The Title IX Office at Saint Joseph’s College is the place to report and learn about incidents of bias or hate, discrimination and/or harassment directed to members of our community and guests. Anonymous reports may be submitted.
By submitting a report or learning more about this type of behavior, you help us to improve our campus and community climate.
If you have observed or experienced an incident of bias, discrimination or harassment, please report the incident by contacting the Title IX Office at email@example.com or TEL # (207) 893-6601. All College emergencies should be addressed immediately by calling x7911 while on-campus, and 207-893-7911 from a cell phone.
Saint Joseph’s College Policy Manual
Section Name: Work Environment
Section Number: 4.14 Effective Date: September 1, 2015
SUBJECT: Title IX – Sexual Discrimination, Harassment and Misconduct
Purpose of Title IX Policy
Saint Joseph’s College is committed to providing a community in which the learning, working and living environment reflect our Core Values. This environment is free from all forms of gender-based discrimination or harassment because such behavior violates an individual’s fundamental rights and personal dignity. Saint Joseph’s College considers gender-based discrimination to be a serious offense and has zero tolerance. This policy covers all forms of gender-based discrimination and harassment connected to the college, whether the matter involves students, faculty, staff or volunteers. This policy also applies to Sexual Misconduct, including sexual assault, stalking, sexual exploitation, intimate relationship violence and domestic violence by students, faculty, staff, or visitors/guests of the college.
In compliance with Title IX of theEducation Amendments of 1972 and other federal, state and local equal opportunity laws and in accordance with our values, the College has developed these policies and procedures that prohibit gender-based discrimination in all of its forms. The policies and procedures have been developed to affirm our commitment and to provide recourse for those individuals whose rights have been violated. This policy is intended to define community expectations and to establish a mechanism for determining when those expectations have been violated.
Role of the Title IX Coordinator and Title IX Team
Pursuant to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and the U.S. Department of Education’s implementing regulations at 34 C.F.R. Part 106, the College’s Title IX Coordinator has primary responsibility for coordinating the College’s efforts to comply with and carry out its responsibilities under Title IX, which prohibits sex discrimination in all the operations of this College, as well as retaliation for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by Title IX.
Sexual misconduct against students, employees and others members of the College community, including sexual harassment, sexual assault, rape, and sexual exploitation, can be a form of sex discrimination under Title IX. The Title IX coordinator oversees the College’s response to reports and complaints that involve possible sex discrimination to monitor outcomes, identify and address any patterns, and assess effects on the campus climate, so the College can address issues that affect the wider school community.
Among other tasks, the Title IX Coordinator is the person designated to receive complaints of gender related discrimination and harassment, including complaints of sexual misconduct from any member of the College community. The Title IX Coordinator, along with other members of the Title IX Team, conducts initial intake investigations, determines and implements appropriate interim protective measures, handles informal resolutions of appropriate grievances and directs cases that are not resolved informally to the appropriate body for further investigation and adjudication. The Title IX Team, in conjunction with the Title IX Coordinator, is responsible for reviewing and assessing, on at least an annual basis, the College’s Title IX policy, how effectively the policy is being communicated to members of the College community, the scope and effectiveness of the College’s educational programs on sexual assault prevention and bystander intervention, how well the College is coordinating communication with campus security and local law enforcement, and the resources available for victims of sexual harassment and assault.
The College’s Title IX Team includes:
The Dean of Campus Life, Matthew T. Goodwin, is College’s Title IX Coordinator and can be reached in person at the Campus Life main office, located in the second floor of Heffernan, by telephone at 207-893-6601, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The principal Title IX coordinator is responsible for overseeing the College’s response to all Title IX complaints.
- Dr. Marion Young is College’s Deputy Title IX Coordinator and can be reached in person in her offices located in Alfond Hall, by telephone at 207-893-7566, or by email at email@example.com.
- Ian MacEachen is College’s Chief of Campus Safety and can be reached in person at his offices on the first floor of Standish Hall, by telephone at 207-893-6686 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the event that the incident, policy, or procedure about which a member of the College community seeks to file a report or complaint creates the appearance of a conflict of interest with one of the members of the Title IX Team, that individual may contact any other member of the team or notify Michael Pardales, VP and Chief Learning Officer at email@example.com or by phone at 207-893-6641.
Role of the Student Sexual Misconduct Board
In addition to the Title IX Team, the College has a Student Sexual Misconduct Board composed of five to eight members of the College administration or staff, whose function is to serve as a pool from which investigators and sanctioning board members may be assigned by the Title IX Coordinator in the case of sexual misconduct allegations made against students. The Student Sexual Misconduct Board members are appointed by the President of the College in consultation with the Title IX Team. The current members of the Student Sexual Misconduct Board can be found in Appendix A. The members of the Student Sexual Misconduct Board receive annual training on Title IX issues and investigations. In any particular case, a member of the Student Sexual Misconduct Board may be appointed to conduct an investigation or to serve on a sanctioning board after an investigation has been conducted. Unless both the Complainant and the Respondent consent, the same individual will not serve as both investigator and a member of the sanctioning board in any case.
Detailed Functions and Responsibilities of the Title IX Coordinator
The Title IX Coordinator’s functions and responsibilities include the following:
(1) Training for Students, Faculty, and Staff
The Title IX Coordinator provides or facilitates ongoing training, consultation, and technical assistance on Title IX for all students, faculty and staff, including: regular training for faculty and staff outlining their rights and obligations under Title IX;
- this training will include the appropriate response to reports of sexual misconduct, the obligation to report sexual misconduct to appropriate College officials, and the extent to which counselors and advocates may keep a report confidential; and
- regular training for students outlining their rights under Title IX;
- this training will include what constitutes sexual misconduct and when it creates a hostile environment, the definition of consent, reporting options (including reports to responsible employees, campus and local law enforcement, and confidential reporting to counselors or advocates), the grievance procedures used to process complaints, applicable disciplinary code provisions relating to sexual misconduct and the consequences of violating those provisions, the role of alcohol and drugs in sexual misconduct, the effects of trauma, strategies and skills for bystander intervention, the offices or individuals with whom students can speak confidentially, the offices or individuals who can provide support services, the employees who must report incidents to the Title IX coordinator, and Title IX’s protections against retaliation,
- annual training for the members of the Student Sexual Misconduct Board
- this training will include the dynamics of sexual misconduct, the availability of interim protective measures, the appropriate manner in which to receive and evaluate sensitive information, the manner of deliberation, the application of the preponderance of the evidence standard, relevant sanctioning precedent, and the college’s policies and procedures. The training shall also stress the importance of confidentiality and privacy of all parties.
