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Title IX and Walsh University

Walsh University Non-Discrimination Policy

Statement of Policy

Walsh University does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, age, sex, color, disability, national or ethnic origin, or status as a veteran, in the administration of our policies and programs. This statement applies to all academic programs, all athletic programs, and to all policies and procedures concerning students and student activities. This statement applies to all personnel and administrative policies. In order to maintain its Catholic identity, Walsh University may prefer to hire individuals who are Catholic or who demonstrate adherence to the ideals expressed in the University Mission Statement. Finally, it is the policy of the University to maintain an environment free of sexual harassment and intimidation.

It is the stated policy of Walsh University to promote and maintain a campus environment free from all forms of discrimination, intimidation, and exploitation, including sexual harassment. The use of one’s institutional position or authority to promote discrimination against any individual or group or to solicit unwelcome sexual relations with a member of the Walsh University community is incompatible with the mutual trust and respect among the University community fundamental to the mission of the University. Discrimination and sexual harassment are considered unethical and unprofessional activities, especially when they involve persons of unequal power, authority, or influence. Furthermore, discrimination and sexual harassment are illegal under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

In accordance with the mission statement and compliance with nondiscrimination laws, Walsh University regards freedom from discrimination and sexual harassment an individual employee and student right protected by policy. Members of the Walsh community must stand against assaults upon the dignity and value of any individual. Walsh University is committed to freedom of expression; however, the value of free expression is undermined by acts of discriminatory harassment that harass, intimidate, or humiliate members of the community or create a hostile or offensive campus environment. Protected free expression ends when prohibited discriminatory harassment begins.

It is imperative that members of the Walsh community know that discriminatory harassment will not be tolerated.

Any employee or student who may have been a victim of or is a witness of discrimination or harassment should proceed as follows:

For issues involving discrimination or harassment based on sex, including sexual harassment, the Walsh University Title IX procedures govern these reports. Please contact Tiffany Kinnard-Payton, Title IX Coordinator at 330-490-7538 or titleix@walsh.edu. A complete listing of the Title IX Coordinator and Deputy Title IX Coordinators are also available on this webpage.

For issues involving race, religion, age, color, disability, national or ethnic origin or status as a veteran, please refer to the Walsh University Equity Board description and procedures.

Procedures for Institutional Action in Cases of Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, Gender-Based Misconduct, Stalking, Retaliation and Other Forms of Sex Discrimination

Policies and Procedures for Student, Employees and University Volunteers

What is Title IX?

Title IX is part of the 1972 re-authorization of the Higher Education Act and stipulates that “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.”

Title IX requires all schools receiving federal financial assistance to take reasonable steps to create a safe, nondiscriminatory learning environment.

Walsh University is committed to providing support and assistance to members of our campus community impacted by all forms of sex discrimination, including, but not limited to harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, gender based misconduct, stalking, retaliation, or other forms of sex discrimination. If there is a violation of this Policy, the University will take steps to end the sex discrimination, prevent its recurrence and to remedy its effects.

Procedural Definitions

For the purposes of determining whether a course of conduct constitutes a violation under the policy and its corresponding procedures, the relevant definitions are listed below.

Student” is any person who is currently enrolled at Walsh University.

Employees” are categorized as staff or faculty of Walsh University.

Staff” are employees of Walsh University (full-time, part time, or casual) where the majority of their work responsibilities are considered non-teaching activities of various types in support of the educational, research, and service programs of the University.

Faculty” of the university consists of those individuals with either faculty rank or status.

University volunteer” is defined as any uncompensated individual who is authorized by a University department or division to perform service for or on behalf of the University, or to gain personal or professional experience.

Reporting Party” means the individual who reportedly experienced sexual misconduct, regardless of whether such individual reports such sexual misconduct to the University or participates in the University’s conduct process for responding to complaints of sexual misconduct described herein.

Third Party Reporter” any individual who reports a violation of this Policy to the University.

Responding Party” means the individual or entity alleged to have committed acts constituting sexual misconduct, regardless of whether such individual has entered into the University’s conduct process for responding to complaints of sexual misconduct described herein.

Sexual Harassment – any unwanted conduct of a sexual nature such as, unwelcome sexual advances, request for sexual favors and other verbal, non-verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.

