ATSU is committed to providing a safe educational and work environment. As a university community, we value compassion, diversity, and the safety of all employees and students. Sex- and gender- based discrimination (including sexual harassment, sexual violence, dating/domestic violence, and stalking) limit access to education and work opportunities and ATSU will follow the guidelines set forth in Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 to stop, remedy, and prevent negative effects of sex- and gender-based discrimination.
ATSU is dedicated to ensuring a prompt, effective, and compassionate response to any report of sex- or gender-based discrimination. To report possible discrimination, ask questions, or communicate concerns, contact John Gardner, ATSU Title IX coordinator at 660.626.2113 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To report online, use the secure online incident form
To report anonymously and confidentially, call ATSU’s 24-hour anonymous reporting service at 1-855-FRAUD-HL or use the secure online reporting form. Reference Company ID (“ATSU”) when making a report.
ATSU Policy +
Title IX Main Points
- ATSU’s Title IX policy protects you from being discriminated against on the basis of your sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, and pregnancy
- Such discrimination can include sexual harassment, sexual violence, and other prohibited behavior (Definitions for Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence)
- It is the University’s duty to stop, prevent, and remedy occurrences of sex based discrimination (Reporting for contact information)
- If you have experienced or witnessed behavior prohibited by Title IX, you are entitled to report or file a complaint with the Title IX Coordinator. (How to report)
- After a report has been made, an initial inquiry will be held and interim remedial actions will be enacted (Grievance Procedure)
- If it is determined that there has been a possible violation, an investigation will proceed
- You have the right to appeal the findings of this investigation. (Know your rights)
- You are protected against retaliation for reporting an incident or participating in the investigation (Protection from retaliation)
Grievance Procedures +
Grievance Process Flowchart (pdf) Any individual who feels he/she has witnessed or experienced behavior prohibited by Title IX (See “What is Title IX?), or who has questions, concerns, or information regarding violations of this policy, should immediately report the circumstance(s) or incident(s) to his or her supervisor or one of the contact persons described in ATSU Policy No. 90-210: Prohibition of Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation.
Report and initial meetings
Upon receipt of a report of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation, the University will conduct a prompt, thorough, and impartial investigation, evaluating all relevant information and documentation relating to the report.
- When a report is made, an ATSU investigator will meet with the reporting party to discuss the allegations and/or circumstances. The objectives of this initial meeting will be to reduce the report to writing, stop the harassment, prevent its recurrence, and take steps to remedy its effects in the interim.
- If, following this meeting, it is determined no potential policy violations exist, the investigator will produce a report stating such conclusion, including all elements of the initial meeting and interim remedial steps taken.
- Interim remedial steps may include course or work adjustments, no contacts orders, temporary suspension of the alleged perpetrator, or any other reasonable measure to facilitate the end and prevention of harassment.
- If, after an initial meeting between an ATSU investigator and a reporting party, it is determined any part of this policy may have been violated, a full investigation will be conducted.
- Investigators will be appropriately trained and will not have a conflict of interest or bias against the reporting party or respondent. An investigation will be concluded promptly, typically within ten (10) business days of the receipt of the report by the appropriate personnel. Investigations may, however, take longer based on a number of factors and variables, such as: the nature and detail of the notice received, the complexity of the investigation, and the cooperation level of the parties and witnesses. In almost all cases, investigations will be completed within sixty (60) business days, though this timeline may be extended for appropriate cause as determined by the investigator.
- The parties will be regularly updated as to the projected timeline for completion of the investigation. During the process, the reporting party and respondent will be given timely notice of any meetings at which either or both may be present, and will have equal opportunity to present witnesses, provide evidence, and have others present, including an advisor of their choice. The reporting party, respondent, and appropriate officials will be given timely and equal access to information to be used during informal and formal disciplinary meetings and hearings.
- Investigators use the “preponderance of evidence” (more likely than not) standard when determining whether or not there is a violation.
- Simultaneous written notice to the parties describing the findings of the investigation, including determination of responsibility and sanctions, and available appeal procedures, will occur within five (5) business days of the completion of the investigation.
