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Discrimination and Harassment

Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination Statement

BJU, in compliance with Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, is an equal opportunity institution that does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability, veteran status, or genetic information. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, admission to and enrollment with the University, including, but not limited to, recruitment, selection, hiring, placement, transfer, promotion, training, compensation, benefits, discipline, termination, educational policies, admission policies, financial aid, scholarship and loan programs, housing, athletic and other university-administered programs and activities.

Individuals who believe they have been the victims of discrimination are encouraged to discuss their concerns with an appropriate administrator or an official reporting officer as identified in the BJU Discrimination and Harassment Policy. BJU will investigate such complaints in accordance with the BJU Discrimination and Harassment Grievance Procedures.

Notice of this policy is provided to students, employees, and third parties on the BJU website. In addition, notice will be provided to all new employees and incoming students, including placement in all materials relating to the recruitment of students and employees.

Discrimination and Harassment

As stated in BJU’s Notice of Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination, BJU complies with Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and other applicable statutes and will not tolerate, condone or permit discrimination, harassment (including but not limited to sexual offenses), and/or retaliation, whether engaged in by employees, students, or third parties (i.e., contractors or vendors) or who conduct business with BJU.

BJU encourages the reporting of all incidents of discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct, stalking, and/or retaliation, regardless of who the offender may be and regardless of whether the incidents originate on-campus. BJU will respond to reports that arise from events that initially occurred off university property or outside a university program or activity.

All complaints or any concerns about conduct that may violate this policy and retaliation should be filed with the Title IX Coordinator:

Michael Miller
Bob Jones University
(864) 370-1800, Extension 1374

Upon receiving a complaint, the Title IX Coordinator will follow the procedures described in the BJU Discrimination and Harassment Grievance Procedures.

Scope

This policy applies to all BJU students, faculty, administrators, staff and volunteers, as well as to contractors, consultants, and vendors doing business or providing services to the University (3rd Parties). In addition, BJU’s prohibition against discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct, stalking, and/or retaliation applies not only in the educational and working environment, but also to all other work-related and educational settings, such as business trips and business-related social functions, as well as educational field trips, athletic trips, and internship placements. Further, the prohibition applies whether or not the incident(s) occurs on BJU property and whether or not the incident(s) occur during working/educational hours. This means that students and employees are protected under this policy in connection with all BJU administrative, academic, educational, extracurricular, athletic, and other programs, whether those programs take place on campus or elsewhere. BJU will respond to complaints that arise from events that initially occurred off BJU property or outside a university sanctioned program or activity. In responding to off campus events, BJU will consider the effects of the off-campus conduct on an individual’s working or educational experience. Finally, BJU’s prohibition applies not only to oral and written communications, but also to e-mail, voice mail, Internet communications and searches, and other technology-assisted communications as applicable.

Definitions

DisabilityAn individual with a disability is defined as any person who
  1. has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities;
  2. has a record of such impairment; or
  3. is regarded as having such an impairment.
DiscriminationConduct that is based upon an individual’s race, color, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability, veteran status, or genetic information that excludes an individual from participation, denies the individual the benefits of, treats the individual differently or otherwise adversely affects a term or condition of an individual’s employment, education, living environment or participation in a BJU program or activity. This includes failing to provide reasonable accommodation, consistent with state and federal law, to persons with disabilities.
HarassmentHarassment is covered under this policy if it is based upon an individual’s race, color, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability, veteran status, or genetic information. Harassment does not have to include intent to harm, be directed at a specific target, or involve repeated incidents. Harassment violates this policy when it:
  1. Adversely affects a term or condition of an individual’s employment, education, on campus living environment or participation in a BJU activity;
  2. Is used as the basis for or a factor in decisions affecting that individual’s employment, education, on campus living environment or participation in a BJU activity; or
  3. Creates a Hostile Environment (see Hostile Environment definition below).
Sexual HarassmentA form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX, is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, other verbal, visual or physical conduct of a sexual nature, such as sexual assault or acts of sexual violence or other offensive behavior directed toward an employee or student because of or on account of the individual’s gender, whether by a person of the opposite or same gender, when either:
  1. Submission to, rejection, or toleration of such conduct is made explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment, education, living environment, or participation in a BJU activity; or
  2. Submission to, rejection, or toleration of such conduct is used as a basis for or a factor in decisions affecting that individual’s employment, education, living environment or participation in a BJU activity; or
  3. Such conduct creates a Hostile Environment (see Hostile Environment definition below).
Hostile Environment Harassment A Hostile Environment based on race, color, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability, veteran status, or genetic information exists when the harassment:
  1. Is sufficiently serious (i.e., severe, pervasive, or persistent) and objectively offensive so as to deny or limit a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from BJU’s programs or activities; or
  2. When such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s employment or learning environment at BJU.

