Sex Discrimination, Sexual Misconduct and Interpersonal Violence Policy and Procedure 3.403
Applicable Law and Policy Statement
This Policy supplements the College’s Anti-Discrimination and Harassment Policy and addresses the requirements of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA), Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (“Title IX”), and the Illinois Preventing Sexual Violence in Higher Education Act. VAWA is a federal law that addresses domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking in higher education. The Illinois Preventing Sexual Violence in Higher Education Act is a state law that addresses student allegations of sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking at higher education institutions. Title IX is a federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in federally funded education programs and activities. Title IX states as follows:
No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.
Consistent with these and other applicable state and federal laws, Elgin Community College prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, and/or gender in any College program or activity. “Sexual misconduct,” including sexual harassment, sexual assault, and sexual exploitation, is a form of sex discrimination and is prohibited by this Policy. “Interpersonal violence,” including domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking, is also prohibited by this Policy.
The College’s prohibitions against sex discrimination, sexual misconduct and interpersonal violence apply to all students, faculty, and staff, to other members of the College community, and to contractors, consultants, and vendors doing business or providing services to the College.
This Policy applies to on-campus and off-campus conduct, including online or electronic conduct, when the off-campus conduct: (i) occurs during a College sponsored employment or education activity or program; (ii) adversely impacts the education or employment of a member of the College community; or (iii) otherwise threatens the health and/or safety of a member of the College community.
Responsible College Personnel
Task Force on Discrimination and Harassment
The President has appointed a Task Force on Discrimination and Harassment, to which the College’s President has delegated day-to-day responsibility for this Policy. The Task Force consists of the following College personnel:
The President may modify the composition of the Task Force to the extent deemed necessary or appropriate in order to implement this Policy.
The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for implementing and monitoring compliance with Title IX, VAWA, and the Illinois Preventing Sexual Violence in Higher Education Act on behalf of the College. This includes coordination of training, education, communications, and administration of the resolution procedures for handling alleged or suspected violations of this Policy. The Title IX Coordinator is also responsible for maintaining documentation of all reports of incidents of sex discrimination, sexual misconduct and interpersonal violence, and for establishing a protocol for recordkeeping of such incidents.
The Task Force is also responsible for implementing and monitoring the College’s compliance with Title IX and the Illinois Preventing Sexual Violence in Higher Education Act, and for notifying the Title IX Coordinator of any alleged or suspected violations of this Policy and the resolution of such alleged or suspected violations, regardless of whether a complaint or grievance is submitted.
Any inquiries regarding Title IX, the Illinois Preventing Sexual Violence in Higher Education Act, or the College’s Sex Discrimination, Sexual Misconduct and Interpersonal Violence Policy should be directed to the Title IX Coordinator or to one of the Task Force members identified above.
Individuals may also contact the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for additional information
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Chicago District Office
1500 West Madison Street, Suite 2000
Chicago, IL 60661
All College employees, including student employees, are designated as “Responsible Employees.” Responsible Employees are available to speak with any member of the College community regarding an alleged or suspected violation of this Policy. Responsible employees are also obligated to report any alleged or suspected incident of sex discrimination, sexual misconduct, or interpersonal violence to the Title IX Coordinator. If the Complainant does not want the College to take action on the complaint, or does not want his/her identity revealed, the Responsible Employee will notify the Title IX Coordinator who will determine whether the Complainant’s wishes can be honored. For additional information regarding how the Title IX Coordinator will evaluate requests for confidentiality or that no investigation or discipline be pursued, see Section VII(E), below.
As discussed in more detail in Section VII(A), below, the College has designated certain employees as confidential advisors. These confidential advisors are available to discuss alleged or suspected violations of this Policy in confidence, and generally only report to the College that an incident occurred without revealing any personally identifying information. Disclosures to confidential advisors will not trigger the College’s investigation into an incident.
Sex discrimination is adverse treatment of an individual based on sex or gender. Sex discrimination encompasses sexual misconduct, as defined below, but also includes other behavior that does not constitute sexual misconduct.
Complaints of sex discrimination that are not based on sexual misconduct should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator and will be resolved through the appropriate College process as determined based on the specific facts of the complaint. Sex discrimination complaints that are not based on sexual misconduct (as defined below) will NOT be handled through the Sexual Misconduct and Interpersonal Violence Complaint Resolution Procedures.
The following offenses are considered sexual misconduct and are prohibited by this Policy. Complaints regarding the following will be handled pursuant to the College’s Sexual Misconduct and Interpersonal Violence Complaint Resolution Procedures.
Sexual Harassment is unwelcome communication or conduct of a sexual nature, including unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature, without regard to whether the parties are of the same or different genders where:
- submission to such conduct is made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of an individual’s employment or education, status in a position of employment or an academic course or program, or participation in any College activity, or is used as the basis for employment or educational decisions affecting that individual (also referred to as “quid pro quo”); or
- such conduct is sufficiently serious (i.e., severe, pervasive, or persistent) and objectively offensive so as to deny or limit a person's ability to participate in or benefit from the College's programs, services, opportunities, or activities; or
- the conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s educational experience or working conditions.
In considering whether conduct constitutes sexual harassment, the College considers the totality of the circumstances. Depending on the circumstances, sexual harassment may include, but is not limited to, the following:
- Physical assaults of a sexual nature, such as rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, molestation, or attempts to commit these acts;
- Intentional physical conduct that is sexual in nature such as touching, pinching, patting, grabbing, poking, or brushing against another individual's body;
- Offering or implying a job- or education-related reward (such as a pay increase, a favorable employment evaluation, a job promotion, a better grade, a letter of recommendation, favorable treatment in the classroom, assistance in obtaining employment, grants or fellowships, or admission to any educational program or activity) in exchange for sexual favors or submission to sexual conduct;
- Threatening or taking a negative employment or educational action (such as a reduction in pay, a negative employment evaluation, or a demotion, giving an unfair grade, withholding a letter of recommendation, or withholding assistance with any educational activity) or intentionally making the individual's job or academic work more difficult because sexual conduct is rejected;
- The use or display in the workplace or classroom, including electronic, of pornographic or sexually harassing materials such as posters, photos, cartoons or graffiti without pedagogical or other justification; and
- Unwelcome sexual advances, repeated propositions or requests for a sexual relationship to an individual who has previously indicated that such conduct is unwelcome, or sexual gestures, noises, remarks, jokes, questions, or comments about a person's sexuality or sexual experience.
