ADM 150 – Sexual Misconduct Policy and Complaint Resolution Procedures
SEXUAL MISCONDUCT POLICY
- POLICY STATEMENT
McPherson College (the “College”) is committed to providing a learning, working, and living environment that promotes personal integrity, civility, and mutual respect in an environment free of discrimination on the basis of sex. The College considers sex discrimination in all its forms to be a serious offense. Sex discrimination constitutes a violation of this policy, is unacceptable, and will not be tolerated. Sex discrimination includes discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, gender identity, and failure to conform to stereotypical notions of femininity and masculinity.
Sexual harassment, whether verbal, physical, visual, or digital, is a form of prohibited sex discrimination, and sexual violence is a particularly severe form of sexual harassment. These terms are defined in Section IV, below.
As discussed more thoroughly in Section VI of this policy, all employees at the College have a mandatory duty to report sexual misconduct unless they are classified as a confidential resource.
This policy applies to all College employees, including staff, faculty, and administrators; students; applicants for employment; customers; third-party contractors; and all other persons that participate in the College’s educational programs and activities, including third-party visitors on campus (the “College Community”). This policy prohibits sex discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual violence when the complainant and alleged perpetrator are members of the same or opposite sex, and it applies regardless of national origin, immigration status, or citizenship status. The College’s prohibition on sex discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual violence extends to all aspects of its educational programs and activities, including, but not limited to, admissions, employment, academics, athletics, housing, and student services.
The College has jurisdiction over conduct covered by this policy that occurred on campus, during or at an official College program or activity (regardless of location), or off campus when the conduct could create a hostile environment on campus. The College will investigate all complaints made under this policy and, if necessary, take action to prevent the recurrence of sex discrimination and remedy its effects.
- TITLE IX STATEMENT
It is the policy of the College to comply with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and its implementing regulations, which prohibit discrimination based on sex in the College’s educational programs and activities. Title IX and its implementing regulations also prohibit retaliation for asserting claims of sex discrimination. The College has designated the following Title IX Coordinator to coordinate its compliance with Title IX and to receive inquiries regarding Title IX, including complaints of sex discrimination:
Dr. Bruce Clary, VP for Academic Affairs
1600 East Euclid
McPherson KS 67460
The College has also designated the following Deputy Title IX Coordinator to assist the Title IX Coordinator in carrying out his or her duties under this policy:
Brenda Jill Stocklin-Smith, M.Ed., SHRM-CP
1600 East Euclid
McPherson KS 67460
A person may also file a complaint of sex discrimination with the United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights regarding an alleged violation of Title IX by visiting www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/complaintintro.html or by calling 1-800-421-3481.
- Sexual Misconduct
- Sexual Misconduct
“Sexual misconduct” is an umbrella term covering sex discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. This term will be used throughout the remainder of this policy and the Complaint Resolution Procedures when collectively referring to these types of conduct.
- Sex Discrimination
Sex discrimination occurs when persons are excluded from participation in, or denied the benefits of, any College program or activity because of their sex. Sex discrimination can include adverse treatment based on one’s sex, as well as the other prohibited conduct outlined below.
- Sexual Harassment
- Definition of Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature and includes sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, physical, visual, or digital conduct of a sexual nature when:
- Submission to such conduct is made or threatened to be made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of an individual’s employment or education
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used or threatened to be used as the basis for academic or employment decisions affecting that individual, or
- Such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s academic or professional performance or creating what a reasonable person would perceive as an intimidating, hostile, or offensive employment, education, or living environment
- Examples of Sexual Harassment
Some examples of sexual harassment include:
- Pressure for a dating, romantic, or intimate relationship
- Unwelcome touching, kissing, hugging, rubbing, or massaging
- Pressure for sexual activity
- Unnecessary references to parts of the body
- Sexual innuendos, jokes, humor, or gestures
- Displaying sexual graffiti, pictures, videos or posters
- Using sexually explicit profanity
- Asking about, or telling about, sexual fantasies, sexual preferences, or sexual activities
- Social media use that violates this policy
- Leering or staring at someone in a sexual way, such as staring at a person’s breasts or groin
- Sending sexually explicit emails or text messages
- Commenting on a person’s dress in a sexual manner
- Giving unwelcome personal gifts such as flowers, chocolates, or lingerie that suggest the desire for a romantic relationship
- Commenting on a person’s body, gender, sexual relationships, or sexual activities
- Sexual violence (as defined below)
- Sexual Violence
- Definition of Sexual Violence
- Sexual Violence
Sexual violence is a particularly severe form of prohibited sexual harassment. Sexual violence includes physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent because of his or her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity, because he or she is below the minimum age of consent in the applicable jurisdiction, or because of his or her incapacitation due to the use of drugs and/or alcohol. Other types of conduct may also constitute sexual violence.
