Notification of Rights and Confidentiality
It is important to remember that sexual misconduct is never the fault of the victim.
Wayland Baptist University understands that many victims have a strong desire for their report of sexual misconduct to be treated confidentially. If a person requests that his/her name not be disclosed to the accused person or that the university not investigate or take disciplinary action against the accused person, university officials will carefully consider the request and honor it if possible.
If the university determines that it can keep the report confidential, all reasonable steps will still be taken to respond to the complaint consistent with the request. For example, it may be helpful to make changes to housing situation, class schedule, etc. Any request for confidentiality can be withdrawn at any time, and the university will proceed to investigate the report fully and take appropriate action.
However, honoring a request not to reveal a victim’s name to the accused person, not to conduct an investigation, or not to punish the accused person will limit the university’s ability to respond fully to the assault and take any appropriate disciplinary action. There are situations in which the university must override a request for confidentiality in order to meet its obligations under federal law to provide an educational environment which is safe and free from sexual violence. If the person accused has been accused before of committing similar acts or if the circumstances indicate that the accused person is likely to harm others, the university may have to investigate the report and take appropriate action to make the campus safe. If an investigation must take place, the information reported will be shared only on a need- to-know basis.
If the victim/complainant wants to be assured that the report will be kept confidential, he/she can report the assault to a therapist, doctor, or attorney who is legally obligated to maintain patient or client confidentiality. If this option is chosen, the victim/complainant should consider asking a doctor, therapist, or attorney to make a confidential report of the assault without including facts that would
reveal the person’s identity. While the university will probably not be able to take any disciplinary action against the person who assaulted the victim/complainant, university officials will have a better picture of crime on the campus and may be able to warn the campus community about methods or patterns of attacks.
Every effort is made by Wayland Baptist University to preserve the privacy of reports. Wayland Baptist University will not share the identity of any individual who has made a report or complaint of harassment, discrimination, or retaliation; any Complainant, any individual who has been reported to be the perpetrator of sex discrimination, any Respondent, or any witness, except as permitted by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), 20 U.S.C. 1232g; FERPA regulations, 34 CFR part 99; or as required by law; or to carry out the purposes of 34 CFR Part 106, including the conducting of any investigation, hearing, or grievance proceeding arising under these policies and procedures.
Wayland Baptist University reserves the right to designate which Wayland Baptist University officials have a legitimate educational interest in being informed about incidents that fall within this policy, pursuant to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
Protected activity under this policy includes reporting an incident that may implicate this policy, participating in the grievance process, supporting a Complainant or Respondent, assisting in providing information relevant to an investigation, and/or acting in good faith to oppose conduct that constitutes a violation of this Policy.
Acts of alleged retaliation should be reported immediately to the Title IX Administrator and will be promptly investigated. Wayland Baptist University is prepared to take appropriate steps to protect individuals who fear that they may be subjected to retaliation.
It is prohibited for Wayland Baptist University or any member of Wayland Baptist University’s community to take materially adverse action by intimidating, threatening, coercing, harassing, or discriminating against any individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by law or policy, or because the individual has made a report or complaint, testified, assisted, or participated or refused to participate in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under this policy and procedure.
Charges against an individual for code of conduct violations that do not involve sex discrimination or sexual harassment but arise out of the same facts or circumstances as a report or complaint of sex discrimination, or a report or complaint of sexual harassment, for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by Title IX, constitutes retaliation.
The exercise of rights protected under the First Amendment does not constitute retaliation.
Charging an individual with a code of conduct violation for making a materially false statement in bad faith in the course of a grievance proceeding under this policy and procedure does not constitute retaliation, provided that a determination regarding responsibility, alone, is not sufficient to conclude that any party has made a materially false statement in bad faith.
Wayland Baptist University can act to remove a Respondent entirely or partially from its education program or activities on an emergency basis when an individualized safety and risk analysis has determined that an immediate threat to the physical health or safety of any student or other individual justifies removal. This risk analysis is performed by the Title IX Administrator in conjunction with the Executive Director of Student Services.
Wayland Baptist University will offer and implement appropriate and reasonable supportive measures to the parties upon notice of alleged harassment, discrimination, and/or retaliation.
Supportive measures are non-disciplinary, non-punitive individualized services offered as appropriate, as reasonably available, and without fee or charge to the parties to restore or preserve access to Wayland Baptist University’s education program or activity, including measures designed to protect the safety of all parties or the Wayland Baptist University’s educational environment, and/or deter harassment, discrimination, and/or retaliation.
