Nondiscrimination/Title IX

Title 9

“One goal of our vision at Seattle Pacific is to model grace-filled community, and this motivates us to build a community in which every individual is valued and respected. To this end, we strive to recognize our differences and treat each other and all people with respect, kindness, and civility. Within this vision for our community, we are also committed to maintaining a respectful workplace and learning environment free from all types of harassment and intimidation, including sexual harassment.” — President Daniel J. Martin

Notice of Nondiscrimination Policy

It is the policy of Seattle Pacific University not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability in its programs or activities, as required by applicable laws and regulations. As a religious educational institution operating under the auspices of the Free Methodist Church of North America, Seattle Pacific University is permitted and reserves the right to prefer employees or prospective employees on the basis of religion.

If you have any questions regarding this policy, please contact either of the following persons:

Vice President for Student Life

Student Union Building, Room 209
Seattle Pacific University
3307 Third Avenue West, Suite 212
Seattle, WA 98119

Phone: 206-281-2123
Email: jordaj2@spu.edu

Director of Human Resources

330 W. Nickerson St.
Seattle Pacific University
3307 Third Avenue West, Suite 302
Seattle, WA 98119

Phone: 206-281-2678
Email: womelg@spu.edu

If you believe you may have been discriminated against in violation of this policy, immediately contact one of the individuals designated above, or refer to the University's Discrimination Grievance Procedures.

Printed copies of the grievance procedures may be obtained from the Office of Student Life or the Office of Human Resources.

Title IX: Sex Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, and Other Sexual Misconduct Policies

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (“Title IX”), 20 U.S.C. §§ 1681 et seq., is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs or activities operated by recipients of federal financial assistance. Programs and activities include, but are not limited to, recruitment, admissions, financial aid, athletics, course offerings, and employment. Sexual harassment, which includes acts of sexual violence, is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX. It is the policy of Seattle Pacific University not to discriminate on the basis of sex in its programs or activities, as required by applicable law.

Title IX and its implementing regulations require that Seattle Pacific University, as a recipient of federal financial assistance, designate at least one employee to coordinate its efforts to comply with and carry out its responsibilities under Title IX, including investigating any complaints of sex discrimination. The name, title, and contact information for Seattle Pacific University’s Title IX Coordinator are listed below.

Title IX Coordinator

Gary Womelsduff
Director of Human Resources

330 W Nickerson
3307 3rd Ave W, Suite 302
Seattle WA 98119

Phone: 206-281-2678
Fax: 206-281-2846
Email: womelg@spu.edu

Individuals with questions or concerns about Title IX, and/or those who wish to file a complaint of noncompliance, may contact Seattle Pacific University’s Title IX coordinator. In particular, any person who is aware of an incident of sexual harassment involving a student or employee of Seattle Pacific University, including any acts of sexual violence, should report such incident to the Title IX coordinator. Complaints of sexual harassment or other sex discrimination may also be made to the following individuals (who, together with the Title IX Coordinator, are referred to in other University policies as “sexual misconduct report receivers”):

Nicole Custer
Associate Director of Human Resources
Email: custern@spu.edu
Phone: 206-281-2676

Cheryl Michaels
Associate Director of Safety and Security
Email: michac@spu.edu
Phone: 206-281-2625

Charles Strawn
Dean of Students for Community Life
Email: cstrawn@spu.edu
Phone: 206-281-2845

Gabriel Jacobsen
Director of Residence Life
Email: jacobseng@spu.edu
Phone: 206-281-2067

Lynnea Common
Assistant Director of Residence Life
Email: lcommon@spu.edu
Phone: 206-281-2478

Susan Okamoto Lane
Dean of Multi-Ethnic and Wellness Programs
Email: solane@spu.edu
Phone: 206-281-2598

Residence Life Coordinators and Area Coordinators

Individuals may also contact the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights with inquiries concerning the application of Title IX. Seattle Pacific University prohibits retaliation against those who raise complaints or participate in the complaint investigation and resolution process.

Sexual misconduct report receivers seek to protect the privacy of victims but cannot guarantee complete confidentiality. If you would like to learn about confidential resources on and off campus, you can ask a sexual misconduct report receiver but do not share specific information about any incident you wish to keep private.  Students may also go to the Student Counseling Center to speak with a counselor confidentially.

