Policy on Sexual Harassment and Misconduct

As noted in Hampton University's Notice of Non-Discrimination, it is the policy of Hampton University to provide students and employees with an environment that is free of discrimination on the basis of sex in its programs and activities. Sexual Harassment is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Hampton University as well as by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which states, "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."

Sexual harassment refers to unwelcomed and unsolicited conduct of a sexual nature, whether by members of the same sex or of the opposite sex. It includes unwelcome sexual advances, request for sexual favors and other verbal, nonverbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, and is specifically prohibited when:

  1. Submission to such conduct is made explicitly or implicitly a term or condition for an individual's work performance or academic performance;
  2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for employment decisions, performance evaluation, or academic performance evaluation concerning a member of the university; or
  3. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work or academic performance, or ability to participate in or benefit from the University's programs, or of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or educational environment.

Sexual harassment as prohibited by this policy also encompasses sexual misconduct. Any sexual contact or conduct without consent is prohibited as sexual misconduct. An individual's diminished mental or physical state shall constitute evidence of the individual's ability or inability to give consent.

Sexual Assault/Rape: Is a form of sexual misconduct. It includes sexual assault and battery and other violent sexual behavior. Sexual assault and battery includes (but is not limited to) forced sexual intercourse or any intentional unpermitted or unwanted sexual contact by the accused, acquaintance or stranger, either directly or through the clothing, or with the victim's genitals, breasts, thighs, buttocks, or mouth, without the victim's consent. Sexual assault and battery also includes touching or fondling of the victim by the accused when the victim is forced to do so against his or her will. Any such sexual misconduct is prohibited by the University and is punishable by either contingent suspension or permanent expulsion.

Consent: To agree or give permission, a voluntary willingness to engage in mutually-agreed-upon sexual activity. Consent cannot be gained by force, by ignoring objections, or by taking advantage of another's incapacitation. The use of alcohol or drugs may affect a person's ability to consent to sexual contact. A person who is passed out or unconscious as a result of the consumption of alcohol or drugs is physically helpless and is not able to consent.

Incapacitation: The physical and/or mental inability to make informed, rational judgments that voids an individual's ability to give consent. Incapacitation may be caused by a permanent or temporary physical or mental impairment. Incapacitation may also result from the consumption of alcohol or the use of drugs.

Sexual Exploitation: Taking sexual advantage of another person without effective consent. This includes, but is not limited to, causing the incapacitation of another person for a sexual purpose, causing the prostitution of another person; electronically recording, photographing, or transmitting intimate or sexual utterances, sounds, or images of another person, or allowing third parties to observe sexual acts.

Stalking: Repeated unwanted contact that places a person in reasonable fear of physical harm, sexual assault, or interferes with the other person's ability to perform daily life activities.

Coercion: An unreasonable amount of pressure to engage in sexual activity, the practice of persuading or forcing someone to do something by use of force or threats.

Physical Force: Force equated with violence or the use of a weapon constitutes physical force. No matter how slight, any intentional physical impact upon another, use of physical restraint, or the presence of a weapon constitutes the use of force.

Domestic Violence - A pattern of physically, sexually, and/or emotionally abusive behaviors used by one individual to assert power or maintain control over another in the context of an intimate or family relationship.

Dating Violence - A pattern of physically, sexually, and/or emotionally abusive behaviors used by one individual to assert power or maintain control over another in the context of an intimate dating or long term relationship.

Reporting Sexual Harassment and Misconduct

For immediate assistance call HU police 757-727-5666 or 911

As a matter of policy, the University encourages anyone who is or knows someone who has been a victim of sexual harassment and/or misconduct to promptly report the incident to the University's Title IX Coordinator.

In addition to encouraging reporting any complaints of sexual harassment and misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator, Hampton University also encourages anyone who is or knows someone who has been a victim of sexual harassment and/or misconduct to promptly report the incident to the Hampton University Police Department. The University Police Department may be reached at (757) 727-5300 and is available to explain the procedures for pursuing a criminal investigation of the sexual misconduct. The University Police Department will investigate every incident reported to determine if a crime has been committed. Any criminal investigation will be separate and distinct from any investigation undertaken in accordance with Title IX.

