and balance. When they get back to his room, Andrew leads Felix to the bed and they begin to become intimate. Felix becomes increasingly passive and appears disoriented. Andrew soon begins to have sexual intercourse with him. The next morning, Felix thinks they had sex but cannot piece together the events leading up to it.
This is a violation of the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy. Felix was passive, and the Policy states that consent may not be inferred from silence, passivity, or lack of active resistance. Moreover, Felix was clearly incapacitated by alcohol, and thus unable to freely consent to engage in sexual activity with Andrew. Although Andrew may not have known how much alcohol Felix had consumed, he saw indicators from which a reasonable person would conclude that Felix was incapacitated, and therefore unable to give consent. Andrew in no way had consent from Felix.
Denise is a graduate teaching assistant in Paul's economics class. She notes that he has not been performing well on take-home assignments and exams. Both of them have come to a party, each with their own group of friends. Denise has consumed one can of beer, while Paul is rather intoxicated. Denise sees Paul and approaches him. She flirts with him, telling him that she can help him improve his grades if he will hook up with her. As Paul turns to walk away, Denise grabs his buttocks and squeezes them.
This is a violation of the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy. Denise, in a position of power over Paul as his teaching assistant, attempted to arrange a quid pro quo sexual relationship. Additionally, she did not seek consent from Paul to touch him, even if a reasonable person could conclude that Paul was not too intoxicated in order to provide consent.
A student had recently visited another country; on his return, he wrote an article for The Chronicle in which he used sexually explicit terms and examples to describe the treatment of women in that country. Other students are offended by the article.
This would not be a violation of the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy. Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that, because of its severity and/or persistence, interferes significantly with an individual's work or education. The conduct is evaluated from the perspective of a reasonable person and in consideration of the context of the behavior. It is not enough that other students are offended by the article for it to be a violation of the policy. Duke is committed to principles of academic freedom and conduct with a legitimate educational or related purpose will not be considered a policy violation.
Abby and Mike are graduate students working in the same lab. They have been dating for a year. Abby often calls Mike names and damages his belongings when she's upset. She once poured a soda over his laptop after she saw him talking to another woman. Last week, she threw a cell phone at his head when he was late picking her up from work.
This would be a violation of the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy. Relationship violence, including domestic and dating violence, includes physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that reasonable person in similar circumstances would find intimidating, frightening, terrorizing, or threatening.
Monica filed a complaint with the Office of Student Conduct alleging that, after she broke up with Marcus, Marcus has been stalking her. Marcus has told his friends about the complaint and several of them have launched a Twitter campaign threatening Monica and the witnesses supporting her claim if Monica doesn't drop the complaint.
The conduct by Marcus's friends would be a violation of the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy. The policy prohibits retaliation against anyone who files a complaint or participates in the investigation of a complaint.