Sexual and Gender-based Misconduct Policy Governing Students

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Policy Name: Sexual and Gender-based Misconduct Policy Governing Students
Policy ID Number: 05-04-005
Version Effective Date: September 20, 2016
Policy Applies To: Students
Responsible Office: Student Affairs
Approved By: Dean of Students




New Jersey City University is a diverse, safe, and nondiscriminatory academic community whose existence depends on respect and civility, as well as a strict adherence to the standards of conduct set by its members. New Jersey City University expects that all members of the University community, students, faculty, administrators, or staff, conduct themselves such that they do not infringe upon the rights of others. Sex/Gender harassment, discrimination and misconduct, including sexual violence, sexual gender-based misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking are serious violations of these standards and will not be tolerated. New Jersey City University not only regards these actions to be violations of the standards of the Student Code of Conduct required of all persons associated with the institution (members of the University community, guests, and visitors), but also recognizes that these are violations of state and federal laws.

The University fully complies with all civil and/or criminal laws prohibiting harassment, discrimination, and sexual misconduct. Sexual misconduct is a violation of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, N.J.S.A. 10:5-1 et seq. The University is required to comply with Title IX of the Higher Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs and activities; the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA), which requires prompt, fair and impartial investigation and resolution of allegations of sexual assault, stalking, dating violence and domestic violence; and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (as amended in 1991).

Please note:

  • This policy will be reviewed and updated on an annual basis and as necessitated by changes/additions to local, state and federal laws.
  • This policy will be disseminated on an annual basis to all students, faculty, and staff via email; to new and transfer students via USB flash drives during New and Transfer Student Orientations, as well as within specific Title IX workshops and online trainings.

A. This policy covers all New Jersey City University students, and in particular students who:

  • Are Reporters of any form of sexual misconduct, including sexual assault and sexual misconduct, by any other person (student, employee, or others outside of the University community); and/or
  •  Are reported as allegedly engaging in behavior prohibited by this policy.

B. Please note that the term "student" includes all persons for whom the University maintains educational records, as defined by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 and related regulations; who have not yet been awarded his or her degree from the University, and includes undergraduate, graduate, professional, and non-matriculated students at the University. Additionally, this policy applies to participants in any University-related program or activity.

C. Throughout this policy, “Reporter” refers to the person making the allegation(s) of prohibited conduct and “Respondent” refers to the person alleged to have committed the prohibited conduct. When the Reporter is someone other than the victim of the alleged conduct, the victim also will be deemed the Reporter for purposes of the rights and options available under this policy.

D. Complaints Against Faculty, Staff and Third Parties – If the Respondent is a faculty or staff member, or third party who does business with the University, or is otherwise affiliated with the University, but not a University student, please refer to the NJCU Policy Prohibiting Discrimination and Harassment, 60.1.12, and Discrimination and Harassment Complaint Process for Complaints against University Employees and Individuals Who Do Business with the University, or contact the University’s Office of Employment Equity.

  • Students are entitled to appropriate support from the University and to be treated with respect, dignity, and sensitivity in connection with all incidents of conduct prohibited by this policy including where the Respondent is a faculty member, staff member, or other party affiliated or doing business with the University.
  • In all cases, the University shall strive to ensure that students receive all the rights and protections set forth in this policy, to the extent applicable.

According to the University Student Code of Conduct, this policy covers both on-campus and off-campus conduct, as described below:

  • A. On-Campus Violations: The campus includes the geographic confines of the University, including its land, institutional roads and buildings, its leased premises, the property, facilities and leased premises of organizations affiliated with the University, including University housing.
  • B. Off-Campus Violations: Off campus violations that affect a clear and distinct interest of the University are subject to disciplinary sanctions. As examples, sexual and gender based misconduct are within the University's interests when the behavior:
    • Involves conduct directed at or by a University student or other member of the University community (e.g., private house party, outside employment);
    • Occurs during University-sponsored events (e.g., field trips, social or educational functions, University-related travel, student recruitment activities, internships and service learning experiences);
    • Occurs during the events of organizations affiliated with the University, including the events of student organizations;
    • Occurs during a Study Abroad Program or other international travel;
    • Poses a disruption or threat to any members of the University community; or
    • Creates a hostile environment for any members of the University community.

The University’s Title IX Coordinator oversees compliance with all aspects of the sex/gender harassment, discrimination and misconduct. The Coordinator reports directly to the President of the University and is housed in the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action/Diversity. Questions about related policies should go to the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action/Diversity.

