3.1.3 – Sex Discrimination, Sexual Misconduct and Interpersonal Violence (Title IX)

POLICY:  Spoon River College is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy educational and employment environment that is free from discrimination, harassment, and other misconduct on the basis of sex, which includes sexual orientation and gender-related identity.  The College prohibits all forms of sex-based misconduct, including but not limited to sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.  The College also prohibits discrimination and harassment on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, gender-related identity and expression, pregnancy, and parental status under College Policy 3.1.1 Discrimination and Harassment.

It is the policy of Spoon River College to comply with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (“Title IX”), the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (“VAWA”), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”), the Illinois Human Rights Act, the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (“Clery Act”), the Preventing Sexual Violence in Higher Education Act, and all other applicable laws and local ordinances regarding unlawful sex-based discrimination, harassment, or other misconduct.

Individuals found to have engaged in prohibited sex-based misconduct will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination and/or expulsion from the College.

SCOPE:

The College’s Policy Prohibiting Sex-Based Misconduct and these implementing Procedures apply to students, faculty, staff, appointees, or third parties, regardless of sexual orientation or gender-identity, whenever the misconduct occurs:

  1. On College property or
  2. Off College property if:
    1. The conduct was in connection with a College or College-recognized program or activity; or
    2. The conduct may have the effect of creating a hostile environment for a member of the College community.

DETAILS:

Title IX Compliance:  As required under Title IX, the College does not discriminate on the basis of sex in the education program or activity that it operates.  This requirement not to discriminate extends to admission and employment.

The College has designated the Dean of Student Services as the Lead Title IX Coordinator who is responsible for coordinating the College’s efforts to comply with its responsibilities under Title IX.  Inquiries about the application of Title IX and 34 C.F.R. Part 106 may be directed to the College’s Title IX Coordinator, the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the United States Department of Education, or both.

Retaliation Prohibited: Any form of retaliation, including intimidation, threats, harassment, and other adverse action taken or threatened against any complainant or person reporting sex discrimination, sexual harassment, or other sex-based misconduct, or against any person cooperating in the investigation of allegations of sex-based misconduct (including testifying, assisting, or participating in any manner in an investigation) is strictly prohibited and may violate the protections of the State Employees and Officials Ethics Act, the Whistleblower Act, and the Illinois Human Rights Act.

Implementing Procedures: The College will establish, maintain, and publish procedures implementing this policy, which set forth:

PROCEDURE(S):

The College has an affirmative duty to take immediate and appropriate action once it knows, or its management should know, of an act of sex-based discrimination, sexual harassment, or other sex-based misconduct in any of its educational or employment programs or activities.  The College will promptly and thoroughly investigate any complaints of sexual discrimination, harassment, and/or misconduct in accordance with the procedures set forth below.

These Procedures govern sex-based misconduct in various forms, many of which may trigger legal obligations under one or more state and federal laws. In no case does the inapplicability of a particular legal framework require the College not to address an act of misconduct falling within the scope of these Procedures.

Appendix A provides definitions for these Procedures.

Administration

  1. Title IX Coordinators: The College has designated the Dean of Students as the Lead Title IX Coordinator and the Human Resources Director as the Deputy Title IX Coordinator.  Contact information for the Title IX Coordinators is as follows:The College’s Lead Title IX Coordinator and Deputy Title IX Coordinator are:
    Lead Title IX CoordinatorDeputy Title IX Coordinator
    Name:Melissa WilkinsonAndrea Thomson
    Position:Dean of Student ServicesHuman Resources Director
    Address:23235 N. County Hwy 22
    Canton, IL  61520
    23235 N. County Hwy 22
    Canton, IL  61520
    Telephone:(309) 649-6329(309) 649-6209
    Email:Missy.Wilkinson@src.edu
    TitleIXCoordinator@src.edu
    andrea.thomson@src.edu
    TitleIXCoordinator@src.edu

    Responsibilities of the Title IX Coordinator(s) include, but are not limited to:

    Inquiries concerning the application of Title IX may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator(s) or to the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the United States Department of Education:

     

    Office for Civil Rights, Chicago Office
    U.S. Department of Education
    Citigroup Center
    500 W. Madison Street, Suite 1475
    Chicago, IL 60661-4544
    Telephone: (312) 730-1560
    Email: OCR.Chicago@ed.gov

  2. Director of Human Resources: The Director of Human Resources will partner with the Lead Title IX Coordinator with respect to any complaints of sex-based misconduct that involve a College employee as the complainant or as the respondent. For any such complaints that involve a College employee as the respondent and fall outside the scope of Title IX, the Director of Human Resources will manage the investigation into the allegations and issue a decision and any appropriate sanction(s).For complaints of sex-based misconduct that involve a College employee as the respondent, investigatory and disciplinary procedures required by any applicable collective bargaining agreement will apply in addition to these Procedures.

