GCU Sexual Misconduct Policies

Gender-Based and Sexual Misconduct Policy and Grievance Procedures

If you have any questions related to Title IX and our policies, contact the Title IX coordinator at TitleIX@gcu.edu or 602-639-5900.


Grand Canyon University (GCU) does not tolerate retaliation. Retaliation is any adverse effect against any person who is involved with the filing of, or investigation into, a claim of sexual harassment or sexual misconduct. Retaliation includes, but is not limited to, threats, menacing behavior, coercion or discriminatory actions. Retaliation is a serious violation and may result in immediate removal from GCU.


GCU has a mandatory employee reporting policy for faculty and staff. All GCU employees must notify the Title IX office of any alleged or possible sexual harassment and sexual misconduct. If you would like the details of an incident to be kept confidential, you can seek help or advice from:

  • On Campus: licensed professional counselors, health services staff and medical providers at the Canyon Health and Wellness Clinic
  • Off Campus: professional counselors, crisis counselors and other local agencies or resources

All other GCU staff and faculty are required to report any alleged or possible sexual harassment and sexual misconduct.

GCU is required to thoroughly investigate all allegations of sexual misconduct and violence, taking any actions necessary to maintain your safety and that of the university at large, regardless of whether a formal complaint is made. You will be informed of whatever actions are taken. If a formal investigation takes place, only a certain degree of confidentiality can be assured. The students involved, including witnesses, will be apprised of the investigation to the degree necessary. University officials will be informed on a need-to-know basis. If a claimant requests confidentiality, GCU will do the utmost to respect their wishes, but ultimately it is at the Title IX coordinator's discretion if a formal investigation will take place.

To the extent permitted by law, publicly available recordkeeping will be accomplished without identifying the victim or accuser. Reports of crimes to the campus community will withhold the names of victims. Examples include Clery Act reporting and Federal Timely Warning Obligations.

Student Rights

  • You have the right to have your case reviewed by the Title IX coordinator for GCU investigation and review.
  • You have the right to notify law enforcement authorities and be assisted by Public Safety in notifying law enforcement.
  • You may decline to report to law enforcement. But declining to take legal action does not mean that you may not pursue a university investigation.
  • All students can report instances of sexual misconduct for review through GCU.
  • The claimant and respondent both have the opportunity to name witnesses and provide evidence.
  • Both parties have the opportunity to review the investigative report and documentation materials from the investigation in the presence of the Title IX coordinator or designee.
  • The claimant and respondent are both notified in writing as to the outcome of any investigation GCU conducts.
  • You receive amnesty for minor student conduct violations (ex. alcohol or drug violations) in relation to the alleged incident when reporting or participating in a sexual misconduct investigation.
  • All parties involved in the investigation can do so without fear of retaliation. Any instances of retaliation will be investigated and addressed by GCU.
  • Campus counseling, medical, academic and spiritual services are available to all students.
  • GCU assists students in reporting to local law enforcement if they request help.
  • The claimant and respondent are entitled to an advisor or support person to be present at any point in the investigation.

Claimants may obtain assistance from GCU in order to feel safe and comfortable on campus. This includes, but is not limited to: no-contact orders; adjustments to academic, housing and work arrangements; and counseling. These services are offered regardless of if a formal investigation takes place.

The respondent also has the right to be informed of, and have access to, campus resources for medical, counseling and other services, as needed or requested.


Victims of sexual misconduct (including sexual violence) have many services available to them so that they can obtain information and support. If you have experienced any type of sexual misconduct, know that we are here to help. There are a number of resources at GCU to assist you with your health and safety.

After a sexual assault, vital evidence may remain on your body or clothes. It is important to not shower, bathe, wash, change clothes, comb hair, eat or drink before a physical exam, if possible. See "Seeking Medical Assistance" for information on where to go for an exam, typically within 120 hours of an assault.

Such physical evidence is important to a GCU investigation, as well as a police investigation. Even if you showered or washed, evidence may still be collectible and medical conditions can be treated, even after 120 hours.

