Introducing Avila University
Avila University is a Catholic, co-educational University with liberal arts and professional programs. It is situated on fifty rolling acres in south Kansas City, Missouri. Avila University was founded in 1916 and is sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet.
From its modest beginnings, Avila has become a flourishing, comprehensive University offering a variety of degree programs. Founded as the College of St. Teresa, the college grew and expanded to a larger campus in 1963. It was at this time that the college name was changed to Avila to honor St. Teresa of Avila. In 2002, Avila College became Avila University, a name reflecting its growth and development as an institution of higher education.
Avila University’s commitment to excellence; to service of students and the community; to quality education of spirit, mind, and body; and to the growth of the whole person is deeply rooted in its Catholic heritage and in the lives and beliefs of the founding Sisters of St. Joseph.
Students, faculty, and staff at Avila University provide a supportive, caring, yet challenging environment in which students receive close personalized attention.
A strong emphasis is placed on integrating the liberal arts into all programs in order to prepare students for a lifetime of personal fulfillment and career growth. Carefully-planned courses in the humanities, arts, and natural and social sciences are designed to develop each student’s ability to think critically, analyze written material, and write and speak effectively. At Avila University, students acquire those skills necessary for success in a chosen career as well as preparation for graduate or professional studies.
Mission Statement of Avila University
Avila University, a Catholic university founded and inspired by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, provides undergraduate and graduate education in the liberal arts and professional studies, preparing lifelong learners who make meaningful contributions to the global community. (adopted 1986; reviewed 1995; revised 2005; revised 2017)
Mission Statement of the School of Graduate Studies
The School of Graduate Studies is committed to educating students to become leaders in their profession by embracing academic excellence both in teaching and learning in a diverse and inclusive environment.
Value Statements of Avila University
Guided by our Catholic identity as expressed through the heritage and vision of the Sisters of St. Joseph, the Avila community values…
- Excellence in teaching and learning
- The worth, dignity, and potential of each human being
- Diversity and its expression
- The development of the whole person
- Right relationships, with God, self, others, and creation
- Service with the dear neighbor (adopted 1988; reviewed 1996, revised 2005; revised 2017)
History of Avila University
The Sisters of St. Joseph were founded in LePuy, France, in 1650 to serve their neighbors by responding to the needs of society. In 1836, six Sisters arrived in America and traveled up the Mississippi to St. Louis, Missouri, and settled in a small town south of the city known as Carondelet. These women established several schools and were soon known as the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet.
In 1866, five Sisters came to Kansas City and opened the first private high school for young women, St. Teresa’s Academy. In 1916, the academy administration chartered the first private college for women in Kansas City, St. Teresa College, and offered a two-year program leading to an Associate of Arts Degree. Fifteen years later, St. Joseph’s Hospital School of Nursing became affiliated with the college and nursing students were enrolled in basic science and humanities courses.
In 1940, the college was expanded to a four-year liberal arts college with professional programs in nursing, education, and business. It was fully accredited by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools in 1946 and was called the College of St. Teresa.
The college established one of Kansas City’s first baccalaureate degree programs in nursing in 1948 and was accredited by the National League for Nursing in 1966. Additional programs in allied health, social work, and special education were developed to complement strong programs in the liberal arts.
The growth of the college resulted in a move to its present campus in 1963, which is located in suburban South Kansas City, three miles from Interstate 435. Seeking to serve a diverse population, the college became co-educational in 1969; established graduate programs in business, education, and psychology in 1978; and began Kansas City’s first Weekend College in 1984.
Owing to its continued growth as a comprehensive institution of higher learning during the 1990s, offering undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs, Avila became, in 2002, Avila University.
Since its founding in 1916, Avila University has been committed to excellence in teaching and learning in an environment that respects the uniqueness of each person and stresses responsible service to others.
Avila University Campus
Avila University is just minutes off an interstate highway network and is convenient to Kansas City’s many attractions. Its eleven buildings are situated on fifty acres in suburban South Kansas City and include residence halls; a fieldhouse; a sports complex for baseball, softball, football and soccer; the library; theatre; chapel; and classroom facilities.
Blasco Hall (1963)
Administrative Offices, including the Offices of the President, Academic Affairs, Registration and Student Records Office, Undergraduate Admission, Financial Aid, the Business Office, and Advancement.
O’Rielly Hall/Marie Joan Harris, CSJ, Ph.D.
Science and Health Complex (1963, renovated 2014)
Primary academic building with science laboratories, computer classrooms, lecture hall, classrooms, School of Science and Health, and the Department Offices of Social Sciences.
