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Knowing Your Rights

All Davenport community members are afforded the following rights:

  • Freedom from unlawful discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, sex, gender, age, religion, national origin, disability, or sexual orientation under federal or state laws.
  • The right to initiate a complaint that may bring about an investigation and/or disciplinary action involving another member of the academic community.

Davenport University's sexual assault policy preserves the right of victims of sexual assault and other crimes. You have the right to define your level of involvement in the process, to be informed of the ultimate outcome, and to appeal the outcome. Most importantly, you have the right to be treated with dignity. You should not be discouraged from proceeding with any course of action that you choose.

Alcohol Amnesty

Additionally, in those cases where a student has been the victim of a sexual assault and/or violent crime while under the influence of alcohol, Davenport University will not pursue disciplinary actions against the student victim or a witness for his or her improper use of alcohol (e.g. underage drinking). Any student victim who is under the influence of alcohol at the time of a sexual assault is entitled to University and community assistance and encouraged to seek help.

Importance of VAWA

Through the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), colleges and universities are required to report certain acts of gender-based violence, as well as provide programming, policies and disciplinary procedures that will function toward reducing campus sexual violence. This federal law was intended to improve the safety of college campuses and enhance the outlook for abuse victims. Davenport works to uphold this act through a variety of approaches, including the content listed on this page.

Key Definitions

Actual Knowledge:  
Actual knowledge means notice of sexual harassment or allegations of sexual harassment to the University’s Title IX Coordinator, or any University official who has authority to institute corrective measures on behalf of the University. The mere ability or obligation to report sexual harassment or to inform a student about how to report sexual harassment, or having been trained to do so, does not qualify an individual as one who has authority to institute corrective measures on behalf of the University.  “Notice” includes, but is not limited to, a report of sexual harassment to the Title IX Coordinator.  This standard is not met when the only University official with actual knowledge is the respondent.
 
Bystander Intervention: 
It is the opportunity of an observing party who witnesses a potentially harmful situation, event, or interaction to respond in a way that could positively affect the outcome. Even when difficult, a bystander plays an important role in preventing possible sexual assault or other forms of sexual violence simply by stepping in and intervening.
 
Complainant / Respondent:
Complainant means an individual who is alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment.
Respondent means an individual who has been reported to be the perpetrator of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment.

Consent: 
Consent is a clear, freely given, verbalized "yes" to sexual activity. The absence of "no" is not consent. Silence, in and of itself, cannot be interpreted as consent. Furthermore, a verbalized "yes" which has been coerced, does not constitute a freely given "yes". Individuals who consent to sex must be able to understand what they are doing. A person may not be able to give consent if: they are under the age of 16, if they are legally mentally incapable, mentally incapacitated or physically helpless. This may include impairment due to drug or alcohol use. Consent can be given by words or actions, as long as those words or actions create mutually understandable clear permission regarding willingness to engage in (and the conditions of) sexual activity.

  • Consent to any one form of sexual activity does not automatically imply consent to any other forms of sexual activity.
  • Previous relationships or prior consent does not imply consent to future sexual acts.

Education Program or Activity:  
Education program or activity includes locations, events, and circumstances over which the University exercises substantial control over both the respondent and the context in which the sexual harassment occurs.

Eligible Student:  
Eligible student means a student is attending, or attempting to attend, an institution of postsecondary education. 

Formal Complaint:  
Formal Complaint means a document filed by a complainant or signed by the Title IX Coordinator alleging sexual harassment against a respondent and requesting that the University investigate the allegation of sexual harassment.  At the time of filing a formal complaint with the University, a complainant must be participating in or attempting to participate in the University’s education program or activity.  “Document filed by a complainant’’ means a document or electronic submission (such as by electronic mail or through an online portal that the University provides for this purpose) that contains the complainant’s physical or digital signature, or otherwise indicates that the complainant is the person filing the formal complaint.  Where the Title IX Coordinator signs a formal complaint, the Title IX Coordinator is not a complainant or otherwise a party to the formal complaint, and must not have a conflict of interest or bias for or against complainants or respondents generally or an individual complainant or respondent.
 
Gender-based Harassment: 
Any action with the purpose or effect of intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment with the basis rooted in a persons gender; unreasonably interfering with an individual's participation in or access to educational activities and programs. 
 
Sexual Harassment: 
Sexual harassment means conduct on the basis of sex that satisfies one or more of the following:
(1) A University employee conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of the University on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct (often called “quid pro quo” harassment); 

(2) Unwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the University’s education program or activity (often called “hostile environment” harassment); or 

(3) “Sexual assault” as defined in the Clery Act (20 U.S.C. 1092), or “dating violence,” “domestic violence,” or “stalking” as defined in the Violence Against Women’s Act (34 U.S.C. 12291).    

  1. “Sexual assault” means any sexual act directed against another person, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent.  Sexual assault includes rape, fondling, incest, and statutory rape.
    • Rape is penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.
    • Fondling is the touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her age or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental incapacity.
    • Incest is sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law.
    • Statutory Rape—Sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent. 
  2. “Domestic violence" includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by –  
    • A current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim;
    • A person with whom the victim shares a child in common;
    • A person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner; 
    • A person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime occurred; or
    • Any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime occurred.
  3. “Dating violence” means violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim.  The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.  
  4. “Stalking” means engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to – (1) fear for the person’s safety or the safety of others; or (2) suffer substantial emotional distress