Sexual Assault - Any sexual act directed against another person, without consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent.

Rape - the 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. This offense includes the rape of both males and females.

Fondling - 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 - 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.

Domestic Violence” – means a felony or misdemeanor crime 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 receiving grant monies [under VAWA}; 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.

“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; and
• Where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors:

o The length of the relationship;
o The type of relationship; and
o The frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.

“Stalking” means engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to

• Fear for his or her safety or the safety of others; or

• Suffer substantial emotional distress.

According to Walsh University, domestic or dating violence occurs when one person uses physical force, threatening or intimidating behavior so as to injure or abuse another person in that relationship. Examples include, but are not limited to, slapping, grabbing, pushing, kicking, and hitting. Both women and men can be victims of this type of violence.

Walsh University does not condone the use of violence by any individual – even those involved in courting relationships. This type of behavior could result in dismissal from campus. Due to the dynamics involved in domestic or dating violence, disciplinary procedures may be adapted in order to better meet the needs of both parties including referrals to counseling and support resources.

Walsh strives to maintain an environment where people of different beliefs and values can learn to live harmoniously. Therefore, any type of verbal or nonverbal harassment, intimidation, retaliation or threatening behavior on the part of students will not be tolerated. Depending on the circumstances, this type of behavior could result in dismissal from campus.

When Should I Contact a Title IX Coordinator or Deputy?

Any student or employee who has concerns about sex discrimination including sexual harassment, sexual violence, or sexual misconduct is encouraged to seek the assistance of a Title IX Coordinator.

Outreach to the Walsh University Title IX Office if you:
  • Wish to understand your options if you think you may have encountered sex discrimination or sexual misconduct.
  • Become aware of a situation that you feel may warrant a University investigation.
  • Need help on how to process or handle a situation by which you are indirectly affected.
  • Seek guidance on possible strategies for addressing a challenging or difficult situation.
  • Have questions on Walsh University’s policies and procedures.
Title IX Coordinator

Tiffany Kinnard-Payton, M.A. | Associate Dean of Students
Student Affairs – David Campus Center (Suite 103) | (330) 490-7538

Disclosing and/or Reporting Options

Walsh University recognizes a distinction between disclosing and reporting incidents of harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, gender-based misconduct, stalking, retaliation, or other forms of sex discrimination. Disclosing an incident may or may not result in a formal report, depending on whom the information is communicated. Please know that all full- and part-time Walsh University employees, including administration, faculty, staff, and student paraprofessionals, such as Resident Assistants and Campus Ministry Peacemakers, are mandated to report any sexual misconduct incidents directly to the Title IX Coordinator or Title IX Deputies, unless they are one of the confidential resources outlined below.

*If you are unsure if you would like to make a formal report regarding an incident of harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, or retaliation, Walsh University’s Counseling Services, Walsh University Health Services, University Senior Chaplain, Domestic Violence Project, Inc (Canton, Ohio), and COMPASS Sexual Assault, Education, Prevention and Support (Canton, Ohio) are confidential resources available to you for disclosure. Confidential resources will not report the disclosure of these incidents to Title IX or Campus Police without a victim/survivor’s written permission, and to the extent they are permitted to promise confidentiality under the law.

Additionally, please note that all of the resources listed below made available in writing to complainants once the information has been disclosed to the Title IX office, and the receiving of this information is not dependent on the filing of a formal report.

STUDENT | On-Campus Confidential Resources

Counseling Services | David Campus Center (Suite 104) | (330)490-7348

  • Francie Morrow, LPCC-S | Executive Director of Counseling and Health Services
  • Lisa Lutz, LPCC-S | College Counselor
  • Megan Rhoads, LPC | College Counselor/Programming and Outreach Coordinator
  • Brenda Watkins, LPC | College Counselor

Health Services | Cechinni Health & Wellness Complex | (330) 490-7030

  • Dr. Melanie Mirande, MD
  • Andrea Prewitt, BSN, RN
  • Karen Tylke, RN

University Wellness | Paul and Carol David Center-Bottom Level | (330)244-4735

  • Megan Allen, Director of University Wellness

*PLEASE NOTE:The Director of University Wellness can serve as a confidential resource only when providing healthy lifestyle consultations and fitness assessments.

