Policy Against Sexual Harassment and Associated Grievance Procedures
Effective: August 14, 2020
POLICY AGAINST SEXUAL HARASSMENT AND ASSOCIATED GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES
Section 1. General Prohibition of Discrimination on the Basis of Sex
Beloit College (the “College”) does not discriminate on the basis of sex in in its education programs or activities. Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 (“Title IX”), its regulations, and certain other federal and state laws prohibit discrimination in such a manner. Under Title IX, discrimination on the basis of sex includes sexual harassment.
Title IX’s requirement not to discriminate in any of the College’s education programs or activities applies to both students and employees and extends to both admission and employment. Inquiries about the applicability of Title IX and its regulations to the College may be referred to the College’s Title IX Coordinator, the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights of the United States Department of Education, or both:
Title IX Coordinator
700 College St.
Beloit, WI 53511
Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
U.S. Dept. of Education Office for Civil Rights
400 Maryland Ave., SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-1100
1-800-421-3481; 1-800-877-8339 (TDD)
The College is committed to creating and sustaining an educational and working environment that is free from discrimination on the basis of sex. If you experience discrimination on the basis of sex, you are strongly encouraged to utilize the various on-and off-campus resources available to you, including the resources identified under this Policy. To the extent that any other College policy regarding discrimination or harassment on the basis of sex (as defined by Title IX) conflicts with this Policy, this Policy shall control.
Effective August 14, 2020, all reports or complaints of sexual harassment and all reports or complaints containing an allegation of sexual harassment shall be processed under this Policy.
Title IX Coordinator
The College has appointed a Title IX Coordinator to coordinate the College’s efforts to comply with its responsibilities under Title IX. As of this Policy’s most recent revision, the Title IX Coordinator’s name and contact information are as follows:
Title IX Coordinator
700 College St.
Beloit, WI 53511
The Title IX Coordinator’s name and contact information shall be provided to all applicants for admission, applicants for employment, students, employees, and any professional organizations required to receive notice under Title IX and its regulations. The Title IX Coordinator’s contact information shall be prominently displayed on the College’s website and in each handbook or catalog made available to the above-identified individuals and entities.
Any person may report sex discrimination, including sexual harassment, to the Title IX Coordinator by mail, telephone, or by electronic mail, using the contact information listed above or by any other means that result in the Title IX Coordinator receiving the person’s verbal or written report. Reports can be made to the Title IX Coordinator at any time, including during non-business hours.
Education Programs or Activities
Education programs or activities include locations, events, or circumstances over which the College exercises substantial control over the respondent (the person against whom the complaint is filed) and the context in which the sexual harassment occurs. This includes, but is not limited to, all on-campus activities, dormitories and official student housing, and College-sponsored or College-sanctioned sporting and team events.
Education programs or activities also include any building owned or controlled by a student organization that is officially recognized by the College. This includes, but is not limited to houses owned or controlled by the College’s recognized sororities and fraternities.
While Title IX does not recognize study abroad programs as education programs or activities, the College reserves the right to process such complaints of discrimination on the basis of sex (including sexual harassment) under separate policies and procedures, including, but not limited to, the policies and procedures set forth in the Beloit College Student Handbook and Beloit College Administrative Policy Manual.
Discrimination on the basis of sex includes sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is defined as conduct on the basis of sex that satisfies one or more of the following:
- A College employee conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit, or service of the College on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct;
- Unwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the College’s education program or activity; or
- Sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking.
Sexual assault is defined as an offense classified as a forcible or nonforcible sex offense under the uniform crime reporting system of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Dating violence is defined as violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim and where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
Domestic violence is defined as felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the 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 Wisconsin’s domestic or family violence laws, 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 Wisconsin.
Stalking is defined as engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety or the safety of others; or suffer substantial emotional distress.
For purposes of establishing sexual harassment under this Policy, consent to sexual activity must be informed and freely and actively given through mutually understood words that indicate a willingness to participate in mutually agreed-upon sexual activity. The College requires a non-intoxicated, verbal, mutually understood “Yes” for sexual contact or intercourse to be considered consensual.
Consenting to sexual activity requires a non-intoxicated, verbal, mutually understood communication free from threats, intimidation, or other coercion. Returning to an individual’s room, being physically aroused, removing clothing, stroking, assenting to dancing or cuddling, obtaining contraception, and such similar circumstances do not equate to a non-intoxicated, verbal, mutually understood “Yes” and, therefore, do not constitute consent. Silence or inaction does not constitute consent, nor should non-verbal actions be considered invitations to sexual contact or intercourse.
