Community Safety & Title IX
Ashford University is committed to maintaining a safe and positive learning experience. When students experience acts of sexual violence or misconduct, their sense of safety and trust is violated. This can significantly interfere with their lives, including their educational goals.
Students are strongly encouraged to report all incidents that threaten the student’s continued wellbeing, safety, or security. University personnel will assist the student in notifying authorities, if requested. Ashford University’s Sexual Misconduct Policy has been developed to proactively create an environment in which incidents of sexual misconduct can be promptly and effectively responded to without further victimization, retaliation, and with possible remediation of its effects.
Ashford University Sexual Misconduct Policy
The University is committed to maintaining an academic climate in which individuals of the university community have access to an opportunity to benefit fully from the University’s programs and activities. When students experience acts of sexual misconduct, their sense of safety and trust is violated. This can significantly interfere with their lives, including their educational goals. This policy has been developed to proactively create a campus environment in which incidents of sexual misconduct can be promptly and effectively responded to without further victimization, retaliation, and with possible remediation of its effects.
For additional information, please review the Ashford University Academic Catalog.
An Overview of the Regulatory Drivers
Title IX is a federal law intended to protect people from discrimination based on gender or sex in all areas of education. It is the regulatory framework that guides the University Sexual Misconduct Policy. For more information about Title IX, please visit the US Department of Justice Title IX Overview page.
Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act) is a federal law that requires colleges to disclose annual campus crime data, provide fire safety information and report incidents, issue safety alerts, provide security policy statements, and more. For more information about the Clery Act, please visit the US Department of Education and/or the Clery Education Center page.
Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is a federal law aimed at ending violence against women and protecting victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. For more information about VAWA, please visit the US Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women.
Abusive sexual conduct by anyone is a threat to the entire University community. All students who believe another individual has personally violated them in a sexual manner should immediately report the incident to the Title IX Coordinator, Student Grievance Resolution Officer, University Security personnel, and/or to local police. Students are strongly encouraged to report all incidents that threaten the student’s continued wellbeing, safety, or security. University personnel will assist the student in notifying authorities, if requested.
Reporting sexual misconduct helps:a
- Protect the victim and others from future harm.
- Apprehend the alleged assailant.
- Maintain future options regarding prosecution.
- Disciplinary action, criminal, and/or civil action against the perpetrator.
If you are raped or sexually assaulted:
- Go to a safe place. Think safety first.
- Preserve evidence. Do not bathe, shower, douche, change clothes or straighten up the crime scene.
- Contact someone who can help. The police, campus security, a friend, campus staff or faculty.
- Seek medical attention at a Hospital Emergency Room:
- to assess and treat any physical injuries.
- to determine the risk of sexually transmitted infections or pregnancy and to take appropriate measures.
- to collect evidence.
Confidential support resources can be found on the emergency assistance page.
Title IX Coordinator for Ashford University:
Access and Wellness Counselor, Title IX Coordinator
P / 800.798.0584 X / 20705
E / [email protected]
M / 8620 Spectrum Center Blvd, San Diego, CA 92123
Response & Reporting
Whenever a report or complaint is filed, the University will inform of the options for action. Please see the Dispute Resolution Procedure for Student Complaints in the Ashford University Academic Catalog for more information. Regardless of whether a victim files a formal complaint or requests action, the institution will conduct a prompt, impartial, and thorough investigation and take steps to resolve. For information about confidentiality, please review the Student Rights and Responsibilities section of the Ashford University Academic Catalog.
The University considered the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA), and for the purposes of the Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Policy, the various sexual misconduct definitions listed below are by applicable jurisdictions.
Title IX is a federal law intended to protect people from discrimination based on gender or sex in all areas of education. It is the regulatory framework that guides our University Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Policy.
The Clery Act is a federal law that requires colleges to disclose annual campus crime data, provide fire safety information and report incidents, issue safety alerts, provide security policy statements, and more.
VAWA is a federal law aimed at ending violence against women and protecting victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.
Consent means cooperation in act or attitude pursuant to an exercise of free will and with knowledge of the nature of the act. A current or previous relationship shall not be sufficient to constitute consent. Submission under the influence of fear shall not constitute consent.
Incapacitation is the physical and/or mental inability to make informed, rational judgments. States of incapacitation include, but are not limited to, unconsciousness, sleep and blackouts. Where alcohol or drugs are involved, incapacitation is defined with respect to how the alcohol or other drugs consumed affect a person’s decision-making capacity; awareness of consequences, and ability to make fully informed judgments. Being intoxicated by drugs or alcohol does not diminish one’s responsibilities to obtain consent. The factors to be considered when determining whether consent was given include whether the accused knew, or whether a reasonable person should have known, that the complainant was incapacitated.
