Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures (Title IX)

Benedictine College strives to educate all its students on its polices related to sexual misconduct.  We encourage our students to learn more about the subject in order to reduce their own risk, and also to become a source of support for others.  To help educate our campus community, we created a training presentation about sexual misconduct. We welcome you to view this presentation which includes information about Title IX, identifying sexual misconduct, how to report sexual misconduct, important contacts and risk reduction strategies.  Please refer to the links in the "Specific Information" section for additional facts and advice.  Following is the College's Sexual Misconduct Policy & Procedures.  Refer to the "Specific Information" bar to easily navigate within the policy.

 

Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures

 

Benedictine College, as a Catholic college, promotes respect for persons and the virtues of chastity and self-control in dress, speech, and conduct. All members of the college community are expected to behave in a manner consistent with our values and mission.

 

Any form of sexual contact without the free and full consent of both parties is completely contrary to these values and to others that respect the integrity of the human person.

 

Benedictine College is committed to providing a learning, working, and living environment that promotes personal integrity, civility, and mutual respect in an environment free of discrimination on the basis of sex.  The College considers sex discrimination in all its forms to be a serious offense.  Sex discrimination constitutes a violation of this policy, is unacceptable, and will not be tolerated.

 

Sexual harassment, whether verbal, physical, or visual, that is based on sex is a form of prohibited sex discrimination.  Sexual harassment also includes sexual violence/assault.  The specific definitions of sexual harassment and sexual violence/assault, including examples of such conduct, are set forth below.

 

Scope

 

This policy applies to administrators, faculty, and other College employees; students; applicants for employment; customers; third-party contractors; and all other persons who participate in the College’s educational programs and activities, including third-party visitors on campus (the “College Community”).  The College’s prohibition on sex discrimination and sexual harassment extends to all aspects of its educational programs and activities, including, but not limited to, admissions, employment, academics, athletics, housing, and student services.

 

The College has jurisdiction over conduct covered by this policy that occurred on campus, during or at an official College program (regardless of location), or off campus when the conduct could create a hostile environment on campus.  The College will investigate all complaints made under this policy and, if necessary, take action to prevent the recurrence of sex discrimination and remedy its effects.

 

Title IX Statement

 

It is the policy of the College to comply with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and its implementing regulations, which prohibit discrimination based on sex in the College’s educational programs and activities.  Title IX and its implementing regulations also prohibit retaliation for asserting claims of sex discrimination.  The College has designated the following Title IX Coordinator to coordinate its compliance with Title IX and to receive inquiries regarding Title IX, including complaints of sex discrimination:

 

Dr. Kimberly Shankman

Dean of the College and Title IX Coordinator

Ferrell Academic Center, Room 418

1020 North 2nd Street

Atchison, KS 66002

(913) 360-7413; kshankman@benedictine.edu

 

The College has designated the following Deputy Title IX Student Coordinator to assist the Title IX Coordinator in coordinating Title IX Compliance with respect to students:

 

Sean Mulcahy

Director of Residence Life

Room 204, Student Union

Benedictine College 1020 North 2nd Street

Atchison, KS 66002

(913) 360-7500; smulcahy@benedictine.edu

 

The College has designated the following Deputy Title IX Employee Coordinator to assist the Title IX Coordinator in coordinating Title IX Compliance with respect to employees:

 

Carolyn Sanders

Director of Human Resources

Room 326, St. Benedict Hall

Benedictine College 1020 North 2nd Street

Atchison, KS 66002

(913) 360-7326; csanders@benedictine.edu

 

Additionally, the College has designated the following individual to administer or assist in administering the Complaint Resolution Procedures:

 

Megan Fassero

Title IX Investigator/Investigation Coordinator

Room 204, John Paul II Student Center, Student Life Office

Benedictine College 1020 North 2nd Street

Atchison, KS 66002

(913) 370-3804; megan.fassero@benedictine.edu

 

A person may also file a complaint of sex discrimination with the United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights regarding an alleged violation of Title IX by visiting www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/complaintintro.html or by calling 1-800-421-3481.

 

Sexual Misconduct

 

Definition of Sexual Misconduct

 

“Sexual misconduct” is an umbrella term covering sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual violence/assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.  This term will be used throughout the remainder of this policy and the Sexual Misconduct Complaint Resolution Procedures when collectively referring to these types of conduct.

 

Definition of Sex Discrimination

 

Sex discrimination occurs when persons are excluded from participation in, or denied the benefits of, any College program or activity because of their sex. Sex discrimination can include adverse treatment based on one’s sex, as well as the other prohibited conduct outlined below.  Sex discrimination also includes discrimination on the basis of pregnancy.

 

Definition of Sexual Harassment

 

Sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, physical, or visual conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when:

 

  • Submission to such conduct is made or threatened to be made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of an individual’s employment or education
  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used or threatened to be used as the basis for academic or employment decisions affecting that individual, or
  • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s academic or professional performance or creating what a reasonable person would perceive as an intimidating, hostile, or offensive employment, education, or living environment

 

Examples of Sexual Harassment

 

Some examples of sexual harassment include:

 

  • Pressure for a dating, romantic, or intimate relationship
  • Unwelcome touching, kissing, hugging, or massaging
  • Pressure for sexual activity
  • Unnecessary references to parts of the body
  • Sexual innuendos or sexual humor
  • Obscene gestures
  • Sexual graffiti, pictures, or posters
  • Sexually explicit profanity
  • Asking about, or telling about, sexual fantasies
  • E-mail and Internet use that violates this policy
  • Sexual violence/assault (as defined below)

 

Further examples of sexual harassment may be found in the Frequently Asked Questions.

