Policy Against Discriminatory and Sexual Harassment: Including Sexual Violence, Intimate Partner Violence, and Stalking Policy

Effective Date: August 14, 2020

Office of Primary Responsibility

Title IX Office

Gilly Ford serves as Title IX Coordinator/EO Officer for Allegheny.
Email: gford@allegheny.edu
Phone: (814) 332-3085
Office Address: Murray Hall

The following individuals serve as Deputy Title IX/EO Coordinators for purposes of this policy:

Jennifer Mangus, Director of Human Resources and EEO Officer
Email: jmangus@allegheny.edu
Phone: (814) 332-2312
Office Address: Murray Hall

Valerie Lohr, Head Field Hockey Coach, Adjunct Faculty
Email: vlohr@allegheny.edu
Phone: (814) 332-2176
Office Address: Wise Center

The Title IX Coordinator and Deputy Coordinators are responsible for, among other things, overseeing reports and complaints brought forward under this policy to assure that these matters are handled carefully, appropriately, and effectively, and for identifying and addressing patterns of misconduct and systemic problems. They also serve as resources available to anyone seeking additional information about the processes and procedures under this policy, about other resources that may be available to victims of misconduct covered by this policy, or who wish to file a complaint regarding an alleged violation of this policy.

The Title IX Coordinator and Deputy Coordinators also coordinate the College’s compliance efforts and carry out the College’s responsibilities under this policy and under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as well as various other federal and state non-discrimination laws and regulations.

Summary of Policy

Allegheny College expressly prohibits discrimination, harassment, and violence on the basis of race, color, national origin, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, religion, disability and other criteria protected by applicable law. Allegheny prohibits sexual harassment, sexual violence, intimate partner violence, and stalking regardless of the gender, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation of the individuals involved.

Reason for Policy

All members of the Allegheny Community have a right to learn and work in an environment free from unlawful discriminatory, harassing, and violent conduct. Promoting a diverse environment free of discrimination, discriminatory harassment, sexual harassment, and sexual violence while supporting freedom of speech is not to be viewed as mutually exclusive; these values are to be considered in tandem when addressing incidents of alleged discriminatory harassment, sexual harassment, or sexual violence. As affirmed in the Statement of Community, members of the College community will respectfully confront and proactively seek to prevent all forms of discriminatory and sexual harassment, sexual violence, intimate partner violence and stalking in the Allegheny College community, when it is safe to do so. In establishing this policy, the College’s purposes include:

  1. To make clear that no member of our College community should be subject to any harassment, abuse, or violence based on the individual’s race, color, national origin, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, religion, or disability;
  2. To set forth the processes available for reporting, investigating and resolving alleged instances of discriminatory harassment and sexual harassment, sexual violence, intimate partner violence and stalking. The College will respond promptly, equitably and appropriately to any form of alleged misconduct under this policy occurring in the College community; and
  3. To provide a means by which the entire College community can be made aware of the deep-seated, corrosive and sometimes hidden nature of racism, sexism, sexual prejudice, religious bigotry, and other forms of group hatred.

Policy Statement:
Reporting & Resolutions

Options for Reporting

Any student, prospective student, employee, applicant for employment, or campus visitor who believes that they have been subjected to conduct in violation of this policy or who has observed, knows of, or suspects an occurrence of discriminatory harassment or sexual harassment, sexual violence, intimate partner violence, or stalking has the following reporting options:

  1. Report to Allegheny’s Title IX Coordinator and/or Deputy Title IX Coordinator(s)
  2. Report to Allegheny’s on-campus confidential resources
  3. Report to Law Enforcement
  4. Report to off-campus community resources and/or
  5. File a complaint with the United States Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights

Responsible employees are obligated by this policy to immediately report such conduct to the Title IX Coordinator or one of the Deputy Title IX Coordinators.

Statute of Limitations on Reporting
Although the College does not impose a limitation period for reviewing internal complaints of alleged violations of this policy, prompt reporting of such incidents makes investigation of the incident more effective and enhances the ability of the College to take appropriate action regarding a complaint or report, including the ability to undertake appropriate interim measures.

