Compliance with Non-Discrimination Laws and Regulations
The university deplores the unfair treatment of individuals based on race, gender, socio-economic status, age, physical disability, or cultural differences, regardless whether such treatment is intentional or simply resultant from careless or insensitive behavior. Rather, employees and members of the student body should embrace the expectation of Scripture to love God with all their being and their neighbors as themselves.
Biola University operates in compliance with all applicable federal and state non-discrimination laws and regulations in conducting its programs and activities and in its employment decisions. Such laws and regulations include:
1. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination based on race, color, and national origin in the programs and activities of the university. This policy of non-discrimination also complies with Internal Revenue Service Revenue Ruling 71-447 required for maintaining the university’s tax-exempt status.
2. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on sex, race, religion, color, or national origin.
3. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in the recruitment and admission of students, the recruitment and employment of faculty and staff, and the operation of its programs and activities. The Section 504 Compliance Coordinator for the university is Dr. Kevin Grant, Director of the Learning Center, (x4542).
4. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (Public Law 101-336), the purpose of which is to afford the disabled equal opportunity and full participation in life activities and to prohibit discrimination based on disability in employment, public service, public accommodations, telecommunications, and transportation.
5. The Age Discrimination Act of 1975, which prohibits age-based discrimination against persons of all ages in programs and activities of the university.
6. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, which prohibits discrimination against persons aged 40 and over regarding employment decisions.
7. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits all forms of discrimination on the basis of gender (including sexual harassment) in programs and activities of the university, except where the university has been granted exemptions based on its religious tenets.
As a religious institution, the university is exempted from certain provisions of the above laws and regulations relating to discrimination on the basis of religion.
Sexual Harassment Policy
It is the policy of Biola University to maintain the university environment as a Christian community that provides a place for spiritual growth, work, and study free of all forms of sexual intimidation and exploitation. All students, staff, and faculty should be aware that the university is prepared to take action to prevent such intimidation and exploitation and that individuals who engage in such behavior are subject to discipline.
Sexual harassment can vary with particular circumstances, but generally it is defined as unwelcome or offensive sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, unwanted or uninvited verbal suggestions or comments of a sexual nature, or objectionable physical contact. Additionally, sexual assault is a form of sexual harassment and therefore is processed under the university’s Title IX policy in compliance with both federal law and California law regarding sexual assault. For additional information and definitions on sexual assault please refer to section VII of this policy. For purposes of this policy, all references to sexual harassment include instances of sexual assault.
None of these actions reflect a Christian attitude or commitment and all adversely affect the working or learning environment. Coercive behavior, including suggestions that academic or employment reprisals or rewards will follow the refusal or granting of sexual favors, or conduct that unreasonably interferes with an individual's work or academic performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment constitutes a violation of the university's spiritual and/or educational standards, objectives and goals; and such misconduct will not be tolerated.
Under the direction of the appropriate administrator, the university will thoroughly investigate any such reports and will take whatever corrective action is deemed necessary, including disciplining or discharging any individual who is found to have violated this prohibition against harassment. The reporting student or employee will be informed of the action taken. These university officials will also take action to protect the reporting student or employee to prevent further harassment or retaliation and as appropriate, to redress any harm done.
It is the policy of the university not to tolerate sexual harassment and appropriate disciplinary action will be taken whenever such harassment is demonstrated. Any individuals engaging in such conduct contrary to the university policy may be personally liable in legal action brought against them.
A student or employee who feels that he or she has been sexually harassed may meet with a person officially designated to receive reports of discrimination, and to work for resolution in such situations.
Procedure for Processing Complaints of Unlawful Discrimination, Including Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault
I. Intent of the Procedure
Biola University is committed to maintaining the university environment as a Christian community that provides a place for spiritual growth, work, and study free of all forms of unlawful discrimination and sexual harassment. The intent of this procedure is to implement all applicable civil rights legislation and to make a good faith effort to ensure that no person shall, on the basis of race, ethnic group identification, national origin, age, sex, color, or physical or mental disability, be unlawfully subjected to discrimination under any program or activity offered under the control of Biola University. Complaints of sexual harassment are included in the complaint procedures described below (for purposes of this procedure, all references to sexual harassment include instances of sexual assault). It is the intent of these procedures to allow for the prompt and equitable resolution of all complaints.
II. General Provisions
These procedures apply to the processing of complaints arising from alleged unlawful discriminatory actions including sexual harassment. Any student, applicant for admission, employee, or applicant for employment (administrative staff or faculty) who believes that he or she is a victim of discriminatory action may file a complaint under these procedures. Student or employee complaints based on grounds other than discrimination should be pursued under the grievance and appeal procedures contained in the student handbook, faculty handbook, employee handbook, or other applicable mechanism.