 

Sexual Violence/Assault

 

The Definition of Sexual Violence/Assault

 

Sexual violence/assault is a form of prohibited sexual harassment.  Sexual violence/assault includes physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent because of his or her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity, because he or she is below the minimum age of consent in the applicable jurisdiction, or because of his or her incapacitation due to the use of drugs and/or alcohol.  Other types of conduct may also constitute sexual violence/assault.

 

Examples of Sexual Violence/Assault

 

Some examples of sexual violence/assault include:

 

  • Sexual intercourse (anal, oral, or vaginal) by a man or woman upon a man or woman without consent
  • Unwilling sexual penetration (anal, vaginal, or oral) with any object or body part that is committed by force, threat, or intimidation
  • Sexual touching with an object or body part, by a man or woman upon a man or woman, without consent
  • Sexual touching with an object or body part, by a man or woman upon a man or woman, committed by force, threat, or intimidation
  • Prostituting another student
  • Non-consensual video or audio-taping of sexual activity
  • Knowingly transmitting a sexually transmitted disease to another

 

Further examples of sexual violence/assault may be found in the Frequently Asked Questions.

 

Definition of Consent

 

Lack of consent is a critical factor in determining whether sexual violence/assault has occurred.  Consent is informed, freely given, and mutually understood.  Consent requires an affirmative act or statement by each participant.  Consent is not passive.

 

  • If coercion, intimidation, threats, and/or physical force are used, there is no consent.
    • Warning signs of when a person may be incapacitated due to drug and/or alcohol use include: slurred speech, falling down, passing out, and vomiting.
  • If a person is mentally or physically incapacitated or impaired by alcohol or drugs such that the person cannot understand the fact, nature, or extent of the sexual situation, there is no consent.
  • If a person is asleep or unconscious, there is no consent.
  • If a person is below the minimum age of consent in the applicable jurisdiction, there cannot be consent.
  • Consent to one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity.
  • Consent can be withdrawn.  A person who initially consents to sexual activity is deemed not to have consented to any sexual activity that occurs after he or she withdraws consent.
  • Being in a romantic relationship with someone does not imply consent to any form of sexual activity.
  • Effective consent may not exist when there is a disparity of power between the parties (e.g., faculty/student, supervisor/employee).

 

Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking

 

The crimes of Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking can also constitute sexual misconduct when motivated by a person’s sex.  These crimes, no matter the motivation behind them, are a violation of this policy and will be addressed pursuant to the Sexual Misconduct Complaint Resolution Procedures below.

 

Domestic Violence

 

Kan. Stat. Ann. § 21-511 provides the following:

 

“Domestic violence” means an act or threatened act of violence against a person with whom the offender is involved or has been involved in a dating relationship, or an act or threatened act of violence against a family or household member by a family or household member.  Domestic violence also includes any other crime committed against a person or against property, or any municipal ordinance violation against a person or against property, when directed against a person with whom the offender is involved or has been involved in a dating relationship or when directed against a family or household member by a family or household member.  For purpose of this definition:

 

  1. “Dating relationship” means a social relationship of a romantic nature.  In addition to any other factors the court deems relevant, -the trier of fact may consider the following when making a determination of whether a relationship exists or existed: Nature of the relationship, length of time the relationship existed, frequency of interaction between the parties, and time since termination of the relationship, if applicable.
  2. “Family or household member” means persons 18 years of age or older who are spouses, former spouses, parents or stepparents, and children or stepchildren, and persons who are presently residing together or have resided together in the past, and persons who have a child in common regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together at any time.  Family and household member also includes a man and woman if the woman is pregnant and the man is the alleged father, regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together at any time.

 

Dating Violence

 

Dating violence is not specifically defined in the Kansas statutes but it is captured under the definition of Domestic Violence stated above when there is an act or threatened act of violence with whom the offender is involved or has been involved in a dating relationship.

 

Stalking

 

Kan. Stat. Ann § 21-5427 provides the following:

 

Stalking is:

 

  1. Recklessly engaging in a course of conduct targeted at a specific person, which would cause a reasonable person in the circumstances of the targeted person to fear for such person’s safety, or the safety of a member of such person’s immediate family and the targeted person is actually placed in such fear;
  2. Engaging in a course of conduct targeted at a specific person with knowledge that the course of conduct will place the targeted person in fear for such person’s safety or the safety of a member of such person’s immediate family; or
  3. After being served with, or otherwise provided notice of any protected order...that prohibits contact with a targeted person, recklessly engaging in at least one act listed in subsection (f)(1) that violates the provisions of the order and would cause a reasonable person to fear for such person’s safety, or the safety of a member of such person’s immediate family and the targeted person is actually placed in such fear.