University Senior Chaplain | Our Lady of Perpetual Help Chapel | (330) 490-7051

  • Fr.Thomas Cebula

*PLEASE NOTE: The University Senior Chaplain may only promise confidentiality to students when in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Outside of this sacrament, he is unable to provide confidentiality and is considered a mandatory reporter of the university.


EMPLOYEE | On-Campus Confidential Resources

Health Services | Cechinni Health & Wellness Complex | (330) 490-7030

  • Dr. Melanie Mirande, MD
  • Andrea Prewitt, BSN, RN
  • Karen Tylke, RN

University Senior Chaplain | Our Lady of Perpetual Help Chapel | (330) 490-7051

  • Fr. Thomas Cebula*

*PLEASE NOTE: the University Senior Chaplain may only promise confidentiality when in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Outside of this sacrament, he is unable to provide confidentiality and is considered a mandatory reporter of the university.


STUDENT AND EMPLOYEE | Off-Campus Confidential Resources


Domestic Violence Project, Inc. | (330) 453-7233
Available Victim Services:

  • 24-Hr. Confidential Hotline (330-453-7233)
  • Emergency Shelter
  • Transitional Housing
  • Legal Advocacy Services
  • Outreach and Aftercare Advocacy
  • Medical Advocacy

COMPASS Sexual Assault Education, Prevention and Support | (330) 452-1111)
Available Victim Services:

  • 24-Hr. Confidential Hotline (330-453-7233)
  • Counseling
  • Case Management
  • Outreach Advocacy
  • Legal Advocacy
  • Hospital Advocacy

 STUDENTS, EMPLOYEES and VISITING GUESTS | On-Campus Reporting

Title IX Coordinator
Tiffany Kinnard-Payton, M.A., Associate Dean of Students
Student Affairs – David Campus Center (Suite 103) | (330) 490-7538

Title IX Deputy Coordinators
Anna Ball, Head Softball Coach
Cechinni Health & Wellness Complex | (330) 490-7517

Kristi Campell, Director International Student Services
Student Affairs-David Center | (330) 490-7105

Jason Fautas, Associate Director of Athletics-Director of Compliance
Cechinni Health and Wellness Complex | (330) 490-7437

Vanessa Freiman, Associate Director fo Undergraduate Admissions
Bill Rambo Office of Admissions-David Center | (330) 490-7177

Meredith Soduk, Director of Academic Support Services
Farrell Hall 209 | (330) 490-7529

Davidcia (Dee) Stubbs, Human Resources-Benefits Specialist
Farrell Hall | (330) 490-7542


 

Law Enforcement Notification

The University also urges the Reporting Party to report all instances of sexual misconduct or criminal activity to local law enforcement. The Reporting Party may contact local law enforcement directly, whether or not a complaint has been filed with the University. If requested, University can assist the Reporting Party in notifying law enforcement or legal service organizations to learn about these remedies. The Reporting Party may also decline to notify law enforcement.

A person may report an incident to either the police, the University or to both.

Effect of Law Enforcement Notification

The filing of a formal report of sexual misconduct under this Policy is independent of any criminal investigation or proceeding. The University typically does not wait for the conclusion of any criminal investigation or proceedings to commence its own investigation or to take any necessary interim remedies to protect the Reporting Party and the University community. However, the University may temporarily delay its investigation to enable law enforcement to gather evidence and to engage in a preliminary investigation of sexual misconduct matters that may also violate state or federal law.

The standards for finding a violation of criminal law are different from the standards for finding a violation of this policy. Therefore, criminal investigations or reports are not determinative of whether sexual misconduct, for purposes of this policy, has occurred. In other words, conduct may constitute sexual misconduct under this policy even if law enforcement agencies lack sufficient evidence of a crime and/or decline to prosecute.

First Contact with the Title IX Office

If a student, employee, or university volunteer would like to communicate with the Title IX Office, an initial meeting can be scheduled with the Title IX Coordinator or a designee. The Title IX Coordinator or a designee will meet with the Reporting Party to obtain information regarding the incident(s), to provide information regarding available on- and off-campus resources, and to ensure the Reporting Party is aware of their rights and responsibilities in the resolution process should they choose to file a formal report. The initial meeting may be followed by 1) filing a formal report or 2) a request to take no further action.