The College is responsible for conducting adequate, reliable, and impartial investigations of reports and complaints of sexual misconduct. The Title IX Coordinator oversees many aspects of this response, including:
- determining whether the report or complaint alleges conduct that may, upon investigation, constitute prohibited sexual misconduct;
- working with the Complainant to determine whether an informal resolution process is the preferred manner of addressing the complaint and appropriate under the circumstances;
- if an informal resolution process is determined to be preferred and appropriate, mediating that process or appointing another trained individual to mediate;
- appointing an investigative team upon a determination that a formal resolution process is preferred by the Complainant or the only appropriate manner of resolution;
- making certain that individual reports and complaints are handled properly and in a prompt and timely manner;
- informing all parties regarding the grievance process;
- confirming that all parties have been notified of grievance decisions and of the right to, and procedures for, appeal, if applicable;
- maintaining information and documentation related to the investigation in a secure manner; and
- monitoring compliance with timeframes specified in the grievance procedures.
The Title IX Coordinator evaluates requests for confidentiality by those who report or complain about sexual misconduct in the context of the College’s responsibility to provide a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for all students.
(3) Remedies, Including Interim Measures
Upon learning of a report or complaint of sexual misconduct, the Title IX Coordinator promptly takes steps to ensure the complainant’s equal access to the College’s programs and activities and protect the complainant as necessary. Such steps include taking interim measures before the final outcome of any investigation, providing remedial measures after the final outcome of investigation, and making the complainant and respondent aware of all available resources, including [list resources such as victim advocacy, housing assistance, academic support, counseling, disability services, health and mental health services, and legal assistance]
Upon a finding of prohibited sexual misconduct, the Title IX Coordinator determines whether campus-wide remedies should be adopted in response, including review and revision of the College’s sexual misconduct policies, increased monitoring, supervision or security at locations where sexual misconduct is reported to occur, and increased education and prevention efforts, including to targeted populations.
If investigator finds that an individual engaged in prohibited sexual misconduct, the Title IX Coordinator reviews proposed sanctions before they are imposed to ensure that they, along with the College’s interim and long-term measures taken in response to the sexual misconduct, are reasonably calculated to stop the sexual misconduct and prevent its recurrence.
(4) Monitoring and Advising
In order to address sexual misconduct on campus and ensure ongoing compliance with Title IX, the Title IX Coordinator:
- reviews regularly all reports and complaints raising potential Title IX issues throughout the College to ensure that the College responded consistent with its Title IX obligations, even if the report or complaint was initially filed or raised with another individual;
- reviews regularly all reports and complaints raising potential Title IX issues throughout the college to identify and address any patterns;
- reviews regularly the College’s policies and procedures to ensure that they comply with the requirements of Title IX;
- organizes and maintains files related to grievances, reports, complaints, and other records of potential sex discrimination, including sexual misconduct, in a secure manner;
- assesses regularly the College’s compliance with, and the effectiveness of, policies and procedures related to sex discrimination, including sexual misconduct, and recommends modifications where appropriate;
- coordinates regularly with the College’s Clery Act Compliance Officer with respect to overlapping obligations related to sexual misconduct against students, including prevention, education, and training;
- consults regularly with the College President and campus stakeholders to promote campus-wide awareness and discussion of Title IX-related issues, and develop and implement any modifications of policies and procedures to prevent and eliminate sex discrimination, including sexual misconduct; and
- ensures that appropriate policies and procedures are in place for working with local law enforcement and coordinating with local victim advocacy organizations and service providers, including rape crisis centers.
Formal Resolution of Complaints
Disciplinary action against a Respondent is taken through Formal Resolution procedures. Because the relationship of students, staff, and faculty to the college differ in nature, the procedures that apply when seeking disciplinary action necessarily differ as well. Each of the procedures, however, is guided by the same principles of fundamental fairness and respect for all parties, which require notice, an equitable opportunity to be heard, and an equitable opportunity to respond to a report under this policy.
For a complaint against a student, disciplinary action may be taken by the Student Sexual Misconduct Board after the investigator has determined that a violation has occurred. An appeal may be made by the Respondent and/or Complainant to the Vice President and Chief Learning Officer, whose decision shall be final.
Formal complaints against non-faculty employees after initial intake by the Title IX Coordinator or Title IX Team will be referred to the Director of Human Resources for resolution under the hourly or salaried administrative staff handbooks.
Formal complaints against members of the faculty after initial intake by the Title IX Coordinator or Title IX Team will be referred to the Chief Learning Officer/designee for resolution under the Faculty Handbook Refer to the appropriate policies for more detailed procedural rules that apply.
- To be treated with respect, dignity, and sensitivity throughout the process.
- To a prompt and thorough investigation of the allegations.
- Freedom from retaliation by the Respondent (or the supporters).
- To seek and use all available internal and external support services in dealing with the results of the offense.
- To confidentiality and protection under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). The College will make all reasonable efforts to ensure preservation of privacy, restricting information to those with a legitimate need to know.
- Ability to speak on his or her own behalf during the investigation and any disciplinary procedures.
- To have an advisor of their choice and/or a support person present during the disciplinary process.
- Freedom from having irrelevant sexual history inquired into or discussed during the investigation or disciplinary process.