- Sanctions for employees may include a disciplinary warning to be added to the employee’s permanent file, probation, suspension with or without pay, and/or termination.
- Sanctions for students may include reprimand, a disciplinary warning to be added to the student’s permanent file, probation, suspension, and/or dismissal.
The parties will have the right to appeal within five (5) business days of receiving the findings. If the appeal is not timely or substantively eligible, the original findings and sanctions will stand, and the decision will be final. If the appeal has standing, the documentation will be forwarded for consideration. The party requesting the appeal must show error as the original findings and sanctions are presumed to have been decided reasonably and appropriately. The only grounds for appeal are:
- A procedural (or substantive) error that significantly impacted the outcome of the hearing (e.g. substantiated bias, material deviation from established procedures).
- To consider new evidence, unavailable during the original hearing or investigation, that could substantially impact the original findings or sanctions. A summary of this new evidence and its potential impact must be included.
- The sanctions imposed are substantially disproportionate to those previously imposed for similar violations. Right to appeal under this provision is for the responding party only. No other party has the right to appeal sanctions.
Upon receipt of a written appeal, an appellate panel consisting of three (3) members of the ATSU Equity Grievance Pool (EGP) will be selected to rule on the appeal.
- EGP members are appointed by the ATSU President
- EGP members include the Title IX administration team, two (2) faculty members nominated by ATSU Faculty Senate, two (2) students nominated by the University Student Association, and two (2) staff members nominated by the University Staff Council.
The appellate panel will rule on the appeal within fifteen (15) business days. Any extension of time beyond fifteen (15) business days will be communicated to both parties along with an updated time frame for the ruling.
Any sanctions imposed at the conclusion of an investigation will remain in effect during the appeals process
In the event an appeal is upheld by the appellate panel, the panel’s report will be submitted to the investigators for redetermination based on the panel’s findings. Written notice to the parties describing the revised findings of the investigation, including determination of responsibility and sanctions, will occur within five (5) business days of receipt of the appellate panel report.
Your Guaranteed Rights +
During the Investigation and resolution of a report, both the reporting party and the respondent have equal rights to:
- Receive a written notice of investigation
- Participate in the investigation
- Review and present information and evidence
- Be accompanied by an advisor of their choice to any meeting
- Timely and equal access to information that will be used in the grievance procedure
- Timely notice of meetings at which their presence will be requested or required
- Simultaneous written notice of the outcome, sanction, and rationale
- Opportunity to appeal the findings and/or sanctions
Sexual assault victim bill of rights
ATSU shall treat all victims of reported campus-related sexual violence, including domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, and sexual assault, with respect and fairness in adherence to the following Sexual Assault Victim Bill of Rights, in accordance with the Campus Sexual Assault Victim’s Bill of Rights (1992) and Section 485 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (revised 2008). All ATSU students and employees have the right to:
- Be treated with compassion and dignity, and to have disclosures of sexual violence treated seriously.
- Be informed of their right to disclose the incident(s) to law enforcement, and to be assisted by ATSU staff in reporting the incident(s) to law enforcement.
- Choose to not report incident(s) to law enforcement.
- Choose to not be involved in an ATSU investigation.
- Be free from suggestion that victims of sexual violence not report or under-report incidents because: a. victims were somehow “responsible” for the commission of crimes against them; b. victims were somehow “negligent” or assumed the risk of being assaulted; or c. by reporting crimes victims would incur unwanted personal publicity.
- Be advised of available on- and off-campus counseling and victim support services.
- Be advised of options for changing their academic schedule and/or on-campus living situation; the University will support any reasonable alternative academic and/or on-campus living arrangements requested by the victim.
- Expect ATSU to take reasonable action to prevent contact with or proximity to alleged assailants. While ATSU Security officers are not commissioned police officers and do not have arrest authority, they will provide assistance and/or contact local law enforcement as needed.
- Describe the incident to as few ATSU representatives as is necessary. In ATSU investigations, all reporting and responding parties have the right to:
- Be accompanied by an advisor of choice who may assist and advise throughout the University investigation, including all meetings and hearings related to such process. .
