Sexual Offense Policy for Students
SEXUAL OFFENSE POLICY, PROCEDURES, AND PROGRAMS
The Curtis Institute of Music is committed to protecting the rights and dignity of all students, and seeks to maintain an environment that is free from all forms of unlawful harassment and discrimination.
Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when (1) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or academic advancement, (2) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions or academic decisions affecting such individual, or (3) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unlawfully interfering with an individual's work or academic performance or unlawfully creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or academic environment.
The following types of actions may constitute sexual harassment, whether the harasser is a co-worker, supervisor, student or faculty member:
* demand for sexual favors accompanied by implied threats about the person’s employment status, or implied promises of preferential treatment;
* persistent, unwelcome flirtation, requests for dates, advances or propositions of a sexual nature;
* unwanted touching such as patting, pinching, hugging or repeated brushing against an individual’s body;
* repeated degrading or insulting comments that demean an individual’s sexuality or sex;
* unwarranted displays of sexually suggestive objects or pictures.
The Curtis Institute of Music will not tolerate sexual assault. Sexual violence is a term that identifies a range of behaviors in which any act of a sexual nature is perpetrated against an individual without consent or when an individual is unable to give consent. Consent is an affirmative decision to engage in mutually acceptable sexual activity, and is given by clear words or actions. It is an informed decision made freely and actively by all parties. Consent may not be inferred from silence, passivity, or lack of resistance alone. Furthermore, consent to one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity; thus, the existence of a current or previous dating, marital, and/or sexual relationship is not sufficient to constitute consent to additional sexual activity.
Sexual violence includes, but is not limited to, (a)the unwanted touching or attempted touching of a person’s breast/chest, buttocks, inner thighs, or genitalia; or (b)forced penetration of another person’s oral, anal or genital opening with a body part or any object. These acts can be referred to as sexual violence, and in some cases, rape. The terms “acquaintance rape” and “date rape” are often used to describe an act of sexual violence that is committed by someone the victim knows or is acquainted with.
Sexual violence occurs when a sexual act is committed by (a) physical force, violence, or threats; (b) coercion or intimidation (c) ignoring objections of another person; (d) causing another’s intoxication or impairment through the use of alcohol or drugs; or (e) taking advantage of another person’s incapacitation, unconsciousness, state of intimidation, helplessness, or other inability to consent; (f) violating statutory rape laws. An individual’s perceived consent to sexual activity may be invalidated because of circumstances or the behavior of the other. Examples of such situations include, but are not limited to: incompetence; impairment from alcohol /or other drugs; fear; unconsciousness; intimidation; coercion; confinement; isolation; or mental or physical impairment.
Pennsylvania State Law
This policy is in accordance with the Pennsylvania state law which states sexual offenses are illegal and punishable by law. These offenses include: rape; statutory sexual assault; sexual assault; involuntary deviate sexual intercourse; institutional sexual assault; aggravated indecent assault; indecent assault; and indecent exposure.
Resources - Victim Support Services
There are a number of resources available to Curtis students who wish to report a crime or to seek support following a sexual assault. Student victims of a sexual assault are encouraged to notify local law enforcement authorities in a timely manner. All victims have the right to directly contact the Philadelphia Police department by calling 911, and the right not to file a report. Victims may contact the associate dean of student services, assistant dean of residence life, or the associate director of student services for assistance notifying the appropriate authorities and receiving victim support services.
If a victim elects to go through the criminal justice system and/or to receive medical treatment, Curtis personnel can accompany the victim to the Jefferson University Hospital Emergency Room where they will receive a forensic rape examination. To pursue criminal options, it is important to preserve evidence, and victims are advised not to eat, drink, bathe or change their clothes directly after the incident. However, doing any of the above does not mean an exam cannot be performed. While it is highly recommended that victims receive an exam as soon as possible within the 72 hours after an assault occurs, there is no time limit after which an exam cannot be performed.
