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Student Handbook 2015/2016
Second Edition

Home > introduction > Sexual Misconduct and Other Forms of Power-Based Personal Violence

Sexual Misconduct and Other Forms of Power-Based Personal Violence

/ Introduction / Prevention, Education, and Training / Immediate Assistance / Ongoing Assistance / Offenses and Definitions / Reporting An Incident / Investigations  / Additional Information for Students / Procedures for Faculty  / Procedures for Staff  / Procedures for House Staff  / Procedures for Postdoctoral Fellows and Trainees / Federal Statistical Reporting Obligations / Federal Timely Warning Reporting Obligations / Appendix: List off Responsible Employees /

Updated August 3, 2015:

Vanderbilt University is committed to the principles of equal opportunity and seeks to establish and maintain a safe and healthy environment for all members of the University community, guests, and visitors.  The University provides programs, activities, and a campus environment that foster courtesy and respect.  The University prohibits and seeks to eliminate all forms of sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment and sexual assault, and other forms of power-based personal violence, which includes dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking.  Under federal law, including Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (“Title IX”), Vanderbilt has a duty to take steps to prevent and redress sexual misconduct and power-based personal violence.  Such conduct is contrary to Vanderbilt’s values, represents socially irresponsible behavior, and is not tolerated.  This policy addresses Vanderbilt’s obligations under Title IX, and the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013. 

In compliance with federal law, including the provisions of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972, Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, Executive Order 11246, and the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, as amended, and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, Vanderbilt University does not discriminate against individuals on the basis of their race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, color, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, military service, or genetic information in its administration of educational policies, programs, or activities; admissions policies; scholarship and loan programs; athletic or other University-administered programs; or employment. In addition, the University does not discriminate against individuals on the basis of their gender expression consistent with the University’s nondiscrimination policy.

This policy outlines the procedures that apply to allegations of sexual discrimination, sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, and power-based personal violence involving students.  It is applicable to all members of the Vanderbilt community with respect to conduct that (1) occurs on campus; (2) occurs in connection with University programs and activities; or (3) otherwise interferes with or limits the ability of a member of the community to participate in or to receive benefits, services, or opportunities from the University’s programs or activities, regardless of whether the alleged victim is an affiliate of the University.  The policy sets forth the specific types of conduct that are prohibited, as well as the resources and support services available to those in the Vanderbilt community who have been impacted by sexual misconduct and power-based personal violence.  Vanderbilt encourages reporting of violations of this policy.  The University will take prompt and effective action to address allegations of sexual misconduct and power-based personal violence, and will resolve complaints in a timely and fair manner.

Questions about the policy may be directed to Vanderbilt’s Title IX Coordinator, who oversees compliance with applicable non-discrimination policies, including this policy:

Anita Jenious
Title IX Coordinator and Director,
Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action, and Disability Services (EAD)

Damian Marshall
Title IX Compliance Manager

615-32(2-4705)
eadinformation@vanderbilt.edu,
110 21st Avenue South, Suite 808, Nashville, TN 37203

Prevention, Education, and Training

Vanderbilt provides numerous programs that address sexual misconduct and power-based personal violence issues, including the related issue of drug and alcohol abuse.  Vanderbilt’s programs include Haven (the sexual assault prevention online module), The Escalation Workshop, True Life at Vanderbilt, Vanderbilt Visions, AlcoholEdu, and Green Dot. A number of individual departments and offices, including EAD and the Project Safe Center, and student organizations also provide regular and ongoing programming on these important issues.

Vanderbilt also provides regular and ongoing training to faculty and staff, beginning at the start of their association with the University. This training includes:

  • The University provides training on nondiscrimination laws and policies including those covering sexual misconduct and power-based personal violence, as an essential part of new faculty and staff orientation. 
  • The Office of Wellness Programs and Alcohol Education maintains a Students in Distress reference guide for faculty and staff. 
  • The Project Safe Center, the Psychological and Counseling Center (PCC), and the Office of Wellness Programs and Alcohol Education facilitate training on responding to students in distress.
  • EAD provides an Alphabet Soup seminar for managers and supervisors with hiring responsibilities on subjects including discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. 
  • EAD provides in-person training as well as an online module for faculty members entitled Golden Opportunity, Golden Obligation regarding Title IX, sexual misconduct, and reporting obligations.
  • EAD, the Office of Student Accountability, Community Standards, and Academic Integrity (Student Accountability) and the Project Safe Center also provide training to faculty, staff, and students on sexual misconduct and power-based personal violence and the University’s policies that address these issues.

The Title IX Coordinator, EAD staff, University law enforcement personnel, Responsible Employees, Project Safe staff, the Director of Student Accountability, and others involved in responding to, investigating, or adjudicating sexual misconduct and power-based personal violence cases receive additional training in these areas.

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Immediate Assistance

 Any member of the Vanderbilt community who has experienced sexual misconduct or power-based personal violence may seek immediate assistance from one or more of the following resources.  As indicated below and discussed in the “Reporting an Incident” section below, some of these resources confidential, and some are subject to mandatory reporting requirements.  This policy indicates the level of confidentiality offered by each of the listed on-campus resources.

Law Enforcement

  • On Campus

Vanderbilt University Police Department (VUPD): 615-322-2745Emergency: 911 or 615-421-1911 ( Not confidential—required to notify EAD and Metro Nashville Police Department in most circumstances )

  • In the Community

Metro Nashville Police Department (MNPD): 615-862-7400

Emergency: 911

Medical Service Providers

  • On Campus

Vanderbilt University Medical Center Emergency Services: 615-322-0160 ( Required to notify law enforcement when violent crime victims present for treatment of injuries )

For Students:

Student Health Center: 615-322-2427 ( Required to notify law enforcement when violent crime victims present for treatment of injuries—not required to notify EAD )

Psychological and Counseling Center: 615-322-2571 ( Confidential—not required to notify EAD or law enforcement in most cases )

For Faculty and Staff:

Work/Life Connections – Employee Assistance Program: 615-936-1327 (Confidential—not required to notify EAD or law enforcement in most cases)

Faculty and Physician Wellness Program: 615-936-1327 ( Confidential—not required to notify EAD or law enforcement, in most cases

Nurse Wellness Program: 615-936-1237 ( Confidential—not required to notify EAD or law enforcement, in most cases )

Occupational Health Clinic: 615-936-0955 ( Required to notify law enforcement when violent crime victims present for treatment of injuries—not required to notify EAD)

  • In the Community

St. Thomas Midtown Hospital Emergency Department: 615-284-5555

Nashville General Hospital at Meharry Emergency Department: 615-341-4000

TriStar Centennial Medical Center Emergency Department: 615-342-1000

Resources and Support

  • On Campus

Project Safe Support Line (24/7/365): 615-322-SAFE (7233) (Not confidential—required to notify EAD of reports)

  • In the Community

Sexual Assault Center Hotline: 1-800-879-1999

YWCA Crisis and Information Line: 615-242-1199

VUPD and MNPD are available for emergency response, facilitating medical transport, investigating incidents of a criminal nature, referrals, and preserving evidence. VUPD also provides a support person for crime victims. 