Mere offensiveness is not enough to create a hostile environment. Although repeated incidents increase the likelihood that harassment has created a hostile environment, a serious incident, such as a sexual assault, even if isolated, can be sufficient. In addition, actions that constitute stalking, domestic violence or dating violence may rise to the level of creating a hostile environment.

In determining whether harassment has created a hostile environment, consideration will be made not only as to whether the conduct was unwelcome to the person who feels harassed, but also whether a reasonable person in a similar situation would have perceived the conduct as objectively offensive. Also, the following factors will be considered:

  1. The degree to which the conduct affected one or more students’ education or individual’s employment;
  2. The nature, scope, frequency, duration, and location of incident or incidents; and
  3. The identity, number, and relationships of persons involved.
Sexual Misconduct Sexual misconduct means any conduct or act of a sexual nature perpetrated against an individual without consent and specifically includes sexual assault, sexual exploitation, and dating or domestic violence. Sexual Misconduct can occur between strangers or acquaintances, including people involved in an intimate or sexual relationship. Sexual Misconduct can be committed by men or by women, and it can occur between people of the same or different sex. BJU encourages reporting of all Sexual Misconduct.
Sexual Assault“Sexual Assault” means any actual, attempted, or threatened sexual act with another person without that person’s consent. Sexual Assault includes but is not limited to:
  1. Rape and attempted Rape;
  2. Intentional and unwelcome sexual touching (including disrobing or exposure), however slight, with any body part or any object, by a man or a woman upon a man or a woman, without effective consent or coercing, forcing, or attempting to coerce or force another to touch you, themselves, or a third party with any of these body parts or areas when such touching would be reasonably and objectively offensive;
  3. Any sexual act in which there is force, violence, or use of duress or deception upon the victim;
  4. Any sexual act perpetrated when the victim is unable to give consent; and
  5. Sexual intimidation, which includes but is not limited to:
    1. Threatening, expressly or impliedly, to commit a sexual act upon another person without his or her consent;
    2. Stalking or cyber-stalking; and
    3. Engaging in indecent exposure.
Sexual Exploitation“Sexual Exploitation” means any act of taking non-consensual, unjust or abusive sexual advantage of another person for one’s own advantage or benefit or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the person being exploited. Sexual Exploitation includes, but is not limited to:
  1. Causing or attempting to cause the incapacitation of another person in order to gain a sexual advantage over such person;
  2. Prostituting another person (i.e., personally gaining money, privilege or power from the sexual activities of another);
  3. Non-Consensual videotaping, photographing, or audio-recording of sexual activity and/or distribution of these materials via media such as, but not limited to, the Internet;
  4. Exceeding the boundaries of consent (e.g., allowing another person to observe consensual sex without the knowledge of or consent from all participants);
  5. Voyeurism; and
  6. Knowingly or recklessly transmitting a sexually transmitted disease (including HIV) to another individual.
Dating ViolenceViolence by a person who has been in a romantic or intimate relationship with the victim. Whether there was such relationship will be gauged by its length, type, and frequency of interaction.
Domestic ViolenceAsserted violent misdemeanor and felony offenses committed by the victim's current or former spouse, current or former cohabitant, person similarly situated under domestic or family violence law, or anyone else protected under domestic or family violence law.
StalkingA course of conduct or pattern of words, whether verbal, written or electronic, directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for her, his, or others safety, or to suffer substantial emotional distress. A course of conduct means two or more acts including but not limited to acts in which the alleged stalker directly or indirectly or through third parties by any action or means, follows, monitors, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person or interferes with a person’s property. Per SC Code of Laws 16-3-1700, stalking is also pattern of words, whether verbal, written or electronic, or a pattern of conduct that serves no legitimate purpose and is intended to cause and does cause a targeted or reasonable person in the targeted person’s position to fear:
  1. Death of the person or a member of his/her family;
  2. Assault upon the person or a member of his/her family;
  3. Bodily injury to the person or a member of his/her family;
  4. Criminal sexual contact on the person or a member of his/her family;
  5. Kidnapping of the person or a member of his/her family; or
  6. Damage to the property of the person or a member of his/her family.
Retaliation Action taken by an accused individual or an action taken by a third party against any person because that person has opposed any practices forbidden under this policy or because that person has filed a complaint, testified, assisted, or participated in any manner in an investigation or proceeding under this policy. This includes action taken against a bystander who intervened to stop or attempt to stop discrimination, harassment, stalking or sexual misconduct. Retaliation includes intimidating, threatening, coercing, or in any way discriminating against an individual because of the individual’s complaint or participation. Action is generally deemed retaliatory if it would deter a reasonable person in the same circumstances from opposing practices prohibited by this policy.
ConsentConsent requires speech or conduct indicating a freely given agreement to have intercourse or participate in sexual activities. Previous sexual relationships, current relationships with the perpetrator or the use of alcohol and/or drugs may not be taken as an indication of consent. Moreover, consent cannot be given if a person’s ability to resist or consent is substantially impaired because of a mental or physical condition or if there is a significant age or perceived power differential, or the individual is under the legal age of consent. The use of alcohol and/or drugs by the perpetrator is not an excuse for violation of this policy.