Requests for Anonymity

Individuals reporting incidents of alleged misconduct sometimes ask that their names not be disclosed to the alleged perpetrators or that no investigation or disciplinary action be pursued to address the alleged misconduct.

In such cases, the Title IX Coordinator will inform the complainant that honoring the request may limit the College’s ability to respond fully to the incident, including pursuing disciplinary action against the alleged perpetrator, and will explain that this policy and the law include protections against retaliation.

If the complainant still requests that their name not be disclosed to the alleged perpetrator or that the College not investigate or seek action against the alleged perpetrator, the Title IX Coordinator will determine whether or not the College can honor such a request while still providing a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for all community members, including the complainant who reported the incident of alleged misconduct.

Criminal Conduct

Certain forms of misconduct under this policy may constitute criminal conduct. Whether or not someone who has been subjected to such conduct chooses to pursue criminal charges externally, they have the right to pursue an internal complaint under this policy, regardless of the status of any external proceedings. Further, the College may have an obligation to pursue an investigation, make a complaint, and take corrective action directly even if a complainant chooses not to pursue the matter internally at the College.

False Allegations

Making an allegation that is known to be untrue or knowingly providing false information during the course of an investigation or other proceedings under this policy is prohibited. Committing either of these is prohibited actions is a violation of this policy and may be a basis for discipline.

Resolution Options

Individuals who believe they have been subjected to alleged violations of this policy will be informed about options for resolving potential violations. Those options include:

  • Informal resolution
  • Formal resolution

Investigation and Resolution Procedures

Supportive Measures: Upon notice of alleged harassment, discrimination, and/or retaliation, and during the pendency of an investigation or other proceedings under this policy, the College will offer and implement appropriate and reasonable supportive measures to the parties to ensure equal access to its education programs and activities, to protect the parties, and/ or to safeguard the College community. Supportive measures are non-disciplinary, non-punitive individualized services and should be implemented in a way that does not unreasonably burden the other party. In cases of alleged misconduct under this policy, the Title IX Coordinator, or designee, will notify the complainant and respondent of their options to avoid contact with the other party and allow them to change academic and extracurricular activities or their living, transportation, dining, and working situation as appropriate. In such cases, the Title IX Coordinator, or designee, will also notify the parties of available resources (such as counseling services, medical and mental health services, victim advocacy services) and of the right to report a crime to local law enforcement.

Advisor of Choice: The complainant and respondent are permitted and encouraged to have an Advisor of Choice accompany them throughout the process.

Confidentiality: The College will maintain confidentiality to the greatest degree possible consistent with the College’s legal obligations to take all reasonable steps to protect the welfare of the campus community and to otherwise comply with applicable law.

Initiation of the Complaint Process

The Title IX Coordinator, or designee, will initiate the process under this policy by notifying the accused party (“respondent”) that a complaint has been filed against them and inform the respondent of the nature of the complaint, providing a written copy of the complaint to the respondent.

The Title IX Coordinator, or Deputy Coordinator, shall explain to both parties the avenues for informal and formal action, including a description of the process and the relevant avenues of redress, and provide each with a copy of this policy.

Informal Resolution Process

The College provides an informal resolution process when the parties desire to resolve the situation cooperatively. Informal resolution may include inquiries into the facts, but does not typically rise to the level of a formal investigation unless required by applicable law. The informal process, which is overseen by the Title IX Coordinator, or designee, is designed to resolve complaints quickly, efficiently, and to the mutual satisfaction of all parties involved. Where circumstances allow, the informal process will be initiated as soon as possible after the filing of the complaint or receipt of a report of an alleged violation, absent any unusual circumstances. Informal resolution may include, but is not limited to, options such as meeting informally with the complainant and the respondent (individual or group representative) with the intent of bringing about resolution; meeting privately with the respondent and acting as intercessor; separation of the parties; referral of the parties to counseling programs, conducting educational and/or training programs, mediation, restorative justice, or other remedial measures. In cases where groups are involved, the Title IX Coordinator may require that one or two members of the group be authorized in writing to act on behalf of the group in the informal process; all members of the group would be bound by the terms of the informal process.