The Title IX Coordinator for Hampton University is:

Sonja B. Vega, Title IX Coordinator
212 Wigwam Building
Hampton University
Hampton, VA 23668

Responsibilities of the Title IX Coordinator

  • Responding to, overseeing and investigating all sexual misconduct complaints.
  • Informing students/employees about the options to file a formal complaint through the Office of the Title IX Coordinator and/or file a criminal or civil complaint.
  • Implementing interim safety measures, this may include, but are not limited to alternative housing arrangements, academic adjustments and referral to campus and local resources.
  • Meeting with students, faculty and staff to answer questions regarding the University's policies, procedures and services related to Title IX compliance.
  • Ensuring that education and training related to Title IX is provided to the University community.

To file a complaint an individual should contact the office of the Title IX Coordinator, see contact information above. Once an incident is reported, the Title IX Coordinator will provide information concerning the University's policies and services for victims of sexual harassment and misconduct, its procedures for processing, investigating and handling of such complaints including the procedures for proceeding with a formal complaint and investigation. A formal investigation will include an interview with the complainant, the accused individual and other possible witnesses. The coordinator will also gather other related information or documents. The investigation will take no longer than sixty (60) days, unless there are extenuating circumstances requiring extended time.

At the conclusion of the investigation, the Title IX Coordinator will refer the case and all investigation findings to the Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Hearing Committee, P.O. Box 6181, Hampton University, Hampton, VA 23668. The matter will then be handled in accordance with Hampton University's Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Hearing process.

Proceedings before the Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Committee

Within thirty (30) days of receipt of findings from the Title IX Coordinator's investigation the Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Committee ("Committee") will convene to review documentation, and meet with all parties. Each party will be provided the opportunity to submit any and all information in support of their respective positions, including documentary evidence and witnesses. Each party will also be provided with the option to have others present including an advisor of their choice during the institutional disciplinary process. In most instances, the Committee will conduct a formal hearing unless the Committee determines that a hearing is not necessary. Within ten (10) days after the Committee has concluded its review, the Committee will render its final determination based on the preponderance of the evidence presented to it and will forward its decision in writing to the Vice President for Student Affairs and to other appropriate administrators in the event a non-student is also involved. The Vice President for Student Affairs will then forward the written decision to all parties.

If the Committee concludes based on a preponderance of the evidence that sexual harassment and/or misconduct occurred, the perpetrator of the sexual harassment/misconduct will be subject to disciplinary action or dismissal by the Vice President for Student Affairs or by the appropriate University administrator. Either party may appeal the final decision of the Committee to the Administrative Appeals Committee in accord with the appeal procedure guidelines found on page 104 of the Official Student Handbook.

Confidentiality

The University encourages the HU Community to report all incidents of sexual misconduct. Reporting responsibilities and the ability to maintain confidentiality vary dependent on an individual's role. There are certain situations in which a University must override a request for confidentiality. They are as follows:

  • An increased risk of the alleged perpetrator committing additional or future acts of sexual violence (the report reveals a pattern of perpetration at a given location or by a particular group)
  • Sexual violence was committed with the use of a weapon
  • The age of the student (special program attendees)
  • Whether the school possesses other means to obtain relevant evidence (security cameras or security personnel or physical evidence

Reporting sexual assault is a very personal decision. If an individual is not certain that they wish to file a formal complaint immediately, they should still seek support from the Confidential Resources. The following Confidential and Non-Confidential Resources are available to assist with making a report:

Confidential Resources

Hampton University Student Counseling Center 757-727-5617
Hampton University Student Health Center 757-727-5315
Hampton University Chaplain 757-727-5340
Riverside Regional Emergency/Trauma Ctr 757-594-2050
Sentara Careplex Emergency Room 757-736-2010
The Center for Sexual Assault Survivors 757-599-9844

Non Confidential Resources (obligation to report)

HU Police Department 757-727-5300
Title IX Coordinator 757-727-5493
Dean of Women 757-727-5486
Dean of Men 757-727-5303
Residence Life Staff  
Faculty/Staff  

Faculty/Staff Reporting Responsibility

As soon as employees become aware of possible sexual misconduct, they must report the incident to the Title IX Coordinator.

