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Laws and Definitions



Additional information about the federal laws related to SXU's Sexual Misconduct and Harassment Policy can be found below.

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX) is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in federally funded educational programs and activities. Title IX states that:

"No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance."

Title IX applies to any institution receiving federal financial assistance from the Department of Education, including state and local educational agencies. Educational programs and activities that receive federal funds from the Department of Education must operate in a nondiscriminatory manner. Also, a recipient may not retaliate against any person for opposing an unlawful educational practice or policy, or because a person made charges, testified or participated in any complaint action under Title IX. Additional information can be found on the Department of Education's website.

The federal Violence Against Women Act amendments and accompanying regulations (VAWA) clarify the duties of universities to provide policies and prompt and equitable procedures for responding to complaints of sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence and stalking. Under VAWA, universities must also must provide education and training to the campus community regarding awareness and prevention strategies on sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.

The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act) is a federal law and accompanying regulations that require colleges and universities to disclose certain timely and annual information about campus crime, and security and safety policies. Compliance with the Clery Act is a condition for universities that participate in the federal student aid program, and is administered by the U.S. Department of Education's Federal Student Aid Office. Saint Xavier University's Annual Security Report includes all reportable offenses occurring where classes are held, adjacent parking lots and public sidewalks, for the entire calendar year. You can find the Annual Security Report below, or you can view it in our Annual Security and Fire Safety Report (PDF), 

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 was designated to protect the privacy of educational records, to establish the rights of students to inspect and review the educational records, and to provide guidelines for the correction of inaccurate or misleading data through informal and formal hearings.

For information about this Act, please see the Illinois Preventing Sexual Violence in Higher Education Act.

For information, please see the Sexual Harassment in Higher Education (PDF).


Definition of Sexual Harassment

The Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and the State of Illinois regard Sexual Harassment, a specific form of discriminatory harassment, as an unlawful discriminatory practice.

Saint Xavier University has adopted the following definition of Sexual Harassment in order to address the unique environment of an academic community.

Acts of sexual harassment may be committed by any person upon any other person, regardless of the sex, sexual orientation, and/or gender identity of those involved.

Sexual Harassment, as an umbrella category, includes the offenses of sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking, and is defined as:

Conduct on the basis of sex/gender or that is sexual that satisfies one or more of the following:

  1. Quid Pro Quo:
  2. an employee of the Saint Xavier University,
  3. conditions the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of the Saint Xavier University,
  4. on an individual's participation in unwelcome sexual conduct;
  5. Sexual Harassment:
  6. unwelcome conduct,
  7. determined by a reasonable person,
  8. to be so severe, and
  9. pervasive, and,
  10. objectively offensive,
  11. that it effectively denies a person equal access to Saint Xavier University's education program or activity.
  12. Sexual assault, defined as:
  13. Sex Offenses, Forcible:
    1. Any sexual act directed against another person,
    2. without the consent of the Complainant,
    3. including instances in which the Complainant is incapable of giving consent.
  14. Sex Offenses, Non-forcible:
  15. Incest:
  16. Non-forcible sexual intercourse,
  17. between persons who are related to each other,
  18. within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by Illinois law.
  19. Statutory Rape:
  20. Non-forcible sexual intercourse,
  21. with a person who is under the statutory age of consent of 17.
  22. Dating Violence, defined as:
  23. violence,
  24. on the basis of sex,
  25. committed by a person,
  26. who is in or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the Complainant.
  27. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the Complainant's statement and with consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. For the purposes of this definition--
  28. Dating violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse.
  29. Dating violence does not include acts covered under the definition of domestic violence.
  30. Domestic Violence, defined as:
  31. violence,
  32. on the basis of sex,
  33. committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the Complainant,
  34. by a person with whom the Complainant shares a child in common, or
  35. by a person who is cohabitating with, or has cohabitated with, the Complainant as a spouse or intimate partner, or
  36. by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the Complainant under the domestic or family violence laws of Illinois, or
  37. by any other person against an adult or youth Complainant who is protected from that person's acts under the domestic or family violence laws of Illinois.

*To categorize an incident as Domestic Violence, the relationship between the Respondent and the Complainant must be more than just two people living together as roommates. The people cohabitating must be current or former spouses or have an intimate relationship.

  1. Stalking, defined as:
  2. engaging in a course of conduct,
  3. on the basis of sex,
  4. 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.
  5. For the purposes of this definition--
  6. Course of conduct means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the Respondent directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person, or interferes with a person's property.
  7. Reasonable person means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the Complainant.
  8. Substantial emotional distress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may but does not necessarily require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.

Saint Xavier University reserves the right to impose any level of sanction, ranging from a reprimand up to and including suspension or expulsion/termination, for any offense under this policy.

SXU-Specific Terminology

Advisor means a person chosen by a party or appointed by the institution to accompany the party to meetings related to the resolution process, to advise the party on that process, and to conduct cross-examination for the party at the hearing, if any.

Complainant means an individual who is alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute harassment or discrimination based on a protected class; or retaliation for engaging in a protected activity.

Complaint (formal) means a document submitted and signed by a Complainant or signed by the Title IX Coordinator alleging harassment or discrimination based on a protected class or retaliation for engaging in a protected activity against a Respondent and requesting that the Saint Xavier University investigate the allegation.

Formal Grievance Process means "Process A," a method of formal resolution designated by the Saint Xavier University to address conduct that falls within the policies included below, and which complies with the requirements of the Title IX regulations (34 CFR § 106.45).

Investigator means the person or persons charged by Saint Xavier University with gathering facts about an alleged violation of this Policy, assessing relevance and credibility, synthesizing the evidence, and compiling this information into an investigation report and file of directly related evidence.

Notice means that an employee, student, or third-party informs the Title IX Coordinator or other Official with Authority of the alleged occurrence of harassing, discriminatory, and/or retaliatory conduct.

Process A means the Formal Grievance Process detailed in the Sexual Misconduct and Harassment Policy and defined above.

Process B means the administrative resolution procedures detailed in the Student Handbook that apply only when Process A does not, as determined by the Title IX Coordinator.

Respondent means an individual who has been reported to be the perpetrator of conduct that could constitute harassment or discrimination based on a protected class; or retaliation for engaging in a protected activity.

Sexual Harassment is the umbrella category including the offenses of sexual harassment, sexual assault, stalking, and dating violence and domestic violence. See the Grievance Process section of the website for greater detail.

Title IX Team refers to the Title IX Coordinator, Deputy Title IX Coordinators, Investigators, Hearing Board Members and any member of the Grievance Process Pool.