Sexual Misconduct: Learn More

Sexual Misconduct: Learn More content

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The following policies apply to various forms of sexual misconduct in the context of UWL programs and activities:

Sexual Harassment (UW Board of Regents policy 14-2) is a form of discriminatory harassment. Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other physical conduct and expressive behavior of a sexual nature where:

(a)            submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment or education;

(b)            submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for academic or employment decisions affecting that individual; or

(c)             such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual's academic or professional performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive employment or educational environment.

Sexual Assault (Wis. Stat. § 940.225(4)) is sexual intercourse or sexual contact with a person without the consent of that person. Consent (Wis. Stat. § 940.224(4)) consists of words or overt actions by a person who is competent to give informed consent indicating a freely given agreement to have sexual intercourse or sexual contact. Individuals incapacitated due to an intoxicant are generally incapable of providing consent.

Dating Violence (Wis. Stat. § 813.12(1)(ag)) is violence committed in a “dating relationship,” which is defined as a romantic or intimate social relationship between two adult individuals but “dating relationship” does not include a casual relationship or an ordinary fraternization between two individuals in a business or social context.

Domestic Violence (Wis. Stat. §§ 813.12(1)(am); 968.075(1)(a)) is any of the following engaged in by an adult family member or adult household member against another adult family member or adult household member, by an adult caregiver against an adult who is under the caregiver’s care, by an adult against his or her adult former spouse, by an adult against an adult with who the individual has or had a dating relationship, or by an adult against an adult with whom the person has a child in common:

1. Intentional infliction of physical pain, physical injury or illness.

2. Intentional impairment of physical condition.

3. A violation of the state statute regarding sexual assault (Wis. Stat. § 940.225(1), (2) or (3).

4. A violation of the state statute regarding stalking (Wis. Stat. § 940.32).

5. A violation of the state statute regarding damage to property (Wis. Stat. § 943.01), involving property that belongs to the individual.

6. A threat to engage in the conduct under 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 listed above.

Stalking (Wis. Stat. § 940.32(2)) is intentionally engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person under the same circumstances to suffer serious emotional distress or to fear bodily injury to or the death of himself or herself or a member of his or her family or household.

Retaliation (UW Board of Regents policy 14-6) is adverse action taken against an individual in response to, motivated by or in connection with an individual’s having engaged in a protected activity, which includes, but is not limited to, filing a complaint of discrimination or discriminatory harassment, participation in an investigation of such complaint, and/or opposition to discrimination or discriminatory harassment in the educational or workplace setting. An “adverse action” is one that negatively affects significant terms or conditions of employment, or substantially impedes one’s educational progress. A valid complaint of retaliation will specify (1) the protected conduct, (2) the alleged adverse action taken, and (3) the reasons why the complainant believes the adverse action was taken because of the protected conduct.

Reporting obligations

All employees (except confidential resources) are mandated reporters of sexual assault or other sexual misconduct. Please forward any reports you receive to the Title IX Team using our online form

Know your rights

As an employee of UWL, you have the right to a workplace free of discrimination, discriminatory harassment, sexual misconduct and retaliation. For the full Discrimination Policy, click here: DiscriminationPolicy.pdf

If you experience, observe, or learn about discrimination, harassment, or retaliation, please contact Nizam Arain, Director of Affirmative Action, at 785-8541 or narain@uwlax.edu

You may also contact Kathy Accola, Employee Relations Specialist in Human Resources, with any concerns about workplace conduct.

How to support students

If a student shares information about a sexual assult or other sexual misconduct, or seems like they might do so, do not promise confidentiality.

  • Remind the person as soon as possible that you have an obligation to report sexual misconduct to the university, so that they can choose whether or not they want to share more details. If they want to speak to someone confidentially, refer them to our Confidential Resources
  • If they do choose to share more, listen actively and respectfully, and believe them without questioning, judgment or victim-blaming.
  • Acknowledge and respect their disclosure; it is not easy for someone to share personally traumatic experiences.
  • Be aware of common responses to trauma. Depending many personal factors, people experience many different reactions: fear, anxiety, depression, sleep loss, emotional numbness, difficulty remembering details.
  • Don't assume the role of deciding what the person should do next. Let them make their own decisions. For many survivors of trauma, there is a need to re-assert control, personal agency, and empowerment.

Syllabus Statement

The following paragraph can be included in your syllabus to ensure that students are aware of your reporting obligations:

Sexual Misconduct: As an employee of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, I am a mandated reporter of sexual harassment and sexual violence that takes place on campus or otherwise affects the campus community. [This includes students who are engaged in off-campus activities that are part of their educational program at UWL.]* This means that if I receive detailed or specific information about an incident such as the date, time, location, or identity of the people involved, I am obligated to share this with UW-L’s Title IX Coordinator in order to enable the university to take appropriate action to ensure the safety and rights of all involved. For students not wishing to make an official report, there are confidential resources available to provide support and discuss the available options. The contact in Student Life is Ingrid Peterson, Violence Prevention Specialist, (608) 785-8062, ipeterson@uwlax.edu. Please see www.uwlax.edu/sexual-misconduct for more resources or to file a report. 

*This sentence is recommended for courses or programs where students will be engaged in off-campus educational activities that are part of their UWL program.

Student resources

Rights & responsibilities

Confidential resources

Bystander intervention

Conduct process