Carondelet Hall (1965; renovated 2012)
Residence Hall on second and third floors.
First floor houses Avila Advantage offices, Campus Ministry offices, the Center for Global Studies and Social Justice, Instructional Technology, Instructional Support and Information Management offices, conference rooms, and classrooms.
Marian Center (1965)
Dining room, lounge, Eagle’s Nest, the mail room, and bookstore.
Foyle Hall (1967)
The Orscheln Memorial Chapel, the School of Education, the Department of Psychology, the International Language & Culture Program (ILCP), a classroom and conference room.
Ridgway Hall (1970)
Hodes Center (1973)
Counseling and Career Services, Health Services, International Student Services, Learning & Disability Services, Retention and First Year Experience, TRIO program offices, and the Upward Bound Program. Computers and quiet study space.
Goppert Theatre/Borserine Nurse Education Center (1974)
Theatre with thrust proscenium stage and seating capacity of 450, the McKeon Performance Studio, and Music rooms. Borserine Center houses the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, the School of Nursing, classrooms, lounges, and nursing education resource center.
Hooley-Bundschu Library/Learning Commons (1978, renovated 2014)
The Hooley-Bundschu Learning Commons, renovated in the summer of 2014, is the information resource center for the campus. The Learning Commons offers a full-service learning, research, and project space.
Whitfield Center (1978)
The School of Business classrooms, the Whitfield Conference Center, Campus Safety and Sustainability Office, and a Subway Restaurant.
Mabee Fieldhouse (1980, expanded 2001)
Competition and practice arena, fitness center, locker rooms, training room, weight room, walking track, and athletic offices.
Thomas R. Zarda Family Athletic Complex (1991, improved 2011)
Multipurpose outdoor athletic complex for baseball, football, soccer, softball, and recreational use.
Dallavis Center (1992)
The School of Visual and Communication Arts, classrooms, film and video production studios with audio and digital video editing facilities, graphic design, painting and ceramics studios, photography laboratory, Macintosh classroom and lab, and Thornhill Art Gallery.
Schlumpberger Facility (1999)
Maintenance equipment and services.
Jeanne Collins Thompson Hall (2007)
Residence Hall with suite-style apartments.
The Pavilion (2011)
Student recreational facility with practice arena, batting and golf cage, and athletic offices.
Glenna Wylie Hall (2012)
Residence Hall with suite-style rooms on second and third floor. First floor houses Dean of Students and Residence Life offices.
The Hooley-Bundschu Learning Commons offers staff assistance to meet student information and academic needs and is designed to provide an environment conducive to learning and research in an age that merges written and electronic media. The Learning Commons is a member of MOBIUS, a statewide consortium of over sixty academic libraries with a shared online catalog, providing access to holdings statewide and delivered by courier five days a week. The Learning Commons also provides access to full-text and bibliographic databases such as EBSCO’s Academic Search Premier, Business Source Premier, Contemporary Women’s Issues, Access World News Research, CREDO Literati, eMO!: ebooks, ProQuest Psychology Journals, PsycArticles, BioOne, CINAHL, JSTOR, MANGO Languages, and many others.
The Learning Commons subscribes to on-line search service DIALOG as well as providing student access to the bibliographic databases WorldCat and the MLA International Bibliography. In addition, the Learning Commons also provides a designated quiet study area, a collection of over 30,000 print books and 125,000 ebooks, a current subscription list of 283 periodicals and newspapers, videotapes, and DVDs to support the curriculum. The Laura Sloan Children’s Literature Collection, Curriculum Collection, Play Scripts, Reference, and Current Periodicals are also housed in the Learning Commons, as is the Reference Collection for Saint Paul’s School of Theology.
The Learning Commons also features a Circulation Desk, IT Help Desk, Tutoring Space, Presentation Space, and Learning Space. For more detailed information about the Hooley-Bundschu Learning Commons and its features, please visit www.avila.edu/academics/learning-commons.
Academic Technology Facilities
Avila University maintains several computer labs and classrooms to support teaching and learning. Labs are home to both PC and Macintosh computers, color monitors, and laser printers. Each computer lab facility is upgraded on a regular basis and is network supported so students and faculty can access specialty software, internet resources, and Microsoft Office products.
MyAU is Avila’s web portal. MyAU is an online web tool allowing students, faculty, and staff to communicate in a variety of ways. Students can also request transcripts, print enrollment verifications, make tuition payments, and quickly find an assortment of resources and available services. Faculty can enter attendance and grades for current students, and review their advisees’ academic records. Administrators can post documents, announcements, and events for the Avila Community. MyAU is available via the Avila University web site home page at www.avila.edu.