Situations that are resolved through the informal process are usually subject to follow-up after a period of time. Steps taken by the Title IX Coordinator or a Deputy Title IX Coordinator to help the parties achieve informal resolution will be documented. Some reports of alleged violations of this policy may not be appropriate for informal resolution but may require a formal investigation at the discretion of the Title IX Coordinator, in consultation with the Dean of Institutional Diversity and/or other appropriate offices. Both the complainant and the respondent have the right to bypass or end the informal complaint process at any time in order to begin the formal complaint process.

Formal Resolution Process

If the allegation of a violation of this policy has not been resolved as a result of the informal process or is not suited for informal efforts, or if either the complainant or the respondent request to invoke the formal complaint process, the following process will be initiated. (The lodging and processing of a formal complaint does not preclude, however, the possibility of an informal resolution of the matter, if desired by the parties.)

The first step generally includes the complainant providing a statement containing the name(s) and relevant allegations against a person(s).

When a student is the respondent, the general principles described below in numbered paragraphs 1 through 12 will apply, including the “preponderance of evidence” standard. Where the respondent is a faculty or staff member, cases are also handled through the process described below. Where the respondent has dual status or where there are multiple respondents with varying statuses, College officials have discretion to determine whether to pursue the matter under the Code of Student Conduct or under the process described below. Where the respondent is a vendor/contractor or visitor, the College is not required to follow either the process described below or in the Code of Student Conduct. In such cases, the College reserves the right to take summary action.

Except in complaints of sexual harassment as defined by the 2020 Title IX Regulations, 34 CFR Part 106.45, outlined in Appendix A of this policy, the following general principles and procedures will govern this process, to the extent consistent with the College’s legal obligations:

  1. All persons concerned are to be treated with respect and impartiality.
  2. Procedures are to be fair, both in substance and in perception, to all persons concerned and to the College community.
  3. The Title IX Coordinator, or Deputy Coordinator, will provide the respondent with a description of the primary facts of the allegation at the first meeting set to discuss the investigation.
  4. The investigation of formal complaints generally includes interviews of (a) the complainant, (b) the respondent, and/or (c) any witnesses as needed; and (d) the review of relevant documents as appropriate. Disclosure of facts to non-party witnesses will be limited to what is reasonably necessary to conduct a fair and thorough investigation.
  5. Both the complainant and respondent will be given an equal opportunity to be heard, to provide a statement, documentation and other evidence, and to suggest the names of other persons who they believe might have relevant information. The complainant and respondent will be provided access (equally) to relevant information and documents once the investigative file is complete.
  6. At any time during the investigation, the Title IX Coordinator, or designee, may recommend interim protections or remedies be provided by College officials. These protections and remedies may include (but are not limited to) separating the parties; placing limitations on contact between the parties; or making alternative workplace, housing, extracurricular, or academic arrangements where reasonable and feasible. Failure to comply with the terms of interim protections or remedies may be considered a separate violation of this policy.
  7. The investigation shall be completed as promptly as possible and in most cases in less than 60 working days from receipt of the original complaint. However, some investigations may not be completed in this timeframe due to the nature and extent of the allegations or other extenuating circumstances. In the event the investigation cannot be completed within 60 days, the parties will be notified in writing.
  8. After concluding the investigation, the investigator will record the facts gathered during the investigation in a written report. The complainant and respondent, will be informed that the investigation has been completed and will be given the opportunity to review the statements and any relevant evidence collected as part of the investigation.
  9. Following completion of the review described in paragraph 8, in student conduct cases, the Title IX Coordinator, or designee, will provide the full investigative report to the Community Standards Board. After the completion of the Community Standards Board hearing, the Committee will prepare a written decision, any necessary sanctions, using the preponderance of evidence standard and stating the rationale for its decision.
  10. In the case of a staff respondent, the written report of findings, using the preponderance of evidence standard, and the Title IX Coordinator’s recommendations shall be submitted to the appropriate Administrative Executive Committee (AEC) member(s) for the department or unit where the complainant and respondent are located. Final decisions in cases where a staff employee is the respondent shall be made by the Executive Vice President.In cases where a faculty member or other instructional employee is the respondent, final decisions shall be made by the Provost and Dean of the College. If the proposed action by the Provost and Dean of the College includes dismissal of a faculty member, the matter will be referred to the process described in the Faculty Handbook under Termination for Cause.The decisions and recommended actions of the Executive Vice President and the Provost and Dean of the College will be communicated in writing to the Title IX Coordinator and to the complainant and the respondent.
  11. Sanctions and corrective actions will be determined and implemented on a case-by-case basis for violations of this policy, and they will be appropriate to the circumstances and gravity of the violation, and may range from personal coaching/counseling to an official warning, suspension, termination or expulsion.
  12. To the extent that appeals are provided in connection with findings or the imposition of a recommended disciplinary sanction under this policy, both the complainant and the respondent would have the right to appeal.