Prohibition of Retaliation

BJU will not retaliate against an individual who makes a report of discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct, stalking and/or retaliation or provides information concerning an act of discrimination, harassment and/or retaliation, nor permit any other employee or student to do so. Retaliation is a serious violation of the BJU Discrimination and Harassment Policy. Any person found to have retaliated against another individual for reporting discriminatory harassment will be subject to appropriate discipline. Individuals who believe they have been subject to any acts of retaliation or threatened with retaliation, are requested to promptly report the same pursuant to the grievance procedures outlined below.

Obligation to Report

All university employees must, within 24 hours of receiving the information, report information they have about alleged or possible sexual discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual misconduct involving students to the Title IX Coordinator.

Note: This obligation does not apply to an individual who is required by his or her profession and BJU responsibilities to keep certain communications confidential (e.g., a professional counselor or Chaplain), except as may be required by state law. Further, the director, the counselors and front desk staff at the Center for Student Care are not required to report incidents in a way that identifies the student without consent.

Upon receiving a report of alleged or possible sexual discrimination, sexual harassment, or sexual misconduct, the Title IX Coordinator will evaluate the information received and determine what further actions should be taken. The Title IX Coordinator will follow the procedures described in the Grievance Procedures. The Title IX Coordinator will take steps, either directly with the complainant or through a reporting employee, to provide information about the University’s Grievance Procedures, as well as available health and counseling resources and options for criminal reporting.

Responsive Action

Violations of this policy will be addressed through the Grievance Procedures set forth below. Consequences for violating this policy will depend upon the facts and circumstances of each particular situation.

If an investigation reveals that misconduct constituting discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct, stalking and/or retaliation has occurred, appropriate responsive action will be implemented.

Staff, Administrators and Faculty: Responsive action for employees found to have more likely than not violated this policy may include, for example, a requirement not to repeat or continue the discriminatory, harassing, or retaliatory conduct; training; referral to counseling; no-contact orders; and disciplinary actions such as warnings, reprimands, withholding of a promotion or pay increase, reassignment, loss of oversight or supervisory responsibility, temporary suspension without pay, compensation adjustments, or termination. In addition to or in place of the above responsive actions, the University may assign any other sanctions as deemed appropriate.

Students: Responsive action for students found to have more likely than not violated this policy may include, for example, a requirement not to repeat or continue the discriminatory, harassing, or retaliatory conduct; training; referral to counseling; no-contact orders; removal from residential housing; removal from leadership positions; loss of privileges; and disciplinary actions such as warnings, reprimands, general disciplinary probation, restrictive disciplinary probation, suspension, or dismissal. In addition to or in place of the above responsive actions, the University may assign any other sanctions as deemed appropriate.

In instances where BJU is unable to take responsive action in response to a violation of this policy because a complainant insists on confidentiality or for some other reason, BJU will nonetheless pursue other responsive steps to limit the effects of the conduct at issue and prevent its recurrence. See Absence of Complaint below.

In addition to the above, the University may also take appropriate action if it does not find discrimination or harassment that creates a hostile environment or results in a tangible employment or educational action, but

  1. the University found that the respondent engaged in disruptive behavior or
  2. to prevent the creation of a hostile environment.

See the BJU Grievance Procedure below for additional information.