- Be informed in writing of the outcome of any ATSU investigation.
- Make a Title IX complaint to the Department of Education or the Office of Civil Rights concerning any inappropriate action or lack of appropriate action on the part of ATSU in handling a crime of sexual violence, including domestic violence, dating violence, stalking or sexual assault.
Federal Guidelines +
Frequently Asked Questions +
1. What is Title IX? Title IX is a part of the Education Amendments of 1972. The governmental agency in charge of Title IX is the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), part of the Department of Education (ED). Title IX mandates all organizations which receive financial support from ED operate in a nondiscriminatory fashion relating to a person’s sex. Sex discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual assault/violence must be thoroughly and impartially investigated. These organizations must stop, prevent, and remedy the effects of sex discrimination. Title IX Main Points
2. What does Title IX cover? Technically, Title IX covers discrimination on the basis of sex. OCR has interpreted discrimination to include harassment, assault, and violence. The Violence Against Women Act included domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking to covered acts under Title IX.
3. What does ATSU investigate? ATSU may have jurisdiction over any activity that includes one or more students, employees, or related third-parties (like a visiting lecturer or contractor). ATSU also has jurisdiction over any activity on one of the University’s campuses or in any educational or occupational program. ATSU will investigate all Title IX reports in any setting where the University has jurisdiction.
4. How do I file a report? Learn how to file a report and understand the grievance procedure investigation. Both the reporting party and respondent have equal rights during the investigation - know your rights.
5. What are my options once I have made a complaint of sexual discrimination? Once you have made a complaint, you have several options, including, but not limited to:
- Contacting parents or a relative
- Seeking legal advice
- Seeking personal counseling
- Pursuing legal action against the perpetrator
- Pursuing disciplinary action
- Requesting no further action be taken
- Requesting further information about the investigation and resolution process
6. What are my options if a complaint has been filed against me? When a complaint has been filed against you, you have several options, including, but not limited to:
- Contacting parents or a relative
- Seeking legal advice
- Seeking personal counseling
- Requesting further information about the investigation and resolution process
7. Can I report Sexual Harassment/Violence against my boyfriend or girlfriend? Yes. You can make a report of sexual violence against a romantic partner if this partner perpetrates a sexual or violent act against you without your consent. This can be classified as Domestic or Dating Violence, which is covered under Title IX. ATSU has an obligation to stop, prevent, and remedy such situations. Even if this partner is not associated with ATSU, the University will take necessary steps to help you.
8. What should I do if I am subject to Sexual Misconduct by someone who is not a university student or employee? ATSU’s Title IX policy applies to all students, employees, and third parties. If you are subject to sexual misconduct by someone who is not a student or employee, you can still file a Title IX report. You will have access to remedies and support from ATSU just as if the perpetrator was a student or employee. ATSU will also assist in filing a police report if you choose to do so.
9. What should I do if I am subject to Sexual Misconduct by a student or employee but we are off campus? You can still file a Title IX report. Off-campus acts of sexual misconduct can have the same effect on you as an on-campus incident. In legal terms, this sexual misconduct can cause a hostile environment for you, and ATSU may take responsibility to investigate and remedy the situation. Furthermore, the ATSU Code of Behavioral Standards states that “students who violate University regulations in off-campus activities are subject to penalties just as if the violation occurred on campus.”
10. Should I contact ATSU if I have already notified the police about sexual harassment/violence? Yes, we encourage you to contact ATSU even if you have already notified the police about sexual harassment/violence. Calling the police or filing a police report is not the same as filing a report of Sexual Violence with the University. It is encouraged to file a report with University as the University will be able to provide interim remedial actions which may include course or work adjustments, no contacts orders, temporary suspension of the alleged perpetrator, or any other reasonable measure to facilitate the end and prevention of harassment or violence.
