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VI - 1.40 - Policy on Sexual Misconduct


Bowie State University (the “University”) is committed to providing a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for the entire university community. The University does not discriminate based on gender, gender expression, gender identity, sex or sexual orientation in employment or any of its programs and activities. Sexual harassment, sexual assault, and other categories of sexual misconduct are forms of sex discrimination prohibited under this Policy and under federal and state discrimination laws. In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (“Title IX”), the federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in federally funded educational programs and activities, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (“VAWA”), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”), and the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (“Clery Act”), this policy is designed to provide for prompt, equitable and impartial investigation and resolutions of incidents of Prohibited Conduct.

The University strictly prohibits any form of Sexual Misconduct and complies with all state and federal laws. The University promotes safe and healthy interactions wherein each of its members is responsible for maintaining an environment free from Sexual Misconduct. The University must take steps to prevent the occurrence of Sexual Misconduct and remedy its discriminatory effects. Any employee or student at Bowie State University found in violation of this Policy will be subject to disciplinary action by the University and may be subject to criminal prosecution.

The purpose of this Policy is to: 1. Define prohibited conduct; 2. Describe how to report or make a complaint of Sexual Misconduct; 3. Explain procedures for prompt and fair investigation and resolution of complaints, and; 4. Identify available resources for Sexual Misconduct assistance, prevention and education for the campus community.

This Policy is not intended to curtail rights guaranteed by the First Amendment. The University is committed to its educational mission, including academic discourse and freedom. This Policy does not limit classroom teaching and/or scholarly research, publication and discourse regarding gender and sexual-related topics or material relevant to course content or subject matter.

This Policy replaces BSU VI-1.20 Policy on Sexual Harassment and BSU VI-1.30 Policy on Sexual Assault in their entirety. 


Education is a key element of this policy. The University will provide education and information, as appropriate, to students, faculty, and staff to enhance understanding and increase awareness of the University’s Sexual Misconduct Policy and Complaint Resolution Procedures. The University will provide sufficient, periodic training for Responsible Employees and those involved in the investigation and resolution of complaints. Additionally, as required by Maryland state law, all University employees are required to complete at least two (2) hours of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Prevention training six (6) months after the employee’s initial start date and every two (2) years following. The University will inform the BSU community of any mandatory education requirements, including the Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Prevention training, via the University email system and posted on the website.

Some goals to be achieved through education are: (a) ensuring that all individuals are aware of their rights; (b) notifying individuals of conduct that is proscribed; (c) informing employees, students, and other members of the college community, including contractors, about the proper way to recognize and address complaints involving a violation of this Policy; (d) preventing issues that this Policy addresses, and; (e) identifying the necessary steps for preventing sexual misconduct and addressing its effects. 


A. Individuals covered and protected by this Policy

Employees and students are required to comply with this Policy. The Policy also applies to contractors and third parties within the University’s control.

B. Jurisdiction

This Policy applies to Sexual Misconduct on University property and/or at University- sponsored events or programs. This Policy is enforced in instances that pose a potential threat to the health and/or safety of a member of the University community or negatively affect the education or employment of members of the University community. 


For the purposes of this Policy, the following terms have the definitions provided herein. Please note that some of these terms also appear in other contexts, such as in criminal or legal proceedings, and their meaning may be different in those contexts.

A. “Administrative Investigation” refers to the investigations conducted by University personnel in response to a complaint alleging a violation of the University’s Sexual Misconduct Policy.

B. “Coercion” refers to the act of using pressure, alcohol or drugs, or force to have sexual contact with someone against their will. Coercion includes persistent attempts to have sexual contact with someone who has already refused.

C. “Complainant” refers to the person alleging sexual misconduct and/or a violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy

D. “Confidential” refers to communication between two parties where one party, based on their professional status, has the ability to ensure the communication between the two parties is legally protected as private.

