Clarifications

A.  Strangers and Non-Strangers.

Sexual or gender-based harassment, misconduct, and violence can involve strangers, friends, acquaintances, intimate partners, or others.



B.  Intoxication or impairment is not a defense.


Being intoxicated or impaired by drugs or alcohol is never an excuse for sexual or gender-based harassment, misconduct, or violence.



C.  Use of Reasonable Person Standard.

Where there is a specific reference to the reasonable person standard in this policy, the University will use a “reasonable person” standard in investigating reports and complaints of violations of this policy, both in determining facts and in assessing culpability.

A “reasonable person” is a hypothetical person who is levelheaded and rational, aware of community norms, and not under the influence of a judgment-impairing substance. Further, this person considers all information available to them about the circumstances and actual and perceived identities of all parties involved in the incident(s). The decision maker may use the reasonable person standard when assessing whether a reasonable person, as defined above, in the same position as the respondent, would believe that they had consent in that context.

This standard can be used in different ways throughout the investigation and student conduct process. For example, because the standard is referred to in the definition of prohibited discriminatory harassment, parties investigating a report or formal complaint of discriminatory harassment will use the reasonable person standard by assessing the situation from the perspective of a reasonable person as defined above to decide if the behavior constitutes a violation of this policy.



D.  Amnesty.

To foster the safety and security of the entire community, the University of Portland encourages community members to report all incidents of sexual or gender-based harassment, misconduct, and violence. Students are sometimes afraid to report such incidents for fear of being held accountable for other, lesser policy violations such as intervisitation, alcohol, drug, or sexual intimacy.

In order to encourage students to obtain resources and report incidents, the University will not pursue the conduct process against a student who reports an incident of sexual and gender-based harassment, misconduct, and violence for lesser policy violations that occur in connection with the reported incident. Students who are interviewed as witnesses in such cases will not be subject to the student conduct process for lesser policy violations that occur in connection with the reported incident.


The University of Portland strongly encourages students to report all incidents of sexual or gender-based harassment, misconduct, or violence. The University prohibits intimidation, retaliation, threats, harassment, or other types of conduct that attempts to prevent the reporting of such an incident or participation in an investigation, conduct process, or other University process related to such an incident. Any individual who feels subjected to this type of conduct should immediately report their concerns to the Title IX Office, Student Conduct, or call Public Safety. (Contact information for these offices is in Section V, below.)