The medical service providers listed above are available for treatment of injuries, preventative treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, other health services, and consultations. A Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) is available to come to the Vanderbilt University Medical Center Emergency Department upon request. Medical treatment and a forensic examination may aid in the preservation of relevant evidence.

Tennessee law requires all medical personnel to report to law enforcement when a victim seeks treatment for injuries related to a violent crime, including sexual assault. Medical personnel are also required to report to law enforcement and/or Child Protective Services when a minor presents for treatment for any injury or condition that reasonably indicates it was caused by violence or abuse, including physical or sexual abuse. Medical personnel are also required to report to law enforcement and/or Adult Protective Services when certain vulnerable adults present and there is reasonable belief that they are victims of adult abuse, neglect, or exploitation.

Students can request that a Victim Resource Specialist from Project Safe meet the student at a medical service provider, law enforcement agency, or other location for assistance or consultation. A Victim Resource Specialist is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Project Safe, Work/Life Connections – Employee Assistance Program, the Faculty and Physician Wellness Program, the Nurse Wellness Program, and the community resources listed above are also available to assist members of the Vanderbilt community.

Immediate Priority—Preserving Evidence:  To help preserve evidence, victims are encouraged not to change clothes or bedding, take a shower, douche, or clean up until police have had a chance to gather evidence.  Evidence may still be available even if the victim has changed clothes or cleaned up/showered.  Leave any clothes or bedding unfolded and undisturbed, if possible.  If clothing or bedding must be moved, try to keep each item separate to prevent transfer of body fluids or other trace evidence.  Do not delete or destroy any video or text messages, messages through other social media outlets (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tinder, Grindr, etc.) emails, voicemails, written notes, or any other documents that may be relevant.  

Ongoing Assistance

The following resources are available for ongoing assistance, regardless of whether the victim chooses to make a complaint/report to EAD or law enforcement, or to participate in an investigation. 

Counseling

  • For Students:

Psychological and Counseling Center: 615-322-2571 ( Confidential—not required to notify EAD or law enforcement in most cases )

Office of the University Chaplain and Religious Life: 615-322-2457(Confidential—not required to notify EAD or law enforcement when acting as clergy)

  • For Faculty and Staff:

Work/Life Connections – Employee Assistance Program: 615-936-1327 (Confidential—not required to notify EAD or law enforcement in most cases )

Faculty and Physician Wellness Program: 615-936-1327 (Confidential—not required to notify EAD or law enforcement in most cases )

Nurse Wellness Program: 615-936-1327  (Confidential—not required to notify EAD or law enforcement in most cases )

Support

  • VUPD: 615-322-2745 (Not confidential—required to notify EAD and Metro Nashville Police department in most circumstances)
  • For Students: (All of the below resources are not confidential—required to notify EAD of reports)

Project Safe Center: 615-322-7233

Office of Housing and Residential Education: 615-322-2591

Office of the Dean of Students: 615-322-6400

Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center: 615-322-4843

Office of LGBTQI Life: 615-322-3330

  • For Faculty and Staff: See resources listed above.

I nterim Measures, Accommodations, and Sanctions

Vanderbilt will implement appropriate interim measures on its own initiative or in response to a request from a complainant (the alleged victim of sexual misconduct or power-based personal violence) or respondent (the alleged perpetrator of sexual misconduct or power-based personal violence). The Title IX Coordinator will coordinate the provision of interim measures. 

Interim measures for students may include, but are not limited to:

  • access to on-campus counseling services and assistance in setting up an initial appointment;
  • "directives to desist” (also known as stay away orders or no-contact directives) issued by Student Accountability;
  • rescheduling of exams academic and assignments;
  • providing alternative course completion options;
  • changing class schedules, including the ability to transfer course sections or withdraw from a course without penalty;
  • changing work schedules, job assignments, or job locations for University employment;
  • changing residence hall assignments;
  • providing an escort to ensure safe movement between classes and activities;
  • providing academic support services, such as tutoring;
  • limiting or barring an individual’s or organization’s access to certain Vanderbilt-owned facilities or activities;
  • interim residential expulsion of the respondent;
  • interim suspension of the respondent;
  • student-requested leaves of absence.

Interim measures for faculty and staff may include, but are not limited to:

  • access to on-campus counseling services and assistance in setting up an initial appointment;
  • changing work schedules, job assignments, or job locations;
  • limiting or barring an individual’s or organization’s access to certain Vanderbilt-owned facilities or activities;
  • providing an escort to ensure safe movement on campus;
  • administrative leave;
  • Vanderbilt-imposed leave or physical separation from individuals or locations.

 

Offenses and Definitions

 Offenses

The following conduct is prohibited:

  • Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse
  • Non-Consensual Sexual Contact
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Sexual Harassment – Hostile Environment
  • Sexual Exploitation
  • Actions that fall within the broader range of sexual misconduct, as described in “Other forms of sexual misconduct” below
  • Stalking
  • Dating Violence
  • Domestic Violence
  • Retaliation

 

Definitions of Specific Offenses

  • Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse is any vaginal and/or anal penetration – however slight – by a penis, object, tongue, or finger, and/or oral copulation (mouth to genital contact), by any person upon another without effective consent.
  • Non-Consensual Sexual Contact is any contact of a sexual nature – however slight – with the breasts, buttocks, groin, genitals, mouth, or other body part of another, by any person upon another without effective consent. Sexual touching also includes an individual causing someone else to touch him/her/them with, or on, any of these body parts.
  • Sexual Harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, and may include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or nonverbal conduct of a sexual nature. It may be based on or result from power differentials, the creation of a hostile environment (defined below), or retaliation.
  • Sexual Harassment – Hostile Environment is harassing conduct of a sexual nature that is sufficiently severe, pervasive, or persistent that it interferes with or limits the ability of a member of the community to participate in or to receive benefits, services, or opportunities from the University’s programs or activities. One instance that is sufficiently severe, such as a sexual assault or rape, can create a hostile environment.
  • Sexual Exploitation. Non-consensual abuse or exploitation of another person’s sexuality for the purpose of sexual gratification, financial gain, personal benefit or advantage, or any other improper purpose.
  • Other forms of sexual misconduct include, but are not limited to, the following:

Invasion of privacy of a sexual nature;

Procuring, offering, or promoting prostitution;

Intentional transmission of HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) or another sexually transmitted disease;

Attempts to commit sexual misconduct; and 

Facilitating, aiding, encouraging, concealing and/or otherwise assisting a violation of this policy.

