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Office of Institutional Equity

Frequently Asked Questions

Kansas State University has a Policy Prohibiting Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Violence, and Stalking, and Procedure for Reviewing Complaints, PPM 3010.

If at any point you have a question about the policy, and if it may apply to a situation, please do not hesitate to contact the Office of Institutional Equity at 785-532-6220.

Who is subject to this policy?

The Policy covers employees, students, applicants for employment or admission, contractors, vendors, visitors, guests, and participants in University-sponsored programs or activities. The policy extends to K-State Olathe, K-State Salina, and other distant locations.

What is the role of the Office of Institutional Equity?

The Office of Institutional Equity is an administrative office, not a judicial or legal office. Its role is to assist campus community members in understanding the University’s policies and procedures in the area of discrimination, harassment, Title IX, EEO/Affirmative Action and to assist in resolving complaints of discrimination and harassment. The Office of Institutional Equity staff members are impartial administrators who are neither advocates nor adversaries with respect to the parties and witnesses in a complaint-related matter. Instead, Office of Institutional Equity staff members are advocates for the proper and fair administration of the complaint process.

Who may file a complaint?

Any person (e.g., faculty, staff, student, visitor) may report what they believe to be an act of discrimination or harassment to the Office of Institutional Equity as soon as possible after the alleged incident(s).

Does the policy apply to off-campus activity?

In some situations, the policy may apply to alleged violations that happened off-campus or during after-hour functions sponsored by the University. Incidents that occurred off-campus that are not related to University-sponsored events may be investigated if those occurrences relate to discrimination, harassment or retaliation alleged on campus.

How long does a complainant have to file a report?

Complaints must be filed within 60 calendar days for allegations involving discrimination and harassment, or retaliation. For allegations involving sexual violence, complaints must be filed within 180 days of the last alleged violation.

How do I file a complaint?

Students/Faculty/Staff wishing to report concerns of harassment or discrimination should contact the Office of Institutional Equity, 785-532-6220 or equity@ksu.edu. You may also contact OIE by filing an online reporting form.

Do I have to file a complaint once I contact the Office of Institutional Equity?

Any member of the University community may consult the Office of Institutional Equity without obligation to file a complaint. Office of Institutional Equity staff will give University community members information designed to explain the University’s policies and procedures so that they may make an informed choice as to whether they would like to file a complaint. In certain limited situations, however, the information learned by the Office of Institutional Equity may be of sufficient concern that the University must take appropriate action to resolve the concern even though an individual does not wish to file a complaint. An example would be if an individual could be harmed if s/he returns to the environment s/he has described or where the University has a legal obligation to respond to the concern.

Who is required to report incidents of discrimination, harassment, and sexual violence (i.e. Responsible Employees)?

While the University encourages all campus community members to report incidents of harassment or discrimination, several classifications of employees have been identified as "mandatory reporters" for reporting all concerns of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, stalking, domestic/dating violence and Title IX purposes. These employees have authority and responsibility to take action to remedy harassment.

Responsible Employees

There are two categories of Responsible Employees, who are sometimes informally called "Mandatory Reporters": Administrative and Supervisory.

Administrative

Administrative responsible employees are management level personnel. This typically includes department and unit heads, directors, and equal or higher ranking administrators.  Administrative responsible employees must report all potential prohibited conduct in any University employment, program or activity, regardless of their lack of personal supervisory responsibilities over the Complainant or Respondent.

Supervisory

Supervisory responsible employees are personnel with authority over other employees or students (such as day-to-day management of employee tasks, or hiring and firing responsibility) or with authority over a particular University environment (such as responsibility for a classroom or floor of a residence hall).

Supervisory responsible employees are only required to make reports to OIE within their area of supervisory responsibility, but they are strongly encouraged to report all potential prohibited conduct of which they might be aware.

For example, if a professor who controls a classroom or lab learns about potential prohibited conduct within the classroom or lab, then the professor must report the conduct to OIE. Similarly, a Residential Assistant in a dorm must report any potential prohibited conduct in that dorm.

University employees who are unclear about their area of supervisory responsibility should contact their immediate supervisors.

Faculty and staff who wish to report Prohibited Conduct may do so online or in person to the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinators.

Am I protected from retaliation if I file a complaint?