Sexual Violence. Sexual violence (often referred to as “sexual assault”) is a particular type of sexual harassment that involves actual or attempted sexual conduct with another person without that person’s consent. Sexual violence includes, but is not limited to, physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent. Sexual violence may involve individuals who are known to one another or have an intimate and/or sexual relationship, or may involve individuals not known to one another. Sexual violence includes, but is not limited to:
- Sexual Penetration without Consent: Any 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, when consent is not present or coercion and/or force is used.
- Sexual Contact without Consent: The touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, when consent is not present or coercion and/or force is used. This includes contact done directly or indirectly through clothing, bodily fluids, or with an object. It also includes causing or inducing a person, when consent is not present, to similarly touch or fondle oneself or someone else.
- Incest: Sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by the laws of the state in which the incident occurred. (For incidents that occur outside of the U.S. (e.g., study abroad programs), Illinois law will apply in determining a violation of this Policy.)
- Statutory Rape: Sexual intercourse with a person who is under the legal age of consent (17 years in Illinois). (For incidents that occur outside of the U.S. (e.g., study abroad programs), Illinois law will apply in determining a violation of this Policy.)
Sexual Exploitation. Sexual exploitation occurs when a person takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another individual(s) for personal benefit, or to benefit anyone other than the individual being exploited, and that behavior does not otherwise constitute one of the other sexual misconduct offenses in this Policy. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to, invasion of sexual privacy, prostituting another person, non-consensual photographing, video or audio- taping of sexual activity, posting or otherwise distributing or publicizing nude images of another without consent, engaging in voyeurism, knowingly transmitting a sexually transmitted infection (STI) to another without disclosing STI status, exposing one’s genitals in non-consensual circumstances and/or inducing another to expose their genitals. Sexually-based stalking and/or bullying may also be forms of sexual exploitation.
The following offenses are considered interpersonal violence and are prohibited by the College. Complaints regarding the following will be handled pursuant to the College’s Sexual Misconduct and Interpersonal Violence Complaint Resolution Procedures.
“Domestic violence” includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabited with the victim, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family laws of the jurisdiction, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common; or by anyone else against an adult or youth victim who is protected under the domestic or family violence law of the jurisdiction.
“Dating violence” means violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim, where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors: the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. It includes but is not limited to sexual abuse or the threat of such abuse. Dating violence does not include acts covered under the definition of domestic violence, above.
“Stalking” means engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for her, his, or others’ safety, or to suffer substantial emotional distress. For the purposes of this definition:
- “Course of conduct” means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person, or interferes with a person’s property;
- “Reasonable person” means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the victim; and
- “Substantial emotional distress” means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.
Consent. Consent to engage in sexual activity must be informed, freely given, and mutual. Consent is required for any sexual activity to occur between two or more individuals. It is the responsibility of each person involved in the sexual activity to ensure that the person has the consent of the other(s) to engage in the sexual activity.
Consent must be all of the following:
- Knowing: Consent must demonstrate that all individuals understand, are aware of, and agree to the “who” (same partners), “what” (same acts), “where” (same location), “when” (same time), and “how” (the same way and under the same conditions) of the sexual activity.
- Active: Consent must take the form of clearly understandable words or actions that reveal one’s expectations and agreement to engage in specific sexual activity. This means that silence, passivity, submission, or the lack of verbal or physical resistance (including the lack of a “no”) should not – in and of themselves – be understood as consent. Consent cannot be inferred by an individual’s manner of dress, the giving or acceptance of gifts, the extension or acceptance of an invitation to go to a private room or location, or going on a date.
- Voluntary: Consent must be freely given and cannot be the result of the use or threat of force (violence, physical restraint, or the presence of a weapon), threats (indications of intent to harm, whether direct or indirect), intimidation (extortion, menacing behavior, bullying), coercion (undue pressure) or fraud (misrepresentation or material omission about oneself or the present situation in order to gain permission for sexual or intimate activity).
- Present and ongoing: Consent must exist at the time of the sexual activity. Consent to previous sexual activity does not imply consent to later sexual acts; similarly, consent to one type of sexual activity does not imply consent to other sexual acts. In addition, consent to engage in sexual activity with one person does not constitute consent to engage in sexual activity with another. Consent may also be withdrawn at any time.
Consent is not present when an individual is unable to understand the nature of the activity or give knowing consent due to circumstances, including without limitation the following:
- The person is incapacitated, voluntarily or involuntarily, due to due to a physical condition, including, but not limited to, the use or influence of drugs or alcohol, or being in a state of unconsciousness, sleep, or other state in which the person is unaware that sexual activity is occurring;
- The person is under age (generally 17 years in Illinois);
- The person has a mental disability that impairs the individual’s ability to provide consent.
It shall not be a valid excuse to alleged lack of consent that the Respondent believed that the Complainant consented to the sexual activity under either of the following circumstances: (a) the Respondent’s belief in affirmative consent arose from the intoxication or recklessness of the Respondent, or (b) the Respondent did not take reasonable steps, in the circumstances known to the Respondent at the time, to ascertain whether the Complainant affirmatively consented.
Coercion. Coercion is to force a person to act based on fear of harm to self or others. Means of coercion may include, but are not limited to, pressure, threats, emotional intimidation or the use of physical force.
Incapacitation. Incapacitation is a state where an individual cannot make an informed and rational decision to engage in sexual activity because of a lack of conscious understanding of the fact, nature, or extent of the act (e.g., to understand the who, what, when, where, why, or how of the sexual interaction) and/or is physically helpless. For example, an individual is incapacitated, and therefore unable to give consent, if the individual is asleep, unconscious, or otherwise unaware that sexual activity is occurring. An individual will also be considered incapacitated if the person cannot understand the nature of the activity or communicate due to a mental or physical condition.
Where alcohol or other drugs are involved, one does not have to be intoxicated or drunk to be considered incapacitated. The impact of alcohol and drugs varies from person to person, and evaluating incapacitation requires an assessment of how the consumption of alcohol and/or drugs impacts an individual’s: decision-making capacity, awareness of consequences and ability to make informed judgments, or capacity to appreciate the nature of the act. Whether a Respondent reasonably should have known that a Complainant was incapacitated will be evaluated using an objective reasonable person standard. The question is whether the Respondent knew, or a sober, reasonable person in the position of the Respondent, knew or should have known, that the complainant was incapacitated.
Because incapacitation may be difficult to discern, individuals are strongly encouraged to err on the side of caution; i.e., when in doubt, assume that another person is incapacitated and therefore unable to give consent.
Being intoxicated by drugs or alcohol is no defense to any violation of this Policy and does not diminish one’s responsibility to obtain consent.