E. “Consent” means a knowing, voluntary, and affirmatively communicated willingness to participate in a particular sexual activity or behavior. Only a person who has the ability and capacity to exercise free will and make a rational, reasonable judgment can give Consent. Consent may be expressed either by words and/or by actions, as long as those words and/or actions create a mutually understandable agreement to engage in specific sexual It is the responsibility of the person(s) who wants to engage in sexual activity to ensure that they have consent from the other party. The party deemed as consenting must be capable of providing consent.

  • Lack of protest or resistance is not consent. Silence, in and of itself, is not For that reason, relying solely on non-verbal communication can lead to misunderstanding.
  • Previous relationships, including past sexual relationships, do not imply Consent to future acts.
  • Consent to one form of sexual activity cannot automatically imply consent to other forms of sexual activity.
  • Consent to engage in sexual activity with one person cannot automatically imply consent to engage in sexual activity with a different person or an additional person.
  • Consent must be present throughout sexual activity and may be withdrawn at any If there is confusion as to whether there is consent or whether prior consent is withdrawn, it is essential that the participants stop the activity until the confusion is resolved.
  • Consent cannot be obtained by use of physical force, threats, intimidating behavior, or Coercion is pressuring another person into sexual activity.

F. “Consensual Relations” means sexual or intimate relationships between two consenting adults.

G. “Employee” refers to faculty and staff employed by the University.

H. “Force” means the use of threat, intimidation, coercion or physical violence to engage in sexual activity with an individual against their will.

I. “Hostile” refers to behavior carried out by a member of the University community that makes it impossible for another member of the University community to do their job or access the University’s educational The determination of whether conduct is “hostile” is based on the severity, persistence, or pervasiveness of the behavior, and is evaluated based upon both the subjective (the Complainant’s) and objective (reasonable person’s) perspective.

J. “Impacted Party” refers to any person who is either directly or indirectly affected by Sexual Misconduct.

K. “Incapacitated” means that a person’s decision-making ability is impaired such that they lack the capacity to understand the “who, what, where, why, or how” of their sexual interaction. Incapacitation may result from sleep or unconsciousness, temporary or permanent mental or physical disability, involuntary physical restraint, or the influence of alcohol, drugs, medication, or other substances used to facilitate Sexual Misconduct.

L. “Interim Protective Measures” means reasonable available steps the University may take to protect the parties pending a University Investigation and adjudication of Sexual Misconduct.

M. “Respondent” refers to the individual accused of engaging in Prohibited Conduct under this policy.

N. “Responsible Employee” includes all University administrators, supervisors in non-confidential roles, faculty members, campus police, coaches, athletic trainers, resident assistants, and non-confidential first responders.

O. “Title IX Coordinator” refers to the individual designated by the University to oversee the University’s response to Sexual Misconduct reports and complaints, identify, and address any patterns or systemic problems revealed by such reports and complaints. Their role includes conducting Sexual Misconduct investigations, reviewing content of training for students, faculty, and staff on Sexual Misconduct issues, and conducting such training in collaboration with other University offices. The Title IX Coordinator ensures that appropriate policies and procedures are in place for responding to complaints of Sexual Misconduct against faculty, staff, and students, and works with local law enforcement to ensure coordinated responses to Sexual Misconduct cases.


Sexual Misconduct is a type of sexual harassment and is non-consensual behavior that is sexual or gender-based in nature. Sexual Misconduct can occur between acquaintances or strangers, including individuals involved in an intimate or sexual relationship. Females, males and individuals who identify outside of the gender binary can be both perpetrators and victims of sexual misconduct.

Prohibited Sexual Misconduct can also be committed by force, intimidation, coercion or incapacitation (physical, mental or through the use of drugs and alcohol). Sexual Misconduct is an umbrella term that includes Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Sexual Violence, Sexual Exploitation, Sexual Intimidation, Stalking, Dating Violence and Domestic Violence.

A. DATING VIOLENCE. Dating Violence means violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the complainant. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.

B. DOMESTIC VIOLENCE. Domestic Violence means violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the complainant, by a person with whom the complainant shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the complainant as a spouse or intimate partner, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the complainant, or by any other person against an adult or youth complainant protected from those acts by domestic or family violence laws of Maryland.