Options for Assistance Following an Incident of Sex-Based Discrimination, Harassment or Misconduct

  1. On-and off-Campus Advocates: The following on-and-off campus counselors and advocates can provide an immediate confidential* response in a crisis situation, as well as ongoing assistance and support:
    Name:*Jill Olson*Melissa Miller
    Position:Director, Student Support Services Grant (TRIO)Director, Allied Health Programs
    Address:208 S. Johnson Street
    Macomb, IL  61455
    23235 N County Hwy 22
    Canton, IL 61520
    Telephone:(309) 833-6029(309) 649-6302
    Email:Email JillEmail Melissa

    *National: National Domestic Violence Hotline: (800) 799-SAFE (7233) www.thehotline.org

    *National: National Sexual Assault RAINN (800) 656-HOPE (4673) www.rainn.org

    *Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault
    100 North 16th Street
    Springfield, IL 62703
    (217) 753-4117
    www.icasa.org

    *Fulton Mason Crisis Service
    1330 E Ash
    Canton, IL  61520
    (309) 647-8311

    Fulton Mason Crisis Service
    227 S Harpham St.
    Havana, IL  62644
    (309) 543-6706

    *Macomb & Rushville Rape Crisis Agency
    Western Illinois Regional Council/Community Action Agency
    Victim Services
    2500 E. Jackson Street
    Macomb, IL 61455
    Phone:  (309) 836-2148, x145
    Hotline:  (309) 837-5555
    http://wirpc.org/

    *Indicates Confidential Advisors, as defined in Appendix A.

  2. Emergency Response: Anyone who experiences or observes an emergency situation should immediately call 911 and/or one of the phone numbers listed below:
    Canton Police Department
    2 North Main Street B
    Canton, IL 61520
    (309) 647-5131
    Fulton County Sherriff’s Office
    268 West Washington Avenue
    Lewistown, IL  61542
    Phone: (309) 547-2277
    Havana Police Department
    226 West Market Street
    Havana, IL  62644
    Phone: (309) 543-3321
    Macomb Police Department
    120 South McArthur Street
    Macomb, IL  61455
    Phone: (309) 833-4505
    Rushville Police Department
    220 West Washington Street
    Rushville, IL  62681
    Phone: (217) 322-6633
  3. Off-Campus Health Care Options
    *Canton Medical Facilities
    Graham Hospital
    210 W. Walnut Street
    Canton, IL  61520
    (309) 647-5240
    *Macomb Medical Facilities
    McDonough District Hospital
    525 East Grant Street
    Macomb, IL 61455
    (309) 833-4101
    *Havana Medical Facilities
    Mason District Hospital
    615 N. Promenade St.
    Havana, IL  62644
    (309) 543-4431
    *Rushville Medical Facilities
    Culbertson Memorial Hospital
    238 S. Congress
    Rushville, IL 62681
    (217) 322-4321

    *Indicates health care options which provide medical forensic services (rape kits) and/or Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners at no cost, pursuant to the Sexual Assault Survivors Emergency Treatment Act (410 ILCS 70).

    Seeking medical treatment also serves to preserve physical evidence of sexual violence.

    Off-campus health care providers will generally maintain confidentiality and not share information with the College unless the reporting person requests the disclosure and signs a consent or waiver form.  Note, however, that while these health care providers may maintain a reporting person’s confidentiality vis-à-vis the College, they may have other reporting obligations under State law.

    State of Illinois Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Helpline:  The Illinois Department of Human Rights has established a helpline for individuals to obtain information about their reporting options and referrals to other resources. The helpline is available Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., at (877) 236-7703.

    Making a Report of Alleged Sex-Based Misconduct
    Any student, employee, or community member who wishes to avail himself or herself of these Procedures may do so by making a report to the Title IX Coordinator, President, Vice President, Dean(s), or Human Resources Director.  Students may also make a report to any Responsible Employee, as defined below.  Detailed information concerning student and employee reporting follows below.

  4. Student Reporting
    The College encourages students who have experienced sex-based misconduct to talk with someone about what happened so that they can get the support they need and so that the College can respond appropriately.  Different employees on campuses have different reporting obligations with regard to alleged sex-based misconduct.  Some College employees (referred to as “Responsible Employees”) are required to report all incidents of sex-based misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator, including the identities of the persons involved in the incident.  While only designated Responsible Employees are required to report all incidents of sex-based misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator, all members of the College community (including students) are encouraged to report such incidents to the Title IX Coordinator.The various reporting options available are set forth in further detail below.  Regardless of to whom a report is made, the College will provide the person alleged to be the victim, if identified, with concise information, written in plain language, of the person’s rights and options pursuant to these procedures.Immunity for Good Faith Reporting:  Students who, in good faith, report an alleged violation of the College’s Policy Prohibiting Sex-Based Misconduct will be granted immunity and will not receive a disciplinary sanction for a student conduct violation (such as underage drinking) revealed during the course of reporting.  Immunity will not be provided for student conduct violations which the College determines are egregious, including, without limitation, misconduct which places the health or safety of another person at risk.