In light of the potential for misunderstanding, morale problems, or abuse arising from consensual romantic or sexual relationships, it is the College’s policy that employees may not have supervisory or evaluative authority in such matters as employment, compensation, promotion, or termination over any other employee with whom the employee with supervisory or evaluative authority is having or has recently concluded a sexual and/or romantic relationship. When a situation occurs that potentially violates this policy, the employee with supervisory or evaluative authority must report the relationship to his or her supervisor and the Chief Human Resources Officer. If the person to whom the relationship is reported determines that reassignment or other mitigating action is necessary, it is the responsibility of both the employee with the supervisory or evaluative authority and the individual to whom the relationship is reported to ensure that the supervisory or evaluative authority is reassigned. If such action is not feasible in a particular instance, the employee with supervisory or evaluative authority and the individual to whom the relationship is reported must bring the matter to the attention of the Chief Human Resource Officer or other senior College administrator to determine the appropriate course of action. Failure to report a relationship required to be reported under this paragraph is a violation of this policy, and may result in corrective action or discipline.
The College prohibits dating, romantic, or sexual relationships between a faculty member and students that the faculty member currently teaches or supervises. In addition, the College strongly discourages dating, sexual and/or romantic relationships between its employees and students in all other contexts.
In particular, the College discourages faculty members from becoming involved in a dating, sexual, or romantic relationship with students who they do not or will not teach or supervise, as any dating relationship between a student and a faculty member creates the potential for a conflict of interest. Should a faculty member become involved in a consenting dating, sexual, or romantic relationship with a student he or she does not teach or supervise, the faculty member should be careful to refrain from any actions or decisions that may reward or penalize the consenting student. This includes refraining from writing any reference letters, performing evaluations or recommending the student for scholarships, internships, or future employment.
Faculty members and other College employees may not have evaluative or supervisory authority over a student with whom the faculty member or employee is having or has recently had a dating, romantic or sexual relationship. If such a relationship exists or has existed, the employee must report the relationship to his or her supervisor or the Vice President of Teaching, Learning,and Student Development. If the person to whom the relationship is reported determines that reassignment or other mitigating action is necessary, it is the responsibility of both the employee and the individual to whom the relationship is reported to ensure that the evaluative or supervisory authority is reassigned or other appropriate mitigating action is taken. If such action is not feasible in a particular instance, the faculty member and the individual to whom the relationship is reported must bring the matter to the attention of the Vice President of Teaching, Learning,and Student Development to determine the appropriate course of action. Failure to report a relationship required to be reported under this paragraph is a violation of this policy, and may result in corrective action or discipline.
Reporting Options and Available Resources
There are various reporting options and resources available to the College community for individuals who wish to make a complaint or report of an alleged or suspected violation of this Policy. The College encourages those who have experienced sexual discrimination or misconduct to talk to one or more of the individuals or agencies identified below.
On-Campus Confidential Advisors.
Individuals wishing to obtain confidential assistance without making a report to the College may do so by speaking with one of the College’s confidential advisors. The College’s Wellness Professionals are available to discuss incidents of sexual misconduct or interpersonal violence in confidence, and generally only report to the College that an incident occurred without revealing any personally identifying information. Disclosures to confidential advisors will not trigger the College’s investigation into an incident.
All of the College’s confidential advisors shall receive forty hours (40) of initial training regarding sexual violence and participate in six (6) hours of annual continuing education thereafter. In addition to providing confidential counseling, confidential advisors also provide emergency and ongoing support to individuals who have experienced sexual misconduct or interpersonal violence, including:
- The provision of information regarding the individual’s reporting options and possible outcomes, including without limitation, reporting to the College pursuant to this Policy and notifying local law enforcement;
- The provision of resources and services, including, but not limited to, services available on campus and through community-based resources, such as, sexual assault crisis centers, medical treatment facilities, counseling services, legal resources, medical forensic services and mental health services;
- The provision of information regarding orders of protection, no contact orders or similar lawful orders issued by the College or a criminal or civil court;
- An explanation of the individual’s right to have privileged, confidential communications with the confidential advisor consistent with state and federal law;
- Assistance in contacting campus officials, community-based sexual assault crisis centers and/or local law enforcement upon requested; and/or
- Assistance with securing interim protective measures and accommodations upon request.
Confidential Advisor Contact Information:
Off-Campus Confidential Resources
The following off-campus agencies also employ individuals available to discuss incidents of misconduct in confidence. Disclosures to these entities will not trigger the College’s investigation into an incident. Please note that limitations of confidentiality may exist for individuals under the age of 18.
- National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline: 800-656-HOPE (4673)
- State of Illinois Domestic Violence Hotline: 877-863-6338
- Elgin Police:
- Community Crisis Center of Elgin: 847-697-2380
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-603-4357(HELP); National Domestic Violence Hotline Website
- Kane County Child Advocacy Center: Kane County, Illinois Website
- Survivors of Incest Anonymous: Survivors of Incest Anonymous Website
Reporting to the College
The College strongly encourages individuals, including third party bystanders, to report incidents of sex discrimination, sexual misconduct, and interpersonal violence prohibited under this Policy to the Title IX Coordinator or other College employees. With the exception of the confidential advisors and the other confidential resources identified directly above, all other College employees, including student employees, who receive a report of sex discrimination, sexual misconduct, or interpersonal violence in the context of their employment are required to report all the details of the incident (including the identities of both the complainant and alleged respondent) to the Title IX Coordinator.
Although there is no specific time limit for reporting an alleged or suspected violation of this Policy, an individual who believes that he or she has been subjected to conduct that violates this Policy is encouraged to contact the appropriate official as soon as possible after the alleged or suspected violation to discuss the available options for proceeding.
How to Make a Report. In addition to notifying a non-confidential College employee, incidents of sex discrimination, sexual misconduct, and interpersonal violence may be reported to:
Members of the Title IX Task Force:
Program Manager/Assistant Director of TRiO Upward Bound
Building K, Room K102.5
Director, International Education and Programs/PDSO/ARO
Building B, Room B105.19
Reports may also be submitted electronically by completing this form.
Reports may be submitted in person, in writing, electronically, or anonymously, and may be submitted by complainants, third parties, or bystanders.
If you are in immediate danger, call 911 for the Elgin Police Department. The non-emergency number for the Elgin Police Department is 847-214-7777. The Elgin Community College Police Department can also connect you to the Elgin Police Department. See Section VII(F) below for more information on reporting to law enforcement.
