1. What types of discrimination, harassment or sexual misconduct are prohibited by law and University policy?

Fresno Pacific University’s Policy and Procedures for Claims of Unlawful Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Misconduct and Title IX (“Policy”) prohibit all forms of illegal harassment and discrimination under California and federal law. 

The Policy specifically prohibits the following:  Any form of harassment or discrimination on the basis of race; color, national origin (including possessing a driver’s license issued under Vehicle Code § 12801.9), or ancestry; age; physical or mental disability, perceived disability or perceived potential disability; sex, gender, pregnancy or perceived pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding or medical conditions related to pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding; medical condition; citizenship; military and veteran status; genetic characteristics; political affiliation; or any other classifications protected by applicable federal, state, or local laws and ordinances (“Protected Class” or “Protected Classes”).

Fresno Pacific University is governed by the Pacific District Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches. The University is deeply and intentionally rooted in the Anabaptist Christian tradition.  The University has developed a Statement of Faith consistent with the denomination (also referred to as a Confession of Faith) and the Fresno Pacific Idea documents which reflect the University’s interpretation of what it means to be a community of learners committed to a distinctive vision of Christian higher education. The theological position of the University is represented in its Statement of Faith, as expressed in the Confession of Faith of the US Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches.  As a Christian university, FPU administers the Policy in alignment with the University’s Statement of Faith, the FPU Idea and applicable exemptions for religious institutions afforded by state and federal law. Nothing in the Policy is intended to limit or otherwise conflict with the University’s exercise of rights as a religious institution and/or under applicable religious exemptions.

2. What conduct is prohibited by Title IX?

Title IX prohibits discrimination and harassment on the basis of gender or sex in the University’s programs and activities. Title IX prohibited sex-based conduct includes: (a) any employee conditioning participation in the University’s activities and programs on unwelcome sexual conduct; (b) unwelcome sexual conduct that is severe, pervasive and objectively offensive such that it denies equal access; (c) sexual assault, including but not limited to rape; (d) dating violence; (e) domestic violence; or (f) stalking.

3. Who is Fresno Pacific University's Title IX Coordinator?

Name: Ms. Pam Schock, M.A., Assistant Dean of Student Development & Title IX Coordinator

Phone: 559-453-7115

Email: pam.schock@fresno.edu

Office: Steinert Campus Center Room 135, Fresno Main Campus, 1717 S. Chestnut Avenue, Fresno, CA 93702

4. Are other forms of sexual misconduct prohibited by University policy?

Yes. California has its own laws prohibiting sexual harassment and sexual assault that cover some types of sexual misconduct not covered under Title IX.  FPU abides by these laws as well.  Specifically, in addition to prohibiting the same types of conduct Title IX prohibits, California prohibited sexual harassment also includes conduct which is severe or pervasive that unreasonably denies, adversely limits or interferes with a person’s participation in or benefit from the educational program, employment or other programs and activities of the University and creates an environment that is intimidating or offensive to a reasonable person.

5. What is sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment is unwelcome verbal, visual or physical conduct creating an intimidating, offensive, or hostile work or educational environment that interferes with a person's work or educational performance or creates an environment such that a reasonable person would find the conduct intimidating, hostile or offensive.  Some examples of harassment based on sex or gender include obscene or vulgar gestures, posters, or comments; sexual jokes or comments about a person's body, sexual prowess, or sexual deficiencies; propositions, or suggestive or insulting comments of a sexual nature; derogatory cartoons, posters, and drawings; sexually-explicit e-mails or voicemails; uninvited touching of a sexual nature; or unwelcome sexually-related comments. Furthermore, sexual harassment that is specifically prohibited by Title IX includes: (a) any employee conditioning participation in the University’s activities and programs on unwelcome sexual conduct; (b) unwelcome sexual conduct that is severe, pervasive and objectively offensive such that it denies equal access; (c) sexual assault, including but not limited to rape; (d) dating violence; (e) domestic violence; or (f) stalking.

6. What do I do if I think I or someone I know has been subjected to discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment or Title IX sexual harassment (including sexual assault)? How do I make a report of discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct or Title IX sexual harassment?