  • Stalking is a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for the person’s safety or the safety of others or suffer substantial emotional distress. 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 with or about a person, or interferes with a person’s property.
  • Dating Violence is sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the person against whom the violence is perpetrated. The existence of a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature may be determined by the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, the frequency of the interactions between the persons involved in the relationship, and other relevant contextual factors. Dating violence does not include acts covered under the definition of domestic violence.
  • Domestic Violence is sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse committed by

a person who is the current or former spouse or domestic partner of the person against whom the violence is perpetrated;

a person who shares a child in common with the person against whom the violence is perpetrated;

a person who is cohabitating or has cohabitated as a spouse or in the context of a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the person against whom the violence is perpetrated; or  

a person who has another type of intimate relationship, including as a parent, guardian, or other status defined by Tennessee law or University policy, with the person against whom the violence is perpetrated. 

  • Retaliation against any person who makes a complaint or has participated in the investigation or resolution of a complaint involving a violation of this policy, is prohibited. The University will take appropriate action to address any reports of retaliation. 

Clarifications

Force includes physical force (such as pushing, hitting, pinning down), threats (direct or indirect expressions of intent to inflict harm to self or others), intimidation (implied or indirect threats), and/or other forms of coercion.

To coerce is to attempt to cause another person to act or think in a certain way by use of force, pressure, manipulation, threats, or intimidation; to compel is to coerce.

Intoxication refers to a state of stupefaction, exhilaration or euphoria resulting from the ingestion of alcohol or other chemical substances. Evidence of intoxication may include, but is not limited to, one or more of the following:

  • slurred speech
  • bloodshot eyes
  • the smell of alcohol on the breath
  • shaky equilibrium
  • vomiting
  • outrageous or unusual behavior
  • unconsciousness
  • elevated blood alcohol level

Depending on the level of a person’s intoxication, they may or may not be able to give effective consent.  Determinations regarding whether a person’s level of intoxication affects their ability to give effective consent will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Blacking out is an amnesia-like state that may be brought on by drugs, heavy drinking, or intoxication; blacking out is not necessarily incompatible with the ability to engage in simple or even complex behavior. Afterwards the person has no recollection of all or part of the events that occurred during the blackout. There is a distinction between passing out (falling asleep or becoming unconscious) due to drug or alcohol use and blacking out in that a person in a blackout remains conscious and operative.

Incapacitation includes the inability to make a rational, reasonable decision. Incapacitation can result from the taking of GHB, Rohypnol, Burundang, Ketamine, or other sedatives or “date-rape” drugs, or excessive use of alcohol or other drugs. Evidence of incapacitation may include, but is not limited to, one or more of the following:

  • slurred speech
  • bloodshot eyes
  • the smell of alcohol on the breath
  • shaky equilibrium
  • vomiting
  • outrageous or unusual behavior
  • unconsciousness
  • elevated blood alcohol level
  • blacking out
  • sleeping

A person wishing to engage in sexual activity with another must specifically determine the capacity of that potential sexual partner to provide “effective consent,” as explained below.

Blacking out, incapacitation, and intoxication do not provide a valid explanation or excuse for engaging in any form of sexual misconduct or power-based personal violence.

Effective Consent is consent that is informed and freely and actively given. Effective consent requires mutually understandable words or actions indicating a willingness to engage in mutually agreed-upon sexual activity.

  • The person who wishes to engage in sexual activity with another bears the burden of specifically obtaining effective consent. If effective consent is in question or ambiguous, then the person who wishes to engage in sexual activity must clarify or explicitly ask for permission.
  • Effective consent must be maintained by both parties throughout the sexual interaction.
  • Effective consent to sexual activity may be revoked at any time, at which point sexual activity must cease immediately.
  • A person who is the object of sexual misconduct is not required to resist physically or otherwise in order to convey or demonstrate a lack of effective consent. 
  • Effective consent means communicating “yes” by word or action; the absence of  saying or indicating “no” does not equate to effective consent.
  • Previous sexual relationships of the complainant and the respondent with others are generally irrelevant to the existence of effective consent, but a previous and/or current sexual relationship between the complainant and the respondent may or may not be relevant to demonstrating or establishing, depending on the facts and circumstances, whether effective consent was sought or obtained.
  • Effective consent expires.  Effective consent lasts for a reasonable time, depending on the circumstances.  Thus, effective consent on one occasion, whether on the same day or another day, may not carry over to another sexual interaction.
  • Effective consent is never implied by attire, nor can it be inferred from the buying of dinner, the spending of money on a date, being invited or accepting an invitation to a person’s residence, or engaging in kissing or other foreplay.
  • Because effective consent must be informed, an individual may not engage in sexual activity with another person if the individual knows the person is incapacitated, or if a reasonable person would know the person is incapacitated.
  • Because effective consent can never be provided by an incapacitated person, effective consent is deemed withdrawn when an individual becomes incapacitated at any point during sexual activity.
  • Agreement or acquiescence obtained through the use of fraud or force (actual or implied), whether that force be physical force, threats, intimidation, or other forms of coercion, is not effective consent.
  • A person’s age may be a factor in determining the ability to give effective consent.
  • The existence of a cognitive disability or other condition that significantly limits a persons  ability to understand the nature of an action for which effective consent is requested may be a factor in determining the ability to give effective consent;

Depending on the facts and circumstances, intent may or may not be required to violate this policy.  For example, engaging in intercourse without obtaining effective consent constitutes a violation of the policy regardless of intent.  On the other hand, intent may be an appropriate consideration in some complaints (such as when one person brushes up against another person in a crowded room).

Reporting an Incident

Vanderbilt takes reports of sexual misconduct and power-based personal violence seriously. How the University responds depends upon a variety of factors, including the wishes of the victim, the facts and circumstances of the specific incident, to whom it was reported, and the University’s obligations under applicable federal and state laws.

