Policies and Procedures

Title IX Banner

Stetson University has policies and procedures in place regarding the receipt, investigation, and resolution of complaints of discrimination. The university will initiate a prompt, thorough, and impartial investigation into allegations of sex or gender-based discrimination. This investigation is designed to provide a fair and reliable determination about whether the university nondiscrimination and Title IX policies have been violated. If so, the university will implement a prompt and effective remedy to end the discrimination, prevent its recurrence and address its effects. The standard of proof in such disciplinary proceedings shall be that of the preponderance of the evidence, which is based upon whether it is more likely than not a violation occurred.

I. Nondiscrimination Statement

It is the policy of Stetson University, consisting of its multiple campuses, wherever located (collectively the “University”) not to discriminate on the basis of sex, physical or mental disability, pregnancy, parenting status, race, age, religion, color, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, physical characteristics or any category protected by federal, state or local law in its educational programs, activities or employment. The policy is enforced by Stetson, and where applicable, federal laws such as Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1972 and the Age Discrimination Act of 1975. The University is an equal opportunity education institution.

II. Title IX Commitment

Stetson University is committed to providing all students and employees with a safe and secure learning and working environment that is free of discrimination on the basis of sex or gender. Building an educational environment that promotes equality, safety, and awareness for all is both an ethical imperative and a matter of law. The University will not tolerate discrimination by any University employee, University student, or third party. Any individual who has been the victim of an act of violence or intimidation is urged to make an official report. A report of an act of violence or intimidation will be dealt with promptly. Confidentiality will be maintained to the greatest extent possible within the constraints of the law.

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in education and was implemented through regulation 34 C.F.R Part 106. The law expressly prohibits all forms of sex discrimination, sexual harassment and all acts of sexual violence, including sexual assault. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C. § 1681) states, “no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

The University is committed to upholding the protections created by Title IX and the provisions of the Jeanne Clery Act.

The Law
For a full review of the law, use the following resource at the Office for Civil Rights.

III. Title IX Coordinator

The Executive Director & Title IX Coordinator oversees implementation of Stetson University's policy on equal opportunity, harassment and nondiscrimination. The Executive Director & Title IX Coordinator manages the Title IX team and acts with independence and authority free of conflicts of interest. To raise any concern involving a conflict of interest by the Executive Director & Title IX Coordinator contact the Vice President of Campus Life and Student Success, 386-822-7730. To raise concerns regarding a potential conflict of interest with any other administrator involved in the Title IX process, please contact the Executive Director & Title IX Coordinator.

Title IX Office Leadership Team

IV. Sexual and Other Unlawful Harassment

A. Purpose
Stetson University has established the following policy in order to protect the rights of all Stetson students, faculty, and staff (hereinafter referred to as the “Stetson community”) to an environment free from sexual and other unlawful harassment. Stetson's sexual and other unlawful harassment policy and procedures are designed to eliminate sexual and other unlawful harassment, encourage reporting and protect persons filing complaints from retaliation.

B. Definitions
1. Sexual Harassment- Unwelcome sexual, sex-based and/or gender-based; verbal, written, online and/or physical conduct. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature by a person having power or authority over another when: a. Submission to such conduct is either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment or academic decisions; b. Submitting to such conduct is used as the basis for employment or academic decisions affecting the individual as an employee or student; or c. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual's work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or learning environment.  Florida Administrative Code 60L-36.004

2. Unlawful Harassment- Verbal or physical harassment based on a legally protected category, and when such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working or learning environment.  Florida Administrative Code 60L-36.004 

C. Consensual Romantic/Sexual Relationships
Consensual romantic or sexual relationships in which one party maintains a direct supervisory or evaluative role over the other party are unethical. Stetson University prohibits consensual romantic/sexual relationships between:
1. A faculty or staff member and any student enrolled at the University;
2. A supervisor and subordinate employee;
3. An administrator and a faculty member in a unit under that administrator's direction; and,
4. An administrator and a staff member in a unit under that administrator's direction.

There are some student employment positions in which this policy also pertains, for example, RAs and students over whom they have direct responsibility. Consultation with one's supervisor regarding consensual romantic relationships among student employees and students under their responsibility is strongly advised.

For specific details about this policy please see 4.2.2. Consensual Relations Policy in the Human Resources Personnel Policy and Procedures

D. Types of Claims
1. Quid Pro Quo:
This is the demand for sexual favors in exchange for some job or academic benefit (something for something).

2. Hostile Environment: This is sexually harassing conduct that unreasonably interferes with an individual's work or creates a hostile, intimidating, or offensive work or learning environment. The “hostile” work or learning environment forms of sexual and unlawful harassment may include offensive language, jokes, emails, gestures, comments, graphics, calendars, or graffiti. A hostile environment is created when sexual harassment is:
- Severe, or
- Persistent or pervasive, and
- Objectively interferes with, denies or limits someone's ability to participate in or benefit from Stetson University's educational, employment, social or residential program.

Stetson University reserves the right to address offensive conduct and/or harassment that 1) does not rise to the level of creating a hostile environment, or 2) that is of a generic nature not on the basis of a protected status. Addressing such behaviors may not result in the imposition of discipline under the University's policy but will be addressed through respectful confrontation, remedial actions, education and/or effective conflict resolution mechanisms. For assistance with conflict resolution techniques, employees should contact Human Resources and students should contact the Director of Community Standards or the Title IX Coordinator.

E. Reporting Options
All members of the University community who feels they may have been sexually or unlawfully harassed are strongly encouraged to promptly report the incident(s) to the Title IX Coordinator(s). Reports of harassment and/or discrimination not involving sex or gender-based bias may be reported to University official, supervisor, or through the personnel grievance procedures.

1. Written or oral reports may be made by persons experiencing harassment or by concerned persons not directly involved. The Reporting Party is encouraged to consult with supervisors, department heads, vice presidents, or deans for resolution of harassment or discrimination issues, wherever there is a comfort level in doing so and other than sex or gender-based harassment reports. Sex or gender-based harassment reports should always be reported to the Title IX Coordinator(s) by all members of the University community when not in the role of a confidential reporter.

2. All faculty and staff not legally bound by client-counselor privilege, who receive direct reports of sexual or unlawful harassment from a reporting party, have the obligation to immediately forward the report to the Title IX Coordinator(s) regarding sex or gender-based offenses.

F. Investigation, Grievance and Disposition
The appropriate course of investigation for any and all potential sex or gender-based reports against faculty or staff will be determined by the Title IX Coordinator(s) after review of the allegations. Sex or gender-based harassment reports will follow the grievance procedures set forth in the Gender-Based Misconduct, Sexual Assault and Intimate Partner Violence Policy.

V. Gender-Based Misconduct, Sexual Assault and Intimate Partner Violence

VI. Pregnancy and Parenting 

Stetson University's prohibition of sex-based discrimination includes discrimination or harassment on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, miscarriage, abortion, or related conditions, including recovery. Title IX also ensures the right to take medically necessary leave and to be free of harassment, intimidation, or other discrimination because of pregnancy-related conditions.

Pregnant and parenting students, staff or faculty who experience harassment or discrimination may contact:

Lyda Costello Kiser
Executive Director and Title IX Coordinator
Carlton Union Building, Office 215
386-822-7960

The Title IX Coordinator may work in conjunction with the Accessibility Services Centers to provide reasonable accommodations.

The Pregnant Scholar is a great resource and reference site with information about how Title IX applies to pregnant and parenting students.