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Policies and Procedures

For specific policies relating to University employees, please visit the Department of Human Resources.

Pacific community members shall be able to pursue their interests in a safe and respectful environment free from any form of sexual misconduct. The University will not tolerate such acts against its members, will evaluate known incidents of alleged sexual misconduct, and, when appropriate, apply student conduct action.

Violations of the Sexual Misconduct Policy are forms of sexual harassment, which constitute prohibited sex-based discrimination, under Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and other public laws and their associated regulations. University of the Pacific addresses Sexual Misconduct Policy violations as forms of prohibited gender-based discrimination not only as violations of the Student Code of Conduct, but also as a gender-based discrimination grievance through the Student Conduct Review process. Therefore, the process of review by the Student Conduct Review Board is Pacific's gender-based discrimination grievance procedure under Title IX.

This policy pertains to incidents of sexual misconduct between students or when the alleged perpetrator is a student. Alleged victims may be of any gender or sexual orientation. This policy defines sexual misconduct and the activities that constitute a violation; identifies procedures for responding to incidents; outlines options for reporting alleged violations; and explains the student conduct hearing process for alleged violations. In instances where a student asserts that a faculty or staff member has engaged in sexual misconduct, a student should make a report with the Office of Human Resources or alert the Director of Student Conduct and Community Standards who will assist the student in making a report. 

Reporting is the only way the University can take action against an alleged violator of the policy. Students may choose to file a report of alleged sexual misconduct at any point in time; however, anyone that is made aware of an alleged assault is strongly encouraged to report incidents to appropriate University officials as soon as possible.  Reporting within 72 hours will help ensure that a student receives appropriate medical attention and emotional support. Timely reporting will also aid in the collection and preservation of potential evidence.  In order to provide the level of care to reporting of such events and to avoid any failures of communications, the University expects that a student's reporting of alleged incidents of sexual misconduct should include an electronic, email, or in-person report to a University staff member who is at the director or higher level in administration.

The University encourages victims of sexual misconduct to report it to University officials, but recognizes that some victims are hesitant to report to University officials because they fear that they themselves may be accused of policy violations, such as underage drinking at the time of the incident. It is in the best interests of our community that as many victims as possible choose to report to University officials. To encourage reporting, the University pursues a policy of offering victims amnesty from policy violations related to the incident. 

The University reserves the right to take whatever measures it deems necessary in response to an allegation of sexual misconduct in order to protect students' rights and personal safety. Such measures include, but are not limited to, modification of living arrangements, interim suspension from campus pending a hearing, and reporting to the local police. Prosecution by the criminal justice authorities is not a requirement for the student conduct process to be initiated.  

Not all forms of sexual misconduct will be deemed to be equally serious offenses, and the university reserves the right to impose differing sanctions, ranging from verbal warning to dismissal, depending on the severity of the offense. The university will consider the concerns and rights of both the complainant and the person accused of sexual misconduct when making determinations.

University Policies & Definitions

Sexual misconduct offenses include, but are not limited to:

  • Sexual Harassment
  • Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse (or attempts to commit same)
  • Non-Consensual Sexual Contact (or attempts to commit same)
  • Sexual Exploitation

13.1.    Sexual Harassment

Gender-based verbal or physical conduct that unreasonably interferes with or deprives someone of educational access, benefits, or opportunities.

Three Types of Sexual Harassment

13.1.1.  Hostile Environment includes any situation in which there is harassing conduct that is sufficiently severe, pervasive and objectively offensive that it alters the conditions of education or employment, from both a subjective (the alleged victim's) and an objective (reasonable person's) viewpoint.

Consideration is given to the following:

  • the frequency of the conduct;
  • the nature and severity of the conduct;
  • whether the conduct was physically threatening;
  • whether the conduct was humiliating;
  • the effect of the conduct on the alleged victim's mental or emotional state;
  • whether the conduct was directed at more than one person;
  • whether the conduct arose in the context of other discriminatory conduct;
  • whether the conduct unreasonably interfered with the  alleged victim's educational or work performance; or
  • whether the statement is a mere utterance of an epithet which engenders offense in an employee or student, or offends by mere discourtesy or rudeness:
  • whether the speech or conduct deserves the protections of academic freedom.

13.1.2. Quid pro quo sexual harassment exists when there are:

  • unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature; and
  • submission to or rejection of such conduct results in adverse educational or employment action.

13.1.3. Retaliatory harassment is any adverse employment or educational action taken against a person because of the person's participation in a complaint or investigation of discrimination or sexual misconduct.