Absence of a Grievance Complaint

Regardless of whether a formal complaint under the grievance procedures is filed (including where a complainant is unwilling to participate in the investigation process), if BJU has credible notice — either direct or indirect — of possible discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct, stalking and/or retaliation against a member of its community or notice of a hostile, harassing or discriminatory environment, it will take immediate and appropriate steps to evaluate what occurred and determine if further action is required as well as prevent any further recurrence. Any response to such notice may be limited if the events giving rise to such notice cannot be verified by independent facts. BJU will conduct such an inquiry regardless of whether there is a concurrent criminal investigation being conducted by the local authorities. By way of example, BJU will investigate allegations of sexual harassment, and take appropriate action, even if a complainant does not wish to pursue the disciplinary process; however, a complainant should be aware that any response may be hindered by the complainant’s wish to anonymity and/or inaction.

Prevention and Education

BJU is committed to preventing and eliminating impermissible discrimination and harassment of students, faculty, and staff. To that end, BJU will broadly disseminate this policy, distribute a list of resources available to respond to concerns of harassment and discrimination and related retaliation, and develop and present appropriate educational programs for students and employees.

BJU will make available regular primary prevention programs and ongoing education and awareness programs for all students and employees. The university is committed to ensuring that all students and employees understand how to respond to reports of sexual misconduct.

All new and transfer students and all new employees will receive education in primary prevention and awareness of sexual harassment, discrimination and violence, including sexual assault, stalking, domestic violence and dating violence.

BJU will make this training available to all current students, faculty and staff to review.

The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for oversight, coordination, and assessment of prevention and training programs on campus. Campus education and prevention programs will be reviewed on an annual basis to ensure quality and address resource needs. Training and education may be provided by appropriately trained campus personnel and or external partners, either in person or online.

Annual Report

The Title IX Coordinator maintains an annual report documenting:
  1. the number of reports or complaints received pursuant to this policy;
  2. the categories of those involved in the allegations;
  3. the number of policy violations found; and
  4. examples of sanctions imposed for policy violations.

Policy Updates

This policy will be reviewed annually. Students and employees will be notified of any changes made to the Policy during the year.

Filing with External Agencies

In addition to, or in lieu of, the filing of a Grievance pursuant to the BJU Grievance Procedures:

Students (either undergraduate or graduate) and student applicants may file formal complaints with the following agency:

United States Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights
61 Forsyth St. S.W., Suite 19T70, Atlanta, GA 30303-3104
Telephone: 404-562-6350; TDD: 404-331-7236
(Must file within 180 calendar days from date of discrimination.)

Employees and applicant for employment may file formal complaints with the following agencies:

South Carolina Human Affairs Commission
2611 Forest Drive, Suite 200, Post Office Box 4490
Columbia, SC 29240
Telephone: (803) 737-7800; TDD: (803) 253-4125
(Must file within 180 calendar days from date of discrimination.)

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
301 North Main Street, Suite 1402, Greenville, SC 29601
Telephone: (864) 241-4400; TDD: (864) 241-4403
(Must file within 180 calendar days from date of discriminatory act, or 30 days after receiving notice that the state or local agency has terminated its processing of the charge, whichever is earlier.)

Grievance Procedures

Complaints and Reporting

Complaints and third-party reports of discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct, stalking and/or retaliation should be made to the Title IX Coordinator. The contact information for the BJU Title IX Coordinator is listed below:

Michael Miller
Bob Jones University
(864) 370-1800, Extension 1374

Complaints and reports should be made as soon as possible after an incident. The Title IX Coordinator coordinates and tracks all complaints and reports under this procedure.

There are several avenues available for submitting a complaint or report:

  • File a complaint or report on the form contained on the BJU intranet and bju.edu;
  • Leave a private voice message for the Title IX Coordinator (x1374);
  • Send an email to the Title IX Coordinator;
  • Mail a letter to the Title IX Coordinator;
  • Visit the Title IX Coordinator’s office;
  • Report to another trusted university official (e.g., Resident Assistant, Professor, Coach, Advisor) who will provide information to the Title IX Coordinator.

If there is a complaint about the Title IX Coordinator, or if the Title IX Coordinator has a complaint, that complaint should be filed with the executive vice president for academic affairs of the University. The executive vice president for academic affairs will appoint another trained individual to take the place of the Title IX Coordinator for purposes of the complaint.

