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Seton Hall University

Policy Against Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Harassment and Retaliation

I. Purpose

Seton Hall University (“Seton Hall” or the “University”) is committed to providing a working, learning and living environment that is free from unlawful discrimination, harassment and retaliation and strives to afford fair and equitable treatment to all members of the University community, regardless of their membership in any legally protected class. The purpose of this policy is to prohibit sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence, and/or stalking in all forms and to prohibit retaliation for bringing a claim alleging a violation of this policy or participating in a review of any such claim. This policy will be administered in accordance with our Catholic mission and the teachings of the Catholic Church.

II. Scope

This policy applies to all University students and to all Trustees, Regents, officers, faculty, administrators, staff members, employees, vendors and guests, on and off campus. This policy does not abridge or supersede an individual’s rights and remedies under the law.

III. Definitions

A.  Sexual Misconduct.  Sexual misconduct is unwelcome conduct of a sexual or gender-based nature that may adversely and unreasonably interfere with someone’s education or work. It is determined based on the perspective of a reasonable person in the same circumstances as the person experiencing the misconduct. It is a form of discrimination and includes acts of sexual assault or sexual harassment as defined below. Sexual misconduct can occur in person or through e-mail, the Internet, social media, or other technologies. Anyone, regardless of gender, affectional or sexual orientation, actual or perceived, or gender identity and expression, can be the victim of sexual misconduct.

i. Examples of sexual misconduct may include, but are not limited to:

  • Rape or nonconsensual sexual intercourse with any penetration.
  • Unwelcome touching, kissing, hugging, or massaging.
  • Unwelcome sexual advances, propositions, or requests for sexual favors or contact.
  • Indecent exposure.
  • Unwelcome remarks of a sexual nature or demeaning comments about a person’s gender, affectional or sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.
  • Unwelcome sexual innuendo or demeaning comments of a sexual nature, whether oral, written, or digital.
  • Insults or threats based on sex, gender, or sexual orientation.
  • Recording (whether by video, audio, photo, or any other digital medium) another person in a sexual or intimate context without his or her consent.
  • Sexual exploitation (for example, recording, posting or otherwise sharing the recording of another person in a sexual or intimate context without his or her consent).
  • Using force or coercion in furtherance of a sexual, romantic, or intimate interest.

B.  Sexual Assault: (Non-consensual intercourse).  Sexual assault is the penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of that person.

C.  Sexual Assault: Non-consensual sexual contact.  Nonconsensual sexual contact means the deliberate and unwelcome touching of another person’s intimate parts (sexual organs, genital area, anal area, inner thigh, groin, buttock or breast of a person) without consent for sexual gratification or touching another with one’s own intimate parts, without consent, and for the purpose of sexual gratification.

D.  Consent and Incapacitation.

i. Consent.  Consent is the unambiguous, knowing, and voluntary agreement between the participants to engage in specific sexual activity. Consent must be demonstrated through mutually understandable words or actions clearly indicating a willingness to engage in that activity.

  • Past consent between the participants does not imply future consent.
  • Silence or the absence of resistance does not imply consent.
  • Consent to engage in sexual activity with one person does not imply consent to engage in sexual activity with another.  
  • Consent can be initially given but may be withdrawn at any time.
  • Consent cannot be given under coercion, force, restraint, or threat.
  • Children and minors cannot consent in accordance with New Jersey law. N.J.S.A. 2C: 14-2.
  • Consent cannot be given when asleep, unconscious, or incapacitated.

ii. Incapacitation.  Incapacitation is not being able to choose knowingly to participate in a sexual activity. A person who is voluntarily or involuntarily intoxicated or drugged to the point of incapacitation, asleep, unconscious, involuntarily restrained, or otherwise unaware, cannot give consent.

E.  Sexual Harassment.  Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, including sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Hostile environment sexual harassment is based on a person’s actual or perceived gender and is conduct that a reasonable person would consider so offensive, severe, persistent, or pervasive as to interfere with a person’s ability to participate in educational or work activities or programs. Sexual harassment can be verbal, written, graphic, physical or through digital, online, or social media communications. Sexual harassment may occur between persons of any sex/gender and anyone can be sexually harassed. Harassment on the basis of sex may also occur without sexual advances or sexual overtones when conduct is directed at an individual or group because of their sex or gender.

Another form of sexual harassment, quid pro quo (Latin for “this for that”) harassment, occurs when submission to unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature is made, explicitly or implicitly, a condition of a person’s employment, education or participation in a University activity or program or when rejection of such unwelcome conduct is used as the basis for decisions affecting the person’s employment, academic status or participation in a University activity or program.

