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Sexual Misconduct Policy & Procedures


    The University community is committed to maintaining and strengthening an educational, employment, and living environment founded on civility. Sexual misconduct, including sexual and gender-based harassment, sexual violence, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, and sexual intimidation, is prohibited by University policy. 

    Sexual Misconduct is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by state and federal laws, including Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title 20 U.S.C. §§ 1681-1688). The University will sanction community members found responsible for acts of sexual misconduct; however, such sanctions are not a substitute for civil or criminal liability. The University community endeavors to eradicate sexual misconduct through education, training, clear policies, and serious consequences for violations of this policy.

    All University community members are protected by this policy, regardless of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. This policy is applicable to University community members and affiliates regardless of geographic location, virtual location, or time of incident. This policy applies to Sexual Misconduct: (1) in any University facility or on any University property; (2) in connection with any University or University sponsored, recognized or approved program, visit or activity; (3) that impedes equal access to any University education program or activity or adversely impacts the employment of a member of the University community; or (4) that otherwise threatens the health or safety of a member of the University community. Nothing in this policy is intended to supersede or conflict with any federal compliance obligation.


    For purposes of this Policy, the following definitions apply:

    A. Amnesty means a pardon of offenses involving alcohol and drug use when the evidence of such use is gathered during the course of a Title IX investigation.

    B. Complainant means a person who has allegedly been subject to sexual misconduct, and for whom a formal or informal complaint has been made with the University; the University may also be a complainant.

    C. Consent means a knowing, voluntary, and affirmatively communicated willingness to mutually participate in sexual conduct; from an individual with the ability and capacity to exercise free will and make a rational and reasonable judgment; expressed either by affirmative words or actions, as long as the words or actions create a mutually understandable permission regarding the conditions of sexual activity. Consent can be withdrawn at any time. Consent cannot be obtained where there is any hint of force, threat, coercion, fraud, manipulation, intimidation, or reasonable fear of injury, or through the use of a party’s mental or physical helplessness or incapacity. Consent cannot be implied from acquiescence or based upon the mere fact of previous consensual dating or sexual relationship. Consent to engage in sexual activity with one person does not imply consent to engage in sexual activity with another.

    D. Dating Violence means violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the complainant. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.

    E. Domestic Violence means violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the complainant, by a person with whom the complainant shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the complainant as a spouse or intimate partner, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the complainant, or by any other person against an adult or youth complainant who is protected from those acts by domestic or family violence laws of Maryland.

    F. Hostile Environment means an environment in which a student is sexually harassed and the harassing conduct is sufficiently serious to deny or limit the student’s ability to participate in or benefit from a university program or activity.

    G. Interim Measures means reasonable available steps an institution may take to protect the parties while a sexual misconduct investigation is pending.

    H. Personal Identifying Information means any information about an individual maintained by an agency, including (1) any information that can be used to distinguish or trace an individual‘s identity, such as name, social security number, date and place of birth, mother‘s maiden name, or biometric records; and (2) any other information that is linked or linkable to an individual, such as medical, or financial information.

    I. Preponderance of the Evidence the evidence demonstrates it is more likely than not the conduct occurred; in other words, greater than 50% however slightly over 50%. This standard is often referred to as "50% plus a feather."

    J. Respondent means a person or persons who have been formally or informally accused of engaging in acts of sexual misconduct and may be subject to University imposed sanctions.

    K. Responsible Employee includes any employee who (1) has the authority to take action regarding sexual misconduct; (2) is an institution administrator, nonconfidential employee in a supervisory role, a faculty member, a athletic coach, institution law enforcement officer, or other non-confidential first responders; or (3) is someone an individual could reasonably believe has this authority or duty, such as resident advisors.

    L. Retaliation means intimidating, threatening, coercing, or discriminating against any individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by law or USM policy relating to sexual misconduct, or because an individual has made a report, testified, assisted, or participated in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing related to sexual misconduct. Retaliation includes retaliatory harassment.