Electronic evidence can be extremely important to the outcome of an investigation. Save and/or screenshot any relevant text messages, social media posts, photos, Snapchats, voicemails or emails. These can be provided to Public Safety or the Title IX investigator for use in a university investigation.

Seeking Medical Assistance

Seeking medical assistance in a timely manner is important in order to treat any possible injuries. In addition to receiving medical attention, you may wish to have a sexual assault forensic exam completed for evidentiary purposes in criminal or civil procedures.

For immediate medical attention, contact 911 or go to a local hospital emergency room.

The following locations can provide medical care and also preserve evidence through a sexual assault forensic exam:

Phoenix Baptist Hospital
2000 W. Bethany Home Road
Phoenix, AZ 85015
Maryvale Hospital
5102 W. Campbell Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85031
John C. Lincoln North Mountain Hospital
250 E. Dunlap Ave. 
Phoenix, AZ 85020
St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center
350 W. Thomas Road
Phoenix, AZ 85013

Crisis Hotlines 
You can speak to one of the national hotlines that specializes in assisting those in the immediate aftermath of sexual violence in complete confidence.

  • National Sexual Assault Hotline: 800-656-HOPE or chat online at online.rainn.org
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-SAFE
  • EMPACT Sexual Assault Hotline: 480-736-4949

Continuing Support

  • Counseling Services: Make an appointment at GCU's Canyon Health and Wellness Clinic by calling 855-GCU-LOPE.
  • GCU No-Contact Order: GCU can issue a "no-contact order" which prohibits all in-person and electronic contact between the parties involved. We can also assist with changes to academic, living or work situations.
  • Protective Order: You may be able to obtain a protective order from a court; a violation of the protection order can result in criminal charges being issued. GCU will enforce external protective orders. You can reach GCU's Department of Public Safety at 855-GCU-LOPE for more information.

The Canyon Health and Wellness Clinic can assist with basic medical needs, but cannot perform sexual assault forensic exams. Anything reported to GCU's Health and Wellness Center can be done in complete confidence. Call 855-GCU-LOPE for an appointment.

Reporting an Incident

You have multiple options when reporting sexual misconduct. You can choose to pursue all, some or none of these options. While you are not required to file the report immediately after the assault, it is important to preserve any evidence. If you report the issue to GCU, we are obligated by law to investigate and respond, even if you also file a criminal complaint.

Criminal Complaint
To file a criminal complaint, contact the Phoenix Police Department or GCU's Department of Public Safety. Public Safety can help you obtain information regarding reporting to the police or obtaining an order of protection as well as assist you with filing a criminal complaint. You may also contact the Phoenix Police Department directly at 602-262-6151. A criminal complaint is subject to the applicable criminal laws and statutes. A GCU Title IX policy violation does not always equate to a criminal violation, but in many cases overlap may occur. It is important to note that GCU is required to conduct their own Title IX investigation, regardless of a criminal complaint being filed with the police or not.

Anonymous Complaint
To file a complaint anonymously, use the TIPS Online Reporting Tool on the Public Safety website. If you choose to provide your contact information, GCU will contact you to offer information and support. If you do not provide contact information, GCU's ability to thoroughly investigate and respond to the report will be severely limited.

University Complaint

  • The Title IX coordinator at TitleIX@gcu.edu or 602-639-5900
  • A deputy Title IX coordinator
  • Public Safety at 855-GCU-LOPE
  • Any resident assistant (RA) or resident director (RD)
  • Any staff or faculty member

This complaint process is governed by the Title IX Policy and Grievance Procedures. The standard of proof is "a preponderance of the evidence," or "more likely than not," and GCU can institute penalties ranging from a formal warning to expulsion. For more information, review the Title IX Policy and Grievance Procedures.

View Policy

For Confidential Assistance
If you do not wish to file a formal complaint, but do want help with finding resources to assist you, contact the Canyon Health and Wellness Clinic. Anything discussed with medical personnel remains completely confidential. The Canyon Health and Wellness Clinic can offer medical and counseling services as well as connect you with other campus resources that may be beneficial to you. It is important to note that all other campus faculty and staff are mandatory reporters.