If you or someone you know are experiencing, or have experienced, discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct or Title IX sexual harassment from a student, professor, other employee of the University, or anyone else connected with or affiliated with University, you should report it.  You can also report sexual misconduct in order to receive supportive measures from the University, like referrals to counseling services or assistance reporting a crime to the police, which may help you or the victim to repair the harm that was caused by the misconduct.

You can report verbally, via phone or via email to the Title IX Coordinator, or any Responsible Employee, Department of Student Development, Office of Human Resources or to another appropriate office, such as to the Dean of any of the University’s colleges, the Office of the Provost or Office of the President. Any person or office that receives a report (except for Confidential Resources) must forward it to either the Title IX Coordinator, the highest-level administrator in the Department of Student Development, or the highest-level administrator in the Office of Human Resources for review. If the person to whom a report normally would be made to is the Respondent, reports may be made to another Responsible Employee or office.  

You can also report by submitting the online form, either with your name or anonymously. The online form is located on the University’s website at https://handbook.fresno.edu/title-ix/how-report. If you file anonymously it may limit the University’s ability to take action to stop and prevent illegal harassment and discrimination.

7. What are FPU’s obligations when it has notice of an incident of Title IX Sexual Harassment taking place and the respondent is a FPU community member or third-party vendor?

If the University knows about a student or employee being subject to unlawful Title IX Sexual Harassment and the respondent is a student, the University will discuss with the complainant (or the alleged victim if the alleged victim is not the reporting party) options for resolution.  Some of the questions asked include the following:

  • Does the complainant want to file a “formal” Title IX Complaint?
  • Even if the complainant does not want to file a “formal” Title IX Complaint or the conduct does not rise to the level of a “formal” Title IX Complaint, does the complainant want supportive measures?
  • Is the complainant interested in an informal resolution process if one is available?

As part of this dialogue, the Title IX Coordinator will explain what it means to file a formal complaint, whether an investigation will take place, and options that might be available for informal resolution, such as mediation or a community justice conference.  While the matter will be kept as confidential as possible, but in some cases the University may be required to disclose information as required by law or University policy.

Supportive measures will be offered and implemented at the request of the complainant, regardless of whether a formal complaint is made and regardless of whether the matter is investigated. Supportive measures are always available to a complainant or victim of discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct or Title IX sexual harassment regardless of the status of a report/complaint.

If an investigation takes place and reveals that illegal sexual harassment or sexual violence occurred, the University must then take appropriate prompt and effective steps to end the sexual harassment or sexual violence, prevent its recurrence and address its effects.

8. What is a “Formal” Title IX Complaint? 

A formal Title IX Complaint is when a the alleged victim (or for underaged students, their parent/guardian) files a report alleging another person has subjected them to Title IX Sexual Harassment and the report contains a physical or digital signature, or otherwise indicates  the identity of the person filing the Formal Title IX Sexual Harassment Complaint.  If the identity of the Respondent is not known to the Complainant, the Complainant does not need to include the Respondent’s identity in the Complaint, as this may be determined during the investigation process.  In some instances, the Title IX Coordinator may file a formal Title IX Complaint.

Other requirements for filing Formal Title IX complaints will be reviewed by the Title IX Coordinator once the report is made to ensure compliance with the Policy.

9. What are FPU’s obligations when it has notice of an incident of discrimination, harassment or sexual misconduct (that is not Title IX sexual harassment) has taken place and the respondent is a FPU community member?

If the University knows about a student or employee being subject to unlawful discrimination, harassment or sexual misconduct that is not Title IX sexual harassment the University will take immediate and appropriate steps to investigate or otherwise determine what occurred.  While the matter will be kept as confidential as possible, the University may be required to disclose information required by law or University policy, including investigating the matter.  Supportive measures will be offered and implemented at the request of the complainant.

If an investigation takes place and reveals that illegal harassment, discrimination or sexual violence occurred, the University must then take prompt and effective steps reasonably calculated to end the discrimination, harassment or sexual misconduct, prevent its recurrence and, as appropriate, address its effects on the complainant and University community.

10. What are FPU’s obligations when it has notice of an incident of discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct or Title IX sexual harassment taking place and the respondent is not a FPU community member?