    M. Sexual Assault

    Sexual Assault I. – Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse. Any act of sexual intercourse with another individual without consent. Sexual intercourse includes vaginal or anal penetration, however slight, with any body part or object, or oral penetration involving mouth-to-genital contact.

    Sexual Assault II. – Non-Consensual Sexual Contact. Any intentional touching of the intimate parts of another person, causing another to touch one’s intimate parts, or disrobing or exposure of another without consent. Intimate parts may include genitalia, groin, breast, or buttocks, or clothing covering them, or any other body part that is touched in a sexual manner. Sexual contact also includes attempted sexual intercourse.

    N. Sexual Exploitation means taking non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another person for one’s own advantage or benefit or for the advantage or benefit of anyone other than the person being exploited.

    O. Sexual Harassment is any unwelcome sexual advance, unwelcome request for sexual favors, or other unwelcome verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when: (1) Submission to or rejection of such conduct is made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of an individual’s employment, evaluation of academic work, or participation in any aspect of a University System of Maryland (“USM”) or USM institution program or activity; (2) Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for academic, employment, or activity or program participation related decisions affecting an individual; or (3) Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance, i.e., it is sufficiently severe or pervasive to create an intimidating, hostile, humiliating, demeaning or sexually offensive working, academic, residential or social environment.

    P. Sexual Intimidation means (1) threatening to sexually assault another person; (2) gender or sex-based stalking, including cyber-stalking; or (3) engaging in indecent exposure.

    Q. Sexual Misconduct is an umbrella term that includes Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, Sexual Exploitation, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Intimidation, Sexual Violence, and Stalking.

    R. Sexual Misconduct Board (hereinafter SMB) is a standing group composed of students, faculty, and staff appointed by the President. The President will also appoint the Board Chair. The Board Chair is responsible for annual training of the SMB.

    S. Sexual Violence is a form of sexual harassment and refers to physical sexual acts perpetrated without consent. Sexual violence includes rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, and sexual coercion. Sexual violence, in any form, is a criminal act.

    T. Stalking means engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety or the safety of others, or suffer substantial emotional distress.


    A. Medical ServicesIn cases of emergencies, dial 911. Victims of sexual violence or any unwanted touching should seek medical advice in case of exposure to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or pregnancy concerns.

        i. Peninsula Regional Medical Center………………...…………410-546-6400

    At Peninsula Regional Medical Center (PRMC), a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (S.A.N.E.) can perform a sexual abuse evidentiary examination in order to preserve evidence. An evidentiary exam is free. Receiving an evidentiary examination does not mean that a victim must make a formal report to the University or to law enforcement.

        ii. Student Health at Charles Drew Infirmary…………………..410-651-6597

    The UMES Student Health Center can provide advice about STDs or pregnancy concerns. A Confidential Notification must be completed when sexual misconduct is reported. This is only a notification that an incident has occurred; the victim’s personal identifying information will remain confidential.

    B. Law EnforcementIn cases of emergencies, dial 911. Victims of sexual misconduct should contact the local law enforcement agency. A law enforcement agent can assist a victim in determining whether a crime has been committed. Law enforcement agencies will produce a criminal report and must dispense a complaint to the University’s Title IX Coordinator.

    i. UMES Department of Public Safety…………………………..410-651-3300

    The Department of Public Safety is committed to ensuring that students who report sexual misconduct receive comprehensive care:

    (1) If a student is involved, the officer must contact a Sexual Misconduct Victim Advocate to assist the student in every step of the process:

    •  According to a complainant’s wishes, the advocate may also be present during any officer interviews.

    (2) Accompany the student to the hospital if the student wishes; and/or

    (3) Officer shall contact the Office of Student Conduct if the student wishes to make a complaint under University processes or utilize the resources of that office, including making a request for accommodations or other support.

    ii. Princess Anne Police Department…………………………......410-651-1822

    The Princess Anne Police Department provides police services on a seven day, twenty-four hour basis.

