This section covers student conduct, rights and responsibilities while pursuing an education at Wake Technical Community College. Wake Tech is a learning community with specific expectations regarding student conduct. The college seeks to provide a safe and healthy environment that facilitates teaching, learning and student success by adhering to the college’s core values of respect, responsibility, communication, collaboration, critical thinking and accountability. When a student's conduct adversely affects the college community or the pursuit of Wake Tech's educational objectives, disciplinary action will be taken – first, to resolve the problem, and then to help students learn from mistakes. Discipline issues will be resolved informally whenever possible.
The submission of an application for admission to Wake Technical Community College represents a voluntary decision on a prospective student's part to participate in the programs offered by the college pursuant to its policies, rules and regulations. College acceptance of the application represents the extending of the privilege of joining the college community and of remaining a part of it as long as established standards for academics and conduct are met.
Students who enroll accept college policies and procedures and acknowledge the right of Wake Tech to take action, up to and including suspension or expulsion, when a student is found responsible for misconduct. Students are responsible for becoming familiar with Wake Tech policies and procedures.
Students have the following rights, and the privilege of exercising those rights without fear or prejudice, as long as they respect state and federal laws, college policies and the rights of others on campus. Wake Tech strives to create an atmosphere where students have the following rights:
Freedom of expression
Academic Integrity appeal
Freedom from discrimination
Students also have responsibilities as part of the college community:
DEFINITIONS (as applicable to Student Code of Conduct, Rights and Responsibilities)
When college officials award course credits, degrees, diplomas and certificates, they assume integrity on the part of the student who has completed the work. Students should compose content that reflects their ideas based on their own experiences, reflections and research. Wake Technical Community College expects students to demonstrate the highest personal integrity in all academic work and behavior. Effective education depends on an atmosphere that is conducive to learning, based on a commitment to honesty, trust, fairness, respect and individual responsibility. Creating such an atmosphere is the responsibility of students and instructors and requires integrity on the part of both. Students may be asked to sign a statement of academic integrity upon entering Wake Tech classes.
Faculty are responsible for the assignment of student grades according to methods that are professionally acceptable, communicated to everyone in the class and applied to all students equitably.
A student who has a disagreement with an instructor's professional judgment in grading should attempt to resolve the matter through dialogue with the instructor who issued the grade. Wake Tech's academic integrity policy requires that the college ordinarily refrain from review of or participating in an instructor's evaluation of student performance in cases where the instructor is merely using his or her professional judgment.
However, the college acknowledges that, on occasion, exceptional circumstances may arise in which a student should have the opportunity to appeal the grade for a course. When circumstances warrant, a student may make use of the appeals process listed in Section E, Final Course Grade Appeal Procedure. In the event the student is contending that the disputed grade was rendered on account of or was influenced by the student's age, race, sex, national origin, religion, veteran status or disability, the student must use the complaint form in lieu of the procedure described in Section E.
Violations of the academic integrity policy
Cheating and plagiarism, as defined below, are forms of academic dishonesty that violate the academic integrity policy. Students found responsible for violating academic integrity policies are subject to penalties from instructors and sanctions from Student Conduct Officers.
Academic integrity do's and don'ts
Academic integrity violation penalties
The following academic penalties may be imposed by an instructor, a department head or a division dean for violation of the academic integrity policy.
Loss of grade procedure
Loss of course credit procedure
Documentation of evidence of academic integrity violations resulting in the loss of credit will be retained by a Student Conduct Officer. Multiple violations of the academic integrity policy may result in additional student conduct sanctions.
The purpose of the Student Code of Conduct (Student Code) is not to restrict freedom but to protect the rights of all students in their academic pursuits.
Students are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with generally accepted standards, while appropriately incorporating the college's core values of accountability, respect, responsibility, critical thinking, communication and collaboration.
Other than college probation, suspension, expulsion or the revoking or withholding of a degree, disciplinary sanctions will not be made part of the student's permanent academic record but will become part of the student's conduct record maintained by the Student Conduct Officer.
Concerns involving harassment or discrimination by a college faculty member or staff member on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, national origin, disability or veteran status should be directed to the college's Affirmative Action Officer and/or Title IX Officer.
Currently enrolled students may wish to complain about an issue related to the mission of the college for which there is no formal or established grievance or appeals process, including curriculum, class scheduling, registration, financial aid, facilities or faculty. In accordance with federal consumer information and accreditation requirements, all units that receive and resolve such complaints will maintain a log of the complaints and their resolution. In such cases, the following procedures will occur:
If you are a currently enrolled student who has exhausted the college’s complaint procedures and the matter is unresolved, you may file a formal complaint through the Licensure Division of the University of North Carolina System. All community college student complaints will be forwarded to the North Carolina Community College System office. Please follow the directions on the following links:
Wake Technical Community College adheres to all federal, state and local civil rights laws prohibiting discrimination in employment and education. The college does not discriminate in its admissions practices (except as permitted by law), in its employment practices or in its educational programs or activities on the basis of sex.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX) states: "No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance."
As a recipient of federal financial assistance for education activities, the college is required by Title IX to ensure that all of its education programs and activities do not discriminate on the basis of sex. Sex includes sex, sex stereotypes, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation and pregnancy or parenting status. Sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating and domestic violence and stalking are forms of sex discrimination, which are prohibited under Title IX and by college policy.
Any member of the campus community, guest or visitor who acts to deny, deprive or limit the educational, employment or social access, opportunities and/or benefits of any member of the college community on the basis of sex is in violation of the Title IX Policy.
The college values and upholds the equal dignity of all members of its community and strives to balance the rights of the parties in the grievance process during what is often a difficult time for all those involved.
When the Respondent is a member of the college community, a grievance process may be available regardless of the status of the Complainant, who may or may not be a member of the college community. This community includes, but is not limited to, students, student organizations, faculty, administrators, staff and third parties such as guests, visitors and volunteers.
For the purpose of this policy, the college refers to "student" as an individual moved to the status of student by the college’s Admissions Department and/or the Workforce Continuing Education Registrar Office’s process and maintains an ongoing relationship with the college in one or more of the following categories:
The procedures below may be applied to incidents, patterns and/or the campus climate, all of which may be addressed and investigated in accordance with this policy.
The following link offers training materials for the college’s Title IX Team inclusive of training and certification events, select webinars and online trainings provided by the Association of Title IX Administrators (ATIXA). The Title IX Team has participated in training relevant to each member’s responsibilities and designated roles.
Title IX Coordinator
Laura Bethea serves as the Title IX Coordinator and oversees coordination and implementation of Wake Technical Community College’s efforts related to the intake, investigation, resolution and implementation of supportive measures to stop, remedy, remediate and prevent discrimination, harassment and retaliation prohibited under this policy. All parties will be provided with a comprehensive (electronic) brochure detailing options and resources, which the Title IX Coordinator may also go over in person with the parties, as appropriate.
Independence and conflict-of-interest
The Title IX Coordinator manages the Title IX Team and acts with independence and authority free from bias and conflicts of interest. The Title IX Coordinator oversees all resolutions under this policy and these procedures. The members of the Title IX Team are vetted and trained to ensure they are not biased for or against any party in a specific case or for or against Complainants and/or Respondents generally.
To raise any concern involving bias or conflict of interest, reports of misconduct,or discrimination by the Title IX Coordinator, contact Vice President of Human Resources and College Safety Benita Clark at [email protected] or 919-866-7894 or other designee.
Concerns of bias, a potential conflict of interest or reports of misconduct or discrimination by any other Title IX Team member should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator.
Administrative contact information
Complaints or notice of alleged policy violations or inquiries about or concerns regarding this policy and procedures may be made internally to the Office of Title IX:
The College has determined that the College President, Executive Vice President and Vice Presidents are Officials with Authority (OWA) to address and correct harassment, discrimination and/or retaliation. In addition to the Title IX Team members listed above, the OWA listed below may also accept notice or complaints on behalf of the college:
The college has also classified all employees as Mandated Reporters of any knowledge they have that a member of the community is experiencing harassment, discrimination and/or retaliation. The section below on Mandated Reporting details which employees have this responsibility and their duties, accordingly.
Inquiries may be made externally to:
Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Ave., SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-1100
Customer Service Hotline: 800-421-3481
Email: [email protected]
North Carolina Office for Civil Rights
1 S. Wilmington St.
Raleigh, NC 27601
1511 Mail Service Center (mailing address)
Raleigh, NC 27699-1511
North Carolina Department of Justice
114 W. Edenton St.
Raleigh, NC 27603
Notice/complaints of Sex Discrimination, Harassment and/or Retaliation
Notice or complaints of sex discrimination, harassment and/or retaliation may be made using any of the following options:
The College will offer and implement appropriate and reasonable supportive measures to the parties upon notice of alleged harassment, discrimination and/or retaliation.
Supportive measures are non-disciplinary, non-punitive individualized services offered as appropriate and as reasonably available. They are offered without fee or charge to the parties to restore or preserve access to the Recipient’s education program or activity, including measures designed to protect the safety of all parties and/or the Recipient’s educational environment and/or to deter harassment, discrimination and/or retaliation.
The Title IX Coordinator promptly makes supportive measures available to the parties upon receiving notice or a complaint. At the time that supportive measures are offered, the college will inform the Complainant, in writing, that they may file a formal complaint with the college either at that time or in the future, if they have not done so already. The Title IX Coordinator works with the Complainant to ensure that their wishes are taken into account with respect to the supportive measures that are planned and implemented.
The college will maintain confidentiality of the supportive measures, provided that confidentiality does not impair the college’s ability to provide those supportive measures. The college will act to ensure as minimal an academic/occupational impact on the parties as possible. The college will implement measures in a way that does not unreasonably burden the other party.
These actions may include, but are not limited to:
Violations of no-contact orders or other restrictions will be referred to appropriate student or employee conduct processes for enforcement.
The college can act to remove a student Respondent entirely or partially from its education program or activities on an emergency basis when an individualized safety and risk analysis has determined that an immediate threat to the physical health or safety of any student or other individual justifies removal. This risk analysis is performed by the Title IX Coordinator in conjunction with the Behavioral Assessment Team (also known as BAT) using its standard objective violence risk assessment procedures.
In all cases in which an emergency removal is imposed, the student or employee will be given notice of the action and the option to request to meet with the Title IX Coordinator prior to such action/removal being imposed, or as soon thereafter as reasonably possible, to show cause why the action/removal should not be implemented or should be modified.
This meeting is not a hearing on the merits of the allegation(s), but rather is an administrative process intended to determine solely whether the emergency removal is appropriate. When this meeting is not requested in a timely manner, objections to the emergency removal will be deemed waived. A Complainant and their Advisor may be permitted to participate in this meeting if the Title IX Coordinator determines it is equitable to do so.