Retaliation is Prohibited

It is a violation of this policy for anyone (individual or group) to retaliate against anyone who makes a report or brings a complaint under this policy or who cooperates with or otherwise participates in the investigation or resolution of a complaint under this policy. This includes, but is not limited to, bullying and harassment through electronic media as well as in person. Allegheny College will take steps to prevent retaliation and will also take strong responsive action if the College finds that retaliation has occurred.

Record Keeping

The College must maintain records, including supportive measures, investigative reports, hearing outcome, hearing media files or transcripts, sanctions, remedies, appeal, and informal resolutions, for a period of seven years.

Definitions

Advisor of choice:

A person chosen by a party or appointed by the institution to accompany the party to meetings related to the resolution process, to advise the party on that process, and to conduct cross-examination for the party at the hearing, if any.

Coercion:

Unreasonable pressure for sexual activity. Coercive conduct differs from seductive conduct based on factors such as the type and/or extent of the pressure used to obtain consent. When someone makes clear that they do not want to engage in certain sexual activity, that they want to stop, or that they do not want to go past a certain point of sexual interaction, continued pressure beyond that point can be coercive.

Complainant:

The person alleging, and who experienced, behavior alleged to constitute discriminatory harassment, sexual harassment, or any other forms of misconduct based on a protective class and defined in this policy; or retaliation for engaging in a protected activity.

Complaint (formal):

A document filed/signed by a complainant or signed by the Title IX Coordinator alleging harassment or discrimination based on a protected class, or retaliation for engaging in a protected activity, against a respondent and requesting that the recipient investigate the allegation.

Confidential Resource:

An employee, or local resource, who is not required to report notice of harassment, discrimination, and/or retaliation to the Title IX Coordinator and/or Deputies.

Consent:

Clear, unambiguous, and voluntary agreement between the participants to engage in specific sexual activity. Consent cannot be inferred from the absence of a “no”; a clear “yes,” verbal or otherwise, is necessary. Although consent does not need to be verbal, verbal communication is the most reliable form of asking for and gauging consent, thus, individuals are urged to seek consent in verbal form. Talking with sexual partners about desires and limits may seem awkward, but serves as the basis for positive sexual experiences shaped by mutual willingness and respect. Consent cannot be obtained from someone who is asleep or otherwise mentally or physically incapacitated, whether due to alcohol, drugs, or some other condition. Consent cannot be obtained by threat, coercion, or force. Agreement given under such conditions does not constitute consent. Consent must be clear and unambiguous for each participant throughout any sexual encounter. Consent to some sexual acts does not imply consent to others, nor does past consent to a given act imply ongoing or future consent. Consent can be revoked at any time. For all of these reasons, sexual partners must evaluate consent in an ongoing fashion and should communicate clearly with each other throughout any sexual encounter.

Dating Violence:

Violence committed by a person who is or has been in a romantic or intimate relationship with the complainant. Whether there was such a relationship will be gauged by its length, type, and frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. For the purposes of this definition, dating violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse but does not include acts covered under the definition of domestic violence.

Discrimination:

Treating a person or group of people different or less favorably because of – or because of one’s perception of – their race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, marital status, citizenship, national origin, genetics, or any other characteristic protected by law (together, “protected characteristics”). This includes any decision, act, or failure to act that adversely affects a person or group, when that decision, act, or failure to act is based on a protected characteristic or a perception that the person or group has a protected characteristic.