- Examples of Sexual Violence
Some examples of sexual violence include:
- Rape or sexual assault: sexual intercourse (anal, oral, or vaginal) by a man or woman upon a man or woman without consent
- The use of force or coercion to effect sexual intercourse or some other form of sexual contact with a person who has not given consent
- Unwilling sexual penetration (anal, vaginal, or oral) or other sexual touching with any object or body part that is committed by force, threat, intimidation, or otherwise without consent
- Having sexual intercourse with a person who is unconscious because of drug or alcohol use
- Hazing that involves penetrating a person’s vagina or anus with an object
- Sexual exploitation, which includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Sexual voyeurism
- Use of the “date rape drug” to effect sexual intercourse or some other form of sexual contact with a person
- Knowingly transmitting a sexually transmitted disease such as HIV to another person through sexual activity
- Secretly videotaping or photographing sexual activity where the other party has not consented
- Disseminating sexual pictures or videos of another person without consent regardless if the pictures or videos were obtained with consent
- Prostituting another person
Lack of consent is a critical factor in determining whether sexual violence has occurred. Consent is informed, freely given, and mutually understood. Consent requires an affirmative act or statement by each participant. Consent is not passive.
- If coercion, intimidation, threats, and/or physical force are used, there is no consent
- If a person is mentally or physically incapacitated or impaired by alcohol or drugs such that the person cannot understand the fact, nature, or extent of the sexual situation, there is no consent
- Warning signs of when a person may be incapacitated due to drug and/or alcohol use include: slurred speech, falling down, passing out, and vomiting
- If a person is asleep or unconscious, there is no consent
- If a person is below the minimum age of consent in the applicable jurisdiction, there cannot be consent
- Consent to one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity
- Consent can be withdrawn. A person who initially consents to sexual activity is deemed not to have consented to any sexual activity that occurs after he or she withdraws consent
- Being in a romantic relationship with someone does not imply consent to any form of sexual activity
- Effective consent may not exist when there is a disparity in power between the parties (e.g., faculty/student, supervisor/employee)
- Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking
The crimes of domestic violence, dating violence and stalking can also constitute sexual misconduct when motivated by a person’s sex. These types of conduct, no matter the motivation behind them, are a violation of this policy and will be addressed pursuant to the Complaint Resolution Procedures below.
- Domestic Violence
“Domestic violence” includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of a victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred.
- The definition of domestic violence under Kansas law can be found at Kan. Stat. Ann. § 21-511.
- Dating Violence
“Dating violence” means violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the reporting party’s statement and with consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of the relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
- Kansas law does not specifically define dating violence, but conduct of this nature is covered by the definition of domestic violence found at Kan. Stat. Ann. § 21-511.
“Stalking” means engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to (A) fear for his or her safety or the safety of others; or (B) suffer substantial emotional distress.
- Stalking can include conduct that occurs via social media (i.e., “cyberstalking”)
- The definition of stalking under Kansas law can be found at Kan. Stat. Ann. § 21-5427.
