Page tree


Policy identification number: To come

File: Ethical & Responsible Conduct Policies > Anti-Discrimination Policies

Sexual Misconduct

Policy summary

This policy states the expectations that the Fort Lewis College community should be free from sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment, sexual violence, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking.  It also explains how to report sexual misconduct committed by FLC community members.  Complaints managed through the Sexual Misconduct Policy are resolved in accordance with the Fort Lewis College Grievance Procedure.

Policy Owner

Vice President for Student Affairs

Approval Date

October 7, 2016

Effective Date

August 29, 2016

Search Terms

 s,vpsa, sexual, misconduct 

Scheduled for Review

 Spring 2020

I. Statement of Policy

    1. Notice of Non-Discrimination:  Fort Lewis College does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs and activities, as required by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.  Inquiries concerning the application of Title IX may be referred to Fort Lewis College’s Title IX Coordinator, or to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights.

      The Title IX Coordinator’s contact information is:

      Molly Wieser
      232 Miller Student Services
      Fort Lewis College
      Durango, CO 81301
      Telephone: 970-247-7241

      The Office of Civil Rights contact information is:

      Denver Office, Office for Civil Rights
      U.S. Department of Education
      Cesar E. Chavez Memorial Building
      1244 Speer Boulevard, Suite 310
      Denver, CO 80204-3582
      Telephone: 303-844-5695
      FAX: 303-844-4303; TDD: 800-877-8339


    2. The College’s Sexual Misconduct Policy applies to all students and to all employees regardless of their employment classification.  All Fort Lewis College community members should expect that they will be free from sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment, sexual violence, gender-based harassment, sexual exploitation, dating violence, domestic violence and stalking.  Upon becoming aware of sexual misconduct, the College will take immediate action to eliminate the misconduct, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects.
    3. Supervisors are required, as a condition of their employment, to enforce this policy by seeking to eliminate sexual misconduct in the workplace they supervise by reporting incidents of sexual misconduct and informing supervised employees about this policy and their obligations thereunder.
    4. All employees, regardless of their employment classifications, are required, as a condition of their employment, to abide by the Sexual Misconduct Policy.
    5. All students are required, as a condition of their enrollment and participation in activities of Fort Lewis College, to abide by this Sexual Misconduct Policy.  Student Organizations at the College and their members are required to abide by this policy in the conduct of their programs and activities.  Student Organizations include Registered Student Organizations, club sports, intramurals, and any other Fort Lewis College student groups or programs.
    6. It is critical that any member of the Fort Lewis College community, except those exempted by law, such as counselors or medical care providers, who believes that he or she has observed an incident of sexual misconduct in the College’s learning and work environment involving a member of the College community or who receives a report of alleged sexual misconduct from a member of the College community immediately refer this information to the Title IX Coordinator (hereinafter the “Coordinator”).
    7. If the College is to achieve its goals of preventing sexual harassment and taking prompt corrective action when sexual misconduct is suspected or occurs, members of the College community must feel free to report sexual misconduct and to participate in investigations and disciplinary proceedings.
    8. The College will work to prevent retaliation and respond strongly if retaliation occurs.  Retaliation includes, but is not limited to, threats, intimidation, coercion, or discrimination (including harassment), against any individual who has participated in the investigation or disciplinary process as a witness, complainant, or respondent.  Any complaints of retaliation are grounds for a separate complaint and disciplinary action.  Complainants or other participants in the investigation or disciplinary proceedings who experience retaliation should file a report online or report it in writing to the Coordinator.

II. Definitions

    1. Sexual Misconduct includes, but is not limited to, the following behaviors:
      1. Sexual Harassment.Sexual Harassment is defined as unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature.  Sexual harassment includes sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other visual, verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when (1) submission by an individual is made either an explicit or implicit term or condition of academic standing or employment; (2) submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as the basis for academic or employment decisions affecting the individual; or (3) the conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's academic or work performance or creating an intimidating or hostile academic, work or student living environment.  Determining what constitutes sexual harassment depends on the specific facts and context in which the conduct occurs. Sexual harassment may take many forms: subtle and indirect or blatant and overt.  For example, it may:
          1. Be conduct toward an individual of the opposite sex or the same sex;
          2. Occur between peers or between individuals in a hierarchical relationship;
          3. Be aimed at coercing an individual to participate in an unwanted sexual relationship or have the effect of causing an individual to change behavior; or
          4. Consist of repeated actions or may arise from a single or isolated incident if sufficiently egregious (such as an incident of sexual violence). 
        • Whether the unwanted sexual conduct rises to the level of sexual harassment is determined using both a subjective standard and an objective standard.  The more severe the conduct, the less need there is to show a repetitive series of incidents to prove a hostile environment, particularly if the harassment is physical.
      2. Gender-Based Harassment includes acts of unwelcome verbal, nonverbal, or physical aggression, intimidation, or hostility of a sexual nature based on actual or perceived gender, gender identity, gender expression, and/or nonconformity with gender stereotypes.