There is a Title IX team that has been created to ensure that the University's learning environment is free from all forms of sexual misconduct. It is the obligation of these units to be familiar with this policy and, where appropriate and possible, to participate in continuous trainings to guarantee that they are able to fulfill these responsibilities.

A. On Campus Resources
Title IX Coordinator
Lisa Marshall
Director, EEO/AA/Diversity
Hepburn 306
Office of Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action/Diversity; Tel: 201-200-3075

Deputy Title IX Coordinators
Jodi Bailey (students)
Associate Vice President for Student Affairs
Hepburn Hall, Room 303;  Tel: 201-200-3507

Dr. Maria Lynn (faculty)
Interim Associate Dean
William J. Maxwell College of Arts and Sciences
Karnoutsos Hall, Room 605; Tel: 201-200-3001

Robert Piaskowsky (staff)
Director, Talent Management, Learning & Development, Employee Relations
Office of Human Resources
Hepburn Hall, Room 105 Tel: 201-200-2067

The University encourages all members of the University community to be aware of not only the consequences of sexual misconduct as governed by the provisions of the Student Code of Conduct, but also the options available to Reporters. Reporters are urged to seek assistance using any of the additional resources provided below. All incidents will be taken seriously regardless of gender identity or expression, immigration status, disability or sexual orientation.

B. Additional On Campus Resources
The Counseling Center
Tel: 201-200-3165
Gilligan Student Union, Room 308
The Center provides both immediate crisis intervention and therapy to recent or past survivors of sexual violence. Students are seen either individually or in a group with others who have experienced similar trauma. Therapists can be accessed by appointment, walk-in, or after-hours emergency.

The Health and Wellness Center
Tel: 201-200-3456
Vodra Hall, Suite 107
The Center provides information and makes referrals to off-campus clinics, specialists, testing facilities, and pharmacies.

Department of Public Safety Department
Tel: 201-200-3128 or call 55 Emergency
Rossey Hall, Room 114/115
Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Open 24 hours, this is the office where individuals who have been violated can file a formal complaint. Appropriate Department of Public Safety staff can discuss available options and assist Reporter(s) to decide on a course of action. (For resident students, course of action can include a change in academic and/or living situations; for faculty, course of action can include change in office).

Speicher-Rubin Women’s Center for Equity and Diversity
Tel: 201-200-3189
Gilligan Student Union, Room 318
This Center provides advocacy, support services, information, and referrals to individuals who have, or who think they may have experienced sexual assault, sexual misconduct, stalking, and dating or domestic violence.

C. Off Campus Resources
Hudson S.P.E.A.K.S Against Sexual Violence assists survivors of sexual assault, ages 12 and above, in Hudson County. Hudson S.P.E.A.K.S. provides free and confidential services such as a 24-hour crisis hotline; 24-hour accompaniments to hospitals, courts, and law enforcement agencies, and individual counseling for survivors and their significant others; Christ Hospital, 179 Palisade Ave., Jersey City; 24-hour hotline, 201-795-5757

The Jersey City Police Department and Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Sexual Assault Response Team (SART), receive reports of incidents, investigates and makes decisions regarding arrest and prosecution. Emergency, 911

D. Inquiries may be made externally to:
Office for Civil Rights (OCR)
(180 day statute of limitations)
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-1100

Customer Service Hotline #: (800) 421-3481
Facsimile: (202) 453-6012
TDD#: (877) 521-2172
Web: Http://

U.S. Department of Civil Rights Division
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Educational Opportunities Section, PHB
Washington, D.C. 20530
Telephone: (202) 514-4092 or 1-877-292-3804 (toll-free)
Facsimile: (202) 514-8337

Sexual and gender-based misconduct offenses include, but are not limited to:

  • Sexual Harassment
  • Sexual Exploitation
  • Sexual Assault

A. Sexual Harassment is defined as any sexually oriented behavior of a deliberate or negligent nature which adversely affects one’s academic performance or work environment. It may involve conduct or comments that are unintentional as well as intentional. It may include the use of authority to emphasize the sexuality or sexual identity of an individual in a manner, which prevents the individual's access to the educational benefits and/or opportunities at NJCU. Sexual harassment will not be tolerated in any context including student/student, faculty/student, staff/student, or other relationship. This policy prohibits all forms of sexual harassment. It includes, but is not limited to: quid pro quo harassment, hostile environment harassment, ender-based harassment.

