Safe Space Initiative

To promote a welcoming environment within the Law School for all students, staff and faculty, the Safe Space Program provides a method by which all members of the Law School community can discuss any concerns that he or she may have related to diversity and equality with any member of the committee in a non-judgmental and non-threatening atmosphere.

Originally designed by and for the LGBTQ community, Valpo Law has endeavored to broaden the program so that ALL students with concerns or questions regarding (among other things) LGBTQ issues, gender, religion, culture, race and/or women’s issues will have the opportunity to talk to a trusted administrator in confidence. Administrators and student leaders who participate in our program are provided with resources to assist anyone who approaches them with concerns. Safe Space participants are identified by a sticker on their office door and are prepared to listen and respond to students with questions or concerns.

Valparaiso University prohibits discrimination and harassment by all faculty, staff, and students. In order to foster an environment of respect and dignity for all members of the Law School community, individuals are urged to report all incidents of harassment, whenever they occur, to any of the following staff members:

or any faculty or staff member whose office displays the Safe Space logo. All such conversations will be confidential.

Valparaiso University Sexual Harassment Policy
The determination of what constitutes sexual harassment will vary with particular circumstances, but generally involves unwelcome sexual conduct. Victims can be male or female. It may occur between members of the same or opposite sex. The harassment must be sufficiently severe, pervasive, or persistent, as defined by the U.S. Department of Education, so as to interfere with a person’s opportunity to participate equally in university educational programs, activities, facilities, or employment. Sexual harassment is generally defined as unwelcome advances, requests for sexual favors, or other oral, written, or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of instruction, employment or participation in other University activities
  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for evaluation in making academic or personnel decisions affecting an individual
  • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive academic or working environment.

Examples of sexual harassment prohibited by Valparaiso University include: 

  • Sexual assault
  • The use of physical force or intimidation when directed toward an individual because of gender.
  • Direct or implied threats that submission to sexual advancements will be a condition of advancement or promotion in any endeavor, including but not limited to employment, work status, promotion or grades.
  • Conduct which is unwelcome and which creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive academic or work environment, which may include but not be limited to the following: unwelcome touching, hugging, or brushing against another person’s body; sexually explicit statements, expressions, or jokes; remarks of a sexual nature about a person’s clothing and/or body or remarks about sexual activity or about previous sexual activity and/or sexual orientation when addressed directly to the individual or individuals whom the statements, expressions, jokes or remarks insult or stigmatize and/or when used with the intent to insult or stigmatize.
  • Words or symbols which “insult” are those which by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace, and which are commonly understood to convey direct and visceral hatred or contempt for human beings on the basis of their gender.

Sexual Harassment Advisors

 The full policy can be found in the Student Handbook at http://www.valpo.edu/registrar/assets/pdfs/stguide13.pdf

Valparaiso University Racial Harassment Policy
Racial harassment is defined as any behavior, physical, verbal, or written that victimizes or stigmatizes an individual on the basis of race, ethnicity, ancestry, national origin, or color and involves any of the following:

  • The use of physical force or violence to restrict the freedom of action or movement of any person or to endanger the health or safety of another person.
  • Physical, written, or verbal behavior that involves an expressed or implied threat to interfere with an individual’s personal safety, academic efforts, employment, or participation in University sponsored activities and causes the person to have a reasonable apprehension that such harm is about to occur.
  • The use of insulting words or symbols when addressed directly to the individual or individuals whom it insults or stigmatizes and when used with the intent to insult or stigmatize. Words or symbols which “insult” are those which by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace, and which are commonly understood to convey direct and visceral hatred or contempt for human beings on the basis of their race, ethnicity, ancestry, national origin, or color.

Racial Harassment Advisors

The full policy can be found in the Student Handbook at http://www.valpo.edu/registrar/assets/pdfs/stguide13.pdf