      3. Sexual Violence refers to physical nonconsensual sexual acts.  This includes:
          1. Nonconsensual Sexual Intercourse: Any penetration of the anus or vagina, however slight, with any body part or object, by one person upon another person, without consent and/or by force.
          2. Nonconsensual Sexual Contact: Intentional contact by a person, however slight, with the breasts, buttocks, groin, or genitals of another; or touching another with any of these body parts; or a person touching another or themselves with or on any of these body parts; or any other intentional bodily contact in a sexual manner without consent and/or with force.
      4. Sexual Exploitation occurs when a person takes nonconsensual sexual advantage of another person for one’s own benefit, or to benefit another. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to: prostituting another person; recording images or audio of another person’s sexual activity or nudity; distributing images or audio of another person’s sexual activity or nudity; or viewing another person’s sexual activity or nudity in a place where that person would have a reasonable expectation of privacy.
    2. Intimate Partner Violence includes:
      1. Domestic violence means violence committed by (1) a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim, (2) a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, (3) a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner, (4) any other person, against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person's acts under the relevant domestic or family violence laws.
      2. Dating violence means violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim; and where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors: (1) the length of the relationship; (2) the type of relationship; and (3) the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
    3. Stalking means engaging in 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 (i.e., following, contacting, or watching another person).
    4. Attempt means making an effort to achieve or complete sexual misconduct.   Attempts are also violations of this policy.
    5. Consent is affirmative, knowing, and voluntary words or actions that create a mutually understandable and clear agreement to engage in sexual activity.  It is the responsibility of each person involved in the sexual activity to ensure that he or she has the affirmative consent of the other or others to engage in the sexual activity. Silence, lack of protest, or resistance, by themselves, cannot be interpreted as consent.  Consent must be ongoing throughout a sexual activity and can be revoked at any time.  The existence of a dating relationship between the persons involved, or the fact of past sexual relations between them, by itself cannot be interpreted as consent.  Consent is not effectively given if force, threats, intimidation or coercion were involved, or if a person is incapable of giving consent due to use of drugs or alcohol, or due to intellectual or other disability.
    6. Fort Lewis College Community. The Fort Lewis College community includes all academic, educational, extracurricular, athletic, and other programs of the school, whether those programs are in Fort Lewis College facilities or at a program sponsored by the school elsewhere.  Members of the Fort Lewis College community include any employee, faculty member, student, or authorized volunteer.
    7. Student.  This policy applies to individuals who were students at the time of the alleged misconduct.  The term “student” means any person who has confirmed his/her admission, is a new student at Orientation, or who is currently enrolled in undergraduate and/or graduate courses, whether full-time or part-time, was enrolled in the previous semester, and/or is registered for a future semester.
    8. Title IX Coordinator.  The Title IX Coordinator is the individual responsible for receiving and overseeing all sexual misconduct reports and complaints and identifying and addressing any patterns or systemic problems that arise during the review of such complaints.  In addition, the Title IX Coordinator shall:
      1. Act as a liaison between the parties and the Fort Lewis College community.
      2. Review all evidence in a sexual misconduct case brought before Fort Lewis College’s Hearing Panel to determine whether the complainant is entitled to a remedy under Title IX that was not available through the Hearing Panel.
      3. Organize the activities of the Hearing Panel.
      4. Communicate regularly with law enforcement and other campus officials investigating cases and provide information to law enforcement unit personnel regarding Title IX requirements.
      5. Determine if law enforcement must be notified of reports of sexual misconduct.

III. Consensual Relationships

This section has been replaced with the Amorous Relationships policy.

IV. Reporting Sexual Misconduct 

Information or complaints of sexual misconduct should be directed to the Title IX Coordinator, 230 Miller Student Services, (970) 247-7241, or  Complaints concerning sexual misconduct may also be filed online at  Complainants may also file a report with campus police or local law enforcement at any time, in addition to filing a complaint with the College. Individuals who would like help can request it from the Title IX Coordinator, counselors, or health center employees.  If Fort Lewis College knows about possible sexual misconduct or discrimination through the filing of a complaint or other reliable information sources, it will conduct a prompt, thorough and impartial investigation and resolution.  Fort Lewis College will act to end discrimination, prevent its recurrence, and remedy its effects on victims and the Fort Lewis College community.  No one is required to notify law enforcement about sexual assault or sexual harassment if they do not wish to do so.  Similarly, individuals may report an incident to law enforcement without reporting to the College.  Individuals reporting that they were a victim of sexual harassment, sexual violence, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking will receive a resource sheet explaining their reporting options and available services.