The University of Pennsylvania Student Health Services (UPSHS) can provide evaluation and treatment to victims of sexual violence regardless of whether they make a report or seek additional resources. All services are confidential. Both male and female providers can perform examinations, discuss testing and treatment of sexually transmissible infections, provide emergency contraception if necessary and arrange for referrals and follow up. UPSHS does not perform forensic rape examinations. A forensic examination cannot be performed once a non-forensic examination has been conducted. Therefore, any victim who plans to press charges or who wants to retain the ability to press charges in the future should be advised to pursue a forensic investigation. UPSHS can and does provide follow up treatment to victims after the forensic rape examination is completed.
Curtis’s mental health team is available to provide follow-up emotional and psychological counseling upon request.
The Institute regards any violation of the Sexual Offense Policy by a student, whether physical or verbal, as a violation of the Student Code of Conduct and is strictly prohibited. Accordingly, those inflicting such behavior on others are subject to the full range of internal disciplinary actions, including separation from the Institute.
A student who believes that he or she has been subjected to harassment or sex offense by another student, by an employee, or by a contractor or vendor of the Institute (or if they become aware of such harassment by another student), should also make their complaint known to the associate dean of student services, assistant dean of residence life, or the associate director of student services. If it is not possible to make such a report or if the student is not comfortable making their complaint to those staff members, he or she should make the report to the dean or to the president (or his or her designee). The student will be asked to file a written complaint for the record.
All complaints will remain as confidential as possible, consistent with the conduct of an effective investigation. However, the Institute may need to disclose certain information to carry out its investigation or to implement corrective actions that are deemed necessary. Should the investigation reveal that unlawful harassment has occurred, the Institute will promptly take steps to prevent recurrence and will take whatever corrective action is deemed necessary, including discipline or discharge of any individual who the Institute finds has engaged in such conduct.
All students and employees are required to cooperate with all Institute investigations. No retaliatory action will be taken against any student or employee who in good faith complains of harassment and/or participates in the investigation of a complaint of harassment. Any retaliation against a student or employee who makes a complaint in good faith under this policy, including, but not limited to, intimidation, coercion, threats, or discrimination, will result in disciplinary action against the retaliator, up to and including termination of the retaliator’s enrollment or employment relationship with the Institute. Conversely, a report made in bad faith will subject the reporting individual to corrective action, up to and including suspension or dismissal of the offending party from the Institute.
If the complaint is filed against another student, the Institute will follow the judicial procedure described in the Student Code of Conduct. The accuser and the accused are entitled to the same opportunities to have others present during a disciplinary proceeding. Both the accuser and the accused will be informed of the outcome of any institutional disciplinary proceeding that is brought alleging a sex offense. Sanctions are also delineated in the Student Code of Conduct.
If the complaint is made against a faculty or staff member, the complaint will be handled by the Human Resources department. If the complaint is against a vendor or other third party service provider the dean and the president (or his or her designee) will determine the appropriate course of action.
Curtis will change a victim’s academic and living arrangements after an alleged sex offense if requested and viable options are reasonably available.
Curtis will provide ongoing workshops and training events to educate the community about these important issues. We also provide web-based information and timely updates through Student Health 101 and on our web site. Students can also meet with medical staff at the University of Pennsylvania’s Student Health Service for more information free of charge, as well as our mental health team. Literature is available in the Student Lounge and from the associate director of student services. International students are encouraged to meet with the international student advisor, since there are a wide range of cultural norms in the United States that may be different from your home country.
Sex Offender Registration Information
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provides an updated list of registered sex offenders at http://www.pameganslaw.state.pa.us.
Staff and Faculty Policies
Staff and Faculty are bound by the policies contained in the Staff and Faculty handbooks. New faculty and staff hires are subject to a background and criminal check. If prior or current criminal charges and/or convictions and indicated, Curtis reserves the right to deny employment. Curtis policy prohibits faculty and staff members from engaging in sexual or romantic relationships with students.
Statement of Non-Discrimination
Curtis complies with all applicable laws prohibiting discrimination or harassment based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, veteran status, marital status, gender identity, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local laws.