An Avila Email Account is where a student will receive all official email correspondence from the University. Students may also use it to communicate with instructors and fellow students. It is the student’s responsibility to check their Avila Email on a regular basis. The student email address is formatted as last name and Student ID Number@avila.edu.
Computer labs are located in the following locations:
Hooley-Bundschu Library: An open information commons, dedicated for student use consisting of sixteen desktop computers, sixty laptop computers, six Mac’s, three printers, six study rooms with monitors and wireless access for students to share work, the ability to video tape presentations, and wireless printing.
O’Rielly Hall/Marie Joan Harris, CSJ, Ph.D. Science and Health Complex: Three dedicated classroom labs are located in this hall. Two classrooms have 22 Dell computers each. Another classroom, with twelve Dell computers, is dedicated for teaching Mathematics and Computer Science courses. Each classroom has Microsoft Office software, SPSS, internet access, and other specialty teaching software available.
Borserine Nursing Center: Four Dell computers are located in the Wiley Study Room. Fifteen additional laptops are available for check-out by students to take proctored examinations. Software is available to support nursing education in addition to Microsoft Office and internet resources.
Dallavis Center: Two computer labs are housed in Dallavis. The Macintosh lab consists of twenty iMac computers with 27” monitors. Software includes the Adobe Creative Cloud, Microsoft Office, and other software needed to support Graphics Design and Communication majors. The Communication lab houses twelve G5 dual-processor Macs with the Adobe Creative Suite, 4K and HD workflows, and other Communication program endeavors.
Hodes Center & Eagles’ Nest: Hodes Center and Eagles’ Nest are equipped with Dell computers and laser printers for student use.
In addition to computer facilities, computers, projectors, and other audio-visual equipment are available to support teaching and student presentations.
The Avila University faculty is made up of 134 full-time equivalent professors. Seventy-seven percent of the full-time faculty hold Ph.D. degrees or terminal degrees in their field and teach introductory as well as advanced courses. Avila’s adjunct faculty practitioners are chosen for their ability to teach in specialized areas.
The faculty is committed to excellence in teaching. Research and publication are also valued especially when collaboration between students and faculty is involved. The Avila University faculty is dedicated to life-long learning, professional growth, and excellence in the classroom.
Avila University’s 2,000 students come from the Kansas City Metropolitan area as well as 34 other states and 29 countries. They range in age from 17 to 74. Some reside on campus, and others commute to classes. Over 95% of the full-time students receive some type of financial aid. Avila University students major in one of 41 undergraduate and 6 graduate programs doing clinical work or internships in numerous agencies and businesses throughout the metropolitan area.
Avila University is accredited by:
The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association
230 South LaSalle St., Suite 7-500
Chicago, Illinois 60604-1411
(800) 621-7440 • Fax (312) 263-7462 • Internet: email@example.com
For questions or to view informational materials on Avila University’s accreditation approval or licensing, please contact the Academic Affairs Office.
American Advertising Federation
American Association of Colleges of Nursing
American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education
American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers
American Association of Grant Professionals
American College Counseling Association (ACCA)
American College Health Association
American College Personnel Association
American College Theatre Festival
American Counseling Association (ACA)
American Counseling Association of Missouri-Kansas City
American Institute of Graphic Arts
American Marketing Association
American Psychological Association
American Society for Training & Development
Assistive Technology Metropolitan Area Network
Associated Collegiate Press
Association for Psychological Science
Association for Student Affairs at Catholic Colleges and Universities
Association of American Colleges and Universities
Association of Colleges of Sisters of Saint Joseph
Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities
Association of College and University Housing Officers International
Association of College Unions-International
Association of Consumer Research
Association of Departments of English
Association of Fundraising Professionals
Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges
Association of Higher Education and Disabilities
Association of Independent Liberal Arts Colleges for Teacher Education
Catholic Campus Ministry Association
Central Association of College and University Business Officers
Central College Health Association
College and University Professional Association for Human Resources
College Reading and Learning Association
Collegiate Nurse Educators of Greater Kansas City
Commission for Accelerated Programs
COSMC-HOA (Consortium of Small Metropolitan Colleges-Heart of America)
Council of Independent Colleges
Council on Social Work Education
Council for Advancement and Support of Education
Diocesan Directors of Campus Ministry
Employment Practices Network
Foundations in Art: Theory and Education
Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce
Greater Kansas City Psychological Association
Heart of America Athletic Conference
Heartland Chapter of CRLA
Higher Learning Commission
International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education
International Association of Business Communicators
International Society of Performance Improvement
The Higher Learning Commission
National Association of Independent Colleges & Universities
Kansas Association of Colleges and Employers
Kansas City Collegiate Admissions Professionals
Lee’s Summit Chamber of Commerce
Mid-America Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel
Missouri Association of Colleges for Teacher Education
Missouri Association of Colleges of Nursing