- To be notified, in writing, of the case resolution.
- To be treated with respect, dignity, and sensitivity throughout the process.
- To a prompt, objective and thorough investigation of the allegations.
- Freedom from harassment by the Complainant (or the supporters).
- An explanation of the charges.
- To seek and use all available internal and external support services in dealing with the impact of the charges.
- To confidentiality and protection under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). The College will make all reasonable efforts to ensure preservation of privacy, restricting information to those with a legitimate need to know.
- The ability to speak on his or her own behalf during the disciplinary procedures.
- To have an advisor of their choice and/or a support person present during the investigatory and disciplinary process.
- Freedom from having irrelevant sexual history inquired into or discussed during the investigation or disciplinary process.
- To be notified, in writing, of the case resolution.
Reporting Title IX Complaints
Prompt Reporting Encouraged: Any member of the Saint Joseph’s Community who has experienced any form of gender based discrimination, sexual harassment or sexual misconduct is encouraged to report the incident promptly to the Title IX Coordinator or any member of the Title IX Team, and to seek all available assistance to assure prompt investigation and adjudication of the complaint. With the exception of those employees who have legally recognized confidentiality obligations, all college employees with responsibility for the welfare of students and all supervisors, including faculty, staff, administrators and security officers, are required to share with the Title IX Coordinator any report of sexual misconduct or harassment they receive or of which they become aware. Student employees or volunteers who have responsibility for the other students (e.g., Resident Advisors) are also required to report to the Title IX Coordinator any incident of sexual misconduct or harassment of which they become aware. The College takes allegations very seriously and will work with complainants to ensure their safety and to reach an appropriate remedy.
Amnesty for Alcohol or Other Drug Use: In order to encourage reports of sexual misconduct, the College may offer leniency with respect to other violations that may come to light as a result of such reports, depending on the circumstances involved. An individual who reports sexual harassment or misconduct, either as a Complainant or a third party, will not be subject to disciplinary action by the College for their own personal consumption of alcohol or drugs at or near the time of the incident, provided that any such violations did not and do not involve felonious acts or place the health or safety of any other person at risk. The College may, however, initiate an educational discussion or pursue other educational or therapeutic remedies regarding alcohol or other drugs for those individuals.
External Reporting of Sexual Assaults Encouraged: A victim of a sexual assault should immediately report the incident to both a campus security officer and to the Title IX Coordinator. The College also strongly encourages victims of sexual assaults to report to proper external authorities, including local police. The College will assist victims in contacting the appropriate law enforcement agency. Victims will be counseled on the importance of preserving physical evidence of a sexual assault. In all cases, victims of sexual assault will be made aware of both campus and community mental health and counseling resources.
All allegations of Sexual Assault against a member of the college community, whether or not investigated by police for criminal prosecution, will be referred to the Title IX Coordinator for investigation of possible violations of the Gender Based Discrimination and Sexual Misconduct Policy. Even if the allegation of Sexual Misconduct is against a person over whom the College has no authority—such as a visitor from another school or an intruder—the College is nevertheless committed to supporting members of our community using all available resources and maintaining an environment free from discrimination.
External Reporting of Sex Discrimination and Sex Harassment: A victim of sexual discrimination or sexual harassment in the employment or academic environment also has the right to file a charge with the Maine Human Rights Commission. The Maine Human Rights Commission is charged with investigating allegations of employment and school related discrimination and harassment. The Commission does not have the authority to award damages or to compel respondents to take remedial action, but encourages the parties to engage in conciliation to resolve the dispute.
In most cases involving sexual harassment, particularly harassment by coworkers or fellow students, the complainant must first report the harassment to the educational institution before filing a charge with the Commission. To be timely filed, a charge must be filed within 300 days of the most recent incident of harassment or discrimination.
To contact the Maine Human Rights Commission:
By Phone: (207)624-6290 Maine Relay 711
By Fax: (207) 624-8729
By Mail: Maine Human Rights Commission State House Station 51 Augusta, Maine 04333
The College takes the accuracy of information very seriously, as a charge of sexual harassment, sexual violence, stalking, or intimate partner violence may have severe consequences, both to individuals’ future educational or employment prospects, and to their reputations. Knowingly making a false report or complaint under this policy, or knowingly providing false or intentionally misleading information during an investigation, may result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal from the college or termination of employment. A good faith complaint is not considered to be falsely reported because the evidence was misinterpreted or not sufficient to support a formal charge or to constitute a violation of this policy.
When a Complainant or third party witness is found to have fabricated allegations or given false information with malicious intent or in bad faith, that individual may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including separation from the College. Similarly, a Respondent or witness who is later proven to have intentionally given false information during the course of an investigation or judicial action may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including separation from the College.
Resolving Title IX Complaints
Initial Response by Title IX Coordinator: The Title IX Coordinator or designated member of the Title IX Team will conduct an initial intake of any complaint of sexual discrimination, harassment or misconduct and may conduct a preliminary investigation of the matter or assist the Complainant in resolving the matter informally as more fully described below.
- Report to Title IX Coordinator. A complaint may be brought to the Title IX Coordinator or to any member of the Title IX Team by any member of the College community. If a complaint is brought to the attention of another member of the college administration, it should be referred to the Title IX Coordinator for initial response.
- Intake Meeting with Complainant. Upon receipt of notice of any allegation of a violation of the Title IX policy, the Title IX Coordinator will schedule an intake meeting with the Complainant. Complainant will be offered an intake meeting at the earliest possible time considering the nature and urgency of the complaint, usually within 24 hours of the receipt of notice in the case of alleged Sexual Misconduct and within 7 days of an allegation of Discrimination or Harassment. The purpose of the Intake Meeting is to gain a general understanding of the nature of the concern, counsel the Complainant as to his/her rights under the law, including possible interim protective measures, identify forms of support available, explain College policy and describe the informal and formal complaint procedures available.
