Policies, Resources and Information for Students
“Life University reaffirms the principle that its students, administration, faculty and staff have a right to be free from harassment. Harassment in any form, including sexual discrimination in the form of sexual harassment by or toward any member of the University community, will not be tolerated. Sexual harassment in any situation is reprehensible. Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. It includes, but is not limited to, unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature under the following circumstances: submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or a student’s status in a course, program or activity; submission to or rejection of such conduct by an employee or student is used as the basis for employment or academic decisions.” – Life University Sexual Offenses and Harassment Policy
Sexual misconduct includes all incidents of non-consensual sexual contact as well as sexual exploitation and sexual harassment. More detailed definitions of these terms can be found in the Life University Honor Code and Standards of Student Conduct, found in the Student Handbook.
Resources for Students
Life University is committed to providing support and resources for students who have experienced sexual misconduct. All services listed below are available to survivors of sexual misconduct, regardless of whether or not a student files a complaint.
Title IX Coordinator, Leigh M. Parker, J.D., M.A.
Director of Student Conduct, André L. Clanton
Student Success Center (Counseling)
Cobb County Police Department
Cobb County Rape Crisis (YWCA)
National Sexual Assault Hotline
Reporting Sexual Misconduct
Life University is committed to responding appropriately to incidents of sexual misconduct and makes every effort to ensure a safe and non-hostile environment for all students. The University strongly encourages all students to report incidents and will not tolerate any form of retaliation for reporting.
By reporting incidents, students can assist in our efforts to ensure a safe and welcoming environment for all.
While students are encouraged to report incidents of sexual misconduct directly to the Title IX Coordinator, students may report a sexual misconduct incident to any member of the Life University faculty or staff. Reports made directly to a licensed counselor are protected by confidentiality laws and will not be shared beyond that meeting unless threat to health or safety is imminent. All other reports, including those to Campus Safety, faculty, staff, coaches and Residence Life student staff members, will be referred to the Title IX Coordinator for appropriate action.
To the extent possible, LIFE will respect a student’s request to remain anonymous and to keep the detail of the report confidential. However, the request for confidentiality will be weighed against the University’s obligation to act on information it has received in order to provide a safe and nondiscriminatory environment.
Students who have experienced sexual misconduct may elect to take the following actions:
- File a criminal report with the Cobb County Police.
- File a formal complaint with the Title IX Coordinator.
- Pursue informal mediation of the complaint conducted by the Title IX Coordinator (informal mediation is not appropriate in cases involving allegations of sexual assault).
Students who elect not to pursue any of the above options may nonetheless do any of the following:
- Seek counseling.
- Request a rearrangement of class schedule or housing.
- Request a no-contact order.
- Request other remedies.
- Request that the Title IX Coordinator address the concerns with the accused.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 protects people from discrimination based on sex – including sexual harassment and sexual violence – in education programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance. For more information about your rights under Title IX, contact the College’s Title IX Coordinator, Jennifer Valtos at 770.426.2762.
You may also contact:
Department of Education
Office of Civil Rights
400 Maryland Avenue, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20202-1100
Non-Consensual Sexual Contact is any intentional sexual touching by a person upon a person that is without consent and/or by force. Sexual Contact includes, but is not limited to, intentional contact with the breasts, buttocks, groin, or genitals, or touching another with any of these body parts, or making another touch you or themselves with or on any of these body parts; any intentional bodily contact in a sexual manner, though not involving contact with/of/by breasts, buttocks, groin, genitals, mouth or other orifice, with any object.
Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse is any sexual intercourse by a person upon a person, which is without consent and/or by force. Intercourse includes, but is not limited to, vaginal penetration by a penis, object, tongue or finger; anal penetration by a penis, object, tongue, or finger; and oral copulation (mouth to genital contact or genital to mouth contact), no matter how slight the penetration or contact.
Consent is defined as agreement that is informed and given freely. Consent must be clearly communicated through words and/or actions, to participate in each form of sexual activity. Silence cannot be interpreted as consent, nor can passivity or lack of resistance. Previous relationships or instances of consent do not imply future consent. By definition, there is no consent when there is a threat of force or violence or any other form of coercion or intimidation, physical or psychological. Impairment due to the use of alcohol or drugs does not excuse failure to obtain consent. Likewise, any person incapacitated by alcohol or drug use, or who is unconscious, asleep or physically impaired is incapable of giving consent.
Relationship violence (also known as “Intimate Partner Violence”) is physically, sexually and/or psychologically abusive behavior used by one individual to maintain power and control over an intimate partner. Intimate partner relationships are relationships between parties who are dating, cohabitating, married, separated or divorced. Relationship violence can occur in same- or opposite-sex relationships.
Sexual Exploitation occurs when a student takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for his/her own advantage or benefit, or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited, and that behavior does not otherwise constitute one of other sexual misconduct offenses. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to:
- Invasion of sexual privacy;
- Prostituting another student;
- Non-consensual video or audio-taping of sexual activity;
- Going beyond the boundaries of consent (such as letting your friends hide in the closet to watch you having consensual sex);
- Engaging in voyeurism;
- Any act that is sexual in nature when such an act is likely to threaten any party’s health and/or safety without his/her knowing and valid consent. This includes, but is not limited to, any act that may reasonably be expected to transmit HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases and is performed when either party has failed to divulge his/her infection with such a disease;
- Exposing one’s genitals in non-consensual circumstances; inducing another to expose their genitals;
- Sexually-based stalking and/or bullying may also be forms of sexual exploitation.
Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment may include, for example, an attempt to coerce an unwilling person into a sexual relationship; to repeatedly subject a person to egregious, unwelcome sexual attention or advances; to punish a refusal to comply with a sexual based request; to condition a benefit on submitting to sexual advances; sexual violence or sexual assault; intimate partner violence; stalking; and gender-based bullying. Sexual violence is a form of sexual harassment.
Sexual misconduct can occur in many forms, including, but not limited to, sexual harassment; non-consensual sexual contact (or attempts to commit same); non-consensual sexual intercourse (or attempts to commit same); rape; sexual violence; intimidate partner violence; sexual exploitation; and stalking. Sexual misconduct can occur between strangers or acquaintances, including people involved in an intimate or sexual relationship. Sexual misconduct can be committed by persons of any gender or sex, and it can occur between people of the same or different sex.
Sexual violence refers to physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent (e.g., due to the student’s age or use of drugs or alcohol, or because an intellectual or other disability prevents the student from having the capacity to give consent). A number of different acts fall into the category of sexual violence, including rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, sexual abuse and sexual coercion. Sexual violence can be carried out by school employees, other students or third parties. All such acts of sexual violence are forms of sex discrimination prohibited by this policy and Title IX.
Stalking is behavior where a person follows, places under surveillance or contacts another person without the consent of that person for the purpose of harassing and intimidating him or her. The term “contact” means to make or attempt to make any communication, including, but not limited to, communication in person, by telephone, by mail, by broadcast, by computer or computer network, or by any other electronic device. “Harassing and intimidating” refers to communication directed at a person that causes emotional distress because of a reasonable fear for the person’s safety or safety of others, and which serves no legitimate purpose. It does not require that an overt threat of death or bodily injury be made.