This section also applies to any restrictions that a coach or athletic administrator may place on a student-athlete arising from allegations related to Title IX.
There is no appeal process for emergency removal decisions.
A Respondent may be accompanied by an Advisor of their choice when meeting with the Title IX Coordinator for the show cause meeting. The Respondent will be given access to a written summary of the basis for the emergency removal prior to the meeting to allow for adequate preparation.
The Title IX Coordinator has sole discretion under this policy to implement or stay an emergency removal and to determine the conditions and duration. Violation of an emergency removal under this policy will be grounds for discipline within the student or employee conduct processes, which may include expulsion or termination.
The college will implement the least restrictive emergency actions possible in light of the circumstances and safety concerns. As determined by the Title IX Coordinator, these actions could include but are not limited to temporarily reassigning an employee, restricting a student’s or employee’s access to or use of facilities or equipment, allowing a student to withdraw or take grades of incomplete without financial penalty, authorizing an administrative leave and suspending a student’s participation in extracurricular activities, student employment, student organizational leadership or intercollegiate/intramural athletics.
At the discretion of the Title IX Coordinator, alternative coursework options may be pursued to ensure as minimal an academic impact as possible on the parties.
When the Respondent is an employee, existing provisions for interim action are applicable instead of the above emergency removal process.
All allegations are acted upon promptly by the college once it has received notice or a formal complaint. Complaints can take 60 to 90 business days to resolve, typically. There are always exceptions and extenuating circumstances that can cause a resolution to take longer, but the college will avoid all undue delays within its control.
Any time the general time frames for resolution outlined in the college’s procedures will be delayed, the college provide written notice to the parties of the delay, the cause of the delay and an estimate of the anticipated additional time that will be needed as a result of the delay.
Every effort is made by the college to preserve the confidentiality of reports. The college will not share the identity of any individual who has made a report or complaint of harassment, discrimination or retaliation, any Complainant, any individual who has been reported to be the perpetrator of sex discrimination, any Respondent or any witness, except as permitted by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), 20 U.S.C. 1232g; FERPA regulations, 34 CFR part 99; or as required by law or to carry out the purposes of 34 CFR Part 106, including the conducting of any investigation, hearing or grievance proceeding arising under these policies and procedures.
For the purpose of this policy, privacy and confidentiality have distinct meanings.
Privacy means that information related to a complaint will be shared with a limited number of college employees who "need to know" in order to assist in the assessment, investigation and resolution of the report. All employees who are involved in the college’s response to notice under this policy receive specific training and guidance about sharing and safeguarding private information in accordance with state and federal law. The privacy of student education records will be protected in accordance with FERPA, as outlined in college policy. The privacy of employee records will be protected in accordance with Human Resources policies.
Confidentiality exists in the context of laws that protect certain relationships, including those who provide services related to medical and clinical care, mental health providers, counselors and ordained clergy. The law creates a privilege between certain health care providers, mental health care providers, attorneys, clergy, spouses and others with their patients, clients, parishioners and spouses. The college has designated individuals who have the ability to have privileged communications as Confidential Resources as noted in the glossary.
When information is shared by a Complainant with a Confidential Resource, the Confidential Resource cannot reveal the information to any third party except when an applicable law or a court order requires or permits disclosure of such information. For example, information may be disclosed when the individual gives written consent for its disclosure, there is a concern that the individual will likely cause serious physical harm to self or others or the information concerns conduct involving suspected abuse or neglect of a minor under age 18, elders, or individuals with disabilities. Non-identifiable information may be shared by Confidential Resources for statistical tracking purposes as required by the federal Clery Act. Other information may be shared as required by law.
The college reserves the right to designate which college officials have a legitimate educational interest in being informed about incidents that fall within this policy, pursuant to FERPA.
Only a small group of officials who need to know will typically be told about the complaint, including but not limited to college police, Curriculum Education Services, Wellness Services and the Behavioral Assessment Team. Information will be shared as necessary with Title IX Investigators, Hearing Panel members/Decision-makers, witnesses and the parties. The circle of people with this knowledge will be kept as tight as possible to preserve the parties’ rights and privacy.
The college may contact parents/guardians to inform them of situations in which there is a significant and articulable health and/or safety risk, but will usually consult with the student first before doing so.
Confidentiality and mandated reporting are addressed more specifically in the mandating reporting section.
Jurisdiction of Wake Technical Community College
This policy applies to the educational programs and activities of the college, to conduct that takes place on the campus or on property owned or controlled by the college, at college-sponsored events and in buildings owned or controlled by the college’s recognized student organizations. The Respondent must be a member of the college’s community in order for this policy to apply.
This policy can also be applicable to the effects of off-campus misconduct that effectively deprives a person of access to the college’s educational program. The college may also extend jurisdiction to off-campus and/or to online conduct when the Title IX Coordinator determines that the conduct affects a substantial interest to the college.
Regardless of where the conduct occurred, the college will address notice/complaints to determine whether the conduct occurred in the context of its employment or educational program or activity and/or has continuing effects on campus or in an off-campus sponsored program or activity. A substantial interest to the college includes:
If the Respondent is unknown or is not a member of the college community, the Title IX Coordinator will assist the Complainant in identifying appropriate campus and local resources and support options. If criminal conduct is alleged, the college can assist in contacting local or campus law enforcement if the individual would like to file a police report.
Further, even when the Respondent is not a member of the college community, supportive measures, remedies and resources may be provided to the Complainant by contacting the Title IX Coordinator.
In addition, the College may take other actions as appropriate to protect the Complainant against third parties, such as barring individuals from the college’s property and/or events.
All vendors serving the college through third-party contracts are subject to the policies and procedures of their employers and/or to these policies and procedures to which their employer has agreed to be bound by their contracts.
When the Respondent is enrolled in or employed by another institution, the Title IX Coordinator can assist the Complainant in liaising with the appropriate individual at that institution, as it may be possible to allege violations through that institution’s policies.
Similarly, the Title IX Coordinator may be able to assist and support a student or employee Complainant who experiences discrimination in an externship, study abroad program or other environment external to the college where sexual harassment policies and procedures of the facilitating or host organization may give recourse to the Complainant.
Time limits on reporting
There is no time limit on providing notice/complaints to the Title IX Coordinator. However, if the Respondent is no longer subject to the college’s jurisdiction and/or significant time has passed, the ability to investigate, respond and provide remedies may be more limited or impossible.
Acting on notice/complaints significantly impacted by the passage of time is at the discretion of the Title IX Coordinator, who may document allegations for future reference, offer supportive measures and/or provide remedies and/or engage in informal or formal action, as appropriate.
When a notice/complaint is affected by a significant time delay, the college will typically apply the policy in place at the time of the alleged misconduct and the procedures in place at the time of notice/complaint. Typically, this policy is applied only to incidents that occurred after August 14, 2020. For incidents that occurred prior to August 14, 2020, previous versions of this policy will apply. Those versions are available from the Title IX Coordinator.
Online harassment and misconduct
The policies of Wake Technical Community College are written and interpreted broadly to include online and cyber manifestations of any of the behaviors prohibited below, when those behaviors occur in or have an effect on the college’s education program and activities or when they involve the use of the college’s networks, technology or equipment.
Although the college may not control websites, social media and other venues through which harassing communications are made, when such communications are reported to the college, it will engage in a variety of means to address and mitigate the effects.
Members of the college community are encouraged to be good digital citizens and to refrain from online misconduct, such as feeding anonymous gossip sites, sharing inappropriate content via Snaps or other social media, unwelcome sexual or sex-based messaging, distributing or threatening to distribute revenge pornography, breaches of privacy or otherwise using the ease of transmission and/or anonymity of the internet or other technology to harm another member of the college community.
Any online posting or other electronic communication by students, including cyber-bullying, cyber-stalking, cyber-harassment, etc., occurring completely outside of the college’s control (e.g., not on the college’s networks, websites or between college email accounts) will be subject to this policy only when such online conduct can be shown to cause a substantial in-program disruption or infringement on the rights of others.
Otherwise, such communications are considered speech protected by the First Amendment. Supportive measures for Complainants will be provided, but protected speech cannot legally be subjected to discipline.
Off-campus harassing speech by employees, whether online or in person, may be regulated by the college only when such speech is made in an employee’s official or work-related capacity.
Disability discrimination and accommodation policy
Wake Technical Community College is committed to full compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), as amended, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibit discrimination against qualified persons with disabilities, as well as other federal, state and local laws and regulations pertaining to individuals with disabilities.
Under the ADA and its amendments, a person has a disability if they have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity.
The ADA also protects individuals who have a record of a substantially limiting impairment or who are regarded as disabled by the college, regardless of whether they currently have a disability. A substantial impairment is one that significantly limits or restricts a major life activity such as hearing, seeing, speaking, breathing, performing manual tasks, walking or caring for oneself.
Angelita Ragland has been designated as Wake Technical Community College’s ADA Coordinator/504 Officer and responsible for overseeing efforts to comply with these disability laws, including responding to grievances and conducting investigations of any allegation of noncompliance or discrimination based on disability.
Grievances related to disability status and/or accommodations will be addressed using the procedures below. For details relating to disability accommodations in the college’s resolution process, see previous section.
a. Students with disabilities
Wake Technical Community College is committed to providing qualified students with disabilities with reasonable accommodations and support needed to ensure equal access to the academic programs, facilities, and activities of the college.
All accommodations are made on an individualized basis. A student requesting any accommodation should first contact Angelita Ragland, the Director of Disability Support Services, who coordinates services for students with disabilities.
The Director of Disability Support Services reviews documentation provided by the student and, in consultation with the student, determines which accommodations are appropriate for the student’s particular needs and academic program(s) in accordance with the college’s applicable policies.
b. Employees with disabilities
Pursuant to the ADA, the college will provide reasonable accommodation(s) to all qualified employees with known disabilities when their disability affects the performance of their essential job functions, except when doing so would be unduly disruptive or would result in undue hardship to the college.
An employee with a disability is responsible for submitting a request for an accommodation to the ADA Coordinator/504 Officer and providing necessary documentation. The ADA Coordinator/504 Officer will work with the employee’s supervisor to identify which essential functions of the position are affected by the employee’s disability and what reasonable accommodations could enable the employee to perform those duties.
Sexual harassment policy
The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the state of North Carolina regard sexual harassment, a specific form of discriminatory harassment, as an unlawful discriminatory practice.
The college has adopted the following definition of sexual harassment in order to address the unique environment of an academic community, which consists not only of employer and employees, but of students as well.
Acts of sexual harassment may be committed by any person upon any other person, regardless of the sex, sexual orientation and/or gender identity of those involved.