Confidentiality of Complaints and Reports

BJU will treat all information submitted in connection with such a grievance as confidential. Subject to FERPA and other applicable privacy laws, however, the BJU official investigating the grievance will inform individuals with a legitimate need to know of the grievance and may provide them related information as necessary to allow the BJU official to conduct a meaningful and thorough investigation. The BJU official investigating the grievance will inform all involved parties of the need to maintain the confidentiality of such information.

In addition, information about complaints and reports, absent personally identifiable information, may be reported to BJU officials and external entities for statistical and analysis purposes pursuant to federal and state law and university policy.

Complainant Request for Confidentiality

A complainant may make a request for anonymity. This type of request means that the complainant does not want his/her identity known to the accused or witnesses, or that the complainant wishes to withdraw a report. In these situations, BJU will make all reasonable attempts to comply with this request; however, BJU’s ability to investigate and respond may be limited and the complainant will be so informed. Moreover, because of laws relating to reporting and other state and federal laws, BJU cannot guarantee confidentiality to those who report incidents of sexual crimes, except where those reports are privileged communications with those in legally protected roles. The professional being consulted will, if possible, make these limits clear before any disclosure of facts.

An individual can speak confidentially with certain individuals in legally protected roles. They include Counseling Service professionals, the director, the counselors and front desk staff at the Center for Student Care, and the Chaplain. Exceptions to maintaining confidentiality are set by law; for example, physicians and nurses who treat any physical injury sustained during a sexual assault are required to report it to law enforcement. In addition, physicians, nurses, psychologists, psychiatrists, teachers and social workers must report a sexual assault committed against a person under age 18. See SC Code of Laws 63-7-310.

Considerations with respect to a complainant’s request for confidentiality include factors such as BJU’s ability to respond effectively, to prevent further harassment or to ensure the safety of the BJU community.

As required by law, all disclosures to any BJU employee of an incident of a sexual crime must be reported to the Department of Public Safety for crime statistics record keeping. In making such a report, all personally identifiable information is kept confidential, but statistical information must be passed along to Public Safety regarding the type of incident and its general location (on or off-campus, in the surrounding area, but no addresses are given), for publication in the annual Safety and Security report (i.e., Clery Report). This report helps to provide the community with a clear picture of the extent and nature of campus crime to ensure greater community safety. Local law enforcement agencies and campus security authorities are federally mandated to report crime statistics.

Survivors of a sexual crime should be aware that administrators must also issue timely warnings for incidents reported to them that continue to pose a substantial threat of bodily harm or danger to members of the campus community. BJU will ensure that a survivor’s name and other identifying information is not disclosed, while still providing enough information for members of the BJU community to make safety decisions in light of the danger.

Role of Title IX Coordinator

The Title IX Coordinator is a neutral administrator in any investigatory and disciplinary proceedings involving discrimination and harassment, including incidents of sexual assault or misconduct. The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for coordinating discrimination and harassment investigations and proceedings and working with all involved parties. The Title IX Coordinator does not, however, determine if a policy violation has occurred. In addition, the Title IX Coordinator serves as the overall campus coordinator for purposes of Title IX compliance and identifies and addresses any patterns or systemic problems that arise during the review of sexual harassment complaints. The Title IX Coordinator also oversees BJU’s harassment and discrimination education and training programs.

Immediate Action and Interim Measures

The University may take interim measures to assist or protect the parties and others during the grievance process, as necessary. Such measures for a student complainant may include arranging for changes in class schedules or living arrangements, issuing a no-contact order, obtaining counseling, and modifying test schedules or other class requirements temporarily. For an employee complainant, the University may temporarily reassign or place on administrative leave an employee alleged to have violated the BJU Discrimination and Harassment Policy.

Additionally, the University may enact any other measure which can be tailored to the involved individuals to achieve the goals of this Policy. Such interim measures may be implemented regardless of whether the victim chooses to report a crime to campus Public Safety or local law enforcement.

False and Malicious Accusations

False and malicious accusations of harassment, as opposed to complaints that even if erroneous, are made in good faith, may be subject to appropriate disciplinary action up to and including termination or dismissal.

Resolution Processes

Presence of an Advisor

All parties are allowed an advisor of their choosing to guide and accompany them throughout the campus resolution process. The advisor may be a friend, mentor, family member, attorney or any other supporter a party chooses to advise them.

The parties are entitled to be accompanied by their advisor in all meetings and interviews at which the party is entitled to be present, including intake, interviews and appeals. Advisors may not address campus officials in a meeting, interview or hearing unless invited to.