If the University knows about a student or employee being subject to unlawful discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct or Title IX sexual harassment, the University will take immediate and appropriate steps to provide the complainant (alleged victim if the alleged victim is not the reporting party) with supportive and safety measures. In cases where the respondent is not a member of the FPU community, the University’s ability to act with regard to the respondent may be limited; however, a report of misconduct can still be made, and the University will offer supportive measures to students or employees who may have experienced such misconduct.  To the extent possible, even with respondents that are not members of the FPU community, the University will take action to address the alleged misconduct consistent with the Policy.

11. What are the reporting obligations for University’s employees (e.g., faculty, staff, administration, students employed with the University) if they know of an allegation of discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct or Title IX sexual harassment of or by a University student or employee?

Report the matter to the promptly – a student or employee is not required to initiate an investigation and you do not need be sure, or figure out, if the allegation is true or not in order for your reporting obligation to be triggered. If the student or employee needs emergency assistance call 9-1-1 and then report the matter.

You can report verbally, via phone or via email to any Responsible Employee, the University’s Title IX Coordinator, Department of Student Development, Office of Human Resources or to another appropriate office, such as to the Dean of any of the University’s colleges, the Office of the Provost or Office of the President.

You can also report by submitting the online form, either with their name or anonymously. The online form is located on the University’s website at https://handbook.fresno.edu/title-ix/how-report. You can file a concern or complaint online either with your name or anonymously, but if you file anonymously it may limit the University’s ability to take action to stop and prevent illegal harassment and discrimination.

12. What if an alleged victim of harassment, discrimination sexual misconduct or Title IX sexual harassment requests confidentiality?

Only specifically designated employees are confidential resources and may abstain from making a report.  If a student wants to discuss discrimination or harassment confidentially, the student can access FPU’s confidential resources which include the Campus Nurse; mental health counselors; or the Campus Chaplain employed within the Office of Spiritual Formation. Confidential Resources are exempt from reporting allegations of harassment, discrimination, sexual misconduct and Title IX sexual harassment when working in the course and scope of their licensure or ordination.

Responsible employees (all but those listed above as Confidential Resources) are mandated to report disclosures of discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct or Title IX sexual harassment to a Responsible Administrator (VP of Campus Life, Executive Director of HR or Title IX Coordinator).  

For complaints of discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct and Title IX sexual harassment generally the University will seek to honor the request of the alleged victim not to proceed to a Title IX investigation and to remain confidential except when the Respondent is a University employee.  Exceptions to this general rule may occur, for example when an ongoing threat to the campus community exists.  The Responsible administrator will consider a number of factors in deciding whether the request can be honored, including the age of the Complainant, whether other HR laws otherwise require an investigation, whether there is evidence of a pattern of misconduct, the severity of the misconduct, and whether there is a safety risk to the alleged victim, the University community or the public. Should the University, in weighing such factors, determine it must proceed, the University will explain its rationale to the alleged victim.

Importantly, an alleged victim does not need to file a Formal Complaint of Title IX Sexual Harassment in order to receive support services.

13. What can I expect after filing a complaint regarding illegal discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct, or Title IX sexual harassment?

The Policy sets forth procedures applicable to how the University handles complaints of this nature.  Different procedures apply to complaints of formal Title IX sexual harassment, as compared to other forms of harassment, discrimination or sexual misconduct.  If an investigation takes place, both the complainant and respondent will be provided an opportunity to share facts with the investigator, identify witnesses and provide evidence. In some cases, following the investigation, a live hearing may take place where a neutral hearing officer oversees cross examination of the parties.  If you file a complaint, or if you are accused of illegal discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct or Title IX sexual harassment, you will receive additional information notifying you in full regarding your rights under the University’s procedures.

14. Who can a student contact if they want to discuss a Title IX sexual harassment (including sexual assault) related concern or other potential unlawful discrimination, harassment or sexual misconduct in a confidential manner?

FPU’s confidential resources include only medical and nursing professionals such: as the Campus Nurse; mental health counselors; the Campus Pastor, Associate Campus Pastors or Campus Chaplin employed within the Office of Spiritual Formation; other persons working pursuant to a professional license requiring confidentiality while working on campus. Confidential Resources are exempt from reporting allegations of harassment and discrimination they receive when working in the course and scope of their licensure or ordination.

