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Policies and Procedures

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 are 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.

Traditional undergraduate students in any program at George Fox University and can view the policies at studenthandbook.georgefox.edu.

Graduate/SPS students should see the Graduate/SPS 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 is prepared to assist students who need support and help because of the trauma they have experienced before becoming a student or at other times when they have been away from George Fox (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 and consistency, 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 sexual misconduct policy.

Institutional Compliance with Title IX and Oregon HB 3415

It is the policy of George Fox University to provide an educational environment free of all forms of sex-based 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 officials with the authority to institute corrective measures on behalf of the institution.

Title IX Coordinators

Coordinator Title

Name/Position

Office Location

Phone/Email

Title IX Coordinator Employees

Nichole Drew

Executive Director of Human Resources

Human Resources Office Margaret Lemmons House

503-554-2182
ndrew@georgefox.edu

Title IX Coordinator Students 

Jenny Elsey

Dean of Student Success and Equity

Intercultural Resource Center

503-554-2318
jelsey@georgefox.edu

Deputy Coordinator

Brad Lau
Vice President for Student Life

Student Life Office        Hadlock Student Center

503-554-2312
blau@georgefox.edu

Deputy Coordinator

Mark Pothoff
Dean of Community Life

Student Life Office     Hadlock Student Center

503-554-2313
mpothoff@georgefox.edu

Deputy Coordinator

Elise Trask
Associate Director of Athletics

Wheeler Sports Center

503-554-2934
etrask@georgefox.edu

Deputy Coordinator

Rebecca Hernandez
Associate Vice President, Intercultural Engagement & Faculty Development

Stevens Center, 1 st floor

503-554-2147
rhernandez@georgefox.edu

Deputy Coordinator

Jennie Harrop                          

School of Professional Studies

Portland Campus

503-554-6024.  jharrop@georgefox.edu

Title IX Coordinator Roles and Responsibilities

The Lead Title IX Coordinators are responsible for receiving reports of sexual misconduct, assessing and coordinating supportive measures for the complainant, and coordinating a formal complaint process.

The Deputy Title IX Coordinators are responsible for the coordination of training, education, communications, and for notifying the Lead Title IX Coordinators of reports of sexual misconduct.  Deputy Coordinators may also be assigned as coordinators, investigators, or hearing officers as needed.

When Should I Contact a Title IX Coordinator?

Any student, faculty or staff member, or applicant for admission or employment 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.

C o n t a c t 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 sexual misconduct must be shared to the extent necessary to provide supportive measures, conduct an investigation, implement any corrective measures deemed appropriate by the university. The complainant has choices and options in the process about if and/or how they would like to proceed.

Supportive Measures and Safety of the Community 

Supportive measures are actions coordinated by the Title IX Coordinator that restore or preserve access to educational activities and programs. These measures are assessed on an individual basis and take into consideration the complainant’s needs and wishes. They are made available once a report has been made regardless of whether a formal complaint is filed. The following are examples of the range of supportive measures available to a complainant:

  • Counseling services
  • Extension of deadlines (academic and on-campus employment)
  • Modification of work/class schedules
  • Campus Public Safety escort services
  • Mutual restriction of contact
  • Change in housing/work location
  • Leave of absence

Supportive measures implemented on behalf of the complainant must be non-punitive and cannot place an undue burden on the respondent. They also do not presume the responsibility of the respondent for the alleged conduct. However, emergency removals may be enacted if it is determined that there is an immediate threat to an individual’s or community’s safety.

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/SPS 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 the respondent are aware that the University takes seriously all reports of sexual misconduct
  • 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
  • Assessing and coordinating the implementation of supportive measures on behalf of the complainant
  • Discussing with the complainant the option filing a formal complaint and/or notifying law enforcement if criminal activities are alleged
  • Coordinating the investigation of the alleged sexual misconduct if the complainant chooses to file a formal complaint
  • Preparing or overseeing any reports, recommendations, or corrective measures that restore the complainant's equal access to educational activities and programs 
  • An explanation of available options for redress
  • Freedom from harassment or retaliation by the responding party (or supporters)
  • An explanation of the community accountability process
  • Notification of no contact with the responding party
  • 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 reporting party (or supporters)
  • An explanation of the community accountability process
  • Notification of no contact with the reporting party
  • 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 will send simultaneous notice to both the complainant and respondent once a formal complaint has been filed.
  2. The Title IX Coordinator or his/her designee assigns an investigator to meet with the student(s) to discuss the incident, collect relevant facts, and interview others as needed.
  3. The Title IX Coordinator will assess whether the incident falls under federal, state, or University code of conduct regulations and proceed with the grievance process accordingly.
  4. 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 remedies. In an investigation involving sex discrimination, sexual harassment, or sexual assault, both the complainant and respondent will receive simultaneous notice of the determination and may appeal the outcome.

If an incident of sexual misconduct is determined to fall under Title IX regulations, both parties can expect the following:

  1. Title IX hearings are to be conducted live and with cross-examinations. Both parties and all relevant witnesses will be provided notice of time and location.    
  2. The student(s) are entitled to the following in regard to the hearing:
    • Request that complainant and respondent be physically present in separated locations.
    • Presence of an advisor of choice who will ask the cross-examination questions. If either parties do not have an advisor of choice, the University will assign one that is appropriately equitable. Individual parties are not permitted to conduct the cross-examination.
  3. The hearing officer will determine the relevancy of any question asked before a response is given. A complainant’s past sexual history is not considered relevant with only two minor exceptions.

  4. An audio or video recording will be made and maintained as part of the case records. Individual parties may not record any part of the grievance process.

The designated hearing officer may decide as follows: 

  1. A respondent is determined to be not responsible for the alleged sexual misconduct.
  2. A respondent is determined to be responsible for the alleged sexual misconduct and the hearing officer will assign the appropriate corrective measures and remedies.
  3. There is insufficient evidence to determine a finding of responsibility.

Simultaneous written notification of the outcome is communicated to the complainant and respondent.

In situations alleging sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault, or sexual misconduct, the standard used to determine responsibility is the preponderance of the evidence, defined as 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 corrective measures (remedies) and/or 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 or his/her designee assigns the investigating officer and hearing officer in situations involving sexual misconduct/Title IX violations. If the incident is determined to fall under Title IX regulations, a live hearing will be conducted. Both parties will receive simultaneous notice about the outcome of the hearing and have the opportunity to appeal the decision of the hearing officer.  

Both the complainant and the respondent will receive simultaneous notice of 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 Office of Student Life.