Direct Resolution

An individual who believes that she or he is the subject of discrimination or harassment (“complainant”) may attempt to resolve the issue with the respondent directly, except where allegations involved sexual assault. This attempt need not be confrontational in nature. It may involve speaking directly to the respondent (either face-to-face or by telephone) or writing an email or letter to the respondent.

Note that any attempt at direct resolution between a complainant and the respondent should be regarded as strictly voluntary on the part of the complainant. Under no circumstances should a complainant feel pressured to address the respondent directly or otherwise handle the matter alone, and a decision not to confront an individual she or he believes to be discriminatory or harassing will not be viewed negatively. Moreover, the complainant always has the right to pursue other methods of resolution as described below without being required to attempt to resolve the complaint directly with the respondent. Further, an effort at direct resolution is not appropriate where the alleged involves sexual assault.

If direct resolution measures prove unsuccessful, an individual may choose to report the situation and pursue other methods of resolution as described below.

Receipt of a Complaint

If a complainant chooses to file a complaint, the Title IX Coordinator, within five days of receiving a complaint, will meet with the complainant to discuss the matter and inform the complainant about:

  1. available counseling, medical, mental health, victim advocacy, legal assistance, visa and immigration assistance, student financial aid, and other support services available both within institution and in the community, if applicable to the situation;
  2. the option to avoid contact with the respondent during the pendency of the investigation;
  3. the importance of preserving evidence;
  4. the fact that completing a forensic examination would not require the Complainant to file a police report.
  5. rights under the BJU Harassment and Discrimination Policy, including the right to seek informal or formal resolution of the matter as applicable; and
  6. the right to:
    1. notify proper law enforcement authorities, including on-campus and local police,
    2. be assisted by campus authorities in notifying law enforcement authorities if the victim so chooses, and
    3. decline to notify such authorities.

Within five (5) days after meeting with the complainant, the Title IX Coordinator will meet separately with the respondent to discuss the matter and explain rights under Title IX rights (if applicable) and the BJU Harassment and Discrimination Policy. The Title IX Coordinator will also provide the accused with a copy of the BJU Harassment and Discrimination Policy and the grievance procedures. If the respondent chooses not to participate or refuses to answer a complaint, such nonparticipation will not prevent the matter from proceeding.

Additionally, following these meetings, the Title IX Coordinator will make a preliminary, non-binding, assessment of the information provided by the complainant to determine whether that information, if true, would pose an imminent threat of immediate harm to the complainant or others. If there is an imminent threat of immediate harm then, consistent with the investigation procedures identified below, interim measures to assist or protect the parties during the grievance process will be implemented. The need for such temporary measures shall be reevaluated on a regular basis during the pendency of the investigation and any subsequent proceedings to ensure the need for such interim measures remain present.

Informal Resolution

Informal resolution is not an option in cases involving allegations of sexual assault. In cases involving other forms of discrimination or harassment, the Title IX Coordinator (or a trained designee) will determine whether informal resolution is an appropriate mechanism of resolution based on information provided about the incident.

In cases where informal resolution is deemed to be an option, parties wishing to pursue this form of resolution will confirm such request in writing. The parties should not contact each other to discuss informal resolution. While BJU encourages early resolution of a conflict, it does not require that parties participate in the informal resolution process. Moreover, the parties have the right to end the informal resolution process at any time and begin the formal investigation stage of the complaint process. If the matter is resolved during the process, the case will be closed. If, however, the matter cannot be resolved, or an individual chooses to end the informal resolution process, then the matter will proceed to the formal resolution stage.

Formal Resolution

When a matter is referred for formal resolution, the Title IX Coordinator will assign a trained investigator to conduct a formal investigation. At the discretion of BJU, a consultant or other appropriately trained designee may be engaged to assist in the formal investigation process. Any investigator assigned to the case will be impartial.

Note: Even if an external criminal complaint is being conducted by law enforcement, BJU will proceed with its own internal investigation and will not unduly delay such investigation.

Formal Investigation Timeframe

BJU will strive to complete the formal investigation, including the issuance of a final report of findings in as timely and efficient a manner as possible within 20 days of receipt of a complaint. However, this timeframe may be extended based on factors such as, but not limited to, schedule and availability of witnesses, holidays or semester breaks, and complexity of the complaint. If an investigation cannot be completed within 20 days of receipt of the complaint, then the Title IX Coordinator will notify the complainant and accused of that fact and provide a timeframe for completing the investigation.