Discriminatory Harassment:

Any verbal, physical, written or symbolic behavior that is 1) directed at an individual or group and/or their property, 2) is based on that individual’s or group’s membership (or perceived membership) in a particular demographic group, including race, color, religion, age, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin or ethnicity, mental or physical disability, or sexual orientation, and 3) interferes with a reasonable person’s academic or work performance, creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive situation or environment for a person or that subjects a person to unwanted and unsolicited attention. Such behaviors include, but are not limited to, the use of slurs, epithets, name-calling, hate-speech, gestures, demeaning jokes, derogatory stereotypes, vandalism, bullying, or conduct that may be physically threatening, harmful or humiliating or cause a person to feel unsafe.

Domestic Violence:

Pennsylvania law defines domestic violence as knowingly, intentionally or recklessly causing bodily injury of any kind, causing fear of bodily injury of any kind, assault (sexual or not sexual), rape, sexually abusing minor children, or knowingly engaging in repetitive conduct toward a certain person (i.e. stalking) that puts them in fear of bodily injury. These acts can take place between family or household members, current or former spouses, sexual partners or those who share biological parenthood in order to qualify as domestic violence or abuse.

Education program or activity:

Locations, events, or circumstances where the College exercises substantial control over both the respondent and the context in which the sexual harassment or discrimination occurs and also includes any building owned or controlled by a student organization that is officially recognized by the College.

Fondling:

A type of sexual assault defined as the touching of the private body parts of another person (buttocks, groin, breasts), for the purpose of sexual gratification, forcibly, and/or against that person’s will (non-consensually), or not forcibly or against the person’s will in instances in which the Complainant is incapable of giving consent because of age or because of temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.

Force:

Use of physical violence or physical imposition, as well as, the use of threat, intimidation, or coercion to overcome a person’s free will or resistance. Threat, intimidation and coercion include:

  1. Actual or implied declarations to inflict physical or psychological harm, to cause damages or to commit other hostile actions to obtain sexual activity from an unwilling participant
  2. Applying unreasonable pressure to obtain sexual activity from an unwilling participant. Unreasonable pressure will be assessed by factors such as the frequency, intensity, degree of isolation and/or duration of the pressure and must include a real or perceived attack on safety, character, values or morals.

Harassment:

Conduct that is severe or pervasive enough to create a residence, classroom, work, or other campus environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile, endangering, or abusive. Offensive conduct may include, but is not limited to, offensive jokes, slurs, epithets or name calling, physical assaults or threats, intimidation, ridicule or mockery, insults or put-downs, offensive objects or pictures, and interference with a person’s residence or on-campus environment, or work or school performance, regardless of medium (e.g., in person, telephone, text message, electronic mail, social media or any other method).

Incapacitation:

Inability, temporarily or permanently, to give consent because someone is asleep, mentally and/or physically helpless, unconscious, or unaware due to drug or alcohol consumption (voluntarily or involuntarily), or for some other reason. Incapacitation means a person does not have the ability to give consent. Participating in sexual activity with whom the party knows or should reasonably know is incapacitated constitutes a violation of this policy.

Incest:

A type of sexual assault defined as non-forcible sexual intercourse, between persons who are related to each other, within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by Pennsylvania law.

Intimate Partner Violence:

Any intentional act, or threat, of physical, sexual, or psychological violence or abuse, including acts of intimidation and coercion, by a current or former partner in an intimate relationship upon the other partner. Intimate Partner Violence may include a pattern of abusive behavior by one partner to consistently maintain power and control over the other partner. This type of violence can occur regardless of the sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression or sexual orientation of the other person.

The existence of an intimate relationship will be evaluated considering the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.

Dating and domestic violence are forms of Intimate Partner Violence and all are prohibited by this policy.

Notice: When an employee, student, or third-party informs the Title IX Coordinator or other Official with Authority of the alleged occurrence of harassing, discriminatory, and/or retaliatory conduct.

Rape:

A type of sexual assault defined as penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the complainant.

Remedies:

Post-finding actions directed to the Complainant and/or the community as mechanisms to address safety, prevent recurrence, and restore access to the College’s educational program.

Respondent:

The person whose conduct is alleged to constitute discriminatory harassment, sexual harassment, other forms of misconduct or retaliation described in this policy.