(f) As used in [the definition of stalking]:

 

  1. “Course of conduct” means two or more acts over a period of time, however short, which evidence a continuity of purpose.  A course of conduct shall not include constitutionally protected activity nor conduct that was necessary to accomplish a legitimate purpose independent of making contact with the targeted person.  A course of conduct shall include, but not be limited to, any of the following acts or a combination thereof:
    1. Threatening the safety of the targeted person or a member of such person’s immediate family;
    2. Following, approaching, or confronting the targeted person or a member of such person’s immediate family;
    3. Appearing in close proximity to, or entering the targeted person’s residence, place of employment, school or other place where such person can be found, or the residence, place of employment, or school of a member of such person’s immediate family;
    4. Causing damage to the targeted person’s residence or property or that of a member of such person’s immediate family;
    5. Placing an object on the targeted person’s property or the property of a member of such person’s immediate family, either directly or through a third person;
    6. Causing injury to the targeted person’s pet or a pet belonging to a member of such person’s immediate family;
    7. Any act of communication;
  2. “Communication” means to impart a message by any method of transmission, including, but not limited to: Telephoning, personally delivering, sending, or having delivered, any information or material by written or printed note or letter, package, mail, courier service, or electronic transmission, including electronic transmissions generated or communicated via a computer;
  3. “Computer” means a programmable, electronic device capable of accepting and processing data;

  4. “Immediate family” means father, mother, stepparent, child, stepchild, sibling, spouse, or grandparent of the targeted person; any person residing in the household of the targeted person; or any person involved in an intimate relationship with the targeted person.

 

Roles and Responsibilities

 

Title IX Coordinator

 

It is the responsibility of the Title IX Coordinator to coordinate dissemination of information and education and training programs to: (1) assist members of the College community in understanding that sexual misconduct is prohibited by this policy; (2) ensure that investigators are trained to respond to and investigate complaints of sexual misconduct; (3) ensure that employees and students are aware of the procedures for reporting and addressing complaints of sexual misconduct; and (4) to implement the Sexual Misconduct Complaint Resolution Procedures or to designate appropriate persons for implementing the Sexual Misconduct Complaint Resolution Procedures.

 

Administrators, Deans, Department Chairs, and Other Managers

 

It is the responsibility of administrators, deans, department chairs, and other managers (i.e., those who formally supervise other employees) to:

 

  • Inform employees and students under their direction or supervision of this policy
  • Work with the Title IX Coordinator to implement education and training programs for employees and students
  • Implement any corrective actions that are imposed as a result of findings of a violation of this policy

 

All Employees

 

It is the responsibility of all employees to review this policy and comply with it.

 

Students

 

It is the responsibility of all students to review this policy and comply with it.

 

The College

 

When the College is aware that a member of the College Community may have been subjected to or affected by conduct that violates this policy, the College will take prompt action, including a review of the matter and, if necessary, an investigation and appropriate steps to stop and remedy the sex discrimination or sexual harassment.  The College will act in accordance with its Sexual Misconduct Complaint Resolution Procedures.

 

Complaints

 

Employees

 

All College employees, except those identified in the Confidential Discussions section below, have a duty to report sexual misconduct that they witness or otherwise receive information about to the Title IX Coordinator or a Deputy Title IX Coordinator.  Students should be mindful of this when considering whether to share information about sexual misconduct with an employee.

 

Students and Other Persons

 

Students who wish to report sexual misconduct should file a complaint with the Title IX Coordinator or the Director of Residence Life/Deputy Title IX Coordinator.  Students and other persons may also file a complaint with the United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, set forth in the College’s Title IX Statement above.

 

Confidential Discussions

 

If a victim desires to talk confidentially about his or her situation, there are resources available.  The following resources are available to assist you and will not further disclose the information you provide, unless otherwise required to do so by law (e.g., if the victim is a minor):

 

Professional Counselors In The Counseling Center

Kerry Marvin, M.A.

Grace Mulcahy, LCSWA, M.A.

Jennifer Schmidt, M.A.

Jennifer Samayoa, M.A.

Student Health Center

1201 N. 2nd Street (cross from McDonald Hall)

Tel:  913-360-7621 (for appointment)

 

The priests at St. Benedict’s Abbey

1020 N. Second Street

Tel:  913-367-7853

 

There are also other confidential resources available.  The following resources are available to assist you as well.  While these resources will maintain your confidentiality unless required by law to disclose it, they are also required to make a non-identifying statistical report to the Title IX Coordinator so that the College can analyze whether there are patterns or systemic problems of sexual misconduct on campus.  These resources are:

 

Student Health Center

Janet Adrian, RN, BSN, Director

Jackie Harris, Nurse Practitioner

Student Health Center

1201 N. 2nd Street (across from McDonald Hall)

Tel:  913-360-7117 (for appointment)

 

Content of the Complaint

 

So that the College has sufficient information to investigate a complaint, the complaint should include: (1) the date(s) and time(s) of the alleged conduct; (2) the names of all person(s) involved in the alleged conduct, including possible witnesses; (3) all details outlining what happened; and (4) contact information for the complainant so that the College may follow up appropriately.

 

Information Provided to the Complainant and Respondent

 

A complainant who makes a claim of sexual misconduct to the College will be given a copy of the document titled “Rights and Options After Filing a Complaint Under the College’s Sexual Misconduct Policy.”  This document provides information about this policy and the Complaint Resolution Procedures used to investigate and resolve complaints of sexual misconduct, options for filing complaints with the local police, resources that are available on campus and in the community, etc.  A person against whom a complaint has been filed will also be given similar information about the process and resources.

 

Conduct That Constitutes a Crime

 

Any person who wishes to make a complaint of sex discrimination or sexual harassment that also constitutes a crime—including sexual violence/assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking—is encouraged to make a complaint to local law enforcement.  If requested, the College will assist the complainant in notifying the appropriate law enforcement authorities.  In the event of an emergency, please contact 911.  A victim may decline to notify such authorities.