This section explains the various reporting and confidential disclosure options available to members of the University community to enable them to make informed choices about where to turn should they experience sexual misconduct or power-based personal violence.

Confidential Resources

Some resources are confidential. Confidential resources include licensed professional counselors/mental health providers, such as those at the Psychological and Counseling Center and the Work/Life Connections – Employee Assistance Program; pastoral counselors acting in that capacity; and medical professionals acting in a patient-care role, such as those at the Student Health Center, the Vanderbilt University Medical Center Emergency Department, or other clinics or hospitals. These resources do not report any information about an incident to the Title IX Coordinator without a victim’s permission. Off-campus counselors and health care providers will also generally maintain confidentiality and not share information with the University unless the victim requests the disclosure and signs a consent or waiver form. However, all of these resources may have reporting obligations under state or federal law. For example, healthcare providers and certain other individuals are required to notify law enforcement when a victim seeks treatment for injuries related to a violent crime, including sexual assault. Similarly, all persons are required to notify law enforcement when they receive a report of sexual abuse of a minor.

Responsible Employees for Title IX Reporting

A responsible employee is a Vanderbilt employee who has the authority to address sexual misconduct, who has the duty to report incidents of sexual misconduct, or who a member of the University community could reasonably believe has such authority or duty.  A non-exhaustive list of responsible employees is contained in the Appendix that follows this policy.  Responsible employees are not confidential resources. Generally, with the exception of the confidential resources discussed above, most employees to whom community members might reasonably report an incident of misconduct will be responsible employees. 

Responsible employees are required to report possible violations of this policy to the Title IX Coordinator, Title IX Compliance Manager, or EAD staff, including all relevant details about the alleged sexual misconduct, so that the University can take steps to investigate the matter promptly and resolve it fairly.  Conversations with responsible employees are otherwise kept private to the extent possible and are only disclosed to those with a need or right to know.

Before a responsible employee receives any information from a victim, the employee should seek to confirm that the victim understands the employee’s reporting obligations and, if the victim wants to maintain confidentiality, will direct the victim to one of the confidential resources noted above. 

If the victim wants to tell a responsible employee what happened but does not want the complaint investigated or the victim’s name disclosed, the employee will tell the victim that the University will consider the request, but cannot guarantee that the University will be able to honor it. In reporting the details of an incident to the Title IX Coordinator, the responsible employee will also inform the Title IX Coordinator of the victim’s request for confidentiality.

Responsible employees will not pressure a victim either to request confidentiality or make a full report.

NOTE: All allegations involving the abuse of minors (as explained below) must be reported to law enforcement and the University.

Anonymous and Third-Party Reporting

The University encourages victims of sexual misconduct or power-based personal violence to talk to someone.  The University provides several resources for anonymous reporting for victims who do not wish to be identified.  Vanderbilt has established a hotline for anonymous reporting through The Network, an independently-operated compliance hotline that may be used to report incidents of apparent wrongdoing on campus.  The Network is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-866-783-2287 or at https://www.tnwgrc.com/Vanderbilt.  Anonymous reports may also be made to Project Safe at 615-322-7233.  Students may also report anonymously to the Community Standards hotline at 615-343-7867.  NOTE: These resources, aside from Project Safe, should not be used for immediate assistance.

Vanderbilt encourages third parties to report incidents of sexual misconduct and power-based personal violence to EAD, VUPD, or MNPD.  Third parties may also report incidents to any responsible employee or through the anonymous reporting resources.  The University may not be able to move forward with third-party reports if the victim does not wish to cooperate with an investigation.  After providing a report, third parties are not entitled to information about the University’s investigation and response due to privacy concerns and applicable federal and state laws.

Vanderbilt encourages anyone who witnesses, experiences, or has information about possible sexual misconduct or power-based personal violence to take reasonable actions to prevent or stop such actions.  This may include reporting the behavior (in accordance with the reporting options outlined above), directly intervening when it is safe and reasonable to do so, contacting law enforcement, or other means.  A person who has been subjected to sexual misconduct or power-based personal violence need not confront the other party; the appropriate process to address the conduct is through this policy.

Public Awareness Events

Public awareness events such as “Take Back the Night,” the Clothesline Project, candlelight vigils, protests, “survivor speak outs,” or other forums in which students disclose incidents of sexual violence, are not considered notice to the University of sexual misconduct for purposes of triggering its obligation to investigate any particular incident. Such events may, however, inform the need for campus-wide education and prevention efforts, and the University may provide information about students’ Title IX rights at these events.

 Protection of Minors on Campus

Vanderbilt University is dedicated to the welfare and safety of minors who visit Vanderbilt’s campus, who participate in Vanderbilt’s programs, or who are entrusted to Vanderbilt’s care. Every member of the University community (not limited to individuals who interact with minors) is required by law to report known or suspected instances of the abuse of, neglect of, or inappropriate interactions with minors. Members making a report in good faith are protected from criminal and civil liability for making the report. Everyone is required by Tennessee law to report any type of suspected abuse, neglect, or inadequate care, in addition to suspected child sexual abuse.

Two reports, one external and one internal, must be made:

  • External Report—Tennessee law requires every person who suspects sexual or physical abuse or neglect of a minor to report it. Failure to report is a Class A misdemeanor. The required report may be made to the State of Tennessee Child Abuse Hotline at 877-237-0004, online at https://reportabuse.state.tn.us/ or to a Tennessee sheriff’s office or police department, including VUPD at 615-322-2745. If the situation is a life-threatening emergency, contact 911.
  • Internal Report—Every member of the University community has a further obligation to immediately report to Vanderbilt University known or suspected abuse or neglect of a minor on campus or in a Vanderbilt program. The preferred method is to contact the Director, Protection of Minors, in the Office of Risk and Insurance Management at 615-936-0660. Alternatively, known or suspected abuse or neglect of a minor on campus or in a Vanderbilt program shall be reported to the Vanderbilt confidential reporting hotline at 866-783-2287 or the hotline website at https://www.tnwgrc.com/Vanderbilt.

Investigations

The University recommends that complaints of sexual misconduct or power-based personal violence be made to EAD, but if a person chooses to make an initial complaint to any other responsible employee of the University, that person will refer the matter to EAD. A complaint includes any report of conduct that may violate this policy. EAD has responsibility for investigating reports of sexual misconduct or power-based personal violence.  The EAD staff is trained annually and on an ongoing basis on issues related to sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, and power-based personal violence, and in conducting investigations in a manner that protects the well-being and safety of the complainant, the respondent, and the University community.  Retaliation against any person who files a complaint, participates in an investigation, encourages the filing of a complaint, or opposes sexual misconduct and power-based personal violence is prohibited.