Responsible Employee:

A “responsible employee” for purposes of this policy includes all Allegheny College employees except the professional counselors in the College Counseling and Personal Development Center, professional staff in the Winslow Health Center, and the College Chaplain or any other individual employed by the College with a primary role as clergy. Responsible employees must promptly report incidents of discriminatory harassment, sexual harassment or other types of misconduct prohibited by this policy to the Title IX Coordinator or one of the Deputy Title IX Coordinators.

Retaliation:

Harassing, intimidating or taking adverse action(s) against a person because they in good faith:

  1. Made a report under this Policy
  2. Participated in/cooperated with an investigation of a complaint under this Policy including but not limited to the complainant, respondent, witnesses, or advisors
  3. Opposed conduct or practices prohibited by this Policy

Retaliation includes but is not limited to ostracizing the person, pressuring the person to drop or not support the complaint or to provide false or misleading information, or engaging in conduct that may reasonably be perceived to affect adversely that person’s educational, living, or work environment, threatening, intimidating, or coercing the person, or otherwise harassing or discriminating against any person for exercising their rights or responsibilities under this policy. Retaliation under this policy may be found whether or not the complaint is ultimately found to have merit.

Resolution:

The result of an informal or formal grievance process.

Sanction:

A consequence imposed by the College on a respondent who is found to have violated this policy.

Sexual Assault:

A form of sexual harassment, that includes any type of sexual activity perpetrated against a person’s will, where that person does not give clear and voluntary consent or where the person is incapable of giving consent due to drug or alcohol use or due to intellectual or other disabilities.

Sexual assault includes rape, sodomy, sexual assault with an object, fondling, statutory rape and incest.

Sexual Assault with an Object:

A type of sexual assault defined as the use of an object or instrument to penetrate, however slightly, the genital or anal opening of the body of another person, forcibly, and/or against that person’s will (non-consensually), or not forcibly or against the person’s will in instances in which the Complainant is incapable of giving consent because of age or because of temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.

Sexual Exploitation:

When one person takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another. Examples include but are not limited to: invasion of sexual privacy; recording or attempting to record nude, partial nude or sexual media without the consent of the person or person depicted in the media; streaming, sharing or distributing nude, partial nude or sexual media without the consent of the person depicted in the media; non-consensual sexual voyeurism; inducing incapacitation for the purpose of making another person vulnerable to non-consensual sexual activity; administering sexual assault facilitating drugs including, but not limited to, alcohol, sleeping pills, sedatives, tranquilizers, anesthetics, depressants, and psychotropics without a person’s knowledge and permission; going beyond the boundaries of consent (such as knowingly allowing another to surreptitiously watch otherwise consensual sexual activity); exposing one’s genitals inn non-consensual circumstance; inducing another to expose their genitals; prostituting another person; and knowingly transmitting or exposing another person to a sexually transmitted infection (STI) without the knowledge of the person.

Sexual Harassment:

Includes all of the conduct constituting sexual harassment as defined by the 2020 Title IX Regulations, 34 CFR Part 106.45, outlined in Appendix A of this policy, as well as the following: Any unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other unwelcome verbal, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment may be found in a single episode as well as in persistent behavior. Sexual harassment also includes unwelcome sexual conduct when:

  • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering with an individual’s academic and/or work performance or of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive living, learning or working environment
  • Submission to such conduct is made (explicitly or implicitly) a term or condition of an individual’s employment or education; or submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for academic or employment decisions affecting that individual

Sexual Harassment, as an umbrella category, includes the offenses of sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.

Sexual Violence:

Refers to sexual activity when consent is not obtained or not given freely. Sexual violence is a form of sexual harassment and includes sexual assault, non-consensual sexual intercourse, non-consensual sexual contact, sexual exploitation, and interpersonal violence.

Sodomy:

A type of sexual assault defined as oral or anal sexual intercourse with another person, forcibly, and/or against that person’s will (non-consensually), or not forcibly or against the person’s will in instances in which the Complainant is incapable of giving consent because of age or because of temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.

Stalking:

A course of conduct, or pattern of behavior, directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for their safety or the safety of others; or to suffer substantial emotional distress. Cyber-stalking, or the repeated use of electronic communications to harass or cause fear, is also included in this definition.