Individuals who are below their normal cognitive function, inebriated, mentally or physically impaired or incapacitated, have a mental illness or deficiency, are unconscious for any reason, or are physically unable to communicate are assumed to be incapable of giving consent. Someone who is under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol may be physically unable to communicate and therefore may be unable to give consent.
Section 2. Grievance Procedure for Complaints of Discrimination on the Basis of Sex that do not include Allegations of Sexual Harassment
Please refer to the College’s Personal Harassment Policy and Anti-Hate Acts and Bias Incident Policy, incorporated herein, for information regarding the College’s procedure for processing and responding to complaints of discrimination based on sex other than sexual harassment.
Section 3. Reports of Sexual Harassment
Reports of Sexual Harassment
The College encourages victims of sexual harassment to talk to someone about what happened so they can get the support they need, and so the College can respond appropriately. Some of these resources are confidential, including speaking with counselors in the College’s Health and Wellness Center and Chris Parker (firstname.lastname@example.org), Director of the Health and Wellness Center. Reporting to a confidential resource does not trigger a response obligation under Title IX. This means that confidential resources are not obligated to report to the Title IX Coordinator.
Whether reporting to a College employee imputes actual knowledge to the College (thereby triggering the College’s response obligations) depends on that employee’s responsibilities and authority at the College. For example, reporting sexual harassment to the following College employees is not confidential and imputes actual knowledge to the College:
- Title IX Coordinator
- College Deans
- Campus Security
- Director of Residential Life
- Residential Life Coordinators
- Vice President for Human Resources and Operations
- Director of Human Resources
Reporting to these employees is not confidential and does trigger a response obligation from the College under Title IX. All such employees are obligated to immediately notify the Title IX Coordinator in the event they receive a report of sexual harassment. Failure to do so may result in discipline, up to and including termination.
The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for coordinating the effective implementation of supportive measures. Supportive measures are non-disciplinary, non-punitive individualized services offered as appropriate, as reasonably available, and without fee or charge to the complainant or the respondent before or after the filing of a formal complaint or where no formal complaint has been filed. They are designed to restore or preserve equal access to the College’s education program or activity without unreasonably burdening the other party, including measures designed to protect the safety of all parties or the College’s educational environment, or deter sexual harassment.
Supportive measures may include:
- Extensions of deadlines or other course-related adjustments;
- Modifications of work or class schedules;
- Campus escort services;
- Mutual restrictions on contact between the parties;
- Changes in work or housing locations;
- Leaves of absence;
- Increased security and monitoring of certain areas of the campus; and
- Other similar measures.
When the College has obtained actual knowledge of sexual harassment in an education program or activity, the Title IX Coordinator must promptly contact the complainant regarding supportive measures. Specifically, the Title IX Coordinator must promptly contact the complainant to:
- Discuss the availability of supportive measures;
- Consider the complainant’s wishes with respect to supportive measures;
- Inform the complainant of the availability of supportive measures with or without the filing of a formal complaint; and
- Explain to the complainant the process for filing a formal complaint of sexual harassment as set forth herein.
While the Title IX Coordinator is initially obligated to reach out to the complainant regarding supportive measures, the respondent also has an equal right to supportive measures.
In each instance, the Title IX Coordinator must document their response to a report (or formal complaint) of sexual harassment and the basis for that response. This includes documenting that they have offered supportive measures to restore or preserve equal access to the College’s education program or activity. If the Title IX Coordinator does not provide a complainant with supportive measures, then he/she must document the basis for not doing so.
The College shall maintain as confidential any supportive measures provided to the complainant or respondent, to the extent that maintaining such confidentiality will not impair the College’s ability to provide the supportive measures.
For purposes of this policy, a complainant is the individual who is alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment. A respondent is the individual who has been reported to be the perpetrator of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment.
Before imposing any disciplinary sanctions or other actions that are not supportive measures against a respondent, the College must follow the grievance process set forth in Section 4.
The College reserves the right to remove a respondent from its education program or activity on an emergency basis. In order to do so, the College must first:
- Undertake an individualized safety and risk analysis;
- Determine that an immediate threat to the physical health or safety of any student or other individual arising from the allegations of sexual harassment justifies removal; and
- Provide the respondent with notice and an opportunity to challenge the decision immediately following the removal.