The University prohibits retaliation against individuals who file complaints or who participate in the complaint resolution process. Retaliatory action is regarded as a basis for a separate complaint under the University’s Procedures. If you believe that you have been retaliated against for filing a complaint of discrimination and/or harassment, or for participating in the resolution of a complaint of discrimination and/or harassment, please contact the Office of Institutional Equity.

Who is the Administrative Review Team (ART) that investigates complaints?

An ART consists of a member of the OIE and a Responsible Administrator with authority to implement the recommendations of an ART and is typically the direct supervisor of the respondent who is a University employee. The Office of Student Life (OSL) and Graduate School may serve on the ART in cases involving undergraduate and graduate students, respectively.

Who is the Deciding Administrator?

The Deciding Administrator is, in most cases, a University official/administrator with authority to implement the recommendations of an ART, and is usually in the supervisory chain of a respondent who is an unclassified University employee. 

  • For University Support Staff ("USS") employees, the Deciding Administrator is the Director of Employee Relations in Human Capital Services (or her/his equivalent if there is an organizational change). 

  • In cases involving an undergraduate student as respondent (in his/her capacity as a student), the Assistant Vice President of the Office of Student Life (or her/his equivalent if there is an organizational change) is the Deciding Administrator. 

  • In cases involving a graduate student as respondent (in his/her capacity as a student), the Dean of the Graduate School or the Assistant Vice President of the Office of Student Life may be the Deciding Administrator. 

In some circumstances, the Deciding Administrator may serve as the Responsible Administrator for the same complaint. Except in the case of USS employees as respondents, the Deciding Administrator will typically not serve as the Appeal Administrator regarding the same complaint.

What is sexual violence?

In the Policy, sexual violence is defined as a physical act perpetrated against a person’s will, or where a person is so incapacitated that he or she is incapable of giving consent due to the use of drugs and alcohol, or where a person in incapable of giving consent due to an intellectual or other disability. Sexual violence includes rape, sexual assault, sexual battery and sexual coercion.

What is consent?

The knowing and voluntary, through words and/or conduct, of an agreement to engage in a particular act, including without limitation, a particular act of sexual contact or sexual intercourse. To be consent, the person must have the capacity to consent and the permission or agreement must be knowing and given without coercion or force. A person can withdraw consent at any time. Whether someone has given consent is based on the totality of the circumstances, including the context.

A person has the capacity to consent to a sexual act if he/she:
  1. Can understand the sexual nature of the proposed act;

  2. Can understand that he or she has the right to refuse to participate in the act; and
  3. Possesses a rudimentary grasp of the possible results arising from participation in the act.

A person may be incapable of giving consent because of mental deficiency or disease, or because of the effect of alcohol, narcotic, drug, or other substance, which renders the person incapacitated when that condition is known by the offender or is reasonably apparent to the offender.

Consent is not effective if it results from:  (a) the use of physical force, (b) a threat of physical force, (c) intimidation, (d) incapacitation, or (e) any other factor that would eliminate an individual’s ability to exercise his or her own free will to choose whether or not to engage in sexual activity.

An individual’s manner of dress or the existence of a current or previous dating or sexual relationship between two or more individuals does not, in and of itself, constitute consent to engage in a particular sexual activity.

Consent cannot be given if…
  • A person is incapacitated or unconscious because of drugs or alcohol
  • A person is under the state specific legal age of consent
  • An individual has a cognitive or mental disability severe enough to make them incapable of consenting
Your partner does NOT consent if:
  • Your partner says, "No." "No" means that you do not have consent
  • You have to hold your partner down to have a sexual interaction
You do not have consent just because:
  • Your partner is silent
  • You have had sexual interactions with your partner before
Remember
  • You always have the right to say no.
  • Sex or sexual interactions are never owed to anyone for any reason.
  • Even if consent has been given, you always have the right to change your mind.
  • Pursuing sexual interactions with an individual who is incapacitated due to drugs or alcohol is rape.
  • If you have sexual interactions with someone without their consent, consequences can include: criminal prosecution and imprisonment, being banned from university property for life, expulsion as a student, termination of employment, and loss of every opportunity and service offered by the University.
Do you offer training for preventing discrimination, harassment and sexual violence in the workplace?

Yes. The OIE conducts training sessions throughout the year for faculty, staff, and supervisors on the topic of, “Anti-Discrimination ” and "Title IX". For more information on dates/times training events, visit the HRIS Employee Self Service Training Enrollment website or see the OIE homepage for current offerings.