What to do if you or someone you know have been sexually assaulted?

  • Get to a safe place as soon as you can. Contact University Police's emergency line at 757-727-5666, or call 911 immediately if you do not feel safe.
  • Try to preserve all physical evidence. Do not shower or bathe, use the toilet, or change clothing, if you can avoid it. If you do change clothes, put all clothing that was worn at the time of the attack in a paper bag, not plastic.
  • Seek medical attention. A medical examination will provide any necessary treatment and collect important evidence.
  • Contact the Sexual Assault Nurse at 757-727-5315 or after hours and weekends through the University Police at 757-727-5666. You do not have to tell them at this point that you were raped or sexually assaulted. Ask to speak with the "Nurse on Call" to discuss your options.
  • Contact the Title IX Coordinator at 757-727-5493 or any member of the Dean's Office, Residence Hall Director, Graduate or Resident Assistant. They will assist you in contacting the police, upon request. Reporting an incident is an important decision. Reporting may help to protect you, and others from future assaults, apprehend the alleged assailant, and maintain future options regarding criminal prosecution, University disciplinary action, and/or civil action against the perpetrator. Prompt reporting could be the key to successful completion of the case.
  • Talk with counselors: On campus, call HU Counseling Center 757-727-5617. Off campus, call The Center for Sexual Assault Survivors 757-599-9844 or their Crisis Hotline 24 hours a day at 757-236-5260.

Supporting Someone who has been Sexually Assaulted

  • Believe the person and acknowledge their courage and reassure them about coming forward
  • Encourage them to seek professional help
  • Listen without judging and avoid "why" questions
  • Encourage independent decision making, even if you disagree
  • Be aware of your limitations (utilize on and off campus resources)

HU Prevention and Awareness Programs

  • New Student Orientation Fall and Spring
  • Safety chats in the new student residence halls - Fall
  • Denim Day - Sexual Assault Awareness
  • The Clothesline Project - Domestic Violence Awareness
  • Red Flag Campaign - Bystander Intervention
  • Peer Educators - Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence and Stalking Awareness and Prevention

Resources

Hampton University Police Department
Whipple Barn
757-727-5666

Hampton City Police Department
40 Lincoln St. Hampton, 23669
757-727-6111

Hampton University Title IX Coordinator
Sonja Vega
Office of the Title IX Coordinator
212 Wigwam Building
757-727-5493

Hampton University Student Health Center
Bert W. Holmes, Jr. M.D. - Director
Melanie Ames, BSN, RN
Sexual Assault Nurse
757-727-5315
(After hours and weekends through University Police)

Hampton University Counseling Center
Linda Kirkland-Harris, MDiv., PhD, LPC
Armstrong Slater Building
757-727-5617
(After hours and weekends through University Police)

Disability Services
Sonja B. Vega
212 Wigwam Bldg.
757-727-5493

Hampton University Chaplain
Rev. Debra L. Haggins
Clark Hall 1st Floor
757-727-5340

Riverside Regional Emergency/Trauma Center
500 J. Clyde Morris Boulevard Newport News 23601
757-594-2050

Sentara Careplex Hospital Emergency Room
3000 Coliseum Drive, Hampton, 23666
757-736-1000

The Center for Sexual Assault Survivors
718 J Clyde Morris Blvd- Suite B
757-599-9844
CRISIS HOTLINE 757-236-5260

Virginia Family Violence & Sexual Assault Hotline
1-800-838-8238

RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network)
1-800-656-HOPE (4673)