Statutory Rape:

A type of sexual assault defined as non-forcible sexual intercourse, with a person who is under the statutory age of consent of 16.

Supportive measures:

Non-disciplinary, non-punitive individualized services offered as appropriate, as reasonably available, and without fee or charge to the parties to restore or preserve access to the College’s education program or activity, including measures designed to protect the safety of all parties or the College’s educational environment, and/or deter harassment, discrimination, and/or retaliation.

Appendix A

The following procedures apply to sexual harassment allegations and complaints, as mandated by the 2020 Title IX Regulations, 34 CFR Part 106.45, when defined as:

Sexual Harassment

Conduct on the basis of sex that satisfies one or more of the following:

  1.  An employee of the College conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of the College on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct;
  2. Unwelcome conduct by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the recipient’s education program or activity; or
  3. “Sexual assault” as defined in 20 U.S.C.1092(f)(6)(A)(v), “dating violence” as defined in 34 U.S.C. 12291(a)(10), “domestic violence” as defined in 34 U.S.C. 12291(a)(8), or “stalking” as defined in 34 U.S.C. 12291(a)(30).

Dismissal of Complaint

The College must dismiss a formal complaint of sexual harassment (as defined by Title IX Regulations, CFR part 106.30) or any allegations therein if, at any time during the investigation or hearing, it is determined that:

  1. The conduct alleged in the formal complaint would not constitute sexual harassment as defined in the Policy even if proved; and/or
  2. The conduct did not occur in an educational program or activity controlled by the College (including buildings or property controlled by recognized student organizations), and/or the College does not have control of the Respondent; and/or
  3. The conduct did not occur against a person in the United States; and/or
  4. At the time of filing a formal complaint, a complainant is not participating in or attempting to participate in the education program or activity of the recipient.

The College may dismiss a formal complaint or any allegations therein if, at any time during the investigation or hearing:

  1. A Complainant notifies the Title IX Coordinator in writing that the Complainant would like to withdraw the formal complaint or any allegations therein; or
  2. The Respondent is no longer enrolled in or employed by the recipient; or
  3. Specific circumstances prevent the recipient from gathering evidence sufficient to reach a determination as to the formal complaint or allegations therein.

Upon any dismissal, the College will promptly send written notice of the dismissal and the rationale for doing so simultaneously to the parties. Dismissal of a formal complaint as defined by Title IX Regulations, CFR part 106.30, does not preclude further proceedings related to potential violations of any other College Policy

This dismissal decision is appealable by any party under the procedures for appeal.

Informal resolution may not be used to resolve cases involving allegations of an employee harassing students.

In formal complaints of sexual harassment (as defined by Title IX Regulations, CFR part 106.30) the following general principles and procedures will govern this process, to the extent consistent with the College’s legal obligations:

