Policies and Procedures

Living in daily fellowship with members of our Christ-centered community is a privilege and an expression of God's grace. In recognition of this privilege, we place great value on the quality of relationships in our community, and we acknowledge we are interdependent and accountable to one another.

The greatest expression for our relationships is love: the responsibility to love God with all our hearts, souls, minds, and strength, and to love our neighbors as ourselves. This means that unselfish love should be the motive for our decisions, actions, and relationships.

George Fox University is committed to providing a Christ-centered community that fosters a safe living, learning, and work setting for students, employees, and visitors.  A core value of this institution is to maintain a respectful environment for all individuals that is free of the following:

These behaviors and actions are contrary to the mission, values and Lifestyle Standards of our community, and are violations of federal and/or state law. It is our firm belief that engaging in any aspect of this behavior is unacceptable and will not be tolerated by members of the George Fox community.

These policies are for undergraduate students in any program at George Fox University and can be viewed in full at studenthandbook.georgefox.edu. Graduate/DPS students should see the Graduate/DPS Student Life Policies for comparable applicable policies. Additionally, while many aspects are pertinent for faculty, staff and administrators, employees should see appropriate sections in the employee handbook. 

In addition to providing support and resources during the academic year, it is important to note that University personnel are prepared to assist students who need support and help because of trauma they have experienced before becoming a student or at other times when they have been away from George Fox as well (i.e., Summer break).

Conditional Immunity Policy

The University wants to eliminate barriers for students who may be hesitant to seek medical or emergency help or report the incident to university officials because they fear being held accountable for policy violations (e.g., drinking alcoholic beverages, sexual activity). To encourage reporting, George Fox pursues a policy of offering students who are accessing help for themselves or others, conditional immunity from being charged with policy violations related to the particular incident.  While there may be no community accountability sanctions for these individuals, the University may provide elements of help, support, and education.

Important Note about Language

For clarity, consistency, and empowerment, we have used the terms complainant and respondent to refer to the parties in a sexual assault or sexual misconduct situation. The complainant refers to the student who is reporting the incident and the respondent refers to the student who is accused of violating University policy.

Institutional Compliance with Title IX

It is the policy of George Fox University to provide an educational environment free of all forms of sex discrimination, including but not limited to unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct or communications constituting sexual harassment, as defined in this policy and as otherwise prohibited by state and federal statutes. Sexual harassment, including acts of sexual assault and sexual violence, is a form of sex discrimination and is prohibited at George Fox University. This prohibition against discrimination on the basis of sex applies to all students, faculty and staff, to other members of the George Fox community, and to contractors, consultants and vendors doing business or providing services to the school.

In accordance with Title IX, the president of George Fox University has designated the following Title IX Coordinator(s) as the primary contacts responsible for coordinating compliance with Title IX.

Title IX Coordinators

Coordinator Title

Name/Position

Office Location

Phone/Email

LeaCoordinator

Brad Lau
Vice President for Student Life

Student Life Office, Stevens Center, 3rd floor

503-554-2312
blau@georgefox.edu

Deputy Coordinator

Laura Hartley
Dean, College of Arts & Sciences

Lemmons 9A

503-554-2143
lhartley@georgefox.edu

Deputy Coordinator

Mark Pothoff
Dean of Community Life

Student Life Office, Stevens Center, 3rd floor

503-554-2313
mpothoff@georgefox.edu

Deputy Coordinator

Lisa Burton
Assoc. Dir. of Human Resources

Human Resources Office

503-554-2183
lburton@georgefox.edu

Deputy Coordinator

Elise Trask
Assoc. Dir. of Athletics

Wheeler Sports Center

503-554-2934
etrask@georgefox.edu

Deputy Coordinator

Jen Macnab
Senior Enrollment Manager

Portland Center

503-554-6103
jmacnab@georgefox.edu

Deputy Coordinator

Rebecca Hernandez
Associate Vice President, Intercultural Engagement & Faculty Development

Stevens Center, 1st floor

503-554-2147
rhernandez@georgefox.edu

Title IX Coordinator Roles and Responsibilities

The Lead Title IX Coordinator is responsible for implementing and monitoring Title IX compliance on behalf of George Fox University. This includes coordination of training, education, communications and administration of the complaint and grievance procedures for the handling of suspected or alleged violations of Title IX.