Pursuant to federal law and University policy, all University employees other than pastoral counselors, professional counselors, Health Center staff, and student employees are required to report information disclosed to them about sexual misconduct to University administrators. For further guidance, University employees should consult Additional information for mandatory reporters, below.

All students are encouraged to participate in helping the University be free from sexual misconduct. If you are a student and another student tells you that he or she was the victim of sexual misconduct while at the University, you should strongly encourage the victim to speak with one of the sexual misconduct report receivers or consider personally reporting the incident to a sexual misconduct report receiver if the victim is reluctant to do so.

In addition to speaking with a sexual misconduct report receiver, reports of sexual misconduct may also be made using the SPU Online Reporting Form

Additional information for students: Seattle Pacific University’s Sexual Misconduct Policy for students is contained in the undergraduate Student Handbook. The Student Handbook also contains Nondiscrimination Complaint Procedures. Additional policies regarding gender-based violence and other campus security information required by The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act on the Office of Safety and Security website.

Additional information for faculty: Seattle Pacific University’s Policy on Sexual Harassment for faculty is contained in Section 9.6 of the Faculty Handbook. The Faculty Handbook also contains a Policy on Nondiscrimination in Section 9.4.

Additional information for staff: Seattle Pacific University’s Policy on Sexual Harassment for staff is contained in the Staff Handbook. The Staff Handbook also contains a Notice of Nondiscrimination Policy and a set of Discrimination Grievance Procedures.

Additional information for mandatory reporters.  The following documents provide additional guidance regarding responsibilities of University employees and officials to report crimes and sexual misconduct:

Also, regardless of whether a University employee or official has reporting obligations, such persons are encouraged to refer to the University’s Checklist for Responding to Disclosures of Sexual Misconduct to know how to respond if someone shares that he or she has been a victim of sexual misconduct.

What to Do if You Are a Victim of Sexual Misconduct

If you are a victim of sexual misconduct, then depending on the severity of the misconduct you should take some or all of the following actions:

  • Do not assume it is your fault: No one deserves to be mistreated. It is not your fault if someone else has abused or assaulted you. You have choices, and you can get help.
  • Seek safety: If you may still be in danger, get to a safe place as soon as you can and seek assistance (e.g., from campus security, local law enforcement, or your personal support network). Consider developing a personal safety plan, obtaining a campus protective order, and/or obtaining a court-issued protective order. The University’s Office of Safety and Security can assist with each of these items (call 206-281-2922). A campus protective order is a no-contact order that is issued and enforced by the University (e.g., through SPU disciplinary processes). A no-contact order, restraining order, or similar order that would be enforceable by the police and/or courts would need to be obtained from a court of law.
  • Obtain medical treatment: Get medical attention as soon as possible to treat any injuries, and document relevant evidence.
    • You can receive a sexual assault exam at the Harborview Center for Sexual Assault & Traumatic Stress: 206-744-1600. The Washington State Crime Victims Compensation Program (CVCP) will pay for the initial sexual assault exam by a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE).
    • SPU Health Services is available Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–12 p.m. and 1–4:30 p.m. Appointments can be made by calling 206-281-2231. Health Services can assist with most medical concerns, including pregnancy and STD testing following an assault.
  • Preserve evidence: Try to preserve all physical evidence.
    • In general, "evidence" is anything that can help prove that an incident of sexual misconduct occurred. Evidence can vary depending on the incident. For example, evidence of stalking may include emails, texts, or other examples of such unwanted communications - in this case, be sure to keep copies of all such messages. For sexual assault, evidence may include blood, semen, hair, clothing, or other items that can help identify the perpetrator. A SANE exam (described above) can help you collect and preserve evidence.
    • It is important to preserve evidence to prove a criminal offense, press civil charges, or obtain a protective order. It is also important to preserve evidence for use in any formal sexual misconduct proceedings at the University.
    • The manner of preserving evidence will depend on the type of evidence. For example, it may take the form of saving copies of emails, taking screen shots of texts, taking photographs of bruises, or receiving a sexual assault exam.
  • Report the incident to the University: Any student, employee, or visitor who believes he or she has been the victim of sexual misconduct is encouraged to report the behavior immediately to one of these Sexual Misconduct Report Receivers:
    • Charles Strawn, Dean of Students for Community Life, 206-281-2845.
    • Susan Okamoto Lane, Dean of Multi-Ethnic and Wellness Programs, 206-281-2598.
    • Gabriel Jacobsen, Director of Residence Life, 206-281-2067.
    • Lynnea Common, Assistant Director of Residence Life, 206-281-2478.
    • Gary Womelsduff, Title IX Coordinator / Director of Human Resources, 206-281-2678.
    • Cheryl Michaels, Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Students/Associate Director of Safety and Security, 206-281-2625.
    • Nicole Custer, Associate Director of Human Resources, 206-281-2676.
    • Residence Life Coordinators and Area Coordinators

However, no one is required to disclose to University officials if he or she has been a victim of sexual misconduct.