University Title IX Procedures

GCU thoroughly investigates sexual harassment and sexual violence complaints, regardless of if the incident occurred on or off campus. In most cases, GCU provides multiple options for investigation and resolution of complaints based on how the claimant wishes to proceed. Investigations are required to utilize the preponderance of evidence standard ("more likely than not").

GCU is committed to:

  • Grievance procedures that provide for the prompt, effective and equitable resolution of sexual harassment and sexual violence complaints
  • Ensuring staff thoroughly, reliably and impartially investigate all complaints
  • Taking prompt and immediate steps to end the harassment, prevent its recurrence and address its effects
  • Protecting the claimant, respondent and campus community during and upon the conclusion of the investigation
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Providing specific information on how investigations are conducted is found in the Title IX Policy and Grievance Procedures.

Support and Assistance

If you have been a victim of sexual misconduct (including sexual violence), you have many services available to you so that you can obtain information and support. Below are just some of the resources at GCU to assist you with your health and safety.

  • Medical assistance is available at the Canyon Health and Wellness Clinic. All discussions with medical professionals are considered completely confidential. Call 855-GCU-LOPE to schedule an appointment.
  • Counseling services are also offered through the Canyon Health and Wellness Clinic. Male and female counselors are available. All conversations with counselors are considered completely confidential. Call 855-GCU-LOPE  to schedule an appointment.
  • Further academic assistance can be obtained through GCU's Student Disability Services. Contact them at 855-GCU-LOPE.
  • The Safety Escort Program provides a Public Safety officer to escort you upon request. Call 855-GCU-LOPE and provide them with your name, location and destination.
  • Emergency blue light phones serve as a direct connection to Public Safety officers and should be used if you are feeling scared or have an immediate safety concern.
  • The Department of Spiritual Life on campus is available to address any spiritual needs or concerns. Call 855-GCU-LOPE to learn more.
  • Learning assistance is offered through our Academic and Career Excellence (ACE) Centers.

GCU takes whatever measures necessary to create a safe environment for all students. During the course of the investigation and upon its completion, various measures may be taken by GCU in order to ensure the physical, mental and emotional well-being of students. You may request some of these measures be taken on your behalf, even if the university does not pursue a formal investigation; however, interim measures cannot be applied retroactively from the reporting date. These measures include, but are not limited to:

  • Academic accommodations including, but not limited to:
    • Transferring to another section of a lecture or laboratory
    • Rescheduling an academic assignment or test
    • Accessing academic support (i.e. tutoring)
    • Arranging for incompletes, a leave of absence or withdrawal from campus
    • Preserving eligibility for academic, athletic or other scholarships, financial aid, internships, study abroad or foreign student visas
  • Providing medical and mental health services, including counseling
  • Arranging changes in campus housing and/or dining locations
  • Providing assistance in finding alternative housing
  • Assistance in arranging for alternative employment arrangements and/or changing work schedules
  • A "no-contact" directive pending the outcome of an investigation. Such a directive serves as notice to both parties that they must not have verbal, electronic, written or third-party communication with one another.
  • Providing an escort to ensure that you can move safely between school programs and activities
  • Transportation accommodations or parking arrangements to ensure safety and access to other services
  • Assistance identifying additional resources or assistance including off-campus and community advocacy, support and services
  • In serious cases, an interim suspension may be considered in order to ensure overall campus safety

Medical Resources

Phoenix Baptist Hospital
2000 W. Bethany Home Road
Phoenix, AZ 85015
Maryvale Hospital
5102 W. Campbell Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85031
John C. Lincoln North Mountain Hospital
250 E. Dunlap Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85020
St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center
350 W. Thomas Road
Phoenix, AZ 85013
Advanced Urgent Care
5201 N. 19th Ave., Suite 100
Phoenix, AZ 85015 
Next Care Urgent Care
1701 E. Thomas Road, Suite A-104
Phoenix, AZ 85016

Law Enforcement Resources

Glendale Police Department Victim Assistance
Maricopa County Attorney - Victim Assistance Program 
Peoria Police Department's Victim Assistance Services
Phoenix Prosecutor's Office - Victim Services Program 
Hotlines and Community Resources:
National Domestic Violence Hotline
RAINN National Sexual Assault Hotline
Arizona Coalition to End Sexual & Domestic Violence
EMPACT Arizona Sexual Assault Hotline

If you are in need of assistance, there are resources available to you outside of GCU. Any interactions with these community agencies remains confidential based upon their standards of privacy. Pursuing any of these resources in no way obligates you to pursue a formal investigation or otherwise act upon what happened.

