Anti-Harassment Policy (Including Sexual Harassment)

This policy is intended to protect the University community from harassment, including but not limited to, sexual harassment.

Consistent with the mission Cardinal Stritch University to provide a working and learning environment that fosters the intellectual, spiritual, and social development of the individual, harassment of others based on their protected characteristics will not be tolerated and every effort will be made to eradicate it completely and swiftly. 

In particular, sexual harassment is a violation of federal statute Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments. Sexual harassment also violates the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act.  Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and unwelcome physical contact of a sexual nature and other unwelcome verbal and physical conduct of a sexual nature that constitutes harassment when: 

Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and unwelcome verbal and physical conduct or contact of a sexual nature which constitutes harassment when:

  • Submission to the conduct is either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s education or employment ;
  • Submission or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for academic or employment decisions affecting that individual;
  • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s academic/work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive educational or work environment; and/or, 
  • The effects of such acts limit or deny full and equal participation in educational services, career  opportunities or benefits on the basis of gender.

Sexual harassment may include, but is not limited to:

  • Jokes, remarks, pictures, and/or use of the Internet or other forms of electronic communication that are sexual or derogatory to members of one sex;
  • Leering, unnecessary touching, patting, cornering, standing too close, undue attention;
  • Inappropriate inquiries about sexual values;
  • Verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that is intimidating, demeaning, hostile, or offensivel
  • Requests or demands for sexual encounters witih or without threats concerning one’s grades, recommendations, promotions, jobs, etc.; and 
  • Physical assault (see the sexual assault policy)

Intimate relationships between individuals of different institutional status, even when appearing mutual at the onset, have an underlying imbalance in authority that can diminish an individual’s freedom of choice. Given the uneven balance of power within such relationships, they may present opportunities for sexual harassment. Because of the potential for sexual harassment in certain situations where an unequal power differential exists between the parties involved, the University prohibits romantic and./or sexual relationships between individuals in such situations. Examples may include, but are not limited to:  supervisory relationship, teaching relationship, advising relationship, and coaching relationship. 

Individuals who have University responsibility for security; healthcare; ministry; student welfare and development; and disciplinary activities are prohibited from engaging in romantic and/or sexual relationships with those members of the University community from whom they have a responsibility to protect and assist.

Employees who feel that they have been harassed, sexually or otherwise, should contact the Human Resources Office or their immediate supervisor.  Students who feel that they have been harassed, sexually or otherwise, should contact the Student Success Center.  The communication should be initiated as soon as possible after a student or employee believes s/he has been harassed.  In no event are employees or students required to report harassment to a person they reasonably believe is involved in the harassing conduct of them. 

Confidentiality will be maintained throughout the entire investigatory process to the extent possible and appropriate under the circumstances in order to protect the privacy of persons involved.

Retaliation against an individual who brings a complaint, participates in an investigation, or pursues a criminal charge is prohibited and subject to disciplinary action.

This policy also applies to all University vendors and business partners.

Sexual Assault Policy

Sexual assault is a serious crime that will not be tolerated. Students who are assaulted are urged to promptly report the crime both to the police and to either Campus Security, the Senior Director of Student Success, Director of Student Experience, Associate Director of the Wellness Center or a Residence Life Coordinator.

Cardinal Stritch University is committed to educating its community of students and employees regarding sexual assault, and will cooperate fully with the law and law enforcement officials in this process. Students and employees will receive such information through available brochures, workshops and printed materials.

Policy and Definition

Sexual assault is defined as any sexual contact that is nonconsensual or unwanted, whether by a stranger, a date, or an acquaintance. If one party is incapable of consenting, due to sleep, alcohol or drug use, or other form of incapacitation, sexual contact is, by definition, nonconsensual and constitutes an assault.  People under the age of 18 are considered by the law to be incapable of consenting. Sexual contact with them, even when mutually desired, constitutes an assault. Consent cannot be obtained through physical force, threats, intimidation, trickery, or coercion; these constitute a sexual assault. If someone says some equivalent of “no” to sexual activity, and the activity proceeds, a sexual assault has occurred.  (Please see the crime prevention section of the student handbook for strategies for reducing the risk of sexual assault).

If an individual has been assaulted, s/he should -- as soon as possible -- speak to one or more of the following: the police, campus security, Senior Director of Student Success, Director of Student Experience, Associate Director of the Wellness Center or a Residence Life Coordinator.

The sooner the assault is reported, the more options are available for victims, the more likely the perpetrator will be held responsible, and the more likely future assaults will be prevented. Students who are assaulted, or accused of assault, are also encouraged to seek assistance and support from the Wellness Center or a comparable community agency.

Whether or not the assault victim chooses to use the University judicial system, s/he is encouraged to follow the procedures outlined by most police departments and agencies assisting such victims/survivors. These include:

  • Going to a safe place and immediately contacting the local police. 
  • Preserving all physical evidence by not showering, bathing, brushing teeth or rinsing mouth, douching, urinating, changing clothes, or touching anything related to the assault (bedclothes, objects touched by the assailant, etc.) NOTE:  while these actions may destroy some evidence, other evidence might remain. Therefore, the medical exam and evidence collection is still advised up to 72 hours after the assault. 
  • Going to a hospital emergency room or a sexual assault treatment center for medical care. (The Sexual Assault Treatment Center in Milwaukee at Sinai Samaritan specializes in this.)  Take a complete change of clothing with you, as you may provide your clothing as part of the evidence.  
  • Calling a family member, friend, or university employee for support and companionship. 
  • Writing down a description of the assault’s circumstance and the attacker as soon as possible.  