Intermediate/Supportive Measures

In the case of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, gender-based misconduct, stalking, retaliation and other forms of sex discrimination, the Title IX Coordinator (or designee) may take immediate action to assist the Reporting Party in resuming educational activities while deciding the next steps, if any, to pursue against a Responding Party or while awaiting the results of a resolution process. Intermediate measures include but are not limited to, the following:

  • Providing an escort
  • Changing the Reporting Party’s class schedule or room assignment in the residence halls
  • Arranging academic accommodations
  • Waiving the service fee for on-campus health center services
  • Issuing no contact orders
  • Limiting the responding party’s access to campus
  • Limiting the responding party’s access to facilities and activities
  • Changing the responding party’s course schedule or room assignment, and/or
  • Implementing other appropriate educational or prevention strategies to address the environment in which the offense took place.
  • When appropriate, intermediate measures can include a responding party being placed on interim suspension.

This information will be provided in writing. Additionally, it is not required for a report to be filed and/or investigated for intermediate/supportive measures to be implemented, as deemed necessary by the Title IX office.

Filing a Report

Any current students, employees, or university volunteers may file a formal report of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, gender-based misconduct, stalking, retaliation, or other forms of sex discrimination against other current students, employees or university volunteers connected to the university. All reports are submitted directly to the Title IX Coordinator or Title IX Deputies.

It is strongly encouraged to submit a report as soon as possible after the incident takes place or becomes known in order to optimize opportunities to secure evidence and witnesses. As there is no time limit on reporting violations of this policy, if a Reporting or Responding Party is no longer affiliated with Walsh University (e.g. a report is made after a community member has withdrawn, graduated or no longer employed and left their position), The University will still provide reasonably available remedial and supportive measures or take other appropriate action.

To file a formal report, members of the Walsh University community are encouraged to contact the Title IX Coordinator to schedule an initial meeting.

Rights of the Reporting Party and Responding Parties

The Reporting Party and the Responding Party are entitled to the same opportunities during an institutional disciplinary proceeding, including the opportunity to be accompanied to any related meeting or proceedings by an advisor of their choice.

Both the Reporting Party and Responding Party shall be simultaneously informed, in writing, of: 1) the outcome of any institutional disciplinary proceedings that arise from an allegation of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking; 2) the institutions’ procedures for the Reporting Party and the responding party to appeal the results of the institutional disciplinary proceeding; and 3) any change to the results that occurs prior to the time that such results become final - and when such results become final.

Timeline

Following the filing of a formal report with the Reporting Party, the Title IX officer assigned to the report has approximately ten (10) business days to provide the Reporting Party with detailed notes regarding their meeting. The Reporting Party has three (3) business days to review and edit the notes to ensure the accuracy of their formal statement. Additionally, the Complainant will receive communication that confirms the intermediate measures that have been put into place.

As a general rule, the entire matter is to be addressed within a 60-day timeframe. However, the university reserves the right to adjust this timeline should additional time be necessary. This adjusted timeline, in addition to the reasons for the extension of time, will be provided to the Reporting Party and Responding Party in writing. Examples for the need for extended time include, but are not limited to, extensive number of witnesses; by request of the Reporting Party; illness; or request by the Reporting Party to move to a formal process, which the Reporting Party can request at any time.

Mediation

If the Reporting Party wishes to proceed beyond the initial report and any intermediate measures in place, the responding party will be contacted and interviewed. It is important to understand that the rights available to the Reporting Party are also available to the Responding Party. This includes the opportunity to pursue an informal process of resolution, such as mediation – but only in cases of sexual harassment. It is not appropriate to conduct a mediation in cases of sexual assault. At any time, the complainant has the right to pursue a formal process.

Standard of Proof

At the conclusion of a Title IX investigation, which involves a thorough review of all information available, including witness interviews, the Title IX officer will make a ruling. The standard of proof used for all Title IX cases is a preponderance of evidence. This means a greater than 50% chance (based on the evidence provided by within the investigation) that the responding party is responsible for the violation as indicated in the filed report.