    C. Counseling Services. Counselors can assist students in understanding their rights and reporting options. The University encourages all students who believe they may have been victims of sexual misconduct to contact a Counseling Service. They can help a student identify other sources of emotional and physical support. Anything discussed with a counselor will be kept confidential unless written authorization to disclose is provided by the victim.

    i. Sexual Misconduct Victim Advocates………………....(443-365-5430/5415)

    Victim Advocates are trained to assist victims of sexual misconduct and will speak with the student confidentially as the student considers options. Advocates are available to assist students twenty-four hours a day during academic sessions.

    ii. University Counseling Services Center….…………………....410-651-6449

    (1) The UMES Counseling Services staff are trained, thinking, feeling, caring individuals who have developed the capacity to share their knowledge and skills with those who need help. Services include individual counseling, group counseling, couples counseling, psychiatric services, referral services, and consultation;

    (2) Though conversations with counselors are confidential, a Confidential Notification must be completed when sexual misconduct that has occurred on University property or at a University sponsored activity is reported. This is only a notification that an incident has occurred; the victim’s personal identifying information will remain confidential.

    iii. Life Crisis Center………………………………………………410-749-4357

    The Life Crisis Center’s ( services are available at no charge to victims of domestic violence, rape, sexual assault, and child abuse. Their toll free hotline operates 24 hours a day for anyone needing crisis assistance or referral information.

    D. Faculty and Staff. All University employees are a resource to students who need help. Those University employees, not in Counseling Services, who receive any information regarding an alleged incident of sexual misconduct must notify the Title IX Coordinator at (410-651-7848 ).

    i. Faculty and staff receiving reports of sexual misconduct must complete the online Sexual Misconduct Form (located on the Student Affairs website under the “Forms” link) and forward it to the Title IX Coordinator.

    ii. The form must be completed online or delivered to the Title IX Coordinator within one (1) business day of being alerted of the sexual misconduct.

    E. Interim Measures to Protect Students. Interim measures must be taken to ensure no complainant or respondent is subject to a hostile environment. Students should contact the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs at 410-651-8440 to request any of the following:

    i. Alternate housing;

    ii. Schedule adjustments;

    iii. Arranging incompletes, leaves, or a withdrawal;

    iv. Issuance of a no-contact directive; and

    v. Other interim actions when appropriate.

    Requests for such arrangements or actions will be granted at the discretion of the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs or designee.


    A. Any student, employee, University affiliate; whether victim, witness, or confidant; shall report a sexual misconduct complaint to the University’s Title IX Coordinator (410-651-7848), the Office of Student Conduct (410-651-7850), appropriate law enforcement agency, or any University Official.

    i. Students, employees, and University affiliates can select to report sexual misconduct electronically by completing the online Sexual Misconduct Form and forwarding it to the Title IX Coordinator

    B. Reporting misconduct enables a person to take action in three ways:

    i. Adjudication through the University Conduct System;

    ii. Pursuit of legal actions; or

    iii. Engagement of both processes concurrently or in succession.

    C. With the exception of University Officials from the Counseling Center or Student Health Center, the following protocol will be followed in all cases of sexual misconduct reported to a University official:

    i. All complaints will be forwarded to the Title IX Coordinator.

    (1) Events of sexual misconduct that occur in the residential halls will also be forwarded to the Associate Vice President of Student Affairs.

    ii. The Title IX Coordinator will investigate the alleged violation.

    (1) The Title IX Coordinator may contact the appropriate law enforcement agency.

    iii. The complainant will be offered the assistance of a Sexual Misconduct Victim Advocate (443-365-5430 or 443-365-5415).


    A. Informal resolution, which could include mediation for alleged misconduct that does not amount to sexual assault or serious harassment and/or stalking, is a remedies-based approach designed to eliminate a hostile environment without taking disciplinary action against a respondent. An informal resolution is valid and appropriate where:

    i. there is no complaint of Sexual Assault I,

    ii. the Title IX investigation concludes an informal resolution may be appropriate,

    iii. complainant voluntarily agrees to pursue an informal resolution process, and

    iv. complainant and respondent are advised, in writing, that they may withdraw from the process at any time.