1. Complainant: The complainant is an individual or group of individuals who believe that unlawful discrimination or sexual harassment may have or has occurred.
2. Respondent: The respondent is an individual or group of individuals against whom an allegation of unlawful discrimination or sexual harassment is made.
3. Complaint: A complaint is an allegation that a student, employee, applicant for admission, or employment has been subjected to unlawful discrimination or sexual harassment.
4. Preponderance of Evidence: Standard of determining the validity/outcome of a complaint. Preponderance infers it is more likely than not, that the alleged incident did or did not occur.
C. Title IX Coordinator/s and Section 504 Coordinator:
The Title IX Senior Coordinator (Ron Mooradian, Sr. Director of Human Resources) maintains authority over the compliance and adjudication of all Title IX complaints and all other complaints of unlawful discrimination under this procedure with the exception of any complaint of unlawful discrimination based on disability which will be overseen by the Section 504 Compliance Coordinator designated below. However, depending on the complainant’s affiliation with the university, a specific Deputy Title IX Coordinator will oversee the investigation.
1. Title IX Deputy Coordinators for undergraduate student (or applicant) complainants: Associate Dean of Students, Matthew Hooper (Address: Student Development, Biola University, 13800 Biola Avenue, La Mirada, CA 90639, (Student Services Building), Phone: x4874, E-mail: email@example.com) or Director of Student Care, Katrina Powell (Address: Student Development, Biola University, 13800 Biola Avenue, La Mirada, CA 90639, (Student Services Building), Phone: x4874, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
2. Title IX Deputy Coordinator for graduate student (or applicant) complaints: Dr. Tamara Anderson (Address: Rosemead School of Psychology, Biola University, 13800 Biola Avenue, La Mirada, CA 90639, (Rose Hall), Phone: x4867, E-mail: email@example.com).
3. Title IX Deputy Coordinators for Biola University Faculty, Administration, and Staff: Sr. Director of Human Resources, Ron Mooradian (Address: Human Resources, Biola University, 13800 Biola Avenue, La Mirada, CA 90639, (Metzger Hall), Phone: x4757, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org) or Assoc. Dir. of Human Resources, Susan Kaneshiro (Address: Human Resources, Biola University, 13800 Biola Avenue, La Mirada, CA 90639, (Metzger Hall), Phone: x4757, E-mail: email@example.com).
4. Title IX Deputy Coordinator for pre-college youth programs: Director of Ministry Outreach, Mike Brimmage (Address: Ministry Outreach, 14540 San Cristobal Dr. (Building 10), La Mirada, CA. 90638, Phone: x4056, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
5. Section 504 Compliance Coordinator, Director of the Learning Center, Dr. Kevin Grant (Address: Learning Center, Biola University, 13800 Biola Avenue, La Mirada, CA 90639, (Library), Phone: x4542, E-mail: email@example.com). The Section 504 Compliance Coordinator will be responsible for overseeing any complaint of unlawful discrimination based on disability under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and/or The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. All references in this procedure to a Title IX Deputy Coordinator will apply to the Section 504 Compliance Coordinator.
6. Title IX Coordinator for Inter-Collegiate Athletic Programs: Assistant Athletic Director and Head Women's Basketball Coach, Dr. Bethany Miller (Address: Biola University, 13800 Biola Avenue, La Mirada, CA. 90639 (Gymnasium Building), Phone: x4082, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
If the complainant does not meet requirements of the procedure, the TItle IX Coordinator/Deputy Coordinator shall immediately notify the complainant of the specific deficiencies of the complaint.
D. Retaliation Prohibited:
Any retaliatory action of any kind by an employee or student of the university against any other employee, student, or applicant of the university as a result of that person’s seeking redress under these procedures, cooperating with an investigation, or other participation in these procedures is prohibited and may be regarded as the basis for disciplinary action.
The privacy and confidentiality of the parties shall be maintained to the extent possible during the processing of a complaint.
University response may be hindered and limited with a complainant desiring anonymity and/or inaction. The university may be obliged to pursue an alleged sexual assault through internal disciplinary procedures without the cooperation of the complainant. In such instances, the university will inform the complainant of its obligation to address a community safety issue.