      1. Student Reporting to the Title IX Coordinator(s)
        Students are encouraged to report alleged incidents of sex-based misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator(s) directly.  The College’s Title IX Coordinator(s) are:

        CoordinatorLead Title IX CoordinatorDeputy Title IX Coordinator
        Name:Melissa WilkinsonAndrea Thomson
        Position:Dean of Student ServicesHuman Resources Director
        Address:23235 N. County Hwy 22
        Canton, IL  61520
        23235 N. County Hwy 22
        Canton, IL  61520
        Telephone:(309) 649-6329(309) 649-6209
        Email:Missy.Wilkinson@src.edu
        TitleIXCoordinator@src.edu
        andrea.thomson@src.edu
        TitleIXCoordinator@src.edu
      2. Student Reporting to Responsible Employees
        A Responsible Employee, as defined in Appendix A, must report to the Title IX Coordinator all relevant details about an alleged incident of sex-based misconduct shared by a student, including the date, time and specific location of the alleged incident, and the names of all involved individuals.  To the extent possible, information shared with a Responsible Employee will be disclosed only to the Title IX Coordinator and/or those individuals responsible for handling the College’s response to the report.The following categories of employees are the College’s Responsible Employees:

        • Title IX Coordinator(s)
        • College Administrators
        • Directors
        • Faculty
        • Coaches
        • Advisors
        • Student Success Coaches
        • Multi-Purpose Building Coordinator
        • Human Resources Generalist

        Before a student reveals any information to a Responsible Employee, the employee should ensure that the student understands the employee’s reporting obligations.  If the student wants to make a confidential report, the Responsible Employee should direct the student to the confidential resources listed on page 5 and 6.

        If the student wants to tell the Responsible Employee what happened but also maintain confidentiality, the employee should tell the student that the College will consider the request, but that the College cannot guarantee it will be able to honor it.  In reporting the details of the incident to the Title IX Coordinator, the Responsible Employee will also inform the Title IX Coordinator of the student’s request for confidentiality.

      3. Confidential Reporting
        Students who wish to confidentially report an incident of sex-based misconduct may make a confidential report to:

        Name:*Jill Olson*Melissa Miller
        Position:Director, Student Support Services Grant (TRIO)Director, Allied Health Programs
        Address:208 S. Johnson Street
        Macomb, IL  61455
        23235 N County Hwy 22
        Canton, IL 61520
        Telephone:(309) 833-6029(309)649-6302
        Email:Email JillEmail Melissa

        The individuals in this list are Confidential Advisors, as defined in Appendix A.  Professional, licensed counselors who provide mental health counseling to students (including counselors who act in that role under the supervision of a licensed counselor) are not required to report any information about an alleged incident to the Title IX Coordinator without a student’s permission.

        Note: While the individuals listed above may maintain a student’s confidentiality, vis-à-vis the College, they may have reporting or other obligations under State law.  Any College employee who suspects or receives knowledge that a minor student may be an abused or neglected child or, for a student aged 18 through 21, an abused or neglected individual with a disability, is required to: 1) immediately report or cause a report to be made to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) on its Child Abuse Hotline; and 2) follow directions given by DCFS concerning filing a written report within 48 hours with the nearest DCFS field office.

        Also Note: If the College determines that a person alleged to be the perpetrator of sexual misconduct poses a serious and immediate threat to the College community, local Police may be called upon to issue a timely warning to the College community.  Any such warning will not include any information that identifies the person alleged to be the victim.

      4. Electronic and/or Anonymous Reporting

    The College maintains an online system for electronic reporting.  The reporter may choose to provide his/her identity or may choose to report anonymously.  The system will notify the user, before he/she enters information, that entering personally identifying information may serve as notice to the College for the purpose of triggering an investigation. Anonymous reports can be filed at http://www.src.edu/about/Pages/titleix.aspx .  Where a reporter chooses to provide his/her identity and contact information, the College will respond to the reporter within 12 hours.

  5. Note Regarding Student Participation in Public Awareness Events
    Public awareness events such as “Take Back the Night,” the Clothesline Project, candlelight vigils, protests, “survivor speak outs” or other forums in which students disclose incidents are not considered notice to the College of sex-based discrimination, harassment, or misconduct for purposes of triggering an obligation to investigate any particular incident(s). Such events may, however, inform the need for campus-wide education and prevention efforts, and the College will provide information about students’ rights at these events.