Sexual harassment, as an umbrella category, includes the offenses of sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking, and is defined as:
Conduct on the basis of sex/gender or that is sexual in nature that satisfies one or more of the following:
*To categorize an incident as Domestic Violence under this policy, the relationship between the Respondent and the Complainant must be more than just two people living together as roommates. The people cohabitating must be current or former spouses or have an intimate relationship.
The College reserves the right to impose any level of sanction, ranging from a reprimand up to and including suspension or expulsion/termination, for any offense under this policy. The most serious offenses are likely to result in suspension/expulsion/termination, where warranted.
As used in the offenses above, the following definitions and understandings apply:
Force: Force is the use of physical violence and/or physical imposition to gain sexual access. Force also includes threats, intimidation (implied threats), and coercion that is intended to overcome resistance or produce consent (e.g., “Have sex with me or I’ll hit you,” which elicits the response, “Okay, don’t hit me, I’ll do what you want.”).
Sexual activity that is forced is, by definition, non-consensual, but non-consensual sexual activity is not necessarily forced. Silence or the absence of resistance alone is not consent. Consent is not demonstrated by the absence of resistance. While resistance is not required or necessary, it is a clear demonstration of non-consent.
Coercion: Coercion is unreasonable pressure for sexual activity. Coercive conduct differs from seductive conduct based on factors such as the type and/or extent of the pressure used to obtain consent. When someone makes clear that they do not want to engage in certain sexual activity, that they want to stop, or that they do not want to go past a certain point of sexual interaction, continued pressure beyond that point can be coercive.
Individuals may perceive and experience the same interaction in different ways; therefore, it is the responsibility of each party to determine that the other has consented before engaging in the activity.
If consent is not clearly provided prior to engaging in the activity, consent may be ratified by word or action at some point during the interaction or thereafter, but clear communication from the outset is strongly encouraged.
For consent to be valid, there must be a clear expression in words or actions that the other individual consented to that specific sexual conduct. Reasonable reciprocation can be implied. For example, if someone kisses you, you can kiss them back (if you want to) without the need to explicitly obtain their consent to being kissed back.
Consent can also be withdrawn once given, as long as the withdrawal is reasonably and clearly communicated. If consent is withdrawn, that sexual activity should cease within a reasonable time.
Consent to some sexual contact (such as kissing or fondling) cannot be presumed to be consent for other sexual activity (such as intercourse). A current or previous intimate relationship is not sufficient to constitute consent.
Proof of consent or non-consent is not a burden placed on either party involved in an incident. Instead, the burden remains on the Wake Technical Community College to determine whether its policy has been violated. The existence of consent is based on the totality of the circumstances evaluated from the perspective of a reasonable person in the same or similar circumstances, including the context in which the alleged incident occurred and any similar and previous patterns that may be evidenced.
Consent in relationships must also be considered in context. When parties consent to bondage, discipline/dominance, submission/sadism, and masochism (BDSM) or other forms of kink, non-consent may be shown by the use of a safe word. Resistance, force, violence, or even saying “no” may be part of the kink and thus consensual, so the College’s evaluation of communication in kink situations should be guided by reasonableness, rather than strict adherence to policy that assumes non-kink relationships as a default.
Incapacitation: A person cannot consent if they are unable to understand what is happening or is disoriented, helpless, asleep, or unconscious, for any reason, including by alcohol or other drugs. As stated above, a Respondent violates this policy if they engage in sexual activity with someone who is incapable of giving consent.
It is a defense to a sexual assault policy violation that the Respondent neither knew nor should have known the Complainant to be physically or mentally incapacitated. “Should have known” is an objective, reasonable person standard that assumes that a reasonable person is both sober and exercising sound judgment.
Incapacitation occurs when someone cannot make rational, reasonable decisions because they lack the capacity to give knowing/informed consent (e.g., to understand the “who, what, when, where, why, and how” of their sexual interaction).
Incapacitation is determined through consideration of all relevant indicators of an individual’s state and is not synonymous with intoxication, impairment, blackout, and/or being drunk.
This policy also covers a person whose incapacity results from a temporary or permanent physical or mental health condition, involuntary physical restraint, and/or the consumption of incapacitating drugs.
d. Other Civil Rights Offenses
In addition to the forms of sexual harassment described above, which are covered by Title IX, the College additionally prohibits the following offenses as forms of discrimination that may be within or outside of Title IX when the act is based upon the Complainant’s actual or perceived membership in a protected class.
Violation of any other College policies may constitute a Civil Rights Offense when a violation is motivated by actual or perceived membership in a protected class, and the result is a discriminatory limitation or denial of employment or educational access, benefits, or opportunities.
Sanctions for the above-listed Civil Rights Offenses range from reprimand through expulsion/termination.
There are inherent risks in any romantic or sexual relationship between individuals in unequal positions (such as faculty member and student or supervisor and employee). These relationships may, in reality, be less consensual than perceived by the individual whose position confers power or authority. Similarly, the relationship also may be viewed in different ways by each of the parties, particularly in retrospect. Circumstances may change, and conduct that was once welcomed may, at some point in the relationship, become unwelcomed.
The College does not wish to interfere with private choices regarding personal relationships when these relationships do not interfere with the goals and policies of the College. However, for the personal protection of members of this community, relationships are prohibited in which power differentials and professional responsibility are inherent.
Employees may refer to the College's Employee Handbook for further details regarding personal relationships with others in the College community.
Protected activity under this policy includes reporting an incident that may implicate this policy, participating in the grievance process, supporting a Complainant or Respondent, assisting in providing information relevant to an investigation, and/or acting in good faith to oppose conduct that constitutes a violation of this Policy.
Acts of alleged retaliation should be reported immediately to the Title IX Coordinator and will be promptly investigated. The College will take all appropriate and available steps to protect individuals who fear that they may be subjected to retaliation.
The College and any member of the College community are prohibited from taking or attempting to take materially adverse action by intimidating, threatening, coercing, harassing, or discriminating against any individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by law or policy, 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 and procedure.
Filing a complaint within Process B could be considered retaliatory if those charges could be applicable under Process A, when the Process B charger are made for the purpose of interfering with or circumventing any right or privilege provided afforded within Process A that is not provided by Process B. Therefore, the College vets all complaints carefully to ensure this does not happen, and to ensure that complaints are routed to the appropriate process.
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 complaint of sexual harassment, for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by Title IX, constitutes retaliation.
The exercise of rights protected under the First Amendment does not constitute retaliation.
Charging an individual with a code of conduct violation for making a materially false statement in bad faith in the course of a grievance proceeding under this policy and procedure does not constitute retaliation, provided that the determination of responsibility, by itself, is not sufficient to conclude that any party has made a materially false statement in bad faith.
All College employees (faculty, staff, and administrators) are expected to report actual or suspected discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation to appropriate officials immediately, although there are some limited exceptions.
In order to make informed choices, it is important to be aware of confidentiality and mandatory reporting requirements when consulting campus resources. On campus, some resources may maintain confidentiality and are not required to report actual or suspected discrimination or harassment in a way that identifies the parties. They may offer options and resources without any obligation to inform an outside agency or campus official unless a Complainant has requested the information be shared.
If a Complainant expects formal action in response to their allegations, reporting to any Mandated Reporter can connect them with resources to report crimes and/or policy violations, and these employees will immediately pass reports to the Title IX Coordinator (and/or police, if desired by the Complainant), who will take action when an incident is reported to them.
The following sections describe the reporting options at the College for a Complainant or third-party (including parents/guardians when appropriate):
a. Confidential Resources
If a Complainant would like the details of an incident to be kept confidential, the Complainant may speak with:
All of the above-listed individuals will maintain confidentiality when acting under the scope of their licensure, professional ethics, and/or professional credentials, or official designation, except in extreme cases of immediacy of threat or danger or abuse of a minor/elder/individual with a disability, or when required to disclose by law or court order.
College licensed professional counselors associated with the College’s Wellness Services (students) are available to help free of charge and may be consulted on an emergency basis during normal business hours as outlined below.
Wellness Services (students and student referrals only)
College employees who have confidential privilege as described above, and who receive reports within the scope of their confidential roles will timely submit anonymous statistical information for Clery Act purposes unless they believe it would be harmful to their service participant or client.
b. Anonymous Notice to Mandated Reporters
At the request of a Complainant, notice may be given by a Mandated Reporter to the Title IX Coordinator anonymously, without identification of the Complainant. The Mandated Reporter cannot remain anonymous themselves.
If a Complainant has requested that a Mandated Reporter maintain the Complainant’s anonymity, the Mandated Reporter may do so unless it is reasonable to believe that a compelling threat to health or safety could exist. The Mandated Reporter can consult with the Title IX Coordinator on that assessment without revealing personally identifiable information.
Anonymous notice will be investigated by the College to the extent possible, both to assess the underlying allegation(s) and to determine if supportive measures or remedies can be provided.
However, anonymous notice typically limits the College’s ability to investigate, respond, and provide remedies, depending on what information is shared.
When a Complainant has made a request for anonymity, the Complainant’s personally identifiable information may be withheld by a Mandated Reporter, but all other details must be shared with the Title IX Coordinator. Mandated reporters may not be able to maintain requests for anonymity for Complainants who are minors, elderly, and/or disabled, depending on state reporting of abuse requirements.
c. Mandated Reporters and Formal Notice/Complaints
All employees the College (including student employees), with the exception of those who are designated as Confidential Resources, are Mandated Reporters and must promptly share with the Title IX Coordinator all known details of a report made to them in the course of their employment.
Employees must also promptly share all details of behaviors under this policy that they observe or have knowledge of, even if not reported to them by a Complainant or third-party.
Complainants may want to carefully consider whether they share personally identifiable details with non-confidential Mandated Reporters, as those details must be shared with the Title IX Coordinator.
Generally, disclosures in climate surveys, classroom writing assignments or discussions, human subjects research, events, marches, or speak-outs do not provide notice that must be reported to the Title IX Coordinator by employees, unless the Complainant clearly indicates that they desire a report to be made or a seek a specific response from the College.
Supportive measures may be offered as the result of such disclosures without formal action by the College.
Failure of a Mandated Reporter, as described above in this section, to report an incident of harassment or discrimination of which they become aware is a violation of the College’s policy and can be subject to disciplinary action for failure to comply.
Though this may seem obvious, when a Mandated Reporter is engaged in harassment or other violations of this policy, they still have a duty to report their own misconduct, though the College is technically not on notice when a harasser is also a Mandated Reporter unless the harasser does in fact report themselves.
Finally, it is important to clarify that a Mandated Reporter who is themselves a target of harassment or other misconduct under this policy is not required to report their own experience, though they are, of course, encouraged to do so.