11. What should I do if I observe Sexual Misconduct, but it is not directed at me? If you witness sexual harassment/violence you are encouraged to report the incident. You are protected from retaliation by ATSU Policy No. 10-216: Whistleblower and ATSU Policy No. 90-210: Prohibition of Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation, which means that so long as the report is in good faith (you are telling the truth about what you witnessed), even if it turns out that the incident wasn’t what you thought it was. When in doubt, report something you have witnessed.
12. If I report Sexual Misconduct, will it be treated confidentially? While on-campus counselors are the only, truly confidential resources, ATSU will take reasonable and appropriate steps to ensure your safety and privacy. ATSU needs to balance the safety of the community against your desire for strict confidentiality, but private information will be shared with the fewest amounts of people on a strict need-to-know basis. If any details of the incident need to be released, ATSU will inform you.
13. How does ATSU handle false allegations of Sexual Misconduct? Deliberately false and/or malicious accusations are just as serious an offense as harassment and will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action. However, a No Violation/Not Responsible finding does not constitute a false allegation on the part of the reporting party. Just because a report cannot be proven with preponderance of evidence doesn’t mean it was a false report.
14. Will I get in trouble if I report Sexual Misconduct but was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the incident? If you witness an act of sexual misconduct, or are subject to this act, while you are engaged in an activity that violates an ATSU policy (ex: you are under the influence of an illegal substance), you should still report the incident to the appropriate authorities. ATSU has a general amnesty policy in these situations which means that you will not face punishment for violating student policy when the incident occurs. ATSU’s main goal is to remedy the effects of the sexual misconduct incident, not to punish you for what you were doing when you witnessed/were subject to the incident. For example, if you are under the influence of marijuana and you are subject to sexual harassment/violence, you will not be punished for the marijuana usage when you report the incident.
15. What is the role of the Title IX Coordinator? The Title IX coordinator is responsible for all sex- and gender-based harassment and discrimination awareness, prevention, training, monitoring, reporting, investigation, and resolution at ATSU. The assistant vice president of human resources and the director of human resources are responsible for responding to and monitoring all reports of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation from employees, members of the public, or beneficiaries. The vice president for student affairs and the associate vice president for student affairs are responsible for responding to and monitoring all reports of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation from students.
16. What if someone tries to get back at me for making a report? The University will not retaliate against, nor permit retaliation against, any individual who opposes discrimination or harassment, makes a report of discrimination or harassment, and/or participates or cooperates in a discrimination or harassment investigation, proceeding, or hearing. The act of retaliation is considered a new, separate violation from the initial incident reported. If you feel that you have been retaliated against for filing a report or participating in an investigation, you are encouraged to report this retaliation.
17. Why do schools handle sexual violence cases at all? All students are entitled to access to all the rights and advantages of being a student at ATSU. Assault, harassment, and discrimination pose as obstacles to a student’s access to these educational rights. It is the University’s responsibility to respond to these incidents and remedy the situation. Even if the police respond to the incident, they don’t have the power to assist a student in ways that the University can, like extensions on papers or other remedial actions . The University has the duty to make sure each student has the access they need to their education.
18. Are there definitions I should know? Yes. A list of Title IX related definitions are available to provide clarify commonly used legal terms.
19. What resources are available to students? List of counseling support and federal resources.
Consent - Knowing, voluntary, and clear permission by word or action, to engage in mutually agreed upon sexual activity. For consent to be valid there must be a clear expression in words or actions that the individual consented to that specific sexual conduct. Silence or absence of resistance alone is not consent. Consent is not valid if:
- You are disoriented, unconscious, mentally incapacitated, or are unable to understand what is happening, for any reason including alcohol and drug use [see FAQ # 11]
- You are under the statutory consent age [Missouri Age of Consent] [Arizona Age of Consent]
- You are forced, coerced, threatened, or physically incapacitated
- You have withdrawn previous consent (ex: You consented to sexual intercourse at first, but later indicated that you no longer consented/changed your mind), or the act goes beyond the scope of your consent (ex: you consented to sexual contact but not sexual intercourse)
- There is an inherent power differential, such as with a student and teacher or employee and supervisor
Domestic/Dating Violence - Any act of violence or threatened act of violence against a person who is or has been involved in a sexual, dating, domestic, or other intimate relationship by the other person in the relationship. Examples include, but are not limited to:
- Threats to oneself, one’s loved ones, one’s pets, etc.