- Limitations of Confidentiality. The Complainant will be advised at the Intake Meeting that the complaint will be kept confidential to the extent practicable, consistent with the College’s obligation to investigate and to provide the Respondent with a fair opportunity to respond. An individual bringing a complaint should be aware that the College may be obligated to take action to address the behavior even if the Complainant does not want to move forward with a formal procedure. The decision to move forward with an investigation shall be discussed with the Complainant in advance. In order to evaluate whether to honor a request for confidentiality or that the complaint not be pursued, the Title IX Coordinator should weigh the Complainant’s request against the following factors: the seriousness of the alleged violation; whether the complaint is credible on its face, whether there have been other complaints of a similar nature against the same Respondent, and the ability of the College to fairly and adequately investigate and remedy the complaint without having to disclose the existence of the complaint or the identity of the Complainant.
- Complainant Preference that Complaint Remain Confidential. Sometimes a Complainant will prefer that the Intake Meeting remain confidential and will request that no investigation or other formal action be taken by the College. The College will honor a Complainant’s request to keep the consultation with the Title IX Coordinator confidential in situations where it can do so consistent with its legal obligation to provide a safe and nondiscriminatory academic/work environment. ( 1 ) If the College cannot honor the Complainant’s request for confidentiality, the Title IX Coordinator will inform the Complainant of that conclusion before any investigation is initiated. In situations where the College cannot investigate or take disciplinary action against the Accused Party because the Complainant insists on confidentiality or refuses to participate in any investigation and/or adjudication, Title IX nonetheless requires the College to take whatever prompt and effective remedial action is reasonably available to limit the effects of the discrimination or harassment, and the Title IX Coordinator will ensure that these actions are taken.
- Interim Protective Measures. In all complaints of alleged Sexual Misconduct, regardless of whether the Complainant wishes to pursue resolution of any kind, the College will undertake an appropriate inquiry and take such prompt and effective action as is reasonably practicable under the circumstances to support and protect the Complainant and protect the College community, including taking appropriate interim protective measures before the final outcome of the investigation and hearing, if any. Before or immediately after the Intake Meeting, the Title IX Coordinator will determine whether interim interventions and protective measure should be implemented, and, if so, take steps to implement those protective measures as soon as possible. Examples of interim protective measures include: an order of no contact, residence hall relocation, adjustment of course schedules, a leave of absence, or reassignment to a different supervisor or position. These remedies may be applied to one, both, or multiple parties involved. Applicable law requires that, when taking such steps to separate the Complainant and the Respondent, the College must minimize the burden on the Complainant and thus should not, as a matter of course, remove the Complainant from his or her job, classes or housing while allowing the Respondent to remain. Violations of the Title IX Coordinator’s directives and/or protective measures will constitute related violations that may lead to additional disciplinary action. Protective measures imposed may be temporary pending the results of an investigation or may become permanent.
- Determination of Informal or Formal Resolution. After the Intake Meeting, the Title IX Coordinator and the Complainant will determine the most appropriate strategy to stop the behavior. Some situations are minor and may be corrected by informal procedures, such as coaching the Complainant on possible tactics he or she may take to stop the offending behavior, providing a group of employees or students with non-disciplinary counseling or education about sexual harassment without indicating a complaint has been raised, or having the Title IX Coordinator mediate a discussion between the Complainant and the Respondent. Informal resolution may be appropriate in situations where the allegations of discrimination or harassment would not ordinarily merit serious discipline of the student or employee (e.g., probation, suspension, or expulsion of a student; or probation, suspension, demotion or termination of an employee.) An informal resolution will not be utilized where there are allegations of Sexual Misconduct. The Complainant has the right to terminate Informal Resolution and request a Formal Resolution at any time.
- Assistance with Criminal Complaint to Local Law Enforcement. Where Sexual Misconduct has been alleged, the Title IX Coordinator will instruct the Complainant about the option of initiating a criminal complaint through local law enforcement and will offer to assist the Complainant in contacting appropriate authorities. A Complainant may pursue both a criminal complaint and an internal adjudication. The College will not suspend its internal complaint process simply because a criminal complaint is pending but may delay its own investigation for a brief period in order not to interfere with the criminal investigation.
Informal Resolution Process
Informal procedures for addressing sexual discrimination or harassment are aimed at stopping the behavior rather than determining culpability or intent. The Complainant may at any time terminate the Informal Resolution process and proceed to a Formal Resolution. The following process will be followed in an Informal Resolution:
Step One. The Complainant will file a written complaint with the Title IX Coordinator describing precisely and clearly the facts. The Complainant may submit this written and signed complaint, or the Title IX Coordinator, after an interview with the Complainant, may draft the complaint for the Complainant’s review and signature. The Complainant will also sign a statement confirming his or her preference to pursue an Informal Resolution of the complaint.
Step Two. The Title IX Coordinator will meet with the Complainant to discuss the complaint and informal strategies that may resolve the situation. Some informal strategies include:
- Coaching the Complainant to tell the person that the behavior is unwelcome and to stop;
- Coaching the Complainant to write to the person telling them that his or her behavior is unwelcome and to stop;
- Coaching the Complainant to send a copy of the sexual harassment policy with a note asking the person to stop;
- Having the Title IX Coordinator meet with the person who is the subject of the complaint and telling that person that the Complainant is uncomfortable with his or her behavior and it needs to stop or providing other coaching and/or education
- Having the Title IX Coordinator mediate a discussion between the Complainant and the person who is the subject of the Complaint.
Step Three. The Complainant will choose his or her preferred method(s) of addressing the complaint.
Step Four. The Title IX Coordinator will conduct appropriate follow-up, usually within a few days of Step Three. The purpose of the follow up is to determine if the action taken was successful in stopping the alleged behavior.
Step Five. The Title IX Coordinator will prepare a written report of the resolution of the complaint, including a summary of the incident, the informal strategies selected and the results of the follow up.