Subject to the above process, the College may remove a respondent without first having received a formal complaint of sexual harassment.
Section 4. Grievance Procedure for Formal Complaints of Sexual Harassment and Complaints including Allegations of Sexual Harassment.
Formal Complaints of Sexual Harassment
Either a complainant or the Title IX Coordinator can file a formal complaint alleging sexual harassment against a respondent.
To constitute a formal complaint, the document must be filed by a complainant or signed by the Title IX Coordinator. The document must allege sexual harassment against a respondent and request that the College investigate the allegation of sexual harassment. A document filed by a complainant means a document or electronic submission (such as by electronic mail) that contains the complainant’s physical or digital signature, or otherwise indicates that the complainant is the person filing the formal complaint.
If the complainant chooses not to file a complaint, the Title IX Coordinator must either document his/her reasons for filing a complaint against the complainant’s wishes or document his/her reasons for choosing not to file a formal complaint. Where the Title IX Coordinator signs a formal complaint, the Title IX Coordinator is not a complainant or otherwise a party.
At the time of filing a formal complaint, a complainant must be participating in or attempting to participate in the College’s education program or activity with which the formal complaint is filed.
A formal complaint may be filed with the Title IX Coordinator in person, by mail, or by electronic mail, by using the contact information listed above.
Party Rights During the Grievance Process
Formal complaints of sexual harassment trigger the grievance process set forth in this Section 4. During the grievance process, the parties have the following rights:
- Presumption of Innocence. The respondent is presumed not responsible for the alleged conduct until a determination regarding responsibility is made at the conclusion of the grievance process.
- Discussing Allegations. The College cannot restrict the ability of either party to discuss the allegations under investigation or to gather and present relevant evidence.
- No Retaliation. The College prohibits intimidation, threats, coercion, or discrimination against any individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by Title IX or its regulations, or because the individual has made a report or complaint, testified, assisted, or participated or refused to participate in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under this Policy, Title IX, or Title IX’s regulations.
Intimidation, threats, coercion, or discrimination for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by Title IX or its regulations, constitutes retaliation.
- During the grievance process, all parties have the right to an advisor of their choice, who may be, but is not required to be, an attorney. The College may not limit the choice or presence of a party’s advisor in any meeting or grievance proceeding. However, an advisor’s active participation during the grievance process is limited to conducting cross-examination at the live hearing.
- Equal Opportunity to Present Witnesses and Other Evidence. The parties have an equal opportunity to present witnesses and other evidence, including fact and expert witnesses, and other inculpatory and exculpatory evidence. The parties also have an equal opportunity to inspect and review any evidence obtained as part of the investigation that is directly related to the allegations in the formal complaint, including evidence upon which the College does not intend to rely in reaching a determination regarding responsibility.
- Objective Evaluation of All Relevant Evidence. The parties have a right to an objective evaluation of all relevant evidence, including both inculpatory and exculpatory evidence.
- Privacy Protections. The College cannot access, consider, disclose, or otherwise use a party’s records that are made or maintained by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or other recognized professional or paraprofessional unless the school has obtained the party’s voluntary, written consent.
- Privileged Information. The grievance process may not require, allow, rely upon, or otherwise use questions or evidence that constitute, or seek disclosure of, information protected under a legally recognized privilege (unless the privilege has been waived). Privileges include, but are not limited to: attorney-client privilege, marital privilege, religious advisor privilege, physician-patient privilege, and psychologist-patient privilege.
- Credibility Determination. Credibility determinations may not be based on a person’s status as a complainant, respondent, or witness. The College cannot give credence to a person’s statements simply because of the position he/she holds.
- No Conflict of Interest or Bias. Any individual designated by the College as a Title IX Coordinator, investigator, decision-maker, reviewer, or any person designated by the College to facilitate an informal resolution process, may not have a conflict of interest or bias for or against complainants or respondents generally or an individual complainant or respondent.
The grievance process (up to and including an appeals determination, if applicable) shall be completed in a reasonably prompt time frame, which the College designates as 120-180 calendar days from receipt of the formal complaint.
Temporary delays or limited extensions of time frames may be permitted for good cause with written notice to the complainant and the respondent of the delay or extension and the reasons for the action. Good cause may include considerations such as absence of a party, a party’s advisor, or a witness; concurrent law enforcement activity; or the need for language assistance or accommodation of disabilities.
During the pendency of the grievance process, the College reserves the right to place a non-student employee respondent on administrative leave.