 

Special Guidance Concerning Complaints of Sexual Violence/Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, or Stalking

 

If you are the victim of sexual violence/assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking, do not blame yourself.  These crimes are never the victim’s fault.  When physical violence of a sexual nature has perpetrated against you, the College recommends that you immediately go to the emergency room of a local hospital and contact local law enforcement, in addition to making a prompt complaint under this policy.

 

If you are the victim of sexual violence/assault, domestic violence, or dating violence, do everything possible to preserve evidence by making certain that the crime scene is not disturbed.  Preservation of evidence may be necessary for proof of the crime or in obtaining a protection order.  Victims of sexual violence/assault, domestic violence, or dating violence should not bathe, urinate, douche, brush teeth, or drink liquids until after they are examined and, if necessary, a rape examination is completed.  Clothes should not be changed.  When necessary, seek immediate medical attention at an area hospital and take a full change of clothing, including shoes, for use after a medical examination.

 

It is also important to take steps to preserve evidence in cases of stalking, to the extent such evidence exists.  In cases of stalking, evidence is more likely to be in the form of letters, emails, text messages, etc., rather than evidence of physical contact and violence.

 

Once a complaint of sexual violence/assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking is made, the complainant has several options such as, but not limited to:

 

  • contacting parents or a relative
  • seeking legal advice
  • seeking personal counseling (always recommended)
  • pursuing legal action against the perpetrator
  • pursing disciplinary action
  • requesting that no further action be taken

 

Vendors, Contractors, and Third Parties

 

This policy applies to the conduct of vendors, contractors, and third parties.  Persons who believe they have been discriminated against or harassed in violation of this policy should make a complaint in the manner set forth in this section.

 

Retaliation

 

It is a violation of this policy to retaliate against any member of the College Community who reports or assists in making a complaint of discrimination or harassment or who participates in the investigation of a complaint in any way.  Persons who believe they have been retaliated against in violation of this policy should make a complaint in the manner set forth in this section.

 

Protecting the Complainant

 

Pending final outcome of an investigation in accordance with the Sexual Misconduct Complaint Resolution Procedures, the College will take steps to protect the complainant from further discrimination or harassment.  This may include assisting and allowing the complainant to change his or her academic, transportation, work, or living situation, to the extent that the College has control over these environments, if options to do so are reasonably available and upon request of the complainant.  Such changes may be available regardless of whether the victim chooses to report the crime to campus police or local law enforcement. Requests to change an academic, transportation, work, or living situation, or for any other protective measure (such as a campus no contact order), should be made to the Title IX Coordinator.

 

If a complainant has obtained a temporary restraining order or other no contact order against the alleged perpetrator from a criminal, civil, or tribal court, the complainant should provide such information to the Title IX Coordinator.  The College will take all reasonable and legal action to implement the order.

 

Timing of Complaints

 

The College encourages persons to make complaints of sexual misconduct as soon as possible because late reporting may limit the College’s ability to investigate and respond to the conduct complained of.

 

Investigation and Confidentiality

 

All complaints of sexual misconduct will be promptly and thoroughly investigated in accordance with the Sexual Misconduct Complaint Resolution Procedures, and the College will take disciplinary action where appropriate.  The College will make reasonable and appropriate efforts to preserve an individual’s privacy and protect the confidentiality of information when investigating and resolving a complaint.  However, because of laws relating to reporting and other state and federal laws, the College cannot guarantee confidentiality to those who make complaints.

 

In the event a complainant requests confidentiality or asks that a complaint not be investigated, the College will take all reasonable steps to investigate and respond to the complaint consistent with the request for confidentiality or request not to pursue an investigation.  If a complainant insists that his or her name not be disclosed to the alleged perpetrator, the College’s ability to respond may be limited.  The College reserves the right to initiate an investigation despite a complainant’s request for confidentiality in limited circumstances involving serious or repeated conduct or where the alleged perpetrator may pose a continuing threat to the College Community.

 

The Title IX Coordinator is the person responsible for evaluating requests for confidentiality.  The Title IX Coordinator may consult with other appropriate College officials and legal counsel if necessary.

 

Resolution

 

If a complaint of sexual misconduct is found to be substantiated, the College will take appropriate corrective and remedial action.  Students, faculty, and employees found to be in violation of this policy will be subject to discipline up to and including written reprimand, suspension, demotion, termination, or expulsion.  Affiliates and program participants may be removed from College programs and/or prevented from returning to campus.  Remedial steps may also include counseling for the complainant, academic, transportation, work, or living accommodations for the complainant, separation of the parties, and training for the respondent and other persons.

 

Bad Faith Complaints

 

While the College encourages all good faith complaints of sexual misconduct, the College has the responsibility to balance the rights of all parties.  Therefore, if the College’s investigation reveals that a complaint was knowingly false, the complaint will be dismissed and the person who filed the knowingly false complaint may be subject to discipline.

 

Academic freedom

 

While the College is committed to the principles of free inquiry and free expression, sex discrimination and sexual harassment are neither legally protected expression nor the proper exercise of academic freedom.