Privacy of Reports. The privacy of all parties involved in complaints or reports of sexual misconduct or interpersonal violence prohibited by this Policy will be respected to the extent permitted under relevant law. Information related to a complaint or report of a violation of this Policy will be shared only with those College employees who need to know to assist in the investigation and/or resolution of the matter pursuant to the College’s Sexual Misconduct and Interpersonal Violence Complaint Resolution Procedures. All College employees who are involved in the review, investigation or resolution of sexual misconduct and interpersonal violence complaints will receive specific training regarding the safeguarding of private information.
Information Regarding the Rights of Complainants
Upon receiving a report of an incident of sexual misconduct or interpersonal violence prohibited under this Policy, the College is obligated to provide the Complainant with a written document (separate from this Policy) listing, in plain, concise language, the Complainant’s available rights, options and resources, as well as a description of the College’s Sexual Misconduct and Interpersonal Violence Complaint Resolution Procedures.
Requests for Confidentiality
In some cases, an individual may disclose an incident of sexual misconduct or interpersonal violence to a non-confidential source but wish to maintain confidentiality or request that no investigation into a particular incident be conducted or no disciplinary action be taken. The College must balance such requests along with its obligation to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment for all members of the campus community, including the individual who has experienced the alleged misconduct. Although rare, there are times when the College may not be able to honor an individual’s request for confidentiality in order to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment.
The College has designated the Title IX Coordinator to evaluate requests for confidentiality. When weighing an individual’s request for confidentiality or that no investigation or discipline be pursued, the Title IX Coordinator will consider the seriousness of the alleged conduct and the risk to the community’s safety, whether the alleged incident is isolated or part of a pattern of conduct, and the Complainant’s rights for notification under federal and state law. The Title IX Coordinator will also consider whether the College has other means to obtain the relevant information, as well as whether:
- There have been other sexual misconduct or interpersonal violence complaints about the accused individual;
- The accused individual has records from a prior educational institution or elsewhere indicating a history of sexual misconduct or interpersonal violence;
- The accused individual threatened further sexual misconduct or other violence against the complainant or others;
- The alleged sexual misconduct or interpersonal violence was committed by multiple accused individuals;
- The alleged sexual misconduct or interpersonal violence was perpetrated with a weapon;
- The alleged sexual misconduct or interpersonal violence was committed against a minor; and/or
- The complainant’s report reveals a pattern of perpetration (e.g., via illicit use of drugs or alcohol) at a given location or by a particular group.
If the Title IX Coordinator determines that it cannot honor the request for confidentiality, or the College cannot abide by the Complainant’s requests, it will inform that party prior to initiating any investigation and will, to the extent possible, only share information with those responsible for handling the College’s response. Further, the College will not disclose the identity of either party except as necessary to resolve the complaint or to implement interim protective measures and accommodations or when provided by State or federal law.
Complainants also have the option to, or not to, notify and seek assistance from law enforcement authorities. Complainants are also free to explore whether they might be able to obtain a judicial no-contact order, restraining order, or protective order, or similar lawful order issued by a criminal, civil or tribal court or by the College. The Title IX Coordinator is available to assist individuals who have further questions about these issues.
Reporting to Law Enforcement
In addition to contacting the Title IX Coordinator or a member of the Task Force, a Complainant has the option to contact the appropriate law enforcement authorities regarding the possibility of filing a criminal complaint. The Title IX Coordinator and other Task Force members are available to assist students and others in making contact with appropriate law enforcement authorities upon request. All complainants have the option to pursue a criminal complaint with an appropriate law enforcement agency, to pursue a harassment complaint under the College’s complaint procedures, or to pursue both processes simultaneously.
The College will investigate and resolve alleged or suspected violations of this Policy where appropriate even if a criminal complaint is not pursued by the Complainant. Any pending criminal investigation or criminal proceeding may have some impact on the timing of the College’s investigation, but the College will commence its own investigation as soon as is practicable under the circumstances. Even if a criminal investigation is ongoing, the College will conduct its own investigation and will not wait for the conclusion of a criminal investigation or proceeding to begin its investigation.
The College may, in some circumstances, be required by law enforcement to defer the fact-finding portion of its investigation for a limited time while law enforcement gathers evidence. In such cases, the Title IX Coordinator shall inform the parties of the need to defer the College’s fact-finding, provide regular updates on the status of the investigation and notify the parties when the College’s fact-finding resumes. During this time period, the College will take any additional measures necessary to protect the Complainant and the College community.
Because the standards for finding a violation of criminal law are different from the standards for finding a violation of this Policy, criminal investigations or reports are not determinative of whether sexual misconduct or interpersonal violence, for purposes of this Policy, has occurred. In other words, conduct may constitute sexual misconduct or interpersonal violence under this Policy even if law enforcement agencies lack sufficient evidence of a crime and therefore decline to investigate or prosecute.
In addition to having the option of pursuing a criminal complaint, individuals also have the right to request that law enforcement issue emergency protective restraining orders or to pursue such orders through the court process. The College can assist parties who wish to do so. Complainants who receive emergency or permanent protective or restraining orders through a criminal or civil process should notify the Title IX Coordinator so that the College can work with the individual and the subject of the restraining order to manage compliance with the order on campus.
The College also encourages all individuals who feel they have been victims of sexual misconduct or interpersonal violence to seek immediate assistance from a medical provider for emergency services, including treatment of any injury, and to collect and preserve physical and other forms of evidence. Seeking medical attention helps preserve the full range of options, including the options of working through the College’s Sexual Misconduct and Interpersonal Violence Complaint Resolution Procedures and/or filing criminal complaints. Medical personnel may be covered by federal and/or state privacy laws, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”). Under Illinois law, medical personnel are required to alert police when it reasonably appears that the individual requesting the treatment has received an injury sustained as a victim of a criminal offense, including sexual violence. However, it is the individual’s choice whether he or she wants to speak to the police.
Local medical assistance can be obtained at:
Presence St. Joseph Hospital
77 North Airlite Street
Elgin, IL 60123
Even if an individual has not been physically hurt, a timely medical examination is recommended so that forensic evidence can be collected and preserved. An individual may choose to allow the collection of evidence by medical personnel even if he or she chooses not to make a report to the police. In order to best preserve forensic evidence, it is suggested that an individual not shower, bathe, douche, smoke, or change clothes or bedding before seeking medical attention, and that medical attention be sought as soon as possible. If the individual decides to change clothes, he she can bring them unwashed to the hospital or medical facility in a paper bag.
