About Sexual Assault and Harassment | Christendom College

About

About Sexual Assault and Harassment

Current Initiatives

Christendom College is committed to maintaining an academic environment free of discrimination and all forms of coercion that impede the academic freedom, security, or well-being of any member of the community.

As a campus dedicated to following the teachings of the Catholic Church, we strive to foster an environment where every student feels safe and respected, and where the dignity of the human person is upheld and honored. Sexual harassment and assault are inimical to such an environment. As part of this commitment, the college has developed additional resources and programs to educate the student body about sexual harassment and assault.

  • We have a sexual harassment and assault policy published in the Student Handbook with instructions on how to report sexual harassment and assault and how to receive resources for recovery. (See below.) While this policy was added in 2013, since our founding, sexual harassment and assault has always been prohibited along with any act of physical or emotional violence as well as any intrinsically disordered conduct.
  • New student orientation includes a session that covers sexual harassment and assault, reporting, and on-campus resources for support.
  • RAs, faculty, and Student Life staff are trained in responding to and reporting sexual harassment or assault. Additionally, they are trained as mandatory reporters in the event that someone under the age of 18 is involved.
  • Our on-campus nurse and counselor are available at no cost and can help with trauma and recovery.
  • We have a formal grievance policy that students can use to make a complaint against any campus community member who is not covered by the student policy (e.g. faculty, staff, etc.). We can use this process to address inappropriate comments or unreasonable behavior that makes students feel uncomfortable.
  • A female Residence Life staff member lives in the women’s residence halls. This gives women more of an opportunity to share a concern or incident with a staff member they trust. A male Residence Life staff member also lives on campus to assist the men.
  • All staff members of the Student Affairs department have an open-door policy that encourages the mentioning of any problems that a student may encounter.
  • We offer both a men and women’s monthly formation series that addresses mental health, healthy relationships, and other gender-specific topics.
  • Our Director of Student Affairs, Ms. Amanda Graf serves on the Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) for the Front Royal / Warren County area.
  • We currently are working with the Laurel Center to provide a compressive program on sexual assault prevention and education to our faculty, staff, and students.
  • Christendom has retained a respected and experienced firm to do a thorough review of all our sexual misconduct policies and procedures, as well as an on-campus climate study to assess how these procedures are understood and enacted. This firm has worked with large public campuses as well as several other schools in the Cardinal Newman Society’s Newman Guide. Once the College receives the firm’s analysis and recommendations, they will be reviewed by staff and faculty to make sure they are implemented in a way that best serves our students and promotes our uniquely Catholic mission.

Respect and honor for women and men was at the heart of Christ’s mission and therefore it is at the heart of the mission of Christendom College. We are committed in our policies, our procedures, and in our on-campus culture, to uphold and promote the dignity of women and men. We will continue to do so in fidelity to our mission and our motto: to restore all things in Christ.

Sexual Assault and Harassment Policy

Christendom College, as a Catholic institution, strives to uphold and protect the dignity of every person and provide an environment in which students can thrive in their academic and personal development. Acts of sexual assault, misconduct, or harassment will not be tolerated by the college and, upon discovery or disclosure, will be investigated through the disciplinary conduct procedure. Students are encouraged to report sexual assault, harassment, and/or misconduct immediately to a professional staff member in Student Life.

  • Sexual assault constitutes sexual contact without consent ranging from forced kissing and touching to forced intercourse.
  • Sexual harassment and/or misconduct constitutes unwelcome sexual comments, advances, and other verbal, non-verbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature that is meant to intimidate, degrade, or coerce another.

Sanctions up to and including dismissal from the College may be imposed if the accused is found to be responsible through the disciplinary procedure. Both the accused and the accuser are entitled to the same opportunities to have others submit testimony for the disciplinary proceeding.

Furthermore, both the accuser and the accused shall be informed of the outcome of the disciplinary proceeding. Any student who is the victim of sexual assault during their enrollment at Christendom College is encouraged to contact a professional staff member in Student Life who can provide resources and/or direction in proceeding with a disciplinary conduct procedure. If a student is assaulted by someone outside of the Christendom community (e.g. a non-student), the College is committed to providing available resources and counseling for the student, though, as a non-student, the accused is not subject to the internal disciplinary conduct process. A student may request a non-student to be banned from campus if the non-student is found to have sexually assaulted or harassed a student. Students are always encouraged to contact law enforcement if they believe a crime has been committed.

Student Life can also recommend confidential counseling services and other on or off-campus resources to students who are victims of sexual assault. The College will consider requests for a change to a victim’s academic and living situation, provided such options are reasonably available.

Excerpt from the Student Handbook (pg. 29).

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