When a Complainant Does Not Wish to Proceed
If a Complainant does not wish for their name to be shared, does not wish for an investigation to take place, and/or does not want a formal complaint to be pursued, they may make such a request to the Title IX Coordinator, who will evaluate that request in light of the duty to ensure the safety of the campus and to comply with state or federal law.
The Title IX Coordinator has ultimate discretion over whether the College proceeds when the Complainant does not wish to do so, and the Title IX Coordinator may sign a formal complaint to initiate a grievance process usually upon completion of an appropriate violence risk assessment.
The Title IX Coordinator’s decision should be based on results of the violence risk assessment that show a compelling risk to health and/or safety that requires the College to pursue formal action to protect the community.
A compelling risk to health and/or safety may result from evidence of patterns of misconduct, predatory conduct, threats, abuse of minors, use of weapons, and/or violence. The College may be compelled to act on alleged employee misconduct irrespective of a Complainant’s wishes.
The Title IX Coordinator must also consider the effect that non-participation by the Complainant may have on the availability of evidence and the College’s ability to pursue a Formal Grievance Process fairly and effectively.
When the Title IX Coordinator executes the written complaint, they do not become the Complainant. The Complainant is the individual who is alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute a violation of this policy.
When the College proceeds, the Complainant (and/or their Advisor) may have as much or as little involvement in the process as they wish. The Complainant retains all rights of a Complainant under this Policy irrespective of their level of participation. Typically, when the Complainant chooses not to participate, the Advisor may be appointed as proxy for the Complainant throughout the process, acting to ensure and protect the rights of the Complainant, though this does not extend to the provision of evidence or testimony.
Note that the College’s ability to remedy and respond to notice may be limited if the Complainant does not want the College to proceed with an investigation and/or grievance process. The goal is to provide the Complainant with as much control over the process as possible, while balancing the College’s obligation to protect its community.
In cases in which the Complainant requests confidentiality/no formal action and the circumstances allow the College to honor that request, the College may offer informal resolution options (see below), supportive measures, and remedies to the Complainant and the community, but will not otherwise pursue formal action.
If the Complainant elects to take no action, they can change that decision if they decide to pursue a formal complaint at a later date. Upon making a formal complaint, a Complainant has the right, and can expect, to have allegations taken seriously by the College, and to have the incidents investigated and properly resolved through these procedures. Please consider that delays may cause limitations on access to evidence, or present issues with respect to the status of the parties.
Federal Timely Warning Obligations
Parties reporting sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and/or stalking should be aware that under the Clery Act, the College must issue timely warnings for incidents reported incidents that pose a serious or continuing threat of bodily harm or danger to members of the campus community.
The College will ensure that a Complainant’s name and other identifying information is not disclosed, while still providing enough information for community members to make safety decisions in light of the potential danger.
False Allegations and Evidence
Deliberately false and/or malicious accusations under this policy, are a serious offense and will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action. This does not include allegations that are made in good faith but are ultimately shown to be erroneous or do not result in a policy violation determination.
Additionally, witnesses and parties knowingly providing false evidence, tampering with or destroying evidence after being directed to preserve such evidence, or deliberately misleading an official conducting an investigation can be subject to discipline under the appropriate College policies.
Amnesty for Complainants and Witnesses
The College community encourages the reporting of misconduct and crimes by Complainants and witnesses. Sometimes, Complainants or witnesses are hesitant to report to College officials or participate in grievance processes because they fear that they themselves may be in violation of certain policies, such as underage drinking or use of illicit drugs at the time of the incident. Respondents may hesitate to be forthcoming during the process for the same reasons.
It is in the best interests of the College community that Complainants choose to report misconduct to College officials, that witnesses come forward to share what they know, and that all parties be forthcoming during the process.
To encourage reporting and participation in the process, the College maintains a policy of offering parties and witnesses amnesty from minor policy violations – such as underage consumption of alcohol or the use of illicit drugs – related to the incident.
Amnesty does not apply to more serious allegations such as physical abuse of another or illicit drug distribution. The decision not to offer amnesty to a Respondent is based on neither sex nor gender, but on the fact that collateral misconduct is typically addressed for all students within a progressive discipline system, and the rationale for amnesty – the incentive to report serious misconduct – is rarely applicable to Respondent with respect to a Complainant.
Students: The College maintains a policy of amnesty for students who offer help to others in need. Although policy violations cannot be overlooked, the College may provide purely educational options with no official disciplinary finding, rather than punitive sanctions, to those who offer their assistance to others in need.
Employees: The College may, at its discretion, offer employee Complainants amnesty from such policy violations (typically more minor policy violations) related to the incident. Amnesty may also be granted to Respondents and witnesses on a case-by-case basis.
Federal Statistical Reporting Obligations
Certain campus officials – those deemed Campus Security Authorities – have a duty to report the following for federal statistical reporting purposes (Clery Act):
All personally identifiable information is kept private, but statistical information must be shared with campus police regarding the type of incident and its general location (on or off-campus or in the surrounding area, but no addresses are given) for publication in the Annual Security Report and daily campus crime log.
Campus Security Authorities include: student services/student conduct staff, campus law enforcement, local police, coaches, athletic directors, student activities staff, human resources staff, advisors to student organizations, and any other official with significant responsibility for student and campus activities.
is the Violence Against Women Act, enacted in 1994 codified in part at 42 U.S.C. sections 13701 through 14040.
Preservation of Evidence
The preservation of evidence in incidents of sexual assault is critical to potential criminal prosecution and to obtaining restraining orders and is particularly time sensitive. The College will inform the Complainant of the importance of preserving evidence by taking the following actions:
The College will act on any formal or informal notice/complaint of violation of the policy that is received by the Title IX Coordinator or any other Official with Authority by applying these procedures, known as “Process A.”
The procedures below apply only to qualifying allegations of sexual harassment (including sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking, as defined above) involving students, staff, administrators, or faculty members.
If other Policy definitions are invoked, such as policies on protected class harassment or discrimination as defined above, the procedures will be applicable to the resolution of such offenses, known as “Process B.”
Process B can also apply to sexual harassment (including sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking, as defined above) when jurisdiction does not fall within Process A, as determined by the Title IX Coordinator.
The procedures below may be used to address collateral misconduct arising from the investigation of or occurring in conjunction with reported misconduct (e.g., vandalism, physical abuse of another), when alleged violations of the Policy are being addressed at the same time. All other allegations of misconduct unrelated to incidents covered by the Policy will be addressed through procedures described in the student, faculty, and staff handbooks.
Upon receipt of a complaint or notice to the Title IX Coordinator of an alleged violation of the Policy, the Title IX Coordinator initiates a prompt initial assessment to determine the next steps the College needs to take.
The Title IX Coordinator will initiate at least one of three responses:
1) Offering supportive measures because the Complainant does not want to file a formal complaint and/or
2) An informal resolution (upon submission of a formal complaint); and/or
3) A Formal Grievance Process including an investigation and a hearing (upon submission of a formal complaint);
The College uses the Formal Grievance Process to determine whether or not the Policy has been violated. If so, the College will promptly implement effective remedies designed to ensure that it is not deliberately indifferent to harassment or discrimination, their potential recurrence, or their effects.
3. Initial Assessment
Following receipt of notice or a complaint of an alleged violation of this Policy, the Title IX Coordinator engages in an initial assessment, typically one to five business days. The steps in an initial assessment can include:
a. Risk Assessment Tool for Behaviors of Concern
In some cases, the Title IX Coordinator may determine that a risk assessment tool for behaviors of concern should be conducted by the Behavioral Assessment Team (BAT) as of the initial assessment. Threat assessment is the process of evaluating the actionability of violence by an individual against another person or group following the issuance of a direct or conditional threat.
This assessment can aid in critical and/or required determinations, including:
The risk assessment tool requires specific training and are typically conducted by psychologists, clinical counselors, social workers, case managers, law enforcement officers, student conduct officers, or other BAT members. The risk assessment authorized by the Title IX Coordinator should occur in collaboration with the BAT. Where a risk assessment is required by the Title IX Coordinator, a Respondent refusing to cooperate may result in a charge of failure to comply within the appropriate student or employee conduct process.
For the purpose of this policy, the risk assessment tool is not an evaluation for an involuntary behavioral health hospitalization nor is it a psychological or mental health assessment. A risk assessment assesses the risk of actionable violence, often with a focus on targeted/predatory escalations, and is supported by research from the fields of law enforcement, criminology, human resources, and psychology.
These dismissal requirements are mandated by the 2020 Title IX Regulations, 34 CFR Part 106.45. The College must dismiss a formal complaint or any allegations therein if, at any time during the investigation or hearing, it is determined that:
The College may dismiss a formal complaint or any allegations therein if, at any time during the investigation or hearing:
A Complainant who decides to withdraw a complaint may later request to reinstate it or refile it.
Upon any dismissal, the College will promptly send written notice of the dismissal and the rationale for doing so simultaneously to the parties.
This dismissal decision is appealable by any party under the procedures for appeal below. The decision not to dismiss is also appealable by any party claiming that a dismissal is required or appropriate. A Complainant who decides to withdraw a complaint may later request to reinstate it or refile it.
The College is obligated to ensure that the grievance process is not abused for retaliatory purposes. The College permits the filing of counterclaims but uses an initial assessment, described above, to assess whether the allegations in the counterclaim are made in good faith. Counterclaims by the Respondent may be made in good faith, but are, on occasion, also made for purposes of retaliation. Counterclaims made with retaliatory intent will not be permitted.
Counterclaims by a Respondent may be made in good faith, but are, on occasion, made for purposes of retaliation, instead. Counterclaims made with retaliatory intent will not be permitted.
Counterclaims determined to have been reported in good faith will be processed using the grievance procedures below. Investigation of such claims may take place after resolution of the underlying initial allegation, in which case a delay may occur.
Counterclaims may also be resolved through the same investigation as the underlying allegation, at the discretion of the Title IX Coordinator. When counterclaims are not made in good faith, they will be considered retaliatory and may constitute a violation of this policy.
5. Right to an Advisor
The parties may each have an Advisor of their choice present with them for all meetings, interviews and hearings, within the resolution process, if they so choose. The parties may select whoever they wish to serve as their Advisor as long as the Advisor is eligible and available.
Choosing an Advisor who is also a witness in the process creates potential for bias and conflict-of-interest. A party who chooses an Advisor who is also a witness can anticipate that issues of potential bias will be explored by the hearing Decision-maker(s).
The College may permit parties to have more than one Advisor upon special request to the Title IX Coordinator. The decision to grant this request is at the sole discretion of the Title IX Coordinator and will be granted equitably to all parties.
a. Who Can Serve as an Advisor
The Advisor may be a friend, mentor, family member, attorney, or any other individual a party chooses to advise, support, and/or consult with them throughout the resolution process. The parties may choose Advisors from inside or outside of the College community.
