CUSBLT’s definition of Sexual Misconduct is to be instances of Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence. Sexual Harassment is defined in legislation as conduct with a sexual component which is unwelcome, unsolicited and unreciprocated. Conduct with a sexual component includes physical, visual, verbal and non-verbal behavior.
CUSBLT understands that Sexual Harassment includes, but is not limited to:
CUSBLT understands Sexual Violence to be instances of:
Sexual Threat is an act of a sexual nature carried out against an individual’s will through the use of physical force, intimidation or coercion made face-to-face.
The scope of this policy extends to all members of the CUSBLT community, including but not limited to:
CUSBLT expects that supervisors and managers take appropriate action using the procedures associated with this policy when they become aware of instances of possible sexual misconduct, even without a complaint being lodged.
CUSBLT expects supervisors and managers to address sexual misconduct appropriately and contribute to maintaining a campus culture of inclusivity and respect, and to uphold the rights of employees and students to fair treatment by:
Failure to comply with this policy by a member of the CUSBLT community may be considered a breach of the Code of Ethics and Code of Conduct and may result in disciplinary action.
Anyone who has experienced Sexual Misconduct can seek support from a range of people across campus and external to CUSBLT.
An employee or student who wishes CUSBLT to investigate what happened can make a Disclosure and/or a Report the incident(s) to CUSBLT.
Making a Disclosure starts a process of information and support provision, which can include assistance with making a Report, but does not start an investigation.
Making a Report does start an investigation (assuming CUSBLT has the authority to investigate) and can include a referral to the Disclosure Officer(s) for information and support provision as part of the process.
The decision to make a Disclosure and the decision to make a Report are separate decisions. They are both confidential processes but there may be limits to confidentiality, particularly where CUSBLT is required to disclose information to external agencies or investigate.
Disclosures are made to the Disclosure Officer. Appointments can be made by phone or by email.
No information about the sexual misconduct is required in the email; just a statement that the individual wishes to make a Disclosure, their full name, and their student/employee ID.
To the greatest extent possible, CUSBLT will respect an individual’s choice to not make a Report and will keep the Disclosure confidential. In exceptional circumstances, where required by law or where there is a risk of significant harm to that individual’s health and safety or another individual’s health or safety, and at the sole discretion of the Disclosure Officer, CUSBLT may make a report.
Anyone directly subjected to sexual misconduct, including an individual who is not a member of the CUSBLT community, can make a Report against a member of the CUSBLT community. Reports can be made by:
An individual who is subjected to Sexual Misconduct and makes a Report is called the Complainant.
An individual can submit a Report to CUSBLT and pursue other processes external to CUSBLT, including reporting to the police.
If CUSBLT commences an investigation and an external process is also being pursued, CUSBLT may continue or suspend its investigation (after consultation with the Complainant).
A Report to CUSBLT does not normally result in a report to the police, although in exceptional circumstances, where required by law or where there is a risk of significant harm to anyone’s health or safety, CUSBLT may have to notify third parties, such as the police. If such action is taken, CUSBLT will notify the Complainant and will ensure that appropriate support services are made available to that individual.
CUSBLT Human Resources will be notified of any Report in which an Employee is either the complainant or respondent. Reports involving only employees will be managed by Human Resources, including any investigation or disciplinary process. Reports involving both an employee and a student will be managed by both Human Resources and the Complaint Resolution Unit.
Anonymous Reports or Reports of Sexual Misconduct made by a third party (someone other than the individual who was directly subjected to the Sexual Misconduct) can also be submitted to the Complaint Resolution Unit.
CUSBLT may be unable to proceed with an Investigation involving anonymous or third-party allegations due to a lack of evidence from the individual who was directly subjected to the sexual misconduct, or where proceeding would not allow for procedural fairness.
The Complaint Resolution Unit may take other steps, including an approach via the third party to see if the individual affected would consider making a Report.