The Deputy Title IX Coordinators are also responsible for implementing and monitoring Title IX compliance at George Fox University and for notifying the Lead Title IX Coordinator of any alleged or suspected violations of Title IX and the resolution of such alleged or suspected violations, regardless of whether a grievance is submitted. Deputy Coordinators may also be assigned as investigators or hearing officers as needed.

When Should I Contact a Title IX Coordinator?

Any student, faculty or staff member, or applicant for admission who has concerns about sex discrimination, including but not limited to acts of sexual harassment, sexual assault or sexual violence, is encouraged to seek the assistance of one of the Title IX Coordinators identified above.

Contact a Title IX Coordinator if you:

  • Wish to understand your options if you think that you may have encountered sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault or sexual violence;
  • Learn of a situation that you feel may warrant an Institutional investigation;
  • Need help on how to handle a situation in which you are indirectly affected;
  • Want information about possible informal remedies or administrative measures to de-escalate or alleviate a difficult situation; or
  • Have questions about George Fox University’s policies and procedures.

Confidentiality

Conversations with Title IX Coordinators are kept as confidential as possible, but information about incidents of suspected violations of Title IX must be shared to the extent necessary to conduct an investigation and take any corrective action deemed appropriate by the University. The complainant has choices and options in the process about if and/or how they would like to proceed.

Safety of the Community and Interim Measures

The University reserves the right to immediately respond with whatever measures it deems necessary in order to protect the personal safety of student’s, employee’s or other people.  This may include situations in which the University or its representatives believe that because of a student’s behavior, there exists a threat of imminent danger to the student or others; significant disruption of the work, academic, or student life environment; or significant damage to University property. Such measures include, but are not limited to: temporary removal of the student from his/her living situation on campus or from the campus as a whole, modification of living arrangements, no contact orders, and/or interim suspension from campus pending a hearing.

Retaliation

Retaliation is prohibited by federal law and institutional policy. It is defined as any adverse or negative action against a person participating in any reporting, investigation or proceeding that is perceived as: intimidating, threatening, coercing, hostile, harassing, retribution, or violence that occurred in connection to the making and follow-up of the report.  This also includes actions against an individual who has: (1) complained about alleged discrimination, harassment or retaliation, (2) participated as a party or witness in an investigation relating to such allegations, or (3) participated as a party or witness in a court proceeding or administrative investigation relating to such allegations.

Federal civil rights laws, including Title IX, make it unlawful to retaliate against an individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by these laws. Intimidation means to make fearful or to put into fear. Generally, proof of actual fear is not required in order to establish intimidation. It may be inferred from conduct, words, or circumstances reasonably calculated to produce fear. Any person violating this policy may be subject to appropriate community accountability, up to and including termination if they are an employee, and suspension or dismissal if they are an undergraduate or graduate/DPS student.

Bystander Intervention

George Fox is deeply committed to the health, safety, and well-being of its students.  Bystander intervention by students can be a critical aspect of enhancing the welfare of his/her peers.  Students are strongly encouraged to contact University personnel, call 911 or seek other professional or medical attention when the health or safety of themselves or others is threatened or appears to be at risk.

