Title IX adds domestic abuse, stalking to misconduct policies

Rosa Johnson, Managing editor

Additional offenses were added to Linfield’s Sexual Misconduct and Relationship Violence Policy and Procedure due to Title IX’s most recent changes.

At the monthly faculty assembly meeting on Oct. 6 Dean of Students and Vice President of Student Affairs and Athletics Susan Hopp, along with Vice President and General Counsel John McKeegan, presented the administrative reports on Title IX’s latest definitions.

Linfield’s Sexual Misconduct and Relationship Violence Policy and Procedure now include domestic and dating violence, non-consensual and forced sexual contact and harassment along with stalking.

“Any issue that is related to gender is a Title IX issue,” McKeegan said.

The school knows to take immediate action as soon as they are aware of any harassment that interferes with education.

Linfield takes a student conduct system approach for any issues within these issues.

As the Title IX Coordinator, Hopp works with Tomika Dew, Brenda DeVore Marshall, Lisa Baker and Jeff Mackay as deputies.

“We are mandatory reporters,” Hopp said. Hopp encourages students to use judgment in reporting suspicious and sexual acts to anyone on the team.

Investigators Betty Henninger and Carl Swanson are trained to deal with these issues within the school.

The team also encourages victims to pursue legal action or go to local resources such as Henderson House.

There is a presumption of innocence until proven guilty, but the entire process is confidential and every situation reported is to be investigated.

Many sexual misconducts go unreported and Hopp encourages survivors of any form of sexual discrimination to use on or off-campus resources to report.

Last March the Violence Against Women Act passed as a law that requires students, staff and faculty to report any suspicious actions.

(Reference to specific examples for VAWA http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/vawa_factsheet.pdf)
California recently passed Senate Bill 967 which requires affirmative consent at all public universities.

When a faculty member regarded this recent change and asked about Linfield’s policy, Hopp replied that SB-967 can be interpreted since Linfield has requires sobriety in order to give consent for the past four years.

Linfield’s Sexual Misconduct and Relationship Violence Policy and Procedure is 16 pages long and can be accessed online at http://www.linfield.edu/assets/files/policy/assault.pdf.

Hopp also sent a letter to the editor regarding the recent Title IX changes and can be read on Page 2 of this issue of The Linfield Review.

The college is always concerned with the safety of its students and wants to ensure that their education is the priority.