Investigation Procedures

In conducting the investigation, the investigator may interview the parties (if available) and any other persons believed to have relevant factual knowledge, as well as review relevant documents as appropriate. The parties will have an equal opportunity to present relevant witnesses and other evidence. However, neither party will have the right to cross-examine the other.

Both parties will receive timely notice of any meetings scheduled with the Title IX Coordinator or Investigators. Both parties will likewise have equal access to any information that will be used during informal or formal resolution processes, including appeals.

The investigation will result in a written report detailing findings of the investigation and determining whether there is a preponderance of the evidence to believe that the respondent engaged in a policy violation. Preponderance of evidence means that the investigator must be convinced based on the information provided that a policy violation was more likely to have occurred than to not have occurred in order to find the accused responsible for violating the policy.

In making the determination of whether harassment has created a hostile environment, the investigator will consider not only whether the conduct was unwelcome to the complainant, but also whether a reasonable person in the complainant’s situation would have perceived the conduct as objectively offensive. The investigator’s findings will be in writing and will be provided to the Title IX Coordinator.

Option 1: If the investigator finds a preponderance of the evidence of a policy violation does not exist, the Title IX Coordinator will simultaneously provide the investigator’s written findings to both the complainant and accused, and the matter is closed. Either party may appeal the finding to the appropriate Administrative Hearing Committee as set forth below.

Option 2: If investigator finds that a preponderance of the evidence of a policy violation does exist, the investigator’s written report will include a rationale for the result, recommendations for steps to take to prevent recurrence of any such violation, and as appropriate, remedies for the complainant. The written finding will be immediately provided by the Title IX Coordinator to one of the following discipline authorities for a determination of appropriate sanctions as follows:

  1. If the respondent is a student, the matter will be forwarded to the dean of students for imposition of sanctions. Sanctions may include eviction from campus housing, suspension, expulsion, probation, a warning, or any other sanction set forth in the Student Handbook or this policy;
  2. If the respondent is an administrator or staff member, the matter will be forwarded to the chief human resources officer for imposition of sanctions;
  3. If the respondent is a faculty member, the matter will be forwarded to the provost for imposition of sanctions;
  4. If the accused is the president, the matter will be referred to the Chair of the Board of Trustees for imposition of sanctions;
  5. If the accused is a third party, the executive vice president for academic affairs will enact appropriate responsive action as appropriate, which may include removal from the campus(es) and termination of any applicable contractual or other arrangements.

Written notification of the sanctions, including the rationale thereof, will be provided to the Title IX Coordinator by the respective discipline authority within ten days of receiving the investigator’s report. The Title IX Coordinator will provide the investigator’s written report and written notification of the sanction to the parties simultaneously within five business days of the receiving the authority’s decision.

Both parties will be afforded an opportunity to file an appeal of the resolution as set forth below.

Formal Resolution Timeframe

BJU will strive to complete all aspects of the formal resolution, including the issuance of a final report of findings and, if applicable, a summary of sanctions, to the complainant and accused, in as timely and efficient a manner as possible within sixty (60) days of receipt of a written complaint (or within 60 days after it is determined that a written complaint will not be provided). However, this timeframe may be extended based on factors such as, but not limited to, schedule and availability of witnesses, holidays or semester breaks, and complexity of the complaint. If formal resolution cannot be completed within sixty (60) days of receipt of the complaint, then the Title IX Coordinator will notify the complainant and accused of that fact and provide a timeframe for completion.

Appeals

A request for a hearing before the appropriate Administrative Hearing Committee must be filed within five working days, of the receipt of the investigator’s decision, unless good cause can be shown for an extension of time. The request for a hearing must be filed with the Title IX Coordinator. The request for a hearing must be in writing and must describe the appellant’s desired outcome; as well as describe how the appellant believes the investigator:

  1. exhibited unfair bias which influenced the result of the investigation;
  2. failed to conduct a thorough investigation;
  3. issued arbitrary findings and recommendations;
  4. had a conflict of interest; or
  5. issued findings and recommendations that if adopted would result in substantial injustice.

As soon as practicable, the Title IX Coordinator will provide the non-appealing party and the Chair of the Administrative Hearing Committee with a copy of the written appeal.

