Freqently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is sexual harassment?
Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitutes sexual harassment when:
1) Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment, living conditions, and/or educational evaluation.
2) Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or educational decisions affecting such individual.
3) Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or educational environment.
There are two general types of sexual harassment:
Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment: Occurs when submission to, or rejection of, unwelcome sexual conduct is used as the basis for academic or employment decisions affecting an individual. It is perpetrated by someone who is in a University position that provides authority over the individual being harassed. The perpetrator’s intent or lack of intent to harass is not relevant to the determination of whether quid pro quo harassment occurred.
Hostile Environment Sexual Harassment: Is unwelcome sexual conduct that is sufficiently severe or pervasive that it alters the conditions of employment or education and creates an environment that a reasonable person would find intimidating, hostile, or offensive.
Examples of sexual harassment include direct or subtle pressure for sexual activity, unwelcome brushes or touches, physical aggression such as pinching or patting, inappropriate sexual innuendos, sexist jokes or remarks, or obscene gestures or comments. Sexual harassment includes sexual violence. For more information, refer to the Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault policy in the Student Handbook or the Discrimination and Harassment policy in the Employee Handbook.
I'm not sure if I was sexually harassed. Who can help me assess my situation?
There are staff members at HPU who are responsible for addressing sex discrimination, harassment, and assault. They include: (1) Deborah Nakashima, Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Title IX Coordinator (located in UB 800); phone: (808) 544-0287 and email: email@example.com; (2) Stephanie Jarrett, Deputy Title IX Coordinator (located in FS 502); phone: (808) 687-7022 and email: firstname.lastname@example.org; and (3) Natasha Subotic, Associate Athletics Director for Compliance, and Deputy Title IX Coordinator (located in LB 400); phone: (808) 356-5214 and email: email@example.com; (4) Cecilia Shaner, Acting Head of Human Resources (located in FH 310); phone: (808) 544-1188 and email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For students, you may also speak with an HPU authority, including, but not limited to, any Vice President, any Academic Dean, any Director, or any Human Resources staff member, about your situation. For faculty and staff, you may also speak with your supervisor, or if you believe your supervisor is part of the problem, you may take the matter up with any member of management or the Human Resources Department. Students, faculty, and staff may also utilize the University’s Compliance Hotline, toll-free at 1-877-270-5054 or www.tnwinc.com/hpu.
May I file a complaint for a friend/co-worker who has experienced discrimination at HPU?
Yes, you may file a complaint. However, we highly recommend that you speak with the individual involved in the situation and encourage them to come forward. Perhaps you can accompany your friend/co-worker to the meeting. It is important that the University is aware of sexual harassment, sexual assault, or related retaliation in order to take prompt and equitable corrective action.
What if I witness inappropriate conduct, but it is not directed at me?
Anyone who witnesses inappropriate comments or conduct, even if it is directed at someone else, can still feel uncomfortable and harassed. If you witness conduct that you believe might be sexual harassment, please contact the Title IX Coordinator, a Title IX Deputy Coordinator, or one of the individuals listed above. If you are a faculty member or a supervisor, you are obligated to seek advice and help if you witness conduct that may violate the University's harassment policies.
Will my complaint be treated confidentially?
While the University cannot promise complete confidentiality in its handling of harassment complaints, the University makes every reasonable effort to handle inquiries, complaints and related proceedings in a manner that protects the privacy of all parties. Each situation is resolved as discreetly as possible, with information shared only with those who need to know in order to investigate and resolve the matter. In certain circumstances, the University may be able to address your concerns and stop the behavior without revealing your identity to the alleged harasser. However, this is not possible in every matter, as some situations require the disclosure of the reporting party’s identity in order to fully investigate the matter and/or to enable the accused harasser the ability to fully respond to the allegations against him or her.
In its investigation, the University will be sensitive to the feelings and situation of the alleged victim and/or reporting party of sexual harassment. Nonetheless, the University has a compelling interest to address all allegations of sexual harassment brought to its attention. The University reserves the right to take appropriate action in such circumstances, even in cases when the reporting party is reluctant to proceed.
What if I change my mind about pursuing a complaint?
Even if you retract your complaint, the University is duty-bound to take reasonable steps to investigate and respond to the original complaint.
I’m being harassed by someone who is not a University employee, but who comes on campus to conduct business. Is there anything I can do?
HPU’s sexual harassment policies protect you from sexual harassment by vendors, contractors, and third parties you encounter in your University employment, on-campus living, and learning environment. If you believe that you have been subjected to conduct that violates the policy, please contact the Title IX Coordinator, a Title IX Deputy Coordinator, or one of the individuals listed above.
Does the HPU sexual harassment and sexual assault policy apply to off-campus behavior?
Yes. Members of the HPU community who believe that they have been sexually harassed, sexually assaulted, or know of someone who may have been sexually harassed or sexually assaulted by a student, faculty, staff, or vendor/supplier are advised to bring the matter to the attention of the Title IX Coordinator, a Title IX Deputy Coordinator, or one of the individuals listed above.
Are there resources available to pursue a complaint outside of the University system?
We encourage all members who have been sexually harassed or sexually assaulted by an HPU student, faculty, staff, or vendor/supplier to notify the Title IX Coordinator, a Title IX Deputy Coordinator, or one of the individuals listed above. Filing a complaint takes many forms, all of which are separate actions: (1) reporting an incident to law enforcement, (2) filing a complaint through the university student disciplinary process or Human Resources process (including the option of filing via the University’s Compliance Hotline 1-877-270-5054 or www.tnwinc.com/hpu), (3) choosing to prosecute criminally, and (4) filing a civil case.
I need help coping with my emotions relating to the sexually assaulted. What resources are available for me?
There are a variety of resources available. For on campus students, you may contact Counseling and Behavioral Health Services (CBHS). Counseling services are free and confidential to all registered HPU students. CBHS also provides consultation and referral services to public and private community providers. To schedule an appointment on the downtown campus, call (808) 544-1198. For an appointment on the Hawai‘i Loa campus, call (808) 236-3578. In addition, students may contact the University Chaplain for pastoral counseling; the Chaplain may be reached at (808) 544-9394.
For off-campus students as well as faculty and staff, contact the Sex Abuse Treatment Center (SATC) of the Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children. They provide assistance to assault victims, medical exams, emergency intervention, and legal help (office: 808-535-7600, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.). The 24-hour Hotline (phone: 808-524-7273) provides confidential counseling, medical, and legal advocacy services for victims of rape and sexual assault. Services are also available at the Spouse Abuse Shelter; their 24-hour hotline for women is (808) 841-0822. Hotel vouchers are possible for abused men. The Rape Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) is available to direct people to a rape crisis center near your area; their hotline number is 1-800-656-4673. Employees can also make use of certain benefits provided through the University’s Employee Assistance Program, including counseling sessions with Employee Assistance of the Pacific (808-597-8222).
What is HPU’s nondiscrimination policy?
Hawai‘i Pacific University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution that prohibits discrimination against and harassment of any person on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, ancestry, marital status, arrest or court record, sexual orientation, veteran status, disability, or other protected classifications under Federal and State laws.
Sexual harassment is prohibited as a form of sex discrimination by federal and state laws; therefore, sexual harassment is prohibited on campus and in University programs.