Community Accountability Process for Title IX/Sexual Misconduct Investigations

  • Ensuring that the complainant and respondent are aware of the seriousness of the complaint
  • Explaining the University’s sex discrimination, sexual harassment and sexual assault policy and investigation procedures
  • Making referrals to the Health and Counseling Center for counseling and referral services, if appropriate
  • Discussing with the complainant the option of notifying the police if criminal activities are alleged
  • Conducting or arranging for an investigation of the alleged prohibited conduct
  • Preparing or overseeing any reports, recommendations, or remedial action(s) that are needed or warranted to resolve any prohibited conduct
  • Assuring that each complaint is assessed and resolved individually
  • An explanation of available options for redress
  • Freedom from harassment or retaliation by the respondent (or supporters)
  • An explanation of the community accountability process
  • Notification of no contact with the respondent
  • Use of any available internal and external support services
  • Ability to speak on their own behalf during the investigation, including making a “survivor impact” statement
  • The presence of an advisor from the University community and/or a support person during the hearing
  • The opportunity to present witnesses who can speak about the charges (character witnesses excluded)
  • Freedom from having irrelevant sexual history discussed during the hearing
  • Information about the outcome of the hearing
  • Opportunity to appeal the outcome of the hearing
  • To exercise her/his right to not have mediation as part of the process
  • An explanation of the charge(s)
  • Freedom from harassment or retaliation by the complainant (or supporters)
  • An explanation of the community accountability process
  • Notification of no contact with the complainant
  • Use of any available internal and external support services
  • The presence of an advisor from the University community and/or a support person during the hearing
  • The opportunity to present witnesses who can speak about the charges (character witnesses excluded)
  • Freedom from having irrelevant sexual history discussed during the hearing
  • Information about the outcome of the hearing
  • Opportunity to appeal the outcome of the hearing

Any student who violates university expectations regarding Title IX or sexual misconduct is held accountable for his/her actions through the community accountability process as outlined below:

  1. The Title IX Coordinator or his/her designee assigns an investigator to meet with the student(s) to discuss the incident, collect further facts, and interview others as needed.
  2. The Title IX Coordinator or his/her designee assigns a hearing officer to review the results of the investigation, make a determination, and assign appropriate sanctions. In an investigation involving sex discrimination, sexual harassment or sexual assault, any Complainant under Title IX is informed of and may appeal the outcome.

Please note the following regarding a Title IX/sexual misconduct investigation and hearing: 

  1. The student(s) involved are entitled to an expeditious hearing of the incident.
  2. The hearing is informal in nature and does not adhere to formal rules or procedures, or rules followed by courts of law.     
  3. The student(s) are entitled to the following in regard to the hearing:
    • Written notification of the time and place of the hearing.
    • Information regarding the procedures as outlined here.
    • A written or electronic statement that outlines the violations.
  4. In Title IX/sexual misconduct situations, the hearing is typically conducted based on the written evidence yielded by the investigation.

  5. The student(s) may have an advisor or attorney present for support in the investigation. However, these individuals may not speak at, participate in, or impede the investigation.

  6. Audio or video recordings during an investigation or hearing are not permitted.

The designated hearing officer may decide as follows: 

  1. No violation of University policies regarding Title IX/Sexual Misconduct has been verified through the investigation process. 
  2. A violation of University policies regarding Title IX/Sexual Misconduct has been verified. In this case, the designated hearing officer may impose appropriate sanctions.

Written notification of the outcome is communicated to the student(s) involved (including any complainant as required by Title IX) at an appointed time with the designated officer who conducted the hearing.  If a student does not appear at the selected time, notification is made through email and/or campus mail.

In situations alleging sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault, or sexual misconduct the standard used to determine responsibility is the preponderance of the evidence; whether it is more likely than not that the respondent has violated community policies or lifestyle expectations.  The University reserves the right to impose differing sanctions depending on the severity of the offense, up to and including termination for an employee, and dismissal for a student.  Although it is separate from the community accountability process, respondents may also face criminal charges. 

The Title IX Coordinator (Vice President for Student Life) or his/her designee assigns the investigating officer and hearing officer in situations involving sexual misconduct/Title IX violations. The complainant and respondent may appear separately at the hearing.  Both receive information about the outcome of the hearing and have the opportunity to appeal the decision of the hearing officer.  

Both complainants and respondents receive information about the outcome of the hearing and have the opportunity to appeal the decision of the hearing officer.  Appeals are made to the Student Board of Appeals. Details regarding the appeal process are available in the Student Handbook and in the Student Life Office.