Princeton University is committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming educational and working environment for all members of its community. Consistent with these values and applicable law, including Title IX, the Clery Act, and the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013, the University maintains a comprehensive program designed to protect members of the University community from discrimination on the basis of sex or gender, which includes sexual misconduct such as sexual harassment and sexual assault, stalking, and intimate partner violence.

Prevention Efforts

As part of this program, the University offers multiple education and prevention initiatives for the campus community. For additional information regarding current and planned initiatives, see Prevention Efforts.

Resources and Reporting

In addition, the University offers many options to individuals who have experienced or witnessed an alleged incident of sex discrimination or sexual misconduct, including (a) consultation with confidential resources or other support organization and/or (b) filing an internal and/or criminal complaint. For additional information regarding these options, see Resources & Reporting.

Investigations and Disciplinary Procedures

The University is committed to providing a prompt and impartial investigation of all alleged violations of the Sex Discrimination and Sexual Misconduct policy. Allegations of sexual misconduct are investigated and adjudicated according to the policies set forth in section 1.3 of Rights, Rules, Responsibilities. During the disciplinary process, both parties (complainant and respondent) have equivalent rights, including the opportunity to present evidence, to review and respond to evidence collected during an investigation, to be accompanied by an adviser of their choice, and to appeal. The University concurrently provides both parties with written notification of the outcome of the process and any appeal.

2014-2015 Academic Year

This report presents information about reports of sexual misconduct relating to undergraduate and graduate students that were reported to University administrators and adjudicated under the University’s Sex Discrimination and Sexual Misconduct policy between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015 (“2014-2015 academic year"). While intended to be informative, this report has inherent limitations, in that the privacy of the individuals involved must be protected, which necessarily limits the detail that can be provided regarding each particular case.

During the 2014-2015 academic year, 25 cases were reported and adjudicated through this process. There were 20 cases in which respondents were found responsible, four cases resulting in findings of not responsible,[1] and one case resulting in “no finding."[2]

Penalties, which included dean’s warnings, disciplinary probation (from three to 18 months), suspension, expulsion, a Persona Non-Grata (“PNG"),[3] are determined based on the seriousness of the misconduct and the respondent’s previous disciplinary history (if any). In addition to other penalties, respondents found responsible for violations are required to complete the Community Integrity Program (“CIP"). CIP is a time-limited, individualized psychoeducational curriculum administered by a SHARE (Sexual Harassment/Assault Advising, Resources and Education) clinician. It serves to assist individuals in exploring attitudes and behaviors reflective of interpersonal violence, with an aim to empower individuals to actively contribute to a healthier and safer campus community.

The data in this section refer to violations of University policy for which respondents were formally found responsible following an investigation and adjudication, as described in section 1.3 of Rights, Rules, Responsibilities; they do not refer to crimes.[4] For this and other reasons, it should not be expected that the data in this report aligns with the data provided by the Department of Public Safety (DPS) for reported crimes.

Sex Discrimination

Sex discrimination is defined as “adverse treatment of an individual based on sex or gender, rather than individual merit. Sex discrimination encompasses sexual misconduct but also includes other discriminatory behavior that does not constitute sexual misconduct. Examples of conduct that can constitute sex discrimination because of sex, gender identity, or gender expression include but are not limited to:

  • Singling out or targeting an individual for different or adverse treatment (e.g., more severe discipline, lower salary increase);
  • Failing or refusing to hire or allow participation by an individual in a University activity; or
  • Terminating or removing an individual from employment or an educational program."

One respondent[5] was found responsible for Sex Discrimination and was placed on disciplinary probation.

Non-Consensual Sexual Contact

Non-Consensual Sexual Contact (commonly referred to as sexual assault) is defined as “Any sexual touching other than non-consensual sexual penetration without consent. Examples of non-consensual sexual contact may include: genital-genital or oral-genital contact not involving penetration; contact with breasts, buttocks, or genital area, including over clothing; removing the clothing of another person; and kissing."

Three respondents were found responsible for Non-Consensual Sexual Contact: one respondent was suspended for one year; one respondent[6] was issued a long-term PNG; and one respondent was placed on disciplinary probation.

Sexual Exploitation

Sexual Exploitation is defined as “Any act whereby one person violates the sexual privacy of another or takes unjust or abusive sexual advantage of another who has not provided consent, and that does not constitute non-consensual sexual penetration or non-consensual sexual contact. Examples may include: recording, photographing, transmitting, viewing, or distributing intimate or sexual images or sexual information without the knowledge and consent of all parties involved; voyeurism (i.e., spying on others who are in intimate or sexual situations)."