  1. All persons concerned are to be treated with respect and impartiality.
  2. Procedures are to be fair, both in substance and in perception, to all persons concerned and to the College community. The College operates with the presumption that the respondent is not responsible for the reported misconduct unless and until the respondent is determined to be responsible for a policy violation by the applicable standard of proof.
  3. The Title IX Coordinator, or Deputy Coordinator, will provide the respondent and complainant with a written notice of the investigation and allegations upon commencement of the Formal Resolution Process.
  4. The investigation of formal complaints generally includes interviews of (a) the complainant, (b) the respondent, and/or (c) any witnesses as needed; and (d) the review of relevant documents as appropriate. Disclosure of facts to non-party witnesses will be limited to what is reasonably necessary to conduct a fair and thorough investigation.
  5. Both the complainant and respondent will be given an equal opportunity to be heard, to provide a statement, documentation and other evidence, and to suggest the names of other persons who they believe might have relevant information.
  6. The complainant and respondent will be provided access (equally) to inspect, review and respond to evidence obtained as part of the investigation, for a ten (10) business day review and comment period so that each party may meaningfully respond to the evidence.
  7. At any time during the investigation, the Title IX Coordinator, or designee, may recommend interim protections or remedies be provided by College officials. These protections and remedies may include (but are not limited to) separating the parties; placing limitations on contact between the parties; or making alternative workplace, housing, extracurricular, or academic arrangements where reasonable and feasible. Failure to comply with the terms of interim protections or remedies may be considered a separate violation of this policy.
  8. The investigation shall be completed as promptly as possible and in most cases in less than 60 working days from receipt of the original complaint. However, some investigations may not be completed in this timeframe due to the nature and extent of the allegations or other extenuating circumstances. In the event the investigation cannot be completed within 60 days, the parties will be notified in writing.
  9. The investigator will record the facts, and any relevant feedback, gathered during the investigation in a written report. The complainant and respondent, will be given the opportunity to review the report and any evidence collected as part of the investigation. at least ten (10) business days prior to a hearing.
  10. Following its completion the Title IX Coordinator, or designee, will provide the full investigative report to the Community Standards Board.
  11. No less than ten (10) business days prior to the hearing, the Title IX Coordinator will send notice of the hearing to the parties.
  12. After the completion of the Community Standards Board hearing, which includes objective evaluation of relevant evidence and cross examination of parties conducted by an Advisor of Choice, the Committee will prepare a notice of outcome or written decision, including but not limited to, any necessary sanctions, using the preponderance of evidence standard and stating the rationale for its decision.
  13. Sanctions and corrective actions or remedies will be determined and implemented on a case-by-case basis for violations of this policy, and they will be appropriate to the circumstances and gravity of the violation, and may range from personal coaching/counseling to an official warning, suspension, termination or expulsion.
  14. To the extent that appeals are provided in connection with findings or the imposition of a recommended disciplinary sanction under this policy, both the complainant and the respondent would have the right to appeal. An appeal of the must be submitted in writing to the Title IX Coordinator within 14 calendar days after receiving notification of the outcome of the hearing. Appeals are limited to the following grounds:
    1. New facts not available at the hearing. If the facts were known but withheld during the original hearing by the person presenting the appeal, those facts may not be brought forward as a ground for appeal.
    2. A violation of the process as described in this policy that significantly and materially affected a party’s ability to present complete information to the board.
    3. The Title IX Coordinator, Investigator(s), or Board member(s) had a conflict of interest or bias for or against complainants or respondents generally or the specific complainant or respondent that affected the outcome of the matter.

Failure to appeal within the allotted time will render the original decision final and conclusive.

The appeal will be reviewed by a three member sub-committee of the Community Standards Board. No member of the original hearing board is eligible to serve on the appeal board.

Appeals will be decided upon the record of the original proceeding and upon written materials submitted by the parties.

The appeal board reviewing an appeal may:

  • Affirm the finding and the sanction imposed by the original board.
  • Affirm the finding and reduce, but not eliminate, the sanction if it is found to be disproportionate to the offense,
  • Assign the case to a new hearing board to resolve procedural errors, or errors in interpretation of College regulations were so substantial as to effectively deny the charged party a fair hearing, or if new and significant evidence became available which could not have been discovered by proper diligence before or during the original hearing. The board will be directed not to repeat the specified errors that caused the case to be reheard.

Deference shall be given to the determinations of the hearing board.

The decision of the Community Standards Board may be appealed to the Executive Vice President of the College, or designee, by any party to the case within 5 calendar days following receipt of written notification of the decision of the appeal board. Such appeals shall be in writing and delivered to the Executive Vice President, or designee, with a copy to the Title IX Coordinator.

In the written appeal, it is the responsibility of the person presenting the appeal to demonstrate the grounds for the appeal. Appeals may be made on the following grounds:

  • New facts not available at the hearing. If the facts were known but withheld during the original hearing by the person presenting the appeal, those facts may not be brought forward as a ground for appeal.
  • A violation of the process as described in this policy that significantly and materially affected a party’s ability to present complete information to the board.
  • The Title IX Coordinator, Investigator(s), or Board member(s) had a conflict of interest or bias for or against complainants or respondents generally or the specific complainant or respondent that affected the outcome of the matter.

The Executive Vice President, or designee, may uphold or overturn the decision of the committee, return a case to the committee for further processing, or reduce or affirm any sanction.

The decision of the Executive Vice President, or designee, is final.