Where other sufficient evidence exists and where procedural fairness could be met, CUSBLT may decide to proceed with an investigation. In such cases, the individual who was directly subjected to the sexual misconduct has the right to be advised of the investigation and not participate.
If CUSBLT is unable to proceed with an investigation involving anonymous or third-party allegations, the Report will be retained by the Complaint Resolution Unit. It will be kept strictly confidential, and access to it will be limited.
A perception of a conflict of interest may be seen to exist where it would be likely that an individual might reasonably fear that a more senior staff member managing a Report might be influenced by factors other than employment management considerations.
The same reasoning applies to an employee with teaching or academic supervision responsibilities where factors other than proper academic management considerations might also create a perception of bias in the mind of a student. While a conflict of interest must always be acknowledged, depending on the circumstances, it may not always be necessary to act upon such a conflict.
However, if there is any doubt, advice must be sought from Human Resources (employees) or the Complaint Resolution Unit.
A Report may be investigated as a complaint and/or a discipline process. At any point in considering a Report where it is determined that there is sufficient evidence, or where the matter is serious.
Where a Report indicates a matter that can be resolved informally or where there is insufficient evidence for referral to a discipline process, the Report will be considered under CUSBLT Policy on Student Complaint Resolution, or under the grievance procedures in the relevant Enterprise Agreement.
These complaint/grievance processes allow for informal resolution of matters and an investigation of a complaint matter where needed.
Care should be taken not to pre-judge either party or to dismiss a matter as trivial. A range of strategies can be used in resolving the complaint whilst ensuring that principles of procedural fairness are observed.
For the purposes of these procedures, an employee responding to a complaint or allegation(s) of sexual misconduct is referred to as employee respondent and a Student responding to a complaint or allegation(s) of sexual misconduct is referred to as student respondent.
During either the informal or formal steps, a complaint investigation can meet the requirements of the initial inquiry stage of a discipline process. If disciplinary action is required, the matter should be referred to Employee Relations in the case of an employee, or to the Complaint Resolution Unit in the case of a student, so that the matter can be dealt with under the appropriate regulations.
However, even if the matter can be resolved at a local level, it may be important to utilize support from other areas of expertise in order to manage the situation effectively and also for reporting purposes.
Where no matters are substantiated or identified as requiring consideration under the relevant discipline procedures, a complaint will be found not justified and closed. This decision can be appealed (procedures clause 12).
When CUSBLT determines that a matter(s) arising from a Report may require disciplinary action, it should be referred to:
This decision can be made on receipt of a report or during the complaint resolution process.
Where an initial inquiry determines that an allegation does not meet the required standard of proof, no further action will be taken.
Where an initial inquiry determines that an allegation is of sufficient substance, CUSBLT will investigate under the relevant discipline procedure.
All parties to an investigation will be afforded procedural fairness and have the right to have a support individual with them.
The Complaint Resolution Unit will investigate, or cause to be investigated, an allegation of Sexual Misconduct. Where the respondent is an employee, this will be referred to Employee Relations. Where the respondent is a student, the investigation will be undertaken by the Complaints Resolution Unit.
Both areas responsible for an investigation may appoint an external investigator.
The Human Resource will consider and determine the suspension of an employee respondent during an investigation or termination. These decisions will be made in accordance with the relevant Enterprise Agreement.
The Chief Academic Officer will consider if a student respondent should be suspended during an investigation and any determination of exclusion or expulsion will be made in accordance with the regulations for student conduct and discipline.
A complainant who is unhappy with a CUSBLT decision under the complaint/grievance procedures should refer to the relevant appeal steps in CUSBLT Policy on Student Complaint.
Resolution (students), or the relevant Enterprise Agreement (employees).
A respondent who is dissatisfied with a CUSBLT decision regarding an allegation of sexual misconduct should refer to the appeal process in Regulations for student conduct and discipline (students) or the relevant Enterprise Agreement (employees).
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