College Response to Reports of Alleged Sex Discrimination, Harassment or Other Misconduct

  1. Processing of Report
    Upon receipt of a report, the Title IX Coordinator will analyze the report to determine the appropriate method for processing and reviewing it.For any report alleging sexual harassment, as defined under Title IX, and/or alleging sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking pursuant to the Preventing Sexual Violence in Higher Education Act, the Title IX Coordinator will promptly contact the person alleged to be the victim (hereinafter “complainant”) to:

    1. Discuss the availability of supportive measures (see below);
    2. Consider the complainant’s wishes with respect to supportive measures;
    3. Inform the complainant of the availability of supportive measures with or without the filing of a formal complaint; and
    4. Explain to the complainant the process for filing a formal complaint.
  2. Supportive Measures
    Supportive measures (also referred to as “interim protective measures”) are non-disciplinary, non-punitive individualized services offered as appropriate, as reasonably available, and without fee or charge to a complainant or respondent, irrespective of whether a formal complaint has been filed.Examples of supportive measures that the College may offer include, but are not limited to:

    A report of alleged sex-based misconduct may also prompt the College to consider broader remedial action, such as increased monitoring, supervision, or security at locations where the alleged incident occurred; increased education and prevention efforts, including to targeted population groups; the use of climate assessments and/or victimization surveys; and/or revisions to the College’s policies and practices.

    The College will maintain as confidential any supportive measures provided to a complainant or respondent, to the extent that maintaining such confidentiality would not impair the College’s ability to provide the supportive measures.The Title IX Coordinator(s) is/are responsible for coordinating the College’s implementation of supportive measures.

  3. Emergency Removals and/or Administrative Leave
    Prior to initiating or completing the Grievance Process in response to a formal complaint, described further on page 15, or in the absence of a formal complaint, the College may remove a respondent from the College’s education program or activity on an emergency basis.  Where the alleged conduct, if proven, would constitute sexual harassment as defined under Title IX, the College will effectuate an emergency removal only where the College has determined, based on an individualized safety and risk analysis, 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.  In such cases, the College will provide the respondent with notice and an opportunity to challenge the decision immediately following the removal.In addition, the College may place an employee on administrative leave during the pendency of the Grievance Process in response to a formal complaint.
  4. Clery Act Reporting Obligations
    Pursuant to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act(“Clery Act”), 20 U.S.C. § 1092(f), the College will issue timely warnings to the campus community about crimes that have already occurred but may continue to pose a serious or ongoing threat to students and employees.  The Clery Act also requires the College to maintain a public crime log and publish an Annual Security Report (“ASR”) available to all current students and employees.  The ASR documents three calendar years of select campus crime statistics (including statistics regarding incidents of dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking), security policies and procedures, and information on the basic rights guaranteed to victims of sexual assault.

Grievance Process for Complaints Alleging Title IX Sexual Harassment and/or Alleging Sexual Violence, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence or Stalking

For purposes of this Grievance Process, a formal complaint is a document filed by a complainant or signed by the Title IX Coordinator alleging (a) sexual harassment in violation of Title IX and/or (b) sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking in violation of the Preventing Sexual Violence in Higher Education Act; and requesting that the College investigate the allegation.  At the time of filing a formal complaint pursuant to this Grievance Process, the complainant must be participating in or attempting to participate in the College’s education programs or activities, either as a student or an employee.  Should a formal complaint be filed, the Title IX Coordinator will investigate the formal complaint or appoint a qualified person to undertake the investigation on his or her behalf.

The College as it deems appropriate may extend the time provided in this Grievance Process to comply with a requirement and may postpone the scheduled date for any proceeding, meeting, or hearing, provided that the extended deadline or postponed date would not exceed a time limit required by law.  If one of the parties requested the extension or postponement, that it is available on an equal basis to both parties.

  1. Notice of Allegations
    Within 10 business days after signing a formal complaint or receiving a formal complaint filed by a complainant, the Title IX Coordinator will provide written notice to the parties who are known of the following:

    1. This Grievance Process, including the informal resolution process, where applicable.
    2. The allegations potentially constituting sexual harassment under Title IX and/or sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking under the Preventing Sexual Violence in Higher Education Act, including sufficient details known at the time and with sufficient time to prepare a response before any initial interview.
    3. 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.
    4. That the parties may have an advisor of their choice, who may be, but is not required to be, an attorney.
    5. That the parties may inspect and review any evidence obtained as part of the investigation that is directly related to the allegations raised in the formal complaint, including evidence upon which the College does not intend to rely in reaching a determination regarding responsibility, and inculpatory or exculpatory evidence, whether obtained from a party or other source.
    6. The College Code of Conduct provision(s) that prohibit knowingly making false statements or knowingly submitting false information during the grievance process.