 

Education

 

Because the College recognizes that the prevention of sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual violence/assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking is important, it offers educational programming to a variety of groups such as campus personnel; incoming students and new employees participating in orientation; and members of student organizations.  Among other elements, such training will cover relevant definitions, procedures, and sanctions; will provide safe and positive options for bystander intervention; and will provide risk reduction information, including recognizing warning signs of abusive behavior and how to avoid potential attacks.  To learn more about education resources, please contact the Title IX Coordinator.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

1. What are some additional examples of sexual harassment?

 

Sexual harassment is a form of prohibited sex discrimination.  The College’s policies protect men and women equally from sexual harassment, including harassment by members of the same sex.  Staff, faculty, and students are protected from sexual harassment by any other staff, faculty, student, or contractor.  Examples of kinds of conduct that constitute sexual harassment include, but are not limited to, the following:

 

  • Engaging in unwelcome sexual advances
  • Leering or staring at someone in a sexual way, such as staring at a person’s breasts or groin
  • Sending sexually explicit emails or text messages
  • Telling unwelcome, sexually-explicit jokes
  • Displaying sexually suggestive or lewd photographs, videos, or graffiti
  • Making unwelcome and unwanted physical contact, such as rubbing, touching, pinching, or patting
  • Making unwelcome and suggestive sounds, such as “cat calls” or whistling
  • Commenting on a person’s dress in a sexual manner
  • Making sexual gestures
  • Repeatedly asking someone for a date after the person has expressed disinterest
  • Giving unwelcome personal gifts such as flowers, chocolates, or lingerie that suggest the desire for a romantic relationship
  • Telling another person of one’s sexual fantasies, sexual preferences, or sexual activities
  • Commenting on a person’s body, gender, sexual relationships, or sexual activities
  • Using sexually explicit profanity

 

2. What should I do if I have been a victim of sexual misconduct?

 

The College encourages you to report sexual misconduct as soon as possible.  Ignoring sexual misconduct does not make it go away.  And delayed reporting may limit the College’s ability to investigate and remedy the sexual misconduct.

 

If you are a student, you may report sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator or Director of Residence Life/Deputy Title IX Coordinator.  If you are the victim of sexual misconduct that constitutes a crime, the College encourages you to also file a complaint with local law enforcement and to press charges.

 

You always have the option to directly confront the person that is harassing you.  Sometimes, individuals are not aware their behavior is offensive and quickly apologize and change their behavior once it is brought to their attention.  However, you are not required or expected to confront your harasser prior to filing a complaint.

 

3. What are some additional examples of sexual violence/assault?

 

Sexual violence/assault is a form of prohibited sexual harassment.  Sexual violence/assault includes physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent due to use of drugs and/or alcohol or to an intellectual or other disability.  Examples of kinds of conduct that constitute sexual violence/assault include, but are not limited to, the following:

 

  • The use of force or coercion to effect sexual intercourse or some other form of sexual contact with a person who has not given consent
  • Having sexual intercourse with a person who is unconscious because of drug or alcohol use
  • Hazing that involves penetrating a person’s vagina or anus with an object
  • Use of the “date rape drug” to effect sexual intercourse or some other form of sexual contact with a person
  • One partner in a romantic relationship forcing the other to have sexual intercourse without the partner’s consent
  • Exceeding the scope of consent by engaging in a different form of sexual activity than a person has consented to
  • Groping a person’s breasts or groin on the dance floor or at a bar
  • Knowingly transmitting a sexually transmitted disease such as HIV to another person through sexual activity
  • Coercing someone into having sexual intercourse by threatening to expose their secrets
  • Secretly videotaping sexual activity where the other party has not consented

 

4. What constitutes “consent” for purposes of sexual violence/assault?

 

Lack of consent is a critical factor in determining whether sexual violence/assault has occurred.  Consent is informed, freely given, and mutually understood.  Consent requires an affirmative act or statement by each participant.  Consent is not passive.

 

  • If coercion, intimidation, threats, and/or physical force are used, there is no consent.
  • If a person is mentally or physically incapacitated or impaired by alcohol or drugs such that the person cannot understand the fact, nature, or extent of the sexual situation, there is no consent.
    • Warning signs of when a person may be incapacitated due to drug and/or alcohol use include: slurred speech, falling down, passing out, and vomiting.
  • If a person is asleep or unconscious, there is no consent.
  • If a person is below the minimum age of consent in the applicable jurisdiction, there cannot be consent.
  • Consent to one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity.
  • Consent can be withdrawn. A person who initially consents to sexual activity is deemed not to have consented to any sexual activity that occurs after he or she withdraws consent.
  • Being in a romantic relationship with someone does not imply consent to any form of sexual activity.
  • Effective consent may not exist when there is a disparity of power between the parties (e.g., faculty/student, supervisor/employee).

 

5. What should I do if I am a victim of sexual violence/assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking?

 

Don’t blame yourself.  These crimes are never the victim’s fault.  Please contact the Title IX Coordinator as soon as possible for information on options and resources available to you.  You may also wish to call local law enforcement (911 if emergency), or the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-HOPE.

 

If you are the victim of sexual violence/assault, domestic violence, or dating violence, do everything possible to preserve evidence by making certain that the crime scene is not disturbed.  Preservation of evidence may be necessary for proof of the crime or in obtaining a protection order.  Victims of sexual violence/assault, domestic violence, or dating violence should not bathe, urinate, douche, brush teeth, or drink liquids until after they are examined and, if necessary, a rape examination is completed.  Clothes should not be changed.  When necessary, seek immediate medical attention at an area hospital and take a full change of clothing, including shoes, for use after a medical examination.

