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Sexual Harassment Policy


Life Chiropractic College West is committed to providing an environment free of discrimination and/or sexual harassment, including sexual assault. Discrimination and sexual harassment interferes with educational performance, work, and creates an atmosphere of intimidation, low morale and hostility that the College will not tolerate. It is also the policy of the College not to tolerate false accusations of sexual harassment. It should be remembered that sexual harassment and accusations of sexual harassment are serious, and have far reaching effects upon the careers and lives of individuals. Moreover, sexual harassment is illegal—Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX) prohibits sex discrimination, including sexual harassment and sexual assault.


Title IX protects students from unlawful sexual harassment in all College programs or activities, whether they take place in the facilities of the College, transportation provided by the College, at a class or training program sponsored by the College at another location, or elsewhere. Title IX protects both male and female students from sexual harassment, regardless of who the harasser is.

Sexual harassment can take two forms: quid pro quo and hostile environment.

Quid pro quo harassment occurs when a College employee causes a student to believe that he or she must submit to unwelcome sexual conduct in order to participate in a College program or activity. It can also occur when an employee causes a student to believe that the employee will make an educational decision based on whether or not the student submits to unwelcome sexual conduct. For example, when a faculty member threatens to fail a student unless the student agrees to date that faculty, it is quid pro quo harassment.

It does not matter whether the student refuses to submit to the faculty member’s demands and suffers the threatened harm, or does what that faculty wants and thus avoids the harm. In both cases, the harassment by the College employee is unlawful.

Hostile environment harassment occurs when unwelcome sexually harassing conduct is so severe, persistent, or pervasive that it affects a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from an education program or activity, or creates an intimidating, threatening or abusive educational environment. A hostile environment can be created by a College employee, another student, or even someone visiting the College, such as a student or employee from another College.

In a society of differing generations, cultures and backgrounds, what is acceptable behavior to one person may be unacceptable to another. Determining what constitutes sexual harassment depends upon the specific facts and the context in which the conduct occurs. Sexual harassment may include subtle and indirect or blatant and overt actions. For example:

  • It may be conduct toward an individual of the opposite sex or the same sex.
  • It may occur between peers or between individuals in a hierarchical relationship.
  • It may be aimed at coercing an individual to participate in an unwanted sexual relationship or it may have the effect of causing an individual to change behavior or work performance.
  • It may consist of repeated actions or may even arise from a single incident if sufficiently egregious.

If you believe you are being sexually harassed, or know someone who is, you should act promptly. Correcting the situation immediately, or at least talking with someone familiar with the issues and ways to respond, is in everyone’s best interest. Ignoring the situation and hoping that it will correct itself allows the harassment to continue.

Nor should you be afraid that if you talk with someone about the situation, you will be subject to retaliation, particularly if the person causing the harassment has power over you (a supervisor, an instructor, etc.). Under no circumstances will Life Chiropractic College West allow reprisals against a person who in good faith reports or provides information about sexual harassment or behavior that might constitute sexual harassment.

Complaints of discrimination and/or sexual harassment will be investigated promptly and thoroughly. The College recognizes that under certain circumstances, it has an independent duty to ascertain where discrimination and/or sexual harassment exist irrespective of whether a complaint is actually filed (for example, complaints of sexual harassment involving physical contact, recurrent or systematic patterns of discrimination, and/or sexual assault involving a College employee or student).

Where sexual harassment is found to have occurred, the College will act to stop the harassment, prevent its recurrence, and discipline and/or take other appropriate action against those responsible. Employees or students found to have conducted themselves in a manner prohibited by this policy may be subject to corrective disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment and/or dismissal as a student.

Employees, students or applicants for employment or admission at the Life Chiropractic College West campus may contact the College’s Title IX Officer regarding any behavior or conduct that may be interpreted as sexual or other unlawful harassment or discrimination. Complaint forms may be obtained and filed with the Title IX Officer located in Room 105B. Otherwise, the Title IX Officer may be reached at 1.510.780.4500 ext.2061 or lpino@lifewest.edu.