Complaints may be filed at any time, but the University encourages community members to report violations as soon as possible after the incident. If EAD determines that a complaint should be filed with another department, EAD will direct the complainant to the appropriate department. EAD will also investigate incidents that have been reported to other University officials and referred to EAD.

To file a complaint with EAD pertaining to this policy, please contact Anita Jenious, the University’s Title IX Coordinator and Director of EAD. Call EAD at 615-322-4705, visit the office, or write.

Email Address:
eadinformation@vanderbilt.edu

Campus Address:
Baker Building, Suite 808
Located at:

110 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203

Mailing Address:
PMB 401809
2301 Vanderbilt Place
Nashville, TN 37240-1809

Complainants making a complaint to EAD should provide as much of the following information as possible: what happened, where, and when; names of all parties involved, including witnesses (if any); supporting documentation (if any); and contact information.  Everyone is encouraged to report sexual misconduct or power-based personal violence even if some or all information is unavailable or cannot be provided.

If a student calls or visits EAD, a staff person will explain the role of EAD, the options for reporting an incident, and the available resources for assistance, including interim measures that may be appropriate.  In addition, EAD will explain how any request for confidentiality will be evaluated and how confidentiality may limit the University’s ability to investigate the incident.

Determining Whether to Proceed with an Investigation 

The Title IX Coordinator and EAD consider a variety of factors in determining whether to conduct an investigation.  In doing so, the Title IX Coordinator will consider the interests of the complainant and the University’s commitment to a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for all members of the University community.  In weighing a request that a complainant’s name not be disclosed to the respondent or that no investigatory or disciplinary action be taken, the Title IX Coordinator will consider a variety of factors, including, but not limited to, the complainant’s desire for confidentiality, information concerning any previous allegations involving the respondent, the likelihood of repeated offenses, evidence that the alleged misconduct is part of a pattern of misconduct, and the University’s ability to ensure that the alleged misconduct does not contribute to the creation of a hostile environment for any students. 

All request for confidentiality by the complainant will be evaluated by the Title IX Coordinator, taking into consideration the factors listed above. If the complainant’s request for confidentiality is granted, or the complainant does not provide identifying information, or chooses not to participate in an investigation, Vanderbilt’s ability to investigate the incident and address the matter may be limited.  In such situations, the University will, as appropriate, take steps to mitigate the effects of the alleged sexual misconduct and prevent its recurrence without initiating formal action against the alleged offender or revealing the identity of the complainant.  Such actions include, but are not limited to, increased monitoring, supervision, or security at locations or activities where the alleged misconduct occurred; providing training and education for students and employees; and revising and publicizing the University’s policies on sexual misconduct.

If the Title IX Coordinator determines that EAD should proceed with a formal investigation, EAD will inform the complainant. The University will also implement appropriate interim measures.

If a complainant initially requests that no investigation occur, and EAD determines it will not proceed, the complainant is not precluded from later requesting that a full investigation be conducted, and fully participating in that investigation. In addition, if a complainant initially requests that no investigation occur, and EAD determines it will proceed after weighing the factors listed above, the complainant is not precluded from later providing information and participating in the investigation that is conducted. 

Intake, Charging, and the Investigative Process

EAD will assess the nature of the complaint through an intake process.  If the complaint involves an alleged violation of this policy, EAD will normally commence an investigation.  EAD may investigate relevant facts and information that could involve possible violations of other University policies that may have contributed to or arisen from, or that otherwise relate to alleged violations of this policy (e.g., where a sexual assault was allegedly committed by a student who may have also violated Vanderbilt’s alcohol and controlled substances policy).  The relevant facts and information will then be shared with Student Accountability or the appropriate department.  If the conduct complained of involves only a possible violation of another University policy that is not alleged or considered by EAD to have contributed to or arisen from or otherwise relate to a violation of this policy, or if the conduct complained of involves only a possible violation of another policy, EAD will refer the complaint to the department responsible for investigating and/or resolving such complaints.  If the complaint does not allege conduct that violates any University policy, the matter will be closed.  Both the complainant and the respondent will be permitted to ask an adviser of their choosing to accompany them to their meetings with EAD (see below).

EAD will ask the complainant for information about the incident.  Supporting documents, such as videos, emails, photos, or text messages, or messages through social media (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tinder Grindr, etc.), and any other evidence should be preserved.  If witnesses were present or have relevant knowledge, it is important to identify them, state what they may know, and inform EAD how they can be contacted. In no circumstances will mediation be used to resolve cases of sexual assault or power-based personal violence.

The EAD investigator will confer with the appropriate offices (Student Accountability, Human Resources, the appropriate Dean’s office, and other departments, as necessary) as to any appropriate interim measures.

NOTE: If the Title IX Coordinator determines that an investigation should be conducted and the complainant and/or respondent chooses not to participate, EAD will move forward and make its determination based upon the information available to it.

Upon a determination by the Title IX Coordinator that an investigation involving a student respondent will be conducted, the EAD investigator will normally provide a summary of the allegations to the Director of Student Accountability. The Director of Student accountability may request, any additional statements or information provided by the complainant, or any other information gathered during the course of the filing of an incident or police report. The Director of Student Accountability (or designee), will determine the charge(s) to be brought, if any, and present the charge(s) and possible sanctions to the respondent. A charge may be brought or revised at any point during an investigation based on the information obtained by EAD. After the presentation of the charge(s), the respondent will have the opportunity to agree or disagree with the charge(s). The completed charge sheet will be sent to EAD for further investigation and a determination. 

Whether or not the Director of Student Accountability has already presented charges, the EAD investigator will inform the respondent of the allegations, the status and/or initiation of an investigation, and the possibility of sanctions, and will provide the student alleged to have engaged in misconduct with an opportunity to respond to the allegations, ask questions, provide information, and offer names of witnesses or other people with relevant information.  The investigator will interview the respondent and other individuals who may have pertinent knowledge.  Supporting documentation and information may be collected from the complainant, respondent, and witnesses.  EAD may request access to premises, records, documents, and other forms of evidence it deems relevant to the complaint.  As the investigation progresses, the investigator may seek clarification from any person participating in the investigation regarding the incident or his/her/their statement(s).  If the complainant or the respondent learns of, or remembers, any additional information during the course of the investigation, he/she/they should notify the EAD investigator immediately. The complainant and the respondent will be given the opportunity to review and revise the summary of their interview prepared by the EAD investigator.