Missouri Association of Student Financial Aid Personnel
Missouri College Personnel Association
Missouri Collegiate Media Association
Missouri League for Nursing
National Academic Advising Association
National Association for Campus Activities
National Association for the Education of Young Children
National Association of College Admission Counseling
National Association of College and University Business Officers
National Association of College Personnel Administrators
National Association of Directors of Campus Ministry
National Association for Graduate Admissions Professionals
National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics
National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators
National Association of Student Personnel Administrators
National Career Development Association (NCDA)
National Catholic College Admission Association
National Orientation Directors Association
Olathe Chamber of Commerce
Organization Development Network
Peace and Justice Studies Association
Project Management Institute
Society for Consumer Psychology
Society for Human Resource Management
Society for Industrial Organizational Psychology
South Kansas City Chamber of Commerce
University Film and Video Association
The purpose of the Avila University Alumni Association is to maintain, enhance and perpetuate a mutually beneficial and enduring relationship among alumni, the University, and their respective communities. Any former student who has completed twenty-four semester hours of undergraduate coursework or twelve semester hours of graduate coursework at Avila is considered an alumnus/a. The Alumni Association Board serves as an advisory board to the Alumni Office and seeks to cultivate close relationships and foster loyalty and service to the University.
Avila University is committed to creating and maintaining a community in which all persons who participate in Avila University’s programs and activities can work together in an atmosphere free from all forms of harassment, abuse, assault, exploitation, or intimidation. Sexual misconduct or harassment are unacceptable and will not be tolerated at Avila University. Accordingly, Avila University urges an individual to make a formal report if that individual is the victim of sexual misconduct or harassment, has knowledge of another person being the victim of sexual misconduct or harassment, or believes in good faith that he/she has witnessed a possible warning sign of sexual misconduct or harassment. A report of sexual misconduct or harassment will be dealt with promptly. Confidentiality will be maintained to the greatest extent possible.
Avila University is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is committed to achieving and maintaining equal opportunity in employment and personnel actions and procedures including, but not limited to, recruitment, hiring, training, transfer, promotion, compensation, and services.
Further, Avila University is committed to non-discrimination and equal opportunity to its students including, but not limited to, recruitment, admissions, financial aid, educational policies, placement services, housing, athletics, sponsorship, conduct of co-curricular activities, and other University administered programs and services.
These policies for students, faculty, and staff are to be administered without regard to sex, race, religion, age, color, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or national origin. Any concerns regarding discrimination should be addressed to the director of human resources in the Business Office, Blasco Hall, (816) 501-3618.
To view the full Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment, Sexual Violence, Relationship and Interpersonal Violence and Stalking Policy please click this link.
EIIA Campus Hotline- This is not a first responder system. Therefore, if this is an immediate emergency, please contact 911. Using this confidential reporting service is easy. If you have a question or concern about an unethical or illegal situation on your campus, simply dial toll-free to 866-943-5787. Translation services are available should you need them. Good faith concerns can be raised without fear of reprisal.
Avila University’s policy is to maintain an environment for all of our employees and students that is free of unlawful harassment, illegal discrimination, and unprofessional conduct. It is never justifiable to harass one of our employees or students because of their race, color, gender, religion, national origin, age, disability, or sexual orientation. Unlawful harassment is counterproductive and does not serve the principles on which Avila University operates. We respect the dignity and worth of each employee and student. We believe that each employee and student should be free to develop fully his or her potential, neither hindered by artificial barriers nor aided by factors that are not related to merit. Avila University also prohibits unprofessional conduct and comments that may not amount to unlawful harassment. All employees are expected to use good judgment and to avoid even the appearance of impropriety in all of their dealings with other employees and students. Supervisory employees especially must exhibit the highest degree of personal integrity at all times, refraining from any behavior that might be harmful to their subordinates, students, or the University.
Racial, Religious, Sexual Orientation, or National Origin Harassment
Racial, religious, sexual orientation, or national origin harassment is expressly prohibited. Racial, religious, sexual orientation, or national origin harassment includes any oral statement, written statement, or physical act in which race, religion, sexual orientation, or national origin is used or implied in a manner that make another person uncomfortable in the work or educational environment or that would interfere with another person’s ability to perform his or her job. Examples of racial, religious, sexual orientation, or national origin harassment include jokes that include reference to race, religion, sexual orientation, or national origin; the display or use of objects or pictures that adversely reflect on a person’s race, religion, sexual orientation, or national origin; or use of language that is offensive due to a person’s race, religion, sexual orientation, or national origin.
Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination, which is illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 for employees and under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 for students. Sexual harassment is also illegal under Missouri State Law and prohibited by Avila University. Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, when:
- submission to the conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment; or
- submission to or rejection of the conduct is used as the basis for an employment decision affecting the harassed employee; or
- such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with the employee’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment; or
- submission to the conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a condition of a student’s participation in a school program or activity or the basis for an educational decision affecting a student; or
- such 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.
Prohibited acts of sexual harassment can take a variety of forms, ranging from off-color jokes to subtle pressure for sexual activity to physical assault. It is not possible to identify each and every act that may constitute sexual harassment. Examples of conduct that may constitute sexual harassment are:
- repeated or unwelcome sexual flirtations, advances, propositions, touching, remarks, or requests for sexual favors;
- repeated verbal abuse of a sexual nature;
- graphic verbal comments about a person’s body;
- sexually degrading words used to describe a person;
- the display of sexually suggestive objects or pictures;
- unwelcome questions or comments about private sexual matters;
- slurs, “off color” jokes, or degrading comments related to gender;
- demeaning, discourteous conduct or negative stereotyping; or
- a sexual relationship with a subordinate or a student.
It is strictly against University policy to retaliate against anyone who reports or assists in making a complaint of prohibited harassment. Retaliation is contrary to this policy statement and may result in discipline up to and including termination for employees and dismissal for students. Anyone who feels that retaliatory action has been taken because of his or her report or assistance in making a complaint of prohibited harassment should immediately bring the matter to the University’s attention as described below.
How to Report Instances of Harassment or Retaliation
The University cannot resolve matters that are not brought to its attention. Any student or employee, regardless of position, who has a complaint of or who witnesses harassment or retaliation at work by anyone, including instructors, students, supervisors, managers, employees, or even non-employees, has a responsibility to immediately bring the matter to the University’s attention. If the complaint or observation involves someone in the employee’s direct line of command or if the employee is uncomfortable discussing the matter with his or her direct supervisor, the employee is urged to go to another supervisor, to a University vice president, or to the director of human resources. If the complaint or observation involves a student, the report should go to the vice president for academic affairs or the dean of students. Student-to-student harassment complaints may be referred to the disciplinary system in the school’s Student Code of Conduct for the appropriate investigation and resolution of such complaints.
How the University Will Investigate Complaints
The University will thoroughly and promptly investigate all claims of harassment or retaliation. A complainant will be given the opportunity to provide a good faith list of persons who may have information regarding the subject matter of the complaint, and those persons will be contacted by a representative of the University.
If an investigation confirms that harassment or retaliation has occurred, the University will take prompt, corrective action, as is appropriate. Complaints of harassment and retaliation will be kept as confidential as possible.
Avila University’s Commitment to an Effective No Harassment Policy
If you feel that the University has not met its obligations under this policy, you should contact the Department of Human Resources.
All forms of sexual assault, including rape and other unwanted sexual contact, will not be tolerated by Avila University. The University is committed to fostering and maintaining a safe environment for all of its students and employees. Violation of the University’s policy on sexual assault will result in strict disciplinary action including possible dismissal or suspension from the University.
Missouri Revised Statutes
Chapter 566 of the Missouri Revised Statutes defines sexual offenses. It lists the sections and degrees of sex crimes. Sexual assault is a criminal act carrying a penalty of varying degrees.
For more detailed information on this Chapter 566 of the Missouri Revised Statutes, contact Campus Security at (816) 985-6079 or refer to http://revisor.mo.gov/main/OneChapter.aspx?chapter=566
Sexual Misconduct offenses include, but are not limited to the following:
Sexual Misconduct–Sexual misconduct is defined as engaging in sexual intercourse by a man or woman upon a man or woman without consent or engaging in deviate sexual intercourse (sodomy) with another person without that person’s consent. Such actions may include any sexual intercourse however slight with any object.
Sexual Assault and Sodomy–Rape is defined as engaging in sexual intercourse or deviate sexual intercourse (sodomy) by forcible compulsion or by engaging in such action with a person who is incapable of consent.
Sexual Abuse and Aggravated Sexual Abuse–Sexual abuse and aggravated sexual abuse are defined as subjecting another person to sexual contact by forcible compulsion or subjecting another person who is incapable of consent to sexual contact.