The Title IX Coordinator will also offer to assign a trained Advisor to any party if the party so chooses. If the parties choose an Advisor from the pool available from the College, the Advisor will have trained by the College and be familiar with the College’s resolution process.
If the parties choose an Advisor from outside the pool of those identified by the College, the Advisor may not have been trained by the College and may not be familiar with College policies and procedures.
Parties also have the right to choose not to have an Advisor in the initial stages of the resolution process, prior to a hearing.
The parties may be accompanied by their Advisor in all meetings and interviews at which the party is entitled to be present, including intake and interviews. Advisors should help the parties prepare for each meeting and are expected to advise ethically, with integrity, and in good faith. The College cannot guarantee equal Advisory rights, meaning that if one party selects an Advisor who is an attorney, but the other party does not or cannot afford an attorney, the College is not obligated to provide an attorney. Where applicable under state law or College policy, Advisors or attorneys are permitted to fully represent their advisees or clients in resolution proceedings, including all meetings interviews, and hearings. Although the College prefers to hear from parties directly, in these cases, parties are entitled to have evidence provided by the chosen representatives.
c. Advisors in Hearings/College-Appointed Advisor
Under U.S. Department of Education regulations for Title IX, a form of indirect questioning is required during the hearing, but must be conducted by the parties' Advisors. The parties are not permitted to directly question each other or any witnesses. If a party does not have an Advisor for a hearing, the College will appoint a trained Advisor for the limited purpose of conducting any questioning of the other party(ies) and witness.
d. Pre-Interview Meetings
Advisors and their advisees may request to meet with the investigators conducting interviews/meetings in advance of these interviews or meetings. This pre-meeting allows Advisors to clarify and understand their role and College’s policies and procedures.
e. Advisor Violations of the College’s Policy
All Advisors are subject to the same College policies and procedures, whether they are attorneys or not, and whether they are selected by a party or assigned by the Recipient. Advisors are expected to advise their advisees without disrupting proceedings. Advisors should not address the College’s officials or investigators in a meeting or interview unless invited to do so (e.g., asking procedural questions). The Advisor may not make a presentation or represent their advisee during any meeting or proceeding and may not speak on behalf of the advisee to the Investigator(s) or other Decision-maker(s) except during a hearing proceeding, during questioning.
The parties are expected to ask and respond to questions on their own behalf throughout the investigation phase of the resolution process. Although the Advisor generally may not speak on behalf of their advisee, the Advisor may consult with their advisee, either privately as needed, or by conferring or passing notes during any resolution process meeting or interview. For longer or more involved discussions, the parties and their Advisors should ask for breaks to allow for private consultation.
Any Advisor who oversteps their role as defined by this Policy will be warned only once. If the Advisor continues to disrupt or otherwise fails to respect the limits of the Advisor role, the meeting/interview/hearing will be ended, or other appropriate measures implemented. Subsequently, the Title IX Coordinator will determine how to address the Advisor’s non-compliance and future role.
f. Sharing Information with the Advisor
The College expects that the parties may wish to have the College share documentation and evidence related to the allegations with their Advisors. Parties may share this information directly with their Advisor or other individuals if they wish. Doing so may help the parties participate more meaningfully in the resolution process.
The College also provides a consent form that authorizes the College to share such information directly with their Advisor. The parties must either complete and submit this form to the Title IX Coordinator or provide similar documentation demonstrating consent to a release of information to the Advisor before College is able to share records with an Advisor.
If a party requests that all communication be made through their attorney or Advisor, the College will not comply with that request. The College will engage in communicate directly with a party's Advisor.
g. Privacy of Records Shared with Advisor
Advisors are expected to maintain the privacy of the records shared with them. These records may not be shared with third parties, disclosed publicly, or used for purposes not explicitly authorized by the College. Advisors will be asked to sign Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs). The College may restrict the role of any Advisor who does not respect the sensitive nature of the process or who fails to abide by the College’s privacy expectations.
h. Expectations of an Advisor
The College generally expects an Advisor to adjust their schedule to allow them to attend the College’s meetings when planned, but the College may change scheduled meetings to accommodate an Advisor’s inability to attend, if doing so does not cause an unreasonable delay.
The College may also make reasonable provisions to allow an Advisor who cannot be present in person to attend a meeting by telephone, video conferencing, or other similar technologies as may be convenient and available.
i. Expectations of the Parties with Respect to Advisors
A party may elect to change Advisors during the process and is not obligated to use the same Advisor throughout. The parties are expected to inform the Investigator(s) of the identity of their Advisor at least three (3) business days before the date of their first meeting with Investigators (or as soon as possible if a more expeditious meeting is necessary or desired).
The parties are expected to provide timely notice to the Title IX Coordinator if they change Advisors at any time. It is assumed that if a party changes Advisors, consent to share information with the previous Advisor is terminated, and a release for the new Advisor should be secured. Parties are expected to inform the Title IX Coordinator of the identity of their hearing Advisor at least three (3) business days before the hearing.
j. Assistance in Securing an Advisor
Parties may choose their own Advisors. The College does not endorse any attorney or legal team.
Following are resources for Complainants and Respondents.
Legal Aid of North Carolina
224 S. Dawson Street
Raleigh, NC 27611
For representation, Respondents may wish to contact organizations such as:
Complainants may wish to contact organizations such as:
6. Resolution Processes
Resolution proceedings are private. All persons present at any time during the resolution process are expected to maintain the privacy of the proceedings in accordance with the College’s Policy. Although there is an expectation of privacy around what Investigators share with parties during interviews, the parties have discretion to share their own knowledge and evidence with others if they so choose, with the expectation of information the parties agree not to disclose related to Informal Resolution, discussed below. The College encourages parties to discuss with their Advisors any sharing of information before doing so.
The Formal Grievance Process is the Recipient’s primary resolution approach, unless Informal Resolution is elected by all parties and the Recipient. Three options for Informal Resolution are detailed in this section, and the Formal Grievance Process is detailed starting in the next section.
a. Informal Resolution
Informal Resolution can include three different approaches:
To initiate Informal Resolution, a Complainant must to submit a formal complaint, as defined above. A Respondent who wishes to initiate Informal Resolution, they should contact the Title IX Coordinator. The parties may agree as a condition of engaging in Informal Resolution that statements made or evidence shared during the Informal Resolution process will not be considered in the Formal Grievance Process unless all parties consent.
It is not necessary to pursue Informal Resolution first in order to pursue a Formal Grievance Process, and any party participating in Informal Resolution can stop the process at any time and begin or resume the Formal Grievance Process.
Prior to implementing Informal Resolution, the College will provide the parties with written notice of the reported misconduct and any sanctions or measures that may result from participating in such a process, including information regarding any records that will be maintained or shared by the College.
The College will obtain voluntary, written confirmation that all parties wish to resolve the matter through Informal Resolution before proceeding and will not pressure the parties to participate in Informal Resolution.
b. Alternative Resolution Approaches
Alternative Resolution is an informal approach (including mediation, restorative practices, facilitated dialog, etc.) by which the parties reach a mutually agreed upon resolution of an allegation. All parties must consent to the use of Alternative Resolution approach.
The Title IX Coordinator may look to the following factors to assess whether Alternative Resolution is appropriate, or which form of Alternative Resolution may be most successful for the parties:
c. Respondent Accepts Responsibility for Alleged Violations
The Respondent may accept responsibility for all or part of the alleged policy violations at any point during the resolution process. If the Respondent indicates an intent to accept responsibility for all of the alleged misconduct, the formal process will be paused, and the Title IX Coordinator will determine whether Informal Resolution can be used according to the criteria in that section above.
If Informal Resolution is applicable, the Title IX Coordinator will determine whether all parties and the College are able to agree on responsibility, sanctions, and/or remedies. If so, the Title IX Coordinator implements the accepted finding that the Respondent is in violation of the College’s Policy and implements agreed-upon sanctions and/or remedies, in coordination with other appropriate administrator(s), as necessary.
This result is not subject to appeal once all parties indicate their written assent to all agreed upon terms of resolution. When the parties cannot agree on all terms of resolution, the Formal Grievance Process will resume at the same point where it was paused.
When a resolution is accomplished, the appropriate sanction or responsive actions are promptly implemented in order to effectively stop the harassment or discrimination, prevent its recurrence, and remedy the effects of the discriminatory conduct, both on the Complainant and the community.
d. Negotiated Resolution
The Title IX Coordinator, with the consent of the parties, may negotiate and implement an agreement to resolve the allegations that satisfies all parties and the College. Negotiated Resolutions are not appealable.
7. Grievance Process Pool
The Formal Grievance Process relies on a pool of administrators (“the Pool”) to carry out the process. This pool is comprised of the College’s Title IX Investigators and Deputy Coordinators. Other pool members may be included as deemed appropriate by the Title IX Coordinator. Members of the Pool are announced in an annual distribution of this Policy to all students, parents/guardians of students, employees, prospective students, and prospective employees.
a. Pool Member Roles
Members of the Pool are trained annually, and can serve in in the following roles, at the direction of the Title IX Coordinator:
b. Pool Member Appointment and Membership
The Title IX Coordinator appoints the Pool, which acts with independence and impartiality. This Pool may undergo an application and/or interview/selection process. Although members of the Pool are typically trained in a variety of skill sets and can rotate amongst the different roles listed above in different cases, the College can also designate permanent roles for individuals in the Pool, using others as substitutes or to provide greater depth of experience when necessary. This process of role assignment may be the result of particular skills, aptitudes, or talents identified in members of the Pool that make them best suited to particular roles.
Pool members are usually appointed to semester-to-semester basis. Individuals who are interested in serving in the Pool are encouraged to contact the Title IX Coordinator.
c. Pool Member Training
The Pool members receive annual training. This training includes, but is not limited to:
Specific training is also provided for all Pool members. All Pool members are required to attend these trainings annually.
d. Pool Membership
The Pool includes [this is just an example]:
• 4 or more chairs: one representative from HR and one from Student Affairs, etc., who respectively Chair hearings for allegations involving student and employee Respondents
• 3 or more members of the Academic Affairs administration and/or faculty
• 3 or more members of the administration/staff
• 1 representative from Campus Safety
• 2 representatives from Human Resources
• 1 representative from Athletics
Pool members are usually appointed to annual terms. Individuals who are interested in serving in the Pool are encouraged to contact the Title IX Coordinator.
8. Formal Grievance Process: Notice of Investigation and Allegations
The Title IX Coordinator will provide written notice of the investigation and allegations (the “NOIA”) to the Respondent upon commencement of the Formal Grievance Process. This facilitates the Respondent’s ability to prepare for the interview and to identify and choose an Advisor to accompany them. The NOIA is also copied to the Complainant, who will be given advance notice of when the NOIA will be delivered to the Respondent.