The Title IX Administrator promptly makes supportive measures available to the parties upon receiving notice or a complaint. At the time that supportive measures are offered, Wayland Baptist University will inform the Complainant, in writing, that they may file a formal complaint with Wayland Baptist University either at that time or in the future, if they have not done so already. The Title IX Administrator works with the Complainant to ensure that their wishes are taken into account with respect to the supportive measures that are planned and implemented.
Wayland Baptist University will maintain the privacy of the supportive measures, provided that privacy does not impair Wayland Baptist University’s ability to provide the supportive measures. Wayland Baptist University will act to ensure as minimal an academic impact on the parties as possible. Wayland Baptist University will implement measures in a way that does not unreasonably burden the other party.
These actions may include, but are not limited to:
- Referral to counseling, medical, and/or other healthcare services
- Referral to community-based service providers
- Visa and immigration assistance
- Student financial aid counseling
- Education to the community or community subgroup(s)
- Altering campus housing assignment(s)
- Altering work arrangements for employees or student-employees
- Safety planning
- Providing campus safety escorts
- Providing transportation accommodations
- Implementing contact limitations (no contact orders) between the parties
- Academic support, extensions of deadlines, or other course/program-related adjustments
- Criminal Trespass
- Timely warnings
- Class schedule modifications, withdrawals, or leaves of absence
- Increased security and monitoring of certain areas of the campus
- Any other actions deemed appropriate by the Title IX Administrator
Violations of no contact orders will be referred to appropriate student or employee conduct processes for enforcement.
STATEMENTS OF RIGHTS FOR THE PARTIES
- The right to an equitable investigation and resolution of all credible allegations of prohibited harassment or discrimination made in good faith to Wayland Baptist University officials.
- The right to timely written notice of all alleged violations, including the identity of the parties involved (if known), the precise misconduct being alleged, the date and location of the alleged misconduct (if known), the implicated policies and procedures, and possible sanctions.
- The right to timely written notice of any material adjustments to the allegations (e.g., additional incidents or allegations, additional Complainants, unsubstantiated allegations) and any attendant adjustments needed to clarify potentially implicated policy violations.
- The right to be informed in advance of any public release of information regarding the allegation(s) or underlying incident(s), whenever possible.
- The right not to have any personally identifiable information released to the public without consent provided, except to the extent permitted by law.
- The right to be treated with respect by Wayland Baptist University officials.
- The right to have Wayland Baptist University policies and procedures followed without material deviation.
- The right not to be pressured to mediate or otherwise informally resolve any reported misconduct involving violence, including sexual violence.
- The right not to be discouraged by Wayland Baptist University officials from reporting sexual misconduct or discrimination to both on-campus and off-campus authorities.
- The right to be informed by Wayland Baptist University officials of options to notify proper law enforcement authorities, including on-campus and local police, and the option(s) to be assisted by Wayland Baptist University authorities in notifying such authorities, if the party so chooses. This also includes the right not to be pressured to report, as well.
- The right to have allegations of violations of this Policy responded to promptly and with sensitivity by Wayland Baptist University law enforcement and/or other Wayland Baptist University officials.
- The right to be informed of available interim actions and supportive measures, such as counseling; advocacy; health care; legal, student financial aid, visa, and immigration assistance; or other services, both on campus and in the community.
- The right to a Wayland Baptist University implemented no-contact order or a no-trespass order against a non-affiliated third party when a person has engaged in or threatens to engage in stalking, threatening, harassing, or other improper conduct that presents a danger to the welfare of the party or others.
- The right to be informed of available assistance in changing academic, living, and/or
working situations after an alleged incident of discrimination, harassment, and/or
retaliation, if such changes are reasonably available. No formal report, or investigation,
either campus or criminal, needs to occur before this option is available. Such actions
may include, but are not limited to:
- Relocating an on-campus student’s housing to a different on-campus location
- Assistance from Wayland Baptist University staff in completing the relocation
- Changing an employee’s work environment (e.g., reporting structure, office/workspace relocation)
- Transportation accommodations
- Visa/immigration assistance
- Arranging to dissolve a housing contract and a pro-rated refund
- Exam, paper, and/or assignment rescheduling or adjustment
- Receiving an incomplete in, or a withdrawal from, a class (may be retroactive)
- Transferring class sections
- Temporary withdrawal/leave of absence (may be retroactive)
- Campus safety escorts
- Alternative course completion options.
