School Policies

University of Oregon Policies

The University of Oregon has a Sexual Misconduct Policy that explains prohibited behavior as well as what happens when someone makes a report of sexual misconduct.

There is also an Alcohol and Drug Amnesty policy to encourage reporting. Students (whether reporting, witnessing or being accused of sexual misconduct) will not be subject to student conduct code violations or disciplinary sanctions relating to the use of alcohol or drugs in connection with the underlying incident, unless the student’s conduct placed the health or safety of another person at risk, or was otherwise egregious. However, the use of alcohol or drugs will never function as a defense for engaging in sexual misconduct, harassment or unwanted sexual contact. In all instances, the university may initiate an educational discussion or pursue other educational remedies regarding alcohol or other drugs.

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University of Oregon Definitions

Sexual assault includes any conduct that involves non-consensual sexual penetration or non-consensual personal contact of a sexual nature. Under the Student Conduct Code, sexual assault is referred to as sexual misconduct. Applicable definitions from the Student Conduct Code are listed below.

Sexual misconduct includes:

Unwanted sexual penetration: any degree of insertion, however slight, of the penis or any object into the vagina or anus, or the penis into the mouth, of another person, or causing the penetration of another person, when one:

  1. Does not first obtain explicit consent from that person; or
  2. Knows or should have known the person was incapable of consent by reason of mental disorder, mental incapacitation, or physical helplessness.

Non-consensual personal contact of a sexual nature: touching of the genitalia, anus, buttocks, or breasts of a person or causing such person to touch the genitalia, anus, buttocks, or breasts of another person when a reasonable person would know that such contact would cause emotional distress:

  1. Without having first obtained explicit consent; or
  2. When they know or should have known the person was incapable of consent by reason of mental disorder, mental incapacitation, or physical helplessness.

For purposes of the Student Conduct Code regarding sexual misconduct, the following definitions apply:

  • Explicit consent: voluntary, non-coerced and clear communication indicating a willingness to engage in a particular act. “Explicit consent” includes an affirmative verbal response or voluntary acts unmistakable in their meaning.
  • Mental disorder: a person suffers from a mental disease or disorder that renders that person incapable of appraising the nature of the conduct of another person.
  • Mental incapacitation:  a person is rendered incapable of appraising or controlling one’s own conduct at the time of the alleged offense because of the influence of a controlled or intoxicating substance or because of any act committed upon the person without consent.
  • Physical helplessness: a person is unconscious or for any other reason is physically unable to communicate unwillingness to engage in an act.

Dating violence includes:

Domestic or dating violence, also referred to as intimate partner or relationship violence, can be defined as a pattern of behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner. Abuse can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological acts or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that frighten, intimidate, terrorize, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, coerce, blame, or injure someone.

Abuse can happen to anyone regardless of race, economic status, gender, sexual orientation, or where one lives. People stay in abusive relationships for many reasons, including fear, belief that their abuser needs help and will change, and because they care about the person. No one deserves to be in an abusive relationship. Help is available.

For more information on how these behaviors may fall under the Student Conduct Code, contact the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards at [email protected].

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Your Title IX Rights

Title IX is a federal law that protects students against sex discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual violence regardless of the student’s real or perceived sex, gender identity, and/or gender expression. If you have been subjected to sexual harassment or sexual violence you have an additional set of rights and protections under Title IX. (Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. §1681)

Your school must:

  • Have a clear published procedure for responding to reports of sex discrimination, sexual harassment, or sexual violence.
  • Have a Title IX Coordinator to handle complaints. The Coordinator’s contact information should be readily available.
  • Inform you of your reporting options, including notifying you of your right to report to the police and supporting you through this process should you choose to do so.
  • Allow you to have an advisor you choose present throughout the process.
  • Allow you to present evidence against the perpetrator(s) and/or bring in witnesses.
  • Give you timely access to any information that will be used in a hearing.
  • Allow you to attend any pre-hearing meetings that would give you and the perpetrator(s) a chance to testify.
  • Provide you with any final decision made as the result of a hearing in writing at the same time as the perpetrator(s), and allow you to appeal that decision.
  • Use a “preponderance of the evidence” standard when determining the outcome of a complaint. This means the perpetrator(s) should be found responsible if the investigation shows it is more likely than not that the violence occurred.
  • Conclude any investigation within a semester’s time of the report being filed.
  • Support you in obtaining a no-contact order that prevents the perpetrator from contacting or interacting with you, whether directly or indirectly.  Campus safety or police should enforce any no-contact order obtained.
  • Make any reasonable changes to your housing, class schedule, campus job, and/or extracurricular activity schedule to enable you to continue your education in a non-hostile environment. These accommodations should be made at no cost to you and cannot overburden you or limit your educational opportunities. The changes can be in place before, during, and after a complaint is filed, investigated, and adjudicated.
  • Provide you with tutoring, counseling, or other remedies at no cost to you if you need them to continue your education.
  • Protect you from retaliation or harassment of any kind due to your report.

Your school may not:

  • Force you to report to the police.
  • Discourage you from continuing to pursue your education. This includes telling you to take a leave of absence or to drop a club or class.
  • Wait to conduct an investigation until the conclusion of an ongoing legal investigation.
  • Retaliate against you for filing a complaint.
  • Make you sign a non-disclosure agreement for the result of the hearing.
  • Encourage or allow mediation to take the place of a formal disciplinary process in cases of sexual violence. 

If you believe your Title IX rights have been or are being violated, you can contact your Title IX Coordinator and/or report to the Department of Education at [email protected].

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