Standard of Evidence under this Grievance Procedure
The standard of evidence to be used for determining responsibility under this grievance procedure (and for all formal complaints of sexual harassment, including formal complaints against employees and students) is the preponderance of the evidence standard.
Initial Response to a Formal Complaint
Upon receipt of a formal complaint, the Title IX Coordinator shall promptly provide the following information in a written notice to the known parties:
- Notice of the grievance process, including informal resolution and the name of the individual assigned to conduct the investigation.
Note that any objections to an appointed investigator must be made in writing to the Title IX Coordinator within three (3) calendar days after notice has been provided. Objections must be based on actual bias or conflicts of interest. The Title IX Coordinator will determine if bias or a conflict of interest exists. In that event, the parties will be notified in writing of the name of the new investigator. Any objection to the new investigator will be made in accordance with this section.
- Notice of the allegations of sexual harassment potentially constituting sexual harassment as defined in 34 C.F.R § 106.30, including sufficient details known at the time and with sufficient time to prepare a response before any interview. Sufficient details include the identities of the parties involved in the incident, if known, the conduct allegedly constituting sexual harassment under 34 C.F.R § 106.30, and the date and location of the alleged incident, if known.
- A statement that the respondent is presumed not responsible for the alleged conduct and that a determination regarding responsibility is made at the conclusion of the grievance process.
- A statement that the parties may have an advisor of their choice, who may be, but is not required to be, an attorney, and who may inspect and review evidence.
- A statement informing the parties of any provisions in the College’s code of conduct that prohibits knowingly making false statements or knowingly submitting false information during the grievance process.
Investigating a Formal Complaint
Upon receipt of a formal complaint and a determination that the complaint is subject to this grievance procedure, the assigned investigator shall investigate the formal complaint. Note that the College may consolidate formal complaints as to allegations of sexual harassment against more than one respondent, or by more than one complainant against one or more respondents, or by one party against the other party, where the allegations of sexual harassment arise out of the same facts or circumstances.
The specific steps of the investigation will vary based on the nature of the allegations and other factors; however, the College’s inquiry will be prompt, thorough and impartial. The investigation shall be completed within forty-five (45) calendar days of receipt of the formal complaint. The burden of proof and the burden of gathering evidence sufficient to reach a determination regarding responsibility rest on the College and not on the parties.
The investigation process shall include, at minimum, individual meetings with the complainant and respondent to discuss the substance of the complaint and to identify witnesses (lay or expert) and other inculpatory or exculpatory evidence. The investigator shall provide advanced notice to the party, including the date, time, location, participants, and purpose of the investigative meeting at least five (5) calendar days in advance of the meeting to provide sufficient time for the party to prepare to participate.
When investigating a formal complaint and throughout the grievance process, the College must provide, to a party whose participation is invited or expected, written notice of the date, time, location, participants, and purpose of all hearings, investigative interviews, or other meetings, with sufficient time for the party to prepare to participate.
Prior to the conclusion of the investigation, the investigator shall provide to the complainant and respondent (and their respective advisors, if any) the opportunity to review any evidence obtained as part of the investigation that is directly related to the allegations raised in the formal complaint, including any evidence upon which the College does not intend to rely upon in reaching a determination regarding responsibility and inculpatory or exculpatory evidence whether obtained from a party or other source.
Such evidence will be sent in an electronic format to the parties and any identified party advisor (unless requested by a party or advisor to be received in hard copy format). Each party will be given at least ten (10) calendar days to submit to the investigator a written response to the evidence for consideration by the investigator prior to conclusion of the investigation and completion of the investigative report.
The investigator shall conclude the investigation by drafting a written investigative report that fairly summarizes the relevant evidence. The investigative report must also describe the procedural steps from receipt of the formal complaint through the conclusion of the investigation, including any notifications to the parties, interviews with parties and witnesses, site visits, and methods used to gather other evidence.
Note that the following evidence and information is deemed not relevant or otherwise not subject to use in the grievance process: (1) information protected by a legally recognized privilege: (2) evidence about a complainant’s sexual predisposition; (3) evidence about a complainant’s prior sexual behavior unless it is offered to prove that someone other than the respondent committed the alleged conduct or it concerns specific incidents of the complainant’s prior sexual behavior with respect to the respondent and is offered to prove consent; (4) any party’s medical, psychological, and similar records unless the party has given voluntary written consent.