    B. The University will take immediate and corrective action through the imposition of individual and community remedies designed to maximize the complainant’s access to the educational and extracurricular activities at the University and to eliminate a hostile environment. Other potential remedies include targeted or broad-based educational programming or training, direct confrontation of the Respondent and/or indirect action by the Title IX Coordinator or the University. Depending on the form of informal resolution used, it may be possible to maintain anonymity.

    C. The University will not compel a complainant to engage in mediation, to directly confront the respondent, or to participate in any particular form of informal resolution. Mediation, even if voluntary, may not be used in cases involving sexual assault. The decision to pursue informal resolution will be made when the University has sufficient information about the nature and scope of the conduct, which may occur at any time.


    The University prohibits retaliatory action by any involved party or their agent against any person making a complaint of sexual misconduct or against any person cooperating in the investigation of any charge of sexual misconduct, or any person refusing to participate and/or cooperate with the investigation of any charge of sexual misconduct. This includes any form of intimidation, threats, or harassment. Acts of retaliation constitute a violation of University policy and of the Student Code of Conduct and will result in disciplinary action. Any type of retaliation should be reported to the Office of Student Conduct (410-651-7850) and UMES Department of Public Safety (410-651-6950).


    A. Confidential Resources. If a student wishes the details of an incident to be kept strictly confidential, they can speak to professional staff at the UMES Counseling Center or the Life Crisis Center (off-campus). Confidential resources may need to share otherwise confidential information where an imminent danger to the student or another individual exists in the opinion of the professional staff or administrator.

    B. Privacy and Reporting Requirements. Responsible employees are required by law to notify the Title IX Coordinator of any alleged sexual misconduct. Students’ Personal Identifiable Information will only be shared as necessary with as few people as possible, and all efforts will be made to protect their privacy consistent with applicable laws.


    A. The Title IX Coordinator for the University of Maryland Eastern Shore is:


    B. The Title IX Coordinator will conduct investigations of sexual misconduct, sexual assault, and retaliatory harassment as possible violations of University policy and of the Student Code of Conduct. In an effort to encourage reporting, amnesty as to alcohol and drug use will be granted for information gathered during the Title IX investigation.

    i. Upon completion of the Title IX investigation, the Title IX Coordinator shall determine whether to conduct hearing under the Sexual Misconduct Policy.

    ii. The Title IX Coordinator shall issue a final report with findings to the Office of Student Conduct; and

    iii. Where there is the Title IX Coordinator finds a need for a hearing, a hearing will be held in accordance to University policy, applying a “preponderance of the evidence” standard of proof.

    iv. The Title IX investigation and hearing that may ensue are non-adversarial proceedings designed to discover all of the relevant facts. Complainant and respondent may have advisors present, but advisors may not intervene in any way.

    •     Advisors who are disruptive, obstructive, or hostile towards witnesses shall be asked to leave the hear and may be escorted from the building where hearings are being held if obstreperous conduct persists.


    A. Authority of the SMB

    i. Any current or former student harmed by sexual misconduct, or any University community member harmed by the sexual misconduct of a student may be heard, so long as three conditions are met:

    (1) The complaint must be filed while the person filing the complaint is affiliated with the University or within one year after his or her departure.

    (2) The person accused of sexual misconduct must be a University faculty member, student, or staff member at the time the complaint is filed.

    (3) The alleged misconduct must have occurred at a time when all parties were University community members.

    B. Composition.

    i. The Chair and all SMB members shall be appointed by the President.

    ii. The SMB should consist of twelve (12) members, five of which shall be faculty, four shall be students, and three shall be staff.

    C. Hearing Panel. The Chair will appoint a hearing panel of three SMB members.

    D. Training. All SMB members must participate in training conducted by the Title IX Coordinator. Each year, returning SMB members must receive refresher training.