Under Illinois law, emergency medical or forensic examinations (i.e., evidence collection) for sexual assault survivors are provided free of charge to the patient. Individuals can obtain a free emergency medical or forensic examination at:
Presence St. Joseph Hospital
77 North Airlite Street
Elgin, IL 60123
Individuals who have experienced sexual misconduct or interpersonal violence are also encouraged to preserve evidence by saving text messages, instant messages, social networking pages, other communications, and keeping pictures, logs, or other copies of documents.
Amnesty for Complainants and Witnesses
The College’s primary concern is student safety. To encourage students to make good faith reports of violations of this Policy, the College will not discipline a student who makes a good faith report of sex discrimination, sexual misconduct, or interpersonal violence for any personal consumption of alcohol or drugs at or near the time of the alleged incident, even if the consumption violates the College’s Student Code of Conduct, unless the violation endangers the health or well-being of any other individual, in which case such a violation will be addressed separately from the harassment violation.
Prohibition against Retaliation
Retaliation is strictly prohibited by the College as well as by Title IX and the Illinois Preventing Sexual Violence in Higher Education Act. No individual who, in good faith, makes a complaint alleging a violation of this Policy, reports or discloses an alleged violation of this Policy, or participates in the investigation or resolution of such a complaint shall be subject to retaliation as a result of such activity or participation. Retaliation is any action taken against an individual that (i) adversely affects the individual’s opportunity to benefit from the College’s programs or activities; and (ii) is motivated in whole or in part by the individual’s filing a complaint or reporting or disclosing an alleged violation of this Policy or participating in the Sexual Misconduct and Interpersonal Violence Complaint Resolution Procedures. Any acts of retaliation, as defined in this Policy, will result in disciplinary action independent of any sanction or interim measures imposed in response to the underlying allegations of sex discrimination, sexual misconduct or interpersonal violence. Sanctions for acts of retaliation include: Individuals who engage in retaliation as defined by this Policy are subject to disciplinary action that may include, but is not limited to, the sanctions listed in Section 9 of the College’s Sexual Misconduct and Interpersonal Violence Complaint Resolution Procedures, up to and including exclusion, expulsion, or dismissal from the College, and termination of employment, including revocation of tenure.
Institutional Crime Reporting
The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (the "Clery Act") requires institutions of higher education to compile and publish statistics on certain criminal offenses including sexual assault (i.e., non-consensual sexual intercourse), domestic and dating violence and stalking that occur on or adjacent to school properties. Although the College strongly encourages everyone to report any crime that occurs on or around campus, the Clery Act requires certain crimes reported to a Campus Security Authority (CSA) be included in those annual statistics. Specifically, the Clery Act defines a Campus Security Authority as:
- A campus police or security department;
- Any individual or individuals who have responsibility for campus security but who do not constitute a campus police or security department . . . such as an individual who is responsible for monitoring entrance into institutional property;
- Any individual or organization specified in an institution's statement of campus security policy as an individual or organization to which students and employees should report criminal offenses; or
- An official of an institution who has significant responsibility for student and campus activities, including, but not limited to, student housing, student discipline, and campus judicial proceedings.
All crimes reported and documented under the Clery Act will be recorded in an anonymous manner that neither identifies the specifics of the crime or the identity of the complainant. The College is also obligated to issue timely warnings of Clery Act crimes occurring within relevant geography that represent a serious or continuing threat to students and employees (subject to exceptions when the warning could potentially compromise law enforcement efforts or identify the victim/survivor). A Complainant under this Policy will never be identified in a timely warning.
Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse, Child Sexual Abuse and Child Neglect
All College employees(College volunteers having regular contact with minors are also Mandated Reporters) are mandated reporters under the Illinois Abused and Neglected Children’s Reporting Act. Mandated reporters are required to immediately report to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) suspected child abuse and/or neglect when they have “reasonable cause to believe” that a child known to them in their professional or official capacity may be an abused or neglected child. This is done by calling the DCFS Hotline at 1-800-252-2873 or 1-800-25ABUSE.
- A “child” means any person under the age of 18 years, unless legally emancipated.
- “Abused child" means a child whose parent or immediate family member, any person responsible for the child's welfare, any individual residing in the same home as the child or a paramour of the child's parent:
- Inflicts, causes to be inflicted, or allows to be inflicted upon such child physical injury, by other than accidental means, which causes death, disfigurement, impairment of physical or emotional health or loss or impairment of any bodily function;
- Creates a substantial risk of physical injury to such child by other than accidental means which would be likely to cause death, disfigurement, impairment of physical or emotional health or loss or impairment of any bodily function;
- Commits or allows to be committed any sex offense against such child;
- Commits or allows to be committed an act or acts of torture upon such child;
- Inflicts excessive corporal punishment;
- Commits or allows to be committed the offense of female genital mutilation;
- Causes to be sold, transferred, distributed or given to such child under 18 years of age, a controlled substance, except for controlled substances that are prescribed and dispensed to such child in a manner that substantially complies with the prescription; or
- Commits or allows to be committed the offense of involuntary servitude, involuntary sexual servitude of a minor or trafficking in persons.
There is no option for confidentiality in the case of suspected child abuse, child sexual abuse and/or child neglect. In other words, all mandated reporters with reasonable cause to believe that a child known to them in their professional capacities may be abused, sexually abused or neglected are required to contact DCFS. Mandated reporters must also notify the Title IX Coordinator that a DCFS report has been made.
The College will provide the following educational programming regarding sexual misconduct and interpersonal violence.
Officials with Responsibility for Investigation or Adjudication of Sexual Misconduct or Interpersonal Violence
The College will provide officials responsible for the investigation or adjudication of sexual misconduct or interpersonal violence under this Policy with at least 8 hours of annual training on issues related to sexual misconduct and interpersonal violence, including:
- The College’s Policy;
- The relevant federal and State law concerning sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking;
- The roles of the College, medical providers, law enforcement, and community agencies in ensuring a coordinated response to a reported incident of sexual violence;
- The effects of trauma on a survivor;
- The types of conduct that constitute sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking, including same-sex violence;
- Consent and the role drugs and alcohol use can have on the ability to consent;
- Cultural sensitivity and compassionate communication skills for dealing with persons reporting sexual misconduct and interpersonal violence;
- Complainant-centered and trauma-informed response training;
- Providing services to or assisting in locating services for complainant; and
- How to conduct the College’s Sexual Misconduct and Interpersonal Violence Complaint Resolution Procedures in a way that protects the safety of complainants and promotes institutional accountability.