Before the investigative report has been finalized, each party (and their respective advisors, if any) will be provided with a draft copy of the investigative report. The draft report will be provided in an electronic format (unless requested by a party or advisor to be received in hard copy format). Each party will be given five (5) calendar days to submit to the investigator any objections to the draft investigative report prior to its finalization.
The final investigative report will be sent to the parties and any identified party advisor at least ten (10) calendar days prior to the live hearing in electronic format (unless requested by a party or advisor to be received in hard copy format). The parties may review the final investigative report and provide a written response to the decision-maker no later than three (3) calendar days before hearing (discussed below).
Dismissing a Formal Complaint
Jurisdictional Dismissal. Under certain circumstances, a formal complaint of sexual harassment may not be subject to the jurisdiction of Title IX and this grievance procedure for complaints of sexual harassment set forth in this Section 4.
The College must investigate the allegations in a formal complaint. However, a formal complaint must be dismissed for purposes of sexual harassment under Title IX and its regulations (and removed from this grievance process) if:
- The conduct would not constitute sexual harassment as defined under 34 C.F.R § 106.30 even if proved;
- The conduct did not occur in the College’s education program or activity; or
- The conduct did not occur against a person in the United States.
Dismissing a formal complaint of sexual harassment for any of these reasons does not preclude action under another of the College’s policies prohibiting misconduct.
Discretionary Dismissal. The College may dismiss a formal complaint as subject to this grievance process if, at any time during the investigation or hearing:
- The complainant submits a written request for withdrawal to the Title IX Coordinator;
- The respondent is no longer enrolled at or employed by the College; or
- The specific circumstances prevent the College from gathering evidence sufficient to reach a determination.
Regardless of whether a formal complaint is subject to jurisdictional or discretionary dismissal, the Title IX Coordinator shall promptly notify the parties, simultaneously and in writing, of the dismissal and reasons therefor. Parties can appeal the dismissal decision (see below).
Within twenty (20) calendar days following the conclusion of the investigation, the College will schedule a live hearing before an appointed decision-maker to reach a determination regarding responsibility.
Key aspects of the live hearing include:
- Physical or Virtual Presence. At the College’s discretion, live hearings pursuant to this paragraph may be conducted either with all parties physically present in the same geographic location or with any or all parties, witnesses, and other participants appearing at the live hearing virtually, with technology enabling participants simultaneously to see and hear each other.
At the request of either party, the College shall provide for the live hearing to occur with the parties located in separate rooms with technology enabling the decision-maker and parties to simultaneously see and hear the party or the witness answering questions.
- Records or Transcript. The College shall create an audio or audiovisual recording, or transcript, of the live hearing and make it available to the parties for inspection and review.
Cross-Examination. At the live hearing, the decision-maker must permit each party’s advisor to ask the other party and any witnesses all relevant questions and follow-up questions, including those challenging credibility. Such cross-examination at the live hearing must be conducted directly, orally, and in real time by the party’s advisor of choice and never by a party personally, notwithstanding the College’s discretion to otherwise restrict the extent to which advisors may participate in the proceedings.
If a party or witness does not submit to cross-examination at the live hearing, the decision-maker must not rely on any statement of that party or witness in reaching a determination regarding responsibility; provided, however, that the decision-maker cannot draw an inference about the determination regarding responsibility based solely on a party’s or witness’s absence from the live hearing or refusal to answer cross-examination or other questions.
- Relevant Questions. Only relevant cross-examination and other questions may be asked of a party or witness. Before a complainant, respondent, or witness answers a cross-examination or other question, the decision-maker must first determine whether the question is relevant and explain any decision to exclude a question as not relevant.
Questions and evidence about the complainant’s sexual predisposition or prior sexual behavior are not relevant, unless such questions and evidence about the complainant’s prior sexual behavior are offered to prove that someone other than the respondent committed the conduct alleged by the complainant, or if the questions and evidence concern specific incidents of the complainant’s prior sexual behavior with respect to the respondent and are offered to prove consent.
- Advisors for Cross-Examination. If a party does not have an advisor present at the live hearing, the College shall provide without fee or charge to that party, an advisor of the College’s choice, who may be, but is not required to be, an attorney, to conduct cross-examination on behalf of that party.
The Title IX Coordinator will be responsible for coordinating the live hearing process. This includes, but is not limited to: scheduling the hearing; notifying parties and witnesses of the hearing; ensuring that the decision-maker is provided with appropriate materials including any exhibits; coordinating technology; securing a location for the hearing; and providing for a record or transcript. The Title IX Coordinator will also act as liaison between the parties and the decision-maker on procedural matters.