- Roles and Responsibilities
- Title IX Coordinator
It is the responsibility of the Title IX Coordinator to: (1) ensure the College’s compliance with Title IX; (2) identify and address any patterns or systemic problems of sexual misconduct at the College; (3) coordinate dissemination of information and education and training programs; (4) receive complaints under this policy; (5) assist members of the College Community in understanding that sexual misconduct is prohibited by this policy; (6) answer questions about this policy; (7) ensure that employees and students are aware of the procedures for reporting and addressing complaints of sexual misconduct; and (8) to implement the Complaint Resolution Procedures or to designate appropriate persons for implementing the Complaint Resolution Procedures. The Deputy Title IX Coordinator will assist the Title IX Coordinator in carrying out these responsibilities.
- Administrators, Deans, Department Chairs, and Other Managers
It is the responsibility of administrators, deans, department chairs, and other managers (i.e., those that formally supervise other employees) to:
- Inform employees under their direction or supervision of this policy
- Work with the Title IX Coordinator to implement education and training programs for employees and students
- Implement any corrective actions that are imposed as a result of findings of a violation of this policy
Throughout this policy, the term “employees” includes all faculty, staff, and administrators. It is the responsibility of employees to review this policy and comply with it.
It is the responsibility of students to review this policy and comply with it.
- The College
When the College is aware that a member of the College Community may have been subjected to or affected by conduct that violates this policy, the College will take prompt action, including a review of the matter and, if necessary, an investigation and appropriate steps to stop and remedy the sexual misconduct. The College will act in accordance with its Complaint Resolution Procedures.
- Making a Complaint
- Making a Complaint
All College employees have a duty to report sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator when they receive a report of such conduct, witness such conduct, or otherwise obtain information about such conduct. This includes employees who may have a professional license requiring confidentiality if they are not employed by the College in that professional role. An employee not reporting sexual misconduct as required by this policy may be disciplined accordingly, up to and including termination. Employees using the Sexual Violence Incident Report may not anonymously report in order to meet their mandated reporting obligation under this policy.
This section does not apply to those identified in Section VI.A.4 of this policy.
Students who wish to report sexual misconduct should file a complaint with the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator. Students should be aware that all employees at the College, other than those identified in Section VI.A.4 below, have an obligation to report sexual misconduct that they become aware of or witness.
Students may also file a complaint with the United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, as set forth in Section III above.
- Other Persons
Any other persons who are involved in the College’s programs and activities, including visitors on campus, who wish to report sexual misconduct, should file a complaint with the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator. They may also file a complaint with the United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, as set forth in Section III above.
- Confidential Discussions
If a victim desires to talk confidentially about his or her situation, there are resources available. The following resources are available to assist you and will not further disclose the information you provide, unless otherwise required to do so by law (e.g., if the victim is a minor):
- Spiritual Life Coordinator
(620) 242-0503 or 2503 from campus extension
- McPherson County Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Center
- Mental health services available through
(620) 242-242-0404 or 2404 from campus extension
- Partners in Family Care
(620) 242-0404 or 2404 from campus extension
- Content of the Complaint
So that the College has sufficient information to investigate a complaint, the complaint should include: (1) the date(s) and time(s) of the alleged conduct; (2) the names of all person(s) involved in the alleged conduct, including possible witnesses; (3) all details outlining what happened; and (4) contact information for the complainant so that the College may follow up appropriately.
- Information Provided to Complainant and Respondent
A complainant who makes a claim of sexual misconduct to the College will be given a copy of the document titled “Rights and Options After Filing a Complaint Under the College’s Sexual Misconduct Policy.” This document provides information about this policy and the Complaint Resolution Procedures used to investigate and resolve complaints of sexual misconduct, options for filing complaints with the local police, resources that are available on campus and in the community, etc. A person against whom a complaint has been filed will also be given similar information about the process and resources.
- Conduct that Constitutes a Crime
Any person who wishes to make a complaint of sexual misconduct that also constitutes a crime—including sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking—is encouraged to make a complaint to local law enforcement. If requested, the College will assist the complainant in notifying the appropriate law enforcement authorities. In the event of an emergency, please contact 911. A victim may decline to notify such authorities.