The NOIA will include:
Amendments and updates to the NOIA may be made as the investigation progresses and more information becomes available regarding the addition or dismissal of various charges.
Notice will be made in writing and may be delivered by one or more of the following methods: in person, mailed to the local or permanent address(es) of the parties as indicated in official College records, or emailed to the parties’ college-issued email or designated accounts. Once mailed, emailed, and/or received in-person, notice will be presumptively delivered.
9. Resolution Timeline
The College will make a good faith effort to complete the resolution process within a sixty-to-ninety (60-90) business day time period, including appeal if any, which can be extended as necessary for appropriate cause by the Title IX Coordinator, who will provide notice and rationale for any extensions or delays to the parties as appropriate, as well as an estimate of how much additional time will be needed to complete the process.
10. Appointment of Investigators
Once the decision to commence a formal investigation is made, the Title IX Coordinator appoints Pool members to conduct the investigation (typically using a team of two Investigators), usually within three (3) business days of determining that an investigation should proceed.
11. Ensuring Impartiality
Any individual materially involved in the administration of the resolution process including the Title IX Coordinator, Investigator(s), and Decision-maker(s) may neither have nor demonstrate a conflict of interest or bias for a party generally, or for a specific Complainant or Respondent.
The Title IX Coordinator will vet the assigned Investigator(s) for impartiality by ensuring there are no actual or apparent conflicts of interest or disqualifying biases. At any time during the resolution process, the parties may raise a concern regarding bias or conflict of interest, and the Title IX Coordinator will determine whether the concern is reasonable and supportable. If so, another Pool member will be assigned and the impact of the bias or conflict, if any, will be remedied. If the source of the conflict of interest or bias is the Title IX Coordinator, concerns should be raised with Benita Clark, the Vice President, Human Resources and College Safety.
The Formal Grievance Process involves an objective evaluation of all relevant evidence obtained, including evidence that supports that the Respondent engaged in a policy violation and evidence that supports that the Respondent did not engage in a policy violation. Credibility determinations may not be based solely on an individual’s status or participation as a Complainant, Respondent, or witness.
The College operates with the presumption that the Respondent is not responsible for the reported misconduct unless and until the Respondent is determined to be responsible for a policy violation by the applicable standard of proof.
12. Investigation Timeline
Investigations are completed expeditiously, normally within thirty (30) business days, though some investigations may take weeks or even months, depending on the nature, extent, and complexity of the allegations, availability of witnesses, police involvement, etc.
The College will make a good faith effort to complete investigations as promptly as circumstances permit and will communicate regularly with the parties to update them on the progress and timing of the investigation.
13. Delays in the Investigation Process and Interactions with Law Enforcement
The College may undertake a short delay in its investigation (several days to a few weeks) if circumstances require. Such circumstances include, but are not limited to: a request from law enforcement to temporarily delay the investigation, the need for language assistance, the absence of parties and/or witnesses, and/or accommodations for disabilities or health conditions.
The College will communicate in writing the anticipated duration of the delay and reason to the parties and provide the parties with status updates if necessary. The College will promptly resume its investigation and resolution process as soon as feasible. During such a delay, the College will implement supportive measures as deemed appropriate.
The College’s action(s) or processes are not typically altered or precluded on the grounds that civil or criminal charges involving the underlying incident(s) have been filed or that criminal charges have been dismissed or reduced.
14. Steps in the Investigation Process
All investigations are thorough, reliable, impartial, prompt, and fair. Investigations involve interviews with all relevant parties and witnesses; obtaining available, relevant evidence; and identifying sources of expert information, as necessary.
All parties have a full and fair opportunity, through the investigation process, to suggest witnesses and questions, to provide evidence and expert witnesses, and to fully review and respond to all evidence on the record. Recordings of interviews are/are not provided to the parties, and/but the parties will have the ability to review the transcript/summary of the interview once the investigation report is compiled.
The Investigator(s) typically take(s) the following steps, if not already completed (not necessarily in this order):
15. Role and Participation of Witnesses in the Investigation
Witnesses (as distinguished from the parties) who are employees of the College are strongly encouraged to cooperate with and participate in the College’s investigation and resolution process. Student witnesses and witnesses from outside the College community are encouraged to cooperate with College investigations and to share what they know about a compliant.
Although in-person interviews for parties and all potential witnesses are ideal, circumstances (e.g., study abroad, summer break) may require individuals to be interviewed remotely. Microsoft Teams, Skype, Zoom, FaceTime, WebEx, or similar technologies may be used for interviews, if the Investigator(s) determine that timeliness, efficiency, or other reasons dictate a need for remote interviewing. The College will take appropriate steps to reasonably ensure the security/privacy of remote interviews.
Witnesses may also provide written statements in lieu of interviews or choose to respond to written questions, if deemed appropriate by the Investigator(s), though not preferred. If a witness submits a written statement, but does not intend to be and is not present for questioning at a hearing, their written statement may not be used as evidence.
16. Recording of Interviews
No unauthorized audio or video recording of any kind is permitted during investigation meetings. If Investigator(s) elect to audio and/or video record interviews, all involved parties should be made aware of audio and/or video recording.
17. Evidentiary Considerations in the Investigation
The investigation does not consider: 1) incidents not directly related to the possible violation, unless they evidence a pattern; or 2) the character of the parties; or 3) questions and evidence about the Complainant’s prior sexual behavior, 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.
18. Referral for Hearing
Provided that the complaint is not resolved through Informal Resolution, once the final investigation report is shared with the parties, the Title IX Coordinator will refer the matter for a hearing.
The hearing cannot be held less than ten (10) business days from the conclusion of the investigation – when the final investigation report is transmitted to the parties and the Decision-maker – unless all parties and the Decision-maker agree to an expedited timeline.
The Title IX Coordinator will select an appropriate Decision-maker from the Pool depending on whether the Respondent is an employee or a student, and provide a copy of the investigation report. Allegations involving student-employees in the context of their employment will be directed to the appropriate Decision-maker depending the context and nature of the alleged misconduct.
19. Hearing Decision-maker Composition
The College will designate a three-member panel from the Pool, at the discretion of the Title IX Coordinator. The single Decision-maker will also Chair the hearing. With a panel, one of the three members will be appointed as Chair by the Title IX Coordinator.
The Decision-maker(s) will not have had any previous involvement with the investigation. The Title IX Coordinator may elect to have an alternate from the Pool sit in throughout the hearing process in the event that a substitute is needed for any reason.
Those who have served as Investigators will be witnesses in the hearing and therefore may not serve as Decision-makers. Those who are serving as Advisors for any party may not serve as Decision-makers in that matter.
The Title IX Coordinator may not serve as a Decision-maker or Chair in the matter but may serve as an administrative facilitator of the hearing if their previous role(s) in the matter do not create a conflict of interest. Otherwise, a designee may fulfill this facilitator role. The hearing will convene at a time and venue determined by the Chair or designee.
20. Evidentiary Considerations in the Hearing
Any evidence that the Decision-maker(s) determine(s) is relevant and credible may be considered. The hearing does not consider: 1) incidents not directly related to the possible violation, unless they evidence a pattern; 2) questions and evidence about the Complainant’s sexual predisposition; or 3) questions and evidence about the Complainant’s prior sexual behavior, 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.
Previous disciplinary action of any kind involving the Respondent may be considered in determining an appropriate sanction upon a determination of responsibility, assuming the College uses a progressive discipline system. This information is only considered at the sanction stage of the process and is not shared until then.
The parties may each submit a written impact statement prior to the hearing for the consideration of the Decision-maker(s) at the sanction stage of the process when a determination of responsibility is reached.
After post-hearing deliberation, the Decision-maker(s) render(s) a determination based on the preponderance of the evidence; whether it is more likely than not that the Respondent violated the Policy as alleged.
21. Notice of Hearing
No less than ten (10) business days prior to the hearing, the Title IX Coordinator or the Chair will send notice of the hearing to the parties. Once mailed, emailed, and/or received in-person, notice will be presumptively delivered.
The notice will contain:
Description of any technology that will used to facilitate the hearing.
Hearings for possible violations that occur near or after the end of an academic term (assuming the Respondent is still subject to this Policy) and are unable to be resolved prior to the end of term will typically be held immediately after the end of the term or during the summer, as needed, to meet the resolution timeline followed by the College and remain within the 60-90 business day goal for resolution.
In these cases, if the Respondent is a graduating student, a hold may be placed on graduation and/or official transcripts until the matter is fully resolved (including any appeal). A student facing charges under this Policy is not in good standing to graduate.
22. Alternative Hearing Participation Options
If a party or parties prefer not to attend or cannot attend the hearing in person, the party should request alternative arrangements from the Title IX Coordinator or the Chair at least five (5) business days prior to the hearing.
The Title IX Coordinator or the Chair can arrange to use technology to allow remote testimony without compromising the fairness of the hearing. Remote options may also be needed for witnesses who cannot appear in person. Any witness who cannot attend in person should let the Title IX Coordinator or the Chair know at least five (5) business days prior to the hearing so that appropriate arrangements can be made.
23. Pre-Hearing Preparation
After any necessary consultation with the parties, the Chair will provide the names of persons who will be participating in the hearing, all pertinent documentary evidence, and the final investigation report to the parties at least seven (7) business days prior to the hearing.
Any witness scheduled to participate in the hearing must have been first interviewed by the Investigator(s) or have proffered a written statement or answered written questions, unless all parties and the Chair assent to the witness’s participation in the hearing. The same holds for any evidence that is first offered at the hearing. If the parties and Chair do not assent to the admission of evidence newly offered at the hearing, the Chair may delay the hearing and/or instruct that the investigation needs to be re-opened to consider that evidence.
The parties will be given a list of the names of the Decision-maker(s) at least five (5) business days in advance of the hearing. All objections to any Decision-maker must be raised in writing, detailing the rationale for the objection, and must be submitted to the Title IX Coordinator as soon as possible and no later than two days prior to the hearing. Decision-makers will only be removed if the Title IX Coordinator concludes that their bias or conflict of interest precludes an impartial hearing of the allegation(s).
The Title IX Coordinator will give the Decision-maker(s) a list of the names of all parties, witnesses, and Advisors at least three (3) business days in advance of the hearing. Any Decision-maker who cannot make an objective determination must recuse themselves from the proceedings when notified of the identity of the parties, witnesses, and Advisors in advance of the hearing. If a Decision-maker is unsure of whether a bias or conflict of interest exists, they must raise the concern to the Title IX Coordinator as soon as possible.