Seven respondents were found responsible for Sexual Exploitation: one respondent[7] was expelled; five respondents were placed on disciplinary probation; and one respondent received a Dean’s warning.

Sexually Inappropriate Conduct

Sexually Inappropriate Conduct is defined as: “Unwelcome sexual conduct that may not rise to the level of sexual harassment or sexual exploitation, but that is sexual in nature. Examples may include: obscene or sexually offensive gestures and comments; and lewdness."[8]

Five respondents were found responsible for Sexually Inappropriate Conduct: four respondents[9] were placed on disciplinary probation; one respondent received a Dean’s warning.

Intimate Relationship Violence

Intimate Relationship Violence (also known as dating violence or intimate partner violence) is defined as “Acts of violence, threat or intimidation that harm or injure a partner in a current or former intimate relationship (defined below). These acts may be physical, emotional/psychological, sexual, or economic in nature. Intimate relationship violence can be a single act or pattern of behavior."

Two respondents were found responsible for Intimate Relationship Violence: one respondent was suspended for one year; one respondent was placed on disciplinary probation.

Stalking

Stalking is defined as “A course of conduct (i.e., more than one act) that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear, to experience emotional distress, or to fear for the safety of a third person. Acts that together constitute stalking may be direct actions or may be communicated by a third party, and can include, but are not limited to: threats of harm to self or others; pursuing or following; non-consensual (unwanted) communication by any means; unwanted gifts; trespassing; and surveillance or other types of observation."

One respondent was found responsible for Stalking and was placed on disciplinary probation.

Other[10]

One respondent was found responsible for a violation of the Respect for Others policy and was placed on disciplinary probation.

Total Violations

Respondents may be found responsible for more than one type of violation. Thus, it should not be expected that the data in this section aligns with the total number of cases adjudicated during the 2014-2015 academic year or with the data provided in the descriptions of conduct and penalties provided above.

Category Respondents Found Responsible
Sex Discrimination 1
Non-Consensual Sexual Penetration (commonly referred to as rape) 0
Non-Consensual Sexual Contact (commonly referred to as sexual assault) 3
Sexual Exploitation 8
Sexual Harassment 0
Sexually Inappropriate Conduct 6
Intimate Relationship Violence 3
Domestic Violence in the Context of Intimate Relationships 0
Stalking in the Context of Intimate Relationships 1
Retaliation 0
Other 2

Definitions for Non-Consensual Sexual Penetration, Sexual Harassment, Domestic Violence in the Context of Intimate Relationships, and Retaliation, for which there were no findings of responsibility this academic year, can be found in Rights, Rules, Responsibilities, section 1.3.3.

Footnotes

[1] In cases in which respondents were found not responsible, the panel found insufficient information to substantiate the particular charge, using the preponderance of the evidence standard.

[2] A conclusion of “no finding" indicates that there was serious concern that University policy was breached, but there was insufficient evidence to make a determination, using the preponderance of the evidence standard. A conclusion of “no finding" does not result in a disciplinary penalty or disciplinary record.

[3] Pursuant to section 1.3.16(4) of Rights, Rules, Responsibilities, "[f]or violations of this policy by non-members of the University community, disciplinary penalties may include being temporarily or permanently barred from the University or subject to other restrictions." See also Rights, Rules Responsibilities, section 3.3.

[4] State and federal laws also address conduct that may meet the University’s definitions of prohibited conduct, and criminal prosecution may take place independently of any disciplinary action instituted by the University.

[5] Respondent was also found responsible for Sexual Exploitation . In cases in which respondents were found responsible for more than one type of violation, the penalty/conduct is described in the infraction category that was considered the most significant by the adjudicatory panel.

[6] Respondent was also found responsible for Intimate Relationship Violence.

[7] Respondent was also found responsible for Sexually Inappropriate Conduct.

[8] In the 2014-2015 version of Rights, Rules, Responsibilities, the category of conduct formerly referred to as “Sexually Inappropriate Conduct" is now referred to as "Inappropriate Conduct Related to Sex, Gender Identity, or Gender Expression" and is defined as "Unwelcome conduct that may not fall under sexual harassment or sexual exploitation, but that is sexual in nature. Examples may include: obscene or sexually offensive gestures and comments; or lewdness."

[9] One respondent was also found responsible for Disorderly Conduct.

[10] Pursuant to section 1.3.10(7) of Rights, Rules, Responsibilities, violations of University policy unrelated to sexual misconduct may be investigated and adjudicated according to the policies set forth in section 1.3 where there are potential violations of both the Sex Discrimination and Sexual Misconduct policy and other University policy.