- Special Guidance Concerning Complaints of Sexual Violence, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, or Stalking
If you are the victim of sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking, do not blame yourself. These crimes are never the victim’s fault. When a physical crime of violence has been perpetrated against you, the College recommends that you immediately go to the emergency room of a local hospital and contact local law enforcement, in addition to making a prompt complaint under this policy.
If you are the victim of sexual violence, domestic violence, or dating violence, do everything possible to preserve evidence by making certain that the crime scene is not disturbed. Preservation of evidence may be necessary for proof of the crime or in obtaining a protection order. As necessary to preserve evidence, victims of sexual violence, domestic violence, or dating violence should not bathe, urinate, douche, brush teeth, or drink liquids until after they are examined and, if necessary, a rape examination is completed. Clothes should not be changed. When necessary, seek immediate medical attention at an area hospital and take a full change of clothing, including shoes, for use after a medical examination.
It is also important to take steps to preserve evidence in cases of stalking, to the extent such evidence exists. In cases of stalking, evidence is more likely to be in the form of letters, emails, text messages, etc., rather than evidence of physical contact and violence.
Once a complaint of sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking is made to the College, the complainant has several options such as, but not limited to:
- Contacting parents or a relative
- Seeking legal advice
- Seeking personal counseling (always recommended)
- Pursuing legal action against the perpetrator
- Pursuing disciplinary action through the College
- Requesting that no further action be taken
- Requesting further information about the College’s policy and procedures for addressing sexual misconduct
- Requesting further information about available resources
- Vendors, Contractors, and Third-Parties
This policy applies to the conduct of vendors, contractors, and third parties. Members of the College Community who believe they have been subject to sexual misconduct in violation of this policy by a vendor, contractor, or other third party can make a complaint in the manner set forth in this section.
It is a violation of this policy to retaliate against any member of the College Community who reports or assists in making a complaint of sexual misconduct or who participates in the investigation of a complaint in any way. Persons who believe they have been retaliated against in violation of this policy should make a complaint in the manner set forth in this section.
- Interim Measures for the Parties
Pending final outcome of an investigation in accordance with the Complaint Resolution Procedures, the College will take steps to protect the parties involved from further discrimination, harassment, or retaliation. This may include assisting and allowing an individual to change his or her academic, living, transportation, or work situation, to the extent that the College has control over these environments, if options to do so are reasonably available and upon request. Such changes may be available regardless of whether the individual chooses to report the crime to local law enforcement. Requests to change an academic, living, transportation, or work situation, or for any other protective measure, should be made to the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator.
If a complainant has obtained an ex parte order of protection, full order of protection, or any other temporary restraining order or no contact order against the alleged perpetrator from a criminal, civil, or tribal court, the complainant should provide such information to the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator. The College will take all reasonable and legal action to implement the order.
The College recognizes that an individual who has been drinking alcohol or using drugs may be hesitant to report sexual misconduct. To encourage reporting, the College will not take disciplinary action for drug or alcohol use against an individual making a good faith report of sexual misconduct, either as the complainant or as a witness, provided that these conduct violations did not and do not place the health or safety of any other person at risk. The College may, however, require the reporting individual to attend a course or pursue other educational interventions related to alcohol and drugs.
The College’s commitment to amnesty in these situations does not prevent action by police or other legal authorities against an individual who has illegally consumed alcohol or drugs.
- Timing of Complaints
The College encourages persons to make complaints of sexual misconduct as soon as possible because late reporting may limit the College’s ability to investigate and respond to the conduct complained of.
- Investigation and Confidentiality
All complaints of sexual misconduct will be promptly and thoroughly investigated in accordance with the Complaint Resolution Procedures, and the College will take disciplinary action where appropriate. The College will make reasonable and appropriate efforts to preserve an individual’s privacy and protect the confidentiality of information when investigating and resolving a complaint. However, because of laws relating to reporting and other state and federal laws, the College cannot guarantee confidentiality to those who make complaints.