 

It is also important to take steps to preserve evidence in cases of stalking, to the extent such evidence exists.  In cases of stalking, evidence is more likely to be in the form of letters, emails, text messages, etc. rather than evidence of physical contract and violence.

 

6. Can I make a complaint of sexual violence/assault against my boyfriend or girlfriend?

 

Anyone can commit sexual violence/assault, even if you and that person are in a romantic relationship.  The critical factor is consent.  If your boyfriend or girlfriend perpetrates a sexual act against you without your consent, such conduct constitutes sexual violence/assault, and you may make a complaint.  This type of conduct and other types of conduct perpetrated by your boyfriend or girlfriend may also be classified as domestic violence or dating violence.

 

7. What should I do if I am a victim of sexual misconduct perpetrated by someone who is not a College student or employee?

 

The College’s policies protect you from sexual misconduct by vendors, contractors, and other third parties you encounter in your College learning, living, and employment environment.  If you believe you have been subject to conduct that violates these policies, you should report the sexual misconduct just as if it were committed by a College student or employee.

 

8. What should I do if I am a victim of sexual misconduct perpetrated by another student but we are off campus?

 

It is possible for off-campus conduct between College employees or students to contribute to a hostile working or academic environment or otherwise violate the College’s policies.  You may make a complaint of sexual misconduct even if the conduct occurs off campus.

 

9. What should I do if I observe sexual misconduct, but it is not directed at me?

 

Anyone who witnesses sexual misconduct, even it is directed at someone else, can still feel uncomfortable and harassed.  If you are a student and witness conduct you believe constitutes sexual misconduct, please make a complaint in the same mariner as if the conduct was directed against you.  If you are an employee or staff member of the College, it is your duty to report conduct that constitutes sexual misconduct (unless you have specifically been designated as a confidential resource).

 

10. What is the role of the Title IX Coordinator?

 

The Title IX Coordinator oversees the College’s compliance with Title IX and receives inquiries regarding Title IX, including complaints of sexual misconduct.  The Title IX Coordinator has received special training on the College’s policies and procedures pertaining to sexual misconduct, and is available to answer questions about those policies and procedures, respond to complaints, and assist you in identifying other resources to aid in your situation.

 

11. If I make a complaint of sexual misconduct, will it be treated confidentially?

 

The College will take reasonable and appropriate steps to preserve the confidentiality of the parties to the complaint and to protect the confidentiality of information gathered during the investigation.  However, the College has an obligation to provide a safe and non-discriminatory environment for all students and employees.  Therefore, unless the complaint is reported to a campus mental-health counselor, pastoral counselor, social worker, psychologist, health care employee, or other person with a professional license requiring confidentiality, no unconditional promises of confidentiality can be provided.

 

12. Who is typically involved in investigating a complaint of sexual misconduct?

 

The College’s Title IX Coordinator or his/her designee will be involved in investigating complaints of sexual misconduct.  The Title IX Coordinator may appoint another member of the staff to investigate and resolve the complaint.  The process of gathering evidence will necessarily require the involvement of the complainant, the respondent, and any witnesses to the incident that gave rise to the complaint.  In sum, it will involve those persons necessary to fairly and completely investigate the complaint and resolve it.

 

13. What are the possible outcomes of an investigation into a complaint?

 

The outcome will be determined based on the totality of the evidence using a preponderance of the evidence standard.  If the preponderance of the evidence does not support a finding that the incident occurred, then the complaint is resolved in favor of the accused.  If, however, the preponderance of the evidence supports that sexual misconduct occurred, the actions taken by the College will include those necessary to maintain an environment free from discrimination and harassment and to protect the safety and well-being of the complainant and other members of the College community.  Such actions will also include reasonable steps to correct the effects of such conduct on the complainant and others and to prevent the recurrence of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.  Examples of such action include no-contact orders, classroom reassignment, the provision of counseling or other support services, training, and discipline for the perpetrator, including up to termination, expulsion, or other appropriate institutional sanctions.

 

14. May I have a support person with me in the investigation process?

 

During the investigation process, both a complainant and a respondent may ask a support person to accompany him or her at all stages of the process.  In cases involving multiple complainants or respondents, the support person cannot be another complainant or respondent.  The support person does not serve as an advocate on behalf of the complainant or respondent, may not be actively involved in any proceedings, and he or she must agree to maintain the confidentiality of the process.  A support person may be removed if he or she becomes disruptive or does not abide by the limitations discussed in the previous sentence.

 

15. What should I do if I am retaliated against for making a complaint of sexual misconduct?

 

The College’s Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures prohibits retaliation against any person for making a good faith complaint of sexual misconduct and/or cooperating in the investigation of (including testifying as a witness to) such complaint.  Retaliation is a serious violation that can subject the offender to sanctions independent of the merits of the underlying allegation of sexual misconduct.  If you feel you are the victim of retaliation in violation of this policy, you should report the retaliation just as you would a complaint of sexual misconduct.

 

16. How does the College handle a bad faith allegation of sexual misconduct?

 

A bad faith allegation of sexual misconduct occurs when the accuser intentionally reports information or incidents that he or she knows to be untrue.  Failure to prove a complaint of sexual misconduct is not equivalent to a bad faith allegation.  The College may impose sanctions against an individual who knowingly makes false allegations of sexual misconduct.

