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Sexual Misconduct Policy & Resources

Pacific Oaks College is committed to creating and maintaining a safe learning and working environment that is free of unlawful discrimination, harassment, exploitation, or intimidation. As such, Pacific Oaks prohibits sexual misconduct in all forms, including but not limited to sexual harassment and sexual violence. Pacific Oaks will respond promptly and effectively to reports of sexual misconduct, and will take appropriate action to prevent, to correct, and when necessary, to discipline behavior in violation of its Policy on Sexual Misconduct.

The Policy on Sexual Misconduct applies to all Pacific Oaks employees, students, and other Pacific Oaks community members, regardless of gender/gender identity and sexual orientation, for sexual misconduct occurring on our campuses or in connection with its educational programs, activities, and services, or that puts community members at risk of serious harm or otherwise creates a hostile learning and/or working environment.

Pacific Oaks also bars retaliation against any employee, student, or applicant who files a good faith report of sexual misconduct or otherwise participates in an investigation relating to the same.

Sexual Misconduct Offenses include, but are not limited to:

  • Sexual Harassment
  • Sexual Assault
  • Sexual Violence
  • Sexual Exploitation
  • Domestic and/or Dating Violence
  • Stalking

Sexual Harassment

Sexual Harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual conduct of any nature, communication (either verbal or pictorial) of a sexual nature, or solicitation of sexual advances of any nature, when any of the above conduct or communications is not mutually agreeable to both parties and any of the following conditions apply:

  • The submission to such conduct, communication, or solicitation is made explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or academic process
  • Submission to or rejection of such contact, communication, or solicitation by an individual is used or threatened as a basis for employment or academic decisions affecting such individual
  • Such conduct, communication, or solicitation has the purpose or effect of being sufficiently severe, pervasive/persistent and objectively offensive that it could alter the conditions of education or employment, by interfering with an individual’s work, academic performance, living conditions, or status
  • Because it is difficult to describe every instance relating to unlawful harassment, all members of the Pacific Oaks Community are expected to behave, at all times, in a respectful and professional manner

Reporting Sexual Misconduct

Sexual misconduct is a threat to the entire College community. Members from the College community are strongly encouraged to report all incidents that threaten a student’s continued well-being, safety, or security. Complaints from any member of the College community relating to discrimination, misconduct, harassment, domestic violence, dating or other related violence, stalking, or retaliation based on gender or sex concerning a faculty, staff, a student or students may be reported to:

Law Enforcement

Pacific Oaks encourages community members who have experienced sexual misconduct to immediately report the incident to the local police department or another area law enforcement agency. Reporting of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking to the police does not commit the complainant to further legal action. However, the earlier an incident is reported, the easier it will be for the police to investigate if the complainant decides to proceed with criminal charges. Early reporting makes it more likely that the police will be able gather needed evidence before it is lost or destroyed, and that the complainant will receive timely notice of potentially helpful victim/witness services.

Pacific Oaks College

Complainants are also encouraged to report incident(s) of sexual misconduct to a Pacific Oaks’ Title IX Coordinator :

Jane Y. Sawyer, SPHR
Associate Vice President, Human Resources & Title IX Coordinator
(626) 529-8437
[email protected]

45 Eureka Street
Pasadena, CA 91103

Complainants are not required to report to area law enforcement to receive assistance from or pursue any options within Pacific Oaks.

The Title IX Coordinator will provide a complainant with information about available support services and resources, and also assist the complainant in notifying law enforcement, including the local police, if the complainant elects to do so.

If a complainant discloses an incident to a responsible employee but wishes to maintain confidentiality or requests that no investigation into a particular incident be conducted or disciplinary action taken, Pacific Oaks must weigh that request against Pacific Oaks’ obligation to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment for all students, including the complainant.

Procedures When Sexual Misconduct is Reported to Pacific Oaks

Upon receiving a report of sexual misconduct, Pacific Oaks will respond by providing the complainant with supportive resources and interim interventions (where appropriate) and conducting a prompt, fair, and impartial investigation by a trained official. The response and investigation procedures are designed to provide a supportive process for those who report sexual misconduct as well as fairness and due process for the individual being accused.

Pacific Oaks recognizes that in certain circumstances, informal resolution of a report of sexual misconduct may be beneficial to the complainant, the respondent, other involved persons (the reporting party, witnesses), and/or the Pacific Oaks community at large. Whether a report of sexual misconduct is appropriate for informal resolution is within the discretion of the Title IX Coordinator, except that reports of sexual assault are never appropriate for informal resolution.

When the Title IX Coordinator determines that informal resolution is not appropriate or formal resolution is requested by either the complainant or respondent, Pacific Oaks will launch an investigation.

Once the Title IX Coordinator determines that a formal investigation is appropriate, Pacific Oaks will conduct a thorough and impartial investigation by an individual who has been trained to investigate reports of sexual misconduct. (This may be the Title IX Coordinator, Deputy Title IX Coordinator, or other designee approved by the President.)

Typically, investigation into reports of sexual misconduct will include a period of fact-finding led by the Title IX Coordinator, during which time the complainant, respondent, and other relevant persons will be given the opportunity to participate in the investigation by sharing information with the Title IX Coordinator. Persons participating in an investigation will have the opportunity to submit a written statement, provide supporting materials, and identify witnesses.

Pacific Oaks investigates reports of sexual misconduct independently of local law enforcement.
In investigating and determining whether a violation of this policy has occurred, the Title IX Coordinator will utilize the “preponderance of the evidence” standard of proof. This means that Title IX Coordinator will determine whether it is “more likely that not” that sexual misconduct occurred.

Both parties to a complaint of sexual misconduct will be updated as to the status of the investigation and related proceedings as necessary, or upon request.

Once the Title IX Coordinator has concluded the investigation, Pacific Oaks will simultaneously issue the written findings to both the complainant and the respondent.

Sanctions for Violations of Pacific Oaks’ Policy on Sexual Misconduct

Upon finding that sexual misconduct occurred, the Title IX Coordinator will commence the sanctioning process for review and determination of appropriate sanctions.

In addition to sanctions, the Title IX Coordinator may also recommend that Pacific Oaks or particular Pacific Oaks community members adopt additional measures to remediate and/or prevent further conduct in violation of this policy.

Pacific Oaks’ sanctions process is intended to provide an equitable process to both the complainant and respondent, demonstrating promptness, fairness, and impartiality.

Sanctions against students may include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Formal written warning
  • Professional Improvement Plan
  • No contact order pertaining to certain Pacific Oaks community members or physical locations
  • Removal from specific courses or institutional activities
  • Dismissal. In addition, further protections for the complainant may be available.

Additional Resources

Pacific Oaks Sexual Harassment Policy

Resources for Victims of Sexual Misconduct

Rights and Options for Survivors of Sexual Assault, Dating Violence, Stalking or Domestic Violence

Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Awareness