In the event a complainant requests confidentiality or asks that a complaint not be investigated, the College will take all reasonable steps to investigate and respond to the complaint consistent with the request for confidentiality or request not to pursue an investigation. If a complainant insists that his or her name not be disclosed to the alleged perpetrator, the College’s ability to respond may be limited. The College reserves the right to initiate an investigation despite a complainant’s request for confidentiality in limited circumstances involving serious or repeated conduct or where the alleged perpetrator may pose a continuing threat to the College Community. Other incidences may include where child abuse and neglect, abuse and neglect of an adult with mental challenges and/or something so very damaging to the very existence of the college.
The Title IX Coordinator is the person responsible for evaluating requests for confidentiality. The Title IX Coordinator may consult with other appropriate College officials and legal counsel as necessary.
If a complaint of sexual misconduct is found to be substantiated, the College will take appropriate corrective and remedial action to prevent the recurrence of the conduct and correct its discriminatory effects. Students and employees found to be in violation of this policy will be subject to discipline up to and including written reprimand, probation, suspension, demotion, termination, or expulsion. Affiliates and program participants may be removed from College programs and/or prevented from returning to campus. Remedial steps may also include counseling for the complainant, academic, transportation, work, or living accommodations for the complainant, separation of the parties, and training for the respondent and other persons.
- Bad Faith Complaints
While the College encourages all good faith complaints of sexual misconduct, the College has the responsibility to balance the rights of all parties. Therefore, if the College’s investigation reveals that a complaint was knowingly false, the complaint will be dismissed and the person who filed the knowingly false complaint may be subject to discipline.
- Academic Freedom
While the College is committed to the principles of free inquiry and free expression, sexual misconduct is neither legally protected expression nor the proper exercise of academic freedom.
Because the College recognizes that the prevention of sexual misconduct is important, it offers educational programming to a variety of groups such as: campus personnel; incoming students and new employees participating in orientation; and members of student organizations. Among other elements, such training will cover relevant definitions, procedures, and sanctions; will provide safe and positive options for bystander intervention; and will provide risk reduction information, including recognizing warning signs of abusive behavior and how to avoid potential attacks. To learn more about education resources, please contact the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator.
SEXUAL MISCONDUCT COMPLAINT RESOLUTION PROCEDURES
- General Principles
These Complaint Resolution Procedures apply to the resolution of all reports under the Sexual Misconduct Policy. They apply to the resolution of complaints against students, faculty, administrators, staff, and third parties, and they are the exclusive means of resolving complaints of sexual misconduct.
For purposes of these Complaint Resolution Procedures, “Investigating Officer” means the individual(s) designated by the Title IX Coordinator to investigate a particular complaint. The Investigating Officer shall have responsibility for administering these Complaint Resolution Procedures.
- Promptness, Fairness and Impartiality
These procedures provide for prompt, fair, and impartial investigations and resolutions. All College officials involved in the investigation or appeal process shall discharge their obligations under these Complaint Resolution Procedures fairly and impartially. If an involved College official determines that he or she cannot apply these procedures fairly and impartially because of the identity of a complainant, respondent, or witness, or due to any other conflict of interest, another appropriate individual will be designated to administer these procedures.
These procedures will be implemented by College officials who receive annual training on the issues related to sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking and how to conduct an investigation that protects the safety of victims and promotes accountability.
- Investigation and Resolution of the Complaint
- Preliminary Matters
- Timing of the Investigation
- Preliminary Matters
The College will endeavor to conclude its investigation and resolution of the complaint within sixty (60) calendar days of receiving it. Both the complainant and the respondent will be given periodic updates regarding the status of the investigation. If either the complainant or respondent needs additional time to prepare or to gather their witnesses or information, they shall notify the Investigating Officer in writing explaining how much additional time is needed and why it is needed. The Investigating Officer shall respond to any such request within three (3) days.