F. Resolution Options:
Individuals are encouraged to use this procedure to resolve their complaints of unlawful discrimination or sexual harassment. However, they may also file a complaint at the beginning, during or after use of Biola’s complaint procedure with:
U.S. Department of Education
Office of Civil Rights
50 United Nations Plaza
San Francisco, CA 94102
U.S. Equal Employment
111 N. Market Street
San Jose, CA 95113
III. Processing of a Complaint
Any person who believes he/she has been discriminated against, sexually harassed, or sexually assaulted may file a complaint with the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Coordinator. In order for a complaint to be processed, the complaint must be filed within 120 days of the alleged unlawful discriminatory action or sexual harassment, or within 120 days of the complainant learning of the discriminatory action or sexual harassment unless unusual circumstances exist that would extend the time for the filing of such a complaint as determined by the Senior Title IX Coordinator.
Additionally, individuals are strongly encouraged to report alleged incidents of sexual assault immediately to the department of Campus Safety and/or other local law enforcement. Campus Safety personnel will assist and advise regarding the importance of preserving evidence for the proof of a criminal offense and to whom the alleged offense should be reported. However, it is the individual’s decision whether or not to file a police report or to pursue civil action against the alleged perpetrator.
Individuals will have access to support and referral services on campus regardless of whether or not she/he decides to report the incident to local law enforcement.
IV. Informal Procedures
The university has established the following informal process to resolve charges of unlawful discrimination or sexual harassment within thirty (30) calendar days:
A. The complainant or person who would like assistance in determining whether unlawful discrimination or sexual harassment has occurred should be referred to the appropriate Title IX Deputy Coordinator.
B. The Title IX Deputy Coordinator shall meet with the concerned individual to:
1. understand the nature of the concern;
2. give to complainant a copy of the Biola University policy and procedure concerning unlawful discrimination and sexual harassment and inform complainant of his or her rights under any relevant complaint procedure or policy;
3. assist the individual in any way advisable.
C. If deemed appropriate, Title IX Deputy Coordinator shall meet with the respondent to inform him/her of the nature of the concern.
D. If the parties agree to a proposed resolution that does not include disciplinary action, the resolution shall be implemented and the informal process shall be concluded. At any time, during the informal process the complainant may initiate a formal complaint.
This informal procedure is not appropriate for cases involving alleged sexual assault.
Whether or not the complainant files a formal complaint and/or the parties reach a resolution, if Title IX Deputy Coordinator determines that circumstances so warrant, the Title IX Deputy Coordinator shall initiate a formal investigation and take appropriate actions as necessary to fully remedy any harm that occurred as a result of unlawful discrimination or sexual harassment and to prevent any further unlawful discrimination or sexual harassment.
E. The Title IX Deputy Coordinator shall keep a written log of discussions and a record of the resolution. This information shall become part of the official investigation file if the complainant initiates a formal complaint. A letter summarizing the informal investigation and the resolution agreed upon shall be sent to the complainant and the respondent and kept as part of the record.
F. Once a complaint is put in writing and signed by the complainant, the complaint is considered to be formal and the formal complaint procedures should be followed.
V. Formal Procedures
Where informal complaint procedures are not possible or appropriate or fail to satisfactorily resolve the matter, the complainant may file a formal written complaint with Title IX Senior Coordinator or a Deputy Coordinator.
A. On the Unlawful Discrimination/Harassment Complaint, the complainant shall describe in detail such alleged unlawful discrimination or sexual harassment and the action the complainant requests to resolve the matter. All written complaints shall be signed and dated by the complainant and, where known, shall contain at least the name(s) of the individual(s) involved, the date(s) of the event(s) at issue, and a detailed description of the actions constituting the alleged unlawful discrimination or sexual harassment. Names, addresses and phone numbers of witnesses or potential witnesses should also be included, if possible.
B. Within five (5) working days after the receipt of the signed complaint, Title IX Deputy Coordinator will review the complaint to determine whether it describes the kind of unlawful discrimination or sexual harassment which is prohibited under these procedures, and whether the complaint sufficiently describes the facts of the alleged misconduct.
If the complaint does not describe the kind of prohibited conduct the university investigates under these procedures, the complainant will be notified and will be referred to the appropriate process. If the complaint does not sufficiently describe the facts giving rise to the complaint so that a determination can be made regarding the alleged misconduct, the complaint will be returned and the complainant will be invited to submit an amended complaint providing enough factual detail to allow the above determination to be made.
C. Within ten (10) working days of receiving the complaint or amended complaint, the appropriate Title IX Deputy Coordinator shall act as investigator or shall appoint one or more investigators to act alone, together or in conjunction with the Title IX Deputy Coordinator to investigate the charges, and shall notify the appropriate vice president and the respondent that a written complaint has been received and a formal investigation has begun.