During the ten (10) business day period prior to the hearing, the parties have the opportunity for continued review and comment on the final investigation report and available evidence. That review and comment can be shared with the Chair at a pre-hearing meeting or at the hearing and will be exchanged between each party by the Chair.
24. Pre-Hearing Meetings
The Chair may convene a pre-hearing meeting(s) with the parties and/or their Advisors and invite them to submit the questions or topics they (the parties and/or their Advisors) wish to ask or discuss at the hearing, so that the Chair can rule on their relevance ahead of time to avoid any improper evidentiary introduction in the hearing to provide recommendations for more appropriate phrasing.
However, this advance review opportunity does not preclude the Advisors from asking a question for the first time at the hearing or from asking for a reconsideration on a pre-hearing ruling by the Chair based on any new information or testimony offered at the hearing. The Chair must document and share with each party their rationale for any exclusion or inclusion at a pre-hearing meeting.
The Chair, only with full agreement of the parties, may decide in advance of the hearing that certain witnesses do not need to be present if their testimony can be adequately summarized by the Investigator(s) in the investigation report or during the hearing.
At each pre-hearing meeting with a party and their Advisor, the Chair will consider arguments that evidence identified in the final investigation report as relevant is, in fact, not relevant. Similarly, evidence identified as directly related but not relevant by the Investigator(s) may be argued to be relevant. The Chair may rule on these arguments pre-hearing and will exchange those rulings between the parties prior to the hearing to assist in preparation for the hearing. The Chair may consult with legal counsel and/or the Title IX Coordinator or ask either or both to attend pre-hearing meetings.
The pre-hearing meeting(s) will not be recorded. The pre-hearing meetings may be conducted as separate meetings with each party/advisor, with all parties/advisors present at the same time, remotely, or as a paper-only exchange. The Chair will work with the parties to establish the format.
25. Hearing Procedures
At the hearing, the Decision-maker(s) has the authority to hear and make determinations on all allegations of discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation and may also hear and make determinations on any additional alleged policy violations that have occurred in concert with the discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation, even though those collateral allegations may not specifically fall within the policy on Equal Opportunity, Harassment, and Nondiscrimination.
Participants at the hearing will include the Chair, any additional panelists, the hearing facilitator, the Investigator(s) who conducted the investigation, and the parties (or three (3) organizational representatives when an organization is the Respondent). Advisors to the parties, any called witnesses, the Title IX Coordinator and anyone providing authorized accommodations, interpretation, and/or assistive services.
The Chair will answer all questions of procedure. Anyone appearing at the hearing to provide information will respond to questions on their own behalf.
The Chair will allow witnesses who have relevant information to appear at a portion of the hearing in order to respond to specific questions from the Decision-maker(s) and the parties and the witnesses will then be excused.
26. Joint Hearings
In hearings involving more than one Respondent or in which two (2) or more Complainants have accused the same individual of substantially similar conduct, the default procedure will be to hear the allegations jointly.
However, the Title IX Coordinator may permit the investigation and/or hearings pertinent to each Respondent to be conducted separately if there is a compelling reason to do so. In joint hearings, separate determinations of responsibility will be made for each Respondent with respect to each alleged policy violation.
27. The Order of the Hearing – Introductions and Explanation of Procedure
The Chair explains the procedures and introduces the participants. This may include a final opportunity for challenge or recusal of the Decision-maker(s) on the basis of bias or conflict of interest. The Chair will rule on any such challenge unless the Chair is the individual who is the subject of the challenge, in which case the Title IX Coordinator will review and decide the challenge.
The Chair and/or hearing facilitator then conducts the hearing according to the hearing script. At the hearing, recording, witness logistics, party logistics, curation of documents, separation of the parties, and other administrative elements of the hearing process are managed by a non-voting hearing facilitator/case manager appointed by the Title IX Coordinator. The hearing facilitator may attend to: logistics of rooms for various parties/witnesses as they wait; flow of parties/witnesses in and out of the hearing space; ensuring recording and/or virtual conferencing technology is working as intended; copying and distributing materials to participants, as appropriate, etc.
28. Investigator Presents the Final Investigation Report
The Investigator(s) will then present a summary of the final investigation report, including items that are contested and those that are not, and will be subject to questioning by the Decision-maker(s) and the parties (through their Advisors). The Investigator(s) will be present during the entire hearing process, but not during deliberations.
Neither the parties nor the Decision-maker(s) should ask the Investigator(s) their opinions on credibility, recommended findings, or determinations, and the Investigators, Advisors, and parties will refrain from discussion of or questions for Investigators about these assessments. If such information is introduced, the Chair will direct that it be disregarded.
29. Testimony and Questioning
Once the Investigator(s) present(s) the report and are questioned, the parties and witnesses may provide relevant information in turn, beginning with the Complainant, and then in the order determined by the Chair. The hearing will facilitate questioning parties and witnesses will submit to questioning by the Decision-maker(s) and then by the parties through their Advisors.
All questions are subject to a relevance determination by the Chair. The Advisor, who will remain seated during questioning, will pose the proposed question orally, electronically, or in writing (orally is the default, but other means of submission may be permitted by the Chair upon request if agreed to by all parties and the Chair), the proceeding will pause to allow the Chair to consider the question, (and state it if it has not already been stated aloud) and the Chair will determine whether the question will be permitted, disallowed, or rephrased.
The Chair may invite explanations or persuasive statements explore arguments regarding relevance with the Advisors, if the Chair so chooses. The Chair will then state their decision on the question for the record and advise the party/witness to whom the question was directed, accordingly. The Chair will explain any decision to exclude a question as not relevant, or to reframe it for relevance.
The Chair will limit or disallow questions on the basis that they are irrelevant, unduly repetitious (and thus irrelevant), or abusive. The Chair has final say on all questions and determinations of relevance. The Chair may consult with legal counsel on any questions of admissibility. The Chair may ask Advisors to frame why a question is or is not relevant from their perspective but will not entertain argument from the Advisors on relevance once the Chair has ruled on a question.
If the parties raise an issue of bias or conflict of interest of an Investigator or Decision-maker at the hearing, the Chair may elect to address those issues, consult with legal counsel, and/or refer them to the Title IX Coordinator, and/or preserve them for appeal. If bias is not in issue at the hearing, the Chair should not permit irrelevant questions that probe for bias.
30. Refusal to Submit to Questioning; Inferences
Cross-examination is an all or nothing proposition, meaning that if any relevant question is refused, no statements of that party or witness are admissible. Only if a party or witness is willing to submit to cross-examination, and answers all questions, will their statements prior to or at the hearing be fully admissible. If a party or witness chooses not to submit to cross-examination at the hearing, either because they do not attend the meeting, or they attend but refuse to participate in questioning, then the Decision-maker(s) may not rely on any prior statement made by that party or witness at the hearing (including those contained in the investigation report) in the ultimate determination of responsibility. The Decision-maker(s) must disregard all such statements. Evidence provided that is something other than a statement by the party or witness may be considered.
Whether a party or witness does or does not answer questions from the Decision-maker, their statements will be admissible as long as they are willing to submit to cross-examination questions, even if they are not asked such questions. The Decision-maker(s) may not draw any inference solely from a party's or witness' absence from the hearing or refusal to answer cross-examination or other questions.
If collateral charges of policy violations other than sexual harassment are considered at the same hearing, the Decision-maker(s) may consider all evidence it deems relevant, may rely on any relevant statement as long as the opportunity for questioning is afforded to all parties through their Advisors, and may draw reasonable inferences from any decision by any party or witness not to participate or respond to questions. If a party's Advisor of choice refuses to comply with the Recipient's established rules of decorum for the hearing, the Recipient may require the party to use a different Advisor. If a recipient-provided Advisor refuses to comply with the rules of decorum, the Recipient may provide that party with a different Advisor to conduct questioning on behalf of that party.
An Advisor may not be called as a witness at a hearing to testify to what their advisee has told them during their role as an Advisor unless the party being advised consents to that information being shared. It is otherwise considered off-limits, and an Advisor who is an institutional employee is temporary alleviated from mandated reporter responsibilities related to their interaction with their advisee during the resolution process.
31. Recording Hearings
Hearings (but not deliberations) are recorded by the College for purposes of review in the event of an appeal. The parties may not record the proceedings and no other unauthorized recordings are permitted.
The Decision-maker(s), the parties, their Advisors, and appropriate administrators of the College will be permitted to listen to the recording or review a transcript of the recording, in a controlled environment determined by the Title IX Coordinator, upon request. No person will be given or be allowed to make a copy of the recording without permission of the Title IX Coordinator.
32. Deliberation, Decision-making, and Standard of Proof
The Decision-maker(s) will deliberate in closed session to determine whether the Respondent is responsible or not responsible for the policy violation(s) in question. If a panel is used, a simple majority vote is required to determine the finding. The preponderance of the evidence standard of proof is used. The hearing facilitator may be invited to attend the deliberation by the Chair, but is there only to facilitate procedurally, not to address the substance of the allegations.
When there is a finding of responsibility on one or more of the allegations, the Decision-maker(s) may then consider the previously submitted party impact statements in determining appropriate sanction(s).
The Chair will ensure that each of the parties has an opportunity to review any impact statement submitted by the other party(ies). The Decision-maker(s) may – at their discretion – consider the statements, but they are not binding.
The Decision-maker(s) will review the statements and any pertinent conduct history provided by the Office of Student Conduct will recommend the appropriate sanction(s) in consultation with other appropriate administrators, as required.
The Chair will then prepare a written deliberation statement and deliver it to the Title IX Coordinator, detailing the determination, rationale, the evidence used in support of its determination, the evidence not relied upon in its determination, credibility assessments, and any sanctions or recommendations.
This report is typically three (3) to five (5) pages in length and must be submitted to the Title IX Coordinator within three (3) business days of the end of deliberations, unless the Title IX Coordinator grants an extension. If an extension is granted, the Title IX Coordinator will notify the parties.
33. Notice of Outcome
Using the deliberation statement, the Title IX Coordinator will work with the Chair to prepare a Notice of Outcome. The Notice of Outcome will then be reviewed by legal counsel, as appropriate. The Title IX Coordinator will then share the outcome letter, including the final determination, rationale, and any applicable sanction(s) with the parties and their Advisors within seven (7) business days of receiving the Decision-maker(s)’ deliberation statement.
The Notice of Outcome will then be shared with the parties simultaneously. Notification will be made in writing and may be delivered by one or more of the following methods: in person, mailed to the local or permanent address of the parties as indicated in official College records, or emailed to the parties’ college-issued email or otherwise approved account. Once mailed, emailed, and/or received in-person, notice will be presumptively delivered.