    Once the University is informed that an alleged sexual misconduct has occurred, the University will take prompt and effective action to investigate Sexual Misconduct, prevent its recurrences, and address its effects. The University will work to thoroughly investigate and resolve any occurrence of Sexual Misconduct within 60 calendar days. If the 60-day standard cannot be met, a written explanation must be produced and shared with the complainant and respondent.


    Sanctions must be completed in their entirety, as ordered, affirmed, or modified on appeal. Sanctions may range from remedies-based activities up to and including suspension, dismissal, expulsion, and termination from employment.


    The University will notify both parties, concurrently, in writing, about the outcome of the complaint and whether or not a violation of sexual misconduct was found to have occurred.13


    A. Within three (3) days, including the day the decision is rendered, a complainant or respondent may file a written appeal, stating the specific grounds upon which the appeal is based, including specific details supporting the appeal, must be addressed to the Title IX Coordinator and:

    i. for students, the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs;

    ii. for faculty, the Vice President for Academic Affairs;

    iii. for employees; the Assistant Vice President for Human Resources;

    iv. In all cases of appeal, the President may review and amend findings.

    B. The appeal must include:

    i. the specific grounds for appeal;

    ii. supporting arguments, witnesses, and documents; and

    iii. other relevant information the complainant or respondent wishes to include.

    C. The only basis for considering an appeal is the presentation of facts by the accused which demonstrate:

    i. There was a substantial departure from, or the denial of rights or procedures under the Student Code of Conduct or the Sexual Misconduct Policy, which effectively precluded a fundamentally fair hearing; or

    ii. Significant and new evidence is discovered or made available, which was not available at the hearing which will substantially alter the decision as to whether the accused student violated the Student Code of Conduct; or

    iii. Sanctions are unduly harsh or arbitrary.


    A. The University sexual misconduct conduct process is based on the evidentiary standard of “preponderance of the evidence,” meaning it is more likely than not that the alleged events did, or did not, occur.


    A Confidential Notification contains information required by state law, federal law, and complies with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act. Designated University officials, which include the Title IX Coordinator, the University Department of Public Safety, Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, Housing & Residence Life, Campus Life, Campus Recreation, Athletics, and University faculty/staff advisors of student organizations, will complete a Confidential Notification upon disclosure of a sexual assault. The Student Health Center, and the off-campus agencies Life Crisis Center, and Domestic Violence Shelter & Services also participate in the Confidential Notification process. The Confidential Notification is then forwarded to the University Department of Public Safety where it is filed and used for compiling the University Annual Campus Crime and Security Report and for purposes of advising the campus community of any potential safety risks or concerns.


    A person wishing to file a formal complaint of sexual harassment with an external agency may do so with one of the following agencies:

    Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

    1801 L Street, N.W.

    Washington, D.C. 20507

    (202) 275-7377

    (see EEOC website for Timeliness concerns; typically subject to a

    180/300 day standard dependent on state and local laws)


    Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

    10 S. Howard Street, 3rd Floor

    Baltimore, Maryland 21201



    Maryland Commission on Human Relations

    6 St. Paul Street

    Baltimore, Maryland 21202



    United States Department of Education

    Office for Civil Rights

    3535 Market Street, Room 6300

    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104-3326

    (800) 421-3481

    To protect the legal rights and remedies available to a Complainant through external agencies, federal courts and/or state courts, a person filing a complaint of sexual harassment must comply with certain time limits and deadlines. Therefore, a person wishing to file a complaint with an external agency must contact that agency to verify time periods for filing complaints.


    A. The Title IX Coordinator, Vice President for Student Affairs, Vice President for Academic Affairs, and the Assistant Vice President for Human Resources and Legal Counsel may propose changes to the Sexual Misconduct Policy at any time. Concurrent with the review of the Student Code of Conduct, the Conduct Board and University Senate shall participate in the biannual review of the Sexual Misconduct Code and make recommendations to the Title IX Coordinator regarding omissions, clarifications, constructive changes, and other matters germane to the proper interpretation and operation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy. The Title IX Coordinator shall submit recommendations to the University President for action.


    Juliette B. Bell, Ph.D., President

    December 22, 2014