Risk Reduction and Bystander Intervention Tips

How to Help as a Bystander

  • Talk to your friends honestly and openly about sexual assault.
  • Do not just be a bystander - if you see something, intervene in any way you can.
  • Trust your gut. If something looks like it might be a bad situation, it probably is.
  • Be direct. Ask someone who looks like they may need help if they are okay.
  • Get someone to help you if you see something - enlist a friend, RA, teacher or parent to help step in.
  • Keep an eye on someone who has had too much to drink.
  • If you see someone who is too intoxicated to consent, enlist their friends to help them leave safely.
  • Recognize the potential danger of someone who talks about planning to target another person at a party.
  • Be aware if someone is deliberately trying to intoxicate, isolate or corner someone else.
  • Create a distraction, draw attention to the situation or separate the people you are concerned about.
  • Understand that if someone does not or cannot consent to sex, it is rape.
  • Never blame the victim.

How to Keep Yourself Safe

  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Try to avoid isolated areas, and do not allow yourself to be isolated with someone you do not know or trust.
  • Walk with a purpose. Even if you do not know where you are going, act like you do.
  • Trust your instincts.
  • Make sure your cell phone is with you.
  • Try to stick with your friends. You can help keep each other safe.
  • Do not leave your drink unattended, and do not accept drinks from people you do not know or trust.
  • Be true to yourself. Do not feel obligated to do anything you do not want to do.
  • Lie. If you are uncomfortable or afraid, make an excuse to leave.
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It's On Us: GCU's Campus Initiative to Reduce Sexual Assault

GCU has joined countless organizations, including the White House, NCAA and major entertainment networks, in the fight against sexual assault. The It's On Us campaign is a nationwide initiative to help you become part of the solution. Pledge to recognize, identify, intervene and create, and make a personal commitment to help keep men and women safe. Take the pledge now at itsonus.org

Orders of Protection

Orders of Protection are civil court orders that prohibit a specific person from making contact with you or even coming near you. They are issued by a judge and must be served by authorized personnel only. Orders of Protection are valid for 12 months from the date on which they are served. They are designed to keep a person from committing acts of violence and/or harassment. If the person violates the order, you have grounds to take legal action against them. It should be noted that while they are issued to minimize risk, they are not a guarantee of safety.

For more information on how to obtain an Order of Protection, contact GCU's Department of Public Safety, or visit the Maricopa County Superior Court website.

    If you find yourself in the position of being the initiator of sexual behavior, you owe sexual respect to your potential partner. These suggestions may help you to reduce your risk for being accused of sexual misconduct, which can impact your ability to continue in school, or result in a criminal record:

    • Clearly communicate your intentions to your sexual partner and give them a chance to clearly relate their intentions to you.
    • Understand and respect personal boundaries.
    • Do not make assumptions about consent; about someone's sexual availability; about whether they are attracted to you; about how far you can go; or about whether they are physically and/or mentally able to consent. If there are any questions or ambiguity, then you do not have consent.
    • Mixed messages from your partner are a clear indication that you should stop, defuse any sexual tension and communicate better. You may be misreading them. They may not have figured out how far they want to go with you yet. You must respect the timeline for sexual behaviors with which they are comfortable.
    • Do not take advantage of someone's drunkenness or drugged state, even if they did it to themselves.
    • Realize that your potential partner could be intimidated by you or fearful. You may have a power advantage simply because of your gender or size. Do not abuse that power.
    • Understand that consent to some form of sexual behavior does not automatically imply consent to any other forms of sexual behavior.
    • Silence and passivity cannot be interpreted as an indication of consent. Read your potential partner carefully, paying attention to verbal and non-verbal communication and body language.
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