C. RETALIATION. It is a violation of this Policy to retaliate against any individual making a Sexual Misconduct complaint and/or participating in the investigation of an allegation of Sexual Misconduct. Retaliation means intimidating, threatening, coercing or discriminating against any individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by law or University policy relating to Sexual Misconduct, or because an individual has made a report, testified, assisted, or participated in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, of hearing related to Sexual Misconduct. Retaliation includes retaliatory harassment.

Any person committing retaliation is subject to disciplinary action independent of any sanction or interim measure imposed because of the underlying sexual misconduct allegation. Promptly report retaliation to the Title IX Coordinator.


Sexual Assault I - Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse: Any act of sexual intercourse with another individual without consent. Sexual intercourse includes vaginal or anal penetration, however slight, with any body part or object, or oral penetration involving mouth to genital contact.

Sexual Assault II - Non-Consensual Sexual Contact: Any intentional touching of the intimate parts of another person; causing another to touch one’s intimate parts; or disrobing or exposure of another without consent. Intimate parts may include genitalia, groin, breast or buttocks, or clothing covering them, or any other body part that is touched in a sexual manner. Sexual contact also includes attempted sexual intercourse.

E. SEXUAL EXPLOITATION. Sexual Exploitation means taking non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another person for one’s own advantage or benefit or for the advantage or benefit of anyone other than the exploited person.

F. SEXUAL HARASSMENT. Sexual Harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances; unwelcome requests for sexual favors; or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual or gender-based nature where:

  • submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment, evaluation of academic work, or participation in an educational program or activity;
  • submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for academic, employment, or activity or program participation related decisions affecting that individual; or
  • such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance, i.e., it is sufficiently severe or pervasive to create an intimidating, hostile, humiliating, demeaning or sexually offensive working, academic, residential or social
  • Sexual or intimate relations or relationships between individuals with unequal power, such as faculty-student, administrator-student, supervisor- employee, create potential conflicts of interest and pose inherent risks, even when the relationships are considered consensual relationships. Furthermore, relationships where one person has, or in the future may reasonably have direct or indirect supervisory or evaluative responsibility over another person, reflect power imbalances that jeopardize the integrity of the educational and employment environment and may indicate lack of consent.

Sexual harassment can be committed based upon an individual’s sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or gender expression.

Sexual harassment is one-sided, is undeterred, and usually involves unequal power status and/or intimidation (e.g., faculty member to student, supervisor to subordinate, coach to athlete). Sexual harassment can also occur between equals (e.g., student-to-student, staff to staff, faculty member to faculty member) or unequal power status (e.g., student to faculty member).

G. SEXUAL EXPLOITATION. Sexual Exploitation means taking non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another person for one’s own advantage or benefit or for the advantage or benefit of anyone other than the exploited person

H. SEXUAL INTIMIDATION. Sexual Intimidation means: (1) threatening to sexually assault another person; (2) gender or sex-based stalking, including cyber- stalking; or (3) engaging in indecent

I. SEXUAL VIOLENCE. Sexual Violence is a form of Sexual Harassment and refers to physical acts perpetrated without consent. Sexual Violence includes rape, sexual Assault, sexual battery, and sexual coercion. Sexual Violence, in any form, is a criminal

J. STALKING. Stalking means engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety or the safety of others, or suffer substantial emotional


It is important that individuals who experience sexual misconduct practice self-care and stay safe following an assault. If you have experienced sexual misconduct or are assisting someone who experienced sexual misconduct, or have been adversely affected by allegations of sexual misconduct, a variety of on campus and community resources, listed in Appendix A, are available to you. These listed resources offer support services including on campus local and national crisis centers; health and mental health care options; legal services; and/or victim advocacy. An individual may choose to access any one of the listed resources regardless of the person’s decision to report or not report to the University or to law enforcement. 

The University strongly encourages individuals who have experienced sexual misconduct or those accused of sexual misconduct to preserve evidence. Appendix B offers information, resources, and best evidence collection information.