For allegations involving sexual harassment, the appropriate Title IX Deputy Coordinator will determine whether “interim actions” should be taken. This process seeks to assess the need to remove any person from campus deemed an immediate threat or danger to any member of the campus community or to take other temporary actions to protect the safety of the complainant. The university will investigate claims of sexual harassment/sexual assault even if the complainant does not wish to pursue disciplinary or legal action. Additionally, if the complainant desires to press legal charges, local law enforcement may also conduct a formal investigation.
D. The investigator(s) shall within ten (10) working days of the complainant’s referral to the formal complaint process, commence an investigation of the alleged unlawful discrimination or sexual harassment. The investigator(s) shall meet with the complainant to review the nature of the complaint and identify the scope and nature of the investigation. The investigator(s) shall also meet with the respondent to present a copy of the complaint and this policy, to receive the respondent’s answer to the complaint and to review with the respondent the scope and nature of the investigation. Any written response from the respondent shall be given to the complainant.
E. The investigator(s) shall thoroughly investigate the complaint. Prior to completing the investigation, the investigator(s) shall meet again with the complainant and the respondent separately to give an overview of the steps taken during the investigation, to ask the complainant and the respondent for the names of any others the investigator(s) should speak with, and to request any additional information.
F. After completion of the investigation, the investigator(s) shall meet with the vice president designated below. The appropriate vice president shall be responsible for reviewing the report of the investigator(s), making factual determinations, and reaching a conclusion regarding the charges and appropriate disciplinary sanction, if any, in consultation with the Sr. Title IX Coordinator and /or Deputy Coordinator involved in the matter.
1. If both parties are undergraduate students - Provost.
2. If one or both parties are administrative staff members – Vice President of Business and Financial Affairs, unless the complainant or respondent is a Business and Financial Affairs employee, in which case the Provost.
3. Any case not covered above – Provost or other appropriate vice president designated by the Provost.
G. Within sixty (60) calendar days of receiving the complaint, the investigation shall be completed and a determination shall be made. A preponderance of evidence standard will be utilized. The Provost or other appropriate vice president shall forward to the complainant and respondent all of the following:
1. a summary of the investigative report;
2. a written notice setting forth:
a. the findings of the appropriate vice president as to whether unlawful discrimination or sexual harassment did or did not occur with respect to each allegation in the complaint;
b. a description of actions taken, if any, to remedy any unlawful discrimination or sexual harassment that occurred, and to prevent similar problems from occurring in the future;
c. the complainant’s and respondent’s right to appeal the determination either as to the finding or to the appropriateness of the recommended actions.
VI. Appeal Rights
A. If the complainant or respondent is not satisfied with the results of the formal level administrative decision, the complainant or respondent may appeal the determination by submitting written objections to the Title IX Senior Coordinator within ten (10) calendar days of the receipt of the determination.
B. The appeal shall be considered by a committee comprised of five (5) persons selected from a standing list of faculty, administrative staff and students available for such purpose (unless the matter involves only employees in which case only faculty and administrative staff may be committee members). The complainant and respondent shall each select one committee member. The two members so chosen shall select a faculty member (from the standing list) who shall be the third committee member. The appropriate vice president and the Title IX Deputy Coordinator involved in the matter shall each select one committee member. The committee members chosen shall select one member to be the voting Chairperson for the committee.
C. Within thirty (30) calendar days of receiving the appeal, the committee shall consider the objections presented, review and evaluate the investigative report and findings of the appropriate vice president and any actions taken, and reach its conclusion (by majority vote) and communicate its conclusion in the form of an advisory recommendation to the President.
D. The President shall issue a decision in writing to the complainant and respondent within ten (10) calendar days of the receipt of the committee’s recommendation, which shall be the final decision of the university in the matter.
VII. Sexual Violence/Assault
In addition to the above policy regarding sexual harassment, the following information is meant as an additional resource for individuals involved in an incident of sexual assault.
Sexual assault is a criminal act that violates the standards of our community and is unacceptable at the university. Sexual assault can be devastating to the person who experiences it directly and can be traumatic to the person’s family, friends, and larger community as well. Sexual assault violations follow the aforementioned procedures outlined above in the Title IX discrimination and harassment section. The Title IX Coordinator/Deputy Coordinator will request Biola University Campus Safety to work in conjunction with the Deputy Coordinator in the investigation of all matters involving sexual assault and sexual violence.