- The right to have Wayland Baptist University maintain such actions for as long as necessary and for supportive measures to remain private, provided privacy does not impair Wayland Baptist University’s ability to provide the supportive measures.
- The right to receive sufficiently advanced, written notice of any meeting or interview involving the other party, when possible.
- The right to ask the Investigator(s) and Decision-maker(s) to identify and question relevant witnesses, including expert witnesses.
- The right to provide the Investigator(s)/Decision-maker(s) with a list of questions that, if deemed relevant by the Investigator(s)/Chair, may be asked of any party or witness.
- The right not to have irrelevant prior sexual history or character admitted as evidence.
- The right to know the relevant and directly related evidence obtained and to respond to that evidence.
- The right to fair opportunity to provide the Investigator(s) with their account of the alleged misconduct and have that account be on the record.
- The right to receive a copy of the investigation report, including all factual, policy, and/or credibility analyses performed, and all relevant and directly related evidence available and used to produce the investigation report, subject to the privacy limitations imposed by state and federal law, prior to the hearing, and the right to have at least ten (10) business days to review the report prior to the hearing.
- The right to respond to the investigation report, including comments providing any additional relevant evidence after the opportunity to review the investigation report, and to have that response on the record.
- The right to be informed of the names of all witnesses whose information will be used to make a finding, in advance of that finding, when relevant.
- The right to regular updates on the status of the investigation and/or resolution.
- The right to have reports of alleged Policy violations addressed by Investigators, Title IX Administrator and Decision-maker(s) who have received annual training.
- The right to a Hearing Panel that is not single-sex in its composition, if a panel is used.
- The right to preservation of privacy, to the extent possible and permitted by law.
- The right to meetings, interviews, and/or hearings that are closed to the public.
- The right to petition that any Wayland Baptist University representative in the process be recused on the basis of disqualifying bias and/or conflict of interest.
- The right to have an Advisor of their choice to accompany and assist the party in all meetings and/or interviews associated with the resolution process.
- The right to have Wayland Baptist University compel the participation of faculty and staff witnesses.
- The right to the use of the appropriate standard of evidence, preponderance of the evidence; to make a finding after an objective evaluation of all relevant evidence.
- The right to be present, including presence via remote technology, during all testimony given and evidence presented during any formal grievance hearing.
- The right to have an impact statement considered by the Decision-maker(s) following a determination of responsibility for any allegation, but prior to sanctioning.
- The right to be promptly informed in a written Notice of Outcome letter of the finding(s) and sanction(s) of the resolution process and a detailed rationale therefore (including an explanation of how credibility was assessed), delivered simultaneously (without undue delay) to the parties.
- The right to be informed in writing of when a decision by Wayland Baptist University is considered final and any changes to the sanction(s) that occur before the decision is finalized.
- The right to be informed of the opportunity to appeal the finding(s) and sanction(s) of the resolution process, and the procedures for doing so in accordance with the standards for appeal established by Wayland Baptist University
- The right to a fundamentally fair resolution as defined in these procedures.
AMNESTY FOR COMPLAINANTS AND WITNESSES
Wayland Baptist University community encourages the reporting of misconduct and crimes by Complainants and witnesses. Sometimes, Complainants or witnesses are hesitant to report to Wayland Baptist University officials or participate in grievance processes because they fear that they themselves may be in violation of certain policies, such as underage drinking or use of illicit drugs at the time of the incident. Respondents may hesitate to be forthcoming during the process for the same reasons.
It is in the best interests of the Wayland Baptist University community that Complainants choose to report misconduct to Wayland Baptist University officials, that witnesses come forward to share what they know, and that all parties be forthcoming during the process.
To encourage reporting and participation in the process, Wayland Baptist University maintains a policy of offering parties and witnesses amnesty from minor policy violations – such as underage consumption of alcohol or the use of illicit drugs – related to the incident.
Amnesty does not apply to more serious allegations such as physical abuse of another or illicit drug distribution. The decision not to offer amnesty to a Respondent is based on neither sex nor gender, but on the fact that collateral misconduct is typically addressed for all students within a progressive discipline system, and the rationale for amnesty – the incentive to report serious misconduct – is rarely applicable to Respondent with respect to a Complainant.