Sexual harassment means conduct on the basis of sex that satisfies one or more of the following:
(1) An employee of the recipient conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of the recipient on an individual's participation in unwelcome sexual conduct;
(2) Unwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the recipient's education program or activity; or
(3) “Sexual assault” as defined in 20 U.S.C. 1092(f)(6)(A)(v), “dating violence” as defined in 34 U.S.C. 12291(a)(10), “domestic violence” as defined in 34 U.S.C. 12291(a)(8), or “stalking” as defined in 34 U.S.C. 12291(a)(30). See below.
The term ‘‘sexual assault’’ means an offense classified as a forcible or nonforcible sex offense under the uniform crime reporting system of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Related Definitions: Sex Offense: Any sexual act directed against another person, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent. A. Fondling—The touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her age or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental incapacity. B. Incest—Sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law. C. Statutory Rape—Sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent.
Rape: The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.
The term ‘‘dating violence’’ means violence committed by a person— A. who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim; and B. where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors: i. The length of the relationship. ii. The type of relationship. iii. The frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
The term ‘‘domestic violence’’ includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction receiving grant monies, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction.
The term ‘‘stalking’’ means engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to— A. fear for his or her safety or the safety of others; or B. suffer substantial emotional distress.
Stepping in / Taking action - Bystander intervention keeps the community safe:
- Support and demonstrate healthy behaviors in your community: communication, respect and consent.
- Look for signs that someone is disrespectful of other’s boundaries before an assault occurs: coercive, pressuring or aggressive behaviors are examples.
- Speak up about acceptable and unacceptable behavior, take action to prevent violence, and report it when it does occur.
- If something doesn’t feel right, say something and intervene.
- Use the “three D’s” as a guide:
- Direct: Assess whether it is safe to intervene.
- Delegate: Call for help.
- Distract: Make some noise after you’ve sent for him.
Sexual Violence Prevention Strategies
Sexual violence cannot always be prevented, but there are ways to protect yourself, and lower your risk of sexual violence. Check out these tips, courtesy of RAINN (Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network):
Avoiding dangerous situations
- Be aware of your surroundings. Knowing where and who is around you can assist you in avoiding a dangerous situation.
- Try to avoid isolated areas. It is difficult to seek help when there is no one around you.
- Walk with a purpose. Even if you do not know where you are heading, act as if you do.
- Trust your instincts. If a location or a situation feels uncomfortable or unsafe, leave.
Getting out of an uncomfortable situation
- Be true to yourself. Don't feel obligated to do anything you don't want to do. Do what feels right to you and what you are comfortable with.
- Lie. If you don’t want to hurt the person’s feelings it is better to lie and make up a reason to leave than to stay and be uncomfortable, scared, or worse.
- Try to think of an escape route. How would you try to get out of the room? Where are the doors? Windows? Are there people around who might be able to help you? Is there an emergency phone nearby?
- If you and/or the other person have been drinking, say that you would rather wait until you both have your full judgment before doing anything you may regret later.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline has trained advocates who are available 24/7 to talk confidentially with anyone experiencing domestic violence, seeking resources or information, or questioning unhealthy aspects of their relationship.
911rape provides support for sexual assault victims, is a safe and anonymous way to learn how to get help after a sexual assault, and provides information and resources to educate the public about rape and sexual assault.
RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization. RAINN created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE and online.rainn.org) in partnership with more than 1,100 local rape crisis centers across the country, and also operates the DoD Safe Helpline for the Department of Defense.
To learn more, be sure to check out these Promoting Awareness and Wellness (PAWs) articles; they feature conversations with professionals who have made it their personal mission to promote equality, and increase awareness around gender equality.
We would like to provide you with contact information for the following resources. Each of these resources exists to assist individuals in need of help, information or support. If you have any questions regarding this list, please feel free to contact your student advisor, or the Office of Student Access and Wellness at [email protected].
Emergency (police, fire, and rescue):
Always dial 911 for life-threatening emergencies
24 Hour National Suicide Prevention Lifeline / Mental Health Crisis Lifeline
TTY Line: 800.799.4889
Poison Control Center
National Child Abuse Hotline
Counseling and Rehabilitation Programs for Ashford University
A resource guide for mental health students and counselors seeking information on mental health issues, signs, and where to find help.
American Council on Alcoholism
Addresses alcoholism as a treatable disease through public education, information, intervention, and referral.
Helps families and friends of alcoholics recover from the effects of living with the problem drinking of a relative or friend.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse Hotline
Provides information, support, treatment options, and referrals to local rehab centers for any drug or alcohol problem.
800.662.HELP / 800.662.4357
Gay and Lesbian National Hotline
Hearing Officer Training
Summer 2020 trainees – Director of Student Affairs, Student Care Manager, Student Rights and Responsibilities Manager
Summer 2020 trainees – Student Dispute Resolution Manager, Student Dispute Resolution Specialist, Human Resources Manager
20 Minutes to Trained
Trainees – Title IX Coordinator and Title IX Committee Members
Title IX Updated Policy Training
Trainees - All Title IX Committee Members