Sexual Assault (Category I) is defined as engaging in sexual intercourse with any person without that person’s consent. Sexual intercourse is the penetration, however slight, of the vagina, or anus with any object or body part, and of the mouth with a sexual body part or sexual object.
Sexual Assault (Category II) is defined as the act of making sexual contact with the intimate body part of another person without that person’s consent. Intimate body parts include the sexual organs, the anus, the groin or buttocks of any person, or the breasts of a female. Sexual contact can occur over clothing.
Consent is defined as an unambiguous and willful participation or cooperation in an act or as an attitude that is commonly understood to be consistent with the exercise of free will. Consent requires participants who are fully conscious, are equally free to act, have clearly communicated their willingness, cooperation, or permission to participate in a specific sexual activity, are positive and clear in their desires, and are able to cease ongoing consensual activity at any time. Refusal to consent does not have to be verbal; it can be expressed with gestures, body language or attitude.
A prior sexual history between the complainant and respondent does not constitute consent. Consent is not freely given if one of the following applies:
a) the individual is unable to make an informed decision as a result of alcohol, drugs, or other impairing/intoxicating substances (including but not limited to predatory drugs or prescribed medications); or
b) the individual is unconscious, asleep, or suffering from shock; or
c) the individual is under the age of eighteen and therefore legally unable to give consent; or
d) the individual has a known mental disorder or developmental or physical disability, and therefore legally unable to give consent.
It is important to note that in the university process, use of alcohol does not diminish personal responsibility or act as a mitigating factor in disciplinary sanctions should a violation be found to have occurred.
College and Community Resources:
The needs of someone who has been sexually assaulted vary from person to person and may vary over time. The university offers services and external resources, many of which may be accessed 24 hours a day, so that a person may choose what he or she would find most helpful and healing.
The university urges anyone who has been sexually assaulted to seek professional support as soon as possible to minimize and treat physical harm, assist with processing the unique and complex emotional aftermath, and help preserve and understand options for legal recourse including criminal prosecution and/or civil litigation. Even if the victim does not wish to report the event to the police or pursue civil litigation or formal university action, seeking medical attention as soon as possible is important. At any point that an individual is ready to come forward, Biola is prepared to help him or her.
The university offers educational resources to the campus community through Student Development, Campus Safety, and the Physical Education Department (Rape and Aggression Defense system).
Biola Sexual Assault Crisis Response Team:
The university’s Sexual Assault Crisis Response Team is available for referral and support services. Members of the team are trained to assist victims by providing information and discussing available resources and options (medical, legal, emotional, and academic), by making referrals and providing access to appropriate university and community services as needed, and providing on-going follow-up to the victim.
The contact members are:
• Matthew Hooper, Associate Dean of Students, x5839.
• Dawn White, Assistant Director of Residence Life, x5842.
Individuals who believe they have experienced a violation of the Title IX/Sexual Assault Policy are encouraged to contact the Sexual Assault Crisis Response Team for assistance.
Other Available Resources:
Biola Counseling Center: 562-903-4800
Information and resource referral, Professional Building
Biola Health Center: 562-903-4841
Medical and information resource, next to Library
Coordinator of Student Care x4874 or 562-903-4874
Information about the Title IX/Sexual Assault Policy, Student Services building
Biola Campus Safety Department: x5111
Biola external emergency line: 562-777-4000
National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE
Sexual Assault Crisis Hotline 24 hour: 714-957-2737
Local hospitals that have a SART (Sexual Assault Response Team):
Whittier Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital
12401 Washington Blvd.
Whittier, CA 90602
Long Beach Community Hospital
1720 Termino Ave.
Long Beach, CA 90804
Confidentiality/Legal Reporting Requirements:
The University will make every reasonable effort to preserve an individual’s privacy and protect the confidentiality of information related to sexual assault. The degree to which confidentiality can be protected, however, depends upon the professional role of the person being consulted. The professional being consulted should make these limits clear before any disclosure of facts. An individual can speak confidentially with certain persons in legally protected roles. They include counselors at the Biola Counseling Center, medical clinicians, clergy, and sexual assault counselors. Exceptions to maintaining confidentiality are set by law; for example, physicians and nurses who treat a physical injury sustained during sexual assault are required to report to law enforcement. Also, physicians, nurses, psychologists, psychiatrists, and social workers must report a sexual assault committed against a person under 18 years of age to a child protective agency. Information shared with other individuals is not legally protected from being disclosed.
Any requests for information by the press or other parties concerning incidents of sexual assault should be directed to the Biola University Communications and Marketing office.