- Informal Resolution
Informal means of resolution, such as mediation, may be used in lieu of the formal investigation and determination procedure. The following standards apply to any informal resolution method that is utilized:
- The informal process can only be used with both parties’ voluntary cooperation and appropriate involvement by the institution (e.g., the Title IX Coordinator)
- The complainant will not be required to “work out” the problem directly with the respondent
- Either party may terminate the informal process at any time and elevate the complaint to the formal investigation procedures described below
- Interim Measures
At any time during the investigation, the Investigating Officer may determine that interim remedies or protections for the parties involved or witnesses are appropriate. These interim remedies may include separating the parties, placing limitations on contact between the parties, suspension, or making alternative class-placement or workplace arrangements. Failure to comply with the terms of these interim remedies or protections may constitute a separate violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy.
- Support Person/Advisor
During the investigation process, both a complainant and a respondent may ask a support person/advisor to accompany him or her at all stages of the process. In cases involving multiple complainants or respondents, the support person/advisor cannot be another complainant or respondent. The support person/advisor does not serve as an advocate on behalf of the complainant or respondent, may not be actively involved in any proceedings, and must agree to maintain the confidentiality of the process. A support person/advisor may be removed if he or she becomes disruptive or does not abide by the limitations discussed in the previous sentence. A support person/advisor will be asked to sign an affirmation that he or she understands his or her role in the process.
- Pending Criminal Investigation
Some instances of sexual misconduct may also constitute criminal conduct. In such instances, the complainant is also encouraged to file a report with the appropriate law enforcement authorities and, if requested, the College will assist the complainant in doing so. The pendency of a criminal investigation, however, does not relieve the College of its responsibilities under Title IX. Therefore, to the extent doing so does not interfere with any criminal investigation, the College will proceed with its own investigation and resolution of the complaint.
- Rights of the Parties
During the investigation and resolution of a complaint, the complainant and respondent shall have equal rights. They include:
- Equal opportunity to identify and have considered witnesses and other relevant evidence
- Similar and timely access to all information considered by the Investigating Officer
- Equal opportunity to review any statements or evidence provided by the other party
- Equal access to review and comment upon any information independently developed by the Investigating Officer should the Investigating Officer share such information with the other party
- Equal opportunity to appeal determinations pursuant to Section III, below
- Commencement of the Investigation
Once a complaint is made, the Investigating Officer will commence an investigation of it as soon as practicable, but not later than seven (7) days after the complaint is made. The purpose of the investigation is to determine whether it is more likely than not that the alleged behavior occurred and, if so, whether it constitutes sexual misconduct. During the course of the investigation, the Investigating Officer may receive counsel from College administrators, the College’s attorneys, or other parties as needed.
In certain narrow circumstances, the Investigating Officer may commence an investigation even if the complainant requests that the matter not be pursued. In such a circumstance, the Investigating Officer will take all reasonable steps to investigate and respond to the matter in a manner that is informed by the complainant’s articulated concerns.
At the outset of the investigation, the Investigating Officer will provide prompt written notice of the investigation to the respondent. This notice will include the identities of the parties involved, the specific section of the Sexual Misconduct Policy allegedly violated, the precise conduct allegedly constituting the potential violation, and the date and location of the alleged incident. This information is given to the respondent prior to any investigative meeting.
- Content of the Investigation
During the investigation, the complainant will have the opportunity to describe his or her allegations and present supporting witnesses or other evidence. The respondent will have the opportunity to respond to the allegations and present supporting witnesses or other evidence. The Investigating Officer will review the statements and evidence presented and may, depending on the circumstances, interview others with relevant knowledge, review documentary materials, and take any other appropriate action to gather and consider information relevant to the complaint. Throughout the investigation, the parties will be given advance written notice of any meetings in which they must attend so that they have time to prepare and participate. All parties and witnesses involved in the investigation are expected to cooperate and provide complete and truthful information.
At the conclusion of the investigation, the Investigating Officer will prepare a preliminary investigation report. The preliminary report will explain the scope of the investigation, identify findings of fact, and state whether any allegations in the complaint were found to be substantiated by a preponderance of the evidence. Both parties will be provided with a copy of the preliminary report and will have three (3) business days to provide written comments to the report, if desired. After considering the parties’ comments, if any, the Investigating Officer will issue a final report to the Title IX Coordinator.