Step Six. If satisfactory resolution is not achieved, the Complainant may pursue the Formal Resolution process. Even where the Complainant chooses not to file a formal complaint, the Title IX Coordinator will consult with the Title IX Team as to whether the College should pursue other remedial action.
Formal Resolution Procedures Involving Students
Formal procedures are aimed at determining responsibility for a violation of college policy against sexual misconduct and, where violations have been found, determining what appropriate remedial action should be taken. The investigation is designed to provide a fair and reliable gathering of the facts. The sanctioning procedure is designed to provide a method for ensuring that the sanctions are commensurate with the seriousness of the violation found and calculated to ensure that the inappropriate conduct is not repeated. The appeal process is designed to ensure that the investigation has been carried out in a manner consistent with college procedures and that the sanction imposed is not grossly disproportionate to the violation found. All individuals participating in the formal resolution process, including the Complainant, the Respondent and any third-party witnesses, will be treated with appropriate sensitivity and respect. Consistent with the need for a full assessment of the facts, the formal resolution process will be conducted so as to safeguard the privacy of the individuals involved.
1. Investigation Phase
a. Designation of Investigator. The Title IX Coordinator or other member of the Title IX Team will designate an investigator who has specific training and experience investigating allegations of sexual harassment and sexual misconduct to conduct a thorough, impartial, and fair investigation. The investigator may be a member of the Student Sexual Misconduct Board or an external investigator engaged to assist the college in its fact gathering and determination of a finding. Any investigator chosen to conduct the investigation must be impartial and free of any conflict of interest. If a member of the Student Sexual Misconduct Board is designated to conduct the investigation, that individual will not serve on the sanctioning board, absent the consent of both the Complainant and Respondent. The investigator may designate a second individual, who is also impartial and free of any conflict of interest, to be a note-taker and advisor to the investigator.
b. Assignment of Advisors to Complainant and Respondent. The Title IX Coordinator will notify the Complainant and Respondent of their right to have an Advisor of their choosing to be present with the student that the Advisor is representing during the investigation, sanctioning and appeal stages of the process. The Advisor’s role is as a “silent advisor,” not an active participant in the interviews or proceedings. If requested by either party, the Title IX Coordinator will provide assistance in finding an Advisor who is a member of the college community. Either party may choose an advisor from outside the community, provided that the Advisor meets with the Title IX Coordinator before the investigation starts to get an overview of the process and the Advisor’s role. The Title IX Coordinator, investigator, and or Sanctioning Panel retain the right to exclude an advisor from a proceeding if that advisor fails to comply with these procedures or is otherwise disruptive to the process.
c. Overview of Investigation Process. With the assistance of the Title IX Team, the investigator will coordinate the gathering of information from the Complainant, Respondent, and other individuals or entities with relevant information regarding the complaint using any of the processes described below. The Complainant and Respondent will have an equal opportunity to be heard, to submit evidence, and to identify witnesses who may have relevant information. The investigator will not require the Complainant and Respondent to be in each other’s presence during the investigation and shall not allow either party to interrogate or cross examine the other, but may request that each party propose questions or subject matters upon for the investigator to ask of the other party. The investigator will share with the Complainant and Respondent for comment or rebuttal information and documentation considered material to the findings related to the complaint.
d. Investigation Timeframe. The investigation will typically be completed within twenty (20) calendar days. Given the availability of witnesses or complexity of the circumstances, this time frame may be extended as necessary to ensure the integrity and completeness of the investigation. The investigator will provide periodic updates to the Title IX Coordinator and/or the Title IX Team, particularly regarding any emerging needs that would require additional interim protective measures for the Complainant or Respondent or regarding any adjustments to estimated timelines. Information gathered during the investigation will be used to evaluate the appropriate course of action, provide for the safety of the individual and the campus community, and impose remedies as necessary to address the effects of the conduct cited in the report.
e. Investigation Methods. The investigator will use any combination of the following methods for gathering evidence:
i. Complainant and Respondent Interviews
- The investigator will interview the Complainant and the Respondent separately and may interview one or both more than once as necessary;
- The Complainant and Respondent may be accompanied by their respective advisors.
ii. Document/Records Review
- In addition to reviewing any documents submitted by the Complainant and Respondent;
- the investigator will try to obtain such other physical or medical evidence relevant to the investigation as the investigator determines, in his or her judgment, to be necessary, including but not limited to documents, police records, electronic or other record of communications between the parties or witnesses, records or other relevant information;
- In obtaining such evidence, the investigator will comply with applicable laws and college policies.
iii. Site Visits
- The investigator may visit relevant sites or locations and record observations through written or photographic documentation.
iv. Witness Interviews
- The investigator will make a good faith effort to contact and interview any witnesses identified by the parties or in the documentation, including those no longer at the college;
- The investigator may also interview any other individual he or she finds to be potentially relevant to the allegations of the complaint;
- The investigator may determine that interviews of certain witnesses may be unnecessary because the information the witness is likely to provide would be cumulative or marginally relevant;
- The investigator will inform each witness or other individual interviewed that they are prohibited from retaliating against the Complainant and Respondent or other witnesses.