Primary Prevention and Awareness Programs
The College will provide primary prevention and awareness programs for all incoming students and new employees that include the following:
- A statement that the College prohibits the offenses of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking, and a description of the College's policies that prohibit this conduct;
- The definition of consent and inability to consent, in reference to sexual activity, as defined in the applicable jurisdiction;
- The definition of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking (or similar offenses) in this Policy and in the applicable jurisdiction;
- The definition of retaliation as it relates to sexual violence;
- A description of safe and positive options for bystander intervention that may be carried out by an individual to prevent harm or intervene when there is a risk of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking against a person other than such individual;
- Information on risk reduction to recognize warning signs of abusive behavior and how to avoid potential attacks;
- The procedures that a complainant should follow if sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking has occurred, as described in this Policy;
- The complainant’s options for reporting such incidents to the College, to College law enforcement, and to local law enforcement;
- The complainant’s options for reporting such incidents to a confidential advisor or other confidential resources;
- Available survivor services;
- The possible sanctions and protective measures that the College may impose following a final determination of a violation of College Policy regarding sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking;
- The procedures for College disciplinary action in cases of alleged sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking, as described in this Policy, including the standard of proof that is used;
- Information about how the College will protect the confidentiality of complainants, including how publicly-available recordkeeping will be accomplished without the inclusion of identifying information about the complainant, to the extent permissible by law, and how the College will maintain as confidential any accommodations or protective measures provided to the complainant, to the extent that maintaining such confidentiality would not impair the ability of the College to provide the accommodations or protective measures;
- A statement that the College will provide written notification about existing counseling, health, mental health, victim advocacy, legal assistance, visa and immigration assistance, student financial aid, and other services available for student and employee complainants both within the College and in the community;
- A statement that the College will provide written notification to complainants about options for, and available assistance in, changing academic, living, transportation, and working situations or protective measures, if so requested by the complainant and if such accommodations are reasonably available, regardless of whether the complainant chooses to report the crime to campus security or local law enforcement; and
- A statement that, when a complainant reports to the College that the complainant has been a victim of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking, whether the offense occurred on or off campus, the College will provide the complainant a written explanation of the complainant’s rights and options.
Ongoing prevention and awareness campaigns
The College will also provide ongoing prevention and awareness campaigns for students and employees that include the information covered in the primary prevention and awareness programs.
Sexual Misconduct and Interpersonal Violence Investigation Complaint Resolution Procedures
Elgin Community College is committed to treating all individuals with respect and sensitivity, and to the prompt, fair, impartial and equitable resolution of all alleged or suspected violations of its Sex Discrimination, Sexual Misconduct and Interpersonal Violence Policy (the “Policy”) about which the College knows or reasonably should know. While under Illinois law reporting parties have the right to request a prompt procedure in matters involving allegations of sexual misconduct or interpersonal violence, the College is committed to providing a prompt resolution of all matters involving an alleged or suspected violation of this Policy.
These Procedures apply to all suspected or alleged violations of this Policy involving allegations of sexual misconduct or interpersonal violence. These Procedures will be implemented and applied in a manner that is consistent with all applicable collective bargaining agreements. If a complaint includes allegations or an individual files multiple complaint that could invoke more than one Administrative Procedure or other College policy or procedure, the College shall determine in its discretion what process it will use to resolve the complaint(s), and shall notify all parties of its determination. In addition, the College may, upon finding good cause, modify these Procedures in the interests of promoting full and fair resolution of suspected or alleged violations of this Policy in accordance with applicable law. Employees are also encouraged to consult any applicable collective bargaining agreement for additional procedures that may apply.
Resolution Time Frame
The College aims to resolve all sexual misconduct and interpersonal violence complaints within sixty (60) calendar days, unless the College determines in its discretion that good cause exists to extend the time to complete the investigation, in which case the parties will be notified and provided with an explanation of the reason for the extension of the 60-day period.
For purposes of these Procedures, a Complainant is the party alleging sexual misconduct or interpersonal violence or to whom sexual misconduct or interpersonal violence was directed. The Respondent is the party accused of sexual misconduct or interpersonal violence. An individual who reports sexual misconduct or interpersonal violence occurring between individuals other than him/herself is referred to as a third party reporter or witness.
To the extent permitted by law, the confidentiality of all parties involved in the resolution of alleged or suspected violations of this Policy will be observed, provided that it does not interfere with the College’s ability to conduct an investigation and take any corrective action deemed appropriate by the College. Consistent with the College’s obligations under the Clery Act and VAWA, identifying information regarding complainants will not be included in any Timely Warnings or other publicly-available records.
Initial Review and Assessment
Upon receipt of a report or complaint of sexual misconduct or interpersonal violence, the Title IX Coordinator will assess the nature of the allegations, the safety of the involved individuals and the College community, the Complainant’s expressed preference for resolution and/or request for confidentiality and the necessity for any interim measures to maintain the safety of the Complainant or the College community. If, during this assessment, it is determined that the alleged conduct, even if true, does not constitute sexual misconduct or interpersonal violence under the College’s Policy, the matter may be referred to the appropriate campus office for resolution or closed with no further action taken.
Where there is reasonable cause to believe sexual misconduct or interpersonal violence may have occurred, the College will proceed, in consultation with the Complainant, as set forth below. In such cases, the Title IX Coordinator will provide the Complainant and Respondent with a written statement of their rights and options under the College’s Policy and these Procedures. The Title IX Coordinator will also provide the Respondent with a statement of the suspected or alleged violations of this Policy.
The College reserves the right to suspend any member of the College community suspected or accused of violating this Policy pending the outcome of its review or investigation or to take any other interim measures the College deems appropriate to protect the safety of the parties and the College community pending the outcome of the investigation or complaint resolution process. Such interim measures may be requested by or provided to either party and can include, but are not limited to,
- Removing a student or employee from campus;
- Modifying course schedules and other academic support accommodations;
- Changes to academic, living, dining, transportation, and working situations;
- Counseling, health and mental services, and escort services;
- Obtaining and enforcing a campus “no contact” order; and
- Honoring an order of protection or no contact order entered by a State civil or criminal court.
In cases where the alleged Respondent is a student or student organization and considered a threat to persons or property, the College may impose interim measures such as suspension and/or loss/cancellation of other privileges prior to or during the resolution of sexual misconduct or interpersonal violence allegations. In cases where the alleged Respondent is an employee and considered a threat to persons or property, the College may impose interim measures such as suspension (with or without pay) during the resolution of sexual misconduct or interpersonal violence allegations.
Any such interim measures will be taken in a manner that minimizes the burden on the Complainant to the extent possible. Interim measures will be kept confidential to the extent that maintaining such confidentiality would not impair the ability of the College to provide the interim measures.