  • Quid Pro Quo Harassment – Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitutes Sexual Misconduct when submission or rejection of such conduct is made a condition of academic evaluation or the conferral of any benefit. It involves an implicit or explicit threat that if the student does not accede to the sexual demands of someone in authority he or she will suffer adverse consequences.
  • Hostile Environment Harassment – Harassment that is unwelcome or pervasive enough can create an intimidating, hostile, and objectively offensive environment. It can limit a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from academic, athletic and/or other programs. 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. For instance, a single incident of rape is sufficiently severe to create a hostile environment. Although quid pro quo harassment, by definition, requires that the harasser be someone in a position of authority over the student, hostile environment harassment can occur when anyone in the campus community, including a student, harasses another person. An individual’s intent or lack of intent to harass is not relevant to the determination of whether harassment occurred.
  • Gender-Based Harassment includes harassment based on actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, which may include acts of aggression, intimidation, or hostility, whether verbal or non-verbal, graphic physical or otherwise, even if the acts do not involve conduct of a sexual nature. Submissions to or rejection of such conduct is made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of a person’s employment, academic standing, or participation in any University programs and/or activities, or is used as the basis for University decisions affecting the individual (often referred to as quid pro quo harassment).


    The following examples illustrate conduct that, if proven, the University would consider sexual harassment in either an employment or an academic setting:
    • Pressure for a dating, romantic, or intimate relationship;
    • Unwelcome, unnecessary and/or inappropriate touching, such as patting, pinching, hugging, or brushing against an individual’s body;
    • Pressure for or forced sexual activity;
    • Demeaning remarks about a person's gender or sexual orientation;
    • Inappropriate sexual innuendoes or humor;
    • Offensive sexual graffiti, pictures, or posters (about another individual or posted in common areas with the intent to offend);
    • Responsibility for incapacitation of another person (through alcohol, drugs, or any other means) for the purposes of compromising that person’s ability to give consent to the alleged sexual activity;
    • Observation of private sexual activity from a hidden location (e.g., closet) or through electronic means (e.g. FaceTime, Snapchat, Skype, livestreaming of images) without the consent of the participant(s);
    • Engagement in voyeurism (e.g. watching private sexual activity without the consent of the participants or viewing another person’s intimate parts, including genitalia, groin, breasts, or buttocks) in a place where that person would have a reasonable expectation of privacy;
    • Recording, photographing, disseminating, or transmitting intimate or sexual utterances, sounds, or images of private sexual activity and/or a person’s intimate parts (including genitalia, groin, breast or buttocks) without the consent of the participants;
    • E-mail and Internet use that violates this policy;
    • Unsolicited, unwelcome flirtations, advances, and/or propositions of a sexual nature;
    • Insults, jokes, or anecdotes that belittle or demean an individual or a group’s sexuality or gender;
    • Unwelcome sexually-oriented and/or obscene gestures, verbal expressions, or comments of a sexual nature about an individual’s body, clothing, or sexual experience;
    • Inappropriate displays of sexually suggestive objects or pictures;
    • Leering or ogling;
    • Uninvited letters, e-mails and telephone calls of a sexual nature; and
    • Suggestions that submission to or rejection of sexual advances will affect decisions regarding such matters as an individual’s employment, work assignments, or status, salary, academic standing, grades, receipt of financial aid and/or letters of recommendation, etc.;
    • Excluding a person from a program or activity based on pregnancy; and/or
    • Excluding a person from a program, activity, or facility based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

B. Sexual Exploitation occurs when one person takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for his/her own advantage or benefit or the benefit anyone other than the one being exploited, and that behavior does not otherwise constitute one of the other sexual misconduct offenses. Examples of sexual exploitation may include:

  • Invasion of sexual privacy;
  • Prostituting of another person;
  • Non-consensual digital, video or audio recording of nudity or sexual activity;
  • Unauthorized sharing or distribution of digital, video or audio recording of nudity or sexual activity;
  • Engagement in voyeurism;
  • Going beyond the boundaries of consent;
  • Knowingly exposing someone to or transmitting an STI, STD, or HIV to another person;
  • Intentionally or recklessly exposing one’s genitals in non-consensual circumstances; inducing another to expose their genitals; and/or
  • Sexually-based stalking and/or bullying may also be forms of sexual exploitation.

C. Sexual Assault includes unwelcome, sexual, sex-based and/or gender-based verbal, written, online and/or physical conduct. It can consist of non-consensual sexual contact or intercourse, including, but not limited to: (according and to the New Jersey criminal statute,

  • Sexual contact – intentional touching, either of the Reporter or when the Reporter is forced to touch, directly or through clothing, another person’s genitals, breasts, thighs, or buttocks;
  • Sexual penetration – vaginal intercourse, cunnilingus, fellatio, or anal intercourse whether by an acquaintance or a stranger without consent;
  • Attempted rape;
  • Sodomy – oral sex or anal intercourse; and
  • Sexual penetration with insertion of the hand, finger, or object into the anus or vagina either by the actor or upon the actor's instruction; the depth of insertion is not relevant.