- The investigator may contact any expert the investigator determines is necessary to ascertain the facts related to the complaint;
- An expert witness may be contacted for an informal consultation or for a professional opinion regarding information learned from the investigation.
f. Prior Sexual History, Bad Acts, or Pattern Evidence. In general, in a case where the Respondent raises consent as a defense, any prior consensual relationship between the parties may be deemed relevant to assess the manner and nature of communications between the parties, but not necessarily determinative. A current or previous dating or sexual relationship, by itself, is not sufficient to constitute consent. Generally, prior sexual history of the Complainant or Respondent with third parties will not be considered relevant to an investigation. However, in limited circumstances, such as pattern evidence, it may be relevant in the determination of responsibility or, in the case of Respondent, assigning of a sanction. Additionally, a prior finding (post appeal rights) of responsibility for a similar act of sexual misconduct will always be deemed relevant and may be considered in making a determination as to responsibility and/or assigning of a sanction. If either party wishes to bring forth information concerning the other party’s sexual history, bad acts, or pattern evidence, such requests must bemade during the course of the investigation to the investigator, who is responsible for determining its relevance.
g. Investigative Report. At the conclusion of the investigation, the investigator will prepare a written investigative report summarizing and analyzing the relevant facts determined through the investigation, referencing any supporting documentation or statements. In preparing the report, the investigator will review all facts gathered to determine whether the information is relevant and material to the determination of responsibility given the nature of the allegation. The investigative report may include summaries of interviews with the Complainant, Respondent, third-party witnesses, experts, and any other individuals with relevant information, photographs of relevant sites or physical evidence, electronic records and forensic evidence. The investigator may provide a summary of impressions including context for the evidence. Before the report is finalized, the Complainant and Respondent will be given the opportunity to review their own statement and other relevant information collected during the investigation, including the statements of the other party and any witnesses. To protect the safety and welfare of witnesses, the investigator may remove any personally identifiable information from witness statements before sharing with Complainant or Respondent.
h. Findings. The investigative report will include a determination by the investigator as to whether the Respondent is responsible for a violation or violations of the Title IX Policy using the preponderance of the evidence standard. This determination may be accompanied by a rationale or further information if deemed appropriate.
i. Distribution to Parties. The Title IX Coordinator or a member of the Title IX Team will provide the Complainant and Respondent with a final copy of the investigative report and the findings and will inform them of the next steps in the process, including the option to appeal, if applicable. Should the Respondent be found by the investigator not responsible for a violation of the Title IX Policy, the Complainant retains the option to appeal the finding on limited grounds as described in the Appeals phase section below. Should the Respondent be found responsible for a violation of the Title IX Policy, the case will proceed to the sanctioning phase. Both parties may opt to appeal the finding prior to the start of the sanction phase on limited grounds using the procedures described in the Appeals section below. Appeals filed in this manner must be submitted within five (5) calendar days of the receipt of the finding. The Complainant and Respondent shall retain the full right to appeal on limited grounds following the decision of the Sexual Misconduct Board.
2. Sanctioning Phase: Sexual Misconduct Board and Sanctioning Panel.
Should the Respondent be found responsible for a violation of the Title IX by the investigator, the case will proceed to the sanction phase, where a Sanctioning Panel comprised of three members of the Sexual Misconduct Board will review the investigative report to impose an appropriate sanction. Generally, the Board shall meet to determine the appropriate sanction within ten (10) calendar days of completion of the investigative report.
a. Composition of Sexual Misconduct Board and Sanctioning Panel. As noted above, the Sexual Misconduct Board shall be composed of a pool of staff members appointed by the President through a selection process determined by the Title IX Coordinator in consultation with the Title IX Team. For any given case, three members of the pool will be selected to comprise the Sanctioning Panel. All members of the Sexual Misconduct Board shall be trained annually regarding the dynamics of sexual misconduct, the appropriate manner in which to receive and evaluate sensitive information, the manner of deliberation, the application of the preponderance of the evidence standard, relevant sanctioning precedent (which shall inform but not bind the Board), and the college’s policies and procedures. The training shall also stress the importance of confidentiality and privacy of all parties.
b. Review of Investigative Report and Finding. The Sanctioning Panel shall have access to the investigative report, finding, and all related documents to review prior to making a decision on an appropriate sanction. All documents provided to the Panel shall have all personally identifiable information for all students involved redacted. After reviewing the report and finding, if the Board feels that more information is required, they may refer the case back to the investigator for further clarification.
c. Review of Other Relevant Information and Opportunity to Respond. The Sanctioning Panel shall have access to information regarding sanctions imposed on students in comparable cases and other relevant information in the Respondent’s student file, including prior student conduct history. The Complainant and Respondent shall have access to this information prior to its presentation to the Sanctioning Panel and shall have an opportunity to respond via a written statement to be provided to the Sanctioning Panel. Only information related to the information presented from the Respondent’s student file shall be permitted in this statement. The Complainant and Respondent shall have the opportunity to present a statement to the Board describing the impact of the case on them. This statement may be presented in writing to the Panel or in person. If presented in person, the Board will not ask any questions of the individual present. Any advisor who may be present may not make any statements to the Board. If both the Complainant and Respondent wish to make inperson statements to the Board, they shall not be present in the room together. To the extent either party requires support in preparing such a statement, the college will provide assistance.
d. Sanction Statement. The Sanctioning Panel may impose any appropriate sanction, including probation, suspension, and expulsion. Any student found responsible for a sexual assault violation will likely face a recommended sanction of suspension or expulsion. Any student found responsible for a non-consensual sexual contact violation (where no intercourse has occurred) will likely receive a sanction ranging from probation to expulsion, depending on the severity of the incident, and taking into account any previous campus conduct code violations. Any student found responsible for a sexual exploitation or sexual harassment violation will likely receive a recommended sanction ranging from warning to expulsion, depending on the severity of the incident, and taking into account any previous campus conduct code violations. The Sanctioning Panel reserves the right to broaden or lessen any range of recommended sanctions in the case of serious mitigating circumstances or egregiously offensive behavior. The Sanctioning Panel will not deviate from the range of recommended sanctions unless compelling justification exists to do so.
e. Deliberations. After a thorough review of the investigative report, finding, all other related documents, other relevant information, and any response from the Complainant or Respondent, the Sanctioning Panel shall deliberate regarding the appropriate sanction. The sanction shall be determined by a majority vote of the members of the Board present.
f. Notice of Outcome. The final written notice of outcome shall be simultaneously provided in writing to both the Complainant and the Respondent by the Title IX Coordinator or a member of the Title IX Team. The college will also provide written notice, at the same time to both parties, of any change in the outcome that occurs before the outcome becomes final. Both parties have the right to be informed of the outcome. The notice of outcome will include the finding as to whether there is a policy violation, the rationale for the result, and a brief summary of the evidence on which the decision is based, as appropriate. In addition, the Respondent will be fully informed of any sanctions. For reports involving sexual violence, the Complainant will be fully informed of any sanctions and remedies that directly relate to Complainant, including information about the Respondent’s presence on campus (or in a shared class or residence hall), that may help a Complainant make informed decisions or work with the college to eliminate harassment and prevent its recurrence. For all other reports under this policy, the Complainant will be informed of only those sanctions that directly relate to the Complainant, consistent with FERPA and other applicable law. The notice shall include information regarding the right to appeal the outcome for both the Complainant and Respondent.