Sexual Harassment–Unwelcome, gender based verbal and physical conduct that is,
- Sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that it,
- Unreasonably interferes with, denies or limits someone’s ability to participate in or benefit from the university’s educational program and/or activities, and is
- Based on power differentials (quid pro quo), the creation of a hostile environment, or retaliation
Sexual Exploitation–Occurs when a student takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for his/her own advantage or benefit, or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited, and that behavior does not otherwise constitute one of other sexual misconduct offenses.
Information and Workshops
The University offers a number of programs over the course of the academic year addressing sexual assault and related topics. A specific program is presented to all new incoming students during fall orientation. Further programming is offered by various offices and student organizations including Residence Life, the Counseling and Career Services, and Campus Safety. Pursuant to federal law, students and employees will be educated and updated about security procedures, personal safety, crime prevention, and sexual assaults in all ways that are necessary and appropriate to alert the University community. This may include posting appropriate flyers, mass e-mail messages, classroom announcements and emergency meetings.
What is Sexual Assault?
Sexual assault isn’t about love or lust - sexual assault is a crime. It is sexual violence directed at an individual. It involves the use of force or coercion or involves the threat of force to the point an individual feels physically or emotionally powerless. Sexual assault is an expression of hostility, aggression, and dominance. It is any sexual act that is committed against an individual without the person’s consent.
Date or Acquaintance Rape
The most common form of sexual assault on University campuses is date/acquaintance rape. Date rape occurs when your date forces you to have unwanted sexual activity. This may include touch, penetration, forcing you to touch him/her, or being forced to pose for sexually explicit photos. While date rape involves sexual activity, it is used as a means to gain power and control. If you find yourself in a situation that is making you uncomfortable, listen to your instincts. Get to a safe place right away.
Sexual assault is not isolated to women. Men can be raped. A man’s body will respond to stimuli. This does not mean that the experience was enjoyable, but only that the body responded to the touches. Rape or sexual misconduct is no less a crime when it happens to a man.
Verbal Assault, without accompanying physical contact, is not sexual assault, but may fit the criteria for sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is also prohibited by the University’s Code of Conduct.
Additional information is available in the Student Handbook on Sexual Harassment policy.
Ways to Protect Yourself
There are some practical steps you can take that may decrease the risk of sexual assault.
- Express your expectations and limits clearly before you get into a sexual situation.
- Limit alcohol and drug use. They make it more difficult for you to be in control. Never ride with someone who has used alcohol or drugs.
- Avoid meeting in secluded places and walking alone. If you are concerned, ask Campus Security to escort you.
- Try to be aware of attitudes that your date expresses concerning women or men: hostility, unrealistic views of women or men, and/or viewing people as “sex objects.”
- Use assertive language such as, “I feel uncomfortable when you don’t listen to me or when you touch me like that.”
- Scream “fire” (rather than “rape” or “help”), if you need assistance.
- Be alert to what is happening around you.
What Do I Do If I Am Sexually Assaulted?
- Go with your instincts. Whatever you decide to do is a decision you must feel comfortable with. Your goal is to survive and escape safely. You will react to the crime in the way that makes the most sense to you at the time.
- Get to a safe place - a friend’s house or any place where people can give you emotional support.
- Call Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault (MOCSA), 24-hour Crisis Line: 816-531-0233 or 913-642-0233, or Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), 24-hour Phone Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or 24-hour Online Hotline: https://ohl.rainn.org/online.rainn.org/ for confidential counseling, assistance, and referral.
- Seek medical help immediately for the treatment of any injuries and for tests to check the possibility of pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases. If you do plan to report the incident to authorities, there is an additional reason to seek medical attention. Medical evidence can be collected. Don’t douche, bathe, shower, or change your clothes before seeking medical attention.
- If you feel comfortable, report the incident to Campus Safety and/or police. This is your decision.
- File a complaint following the judicial process if the perpetrator is part of the Avila community. An investigation for appropriate disciplinary action under the University’s conduct system will occur.
- Tell your story soon to avoid forgetting details. Alternatively, write out the details for yourself or use a tape recorder.
- Seek counseling, whether or not you decide to report the crime or participate in legal action. Professional counseling is available through the Counseling and Career Services Center at Avila, MOCSA, or RAINN. Counseling can be beneficial as you work through your reaction to sexual assault.
- Take whatever steps are necessary to work through the assault. This might include talking to your partner, friend, or counselor about your feelings. Resume your normal routine as much as possible.
Procedures for Dealing with Sexual Offenses
A student in possible violation of an all-campus regulation is subject to a hearing and possible disciplinary action via the University’s Conduct Process. Refer to the Judicial Process Section of the Student Handbook for a complete explanation of this process. The Dean of Students will assign a designee to investigate, and then a different designee will be the hearing officer for grievances brought by students against students.