D. Retaliation is the intentional action taken against an individual or a group because the individual or group made a report concerning sexual misconduct, was the subject of such a report, or otherwise participated in the University’s investigation of such a report.
The University recognizes that retaliation can take many forms, may be committed by an individual or a group against an individual or a group, and that a Respondent can also be the subject of retaliation by the Reporter or a third party. The University will take immediate and responsive action to any report of retaliation and may pursue disciplinary action as appropriate. The Title IX Coordinator will review all reports of retaliation and determine whether to impose immediate corrective action or whether to refer the report for investigation. In making this determination, the Title IX Coordinator may consult with the Title IX Team or members of the Title IX Team.

Consensual relationships, as defined in this policy, potentially create inconsistencies and perceptions of impropriety that can impair the integrity of academic, educational, and employment decisions. Such relationships can result in other claims, including sexual misconduct, and subject employees and NJCU to risks. Consensual relationships may implicate the New Jersey City University Policy Prohibiting Discrimination in the Workplace and the Uniform Ethics Code of the State of New Jersey [New Jersey Conflicts of Interest Law and New Jersey City University Code of Ethics Policy], as well as Title IX.

Managers, in supervisory roles, as well as staff and faculty entrusted with advising and educating students, are often placed in relationships of trust and power. These relationships should not be jeopardized by the appearance of or behaviors which result in favoritism or unfairness in the exercise of professional judgment or management. It is the expectation of NJCU that employees with teaching, supervisory, advisory or evaluative responsibility over other employees and/or students maintain the ethical, legal, behavioral and professional boundaries that should exist in such situations.

Therefore, NJCU strongly discourages consensual relationships between employees and students. Should an inappropriate consensual relationship develop, NJCU encourages the employee or involved persons to discuss its existence with the appropriate departments and examine alternative arrangements for the supervision, evaluation, teaching, grading, or advising of the employee or student.

A. Consent is a mutual and understandable exchange of affirmative words or actions which indicate permission to engage in mutually agreed upon sexual activity. Consent must be informed, voluntary, and actively given. Consent is free of force – including physical violence, threats, intimidation and coercion. It is the responsibility of the initiator to obtain clear and affirmative responses at each stage of sexual engagement. The absence of a negative response is not consent. An individual who is incapacitated by alcohol and/or other drugs both voluntarily or involuntarily consumed may not give consent. Past sexual activity does not imply ongoing future consent. If any of the following are present, consent cannot be given:

  • Incapacitation is a state where someone cannot make rational, reasonable decisions because s/he lacks the capacity to give knowing consent (e.g. to understand the “who, what, when, where, why, or how” of their sexual interaction).
  • Sexual activity with someone who is mentally or physically incapacitated by alcohol or drug use, unconsciousness, or blackout
  • A person whose incapacity results from mental disability, sleep, involuntary physical restraint, or from the consumption of rape drugs
  • Alcohol related incapacity results from a level of alcohol ingestion that is more severe than impairment, being under the influence, drunkenness or intoxication. Evidence of incapacity may be detected from context clues, such as:
    • Slurred speech
    • Bloodshot eyes
    • The smell of alcohol on his/her breath
    • Shaky equilibrium
    • Vomiting
    • Unusual behavior
    • Unconsciousness
      Please note that these signs alone do not necessarily indicate incapacitation.
  • Force is the use of physical violence and/or imposing on someone physically to gain sexual access. Force also includes threats, intimidation (implied threats) and/or coercion that overcome resistance.
  • Coercion is unreasonable pressure for sexual activity. Coercion is the use of emotional manipulation to persuade someone to do something they may not want to do such as being sexual or performing certain sexual acts. Being coerced into having sex or performing sexual acts is not consenting to having sex.

B. Acquaintance rape and date rape are terms used to describe a rape in which the Reporter knows the rapist. They may have dated previously, had a class together, met at a party or be relatives or friends. Regardless of any prior relationship that may have existed, if one person forces another to submit to sexual contact, the act is still a form of sexual assault.

C. Intimate Partner Violence (dating and domestic violence) is a pattern of behavior in an intimate relationship that is used to establish power and control over another person through fear and intimidation.