A. Who May Report Sexual Misconduct

The Complainant, a witness, or anyone with knowledge of an alleged violation of the University’s Sexual Misconduct Policy involving a student may report a violation to the Title IX Coordinator at

Importantly, Responsible (i.e. non-confidential) Employees are obligated to report allegations of violations of this policy to the Title IX Coordinator. The Complainant, a witness, or anyone with knowledge of an alleged violation of the University’s Sexual Misconduct Policy involving faculty and staff may report a violation to the Office of Equity Compliance at Reports of an alleged violation may also be made in person at the Office of Equity Compliance.

The University has an obligation to investigate all incidents of Sexual Misconduct regardless of whether or not the students involved are currently enrolled at the University. However, the student disciplinary process is only an option while the respondent student remains a university student. The University reserves the right to investigate complaints of Sexual Misconduct that are filed by former employees.

B. Time Limitation for Reporting Sexual Misconduct

The University does not have a time limit for reporting sexual misconduct or invoking the Resolution Process. However, prompt reporting enhances the Universities ability to investigate and gather relevant physical evidence, including obtaining witness testimony and taking necessary action.

C. Interim Supportive and Protective Measures

Interim supportive and protective measures are reasonable available steps the University may take to protect the parties pending a University investigation and adjudication of Sexual Misconduct. Parties may request interim supportive and protective measures in person at the Office of Equity Compliance or by emailing the Title IX Coordinator at

D. Disclosure and Reporting Options

a. Confidential disclosure options/reports 

The University encourages individuals to seek medical attention, support, along with information and counseling for incidents of sexual violence and other forms of Sexual Misconduct, whether or not they choose to make official reports. A person desiring that the details of an incident of Sexual Misconduct remain confidential should speak with individuals who have professional and legal responsibility to maintain confidentiality in communications. Confidentiality is maintained unless there is imminent threat to health or safety; or where consent is given to share information; or there are other bases for disclosure as required by law.

The following are confidential sources for assistance

For contact information for additional sexual assault and intimate partner violence community resources, please visit: resources.pdf.

b. Reports to the University/non-confidential disclosure options

Students, employees and third parties may formally report alleged Sexual Misconduct to any Responsible employee. Responsible employees include any employee who (1) has the authority to take action regarding Sexual Misconduct; (2) has been given the duty of reporting Sexual Misconduct; or (3) is someone another individual could reasonably believe has this authority or duty. Responsible employees include, but are not limited to, the Title IX Coordinator; Coordinator of Student Conduct; supervisors; administrators; athletic coaches and trainers; advisors to student organizations; all faculty; University security personnel and police officers; and Residence Directors and Assistants. Notice to these individuals is official notice to the University.

The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for accepting and processing complaints and reports of Sexual Misconduct by University Students and Employees. Students and employees may report alleged Sexual Misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator. Students may also report alleged sexual misconduct to the Coordinator of Student Conduct: 

Title IX Coordinator
Office of Equity Compliance
Thurgood Marshall Library
(301) 860-4511

Coordinator of Student Conduct
Office of Student Affairs
Henry Administration Building
(301) 860-3394

An individual making a non-confidential report to the University, who does not wish to share their name, does not wish for an investigation to take place, or does not want a formal resolution pursued, may make such a request to the Title IX Coordinator. Such requests will be evaluated in light of the duty to ensure the safety of the campus and comply with legal obligations to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment for the entire University community. In cases indicating pattern predation, threats, weapons, and/or violence, the University will likely be unable to honor a request for confidentiality. In instances where confidentiality cannot be maintained, the University will make every effort to ensure the privacy of the person seeking confidentiality to the fullest extent possible under the law, and information will be shared with individuals who have a legitimate need to know. The University complies with all federal, state and local requirements for provision of privacy, reporting and intervention in Sexual Misconduct Matters.