Standard of Review

The committee reviews the findings and recommendations of the investigator. The committee may approve, overturn, or modify the findings and recommendations of the investigator if it finds that the investigator more likely than not:

  1. exhibited unfair bias which influenced the result of the investigation;
  2. failed to conduct a thorough investigation;
  3. issued arbitrary findings and recommendations;
  4. had a conflict of interest; or
  5. issued findings and recommendations that if adopted would result in substantial injustice.

Notice of Hearing

Within five working days of receipt of the written request for a hearing, the Title IX Coordinator will notify the complainant and the respondent of the time and place of the formal hearing before the Administrative Hearing Committee. This process might be extended during periods between academic semesters when a quorum of the committee cannot be convened. The hearing will normally be scheduled within twenty days of receipt of the written appeal. If such an appeal causes a significant delay, the Title IX Coordinator will consider interim measures, as described above, to continue to protect the parties during the process.

The Hearing

The chair of the Administrative Hearing Committee will conduct the hearing. The hearing will be a non-adversarial proceeding and strict rules of evidence will not be applied. However, the chair of the committee may limit or refuse to allow evidence or testimony that is not reasonably related to a determination of whether a violation of the policy occurred.

The hearing will be conducted to assure fairness and accuracy in fact-finding. The parties and witnesses will address the members of the Committee rather than each other. The chair will be the final arbiter of all matters of procedure. All hearings are closed to the public.

The Decision

Within five working days of the conclusion of the formal hearing the Administrative Hearing Committee will submit a decision in writing to the parties and the Title IX Coordinator. The written decision will determine whether the investigator:

  1. exhibited unfair bias which influenced the result of the investigation;
  2. failed to conduct a thorough investigation;
  3. issued arbitrary findings and recommendations;
  4. had a conflict of interest; or
  5. issued findings and recommendations that if adopted would result in substantial injustice; and recommendations, if any, regarding redress of the complaint as well as any other recommendations, as applicable, for precluding further policy violations.

Disability Accommodations

BJU will make arrangements to ensure that students with disabilities are provided appropriate accommodations as needed to participate in this grievance procedure. Requests for accommodations must be made to the Title IX Coordinator, who will review the supporting disability related documentation, make a decision about the request, notify the student about approved accommodations and make arrangements for the accommodations. Accommodations may include, but are not limited to, providing interpreters for the deaf, providing recordings of materials for the blind, and assuring a barrier-free location for the proceedings.

Rights of the Complainant and Accused

Complainants are afforded the following rights in this process:

  1. To be treated with respect, dignity, and sensitivity throughout the process;
  2. To seek support services at BJU;
  3. To confidentiality and protection under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). BJU will make all reasonable efforts to ensure preservation of privacy, restricting information to those with a legitimate need to know;
  4. To be informed of the BJU Discrimination and Harassment Policy and procedures;
  5. To a prompt and thorough investigation of the allegations;
  6. To review all applicable documents prior to a due process review;
  7. To challenge any individual taking part in a due process proceeding if a conflict of interest is present;
  8. To participate or decline to participate in the due process procedure. However, BJU will determine an outcome with the information available pursuant to applicable due process proceedings;
  9. To refrain from making self-incriminating statements;
  10. To appeal the decision made by a due process proceeding and/or sanctions imposed;
  11. To be notified, in writing, of the case resolution — including the outcome of any appeal;
  12. To report incidents of sexual assault or misconduct to law enforcement if she/he wishes to do so;
  13. To understand that information collected in this process may be subpoenaed in criminal or civil proceedings

Individuals accused of a violation of the BJU Discrimination and Harassment Policy are afforded the following rights in this process:

  1. To be treated with respect, dignity, and sensitivity throughout the process;
  2. To seek support services at BJU;
  3. To confidentiality and protection under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). BJU will make all reasonable efforts to ensure preservation of privacy, restricting information to those with a legitimate need to know;
  4. To be informed of the BJU Discrimination and Harassment Policy;
  5. To a prompt and thorough investigation of the allegations;
  6. To review all applicable documents prior to a due process review;
  7. To challenge any individual taking part in a due process proceeding if a conflict of interest is present;
  8. To participate or decline to participate in the due process procedure. However, BJU will determine an outcome with the information available pursuant to applicable due process proceedings;
  9. To refrain from making self-incriminating statements;
  10. To appeal the decision made by a due process proceeding and/or sanctions imposed;
  11. To be notified, in writing, of the case resolution — including the outcome of the appeal;
  12. To understand that information collected in this process may be subpoenaed in criminal or civil proceedings.