FAQ

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a federal law that prohibits sex discrimination on the basis of sex in federally funded education programs and activities, including but not limited to athletic programs that receive federal funding. It states 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." (20 U.S.C. Sec. 1681). Under Title IX, discrimination on the basis of sex can include sexual harassment, sexual assault, and sexual violence.

We are committed to providing support, as well as assisting you in all aspects of reporting and responding to the situation. Ultimately, you have a choice in how the process goes and the steps you choose to take. We strongly encourage you to use confidential on-campus or off-campus resources, and/or file a report with the Title IX coordinator or deputy coordinators.

Contact information for reporting and available resources is listed on the "Know Your Options" and "Get Help" sections of this website. You may also choose to report the sexual assault to local law enforcement and/or go to a hospital emergency room to be seen by a sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE).

Any student who believes he or she has witnessed or been the victim of discrimination, discriminatory harassment, or sexual harassment, including any type of violence or sexual misconduct, is urged to report the incident to the Title IX coordinator or deputy coordinators.  Contact information is available on the Staff page of this website.
George Fox University wants to eliminate barriers for students who may be hesitant to seek help or report an incident because they fear being held accountable for policy violations (e.g., drinking alcoholic beverages). To encourage reporting, we offer students who are accessing help for themselves or others conditional immunity from being charged with policy violations related to the particular incident. We may, however, provide elements of help, support, and education.

On-campus resources that are completely confidential include the university pastors and counselors in the Health and Counseling Center. Beyond those important resources, George Fox University will make every effort reasonably possible to preserve the privacy of the individual who makes a report under the sexual misconduct policy and to protect the confidentiality of the information reported, subject to the “due process” rights of the respondent in a situation.

The degree to which confidentiality can be protected, however, also depends on the university’s legal duty to respond to the information reported and the professional role of the person being consulted. As required by university policy, all disclosures to any George Fox employee (except a university pastor or counselor in the Health and Counseling Center) of an act of sexual misconduct are reported to the Title IX coordinator or deputy coordinator. 

Complainants still retain the option of filing a formal complaint after a report is made. 

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 on this page.

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.

All persons are absolutely prohibited (by law and university policy) from taking any retaliatory action against any other member of the university community, including but not limited to, the complainant, respondent, or witnesses to an alleged incident of sexual misconduct. George Fox will take strong responsive action if retaliation occurs.

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, implementing and monitoring Title IX compliance at George Fox University 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.

Key Definitions

Title IX defines sexual harassment as (a) unwelcome conduct that a reasonable person would determine is “so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive” that it effectively denies a person equal access to education or (b) an employee that conditions aid, benefit, or service of the institution on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct (quid pro quo).

While sexual harassment encompasses a wide range of conduct that may be verbal, visual, or physical in nature, specifically prohibited conduct includes, but is not limited to: 

  • Promising, directly or indirectly, a student, employee, or another person a reward, if the student or employee complies with a sexually-oriented request.
  • Threatening, directly or indirectly, retaliation against a student, an employee, or another person, if the student, employee, or another person refuses to comply with a sexually-oriented request.
  • Denying, directly or indirectly, a student or employee an employment or education-related opportunity, if the student or employee refuses to comply with a sexually-oriented request.
  • Engaging in sexually suggestive conversation.
  • Displaying pornographic or sexually-oriented materials.
  • Engaging in indecent exposure.
  • Making sexual or romantic advances toward a student, employee or another person and persisting despite the student’s, employee’s, or other person’s rejection of the advances.
  • Physical conduct such as assault, touching or blocking normal movement.
  • Retaliation for reporting harassing behavior or stating they are going to report harassing behavior.

More subtle forms of inappropriate behavior such as offensive posters, cartoons, caricatures, comments, and jokes of a sexual nature are prohibited, as they may constitute sexual harassment when they contribute to a hostile or offensive work, academic, or student life environment. A person does not have to be the target of sexual harassment to be sexually harassed.

Sexual harassment can involve males or females being harassed by members of either sex.  Although sexual harassment sometimes involves a person in a greater position of authority as the harasser, individuals in positions of lesser or equal authority also can be found responsible for engaging in prohibited harassment.