If the written report determines that sexual misconduct occurred, the Title IX Coordinator, in consultation with the Deputy Title IX Coordinator or other College officials as needed, shall set forth in an addendum to the final report those steps necessary to maintain an environment free from discrimination and harassment and to protect the safety and well-being of the complainant and other members of the College Community. Such actions will also include reasonable steps to correct the effects of such conduct on the complainant and others and to prevent the recurrence of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. Examples of such action include: no-contact orders, classroom reassignment, the provision of counseling or other support services, training, and discipline for the perpetrator, including up to termination, expulsion, or other appropriate institutional sanctions.
The complainant and the respondent will receive a copy of the final report and any addendum within three (3) business days of its completion. If necessary, the version of the addendum provided to the complainant and/or respondent will be redacted to ensure that information concerning any remedial and/or disciplinary measures is disclosed in a manner consistent with Title IX, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”), and the Clery Act.
The final report of the Investigating Officer, and the addendum if applicable, shall be final subject only to the right of appeal set forth in Section III, below.
- Special Procedure Concerning Complaints Against the President, the Title IX Coordinator, or Other Administrators Ranked Higher than the Title IX Coordinator
If a complaint involves alleged conduct on the part of the College’s President, the College’s Board of Trustees (“Board”) will designate the Investigating Officer. Based on the information gathered by the investigation, the Board will prepare and issue the written report determining the complaint and, as necessary, implementing any sanctions or remedial measures. The determination of the Board is final and not subject to appeal.
If a complaint involves alleged conduct on the part of the Title IX Coordinator or any administrator ranked higher than the Title IX Coordinator, the President will designate the Investigating Officer. Based on the information gathered by the investigation, the President will prepare and issue the written report determining the complaint and, as necessary, implementing any sanctions or remedial measures. The determination of the President is final and not subject to appeal.
- Grounds for Appeal
The complainant or respondent may appeal the determination of a complaint only on the following grounds:
- There is a substantial likelihood that newly discovered information, not available at the time evidence was presented to the Investigating Officer, would result in a different decision
- There was a procedural error significant enough to call the outcome into question
- There was a clear error in factual findings
- Bias or prejudice on the part of the Investigating Officer, or
- The punishment or the corrective action imposed is disproportionate to the offense
- Method of Appeal
Appeals must be filed with the President within seven (7) days of receipt of the written report determining the outcome of the complaint. The appeal must be in writing and contain the following:
- Name of the complainant
- Name of the respondent
- A statement of the determination of the complaint, including corrective action if any
- A detailed statement of the basis for the appeal including the specific facts, circumstances, and argument in support of it, and
- Requested action, if any
When an appeal has been filed, the non-appealing party will be notified of such in writing. The appealing party may request a meeting with the President, but the decision to grant a meeting is within the President discretion. However, if a meeting is granted, then the other party will be granted a similar opportunity.
- Resolution of the Appeal
The President will resolve the appeal within ten (10) days of receiving it and may take any and all actions that he/she determines to be in the interest of a fair and just decision. The parties will be notified in writing if the President’s decision will take longer than 10 days. The decision of the President is final. The President shall issue a short and plain, written statement of the resolution of the appeal, including any changes made to the Investigating Officer’s previous written determination and/or the sanctions and remedial measures imposed. The written statement shall be provided to the complainant, respondent, and the Title IX Coordinator within three (3) business days of the resolution.
Throughout all stages of the investigation, resolution, and appeal, the Investigating Officer, the Title IX Coordinator, the Deputy Title IX Coordinator, and the President, as the case may be, are responsible for maintaining documentation of the investigation and appeal, including documentation of all proceedings conducted under these Complaint Resolution Procedures, which may include written findings of fact, transcripts, and audio recordings.
- Intersection With Other Procedures
These complaint resolution procedures are the exclusive means of resolving complaints alleging violations of the Sexual Misconduct Policy. To the extent there are any inconsistencies between these complaint resolution procedures and other College grievance, complaint, or discipline procedures, these complaint resolution procedures will control the resolution of complaints alleging violations of the Sexual Misconduct Policy.