The parties will be given written notice of the date, time, and location of the hearing no sooner than ten (10) calendar days before the hearing has been scheduled. The notice of hearing shall also include the identity of the decision-maker. Any objections to an appointed decision-maker must be made in writing to the Title IX Coordinator within three (3) calendar days after notice has been provided. Objections must be based on actual bias or conflicts of interest. The Title IX Coordinator will determine if bias or a conflict of interest exists. In that event, the parties will be notified in writing of the name of the new decision-maker. The date for the hearing may also need to be rescheduled. Any objection to the new decision-maker will be made in accordance with this section.
No later than three (3) calendar days before the hearing, each party will provide to the decision-maker (i) the name of, and contact information for, the party’s advisor (if any); (ii) any requests to consolidate pending cases for hearing; and (iii) a proposed witness list.
The decision-maker will make all determinations regarding pre-hearing matters and will promptly notify the Title IX Coordinator who, in turn, will promptly notify the Parties.
Decision-Maker’s Determination Regarding Responsibility
Following the live hearing, the decision maker shall issue a written determination regarding responsibility. To reach this determination, the preponderance of the evidence standard must be applied. The decision-maker’s written determination shall:
- Identify the allegations potentially constituting sexual harassment;
- Describe the procedural steps from receipt of the formal complaint through the determination, including any notifications to the parties, interviews with parties and witnesses, site visits, methods used to gather other evidence, and hearings held;
- Include the findings of fact supporting the determination;
- Include the conclusions regarding the application of the College’s code of conduct to the facts;
- Include a statement of, and rationale for, the result as to each allegation, including a determination regarding responsibility, any disciplinary sanctions the College imposes on the respondent, and whether remedies designed to restore or preserve equal access to the College’s education program or activity will be provided by the College to the complainant; and
- Include the College’s procedures and permissible bases for the complainant and respondent to appeal.
The decision-maker shall provide his/her written determination to the parties simultaneously. The determination becomes final either on the date the College provides the parties with the written determination of the result of the appeal, if an appeal is filed, or if an appeal is not filed, the date on which an appeal would no longer be considered timely.
Any party can appeal the decision-maker’s determination regarding responsibility. Parties can appeal on the following bases:
- Procedural irregularity that affected the outcome of the matter;
- New evidence that was not reasonably available at the time of the determination regarding responsibility or dismissal was made, that could affect the outcome of the matter; or
- The Title IX Coordinator, investigator, or decision-maker had a conflict of interest or bias for or against complainant or respondent generally or against the individual complainant or respondent that affected the outcome of the matter.
Parties also have the right to appeal the College’s mandatory or discretionary dismissal decision.
Appeals must be filed with the Title IX Coordinator within three (3) calendar days following issuance of the decision-maker’s written determination. Requests for appeal must indicate the basis for the appeal. Upon receipt of the appeal, the Title IX Coordinator shall notify the parties in writing that an appeal has been filed. The Title IX Coordinator shall also notify the Chair of the Personal Harassment Committee (the “Committee”) to consider the appeal and notify the parties of the committee. The Chair shall not be the same person as the decision-
maker, the investigator, or the Title IX Coordinator. The Committee is made up of hourly staff members, faculty and administrators. The current Chair is Lori Rhead, VP of Human Resources and Operations.
The Chair shall notify the parties of the appeal procedures and set a schedule for the parties to submit written statements in support of, or challenging, the outcome. Such schedule shall provide an opportunity for each party to respond to the arguments of the other party.
Upon reviewing both parties’ statements, the Committee shall issue a reasoned written decision describing the result of the appeal and rationale for the result. The written decision shall be provided to both parties simultaneously. The reviewer’s decision shall be final and binding upon the parties.
This grievance process provides remedies to a complainant where a determination of responsibility for sexual harassment has been made against the respondent. The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for effective implementation of any remedies.
Remedies under this policy must be designed to restore or preserve equal access to the education program or activity. For students, the range of possible remedies includes, but is not limited to: safety escorts, class section reassignment, residence hall room reassignments, counseling and academic support services, academic accommodations, the ability to retake a test, or withdrawal or re-enrollment in a course without financial penalty. For employees, the range of possible remedies includes, but is not limited to: office reassignments, job reassignments, accommodations, or counseling.
