Sexual Offense Policy

The following is a summary of the University's Sexual Offense Policy.

For a complete text of the policy, please consult the Fogcutter Student Handbook. Elements of this policy may change from time to time, however; interested persons are encouraged to consult the online Fogcutter and online Catalog to ensure finding the latest version.

  1. The University of San Francisco recognizes that a sexual offense is a serious issue; saying "no" means "no," and failure to resist sexual activity does not mean consent. "Consent" means positive cooperation by words or actions, exercising free will and with knowledge of the nature of the act involved. A current or previous dating relationship is not sufficient to constitute consent. Nor will the perpetrator of a sexual offense be excused by the fact that alcohol or drugs were used by either party.
  2. The Sexual Offense Policy applies to University faculty, staff, and students involved in any employment or academic relationship, or both, at the University. Employees covered by collective bargaining agreements are subject to their own policies and procedures related to the handling of sexual offenses. This policy is supported through an educational prevention program, psychological support services and a referral network of off-campus medical and advocacy services. It is enforced through internal disciplinary procedures with sanctions up to and including termination for employees or expulsion for students.
  3. Sexual offense, for purposes of this policy, is nonconsensual sexual conduct including but not limited to rape, sodomy, oral copulation, sexual battery, or sexual penetration with a foreign object. In interpreting this policy, the University will refer to the law of the state of California. Sexual conduct not covered by these provisions (e.g., sexual harassment) may nevertheless subject a student or employee to discipline if he or she violates the standards of conduct for his or her constituent group. Students should refer to the Student Conduct Code and Disciplinary Procedures. Employees should refer to the chapter dealing with employee conduct in the Administrative Staff Handbook.
  4. The University encourages victims of a sexual offense to immediately receive medical aid and contact SF-WAR (415-647-7273) for advocacy during the medical exam. The Rape Treatment Center at San Francisco General Hospital is equipped to collect evidence through a sexual assault examination. Upon request by the victim of a sexual offense occurring on campus, Public Safety will provide transportation to the Rape Treatment Center. The examination must be conducted within 72 hours of the incident in order to collect evidence for prosecution purposes. Although the victim is not required to report the incident to the San Francisco Police, the hospital is required by law to report an incident of a sexual offense to the Police.
  5. Students are strongly encouraged to promptly report all incidents of sexual offense occurring on campus to Public Safety. (Call 422-2911, 24 hours per day.) An officer will write an incident report and the University will investigate the facts. Personal information about the victim and alleged perpetrator will remain confidential, insofar as it does not interfere with the University's right to investigate allegations of inappropriate conduct and to take corrective action where necessary.
  6. Public Safety Officers are required to contact the San Francisco Police Department for further investigation. A decision by the victim to press formal charges with the police does not have to be made at this time. If the victim decides not to file an official report with the San Francisco Police Department, the victim may advise the San Francisco Police Department of this decision.
  7. In addition to seeking immediate medical aid, the University encourages victims of sexual offenses to obtain psychological support and discuss options for reporting sexual offenses. Confidential resources for anyone wishing to discuss a sexual offense include counselors in Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) or clergy acting in their official capacity. CAPS is located in the lower level of Gillson Hall and may be reached by calling 422-6352. CAPS staff, through its director, is responsible for making regular reports to the Vice President for University Life and Director of Public Safety regarding any known cases of a sexual offense occurring on campus. The name(s) of the alleged victim will not be used unless prior written consent has been obtained. In addition to on-campus resources, the San Francisco Rape Treatment Center (821-3222) and SF Women Against Rape (647-7273) make confidential referrals for medical treatment, legal aid, advocacy services, and private therapy.
  8. Once an incident of a sexual offense becomes known to any University employee, that employee, with the exception of CAPS staff or clergy acting in their official capacity, should report that incident to the Department of Public Safety. Upon receiving the report, an officer will be assigned to investigate the incident.
  9. In addition to filing an incident report with Public Safety, a victim is encouraged to file a complaint through the University disciplinary process. It remains at all times the decision of the victim whether or not to file such a complaint. If a victim elects to initiate a formal complaint against the alleged perpetrator of a sexual offense - and the alleged perpetrator is a student at USF - the victim should contact the Assistant Dean of Students (University Center 409). Such a complaint will be handled in accordance with the University Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures, as described in the Fogcutter Student Handbook.
  10. Personal information about the victim and accused student will remain confidential, insofar as it does not interfere with the University's right to investigate allegations of misconduct and take corrective action where necessary. However, the University may disclose the final results of campus disciplinary proceedings regarding specified crimes of violence or non-forcible sex offenses, as provided for in the Family Education Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA). The information that may be released is limited to the name of the accused student, the violation committed, and any sanction imposed by the University against the student.
  11. Possible sanctions for persons found in violation of the Sexual Offense Policy range up to and include suspension or expulsion from the University (for students) and termination from employment (for employees). Lesser sanctions, such as community service, gender-communication education, and psychological counseling, may be granted for students found in violation of the Sexual Offense Policy. A victim of sexual offense has legal recourse outside the campus disciplinary system.
  12. Upon request by the victim of a sexual offense, the appropriate University office(s) will provide assistance with adjusting on-campus living arrangements and/or class schedule to the extent these changes are reasonably available at USF. If modifications are made, there is no presumption that the accused student is responsible.