Review Process

This review process applies to all Cardinal Stritch University students and employees at university-sponsored events whether occurring on or off campus facilities. Such activities include, but are not limited to, professional meetings, classes, University-sponsored experiential learning situations, seminars, and social/recreational activities.

The following is a guideline for when the review policy is in effect:

a.  A sexual assault involving a student or employee of Stritch and occurring on campus or at an institution sponsored event:

The Stritch judicial system is not designed to process acts of criminal sexual assault utilizing rules of criminal procedure.  The complainant will be encouraged to use civil/criminal procedures available to him or her outside of the University.  However, where there is cause to believe that the institution’s stated expectations regarding acceptable personal conduct and respect for the human rights of other community members have been violated, Cardinal Stritch University will pursue the matter through its own internal channels in order to ensure a safe, non-hostile environment for the complainant and the institution and, when necessary, invoke disciplinary action including possible expulsion or termination of employment.

b. A sexual assault involving students or employees of Cardinal Stritch University and occurring off-campus:

At the request of the complainant, Cardinal Stritch University will review the complaint, especially if it occurs between/among two or more members of the Cardinal Stritch University community. The complainant will be encouraged, however, to use civil/criminal procedures available to him/her outside of the University.

c.  A sexual assault occurring on campus between individuals who are unrelated to Cardinal Stritch University:

The University will review incidents on a case-by-case basis and, in their sole discretion, may either accept or decline to initiate a complaint under this process. As stated above, the complainant will be encouraged to use civil/criminal procedures available to him/her outside of the University.

After contacting the police, an individual who has been  assaulted is  encouraged to contact the Senior Director of Student Success at (414) 410-4266 as soon as possible. They can be reached after hours or on weekends through University Security, (414) 410-4220.

This office can provide assistance, make referrals, and help the student to identify his or her options. They can also assist students who wish to change their on campus housing or classroom situation as a result of the assault.

University employees becoming knowledgeable of such an  assault will file an incident report when appropriate with the University and assist the individual in notifying local law enforcement authorities and the appropriate authorities at Stritch. The University will fully cooperate in the individual’s filing of criminal charges against an alleged assailant. Also, at the direction of law enforcement authorities, Cardinal Stritch University will assist in the obtaining, securing and maintaining of evidence potentially needed for prosecution.

To Pursue the Internal Complaint Process

Submit a signed written statement to the Senior Director of Student Success in the case of students, or the Director of Human Resources, for employees

Following the individual’s submission of a signed written statement, a University administrator or professional staff member -- under the guidance of the Senior Director of Student Success or the Director of Human Resources -- shall investigate the alleged incident. During this review and hearing process, every reasonable effort will be made to shield the victim from  unwanted contact with the alleged assailant. Safety, privacy, and support will be offered to any complainant of sexual assault.


After a decision has been made, either the accused or the complainant may file an appeal with the University Provost. The appeal must be made in writing with specific reasons stated as to why the individual believes an appeal is in order. An appeal must be made within 10 working days from the time of decision notification. The decision of the Provost will be final.

If an appeal is filed, that appeal shall not result in a modification of the decision while the appeal is pending.

Anonymous Reporting

All universities are required to annually publish the number of incidents of certain campus crimes, including sexual assault. The anonymous information from individuals who file a report with the University are already included, and reflected within the crime statistics. Individuals who are sexually assaulted but have not filed a report may also be included in Stritch’s report by contacting the Wellness Center and making this request.

Community Resources/Additional Assistance

Additional assistance at Cardinal Stritch University and community referral information are available in the resources listed in the afore-stated section on Alcohol and Other Drug Policy. Free brochures are also widely distributed and can also be obtained by contacting the Wellness Center.

Wisconsin’s Crime Victims’ Rights and Services

In 1976, the Wisconsin Legislature passed a law allowing monetary compensation for crime victims and in 1980 created a Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights. To be compensated, victims must report the crime to law enforcement within five days of the occurrence and file an application for compensation within one year of the crime. Victims must also cooperate with the investigation and prosecution of the crime. Further information and assistance may be obtained by contacting:

The Office of Crime Victims Services
P.O. Box 7951
Madison, WI 53707
(608) 266-6470 / toll-free (800) 446-6564

In the Milwaukee area, helpful information and assistance are also available by contacting:

The Common Council Task Force on Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence
(414) 286-2997

Sexual Assault Treatment Center
(414) 291-5555

Community Resources/Additional Assistance

Additional assistance at Cardinal Stritch University and community referral information are available through the regional Student Services director, the Wellness Center and the Student Success Center in the resources listed in the afore-stated section on Alcohol and Other Drug Policy. Free brochures are also widely distributed and can also be obtained by contacting one of the aforementioned individuals.

Minnesota's Crime Victims' Rights and Services

Under Minnesota’s crime victims’ bill of rights, those who are victims or witnesses to a crime are entitled to certain rights. These include notification rights, the right to participate in prosecution, the right to protection from harm and the right to apply for financial assistance. 

Victims of crime in Minnesota are also entitled to services for the following:

  1. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s 24-hour HOTLINE for crime victims’ resources: (800) 422-0798. 
  2. The Office of Crime Victims Ombudsman (OCVO) which offers assistance to crime victims who feel that their rights have been violated, or who feel that they have been treated unfairly by the criminal justice system or by victim assistance programs: (800) 247-0390 during regular business hours.