    If, during the course of an investigation, the College decides to investigate allegations that are not included in the initial written notice of allegations, the Title IX Coordinator will provide subsequent written notice of the additional allegations to all known parties.

  2. Informal Resolution
    At any time after receiving the initial notice of allegations (See page 15), and prior to a determination regarding responsibility being reached, the complainant and respondent may request to participate in an informal resolution process.  Informal resolution will only occur with both parties’ voluntary, written consent.  At any time prior to agreeing to a resolution, any party will have the right to withdraw from the informal resolution process and resume the grievance process with respect to the formal complaint.The College does not permit informal resolution in cases involving alleged sexual harassment, sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking by a College employee toward a student.
  3. Consolidation of Formal Complaints
    The Title IX Coordinator may consolidate formal complaints as to allegations 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 misconduct arise out of the same facts or circumstances.
  4. Dismissal of Formal Complaints
    If, during the course of an investigation or following an investigation into a formal complaint, the Title IX Coordinator or designated Investigator determines that the conduct alleged in the formal complaint would not constitute sexual harassment as defined in 34 C.F.R. § 106.30 (Title IX) even if proved, did not occur in the District’s education program or activity, or did not occur against a person in the United States, then the Title IX Coordinator will dismiss the formal complaint with regard to that conduct for purposes of Title IX.  In cases where the College determines that Title IX is not applicable, but the College still intends to apply this Grievance Process to resolve the alleged misconduct, the College will inform the parties that Title IX is inapplicable but that such Process will nevertheless be applied.  In addition, dismissal of a formal complaint for purposes of Title IX does not preclude action under other College policies and procedures.The Title IX Coordinator may dismiss a formal complaint, or any allegations therein, at any time during an investigation if:

    1. the complainant notifies the Title IX Coordinator in writing that the complainant would like to withdraw the formal complaint or any allegations therein;
    2. the respondent is no longer enrolled or employed by the College; or
    3. specific circumstances prevent the College from gathering evidence sufficient to reach a determination as to the formal complaint or allegations therein.

    Upon dismissal – either of a complaint altogether, or of a complaint for purposes of Title IX – the Title IX Coordinator or Investigator will promptly send written notice of the dismissal and reason(s) for the dismissal simultaneously to the parties.  Dismissal of a formal complaint under this Process does not preclude action under other College policies and procedures.

  5. Investigation of Formal Complaint
    The Title IX Coordinator will appoint one or more trained investigators to undertake an investigation into a formal complaint.  Throughout the investigation, the parties will be afforded an equal opportunity to present witnesses including fact and expert witnesses, and other inculpatory and exculpatory evidence.  The Investigator will not restrict the ability of either party to discuss the allegations under investigation or to gather and present relevant evidence.  Any proceeding, meeting, or hearing held to resolve formal complaints pursuant to this Grievance Process will protect the privacy of the participating parties and witnesses.Both parties will be afforded an opportunity to be accompanied to any meeting or proceeding by an advisor of their choice, who may be, but is not required to be, an attorney.  The advisor’s role is limited to providing support, guidance, and/or advice, and to conducting cross-examination during the live hearing (see page 18).  A party’s advisor may not speak on behalf of the party during any meeting, interview, or hearing and must comply with all behavioral rules and expectations set forth in these Procedures.  If a party’s advisor violates these Procedures or engages in behavior that harasses, abuses, or intimidates a party, witness, or individual resolving a complaint, that advisor may be prohibited from further participation.When a party’s participation is invited or expected at an investigative interview or other meeting, the Investigator will provide that party with written notice of the date, time, location, participants, and purpose of said interview or meeting at least three (3) business days prior to the interview or meeting.At the conclusion of the investigation, and prior to the Investigator’s completion of his/her investigative report, the Investigator will send to each party (and the party’s advisor, if any) the evidence obtained as part of the investigation that is directly related to the allegations raised in the formal complaint, in hard copy.  The parties will have 10 business days to submit a written response to the evidence, which the Investigator will consider prior to completion of his/her investigative report.After receiving and reviewing the parties’ written responses, if any, the Investigator will create an investigative report that fairly summarizes the relevant evidence, and will forward a copy of his/her report to the Title IX Coordinator.  Upon receipt of the Investigator’s Report, the Title IX Coordinator will schedule a hearing.  At least 10 business days prior to the hearing, the Title IX Coordinator will:

    1. Provide both parties with written notice of the hearing date, time, location participants (including the name of the appointed Hearing Officer), and purpose of the hearing; and
    2. Send to each party (and the party’s advisor, if any) the investigative report in hard copy for their review and written response.
  6. Hearings
    A hearing will be conducted by a Hearing Officer appointed by the College.  Both parties will have the opportunity to request a substitution if the participation of the appointed Hearing Officer poses a conflict of interest.  A party wishing to request a substitution must contact the Title IX Coordinator within three (3) business days after the party’s receipt of the notice of hearing to make such a request.At the request of either party, the College will arrange for the live hearing to occur with the parties located in separate rooms, with technology enabling the Hearing Officer and parties to simultaneously see and hearing the party or witness answering questions.  A party wishing to request that the live hearing occur with the parties located in separate rooms must contact the Title IX Coordinator to request such an arrangement at least three (3) business days in advance of the hearing.  The College may conduct any live hearing virtually, with the participants in one or more separate geographical locations, and with technology enabling participants simultaneously to see and hear each other.At the live hearing, each party’s advisor will be permitted to ask the other party and any witnesses all relevant questions and follow-up questions, including those challenging credibility.  Such cross-examination will be conducted directly, orally, and in real time by the party’s advisor of choice and may never be conducted by a party personally.If a party does not have an advisor who is available to conduct cross-examination on behalf of that party at the live hearing, then the College will provide the party with an advisor of the College’s choice, free of charge, to conduct cross-examination on behalf of that party.  To invoke this right, the party must notify the Title IX Coordinator at least three (3) business days in advance of the hearing that the party does not have an advisor to conduct cross-examination.  A party who fails to notify the College that he/she does not have an advisor within the required three (3) business day timeframe will waive the right to request that an advisor be appointed.Only relevant questions, as determined by the Hearing Officer, may be asked of a party or witness.
    Questions and evidence about the complainant’s sexual predisposition or prior sexual behavior are not relevant and will not be permitted, except where:

    1. The 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
    2. 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.

    If a party or witness does not submit to cross-examination at the live hearing, either due to absence from the hearing or due to the party’s or witness’s refusal to answer cross-examination or other questions, the Hearing Officer will not rely on any statement of that party or witness in reaching a determination regarding responsibility; however, the Hearing Officer will not 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.

    The College will make all evidence obtained as part of the investigation that is directly related to the allegations raised in the formal complaint available for the parties’ inspection and review during the hearing.  In addition, the College will create an audio or audiovisual recording or transcript of the live hearing, which the Title IX Coordinator will make available to the parties for inspection and review upon request.

  7. Determination Regarding Responsibility
    The Hearing Officer will make a decision regarding responsibility within ten business days.  The Hearing Officer will apply a preponderance of the evidence standard when determining responsibility.  Within seven (7) business days of reaching his/her decision, the Hearing Officer will issue a written determination to both parties simultaneously.  The written determination will include:

    1. Identification of the allegations potentially constituting sexual harassment as defined in 34 C.F.R. § 106.30 (Title IX) and/or constituting sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking pursuant to the Preventing Sexual Violence in Higher Education Act;
    2. A description of the procedural steps taken from the 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;
    3. Findings of fact supporting the determination;
    4. Conclusions regarding the application of the College Code of Conduct or other conduct standards to the facts;
    5. 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
    6. The procedures and permissible bases for the complainant and respondent to appeal.
  8. Appeals
    Both parties will have the right to appeal any determination regarding responsibility, and any dismissal of a formal complaint or allegations therein, to the Vice President or designee.  An appeal must be based on one or more of the following grounds:

    1. A procedural irregularity occurred;
    2. New evidence or information exists that could affect the outcome of the matter;
    3. The Title IX Coordinator, Investigator or Hearing Officer had a conflict of interest or bias for or against complainants or respondents generally, or the individual complainant or respondent, that affected the outcome of the matter; and/or
    4. The sanction is disproportionate with the violation.

    A party who wishes to appeal a determination regarding responsibility or a dismissal of a formal complaint or allegations therein must submit a written appeal request to the Title IX Coordinator within seven (7) business days of the party’s receipt of the written determination or written dismissal notice.  The written appeal request must identify the ground(s) on which the party seeks to appeal the determination or dismissal.

    Within seven (7) business days of the Title IX Coordinator’s receipt of an appeal request, the Title IX Coordinator will forward the appeal request to the Vice President or designee and will notify the other party in writing that an appeal has been filed.  Before reaching a determination regarding the appeal, the Vice President or designee will afford both parties an equal opportunity to submit a statement in support of, or challenging, the determination or responsibility or dismissal that is the subject of the appeal.  Within seven (7) business days after the Vice President or designee has concluded his/her review of the appeal, the Vice President or designee will issue a written decision simultaneously to both parties, describing the outcome of the appeal and the rationale for the outcome.  The Vice President or designee’s decision is final.