The student in possible violation of this policy or the student who filed the complaint may appeal the decision of such a hearing. Refer to Appeal Procedures in the Code of Conduct Section of the Student Handbook for complete appeal criteria and procedure. The Dean of Students will serve as the appeal officer.
A student who is a victim of sexual assault has an independent right to file a complaint with the Kansas City Police Department. The University, by way of the Campus Safety or Student Development, will support the student’s decision to pursue off-campus legal action.
If the victim does not want to pursue action within the University system or the criminal justice system at this time, she/he may still want to consider having an anonymous report made. A member of the Counseling and Career Services staff or Campus Ministry can report the details of the incident to the Campus Safety without revealing the identity of the victim. The victim will be asked to sign a Complaint Acknowledgement Form, which protects their right to pursue action at a later time, if they so choose. The purpose of an anonymous report is to comply with the victim’s wish to keep the matter private while taking steps to ensure future safety for the victim and others. With such information, the University can keep accurate records about the number of assaults involving students; determine whether there is a pattern of assaults with regard to particular location, method, or assailant; and alert the campus community to potential danger.
Retaliation against individuals for filing a complaint, reporting an incident of sexual assault, or for participation in an investigation under this policy will be cause for independent disciplinary action.
Unfortunately, sexual assault is a frightening reality for anyone to have to face alone. But, you are not alone. You can recover from this. Avila University is concerned about your physical and mental well-being and will be ready to assist you in dealing with the aftermath of a sexual assault.
A victim may request a change to his/her academic or living arrangements through the Dean of Students. The University will honor such a request as long as such other arrangements are reasonably available. Also, the Counseling and Career Services Office is available if a student desires to process what has occurred and seek professional assistance in coping with the effects of an assault.
Campus Security: Cell Phone (816) 985-6079 or Office Phone: (816) 501-2466
Kansas City Police: 911 or (816) 234-5550
Confidential Counseling, Assistance and Referral
Counseling and Career Services: 816-501-3767
Campus Ministry: 501-2423
Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault (MOCSA): 24-hour Crisis Line: 816-531-0233 or 913-642-0233
Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN): 24-hour Phone Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or 24-hour Online Hotline: https://ohl.rainn.org/online.rainn.org/
Other Campus Resources
Residence Life: 501-3628
Health Service: 501-3668
The Eagles Aware program coordinates the University’s response to reports of sexual assault, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking when those reports involve members of or visitors to the Avila community. More information about the program can be found on their website https://www.avila.edu/campus-resources/eagles-aware-title-ix
Smoking, and the use of smokeless tobacco products, is prohibited in all buildings on campus. Members of the Avila community and their guests must exercise courtesy at all times in the use of smoking and smokeless tobacco products in the parking lots. Disposal of smoking and smokeless tobacco materials should be made in the nearest outdoor receptacle provided for that purpose.
Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
Avila University is in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974. This Act, also known as the Buckley Amendment, helps protect the privacy of student records. The Act provides for the right to inspect and review educational records, to seek to amend those records, and to limit disclosure or information from the records.
Official student records are maintained in the Registration and Student Records Office. Students and parents of dependent students may request to review official educational records under the following procedure.
- The student must provide a written request to review the education record. Written requests need to identify the record(s) requested for review. Parents of dependent students must supply evidence of the income-tax dependency of the student if the student does not sign a release. If the parent provides documentation, the academic advisor and/or instructor will be notified.
- An appointment to review the record will be set with the Registrar/Director of the Registration Office or with the Associate Vice-President for Academic Affairs within 45 days of the date the University received the request.
- If the student believes that inaccurate or misleading information is contained in the educational record, or that the information is in violation of the student’s rights of privacy, the student may submit a written request to the administrator of the office responsible for that record. The written request submitted should include the part of the record that is believed to need change and why it is believed the information is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation. The university will investigate the request and notify the student of the decision. If the record is not amended as requested, the student has the right to request a hearing.
- Institutions may disclose information on a student without violating FERPA if they have designated the information as “directory information.” At Avila University, this includes:
- student name, address and telephone numbers (only in connection with campus events and to persons with legitimate reason)
- verification of enrollment status including full-time, part-time, graduate, undergraduate, and classification
- student major and minor fields of study, academic honors, and degrees
- student email address (only available to authorized users of the Avila University email system)
- dates of attendance
- participation in officially recognized campus activities and sports
- weight and height of members of athletic teams
- most recent education agency or institution attended and hometown
- student photograph
Students have the right to “opt out” of providing directory information. Requests to limit the release of directory information must be provided in writing to the Registration and Student Records Office by the end of the second week of each semester.