 

Sexual Misconduct Complaint Resolution Procedures

 

General Principles

 

Administration

 

For purposes of these complaint resolution procedures, “Investigating Officer” means the Title IX Coordinator or his/her designee.  The Investigating Officer shall have responsibility for administering these complaint resolution procedures.

 

Promptness, Fairness, and Impartiality

 

These procedures provide for prompt, fair, and impartial investigations and resolutions.  The Investigating Officer shall discharge his or her obligations under these complaint resolution procedures fairly and impartially.  If the Investigating Officer determines that he or she cannot apply these procedures fairly and impartially because of the identity of a complainant, respondent, or witness, or due to any other conflict of interest, the Investigating Officer shall designate another appropriate individual to administer these procedures.

 

Training

 

These procedures will be implemented by officials who receive annual training on the issues related to sexual misconduct and how to conduct an investigation and hearing process that protects the safety of victims and promotes accountability.

 

Investigation and Resolution of the Complaint

 

Commencement of the Investigation

 

Once a complaint is made, the Investigating Officer will commence an investigation of it as soon as practicable, but not later than seven (7) days after the complaint is made.  The purpose of the investigation is to determinate whether it is more likely than not that the alleged behavior occurred and, if so, whether it constitutes sexual misconduct.  During the course of the investigation, the Investigating Officer may receive counsel from College administrators, the College’s attorneys, or other parties as needed.

 

In certain narrow circumstances, the Investigating Officer may commence an investigation even if the complainant requests that the matter not be pursued.  In such a circumstance, the Investigating Officer will take all reasonable steps to investigate and respond to the matter in a manner that is informed by the complainant’s articulated concerns.

 

Content of the Investigation

 

During the investigation, the complainant will have the opportunity to describe his or her allegations and present supporting witnesses or other evidence.  The respondent will have the opportunity to respond to the allegations and present supporting witnesses or other evidence.  The Investigating Officer will review the statements and evidence presented and may, depending on the circumstances, interview others with relevant knowledge, review documentary materials, and take any other appropriate action to gather and consider information relevant to the complaint.  All parties and witnesses involved in the investigation are expected to cooperate and provide complete and truthful information.

 

Support Person

 

During the investigation process, both a complainant and a respondent may ask a support person to accompany him or her at all stages of the process.  In cases involving multiple complainants or respondents, the support person cannot be another complainant or respondent.  The support person does not .serve as an advocate on behalf of the complainant or respondent, may not be actively involved in any proceedings, and he or she must agree to maintain the confidentiality of the process. A support person may be removed if he or she becomes disruptive or does not abide by the limitations discussed in the previous sentence.

 

Interim Measures

 

At any time during the investigation, the Investigating Officer may determine that interim remedies or protections for the parties involved or witnesses are appropriate.  These interim remedies may include separating the parties, placing limitations on contact between the parties, suspension, or making alternative class-placement or workplace arrangements.  Failure to comply with the terms of these interim remedies or protections may constitute a separate violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy.

 

Pending Criminal Investigation

 

Some instances of sexual misconduct may also constitute criminal conduct.  In such instances, the complainant is also encouraged to file a report with the appropriate law enforcement authorities and, if requested, the College will assist the complainant in doing so.  The pendency of a criminal investigation, however, does not relieve the College of its responsibilities under Title IX.  Therefore, to the extent doing so does not interfere with any criminal investigation, the College will proceed with its own investigation and resolution of the complaint.

 

Resolution

 

At the conclusion of the investigation, the Investigating Officer will prepare a written report.  The written report will explain the scope of the investigation, identify findings of fact, and state whether any allegations in the complaint were found to be substantiated by a preponderance of the evidence.

 

If the written report determines that sex discrimination or sexual harassment occurred, the Investigating Officer shall set forth in an addendum to the written report those steps necessary to maintain an environment free from discrimination and harassment and to protect the safety and well-being of the complainant and other members of the College Community Such actions will also include reasonable steps to correct the effects of such conduct on the complainant and others and to prevent the recurrence of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.  Examples of such action include no-contact orders, classroom reassignment, the provision of counseling or other support services, training, and discipline for the perpetrator, including up to termination, expulsion, or other appropriate institutional sanctions.

 

The complainant and the respondent will receive a copy of the written report and any addendum within three (3) days of its completion.  If necessary, the version of the addendum provided to the complainant and/or respondent will be redacted to ensure that information concerning any remedial and/or disciplinary measures is disclosed in a manner consistent with Title IX, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”), and the Clery Act, as explained by the April 4, 2011, Dear Colleague Letter issued by the U.S. Department of Education, available at http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/letters/colleague-201104.pdf.

 

The written report of the Investigating Officer shall be final subject only to the Further Review provisions set forth below.

 

Special Procedure Concerning Complaints Against the President, the Title IX Coordinator, Or Other Administrators Ranked Higher Than the Title IX Coordinator

 

If a complaint involves alleged conduct on the part of the College President, the College Board of Directors will designate the Investigating Officer.  Based on the information gathered by the investigation, the College Board of Directors will prepare and issue the written report determining the complaint.  The determination of the College Board of Directors is final and not subject to further review.

 

If a complaint involves alleged conduct on the part of the Title IX Coordinator or any administrator ranked higher than the Title IX Coordinator, the College President will designate the Investigating Officer.  Based on the information gathered by the investigation, the College President will prepare and issue the written report determining the complaint.  The determination of the College President is final and not subject to further review.