Prevention and Education for Students

The College will review, on an ongoing basis, its sexual discrimination, harassment, and misconduct prevention and education programming to ensure students and employees are provided substantive opportunities to learn about sexual discrimination, harassment, and misconduct, including primary prevention, bystander intervention, risk reduction, consent, reporting methods, relevant College policies and procedures, retaliation, survivor-centered and trauma-informed response, relevant definitions, and other pertinent topics.

The College, in conjunction with its Crisis Team, established pursuant to the Campus Security Enhancement Act of 2008 (110 ILCS 12/10), will annually review its prevention and education offerings to identify ways in which to enhance its effectiveness.

Training

The Title IX Coordinator(s) and anyone else involved in the receipt of reports of, responding to, investigating, or adjudicating alleged incidents of sexual discrimination, harassment, or other misconduct, or involved in the referral or provision of services to survivors receive annual education and training on primary prevention, bystander intervention, risk reduction, consent, reporting obligations, investigation procedures, confidentiality requirements, relevant College policies and procedures, retaliation, survivor-centered and trauma-informed response, relevant definitions, and other pertinent topics.

In addition to the above training, the Title IX Coordinator and Title IX Deputy whose duties include resolutions of complaints of student violations of this policy will receive at least 8-10 hours of annual training on issues related to Preventing Sexual Violence in Higher Education Act offenses including sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking; the scope of the College’s education program or activity; the Title IX and College definitions of sexual harassment; how to serve impartially, including by avoiding prejudgment of the facts at issue, conflicts of interest, and bias; and how to conduct the College’s Grievance Process outlined on Page 15, above.  Decision-makers in particular receive training on any technology to be used at live hearings and on issues of relevance of questions and evidence, including when questions and evidence about the complainant’s sexual predisposition or prior sexual behavior are not relevant.  Investigators in particular receive training on issues of relevance so as to enable them to create an investigative report that fairly summarizes relevant evidence.

All Confidential Advisors receive 40 hours of training on sexual violence before being designated a Confidential Advisor. Annually thereafter, Confidential Advisors attend a minimum of six (6) hours of ongoing educational training on issues related to sexual violence. Confidential Advisors also receive periodic training on the College administrative process, interim protective measures and accommodations, and the College’s Grievance Process (see Page 15).

The College, in conjunction with its Crisis Team established pursuant to the Campus Security Enhancement Act of 2008 (110 ILCS 12/10), will annually review its training offerings to identify ways in which to enhance its effectiveness.

Any materials used to train Title IX Coordinators, investigators, decision-makers, and any person who facilitates an informal resolution process, will not rely on sex stereotypes and will promote impartial investigations and adjudications of formal complaints of sexual harassment.