If there is a finding of responsibility, the finding will be forwarded as follows for sanctioning:

  • Staff and University Volunteers– to the Director of Human Resources and the employee’s direct supervisor. Together, in collaboration with the supervising Vice President and Title IX Office, sanctions will be assigned.
  • Faculty– to the University Provost and the faculty members’ division chair. Together, in collaboration with the supervising Vice President and the Title IX Office, sanctions will be assigned.
  • Students – to the Associate Dean of Students/Chief Conduct Officer. Sanctions will be assigned accordingly.
  • Third parties – to the supervising Vice President who, in consultation with the appropriate administrative staff, will create a deterrence plan.
Student - Possible Sanctions

Depending on the nature of the charges, the following sanctions are possible, but not limited to:

  • Sexual Assaults or Attempted Sexual Assaults
    Level IV: Suspension or Expulsion Status: Recommendation to the Vice President for Student Affairs for suspension or expulsion from Walsh University; loss of access to university facilities and services; removal from residential community; loss of extracurricular and athletic privileges and/or scholarships.
  • Domestic Violence/Dating Violence
    Level II: Community Probation Status: behavior contract, loss of guest visitation privileges, restrictions of visitation to certain residence halls or campus areas, weekends off campus.

    Level III: University Probation Status: loss of athletic privileges or extracurricular involvement; loss of scholarships; loss of residency/community privileges; restitution if applicable, residence hall reassignment.

    Level IV: Suspension or Expulsion Status: Recommendation to the Vice President for Student Affairs for suspension or expulsion from Walsh University; loss of access to university facilities and services; removal from residential community; loss of extracurricular and athletic privileges and/or scholarships.
  • Gender-Based Misconduct
    Level II: Community Probation Status: behavior contract, loss of guest visitation privileges, restrictions of visitation to certain residence halls or campus areas, weekends off campus.

    Level III: University Probation Status: loss of athletic privileges or extracurricular involvement; loss of scholarships; loss of residency/community privileges; restitution if applicable, residence hall reassignment.

    Level IV: Suspension or Expulsion Status: Recommendation to the Vice President for Student Affairs for suspension or expulsion from Walsh University; loss of access to university facilities and services; removal from residential community; loss of extracurricular and athletic privileges and/or scholarships.
  • Sexual Harassment or Stalking
    Level III: University Probation Status: loss of athletic privileges or extracurricular involvement; loss of scholarships; loss of residency/community privileges; restitution if applicable, residence hall reassignment.

    Level IV: Suspension or Expulsion Status: Recommendation to the Vice President for Student Affairs for suspension or expulsion from Walsh University; loss of access to university facilities and services; removal from residential community; loss of extracurricular and athletic privileges and/or scholarships.
  • Retaliation
    Interim Suspension/removal from campus – including athletic and extracurricular involvement pending the outcome of the student conduct case. Charges of retaliation are as separate matter from the Title IX issues and will be addressed promptly through the student conduct system.
Employee - Possible Sanctions

Walsh University Employee Handbook:Professional and Support Staff (A.17): “Disciplinary Action: It is the intent of the University to assist employees in the improvement of their performance prior to disciplinary action being taken. However, employee disciplinary action may be required to assure performance standards, and university rules and regulations are met. The University will always attempt to discipline in a corrective manner, which is consistent with the ideals and mission of the University. Various forms of discipline, depending upon the seriousness of the problem, may be used including: verbal warning, written warning, probation, suspension and discharge.”

Walsh University Employee Handbook: Faculty
If the faculty member is found in violation of any form of sexual harassment, faculty will face “appropriate and necessary discipline up to and including termination.” Also refer to moral turpitude discussion regarding tenured faculty in the Faculty Handbook.

Retaliation
Charges of retaliation are as separate matter from the Title IX issues and will be addressed promptly through the Human Resources office in collaboration with the employee’s direct supervisor.

Appeal
Walsh University affords both the Complainant and responding party, with Title IX cases the right to appeal based on due process concerns including but not limited to where a sanction is substantially disproportionate to the findings; or where previously unavailable relevant evidence could significantly impact the outcome of the case. Both parties will be provided information regarding the date and time of the appeal deadline, and information about the appeal officer and his/her contact information.

For additional information and resources, please refer to the following: 

Walsh University Annual Safety and Security Report

  • Victim information
  • Sexual Offense Education, Awareness and Prevention Programs
  • Tips to Prevent and Avoid a Date Rape Situation
  • Bystander Intervention Information
  • Procedures to follow if an incident has occurred
  • Preserving Evidence