F.  Dating and Domestic Violence.  Both dating and domestic violence are prohibited forms of misconduct under this policy and do not have to involve sexual interaction. They frequently involve a pattern of abusive behavior within an intimate relationship where one partner uses fear and intimidation to harm or control the other.  

i. Dating Violence is any act of violence committed against a person who is, or has been, in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature by a person accused of the violation. It can include verbal statements and/or physical actions and can include, but is not limited to, name-calling, hitting, threat of physical harm, and/or damaging property. Under New Jersey criminal law, dating violence is prosecuted as a form of domestic violence.

ii. Domestic violence involves criminal acts that are committed against a current or former spouse, an intimate partner, a person with whom the parties have a child in common, or with whom they live or once lived. Under New Jersey law, domestic violence includes, but is not limited to, criminal acts of homicide, assault, threats, kidnapping, criminal restraint, false imprisonment, sexual assault, criminal sexual contact, lewdness, criminal mischief, burglary, criminal trespass, harassment, and stalking.

G.  Stalking. Stalking is also a prohibited form of misconduct that does not have to involve sexual interaction. Stalking is a course of conduct (or series of acts) directed at a person on at least two or more occasions that would cause a reasonable person to fear for their personal safety or the safety of others or suffer substantial emotional distress. Stalking can include pursuing/following, unwanted communication, whether directly or through third parties, trespassing, surveillance, or other acts likely to intimidate, annoy, or alarm.

H.  Retaliation. Retaliation is an act of intimidation, harassment, or reprisal against an individual for initiating a good faith complaint or participating in any proceeding under this policy or for otherwise exercising his/her rights under this policy or the law.

I.  Preponderance of the Evidence. Preponderance of the evidence is defined to mean more likely than not. It is the standard of proof applied in determining responsibility under this policy.

IV. Policy

A.  As a Catholic institution of higher education, the University embraces Judeo-Christian values that proclaim the dignity and rights of all people. The University abides by all applicable federal and state laws that prohibit sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, and retaliation and does not discriminate on the basis of sex, or gender in its education and work programs or activities as required by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. sec. 1681 et seq. and other applicable federal and state requirements.

Under this policy, sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking in all forms, and retaliation are strictly prohibited. The use of drugs or alcohol to facilitate sexual activity without consent is strictly prohibited. A finding that a violation of University policy occurred is made by applying a preponderance of the evidence standard.

B. All members of the University community, who learn of allegations of misconduct in violation of this policy, (except those granted confidentiality in their role by law or policy) are required to report those allegations to the Title IX Coordinator or a Deputy Coordinator. The University will provide appropriate assistance and accommodations and protective measures. The University will initiate a prompt, thorough, and impartial investigation of allegations of misconduct or retaliation under this policy, pursue effective and reliable procedures and remedies, and seek to protect the rights of those involved.

C. Retaliation is a separate, serious offense under this policy and will be considered independently from the merits of the underlying allegation. Upon a finding that retaliation has occurred, the actor will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including, termination or expulsion from the University.

D.  All members of the University community have an obligation to cooperate in achieving the University’s goal of an environment free of sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, and retaliation.

E. Anyone who knowingly makes a false accusation of sexual misconduct or retaliation will be subject to appropriate action, which may include discipline up to and including, termination or expulsion from the University.

V. Reporting, Confidentiality, and Privacy

In an emergency, go to a safe place and call 911.

The Department of Public Safety can also provide assistance and contact the police. Public Safety can be reached at:

  • South Orange Campus (400 South Orange Avenue, South Orange), (973) 761-9300
  • Law School (One Newark Center, 1109 Raymond Blvd., Newark), (973) 462-8725
  • Nursing Program at Georgian Court (900 Lakewood Avenue, Lakewood), (973) 761-9300 or (732) 987-2616 (GC)
  • Interprofessional Health Sciences Campus (340 Kingsland Street, Nutley), (973) 542-6600

A. Reporting. Anyone subjected to sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, and/or retaliation is strongly encouraged to contact the University’s Title IX Coordinator, and in the case of students, a Deputy Title IX Coordinator or Public Safety. They can provide information about the variety of available reporting options and support services, (including counseling and medical help), and can assist in contacting law enforcement. The best person to contact depends on whether the individual wishes to make a confidential report or is a student or employee, but any individual listed below can assist in accessing resources. The reporting options are listed below:

1. Confidential Reporting for Students. 
Communications made in confidence to a person with a legal privilege in the course of their professional work means that person cannot disclose the matter to anyone unless there is a risk of harm or permission is granted. Confidential and legally privileged resources can be found at:

  • Counseling and Psychological Services, (973) 761-9500 or (973) 761-9300 after hours
  • Health Services, (973) 761-9175
  • Campus Ministry, (973) 761-9545
  • Law School Chaplain, (973) 642-8859

2. Confidential Reporting for Employees. 
Ethics Point. A report can be made through Ethics Point, a confidential and anonymous reporting service via their web site, https://www.shu.edu/compliance/compliance-ethics-point.cfm or by phone at 1 (888) 236-7522.

The Employee Assistance Program offers confidential counseling for employees.  More information is available at at: https://www.shu.edu/human-resources/upload/Seton-Hall-University-Employee-Assistance-Programs.pdf or by calling (877) 622-4327.