13.2. Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse (Stranger/Non-Stranger Rape)

  • any sexual intercourse (anal, oral, or vaginal),
  • however slight,
  • with any object,
  • by a man or woman upon a man or a woman,
  • without consent, as defined by this policy. Silence does not constitute consent.

13.3.  Non-Consensual Sexual Contact (Sexual Battery)

  • any intentional sexual touching,
  • however slight,
  • with any object,
  • by a man or a woman upon a man or a woman,
  • without consent as defined in this policy. Silence does not constitute consent.

13.4.  Sexual Exploitation

Occurs when a student takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for his/her own advantage or benefit, or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited, and that behavior does not otherwise constitute one of other sexual misconduct offenses. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to:

  • prostituting another student;
  • voyeurism, non-consensual  photography, video or audio-taping of sexual activity, individuals dressing or undressing, showering or engaged in other behavior considered private
  • going beyond the boundaries of consent (such as letting your friends hide in the closet to watch you having consensual sex);
  • knowingly transmitting an STI or HIV to another student.

*as defined in this policy 

13.5. Consent

13.5.1. Sexual activity shall not take place unless consent is freely given. Freely given consent requires that the participants are fully conscious; are equally free to act; have clearly communicated a mutually understood, sincere desire to engage in a specific sexual activity; and are free to cease ongoing consensual activity at any time.

13.5.2. Consent is active, not passive. Silence, in and of itself, cannot be interpreted as consent.

12.5.3. Consent and/or non-consent to sexual activity may occur through both verbal and/or non-verbal communication. Participants engaged in sexual activity should not make assumptions about the activities in which the other person wants to engage. This is especially important when those assumptions are based on non-verbal communication.

13.5.4. Consent to one form of sexual activity cannot imply consent to other forms of sexual activity. Consensual participation in a sexual activity shows consent to that specific activity, but does not necessarily show consent to additional activity of a longer or more intense nature.

13.5.5. Previous relationships or consent cannot imply consent to future sexual acts.

13.5.6. Consent cannot be procured by use of physical force, compelling threats, intimidating behavior, or coercion.

13.5.7. Coercion is unreasonable pressure for sexual activity. Coercive behavior differs from seductive behavior based on the type of pressure someone uses to get consent from another. When someone makes clear to you that he or she does not want sex, wants to stop, or does not want to go past a certain point of sexual interaction, continued pressure beyond that point can be coercive.

13.5.8. In order to give consent, one must be of legal age, 18 years old.

13.5.9. If you have sexual activity with someone you know to be--or should know to be-mentally or physically incapacitated (by alcohol or other drug use, unconsciousness, or blackout), you are in violation of this policy. Incapacitation is a state where one cannot make a rational, reasonable decision. When incapacitated, one lacks the ability to know or understand critical elements of a decision about sexual interaction --who, what, when, where, why, or how.

13.5.10. This policy also covers someone whose incapacity results from mental disability, sleep, shock, involuntary physical restraint, or from the taking of a "date-rape" drug.

Possession, use and/or distribution of any substance including Rohypnol, Ketamine, GHB, Burundanga, etc., is prohibited. Administering one of these drugs to another student for the purpose of inducing incapacity is a violation of this policy. More information on these drugs can be found at www.911rape.org/

Use of alcohol or other drugs will never function to excuse behavior that violates this policy.

13.6. Sexual Activity

Intentional contact with the breasts, buttock, groin, or genitals, or touching another with any of these body parts, or making another touch you or themselves with or on any of these body parts; any intentional bodily contact in a sexual manner, though not involving contact with/of/by breasts, buttocks, groin, genitals, mouth or other orifice.

Intercourse however slight, meaning vaginal penetration by a penis, object, tongue or finger, anal penetration by a penis, object, tongue, or finger, and oral copulation (mouth to genital contact or genital to mouth contact).

13.7. Sanction Statement

13.7.1. Any student found responsible for violating the policy on Non-Consensual Sexual Contact (where no intercourse has occurred) will likely receive a sanction ranging from warning to dismissal, depending on the severity of the incident, and taking into account any previous campus conduct code violations.*

13.7.2. Any student found responsible for violating the policy on Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse will likely face a recommended sanction of suspension or dismissal.*

13.7.3. Any student found responsible for violating the policy on sexual exploitation or sexual harassment will likely receive a recommended sanction ranging from warning to dismissal, depending on the severity of the incident, and taking into account any previous campus conduct code violations.

*The conduct officer or board reserves the right to broaden or lessen any range of recommended sanctions in the complaint of serious mitigating circumstances or egregiously offensive behavior. Neither the initial hearing officer or review board nor any appeals committee or officer will deviate from the range of recommended sanctions unless compelling justification exists to do so.