In cases where the Complainant request confidentiality and the circumstances allow the University to honor that request, the University will offer interim supports and remedies to the Complainant and the community, but will not otherwise pursue formal action. A reporting party has the right, and can expect, to have reports taken seriously by the University when formally reported, and to have those incidents investigated and properly resolved through complaint resolution procedures. A reporting party and/or complainant can also expect that the University will take any retaliation seriously.

c.Criminal reports to law enforcement 

Persons are encouraged to report criminal concerns, including incidents of Sexual Misconduct contained in VII. B. of this Policy, to the Department of Public Safety or other applicable law enforcement. Impacted Persons are encouraged to immediately notify the Department of Public Safety or other applicable law enforcement to receive guidance in the preservation of evidence needed for proof of criminal assaults and the apprehension and prosecution of assailants. The Title IX Coordinator, at a minimum, will inform students of the option to notify law enforcement.

A criminal investigation is independent of the University’s administrative process and does not prevent an individual from proceeding with an administrative complaint of Sexual Misconduct, as provided in this Policy. Once in receipt of a complaint of Sexual Misconduct, the Department of Public Safety will inform the individual of their right to bring a complaint under the University’s administrative process under this Policy. Because legal standards for determining a violation under this Policy differ for criminal and administrative violations, the outcome of the criminal investigative process is not determinative of whether there is a violation of this Policy. The University will not wait until the conclusion of any criminal investigation to proceed with an administrative investigation, although there may be a temporary delay in concluding an investigation during an ongoing criminal process. 

E. Amnesty for Alcohol and Drug Violations

The University’s utmost concern is the health and safety of its community and it recognizes that Parties under the influence of drugs/alcohol may be reluctant to seek assistance at the time of an incident due to threat of disciplinary sanction for violation of the Code of Student Conduct. Complainants may be entitled to amnesty for alcohol or drug use related to Sexual Misconduct. The University will not pursue student conduct action (except for a mandatory intervention for substance abuse) for a violation of Student Substance Abuse Policy by a student who reports Sexual Misconduct to the University or law enforcement or participates as a witness in a Sexual Misconduct matter if the University determines that (1) the violation occurred during or near the time of the alleged Sexual Misconduct; (2) the student made the report of Sexual Misconduct, or is participating in an investigation as a witness in good faith; and (3) the violation was not an act that was reasonably likely to place the health or safety of another individual at risk. 

F. Rights of Complainants

Complainants have certain rights when participating in the University’s Complaint Resolution Process, including the right to have an advisor and/or support person present throughout the process. For a complete list of Complainant’s rights, please review the University’s Complaint Resolution Process and Procedures for Instances of Sexual Misconduct.

G. Right of Respondents

Respondents have certain rights when participating in the University’s Complaint Resolution Process, including the right to have an advisor and/or support person present throughout the process. For a complete list of Respondent’s rights, please review the University’s Complaint Resolution Process and Procedures for Instances of Sexual Misconduct.


A. Sexual Misconduct

All Responsible Employees are required to report incidents of Sexual Misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator. The Responsible Employee must report all relevant details of the incident:

  • Name of the Victim
  • Nature of the Incident
  • Name of the Accused
  • Date, Time, and Location of the Incident
  • Any other details the responsible employee may have

Within 24 hours of receiving a report of Sexual Misconduct, the Responsible employee must immediately contact the Title IX Coordinator at 301-860-4511 or Responsible Employees may also contact the Coordinator of Student Conduct if the incident involves a student. Responsible Employees should also contact the Department of Public Safety at 301-860-4848 if it is an actual emergency, after-hours, or involves an imminent threat to health, safety or property.

For more information how to handle disclosures of Sexual Misconduct, please contact the Office of Equity Compliance. 

B. Child Abuse and Neglect

Maryland law and University System of Maryland Policy VI-1.50 – Policy on the Reporting of Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect require that any person who suspects that a minor child (under the age of 18) is the victim of abuse or neglect must contact a local law enforcement agency or social services agency and the University’s General Counsel. Reports must be made within 48 hours of disclosure/discovery. Direct questions to:

C. Crime Reporting

All employees should contact the Department of Public Safety if there is an actual emergency or imminent threat to individual or community health, safety or property.