3. Appeal Phase
Vice President and Chief Learning Officer. The Vice President serves as the appeal officer for all violations of the Title IX by students using the procedures outlined below.
a. Eligibility, Timeline, and Filing Procedures. Either the Complainant or Respondent may file an appeal within ten (10) calendar days of notification of the decision. Appeals must be filed at the Vice President’s Office. The VP will generally make all appeal decisions within five (5) calendar days of receipt of an appeal.
b. Grounds for Appeal. The Complainant and/or Respondent may appeal the parts of final outcome directly relating to him/her. Dissatisfaction with the outcome of the hearing is not grounds for appeal. Appeals may be based only on one or more of the following grounds:
- a procedural error that may have had a prejudicial effect upon the outcome of the proceedings;
- new evidence that was discovered after the investigation and could not have been discovered previously that might have had an effect upon the outcome of the proceedings; or
- the sanction imposed on the Respondent is grossly inappropriate.
The receipt of the appeal will be acknowledged in writing (which can include email).
c. Review for Appeal. All appeals are limited to the three possible grounds. The appeal shall consist of a concise written statement outlining the facts that support the available grounds for the appeal. The appeal will be conducted in an impartial manner by the Vice President. In any request for an appeal, the burden of proof lies with the party requesting the appeal, as the original determination and sanction are presumed to have been decided reasonably and appropriately. The appeal is not a new review of the underlying matter. The decision shall affirm the original finding of the investigator and the sanction imposed by the Sanctioning Panel unless the VP sustains one of the grounds for appeal, in which case the VP can:
- Refer a case to the original or new investigator if new evidence is presented or if there were prejudicial procedural errors; or
- Refer a case back to the Sanctioning Panel if the sanction is considered to be grossly inappropriate.
Appeals are not intended to be full rehearing of the complaint (de novo). This is not an opportunity for the VP to substitute his/her judgment for that of the original investigator or Sanctioning Panel merely because s/he disagree with its finding and/or sanctions. Appeals decisions are to be deferential to the original or new investigator or the Sanctioning Panel, except where there is clear error. If the appeal is properly filed, each party will be given the opportunity to review the written appeal and respond to it in writing to the VP. Any response by the opposing party must be submitted to the VP within five (5) business days from being provided the appeal. If both parties file an appeal, the appeal documents from each party will be considered together in one appeal review process.
d. Appeal Decision and Notification. The appeal decision will include a rationale and shall be presented simultaneously in writing to both the Complainant and Respondent by the Title IX Coordinator or a member of the Title IX Team. Sanctions imposed are implemented immediately after all appeals. In cases where the appeal results in reinstatement to the institution or of privileges, all reasonable attempts will be made to restore the student to their prior status, recognizing that some opportunities lost may be irretrievable in the short term. Appeal decisions are final.
e. Timeframes for Procedures. The College will endeavor to conduct an investigation of a complaint in as timely a fashion as possible. Both parties will be given periodic status updates throughout the process as appropriate. The Intake Meeting will ordinarily be conducted within 24 hours of a report in the case of alleged Sexual Misconduct and within 7 days of an allegation of discrimination or harassment. The timeframe for completing an Informal or Formal Resolution process will ordinarily be 5 to 14 days from the Intake Meeting. However, this timeframe will vary based upon the complexity of the investigation, the severity and extent of the alleged Sexual Misconduct, delays caused by a criminal investigation by law enforcement, and the availability of witnesses, particularly where the timeframe overlaps with a school vacation or the end of an academic term. Final resolution of a complaint by the appropriate Administrator will ordinarily be completed within 60 days of the Intake Meeting. This timeframe will also vary depending upon the nature of the procedure available to the parties involved.
f. Prohibition Against Retaliation. No faculty, staff or student who is filing a complaint or is a witness in the investigation shall be subject to retaliatory action for their good faith participation in the procedure. Words or behaviors that punish a person for the good faith filing of a complaint or participating in an investigation are illegal and against College policy. Any person who violates this policy will be subject to discipline up to and including termination in the case of an employee and expulsion in the case of a student.
Definitions of Terms
Sex Discrimination: behaviors and actions that deny or limit a person’s ability to benefit from and/or fully participate in the educational programs or activities or employment opportunities because of a person’s sex.
- Examples include, but are not limited to, sexual misconduct, failure to provide equal opportunity in education programs and co-curricular programs including athletics, discrimination based on pregnancy and employment discrimination.
Sexual Misconduct is a broad term defined by the College to encompass Sexual Assault, Sexual Exploitation, Non Consensual Sexual Intercourse, Forced Sexual Intercourse, Stalking, Intimate Relationship Violence, Domestic Violence and Sexual Harassment. Sexual Misconduct may vary in its severity and consists of a range of behaviors or attempted behaviors. Sexual Misconduct violates federal and state civil rights laws and may be subject to criminal prosecution in addition to action taken by the College.
Sexual Harassment is defined as conduct of sexual nature (which may be verbal, non-verbal, or physical) that has the effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work, learning or co-curricular environment. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, written, or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when:
1) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or education;
2) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for academic or employment decisions affecting that individual; or
3) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s academic or work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive employment or educational environment. Sexual harassment may involve individuals of the same or different genders. Sexual harassment is most frequently associated with those situations in which a power differential exists between persons involved; however it also may occur between individuals of the same College status, e.g. student-student and employee-employee. Such conduct, whether intended or not, constitutes sexual harassment and is illegal under both state and federal law. Men, as well as women, may be victims of sexual harassment.