3.  Private Reporting for Students and Employees.  
While the privilege of confidentiality is limited to persons with a recognized legal privilege, the following individuals will always respect an individual’s privacy and will not share private information beyond what is required under federal or state law. In some matters, the University may be required to take action, even if the person whose rights are alleged to have been violated does not wish to participate, including when there is a threat of harm, a pattern of misconduct, other information, involvement of a minor, actual or threatened violence, or use of a weapon. They will provide information about reporting options and procedures, assist in facilitating medical care, contacting law enforcement, and arranging other accommodations that may be needed.

a. If the report involves actions by a student at the South Orange Campus or Nursing Program at Georgian Court, please contact:

Karen Van Norman
Associate Vice President and Dean of Students, 
Deputy Title IX Coordinator
University Center, Rm. 237
Seton Hall University, 400 South Orange Ave., South Orange, NJ 07079
Phone: (973) 761-9076
Email: karen.vannorman@shu.edu

b.  If the report involves actions by a student at the Law School, please contact:

Cara H. Foerst, J.D.
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs 
Deputy Title IX Coordinator
3rd Floor, Rm. 305
Seton Hall University School of Law, 1109 Raymond Blvd., Newark, NJ 07102
Phone: (973) 642-8707
Email: cara.foerst@shu.edu

c.  If the report involves actions by a student at the Interprofessional Health Sciences Campus, please contact:

Lindsey Hresko
Director of Student Life
Deputy Title IX Coordinator
Room 1525
Seton Hall University, 340 Kingsland Street, Nutley, NJ 07110
Phone: (973) 542-6978
Email: lindsey.hresko@shu.edu

d.  If the report involves actions by an employee, a professor, or a vendor of the University at any location, please contact:

Lori A. Brown
Director of EEO Compliance, Title IX Coordinator
Office of EEO and Title IX Compliance
Presidents Hall, Rm. 4A
Phone: (973) 313-6132
Email: lori.brown@shu.edu

4.  Reporting to Law Enforcement.
The University strongly encourages individuals to make a report to law enforcement of all incidents of sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence, and/or stalking in addition to and/or separate from a report made to the University. Contact information for local law enforcement can be found below.

  • South Orange Police Department – (973) 763-3000
  • Newark Police Department – (973) 733-6000
  • Nutley Police Department – (973) 284-4940
  • Clifton Police Department – (973) 470-5900
  • Lakewood Police Department – (732) 363-0200
  • Essex County Rape Care Center - 1(877) 733-2273 (Hot Line); (973) 746-0800 ext. 301 (staff)

Physical evidence, including documents, emails, texts, photos, videos, and clothing, should be preserved and law enforcement can always help in doing so.

5.  A variety of additional resources, including off-campus confidential resources for students and employees, are listed on the Resources and Contacts page: https://www.shu.edu/title-ix/support-resources.cfm.

6.  Responsible Employees
All University employees who do not have a legal privilege of confidentiality are considered to be “Responsible Employees” and are required to disclose any report of sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence; stalking and/or retaliation to the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator (see https://www.shu.edu/compliance/responsible-employees-titleix.cfm.)

7.  In all matters involving the abuse, sexual or otherwise, of a child, the matter should be immediately reported to the New Jersey Department of Children and Families by calling 1-877-NJ ABUSE or 1-877-652-2873.

8. In matters where there is a serious or immediate threat to the campus community, the University may issue a timely warning or emergency notification to the community of the threat.

VI. Responsive Action

A.  The University’s procedures for responding to allegations of violations vary depending on whether the alleged actor is a student, employee, faculty member, or non-member of the community.

B.  Review of complaints against employees, including faculty members, will be guided by: 

C.  Review of complaints against students will be guided by: The Code of Student Conduct or the Law School Honor Code. 

D. The University reserves the right to take appropriate responsive action. Responsive action may include discipline up to and, including termination or expulsion from the University. The University may also impose interim and/or protective measures prior to any finding or determination.

Sanctions are disclosed as required by law.

E.  The University may refer non-members of the community to law enforcement or ban or limit their entrance or participation in University activities.

VII. Resources and Support

Information about important resources, including confidential medical, psychological, and ministerial counseling, as well as off-campus support services can be found on the Resources Page, at https://www.shu.edu/title-ix/support-resources.cfm

VIII. Responsible Offices

  • Office of EEO and Title IX Compliance

IX. Related Resources

  • Policy Against Discrimination and Retaliation
  • Annual Security Report at: https://www.shu.edu/public-safety/students-right-to-know.cfm 
  • Campus Sexual Assault Victim’s Bill of Rights
  • Employee Code of Conduct
  • Policy On Consensual Relationships
  • Guidelines for Responding to Complaints of Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation
  • Law School Honor Code
  • Policy for Minors on Campus
  • Statement of Non-Discrimination
  • Student Code of Conduct
  • Violence Prevention Policy 

X. Approved 

Approved by Mary J. Meehan, Ph.D., Interim President, on the recommendation of the Executive Cabinet on August 23, 2018.

XI. Effective Date

August 23, 2018

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