If not already reported to the Title IX Coordinator, Responsible employees should contact the Department of Public Safety when they become aware of the potential for any of the crimes listed below, which occur on campus or on property immediately adjacent to campus: 

  1. Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter
  2. Negligent Manslaughter
  3. Robbery
  4. Aggravated Assault
  5. Burglary
  6. Motor Vehicle Theft
  7. Arson
  8. Arrests for Weapon Violations
  9. Arrests for Drug Abuse Violations
  10. Arrests for Liquor Law Violations
  11. Disciplinary Referrals for Weapon Violations
  12. Disciplinary Referrals for Drug Abuse Violations
  13. Disciplinary Referrals for Liquor Law Violations
  14. Hate Crimes
  15. Sex Offenses (Reporting sex offenses to the Title IX Coordinator satisfies Responsible employee’s reporting obligation).
    1. Sexual Assault
    2. Stalking
    3. Dating Violence
    4. Domestic Violence

Please refer to the Department of Public Safety’s website at, for additional information regarding the crimes listed above, the University’s legal reporting mandates and the University’s current and past Annual Security Reports.


A.Resolution Procedures for Complaints Involving Students

Sexual Misconduct Complaints involving student respondents will be resolved using the procedures set forth in the University’s Complaint Resolution Process and Procedures for Instances of Sexual Misconduct.

B. Resolution Procedures for Complaints Involving Employees

An applicant for employment or an employee may file a complaint alleging Sexual Misconduct pursuant to this Policy, Title VII and/or the State’s Fair Employment Practices law. Complaints should be made in writing within 30 days after the Complainant knew, or reasonably should have known, of the alleged violation. Upon receipt of the complaint, the EEO Officer/Title IX Coordinator shall promptly investigate the allegations, make factual findings and conclusions, and propose recommended actions, if appropriate. Both parties shall receive in writing a determination letter. Violations of this Policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination. Employees who commit Sexual Misconduct in violation of the law may also be subject to criminal charges.

Within ten (10) days of receipt of the determination letter from the University’s EEO Officer/Title IX Coordinator, an employee who is a Complainant may file a written appeal to the Department of Budget and Management, Office of Statewide EEO Coordinator, Room 607, 301 West Preston Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21201. Within thirty (30) days after receiving the Complainant’s appeal, the Statewide EEO Coordinator shall review the original EEO-related complaint of sexual misconduct, investigation and determination letter. Upon completion of the appeal review, the Office of the Statewide EEO Coordinator will issue a final decision regarding the Complainant’s appeal that may either grant the relief requested by the Complainant or dismiss the complaint. 


For Employee Respondents: At the conclusion of an investigation, the Office of Equity Compliance will forward its findings of fact and recommendation for discipline to the employee’s immediate and secondary supervisors, as applicable. These individuals serve as Decisional Authorities, and in concert with the Office of Human Resources, will determine the discipline that is proportionate to the policy violation. Discipline for violation of this Policy include:

  • Verbal/Written Warning
  • Probation
  • Removal from housing
  • Termination of employment
  • Suspension
  • Dismissal

The Bowie State University Employee Handbook, applicable collective bargaining agreements, and Bowie State University Faculty Handbook will provide guidance for the recommended discipline.

For Student Respondents: Please review the University’s Complaint Resolution Process and Procedures for Instances of Sexual Misconduct.


Parties may be entitled to a limited appeal of a determination made in response to a complaint filed pursuant to this policy. Please review the University’s Complaint Resolution Process and Procedures for Instances of Sexual Misconduct at Section XII for the specifics of this process


The University reserves the right to amend this Policy.

Approved on June 20, 2019.

Revised:  12/12/2014; 08/28/2015

Replacement for:  

  • BSU Policy VI – 1.20 on Sexual Harassment
  • BSU Policy VI – 1.30 on Sexual Assault

Related Policies:  

  • USM Policy VI -1.60 on Sexual Misconduct
  • USM Policy VI-1.50 on the Reporting of Child Abuse & Neglect 

Effective Date: 04/14/2014
Revised Date: 12/12/2014