A pattern of behavior is typically determined based on the repeated use of words and/or actions and inactions in order to demean, intimidate, and/or control another person. This behavior can be sexual, verbal, emotional and/or physical. Examples of intimate partner violence include, but are not limited to:

  • Slapping
  • Pulling hair
  • Punching
  • Damaging one’s property
  • Driving recklessly to scare someone
  • Name calling
  • Humiliating one in public
  • Harassment directed toward a current or former partner or spouse
  • Threats of abuse such as threatening to hit, harm, or use a weapon on another (whether reporting party or acquaintance, friend, or family member of the reporting party), or other forms of verbal threats

D. Stalking involves any behaviors or activities occurring on more than one occasion that collectively instill fear in the Reporter and/or threaten her/his safety, mental health, and/or physical health. Such behaviors or activities may include, but are not limited to non-consensual communications (face to face, telephone, e-mail), threatening or obscene gestures, surveillance, or showing up outside the targeted individual’s classroom or workplace. Stalking may precede sexual assault.

E. Confidentiality - Anyone who wishes to report sexual misconduct of any kind (including a past rape or abuse) can be assured that confidentiality will be maintained to the extent possible. Reporting a rape or an assault does not mean formal disciplinary or court action has been initiated. A permanent record of the receipt of complaint will be filed with the appropriate Title IX/Deputy Coordinator with an indication of the disposition of the complaint, and shall remain confidential, subject to court subpoena.

  • The record of any complaint that is upheld shall be made part of the Title IX personnel file of the Respondent for employees or the Office of the Dean of Students’ disciplinary records for students.
  • All formal hearing proceedings and all evidence introduced will be on the record and must be confidential, subject to court subpoena, pending the outcome of any disciplinary proceedings against the Respondent.

F. Retaliation is defined as any adverse action taken against a person participating in a protected activity because of his/her participation in that protected activity (subject to limitations imposed by the 1st amendment and/or Academic Freedom). Retaliation against an individual for an allegation, for supporting a reporting party or for assisting in providing information relevant to an allegation is a serious violation of University policy.

It is a violation of this policy for anyone to knowingly make false accusations of sexual misconduct. Failure to prove a claim of sexual misconduct, however, is not equivalent to making a false accusation. Sanctions may be imposed for making unwarranted or vindictive accusations of sexual misconduct.

All University employees have a duty to report violation of this policy, unless they are Confidential Reporters as indicated below. Complaints of the policy violation may be made by any member of the University community who has been directly affected by this behavior or who has reasonable cause to believe that a violation of the policy has taken place.

In order to make informed choices, it is important to understand confidentiality and mandatory reporting requirements. At NJCU, some resources may maintain confidentiality, which means they are not required to report actual or suspected discrimination or harassment to the appropriate University officials. This also means that they can offer options and advice without any obligation to inform an outside agency or individual unless the Reporter has requested that information be shared. Other resources exist for a Reporter to report crimes and policy violations; these resources will take action when an incident is reported to them:

a. On Campus Confidential Reporters

  • Licensed professional counselors and staff 
    The Counseling Center
    Tel: 201-200-3165
    Gilligan Student Union, Room 308
  • Health service providers and staff 
    The Health and Wellness Center
    Tel: 201-200-3456
    Vodra Hall, Suite 107
  • Advocates 
    Speicher-Rubin Women’s Center for Equity and Diversity
    Tel: 201-200-3189
    Gilligan Student Union, Room 318 B

Off-campus resources include: licensed professional counselors, local rape crisis counselors, domestic violence resources, local or state assistance agencies, and/or clergy. These individuals are required to file a report of the incident with the Title IX Coordinator and Department of Public Safety. The report will contain no information that would directly or indirectly identify the individual who experienced sexual misconduct.

Please note: In such cases where confidentiality is maintained, the University will be unable to conduct an investigation into the incident or take action against the alleged perpetrator.

A. Individuals are encouraged to bring forward complaints as soon as possible after the incident(s) in order that the most thorough and fair consideration of the matter may occur. Although there is no time limit on the reporting of formal charges with the University, the University may ultimately be unable to investigate if too much time has passed or if the accused student has graduated.

  • It is recommended that complaints be initiated within one calendar year of the alleged incident.
  • Early resolution of complaints can benefit the Reporter, the Respondent, and the University.
  • Factors that could negatively affect the University's ability to investigate include the loss of physical evidence (e.g., prompt medical examinations are critical to preserving the physical evidence of sexual assault), the potential departure of witnesses, or loss of memory.
  • If the reporting student or a witness has concerns that his or her own alcohol or drug use, or the fact that other prohibited activity was involved, the Office of the Dean of Students will not pursue disciplinary actions toward a student in violation of alcohol or drug use if the student is making a valid report of