V. Safety

The College’s primary concern is safety.  The College will not pursue additional disciplinary actions against victims or witnesses involved in the case who were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the incident.

VI. Confidentiality

Fort Lewis College will honor requests for confidentiality to the extent permitted by law.  While all efforts will be made to protect the employee’s and student’s privacy, confidentiality cannot be guaranteed when other members of the College community may be at risk, or when the College has reason to believe a crime has been committed.  In those cases, the College may be required to report information to law enforcement, and/or investigate and take action on the basis of the facts it discovers.  In addition, certain Fort Lewis College employees are be required to report sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator.

    1. Students who wish discuss an incident a confidential manner can contact: 
      1. A counselor at Fort Lewis College Counseling Center, (970) 247-7212, 230 Noble Hall.
      2. A medical professional at the Student Health Center, (970) 247-7355, 170 Miller Student Services Building.
    2. Any individual may access these confidential services: 
      1. Sex Assault Services Organization of Durango (SASO) 24-Hour Hotline, (970) 247-5400.
      2. Alternative Horizons Domestic Violence Hotline at (970) 247-9619.

VII. Interim Measures and Remedies

    1. Victims need not report incidents to law enforcement in order to receive protective measures and remedies.  Victims will receive written notice of the availability of interim measures and remedies at the time that their complaint is made to the Title IX Coordinator.  Victims may request these measures and remedies by responding to that communication, or at any time by contacting the Title IX Coordinator.
    2. Beginning at the time that a complaint is made, interim  measures and remedies for victims may include, but are not limited to: 
      1. “No contact” directives from the College;
      2. Assistance with civil or criminal protection orders;
      3. Ensuring that the victim and respondent do not attend the same classes or work in the same office;
      4. Moving the victim or respondent to a different residence hall;
      5. Providing counseling services;
      6. Providing medical services;
      7. Providing academic support services, such as tutoring;
      8. Arranging for the victim to re-take a course or withdraw from a class without academic or financial penalty;
      9. Reviewing any disciplinary actions taken against the victim to see if there is a causal connection between the harassment and the misconduct that may have resulted in the victim being disciplined.

VIII. Reporting Relevant Details

Responsible employees (faculty and FLC professional staff other than counselors and Health Center employees) must report all relevant details about alleged sexual misconduct involving FLC students, faculty, or staff, about which they know or have reason to know. This includes the names of the alleged perpetrator (if known), the student who experienced the alleged sexual misconduct, others involved in the alleged sexual misconduct, as well as relevant facts, including the date, time, and location of the alleged incident.

IX. Processing Complaints

Sexual misconduct complaints will be processed under the Fort Lewis College Grievance Procedures.

X. Reason for Policy

To initiate operating procedures for handling complaints of sexual misconduct on campus and supporting students who have experienced sexual misconduct off campus.

XI. Responsibilities

For following policy: All students and employees regardless of their employment classification
For enforcement of policy: Title IX Coordinator, Deputy Title IX Coordinators
For oversight of policy: Vice President for Student Affairs
For notification: Policy Librarian
For procedures implementing policy: Title IX Coordinator, Deputy Title IX Coordinators

Cross Referenced Policies

Fort Lewis College Grievance Procedure

Revision History

This policy supersedes Sexual Misconduct Policy approved Dec. 6, 2013. This revised policy was approved by the Board of Trustees on February 13, 2015 to bring the policy in alignment with the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act ("VAWA"), which amended the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act ("Cleary Act"), and imposed new obligations on colleges and universities under its Campus Sexual Violence Act ("SaVE Act") provision, Section 304, for which the U.S. Department of Education issued final regulations on October 20, 2014. Among other things, these regulations require prevention programs, reporting, and definitions regarding Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking. This revised policy addresses those regulations, defines additional terms, and brings the policy into alignment with the College's Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action policy approved by the Board of Trustees on October 17, 2014.

This revised policy was approved by the President's Cabinet on August 24, 2016 and the Board of Trustees on October 7, 2016. Revisions include (1) conflation of the two “Harassment” definitions of “Sexual Harassment” and “Hostile Environment Sexual Harassment” into one; (2) waiving adjudication of substance abuse conduct violations for victims or witnesses who wish to make a complaint; (3) expansion of confidential reporting options; (4) articulation of “Interim Remedies” for victims; and (5) articulation of the requirement that responsible employees must report sexual misconduct.

July 2018 - technical change removing the Consensual Relationships section as this section is replaced by the Amorous Relationships policy.