 

Informal Resolution

 

Informal means of resolution, such as mediation, may be used in lieu of the formal investigation and determination procedure.  The following standards apply to any informal resolution method that is utilized:

 

  • The informal process can only be used with both parties’ voluntary cooperation and appropriate involvement by the institution (e.g., the Title IX Coordinator)
  • The complainant will not be required to “work out” the problem directly with the respondent
  • Either party may terminate the informal process at any time and elevate the complaint to the formal investigation procedures described below
  • Informal resolution in the form of mediation, even on a voluntary basis, will not be used to resolve complaints alleging sexual assault

 

Timing Of the Investigation

 

The College will endeavor to conclude its investigation and resolution of the complaint within sixty (60) calendar days of receiving it.  Both the complainant and the respondent will be given periodic updates regarding the status of the investigation.  If either the complainant or respondent needs additional time to prepare or to gather their witnesses or information, they shall notify the Investigating Officer in writing explaining how much additional time is needed and why it is needed.  The Investigating Officer shall respond to any such request within three (3) days.

 

Rights of the Parties

 

During the investigation and resolution of a complaint, the complainant and respondent shall have equal rights.  They include:

 

  • Equal opportunity to identify and have considered witnesses and other relevant evidence
  • Similar and timely access to all information considered by the Investigating Officer
  • Equal opportunity to review any statements or evidence provided by the other party
  • Equal access to review and comment upon any information independently developed by the Investigating Officer should the Investigating Officer share such information with the other party
  • Equal opportunity to appeal determinations pursuant to the Further Review section below

 

Further Review

 

All requests for further review shall be dictated by the following procedures:

 

Students

 

The complainant or respondent may seek further review of the determination of a complaint only on the following grounds:

 

  • The decision was contrary to the substantial weight of the evidence
  • There is a substantial likelihood that newly discovered information, not available at the time evidence was presented to the Investigating Officer, would result in a different decision
  • Bias or prejudice on the part of the Investigating Officer, or
  • The punishment or the corrective action imposed is disproportionate to the offense

 

Further review requested by a student must be filed with the Vice President of Student Life within three (3) days of receipt of the written report determining the outcome of the complaint. The appeal must be in writing and contain the following:

 

  • Name of the complainant
  • Name of the respondent
  • A statement of the determination of the complaint, including corrective action if any
  • A detailed statement of the basis for the appeal including the specific facts, circumstances, and argument in support of it, and
  • Requested action, if any.

 

The appellant may request a meeting with the Vice President of Student Life, but the decision to grant a meeting is within the Vice President of Student Life’s discretion. However, if a meeting is granted, then the other party will be granted a similar opportunity.

 

The Vice President of Student Life will resolve the appeal within five (5) days of receiving it and may take any and all actions that he/she determines to be in the interest of a fair and just decision. The decision of the Vice President of Student Life is final except for cases involving suspension or expulsion, a final appeal may be made to the President of the College. The Vice President of Student Life shall issue a short and plain, written statement of the resolution of the appeal, including any changes made to the Title IX Coordinator’s previous written determination. The written statement shall be provided to the complainant, respondent, and the Title IX Coordinator within three (3) days of the resolution.

 

Faculty

 

Further review requested by a faculty member will be governed by the procedures specified in the Serious Discipline / Termination Policy and Procedures section of the Faculty Handbook.

 

Non-Faculty Employees and Third Parties

 

A non-faculty employee or third party complainant or respondent may seek further review of the determination of a complaint only on the following grounds:

 

  • The decision was contrary to the substantial weight of the evidence
  • There is a substantial likelihood that newly discovered information, not available at the time evidence was presented to the Investigating Officer, would result in a different decision
  • Bias or prejudice on the part of the Investigating Officer, or
  • The punishment or the corrective action imposed is disproportionate to the offense

 

Further review requested by a non-faculty employee or third party must be filed with the Chief Financial Officer within ten (10) days of receipt of the written report determining the outcome of the complaint.  The request for review must be in writing and contain the following:

 

  • Name of the complainant
  • Name of the respondent
  • A statement of the determination of the complaint, including corrective action if any
  • A detailed statement of the basis for the review including the specific facts, circumstances, and argument in support of it, and
  • Requested action, if any.

 

The appellant may request a meeting with the Chief Financial Officer, but the decision to grant a meeting is within the Chief Financial Officer’s discretion.  However, if a meeting is granted, then the other party will be granted a similar opportunity.

 

The Chief Financial Officer will resolve the review within fifteen (15) days of receiving it and may take any and all actions that he/she determines to be in the interest of a fair and just decision.  The decision of the Chief Financial Officer is final.  The Chief Financial Officer shall issue a short and plain written statement of the resolution of the request for review, including any changes made to the Title IX Coordinator’s previous written determination.  The written statement shall be provided to the complainant, respondent, and the Title IX Coordinator within three (3) days of the resolution.

 

Documentation

 

Throughout all stages of the investigation, resolution, and further review, the Investigating Officer and the Title IX Coordinator are responsible for maintaining documentation of the investigation and further review, including documentation of all proceedings conducted under these complaint resolution procedures, which may include written findings of fact, transcripts, and audio recordings.

 

Intersection With Other Procedures

 

These complaint resolution procedures are the exclusive means of resolving complaints alleging violations of the Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures.  To the extent there are any inconsistencies between these complaint resolution procedures and other College grievance, complaint, or discipline procedures, these complaint resolution procedures will control the resolution of complaints alleging violations of the Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures.