Sexual Misconduct FAQs

Get answers to your questions about sexual misconduct definitions, reporting, and procedures.

Below are answers to common questions about sexual misconduct procedures at University of Maryland University College. If you become aware of an allegation of sexual misconduct that involves a member of the UMUC community, you must immediately inform the Title IX Coordinator of the situation and share whatever information you have learned. The information you share will be treated as confidentially as possible, but the Title IX Coordinator may need to consult with other administrators. At times, the Title IX coordinator will need to take action in the interest of safety. In planning any response, the wishes of the complainant are given full consideration.

FAQs: General Conditions

What is the definition of sexual misconduct? +

Sexual misconduct is a form of sex-based discrimination and is defined in the UMUC Sexual Misconduct Policy as an umbrella term that includes dating violence, domestic violence, sexual exploitation, sexual harassment, sexual intimidation, sexual violence, and stalking. UMUC is required to have a Sexual Misconduct Policy pursuant to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, a federal law that states the following:

"No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving federal financial assistance."

Title IX prohibits sex discrimination in all university programs and activities, including, but not limited to, admissions, recruiting, financial aid, academic programs, student services, counseling and guidance, discipline, class assignment, grading, recreation, athletics, housing, and employment.

Sexual harassment and sexual violence are forms of sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX. Title IX also prohibits retaliation against people for making or participating in complaints of sex discrimination.

What constitutes dating violence or domestic violence? +

Dating Violence: 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 relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.

Domestic Violence: 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 protected from those acts by domestic or family violence laws of the State of Maryland.

What constitutes sexual violence or sexual harassment? +

Sexual Violence: A form of sexual harassment referring 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.

Sexual Harassment: Any unwelcome sexual advance, unwelcome request for sexual favors, or other unwelcome verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature when

  • 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 USM or UMUC program or activity
  • 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
  • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work or academic performance; for example, it is sufficiently severe or pervasive to create an intimidating, hostile, humiliating, demeaning, or sexually offensive working, academic, residential, or social environment

Sexual Intimidation: Threatening to sexually assault another person; gender or sex-based stalking, including cyber-stalking; or engagement in indecent exposure.

Sexual Exploitation: Taking nonconsensual 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.

Stalking: 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.

What can I do if I have been or am being subjected to a form of sexual misconduct? +

If it is an emergency or if the sexual misconduct involves threatening, aggressive, or violent behavior and there is a risk of danger to yourself or other members of the UMUC community, you are strongly encouraged to call 911.

In addition, if you are not obligated as a Responsible Employee, you are strongly encouraged to report any incident of sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator as soon as reasonably possible after the incident. However, you can make a report to the Title IX Coordinator or a Responsible Employee any time after the incident. The Title IX Coordinator is trained in receiving reports of sexual misconduct and will be able to guide you to the appropriate support services and assist in eliminating the prohibited conduct and preventing its recurrence. A list of support services is provided in Appendix A: UMUC Sexual Misconduct Resource Contact Guide.

Do I have to report sexual misconduct to the police? +

No. Reporting sexual misconduct to the police is an option available to you, but you are not required to notify the police. Victims or third-party witnesses are, however, encouraged to reach out to the appropriate police department to report sexual violence.

Can I pursue criminal charges for sexual misconduct? +

You may always contact the police about filing a criminal complaint. However, regardless of whether the misconduct is being investigated by law enforcement, if UMUC knows or has reason to know of the misconduct, UMUC will conduct its own investigation and take reasonable steps to end the misconduct and prevent recurrences. UMUC will continue its investigative and adjudicative process while a concurrent law enforcement proceeding takes place to the extent permitted by law.

FAQs: Reporting and Confidentiality

Who is a Responsible Employee? +

A Responsible Employee includes any employee who has the authority to take action regarding sexual misconduct, an employee who has been given the duty of reporting sexual misconduct, or someone another individual could reasonably believe has this authority or duty; for example, the UMUC Title IX Coordinator and Title IX Investigators, UMUC administrators, UMUC employee supervisors, UMUC faculty and adjunct faculty, and UMUC security.

Who is UMUC's Confidential Employee? +

To encourage the reporting of incidents involving sexual misconduct, UMUC has designated the ombudsman to serve as its Confidential Employee. The Confidential Employee does not have an obligation to report to the Title IX Coordinator information pertaining to sexual misconduct that has been disclosed to him or her. Contact the Confidential Employee for more information.

What are the reporting obligations of UMUC's Confidential Employees? +

Victims may seek assistance and support from UMUC's Confidential Employee without triggering an investigation or disclosure of the victim's identity, with the exception of instances when the alleged perpetrator(s) poses a serious and immediate threat to the victim or larger UMUC community. This employee will assist the victim, if requested, in receiving available and appropriate protective measures and, in doing so, will only disclose information identifying the victim to the extent necessary to obtain such measures.

When a victim seeks assistance and support from UMUC's Confidential Employee, UMUC's ability to respond fully to the incident will be limited. UMUC will be unable to conduct an investigation into the particular incident or pursue disciplinary action against the alleged perpetrator unless a report is provided to the Title IX Coordinator or a Responsible Employee.

Limits on Confidentiality: While maintaining a victim's confidentiality, the Confidential Employee, or his or her office, may provide a limited report, which would not include information that could directly or indirectly identify the victim to the Title IX Coordinator to help keep the Title IX Coordinator informed of the general extent and nature of sexual misconduct within the UMUC community.

The Confidential Employee may maintain a victim's confidentiality with respect to the university, but he or she may have reporting or other obligations under state law, including, but not limited to, response to a lawfully ordered subpoena.

What if I don't want anyone to know that I have experienced a form of sexual misconduct? +

If a victim does not want anyone to know that they have experienced a form of sexual misconduct, then he or she should contact the Confidential Employee or, in the alternative, contact one of the external resources listed in Appendix A: UMUC Sexual Misconduct Resource Contact Guide.

Will my report of sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator be confidential? +

The Title IX Coordinator will take reasonable steps to investigate and respond to a complaint consistent with a request for confidentiality as long as doing so does not prevent UMUC from responding effectively to misconduct that creates a hostile environment.

What happens if the person who files a sexual misconduct report requests that his or her name be confidential or asks that UMUC not take any action? +

You are not prohibited from making an anonymous report. If a victim requests that his or her name not be revealed to the alleged perpetrator or asks that UMUC not investigate or seek action against the alleged perpetrator, UMUC will inform the victim that honoring the request may limit its ability to respond fully to the incident, including pursuing disciplinary action against the alleged perpetrator. UMUC will also explain that the Sexual Misconduct Policy includes protections against retaliation, and UMUC will not only take steps to prevent retaliation but will also take responsive action if retaliation occurs.

If the victim still requests that his or her name not be disclosed to the alleged perpetrator or that UMUC not investigate or seek action against the alleged perpetrator, UMUC will need to determine whether or not it can honor such a request while still providing a safe and nondiscriminatory environment. UMUC will notify the victim prior to any action being taken on a decision to move forward.

If the sexual misconduct occurred off-campus, can I still report it to UMUC? +

Yes. Incidents of sexual misconduct involving a member of the UMUC community that occur off-campus should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator. Behavior that is threatening, aggressive, or violent should be reported to law enforcement in the jurisdiction where the incident occurred. UMUC will investigate and take reasonable steps to resolve such complaints to the extent necessary to protect the complainant and prevent harassment directed toward others.

FAQs: UMUC's Investigative and Adjudicative Procedures

Who will explain UMUC's sexual misconduct investigative and adjudicative procedures? +

The Title IX Coordinator will be able to talk to the victim about the investigative and adjudicative process and any other questions that may be asked, including, but not limited to, questions about interim measures and available resources. Victims are strongly encouraged to contact the Title IX Coordinator to get their questions answered.

What are some interim measures that may be taken against someone accused of sexual misconduct? +

When a student is accused of sexual misconduct, he or she may be subject to interim action pending the outcome of the investigation. This includes, but is not limited to, an interim suspension; adjustment to class schedule, if applicable; restriction from being on campus, entering a specific building, or being on a specific area of campus; and no contact with the complainant or others involved in the complaint.

When an employee is accused of sexual misconduct, he or she may also be subject to interim action pending the outcome of the investigation. This includes, but is not limited to, being placed on administrative leave, adjustment to work schedule, restriction from entering a specific building or a specific area of the office, and no contact with the complainant or others involved in the complaint.

What if I am afraid of retaliation based on my report of sexual misconduct or participation in an investigation? +

Retaliation by a member of the UMUC community against an individual who makes a complaint of sexual misconduct, participates in an investigation of a complaint, supports a complaint, or testifies concerning a complaint is expressly prohibited by this policy. Any UMUC faculty, staff, or student who encounters retaliation is strongly encouraged to immediately report such conduct to the Title IX team. Any employee who is found to have retaliated is subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination. A student who is found to have retaliated is subject to disciplinary action up to and including expulsion.

Will I find out about the result of a sexual misconduct investigation? +

Both the victim and the alleged perpetrator will be notified concurrently of the decision rendered as a result of the investigation, any interim action that is being taken, and the status of any appeal.

What if I am not happy with the outcome of a sexual misconduct investigation? +

Both the victim and the alleged perpetrator may appeal the decision rendered as a result of the investigation within 10 days of the date of receiving written notification. However, a party can only appeal based on a procedural error that significantly influenced a decision in a negative way; new evidence that is substantial enough to alter the facts and findings and that could not have been previously discovered and presented through reasonable diligence; and/or the sanction being either too severe or not severe enough as compared to the findings and facts of the case.

FAQs: Responding to Someone Who Discloses Sexual Misconduct to You

How should I respond to someone who discloses that they are being or have been subjected to sexual misconduct? +

Feel free to contact the Title IX Coordinator. We can answer questions, identify options, and discuss strategies to assist you in informing the victim of sexual misconduct of your obligation to report the disclosure to the Title IX Coordinator.

General strategies to keep in mind:

  • Let the victim know that you are obligated to report incidents of sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator. If the victim wants to discuss an incident confidentially, then reiterate your obligation and identify the Confidential Employee as a source for such a discussion to be had confidentially. If the victim continues to seek your help after you have disclosed your obligation, then
  • Recognize that the person talking to you is likely in need of support as well as information
  • Listen attentively and nonjudgmentally and affirm their choice to disclose the incident
  • Take note of any information shared but do not push for details the person is unwilling to share
  • If you are talking with the victim, do what you can to let that person make decisions about what happens next
  • Again, be very open about your obligation to share what you have learned with the Title IX Coordinator. The person you are talking to may be concerned about the loss of confidentiality and/or control. You can offer assurance that the Title IX Coordinator is mindful of these concerns; except in cases of serious threat to the complainant or the campus community, the Title IX Coordinator will not take action or share information without the complainant's knowledge and consent.
  • Affirm that UMUC takes sexual misconduct very seriously and that university policy prohibits retaliation against anyone who reports sexual misconduct.

What details do I need to provide when reporting sexual misconduct? +

You must share whatever information has been shared with you, including the name(s) of any individuals involved, the details of the incident, and the complainant's wishes regarding next steps.

What kinds of sexual misconduct do I need to report? +

You need to report any incident that might fall within UMUC's definition of sexual misconduct: "a range of behaviors, including sexual assault, sexual harassment, intimate partner violence, stalking, voyeurism, and any other conduct of a sexual nature that is nonconsensual or has the purpose or effect of threatening, intimidating, or coercing a person." For more details, see the UMUC Sexual Misconduct Policy.

Please note: You do not need to be certain that an incident constitutes misconduct nor that it is sufficiently serious to warrant action. The Title IX Coordinator will assess the information and determine the appropriate next steps.

What happens after I file a report of sexual misconduct? +

The Title IX Coordinator will assess the information you have provided and take appropriate action. If your report includes names or other identifying details, the Title IX Coordinator will likely reach out to make sure that anyone who has experienced sexual misconduct has access to accommodations, support, and options for taking action. The Title IX Coordinator will not contact any individuals accused of committing sexual misconduct until a complaint has been filed or an investigation initiated.

Once I have filed my sexual misconduct report with the Title IX Coordinator, do I have other responsibilities? +

No. Once you file a report, your reporting obligation is complete. You should preserve any notes you may have taken or give them to the Title IX Coordinator. You may continue to talk with the person who shared the information with you; please keep the Title IX Coordinator updated if you learn new details or if the situation evolves. However, you should be mindful that you have received information in confidence and therefore should refrain from discussing what you have learned with third parties.

Will the Title IX Coordinator update me on what happens to my report of sexual misconduct if I am not the victim? +

No. You may be involved in some of the next steps: for example, helping to arrange an accommodation or speaking with a fact finder. It is understandable that you may wish to know more, but it is critical to protect the privacy of the parties involved.

Contact Title IX Coordinator

Steven Alfred

E-mail: titleixcoordinator@umuc.edu

Office: 800-888-8682, ext. 17930

Cell: 301-887-7295

Address

UMUC Headquarters

3501 University Blvd, East

Office of Diversity and Equity , 2316

Adelphi, MD 20783

Get Directions to UMUC Headquarters

Contact UMUC Asia Title IX Investigator

Mario Fail

E-mail: titleixinvestigator-asia@umuc.edu

CIV: +81 (0)425-52-2511, ext. 53680

DSN: 225-3680

Contact UMUC Europe Title IX Investigator

Patricia Jameson

E-mail: titleixinvestigator-europe@umuc.edu

CIV: +49 (0)631-53480368

Contact Confidential Employee

Blair Hayes

E-mail: ombudsman@umuc.edu

Phone: 800-888-8682, ext. 17910

  (301) 985-7910

Contact Security

E-mail: security@umuc.edu

Phone: 800-888-8682, ext. 22911

Address

UMUC Headquarters

3501 University Boulevard East

Administration Building

Adelphi, MD 20783

Get Directions to UMUC Headquarters