Student witnesses are expected to cooperate with the investigations conducted by EAD. 

Retaliation

Retaliation against a person who files a complaint, participates in an investigation, encourages one to file a complaint, or opposes sexual discrimination, sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, and power-based personal violence is prohibited.  In addition, interference in any manner with an investigation is prohibited. 

Advisers

Both the complainant and the respondent will be permitted to ask an adviser of his/her/their choosing to accompany him/her/them to his/her/their meetings related to disposition of the complaint.  The adviser for either party may confer privately with that party, but the adviser may not speak on behalf of the complainant or respondent or otherwise participate in any meeting.  An adviser’s failure to comply with these guidelines may result in the termination of the meeting or the adviser no longer being permitted to be present. University personnel employed in the offices responsible for the disciplinary proceedings described in this policy, along with those in the chain of command above them, personnel employed by the Office of the General Counsel, and others whose participation could create a conflict of interest with their University duties are not eligible to serve as advisers.  If there is a question or concern about a possible adviser, please consult with EAD.

Recordings and Evidence

The recording of any meeting conducted as part of an investigation under this policy is prohibited. The Title IX Coordinator shall decide in each case whether to receive evidence from experts or other witnesses.  Under no circumstances, however, will the use of polygraph examinations be permitted.

Past Relationships and Conduct

Previous sexual relationships of the complainant and respondent with others are generally irrelevant.  A past or ongoing sexual relationship between the parties may or may not be deemed relevant by EAD.  For example, past sexual encounters between the parties may provide insight on communication patterns for purposes of determining if effective consent was granted.  EAD will not consider other incidents unless the incidents involve substantially similar conduct as that being investigated or incidents which demonstrate a common pattern of behavior.

Standard of Proof

Vanderbilt uses the preponderance of the evidence standard of proof to determine responsibility for violations of this policy.  This standard looks at whether it is “more likely than not” that the policy was violated.

Determinations

At the conclusion of the investigation, and prior to making a determination, EAD will prepare a preliminary investigative report. The preliminary investigative report will contain a summary of the information and documents EAD considers relevant. The complainant and respondent will each have the opportunity to review a copy of the preliminary investigative report. To the extent possible under the circumstances of each case, other evidence such as video, will be shared with both parties. The names and other identifying information of other students will be redacted from the preliminary investigative report as required by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), except to the extent that doing so would interfere with the purpose of Title IX to eliminate sex-based discrimination.  Both the complainant and respondent will have the opportunity to submit written comments on the preliminary investigative report. Any such comments, which shall be no longer than five (5) double-spaced pages with one (1) inch margins and twelve (12) point font, must be submitted either by hand delivery to EAD, 110 21st Avenue South, Suite 808, or by email attachment to the EAD investigator by no later than 5pm on the fifth (5th) calendar day following the date the complainant and respondent receive the preliminary investigative report.

After considering any comments received from the complainant or respondent, and advising them of any additional evidence as appropriate, EAD will issue a final investigative report that sets forth EAD’s final determination, based on the preponderance of the evidence, whether the respondent engaged in sexual misconduct in violation of this policy. The final investigative report will contain a summary of the information and documents on which the final determination is based and will address, to the extent EAD considers appropriate, any comments received from the complainant or respondent. The comments from the complainant and respondent will also be attached as an exhibit.  EAD will provide its final investigative report simultaneously to the complainant and the respondent. The names and other identifying information of other students will be redacted from the final investigative report as required by FERPA, except to the extent that doing so would interfere with the purpose of Title IX to eliminate sex-based discrimination. When the respondent is determined to have engaged in the conduct for which the respondent was charged, the final investigative report will also be forwarded to the appropriate person for sanctioning, referral, or follow-up (Director of Student Accountability for students, Dean of the appropriate School for faculty, appropriate supervisor/manager and Human Resources consultant for staff, etc.). EAD will also forward a summary of any evidence it received concerning possible violations of other policies to the office or department responsible for enforcement of such policies. 

Timeline

The University endeavors to complete the investigative process within 60 calendar days from the time the Title IX Coordinator determines that an investigation will go forward.  Given the many variables and factors that may arise in such cases, additional time may be needed in some cases.  The complainant and the respondent will be notified simultaneously, in writing, if the investigation process cannot be completed within 60 days, and they will be provided with a revised timeline.

Preservation of Investigative Materials

Materials obtained by EAD during the investigation will be maintained by EAD.

Parallel Investigations with Law Enforcement

Complaints also may be filed with either VUPD or MNPD. VUPD and MNPD are neither private nor confidential resources. 

Vanderbilt University Police Department
2800 Vanderbilt Place
Nashville, TN 37212
615-322-2745
Emergency – 911 or 615-42(1-1911)
http://police.vanderbilt.edu/

Metro Nashville Police Department Headquarters
200 James Robertson Parkway
Nashville, TN 37201
615-862-7400
Emergency – 911
http://www.police.nashville.gov

The filing of a police report or the pendency of civil or criminal proceedings does not preclude EAD or any other department of Vanderbilt University from proceeding with its investigation and determination. The investigation and determination may be delayed until the police have finished gathering evidence but generally will not wait for the conclusion of any criminal proceeding. Vanderbilt encourages its students, faculty, and staff to report crimes to law enforcement.

NOTE: Civil or criminal proceedings are separate and distinct from internal University proceedings and they may or may not run parallel to one another. The University may be required by law to provide information in civil or criminal proceedings.

When VUPD receives information concerning criminal acts of a serious nature, including sexual assault, it may elect or may be required to contact MNPD.  Typically, VUPD and MNPD detectives work together to assist victims. In most sexual assault cases, VUPD will provide assistance and MNPD will be the primary investigating agency.  For other sexual misconduct cases, VUPD may conduct the investigation and keep MNPD informed.  Regardless of who conducts the primary investigation, VUPD may be contacted at any time. 

Additional Information for Students

 Limited Disciplinary Immunity for Complainants and Witnesses

Individuals with information about sexual misconduct or other power-based personal violence may hesitate to come forward out of fear that their own violations of University policy would be revealed.  Students are advised that the University does not condone infractions of policy, but the University will generally extend immunity for possession or use of alcohol or drugs and any resulting intoxication to victims and potential witnesses in order to facilitate reporting and resolution of sexual misconduct or other power-based personal violence complaints.  Students may be referred for an alcohol or drug assessment and counseling.