Additionally, there are other resources in the Fresno/Clovis area where students may seek help without University involvement, as follows:

15. What safety measures and other supportive measures are available to a student or employee when they report an incident of discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct or Title IX sexual harassment?

The Title IX Coordinator, or another appropriate Responsible Administrator, will meet with an alleged victim to discuss with them information about their options for supportive and safety measures. Upon a report of discrimination, harassment or sexual misconduct (that on its face is not Title IX sexual harassment), the responsible administrator will work with the complainant to put supportive measures in place.  

In the event that the alleged behavior reported meets the definition of Title IX sexual harassment on its face, students or employees can discuss with the Title IX Coordinator whether they would like to file a Formal Title IX Sexual Harassment Complaint in addition to receiving supportive measures.

Supportive measures could include:

  • Counseling services referrals
  • Academic accommodations
  • Campus Safety escort services
  • No contact orders
  • Limitation on extracurricular activities
  • Assistance with filing a police report
  • Other appropriate actions as necessary

16. Who can a student or employee contact to ask that one or more of these safety and/or supportive measures are put in place?

A University student or employee may contact the Title IX Coordinator, and employees may also contact the Executive Director of Human Resources, to request a supportive or safety measure be put in place.  

17. What if I am accused of discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct or Title IX sexual harassment?  What support is available to me?

If you have been accused of discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct or Title IX sexual harassment, in most cases you will receive notice regarding the concern and be provided supportive measures to assist you throughout the investigation and adjudication process, including an advisor at the live hearing if one occurs.  You are entitled to a presumption of innocence in grievance procedures for Formal Title IX Sexual Harassment Complaints and to be treated equitably throughout the grievance process.

If you believe you need support from the University because you have been accused of sexual misconduct, you should contact the Title IX Coordinator.

18.    What is the purpose of University’s investigation process for complaints of discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct Title IX sexual harassment?

The purpose of University’s investigation process is to determine:

  • Whether or not prohibited conduct has occurred;
  • Whether there is an ongoing risk of harm from further prohibited conduct and, if so, what steps are necessary to prevent its recurrence;
  • Whether the conduct warrants any Corrective and Preventative Measures; and
  • Whether any changes to policies, practices or training should be considered and implemented.

During an investigation, if facts emerge which indicate additional or different supportive measures are necessary, the Title IX Coordinator may modify supportive measures as the investigation proceeds.  Following an investigation, the applicable University grievance procedure will determine whether conduct prohibited by the Policy has occurred.  More information regarding the grievance procedures is contained in the Policy.

19. Are there any informal resolution procedures for resolving concerns or allegations regarding illegal discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct or Title IX sexual harassment?

The University offers two forms of informal resolution procedures:  facilitated restorative justice and mediation. However, not all concerns, allegations or complaints of illegal discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct or Title IX sexual harassment will be eligible for informal resolution.  It is not available for any matter involving an employee respondent (i.e., when an employee has been accused of illegal discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct or Title IX sexual harassment).  Informal resolution procedures are available if they meet the following criteria:

  1. The Responsible Administrator, in consultation with the Department of Student Development (for student participants) and the Office of Human Resources (for employee participants), chooses to offer an informal resolution process;
  2. In matters of Title IX Sexual Harassment, a Formal Title IX Sexual Harassment Complaint has been filed;
  3. The respondent is a student, who is not also an employee, and the student is willing to accept the Preventative and Corrective Measures resulting from the informal process;
  4. All parties have received a written notice disclosing the allegations, the requirements of the informal process, a statement that during the informal process either party has a right to withdraw and resume the applicable grievance process, and any consequences resulting from participating in the informal process including what records will be maintained or shared from the informal process (“Notice of Informal Resolution Procedures”);
  5. The parties wish to resolve the matter without completion of an investigation or adjudication, or where the respondent desires to admit responsibility for the alleged Prohibited Conduct; and
  6. The complainant and respondent both voluntarily provide written consent to participate in the informal process (“Participation Agreement”).