The College will provide written notification to students and employees about existing counseling, health, mental health, victim advocacy, legal assistance, visa and immigration assistance, student financial aid, and other services available for victims by the College and in the community. Students and employees also will be provided with written information about how to request changes to academic, living, dining, transportation, and working situations if requested and reasonably available, regardless of whether the Complainant chooses to report the violation to campus security or local law enforcement.
Both parties have the right to have an advisor or support person of their choice accompany them to any meeting or proceeding related to an alleged or suspected violation of this Policy, provided that the involvement of the advisor does not result in undue delay of the meeting or proceeding. The advisor or support person’s participation will be limited to consulting privately with the party they accompany. If the advisor engages in behavior or advocacy that harasses, abuses, or intimidates either party, a witness, or an individual resolving the complaint, that advisor may be prohibited from further participation. Employees represented by a union will also have the right to be assisted by a union representative pursuant to the provisions of any collective bargaining agreement.
Where appropriate, the College will work to informally resolve allegations of sexual misconduct or interpersonal violence by taking immediate and corrective action to stop the conduct, address its effects, and prevent recurrence without a formal investigation and determination of a College Policy violation. Informal resolution may include the range of interim measures in Section 5 above, as well as targeted and/or broad-based training and educational programming for relevant individuals and groups and/or any other remedy that will achieve the goals of the College’s Sex Discrimination, Sexual Misconduct, and Interpersonal Violence Policy. In some circumstances, mediation or joint conflict resolution may be appropriate; however, mediation or face to face meetings will never be used to resolve allegations of sexual violence. Other alleged violations of this Policy may be resolved using mediation, overseen by one or more members of the Task Force, if (i) the College determines, in its discretion, that such a process would be appropriate; and (ii) all parties agree to participate.
The parties to any informal process will not be required to deal directly with one another without the College’s involvement. Instead, one or more Task Force members may arrange for or facilitate mediation or other informal resolution measures between the involved parties. Any party may request that the informal resolution process be terminated at any time, in which case the formal resolution process (described below) would commence. The College may also commence the formal resolution process at any time. In addition, any party can pursue formal resolution if he or she is dissatisfied with a proposed informal resolution.
When a report of sexual misconduct or interpersonal violence cannot be informally resolved, a formal resolution will be initiated.
Investigation. Formal resolution includes a prompt, thorough and impartial investigation into the allegations of sexual misconduct or interpersonal violence. Depending upon the nature of the alleged or suspected Policy violation, a member of the Task Force (or the Task Force’s designee) will conduct an investigation either alone or with one or with both of the other Task Force members as deemed appropriate by the College. All investigators will receive 8-10 hours of annual training regarding the investigation of, and other issues related to, sexual misconduct and interpersonal violence including how to conduct an investigation that protects the safety of the parties and promotes institutional responsibility. In addition, the investigator(s) shall not have a conflict of interest or bias for or against any parties involved in the potential Policy violation.
The nature and extent of the investigation will vary depending upon the circumstances. Investigations may include one or more interviews with the Complainant, Respondent, and any other identified witnesses.
To help ensure a prompt and thorough investigation, Complainants are asked to provide as much information as possible, such as:
- The name, department, and position of the Respondent(s).
- A description of any relevant incident(s), including the date(s), location(s), and the presence of any witnesses.
- The alleged effect of the incident(s) on the Complainant’s opportunity to benefit from the College’s programs or activities.
- The names of other individuals who might have been subject to the same or similar acts of sexual misconduct or interpersonal violence.
- Although it is not required, any steps the Complainant has taken to try to stop the alleged conduct.
- Any other information the Complainant believes to be relevant.
Respondents are also expected to provide as much information as possible in connection with the investigation.
Interviews may take place in person, by phone or through electronic means. Investigations may also include the gathering and analysis of physical, documentary and/or other relevant evidence. Additionally, Complainants and Respondents may provide written statements, identify and/or present statements from fact witnesses or submit any other evidence that the investigator deems relevant. Complainants and Respondents may have their advisors or support persons present with them during interviews and meetings conducted during the investigation. Timely notice will be provided to Complainants and Respondents of all interviews/meetings at which they may/must be present, and both parties will be provided with timely and equal access to information. The College will maintain documentation of the investigation or other proceedings, which can take various forms (e.g., notes, written findings of fact, transcripts, or audio recordings, etc.).
The College’s ability to investigate in a particular situation, or the extent of the investigation in any given situation, may be affected by any number of factors, including whether the Complainant is willing to file a complaint or to consent to an investigation, the location where the alleged conduct occurred, and the College’s access to information relevant to the alleged or suspected violation of this policy. The College is nonetheless committed to investigating all alleged and suspected violations of this Policy to the fullest extent possible under the circumstances.
Investigative Report. After the investigation has been completed, the investigator will prepare a report containing: summaries of interviews with the Complainant, Respondent and third-party witnesses; a description and analysis of other relevant information collected, such as written statements, photographs, physical evidence, electronic records and/or forensic evidence and the supporting documentation, where appropriate; a statement of the investigator’s material findings of fact; a determination as to whether or not there is sufficient information to establish, by a preponderance of the evidence, that a violation of the College’s Policy occurred and the rationale for such determination; and any other relevant information concerning the investigation and/or these Procedures.
Before the report is finalized and a determination has been made, the investigator will forward to each party a summary of the party’s own interview for review. The parties may submit any additional comments, evidence or suggested factual corrections to the investigator within three (3) calendar days of the date on which they were provided with their interview summaries. Upon receipt of any additional information from the parties, or after the three (3) calendar day period has lapsed without comment, the investigator will incorporate any additional information and make a determination as to whether there is sufficient information to establish, by a preponderance of the evidence, that a violation of the College’s Policy occurred.
Standard for Determining Responsibility. The standard used to determine whether this Policy has been violated is whether it is more likely than not that the accused violated this Policy. This is often referred to as a “preponderance of the evidence” standard.
Rights of Complainants and Respondents. Complainants and Respondents shall both be provided with the following in connection with the investigation and resolution of suspected or alleged violations of this Policy.
- The opportunity to speak on their own behalf.
- The opportunity to identify or present witnesses who can provide information about the alleged conduct at issue.
- The opportunity to submit other evidence on their behalf.
- At the discretion and the direction of the individual or individuals resolving the complaint, the opportunity to suggest questions to be posed by the individual or individuals resolving the complaint and respond to the other party.