Directives to Desist

Given the nature of cases involving sexual misconduct and power-based personal violence, a student may request use of a “directive to desist,” also known as a no-contact directive or stay away order.  For more detailed information about interim measures, please refer to the “Interim Measures, Accommodations, and Sanctions” section above.  Directives to desist often require that the complainant and respondent have no contact with each other during the course of the investigation and/or thereafter.  The University may also employ such directives and implement other interim measures on its own initiative, as appropriate.  Additional information about directives to desist may be found in Chapter 3 of the Student Handbook under the section, “Threat, Harassment, Intimidation: Directives to Desist.” 

NOTE: Students may also seek orders of protection, restraining orders, or other similar orders issued by a court of law and may be assisted in doing so by representatives from University offices, including, for example, the Project Safe Center, the Office of Housing and Residential Education, and the VUPD Victim Services Coordinator.

Sanctioning

Where the respondent is a student, and EAD has determined that this policy has been violated by the respondent, the Director of Student Accountability (or designee) review EAD’s final investigative report and will render an appropriate sanction.  If, upon reviewing the materials, the Director of Student Accountability requires clarification or additional information from EAD before rendering a decision as to sanction, the Director may request such clarification or additional information from EAD.  The sanctioning determination will be made based on the information contained in the EAD investigative report, with particular regard for the nature of the incident and the respondent’s reported cooperation and candor, and the respondent’s disciplinary history (if any).

The guidelines for sanctions in sexual misconduct and power-based personal violence cases are set forth below.  See also the “Sanctions” section of Chapter 3 of the Student Handbook.

  • The range of sanctions for any student found responsible for Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse is suspension to expulsion, depending on all of the relevant facts and circumstances
  • Sanctions for Non-Consensual Sexual Contact, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Harassment – Hostile Environment, Sexual Exploitation, Stalking, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, Retaliation, or the other delineated forms of sexual misconduct, will range from disciplinary probation to expulsion, depending on all of the relevant facts and circumstances.
  • Inappropriate behavior that does not violate this policy may be addressed under other applicable policies, including the Student Handbook
  • In some cases of sexual misconduct or power-based personal violence, participation in an evaluation and/or treatment program by an approved counseling service may be required as a part of a corrective action plan that accompanies a sanction.  Such participation may also be a condition for readmission to the University or a condition for remaining in the University.  In addition to this condition, in cases of suspension, the Director of Student Accountability may set other conditions for readmission to Vanderbilt.
  • Unless the Director of Student Accountability decides that an interim sanction should be imposed immediately in order to protect the safety and security of the complainant or the University community, sanctions will be effective when the appeal period expires or the appeal is decided, whichever is later.

Appeals

Student parties have the right to appeal the determination by EAD and the sanction (if any) rendered by the Director of Student Accountability.  Student parties will be notified of this right and the procedures for appeal simultaneously in writing.

Student appeals will be decided by a panel of three Appellate Officers for Sexual Misconduct and Power-Based Personal Violence (Appellate Officers).  Appellate Officers will be faculty and/or academic administrators appointed by the Chancellor (or the Chancellor’s designee) for two- or three-year terms, who will receive annual training on issues involved in sexual misconduct and other forms of power-based personal violence. Assignment to cases will be on a rotating basis.  Any appeal of a finding of a violation of another University policy (and/or sanction for that violation) which arises out of or is related to an alleged violation of this policy will be decided under the process set forth in this policy by the Appellate Officers for Sexual Misconduct.

A petition for appeal, signed by the petitioning student, must be submitted in writing to the Appellate Officers, either by hand delivery to 310 Sarratt, or by email attachment to appeals@vanderbilt.edu, by no later than 5pm on the tenth (10th) calendar day following the date the complainant is notified of the determination by EAD (when the respondent is found not to have violated the policy), or following the date the complainant and respondent are notified of the sanction. 

Requests for extensions must be submitted prior to the expiration of the ten-day period.  The petition must be no longer than ten (10) double-spaced pages with one (1) inch margins and 12 (12) point font.The petition must include the following: a statement of the grounds for appeal, supporting explanation, and copies of, or reference to, all information not previously submitted to EAD that the petitioner wishes the Appellate Officers to consider.  Except for new information as defined, below, no documents or other evidence will be considered on appeal unless previously submitted to EAD.

Grounds for Appeal

The four grounds for appeal are as follows:

  • Procedural irregularities sufficient to affect the determination by EAD and/or the sanction imposed by of the Director of Student Accountability.

    EAD and the Director of Student Accountability are expected to conduct investigations and proceedings in accordance with their policies and procedures.  Deviation from those policies and procedures which render their actions fundamentally unfair, constitutes a sufficient basis for the Appellate Officers to reverse, modify, or remand the determination by EAD and/or the sanction imposed by the Director of Student Accountability.  Procedural irregularities that are considered by the Appellate Officers to be harmless and that did not, in the judgment of the Appellate Officers, adversely affect the process are not a basis for upsetting the determination by EAD and/or the sanction imposed by the Director of Student Accountability.
  • Insufficient information to support the determination by EAD.

    It is not the role of Appellate Officers to substitute their judgment for the judgment of EAD if there is a reasonable basis for EAD’s determination. Deference must be given to EAD’s determination since EAD had the opportunity to hear the witnesses and to assess their credibility and demeanor. The Appellate Officer may not alter EAD’s determination unless the determination is clearly erroneous and cannot be reasonably supported by the information considered.
  • New information that was not reasonably available for presentation to EAD, the introduction of which could reasonably be expected to affect EAD’s determination.

    All available information, including testimony of witnesses, is expected to be presented to EAD..  A student who seeks to introduce new information has the burden of demonstrating that the information was not reasonably available for presentation to EAD, and that the introduction of such new information can be reasonably expected to affect EAD’s determination.  If the Appellate Officers determine that the student has satisfied this burden, the Appellate Officers remand the case to EAD with instructions to reconsider the case in light of the new information.
  • Harshness of the sanction imposed by the Director of Student Accountability sufficient to show an abuse of discretion. 

    Deference should be given by the Appellate Officers to the sanctions imposed by the Director of Student Accountability. At the same time, the Appellate Officer should recognize that the Director of Student Accountability can make errors in judgment sufficient to show an abuse of discretion. Abuse of discretion does not necessarily imply an intentional wrong or bad faith, but simply the failure to exercise reasonable judgment under the circumstances.