Examples of conduct which, if continued or repeated, may constitute sexual harassment are:
- Promising directly or indirectly, a reward if the student or employee complies with a sexually oriented request.
- Threatening to deny or denying an education related opportunity, directly or indirectly, in retaliation against a member of the community if that person refuses to comply with a sexually oriented request.
- Unnecessary touching, patting, hugging or brushing against a person’s body, staring, ogling, leering, whistling, sexually explicit statements, comments, jokes, or anecdotes, graphic comments about a person’s clothing or body.
- Displaying pornographic or sexually suggestive objects or pictures in the workplace.
- Harassing use of electronic mail or telephone communication system, other physical or verbal conduct of a sexual nature.
- Making sexual or romantic advances toward a member of the community despite the rejection of such advances.
- Stalking or cyber-stalking
Sexual harassment can be physical and/or psychological in nature. An aggregation of a series of incidents can constitute sexual harassment even if one or more of the incidents considered individually would not rise to the level of harassment.
Non Consensual Sexual Intercourse is any sexual intercourse, meaning penetration by a penis, object, tongue or finger, anal penetration and/or oral copulation (mouth to genital contact or genital to mouth contact with an object or body part), by a man or woman upon a man or a woman without Effective Consent.
Forced Sexual Intercourse is unwilling or non-consensual sexual penetration (anal, vaginal or oral) with any object or body part that is committed either by force, threat, Coercion, intimidation or through exploitation of another’s mental or physical condition of which the assailant was aware or should have been aware.
Force means physical force, violence, intimidation, Coercion, or a Threat that would reasonably cause a person to fear for their physical or psychological well-being.
- Threat means a verbal or non-verbal act that would directly cause a reasonable person to fear for their own safety or well-being or for the safety or well-being of another causing that person to do something they would not normally do.
- Coercion means behavior that, based on its frequency, duration and intensity, causes an unreasonable application of pressure causing a person to do something they would not normally do.
Sexual Assault means Sexual Contact that occurs without Effective Consent.
Sexual Contact is any intentional touching of a person’s intimate body parts, (including the breasts, buttock, groin or genitals, or clothing covering any of those areas), or the use of Force to cause a person to touch his or her own or another person’s intimate parts.
Effective Consent means words or actions that show an active, knowing, and voluntary agreement to engage in mutually agreed upon sexual activity. Effective consent cannot be gained by force, duress, or deception, by ignoring or acting in spite of the objections of another, or by taking advantage of the Incapacitation of another, where the actor knows or reasonably should have known of such Incapacitation. Effective Consent is also lacking when the activity in question exceeds the scope of Effective Consent previously given. Effective Consent is informed, freely and actively given and requires clear communication between all persons involved in the sexual encounter. Effective consent cannot be given by minors, developmentally disabled individuals or persons incapacitated as a result of drugs or alcohol. Neither consent to one form of sexual activity nor past relationships imply consent to future sexual activity.
Incapacitation is a state where individuals cannot make a rational, reasonable decision because they lack the ability to understand the nature of their sexual interaction.
Sexual Exploitation occurs when a member of the community takes sexual advantage of another person without Effective Consent. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to:
- Invasion of sexual privacy
- Non-consensual video or audio taping of sexual activity.
- Posting non-consensual materials on social media such as Facebook or Twitter.
- Engaging in voyeurism.
Stalking involves any behaviors or activities occurring on more than one occasion that collectively instill fear and/or threaten a person’s safety, mental health and/or physical health. Such behaviors or activities may include, but are not limited to non-consensual communications (i.e., face-to- face, telephone, email, social media), threatening or obscene gestures, surveillance or showing up outside the targeted individual’s classroom, residence or workplace.
Intimate Relationship Violence (also known as dating violence or intimate partner violence) is defined as acts of violence, threats, stalking or intimidation that harm or injure a partner in a current or former intimate relationship (defined below). These acts may be physical, emotional/psychological, sexual or economic in nature. Intimate relationship violence can be a single act or pattern of behavior. Examples include, but are not limited to: striking another person (slapping, punching, etc.), property damage, reckless behavior, name calling and insults, public humiliation, harassment directed toward friends and acquaintances, and verbal and/or physical threats. The College will not tolerate intimate relationship violence of any form. For purposes of this policy, the College does not define intimate partner violence as a distinct form of misconduct. Rather, the College recognizes that sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, stalking and retaliation all may be forms of intimate partner violence when committed by a person who is or has been involved in a sexual, dating, domestic or other social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the Complainant.
Under Clery and the Campus SaVE Act, the College will record and report all relevant incidents of intimate relationship violence.
Domestic Violence in the Context of Intimate Relationships. Domestic violence is a particular type of intimate relationship violence that occurs when partners in a current or former intimate relationship are or have been cohabitating in the same space. Students are deemed to be cohabitating when they share access to the same private living space.
Intimate Relationship. An intimate relationship is a short or long term relationship between persons of any gender that provide romantic and/or physical intimacy or emotional dependence. Intimate relationships may include (but are not limited to) marriages, civil unions, dating relationships, “hook-up” relationships, relationships in which partners are characterized as “girlfriends” or “boyfriends,” and relationships between persons with a child in common.
The College will not tolerate intimate relationship violence of any form. For purposes of this policy, the College does not define intimate partner violence as a distinct form of misconduct. Rather, the College recognizes that sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, stalking and retaliation all may be forms of intimate partner violence when committed by a person who is or has been involved in a sexual, dating, domestic or other social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the Complainant.
Refer to Appendix A: Title IX Coordinator, Title IX Team Members, and Student Sexual Misconduct Board.