- The opportunity to review any information that will be offered by the other party in support of the other party’s position (to the greatest extent possible and consistent with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) or other applicable law), as well as timely and equal access to any other information that will be used during any informal or formal disciplinary proceedings.
- The right to be informed of the outcome of the investigation (to the greatest extent possible and consistent with FERPA or other applicable law).
- The opportunity to receive periodic status updates.
- The opportunity to appeal the outcome of the investigation.
Sanctions; Corrective Actions
If the investigator(s) finds, based on a preponderance of the evidence, that the Respondent violated the College’s Sex Discrimination, Sexual Misconduct, and Interpersonal Violence Policy, the final report will be forwarded to the following appropriate sanctioning official for a determination of sanctions and/or other corrective action.
- When the Respondent is a student, the Assistant Vice President of Student Services and Development /Dean of Student Services and Development serves as the sanctioning official.
- When the Respondent is an employee, the Chief Human Resource Officer serves as the sanctioning official.
- When the Respondent is a visitor, the Vice President of Business and Finance serves as the sanctioning official.
Each sanctioning official will receive 8-10 hours of annual training regarding issues related to sexual misconduct, as well as sanctioning guidelines consistent with relevant federal and state law and regulations.
Disciplinary sanctions or corrective actions for violation of the College’s Sex Discrimination, Sexual Misconduct, and Interpersonal Violence Policy includes but is not limited to the following: written or verbal apology; discrimination, harassment, or consent education; drug or alcohol counseling; community service; verbal or written warning; probation; suspension, and dismissal or other separation from the College. Employees are advised to consult any applicable collective bargaining agreement for additional information regarding potential disciplinary action. Guests and other third parties who are found to have violated this policy are subject to corrective action deemed appropriate by the College, which may include removal from the College and termination of any applicable contractual or other arrangements.
Where appropriate, the College will also take reasonable steps to remedy the harm to the Reporting Party. Additional corrective actions for the Complainant may include but are not limited to support services and accommodations such as escorts, counseling and medical services, academic or residential accommodations and support. Corrective actions and remedies at the level of the College may include but are not limited to providing and/or requiring counseling and training, developing educational materials and programming, implementation of revised policies and procedures, undertaking climate surveys and other mechanisms to identify and address patterns of violations.
The College may also disclose to the Complainant information about any sanctions or corrective actions taken that relate directly to the Complainant (e.g., a “no contact” order). In no event will the Complainant in matters involving an alleged violation of the Policy that involves sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct or interpersonal violence be required to abide by a nondisclosure agreement that would prevent disclosure of the outcome. In instances where the College is unable to take disciplinary or other corrective action in response to a violation of this Policy because a Reporting Party requests confidentiality or for some other reason, the College will nonetheless pursue other steps to limit the effects of the conduct at issue and prevent its recurrence.
If the College is unable to take disciplinary or other corrective action in response to a violation of this Policy, the College will nonetheless pursue other steps to limit the effects of the conduct at issue and prevent its recurrence.
Notification of Outcome
Within 60 calendar days of the date of the beginning of the College’s investigation, and within seven (7) calendar days after the conclusion of the investigation, the College will provide written notification to the Complainant and the Respondent of the outcome of the investigation (i.e., whether a violation of this Policy has occurred), including the rationale for the outcome, and any sanctions or other corrective action, as well as an explanation of the College’s appeal procedures, unless the College determines that additional time is required, in which case the parties will be notified in writing of the delay and the reason for the delay. This notice shall be issued simultaneously to both parties.
Right to Appeal
Appeal of Finding of Non-Responsibility. If there is a finding of non- responsibility, either party may appeal such a finding within 10 calendar days of receiving the Final Title IX Investigative Report. Appeals of such a finding may be submitted on two grounds: (i) a procedural error occurred that would substantially change the outcome of the finding; or (ii) new evidence exists that would substantially change the outcome of the finding. Appeals must be written and must state the grounds for the appeal, provide any supporting documentation, and include information and arguments relevant to the grounds for the appeal.
Appeal of Finding of Responsibility and Sanctions/Corrective Actions. If there is a finding of non-responsibility, either party may appeal such a finding within 10 calendar days of receiving the Final Title IX Investigative Report. Appeals of such a finding may be submitted on three grounds: (i) a procedural error occurred that would substantially change the outcome of the finding; (ii) new evidence exists that would substantially change the outcome of the finding; or (iii) the sanction is disproportionate with the violation. Appeals must be written and must state the grounds for the appeal, provide any supporting documentation, and include information and arguments relevant to the grounds for the appeal. Absent any applicable collective bargaining agreement provision, any appeal must be submitted in writing to the President or the President’s designee within seven (7) calendar days of being notified of the outcome and must set forth the grounds upon which the appeal is based.
Appeals of either finding or sanction will be reviewed by the College President or their designee. Both parties will be informed in writing of the outcome of any appeal within seven (7) days after the conclusion of the review of the findings or sanction. Any such appeal will be the final level of review unless further review is provided under any other applicable collective bargaining agreement or other applicable College policy or procedure. In any event, Complainants and Respondents will be provided the same opportunity to appeal the outcome of a complaint brought pursuant to this policy, and to an appeal process that is conducted in an impartial manner by an impartial decision-maker. This notice shall be issued simultaneously to both parties. Appeal decisions by the President (or the President’s designee) are final.
Conflict of Interest
The College requires any individual participating in the investigation, sanctioning or appeal of sexual misconduct or interpersonal violence matters to disclose any potential or actual conflict of interest. The Complainant and Respondent will both receive notice of the individuals or individuals with authority to make a finding or impose a sanction before those individuals initiate contact with either party. If a Complainant or Respondent believes that an investigator has a conflict of interest, the party should submit a request to replace the investigator to the Title IX Coordinator. If the Title IX Coordinator is the investigator believed to have a conflict, the party should submit such request to the Assistant Vice President of Student Services and Development/Dean of Students (when requesting party is a student) or Chief Human Resource Officer(when requesting party is an employee). In cases where a party believes that the appellate decision-maker has a conflict of interest, a request to replace the appellate decision-maker should be submitted to the Title IX Coordinator. In cases where a party believes that the sanctioning official has a conflict of interest, a request to replace the sanctioning official should also be submitted to the Title IX Coordinator. Any individual or individuals reviewing an appeal of the findings or imposed sanctions shall not have participated previously in the complaint resolution procedure.
13. Fabricated Allegations
Any complaint or report of a violation of this Policy that is suspected to be fabricated for the purpose of harassing the Respondent or disrupting the College’s operations is subject to these Procedures and could result in disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal for students and termination of employment for faculty and staff.