Institutions may disclose non-directory information without violating FERPA under the following conditions:
- with the student’s written request
- to school officials with “legitimate educational interests”
- to parents of dependent students
- to a person in response to a lawfully issued subpoena or court order
For questions regarding FERPA, please contact the Registrar or the Academic Affairs Office. Students have the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the University to comply with the requirements of FERPA.
The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-4605
Student Right-to-Know Act
Avila complies with the provisions of the Student Right-to-Know Act of 1990. This Act requires institutions of higher learning who receive Title IV student financial assistance to be responsible for calculating completion of persistence rates, and making them available to current or prospective students through “appropriate publications and mailings.” Requests for copies can be directed to the Registrar.
The annual financial report is available upon request to the Office of the President.
Education Pass Rates
Information on the Missouri Content Assessment (MoCA) pass rates for students seeking initial teacher certification, is available on the Avila University web site at https://www.avila.edu/school-of-education-accreditation-1.
Crime Awareness and Campus Security
Avila complies with the provisions of the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (20 USC § 1092(f)). It is committed to assisting all members of the Avila community in providing for their own safety and security. The annual security compliance document is available on the Avila University website at http://www.avila.edu/campuslife/crimestats.asp. Anyone interested may obtain a hardcopy of the report by calling (816) 501-2425. The web site contains information on campus security and personal safety, including crime prevention, University police law-enforcement authority, crime reporting policies, disciplinary procedures, and other important matters about security on campus. It also contains statistics for the three previous calendar years on reported crimes that occurred on campus, in certain off-campus buildings or property owned or controlled by Avila University, and on public property within or immediately adjacent to and accessible from the campus.
Avila University has created a text message alert service as one method by which members of the Avila community may be contacted in the event of an emergency. Follow the registration link available at www.avila.edu/campus-resources/campus-safety/safe for more information and to sign up.
Additional information on campus security and current safety issues may also be found on the link above.
Information Technology Policy
The primary purpose of the information technology system on the Avila University campus is for educational related activities. Members of the Avila community must adhere to the following:
- Ultimate responsibility for proper use and misuse of the system (including all computers, software, related equipment, and the network) lies with each individual user.
- Actions taken by users that deliberately deny authorized persons access to any aspect of the system are prohibited.
- Actions taken by users that interfere with or alter the integrity of the University’s equipment or software are prohibited.
- Intentional actions taken by users that place onto any Avila equipment any icons, screen-savers, or items of a nature that would be considered offensive are prohibited.
Privacy and No Harassment
- Students are required to respect others’ right to privacy in the electronic forum. Avila University prohibits users of University technology including computers and users of personally-owned computers linked via University telecommunications equipment to other systems from violating such rights. This includes, but is not limited to, attempts to read another person’s electronic mail, to access another’s files, to access electronic records containing information concerning another person, use of another person’s e-mail account, and use of another person’s password.
- Accounts are not to be shared by multiple users.
- Fraudulent, harassing, nuisance, threatening, offensive or obscene messages and/or materials are not to be displayed, sent with or stored onto any Avila equipment, or displayed with private equipment in any public forum.
- This policy does not prohibit Avila University from monitoring users of University technology. Users should have no expectation of privacy in Avila owned equipment or technology.
- Avila University purchases or licenses the use of copies of computer software from a variety of outside companies. The University does not own the copyright to this software or its related documentation. Users may not reproduce any portion for use on another computer without permission from Computer Services. Permission is granted only if it complies with the University’s licensing or receives permission from the software developer.
- Copyright with regards to traditional written materials applies to works in electronic forms. Users must comply with all copyright rules and regulations according to the U.S. Copyright Law.
- Software may not be loaded and/or saved onto any Avila University equipment without written permission from the Director of Computer Services.
- Observances or other information regarding misuse of software or related documentation must be reported to the Dean of Students.
- Users must observe basic technology courtesy with regards to other users. This includes, but is not limited to, refraining from excessive use of paper, refraining from making electronic mass mailings for non-University business use, and refraining from using University-owned computers or other technology for personal monetary gain.
- The primary purpose of University-owned computers on the campus is for educational purposes. Users needing the computers for academic purposes will have priority over users playing games, in chat rooms, sending personal e-mails, or other personal uses.
Avila University may monitor and record usage of network resources. Information gained in this way may be used in disciplinary and/or criminal proceedings. Violations of this policy will be reported to the Dean of Students. The above listed items of prescribed conduct are not intended to be all inclusive. Any behavior that is contrary to the ethical use of Avila computer technology will be subject to disciplinary action.