While University officials will seek to protect the privacy of victims as far as reasonably possible in the circumstances, individuals wishing to report an incident of sexual misconduct should note that complete confidentiality cannot be guaranteed. Pursuant to federal law, all University employees (other than pastoral counselors, professional counselors, Health Center staff, and student employees) are required to report information disclosed to them about sexual misconduct to University administrators. If you would like to learn about confidential resources on and off campus, you can ask a Sexual Misconduct Report Receiver but do not share specific information about any incident you wish to keep private. You can also speak with on-campus mental health counselors at the Student Counseling Center, or off-campus rape crisis resources (together, "Confidential Reporters"). However, if there is an imminent concern for a person's health or safety, even these individuals may be required to disclose information. If the University provides accommodations or protective measures to a victim, the University will seek to keep such accommodations and measures confidential to the extent reasonably possible and to the extent such confidentiality would not impair the ability of the institution to provide the accommodations or measures.

Reported incidents of sexual misconduct will generally be reflected in aggregate statistics prepared and published for purposes of the University's compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act. However, these statistics do not contain personally identifying information. Aside from Clery Act disclosure requirements, University data about sexual misconduct generally is not subject to public recordkeeping requirements because the University is a private organization.

Students and employees who are victims of sexual misconduct and report such incidents to the University will not be disciplined by the University for any violation of the University’s drug or alcohol possession or consumption policies in which they have engaged in connection with the reported incident, or for any violation of the University’s student Lifestyle Expectations or employee Lifestyle Expectations. The University may require educational options, rather than disciplinary sanctions, in such cases.

  • Notify law enforcement: You have the option to notify law enforcement authorities. The phone number for the Seattle Police Department (SPD) is 911, and the emergency number for the University’s Office of Safety and Security is 206-281-2911. If you decide to make a report with SPD, the Office of Safety and Security can assist you through that process if you so choose. You may also decline to notify law enforcement authorities.
  • If you think someone may be stalking you:
    • Look for signs that indicate stalking behavior.
    • Most stalking does not end on its own. Early intervention is critical, and recognizing stalking behavior is the first step.
    • Clearly state to the stalker that you are not interested in the attention of the stalker and that you want the behavior to stop.
    • Create a log of stalking incidents, including date, time, location, and description of each event.
    • Seek support from the University’s Office of Safety and Security in doing some or all of the actions listed above.
  • Seek support on-campus and off-campus: Find someone you can safely talk to about the situation. Develop a network of support, such as friends and family. Also, utilize on-campus and off-campus resources, such as the following:
    • On-campus resources:
      • Office of Safety and Security: 206-281-2911 (for safety, security, and transportation).
      • Student Counseling Center: 206-281-2657 (for counseling and mental health).
      • Student Health Services: 206-281-2231 (for medical and health care).
      • Office of Student Life: 206-281-2481 (for guidance about academics and on-campus housing).
      • Human Resources: 206-281-3809 (for faculty/staff employment).
      • Student Financial Services: 206-281-2061 (for financial aid and student employment).
      • Office of International Student Records: 206-281-2550 (for visa/immigration)
    • Off-campus responses:
      • King County Sexual Assault 24-Hour Resource Center: 888-998-6423, www.kcsarc.org. KCSARC can assist with crisis response, advocacy, legal advocacy, and other support.
      • Rape Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN): 800-656-HOPE, rainn.org.
      • Harborview Center for Sexual Assault & Traumatic Stress: 206-744-1600, http://depts.washington.edu/hcsats
      • YWCA Sexual Violence Legal Services: 206-832-3632 (or 1-888-998-6423), www.svlawcenter.org. SVLS provides services for survivors including legal representation, consulting, resources, and referrals.
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