APPENDIX  A

Definitions for the College’s Sex-Based Misconduct Procedures

    1. Bystander Intervention: see Section 5 of the Preventing Sexual Violence in Higher Education Act, 110 ILCS 155/5.
    2. Complainant: an individual who is alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute sex-based misconduct.
    3. Confidential Advisor: a person who is employed or contracted by the College to provide emergency and ongoing support to student survivors of sexual violence. Confidential Advisors may include persons employed by a community-based sexual assault crisis center with whom the College partners. Individuals designated as “Responsible Employees” (Categories of Responsible employees page 9 Definition on page 24) of these Procedures are not Confidential Advisors.
    4. Consent: knowing and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity. Coercion, force, or the threat of either invalidates consent. Consent may not be inferred from silence, passivity, or a lack of verbal or physical resistance.  A person’s manner of dress does not constitute consent.  Past consent to sexual activities does not imply ongoing or future consent.  Consent to engage in sexual activity with one person does not constitute consent to engage in sexual activity with another person.  Consent may be withdrawn at any time.  A person cannot consent to sexual activity if that person is unable to understand the nature of the activity or give knowing consent due to circumstances, including without limitation the following: 1) the person is incapacitated due to the use or influence of alcohol or drugs; 2) the person is asleep or unconscious; 3) the person is under age; or 4) the person is incapacitated due to a mental disability.
    5. Dating Violence: violence committed by a person: 1) who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim; and 2) 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.
    6. Domestic Violence: includes 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 the domestic or family violence laws of the State of Illinois, 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 State of Illinois.
    7. Education Program or Activity: a location, event, or circumstance over which the College exercised substantial control over both the respondent and the context in which the sex-based misconduct occurs, and also includes any building owned or controlled by a student organization that is officially recognized by the College.
    8. Hate Crime: an act or an attempted act that violates a criminal statute by any person that in any way constitutes an expression of hostility toward the victim because of his or her sex, race, ethnicity, religion, age, disability, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender-related identity, color, marital status, military status, or unfavorable military discharge.
    9. Hostile Environment Caused by Sexual Harassment: a sexually harassing hostile environment is created when conduct by an individual is so severe, pervasive, or persistent that it denies or limits an individual’s ability to participate in or receive the benefits, services, or opportunities of the College’s educational programs or activities, or the individual’s employment access, benefits, or opportunities. In determining whether a hostile environment has been created, the conduct in question will be considered from both a subjective and an objective perspective of a reasonable person in the alleged victim’s position, considering all the circumstances.
    10. Incapacitation: when a person is incapable of giving consent due to the person’s age, use of drugs or alcohol, or because of an intellectual or other disability which prevents the person from having the capacity to give consent.
    11. Intimidation: to intentionally make another timid or fearful, to compel or deter by, or as if by threats. Intimidation is a form of retaliation prohibited by the College’s Policy Prohibiting Sex-Based Misconduct and these Procedures.
    12. Preponderance of the Evidence: when considering all the evidence in the case, the decision-maker is persuaded that the allegations are more probably true than not true.
    13. Respondent: an individual who has been reported to be the perpetrator of conduct that could constitute sex-based misconduct.
    14. Responsible Employee: a College employee who has the authority to redress sex-based misconduct, who has the duty to report incidents of such misconduct or other student misconduct, or whom a student could reasonably believe has this authority or duty. Page 9 of these Procedures lists categories of employees who are Responsible Employees for the College.
    15. Retaliation: Any form of retaliation, including intimidation, threats, harassment, and other adverse action taken or threatened against any complainant or person reporting or filing a complaint alleging sexual discrimination, harassment, or misconduct, or any person cooperating in the investigation of such allegations (including testifying, assisting, or participating in any manner in an investigation) is strictly prohibited and may violate the protections of the State Employees and Officials Ethics Act, the Whistleblower Act, and the Illinois Human Rights Act. Action is generally deemed adverse if it would deter a reasonable person in the same circumstances from opposing practices prohibited by the College’s Sex-Based Misconduct Policy and these Procedures.  Retaliation may result in disciplinary or other action independent of the sanctions or supportive measures imposed in response to the allegations of sexual discrimination, harassment, or misconduct.
    16. Sexual Assault: any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs by force or coercion, without consent of the recipient of the unwanted sexual activity, or in a familial relationship of a degree that would prohibit marriage. It includes sexual acts against a person who is unable to consent either due to age or lack of capacity or impairment.  Examples include forcible sexual intercourse, forcible sodomy, forcible fondling, child molestation, incest, attempted rape, statutory rape, and rape. Sexual assault can occur between members of the same or opposite sex.  Sexual assault includes any forced act against one’s will where sex is the weapon.
    17. Sex-Based Misconduct: Misconduct on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, or gender-related identity. Such misconduct includes sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual violence, and stalking.
    18. Sexual Exploitation: when a person takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for anyone’s advantage or benefit other than the person being exploited, and that behavior does not meet the definition of sexual assault. Sexual exploitation includes prostituting another person, non-consensual visual or audio recording of sexual activity, non-consensual distribution of photos or other images of an individual’s sexual activity or intimate body parts with an intent to embarrass such individual, non-consensual voyeurism, knowingly transmitting HIV or a sexually transmitted disease to another, or exposing one’s genitals to another in non-consensual circumstances.
    19. Sexual Harassment: Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual acts or favors, and other verbal, non-verbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
      • Submission to such conduct is made explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment, academic advancement, evaluation, or grades;
      • Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for employment, academic advancement, evaluation, or grading decisions affecting that individual;
      • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s employment or educational performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive employment, or educational environment; or
      • Such conduct denies or limits an individual’s ability to participate in or receive the benefits, services or opportunities of the College’s educational programs or activities or the individual’s employment access, benefits, or opportunities.

Examples of conduct of a sexual nature may include:

  1. Sexual Violence: physical sexual acts attempted or perpetuated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent (g., due to the person’s age, use of drugs or alcohol, or because an intellectual or other disability prevents the person from having the capacity to give consent). Sexual violence includes, but is not limited to, rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, sexual abuse, and sexual coercion.  All such acts of sexual violence are forms of sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX.
  2. Survivor: an individual who has experienced sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking while enrolled, employed, or attending an event at a higher education institution.
  3. Survivor-Centered: See Section 5 of the Preventing Sexual Violence in Higher Education Act, 110 ILCS 155/5.
  4. Stalking: engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to: 1) fear for his or her safety or the safety or others; or 2) suffer substantial emotional distress.
  5. Threat: any oral or written expression or gesture that could be interpreted by a reasonable person as conveying an intent to cause harm to persons or property.
  6. Trauma-Informed Response: See Section 5 of the Preventing Sexual Violence in Higher Education Act, 110 ILCS 155/5.