The grievance process may also provide for discipline or recommendations for discipline where a determination of responsibility for sexual harassment has been made against the respondent. For students, the range of possible discipline includes, but is not limited to: a warning, probation, suspension, or expulsion. For employees, the range of possible or recommended discipline includes, but is not limited to: a verbal warning, written warning, suspension, or termination. Recommendations for discipline will be pursued according to applicable College policies.
At any time after receiving a formal complaint but before a determination regarding responsibility, the College may offer the parties the opportunity to engage in informal resolution of the formal complaint. However, informal resolution may not be offered or utilized where the allegations involve an employee sexually harassing a student.
The College must obtain the parties’ voluntary, written consent to the informal resolution process. The Title IX Coordinator must also provide to the parties a written notice disclosing:
- The allegations;
- The requirements of the informal resolution process, including the circumstances under which it precludes the parties from resuming a formal complaint arising from the same allegations (provided, however, that at any time prior to agreeing to a resolution, any party has the right to withdraw from the informal resolution process and resume the grievance process with respect to the formal complaint); and
- Any consequences resulting from participating in the informal resolution process, including the records that will be maintained or could be shared.
A party may withdraw from the informal resolution process at any time prior to reaching an agreed resolution without affecting the proceedings.
Section 5. Miscellaneous Provisions Regarding Discrimination on the Basis of Sex and Sexual Harassment
The College shall keep confidential the identity of any individual who has made a report or complaint of sex discrimination, including any individual who has made a report or filed a formal complaint of sexual harassment, any complainant, any individual who has been reported to be the perpetrator of sex discrimination, any respondent, and any witness, except as may be permitted by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”) and its regulations, or as required by law, or to carry out the purposes of 34 C.F.R. Part 106 (Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Sex in Education), including the conduct of any investigation, hearing, or judicial proceeding arising thereunder.
The College prohibits intimidation, threats, coercion, or discrimination against any individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by Title IX or its regulations, or because the individual has made a report or complaint, testified, assisted, or participated or refused to participate in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under this Policy, Title IX, or Title IX’s regulations.
Intimidation, threats, coercion, or discrimination, including charges against an individual for code of conduct violations that do not involve sex discrimination or sexual harassment, but arise out of the same facts or circumstances as a report or complaint of sex discrimination, or a report or formal complaint of sexual harassment, for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by Title IX or its regulations, constitutes retaliation.
Complaints alleging retaliation may be filed according to the College’s grievance procedures for sex discrimination.
The College will comply with all recordkeeping requirements imposed by applicable law and regulations, including those recordkeeping requirements set forth in 34 C.F.R. § 106.45(b)10. This includes the following records, which must be maintained in compliance with federal and state laws:
- Each sexual harassment investigation, including any determination regarding responsibility and any audio or audiovisual recording or transcript, any disciplinary sanctions imposed on the respondent, and any remedies provided to the complainant designed to restore or preserve equal access to the education program or activity;
- Any appeal and the result of that appeal;
- Any informal resolution and the result of that informal resolution;
- All Title IX training materials; and
- Records of any actions, including any supportive measures (and the basis for providing or not providing supportive measures based on the deliberate indifference standard) taken in response to a report or formal complaint of sexual harassment.
Beginning on August 14, 2020, the above-cited records must be maintained for no less than seven (7) years from the conclusion of a matter (including any appeal).
Right to Pursue Other Remedies Not Impaired
The right of a person to prompt and equitable resolution of a complaint filed under this policy shall not be impaired by the person’s pursuit of other remedies (e.g., criminal complaints, civil actions, etc.). Use of the College’s grievance procedures does not extend any filing deadline related to the pursuit of other remedies.
 This Policy is intended to comply with Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 (“Title IX”) and its regulations. To the extent that this Policy conflicts with Title IX or its regulations, Title IX and its regulations shall control.
 Where a grievance process involves more than one complainant or more than one respondent, references in this section to the singular “party,” “complainant,” or “respondent” include the plural, as applicable.
 The College must make all such evidence subject to the parties’ inspection and review available at any hearing to give each party equal opportunity to refer to such evidence during the hearing, including for purposes of cross-examination.
 The decision-maker may not be the Title IX Coordinator or investigator. The decision-maker may also be a panel of decision-makers.
 The investigator may be a witness at hearing. However, the decision-maker must independently reach a determination regarding responsibility without giving deference to the investigative report.