- Property damage
- Physical, emotional, sexual, or psychological abuse or violence
- Economic abuse, which is when one partner controls access to economic resources, thereby diminishing the other partner’s ability to support themselves.
Hostile Environment - Any situation in which there is harassing conduct sufficiently severe, pervasive, or objectively offensive to alter the conditions of employment or limit, interfere with, or deny educational benefits from a subjective and objective viewpoint. ATSU Policy 90-210 A.3
Jurisdiction - This is the official power to make a decision or judgment. Under Title IX, ATSU may have jurisdiction over sex-based discrimination, harassment, assault, or violence that involves one or more students, employees, or related third-parties (like a visiting lecturer or contractor), as well as these actions that occur on any campus of ATSU (including community campuses or rotation sites) or as part of any educational program or employment setting (like a conference or sponsored study abroad). What is Title IX?
Non-Consensual Sexual Contact Any unwelcome intentional sexual touching, however slight, with any object, by a man or woman upon a man or woman, without consent and/or by force. Definition of Consent Examples include, but are not limited to:
- Touching an individual sexually who is unconscious, semi-conscious, asleep, passed out, under the statutory age of consent, and/or an individual who has not provided consent.
- Groping or pinching
- Unwelcome kissing
Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse Any unwelcome intentional sexual intercourse, however slight, with any object, by a man or woman upon a man or woman, without consent and/or by force. Definition of Consent Examples include, but are not limited to:
- Having sex with an individual who is unconscious, semi-conscious, asleep, passed out, not moving their body, and/or has withheld or withdrawn consent by words or actions
- Intercourse involving threats, blackmail, force, or coercion
- Exceeding the scope of consent by engaging in a different form of sexual activity than a person has consented to
- Hazing rituals that involve sexual intercourse or penetration
Preponderance of the Evidence A standard of evidence that focuses on the more convincing evidence, not necessarily the amount of evidence. Preponderance means deciding which description of circumstances or facts is “more likely than not” true. The standard requires “50%, plus a feather.”
Remedy Any adjustment, decision, or other action taken to alleviate the effects of alleged prohibited conduct under Title IX. These may include course or work adjustments, no contacts orders, temporary suspension of the alleged perpetrator, counseling referrals, assistance with filing a police report, or other reasonable measures. List of counseling support and federal resources
Reporting Party An individual who is reported to have experienced prohibited conduct, regardless of whether the individual makes a report or seeks disciplinary action. Sometimes referred to as the ‘Complainant.’ How to file a report
Respondent An individual who is the subject of a report alleging prohibited conduct.
Retaliation Negative action directed at/affecting an individual who has engaged in a legally protected activity such as making a report of harassment or acting as a witness in an official investigation. What if someone tries to get back at me for making a report? Examples include, but are not limited to:
- Negative job actions, such as demotion, discipline, firing, salary reduction, or reassignment
- Socially shunning the individual or isolating them
- Excluding the individual from job-enhancing training
- Unduly criticizing the individual
- Withholding necessary resources to complete an assignment
- Implementing unreasonable time constraints
Sexual Exploitation A form of sexual harassment in which a person takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another. Examples include, but are not limited to:
- Sexual voyeurism (watching a person in a sexual or private activity without the consent of the person observed)
- Taking pictures or video or audio recording another in a sexual act or private activity without the consent of all involved in the activity
- Knowingly transmitting human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or other sexually transmitted diseases without informing the other person
- Administering alcohol or drugs, including ‘date-rape’ drugs, to another person without his or her knowledge or consent. Will I get in trouble if I report Sexual Misconduct but was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the incident?
