Grievance Policy and Sexual Misconduct Policy

Introduction

Whitman College strives to provide a safe environment in which students can pursue their education free from the detrimental effects of sexual misconduct, which includes sexual harassment and sexual assault.   Therefore, the College seeks to educate students, faculty and staff about these issues and to provide a means of recourse for those students who believe they have experienced such behavior. The College 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.

Purpose

  • To define sexual misconduct involving students, which includes sexual harassment, domestic violence, intimate partner violence, stalking, other forms of non-consensual sexual behavior, and sexual assault
  • To identify resources and support for students reporting an incident of sexual misconduct
  • To establish procedures for filing complaints of sexual misconduct
  • To affirm the College’s commitment to preventing sexual misconduct
  • To respond appropriately when incidents do occur.

Sexual Misconduct Defined

The College prohibits sexual misconduct in any form.  Sexual misconduct is a broad term encompassing any unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature that is committed without consent or by force, intimidation, coercion or manipulation.  Sexual misconduct can occur between persons of the same or different genders.

Sexual Harassment is defined as unwelcome verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that is sufficiently severe or persistent or pervasive such that it unreasonably interferes with, limits or deprives someone of the ability to participate in or benefit from the College’s educational programs or employment opportunities. The unwelcome behavior may be based on power differentials (quid pro quo), the creation of a hostile environment or retaliation. A single instance of sexual assault may be sufficient to constitute a hostile environment.

The list of prohibited conduct under this policy includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Unwelcome sexual advances or propositions that interfere with a student’s education or employment opportunities
  • Using electronic devices or technology (e.g., cell phone, camera, email, Internet sites or  social networks) to record or transmit nudity or sexual acts without a person’s knowledge and/or permission
  • Committing violence within a relationship (domestic violence or intimate partner violence)
  • Excessive unwanted and persistent attention on a regular basis either with electronic devices or in person or other means (stalking)
  • Intentionally observing nudity or sexual acts of another person without the person’s knowledge or permission (voyeurism)
  • Unwanted touching of the genitals, buttocks, or breasts that is intentional or other unwanted touching or groping
  • Forcing/coercing someone to touch you or someone else in a sexual manner
  • Threatening to sexually harm someone
  • Initiating sexual activity with a person who is incapacitated and unable to provide consent due to alcohol and/or drug consumption or other condition
  • Inducing incapacitation for the purpose of sexual exploitation
  • Ignoring a sexual limit that has been communicated
  • Coercing or intimidating someone into sexual behavior
  • Sexual assault, including unwanted penetration of an orifice (anal, vaginal, oral) with the penis, finger or objects

Consent Defined 

The College defines consent as a freely and affirmatively communicated willingness to participate in sexual activity, expressed by clear, unambiguous words or actions.  It is the responsibility of the initiator of the sexual activity to ensure that he or she has the other person’s consent to engage in sexual activity.  Consent must be present throughout the sexual activity by all parties involved.  At any time, a participant can communicate that he or she no longer consents to continuing the activity.  Consent may never be obtained through the use of force, coercion, or intimidation or if the victim is mentally or physically disabled or incapacitated, including through the use of drugs or alcohol. 

Students cannot assume consent because of the existence of a previous dating or sexual relationship. The use of alcohol or drugs does not diminish a student’s responsibility to obtain consent for sexual activity.

Filing a Complaint

Students who have a complaint or who would like information about filing a complaint should contact the Dean of Students Office Memorial Hall, Room 325, (509) 527-5158. Prompt reporting of a complaint is strongly encouraged, as it allows rapid response to and resolution of prohibited or objectionable behavior. The passage of significant time between an incident and an investigation can result in memory lapses, the departure of key witnesses or other time-sensitive factors that can impair the investigation.

The Title IX Administrator will coordinate the College’s response to reports of sexual misconduct. This includes:

·         Making information regarding the Sexual Misconduct Policy and related services available to students in print and via the website

·         Assisting complainants and respondents in understanding their rights

·         Recommend necessary remedial short-term actions to provide appropriate support and safety. This would include facilitating requests for safe housing, negotiating academic accommodations and providing referrals to on and off campus resources

·         Assist students who choose to report an incident of sexual misconduct to the Walla Walla Police Department or other law enforcement agencies

·         Investigating reports of alleged sexual misconduct involving students

·         Issuing no-contact and no-trespass directives

For the complete policy, including investigative and adjudication process, council organization, and the appeal process click HERE