Sexual harassment can be physical and/or psychological in nature. An aggregation of a series of incidents can constitute sexual harassment even if one of the incidents considered separately would not rise to the level of harassment.

Sexual assault is not tolerated in the George Fox community. These behaviors violate local, state, and federal laws. Sexual assault can occur between any two or more people, regardless of age or gender. The University highly encourages reporting parties to utilize the provided internal and external resources for reporting, support, and help.

Sexual assault is defined as any nonconsensual sexual contact or intercourse, whether it is forced or unforced. This includes any nonconsensual contact with intimate body parts of an individual, as well as penetration, however slight, with a body part or an object.

Consent is explicit, informed, voluntary, and mutually understandable communication to willingly participate in specific sexual activity without pressure, threats, coercion, force, or intimidation. Either person must also be able to withdraw consent and cease any sexual activity at any time. A current relationship, having previous sexual encounters, or silence from the individual may not be taken as an indication of consent. Similarly, a passive response or sexual advances that are not resisted physically or verbally do not constitute consent. Someone who is not of legal age has a mental disorder, or is physically or mentally incapacitated may not give consent. The use of alcohol or drugs may render an individual incapable of giving consent due to impaired judgment and the inability to make decisions or communicate intentions. Consent may not be given by someone who is unconscious or unaware, or for any reason is unable to communicate her/his intentions.

Domestic violence (as defined by the Violence Against Women Act) is the use of physical, sexual, or emotional abuse or threats to control another person who is a current or former spouse or other intimate partner, such as a boyfriend or girlfriend. It includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction receiving grant monies, or by 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.

Examples of domestic violence include but are not limited to:

  • Causing or attempting to cause physical or mental harm to a family or household member
  • Placing a family or household member in fear of physical or mental harm
  • Causing or attempting to cause a family or household member to engage in involuntary sexual activity by force, the threat of force, or duress
  • Engaging in activity toward a family or household member that would cause a reasonable person to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested

Dating violence is 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 (1) the length of the relationship, (2) the type of the relationship, and (3) the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.

Dating violence is a pattern of assault and controlling behaviors that one person uses against another in order to gain or maintain power and control in the relationship. The abuser intentionally behaves in ways that cause fear, degradation, and humiliation to control the other person. Forms of abuse can be physical, verbal, sexual, emotional, and psychological.

Examples include, but are not limited to, trying to cut off the victim’s relationship with family and friends, humiliating the victim in front of friends, making the victim fearful by using threatening behavior, threatening to find someone else if the dating partner doesn’t comply with the abuser’s wishes or demands, using or threatening to use physically assaultive behaviors such as hitting, shoving, grabbing, slapping, beating, kicking, and touching or forcing the victim to engage in unwanted sexual activity.

Stalking is engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to: (1) fear for his or her safety or the safety of others; or (2) suffer substantial emotional distress.

Acts of stalking include but are not limited to: electronic or telephone harassment, being followed, receiving unwanted gifts, and other similar forms of intrusive behavior.

Course of conduct means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about, a person, or interferes with a person’s property.

Substantial emotional distress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.

Reasonable person means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the victim.

Unwelcome or unwanted attention may not always reach the level of stalking but could include repetitive communication and/or behaviors that can make an individual feel uncomfortable to some degree.

Unwelcomed or unwanted attention may not always reach the level of stalking but could include repetitive communication and/or behaviors that can make an individual feel uncomfortable to some degree.

Sexual exploitation occurs when a student takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for his/her own advantage or benefit, or to the benefit or advantage of anyone other than the one being exploited, and the behavior does not otherwise constitute one of the other sexual misconduct offenses.

Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to:

  • Invasion of sexual privacy;
  • Prostituting another person;
  • Non-consensual viewing, videoing, audio-taping or broadcasting sexual activity;
  • Engaging in voyeurism, which is the sexual interest in or practice of spying on people engaged in intimate behaviors, such as undressing, sexual activity, or other actions usually considered to be of a private nature;
  • Knowingly transmitting an STD or HIV to another person;
  • Exposing one’s genitals in non-consensual circumstances; inducing another to expose their genitals;
  • Sexually based stalking and/or bullying may also be forms of sexual exploitation.