Sexual or Gender-Based Harassment Harassment based on sex (including pregnancy), gender, sexual orientation (including perceived), gender identity (including perceived), or gender expression
- Acts of aggression, intimidation, or hostility
- Unwelcome behavior such as sexual advances, propositions, and requests for sexual favors
- Sexual jokes, comments, suggestions, or innuendo
- Foul or obscene gestures or language
- Display of foul, obscene, or offensive printed or visual material
- Leering or staring at someone in a sexual way
- Unwelcome “cat calls” or whistling
Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence Unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, includes any unwelcome sexual advances, request for sexual favors, or other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Stalking A course of conduct (more than once or over a period of time) that causes a reasonable person to feel fear for his/her safety or the safety of others or causes substantial emotional distress . Examples include, but are not limited to:
- Causing fear of physical, emotional, or psychological harm
- Cyber stalking
- Following an individual home without consent
- Repeated visual or physical proximity, constantly showing up
- Following or surveillance of an individual
- Continued non-consensual communication such as repeated unwanted phone calls, emails, letters, etc.
How to Report +
To report violations of ATSU’s nondiscrimination policies, request information, or for assistance filing a police report, contact the following persons:
Employees, members of the public, or beneficiaries should contact:
Tonya Fitch Director of Human Resources Deputy Title IX Coordinator 5850 East Still Circle Mesa, AZ 85206-3618 480.219.6007 email@example.com
Donna Brown Assistant Vice President of Human Resources Deputy Title IX Coordinator 800 West Jefferson Street Kirksville, Missouri 63501 660.626.2790 firstname.lastname@example.org
Students should contact:
5850 East Still Circle Mesa, AZ 85206-3618 480.219.6026
Lori Haxton Vice President for Student Affairs Deputy Title IX Coordinator 800 West Jefferson Street Kirksville, Missouri 63501 660.626.2236 email@example.com
Alternately, discrimination complaints, reports, or questions may be directed to the ATSU Title IX Coordinator: John Gardner Title IX Coordinator 800 West Jefferson Street Kirksville, MO 63501 660.626.2113 firstname.lastname@example.org
To report online, use the secure online incident form
Arizona Campus: Emergency - 911 (off-campus) Emergency -911 (on-campus) Security Office - *7 (on-campus) Non-Emergency Security - 480.341.9075 Mesa Police Department - 480.644.2211, opt. 2
Missouri Campus Emergency - 911 (off-campus) Emergency -911 (on-campus) Security Office - 33 (on-campus) Non-Emergency Security - 660.626.2380/660.349.9513 Kirksville Police Department - 660.785.6945
To anonymously and confidentially report situations or behavior prohibited by this policy, call the 24-hour service at 1-855-FRAUD-HL or use the secure online reporting form. Reference our Company ID (“ATSU”) when making a report.
Off-campus counseling and victim support is available through: National Sexual Assault Hotline - 800.656.4673 Victim Support Services, Inc. (Missouri) - 660.665.1617 Mesa Victim Services Unit (Arizona) - 480.644.4075
Complaints regarding potential violations of Title IX, the Clery Act, or Title VII may be directed to:
Title IX and Clery Act: U.S. Department of Education One Petticoat Lane 1010 Walnut Street, Suite 320 Kansas City, MO 64106 816.268.0550 816.268.0550 fax email@example.com
Title VII: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Robert A. Young Federal Building 1222 Spruce Street, Room 8.100 St. Louis, MO 63103 800.669.4000 314.539.7894 fax 800.669.6820 TTY
Counseling Support and Federal Resources +
Missouri campus - Thom Van Vleck, 660.626.2138, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sarah Thomas, 660.626.2751, email@example.com
To anonymously and confidentially report situations or behavior prohibited by this policy, call the 24-hour service at 1-855-FRAUD-HL or use our secure online reporting form at http://www.fraudhl.com. Reference our Company ID (“ATSU”) when making a report.
Off-campus counseling and victim support is available through: National Sexual Assault Hotline – 800.656.4673 Victim Support Services, Inc. (Missouri) – 660.665.1617 Mesa Victim Services Unit (Arizona) – 480.644.4075 Complaints regarding potential violations of Title IX, the Clery Act, or Title VII may be directed to:
Crisis Text Line
A free, 24/7 support for those in crisis. 741741 crisistextline.org