Consideration of Petition and Determination of Appeal

    • One of the three Appellate Officers will be designated by the panel as the Chair of the panel.
    • When the Appellate Officers receive a petition, the Chair notifies all persons who were sent formal notification of EAD’s determination and the sanction (if any) that a petition for appeal has been filed.
    • Upon notification that an appeal has been filed, EAD and/or the Director of Student Accountability will provide to the Appellate Officers the final investigative report, and other information reviewed and relied upon in making their determinations.
    • As part of the notification, the Chair forwards a copy of the petition to EAD’s Title IX Coordinator and Director and the Director of Student Accountability as well as the non-petitioning student.  EAD and/or the Director of Student Accountability may submit written comments within ten (10) calendar days of receiving it.  The non-petitioning student may also submit a response within the same time period.  The written comments and response are subject to the same length and formatting limitations as the petition.  Requests for extensions by EAD and/or the Director of Student Accountability as well as the non-petitioning student must be submitted prior to the expiration of the ten-day period.  
    • Upon receiving any written comments or response from EAD, the Director of Student Accountability, and/or the non-petitioning student, the Chair sends the written comments and response to the petitioner, offering the petitioner an opportunity to reply.  Replies must be submitted within five (5) calendar days and are limited to five (5) pages with the same formatting limitations.  Requests for extensions by the petitioner must be submitted prior to the expiration of the five-day period.
    • The Appellate Officers then proceed to consideration of the appeal.  The Appellate Officers’ consideration of the appeal must be based only on the original records created by or provided to EAD and/or the Director of Student Accountability and the petition, any new information in the petition that was not reasonably available for presentation to EAD and the introduction of which could reasonably be expected to affect EAD’s determination that the Appellate Officers determine should be considered, any written comments/response, and the reply.
    • The Appellate Officers decide by majority vote whether to affirm, modify, or reverse the determination by EAD and/or the sanction imposed by the Director of Student Accountability or to remand the case to EAD and/or the Director of Student Accountability with instructions.

      In cases where there has been a procedural error on the part of EAD and/or the Director of Student Accountability, the Appellate Officers remand the case with instructions.

      In cases where the Appellate Officers deem that new evidence should be considered, the Appellate Officers remand the case to EAD with instructions.
    • The Chair notifies the complainant, the respondent, EAD, and the Director of Student Accountability of the Appellate Officers’ decision and the reasons for their decision.
    • Appeals are decided based on the version of this policy in effect as of the date of the alleged sexual misconduct or power-based personal violence.
    • If the Appellate Officers have a question about the meaning or application of a University policy or procedure, the Appellate Officers may consult with the Dean of Students or designee and/or the Office of the General Counsel.  At no time may Appellate Officers substitute their opinions or values for University policy.
    • An Appellate Officer may not consider an appeal if the Appellate Officer has a conflict of interest.  Each Appellate Officer is responsible for determining whether or not a conflict of interest exists and may consult with the Dean of Students or designee or the Office of the General Counsel, if necessary.  If a conflict does exist, the case is assigned to the next panelist in the rotation

Procedures for Faculty

If, after receiving information from or consulting with EAD, the Dean for the appropriate school, or the Provost’s office, determines that the disciplinary process should be initiated, the Dean will follow the process for violations of the faculty standards of conduct set out in the Faculty Manual.  

http://vanderbilt.edu/faculty-manual/part-iv-disciplinary-actions-and-grievances/ch1-disciplinary-actions/

Procedures for Staff

If, after receiving information from or consulting with EAD, the staff member’s department, in consultation with Human Resources, determines that the disciplinary process should be initiated, the process for violations of Human Resources policies will be followed.

http://hr.vanderbilt.edu/policies/index.php

Procedures for House Staff

If, after receiving information from or consulting with EAD, the Program Director, in consultation with the Office of Graduate Medical Education, determines that corrective action should be initiated, the process set out in the House Staff Manual will be followed.

http://www.mc.vanderbilt.edu/documents/gme/files/HSManual.pdf

Procedures for Postdoctoral Fellows and Trainees

If, after receiving information from or consulting with EAD, the fellow or trainee’s department, in consultation with the appropriate Dean’s office, determines that the disciplinary process should be initiated, the process for similar conduct violations will be followed. 

Federal Statistical Reporting Obligations

Under the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, certain University officials have a duty to report statistical information regarding sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking occurring on campus or on non-campus property controlled by the University and utilized by students.  Personally identifiable information is not included, but information must be provided to VUPD regarding the nature of the incident, the date it occurred, and its general location (e.g., on or off campus, in residential housing, or in the surrounding area) for publication in the Annual Security Report.  This report helps to provide the community with information regarding the extent and nature of campus crime and security measures on campus, to ensure greater community safety.

Mandated federal reporters, known as Campus Security Authorities, include: campus law enforcement; the Office of Student Accountability; the Title IX Coordinator and EAD staff; Residential Education staff (including Residential Advisers); advisers to student organizations; designated staff within the Dean of Students offices; coaches and other designated staff within the Department of Athletics; and anyone else with significant responsibility for student and campus activities.

Federal Timely Warning Reporting Obligations

Under the Clery Act, VUPD must also issue timely warnings with respect to crimes that pose a serious or continuing threat of bodily harm or danger to members of the campus community. The victim’s name will never be disclosed and the University will make every effort to ensure that any other identifying information is not disclosed, while still providing enough information for community members to make safety decisions in light of the danger.

Appendix: List off Responsible Employees

The University’s responsible employees include, but are not limited to, the following employees or categories of employees:

  • Faculty members and teaching assistants
  • Senior leadership (e.g., Chancellor, Provost, Vice Chancellors, and Deans, including Associates and Assistants)
  • Title IX Coordinator and Staff in Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action, and Disability Services (EAD)
  • Staff in the Project Safe Center for Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response
  • Staff in the Vanderbilt University Police Department
  • Staff in the Office of Student Accountability, Community Standards, and Academic Integrity
  • Professional Staff and Graduate Assistants in the Office of the Dean of the Students
  • Professional Staff and Resident Advisers in the Office of Housing and Residential Education
  • Professional Staff and Graduate Assistants in the Office of the Dean of the Ingram Commons and Heads of House
  • Other Professional Staff working within the Provost’s areas
  • Professional Staff and coaches in the Department of Athletics
  • Designated Staff in Human Resources
  • Designated Staff in the University Administrative Compliance Office and the Office of Healthcare Compliance
  • Senior Staff in the Office of Risk and Insurance Management;