Title IX

Sexual Misconduct

At Fairfield University, we are committed to providing a learning environment free of sexual misconduct. If you or a friend are a victim of sexual misconduct, please know you are not alone, and it is not your fault. There are many resources available to you, both confidential and non-confidential.

If you are in immediate danger, please call Public Safety at (203) 254-4090 or 9-1-1.

Students should call (203) 254-4000, ext. 2146 to speak to a counselor, at any time.

What is sexual violence and sexual harassment?

Sexual violence, or sexual assault, is any sexual act that is perpetrated against someone’s will. This includes engaging in any sexual activity without effective consent, ranging from non-consensual sexual contact to non-consensual sexual intercourse. Consent cannot be obtained through the use of force, threat, or coercion, or from someone who is incapacitated—including through consumption of drugs or alcohol.

What constitutes sexual misconduct at Fairfield University encompasses a wide range of behaviors, including, but not limited to, harassment of a sexual nature, stalking, intimate partner violence, intimidation and sexual exploitation. The University prohibits all forms of sexual violence, sexual harassment, and sexual misconduct.

We ensure that:

  • Survivors are provided with clear information and support.

  • The accused are held accountable.

  • Prevention education is provided to all staff and the student body on an ongoing basis.

  • Professional staff treat complainants with dignity and respect, with the intent that re-victimization does not occur during the process.

Documents

File A Report

Fairfield maintains a policy of offering reporting students amnesty for minor community standards violations (e.g., underage consumption of alcohol), when a good faith report for assistance during an emergency situation is made.

Self-Report

To file a complaint, individuals may call Public Safety (203) 254-4090 or e-mail the University’s Title IX Coordinator, the Senior Director, Equity via equity@fairfield.edu.

If a student thinks they have experienced non-consensual sexual misconduct by force, coercion or inability to give consent, they should know that it is not their fault and there are many resources available, including filing a complaint. Students may feel pressure to not file a report by mutual friends or fear of getting in trouble, but the University process is student-centered, offering many remedies (no-contact orders, safe housing, class changes) to prevent retaliation and reoccurrence.

To encourage individuals to come forward with reports about sexual misconduct, students will not be sanctioned for revealing a violation in good faith—such as underage drinking—in the process of reporting a sexual violence claim.

A standard, formal incident report can be filed with the Department of Public Safety at any time. An Incident Report will include, among other things, the name of the complainant and the name of the accused, if known. Upon the filing of an Incident Report, the Department of Public Safety will act as first responder and refer the matter to the Title IX Compliance Coordinator. Public Safety will also determine whether law enforcement or other authorities should be notified.

Direct reporting can be important for the safety of the entire University community. Individuals have the right to report sexual misconduct to Public Safety without further participation in the investigatory process. Individuals can choose to initiate a criminal complaint through law enforcement and/or initiate a Title IX Sexual Misconduct Complaint with a Title IX Compliance Coordinator. Individuals should understand, however, that by choosing to not participate in the University’s disciplinary process, the University’s response to the incident may be limited.

Peer Report

Peers of victims of sexual misconduct can file an incident report or anonymous report with the Department of Public Safety on someone’s behalf. They may also contact the Title IX Coordinator at equity@fairfield.edu. If a peer has experienced sexual violence, students have many options:

  • provide support by encouraging them to seek help with the available resources on and off campus;

  • reinforce that it is not their fault; validate their feelings; do not investigate their story;

  • let them know they are there for them and are receptive to what they are saying; As a peer, the student may experience secondary trauma. There are many resources available through the Center for Family Justice and Counseling & Psychological Services.

As a peer, the student may experience secondary trauma. There are many resources available through the Center for Family Justice and Counseling & Psychological Services.