The Notice of Outcome will articulate the specific policy(ies) reported to have been violated, including the relevant policy section, and will contain a description of the procedural steps taken by the College from the receipt of the misconduct report to the determination, including any and all notifications to the parties, interviews with parties and witnesses, site visits, methods used to obtain evidence, and hearings held.
The Notice of Outcome will specify the finding on each alleged policy violation; the findings of fact that support the determination; conclusions regarding the application of the relevant policy to the facts at issue; a statement of, and rationale for, the result of each allegation to the extent the College is permitted to share such information under state or federal law; any sanctions issued which the College is permitted to share according to state or federal law; and whether remedies will be provided to the Complainant designed to ensure access to the College’s educational or employment program or activity.
The Notice of Outcome will also include information on when the results are considered by the College to be final, any changes that occur prior to finalization, and the relevant procedures and bases for any available appeal options.
34. Statement of the Rights of the Parties
View Appendix C for the full statement.
Factors considered when determining a sanction/responsive action may include, but are not limited to:
The sanctions will be implemented as soon as is feasible, either upon the outcome of any appeal or the expiration of the window to appeal without an appeal being requested.
The sanctions described in this Policy are not exclusive of, and may be in addition to, other actions taken or sanctions imposed by external authorities.
a. Student Sanctions: Examples
The following are sanctions that may be imposed upon students or organizations singly or in combination:
b. Employee Sanctions/Responsive/Corrective Actions
Responsive actions for an employee who has engaged in sex/gender-based harassment, discrimination, and/or retaliation include:
36. Withdrawal or Resignation While Charges Pending
a. Students: Should a Respondent decide not to participate in the resolution process, the process proceeds absent their participation to a reasonable resolution. Should a student Respondent permanently withdraw from the College, the resolution process ends with a dismissal, as the College no longer has disciplinary jurisdiction over the withdrawn student.
However, the College will continue to address and remedy any systemic issues, variables that may have contributed to the alleged violation(s), and any ongoing effects of the alleged harassment, discrimination, and/or retaliation. The student who withdraws or leaves while the process is pending may not return to the College in any capacity. Admissions and Human Resources will be notified, accordingly. Such exclusion applies to all campuses of the College.
If the student Respondent only withdraws or takes a leave for a specified period of time (e.g., one semester or term), the resolution process may continue remotely and that student is not permitted to return to College unless and until all sanctions, if any, have been satisfied.
During the resolution process, the College may put a hold on a responding student’s transcript or place a notation on a responding student’s transcript or dean’s disciplinary certification that a disciplinary matter is pending.
b. Employees: Should an employee Respondent resign with unresolved allegations pending, the resolution process ends with dismissal, as the College no longer has disciplinary jurisdiction over the resigned employee.
However, the College will continue to address and remedy any systemic issues, variables that contributed to the alleged violation(s), and any ongoing effects of the alleged harassment, discrimination and/or retaliation.
The employee who resigns with unresolved allegations pending is not eligible for admissions or rehire with the College, and the records retained by the Title IX Coordinator will reflect that status.
All College responses to future inquiries regarding employment references for that individual will include that the former employee resigned during a pending disciplinary matter.
Any party may file a request for appeal ("Request for Appeal"), but it must be submitted in writing to the Title IX Coordinator within five (5) business days of the delivery of the Notice of Outcome.
A three-member appeal panel chosen from the Pool will be designated by the Title IX. No appeal panelists will have been involved in the process previously, including in any dismissal appeal that may have been heard earlier in the process. A voting Chair of the Appeal panel will be designated.
The Request for Appeal will be forwarded to the Appeal Chair or designee for consideration to determine if the request meets the grounds for appeal (a Review for Standing).
This review is not a review of the merits of the appeal, but solely a determination as to whether the request meets the grounds and is timely filed.
a. Grounds for Appeal
Appeals are limited to the following grounds:
If any of the grounds in the Request for Appeal do not meet the grounds in this Policy, that request will be denied by the Appeal Chair, and the parties and their Advisors will be notified in writing of the denial and the rationale.
If any of the grounds in the Request for Appeal meet the grounds in this Policy, then the Appeal Chair will notify the other party(ies) and their Advisors, the Title IX Coordinator, and, when appropriate, the Investigators and/or the original Decision-maker(s).
The other party(ies) and their Advisors, the Title IX Coordinator, and, when appropriate, the Investigators and/or the original Decision-maker(s) will be mailed, emailed, and/or provided a hard copy of the request for an appeal with the approved grounds and then be given five (5) business days to submit a response to the portion of the appeal that was approved and involves them. All responses, if any, will be forwarded by the Chair to all parties for review and comment.
The non-appealing party (if any) may also choose to raise a new ground for appeal at this time. If so, that will be reviewed to determine if it meets the grounds on this Policy by the Appeal Chair and either denied or approved. If approved, it will be forwarded to the party who initially requested an appeal, the Investigator(s) and/or original Decision-maker(s), as necessary, who will submit their responses, if any, in five (5) business days, which will be circulated for review and comment by all parties. If not approved, the parties will be notified accordingly, in writing.
Neither party may submit any new requests for appeal after this time period. The Appeal Chair will collect any additional information needed and all documentation regarding the approved grounds for appeal and the subsequent responses will be shared with the Appeal Panel/Chair, and the Panel will render a decision in no more than five (5) business days, barring exigent circumstances. All decisions are by majority vote and apply the preponderance of the evidence OR the clear and convincing evidence standard.
A Notice of Appeal Outcome will be sent to all parties simultaneously including the decision on each approved ground and rationale for each decision. The Notice of Appeal Outcome will specify the finding on each ground for appeal, any specific instructions for remand or reconsideration, any sanctions that may result which the College is permitted to share according to state or federal law, and the rationale supporting the essential findings to the extent the College is permitted to share under state or federal law.
Notification will be made in writing and may be delivered by one or more of the following methods: in person, mailed to the local or permanent address of the parties as indicated in official institutional records, or emailed to the parties’ college-issued email or otherwise approved account. Once mailed, emailed and/or received in-person, notice will be presumptively delivered.
b. Sanctions Status During the Appeal
Any sanctions imposed as a result of the hearing are stayed during the appeal process. Supportive measures may be reinstated, subject to the same supportive measure procedures above.
If any of the sanctions are to be implemented immediately post-hearing, but pre-appeal, then emergency removal procedures (detailed above) for show cause meeting on the justification for doing so must be permitted within 48 hours of implementation.
The College may still place holds on official transcripts, diplomas, graduations, and course registration pending the outcome of an appeal when the original sanctions included separation.
c. Appeal Considerations
38. Long-Term Remedies/Other Actions
Following the conclusion of the resolution process, and in addition to any sanctions implemented, the Title IX Coordinator may implement additional long-term remedies or actions with respect to the parties and/or the campus community that are intended to stop the harassment, discrimination, and/or retaliation, remedy the effects, and prevent reoccurrence.
These remedies/actions may include, but are not limited to:
At the discretion of the Title IX Coordinator, certain long-term support or measures may also be provided to the parties even if no policy violation is found.
When no policy violation is found, the Title IX Coordinator will address any remedies owed by the College to the Respondent to ensure no effective denial of educational access.
The College will maintain the confidentiality of any long-term remedies/actions/measures, provided confidentiality does not impair the College’s ability to provide these services.
39. Failure to Comply with Sanctions and/or Interim and Long-term Remedies and/or Responsive Actions
All Respondents are expected to comply with the assigned sanctions, responsive actions, and/or corrective actions within the timeframe specified by the final Decision-maker(s) (including the Appeal Chair/Panel).
Failure to abide by the sanction(s)/action(s) imposed by the date specified, whether by refusal, neglect, or any other reason, may result in additional sanction(s)/action(s), including suspension, expulsion, and/or termination from the College and may be noted on a student’s official transcript.
A suspension will only be lifted when compliance is achieved to the satisfaction of the Title IX Coordinator.
The College will maintain for a period of at least seven years records of:
The College will also maintain any and all records in accordance with state and federal laws.
41. Disabilities Accommodations in the Resolution Process
The College is committed to providing reasonable accommodations and support to qualified students, employees, or others with disabilities to ensure equal access to the College’s resolution process.
Anyone needing such accommodations or support should contact the Director of Disability Support Services who will review the request and, in consultation with the person requesting the accommodation and the Title IX Coordinator, determine which accommodations are appropriate and necessary for full participation in the process.
42. Revision of this Policy and Procedures
This Policy and procedures supersede any previous policy(ies) addressing sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, and/or retaliation for incidents occurring on or after August 14, 2020, under Title IX and will be reviewed and updated annually by the Title IX Coordinator. The College reserves the right to make changes to this document as necessary, and once those changes are posted online, they are in effect.
During the resolution process, the Title IX Coordinator may make minor modifications to procedures that do not materially jeopardize the fairness owed to any party, such as to accommodate summer schedules. The Title IX Coordinator may also vary procedures materially with notice (on the institutional website, with the appropriate effective date identified) upon determining that changes to law or regulation require policy or procedural alterations not reflected in this Policy and procedures.
If government laws or regulations change – or court decisions alter – the requirements in a way that impacts this document, this document will be construed to comply with the most recent government laws or regulations or court holdings.
This document does not create legally enforceable protections beyond the protection of the protections of the background state and federal laws which frame such policies and codes, generally.
This Policy and procedures are effective August 14, 2020.
Additional campus resources
An impartial resource for students, faculty, staff and administrators to assist in finding options for addressing concerns, resolving conflicts and handling a variety of institutional issues as they arise, in a confidential and informal manner.
Additional community resources
Alliance Behavioral Health
Provider network for mental health, developmental disability and substance abuse services.
A nonprofit United Way agency that provides services to survivors of domestic violence and rape/sexual assault. Services include short-term counseling, court assistance, support groups, information and referrals.
NCBON-approved sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) programs
These North Carolina-based programs offer support from sexual assault nurse examiners trained in the collection of forensic evidence and can check for injuries and exposure to sexually transmitted diseases.
A resource located at InterAct of Wake County, at 1012 Oberlin Road in Raleigh, which is a designated area for the forensic examination and treatment of survivors of rape/sexual assault.
Wake Technical Community College is committed to creating and maintaining a community where all individuals enjoy freedom from discrimination, including discrimination on the basis of sex, as mandated by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX). Sex discrimination, which can include discrimination based on pregnancy, marital status or parental status, is prohibited and illegal in admissions, educational programs and activities, hiring, leave policies, employment policies and health insurance coverage.
GLOSSARY (as applicable to the Title IX Policy)
The college hereby establishes a policy and associated procedures for ensuring the protection and equal treatment of pregnant individuals, persons with pregnancy-related conditions and new parents. Under the Department of Education’s (DOE) Title IX regulations, an institution that receives federal funding "shall not discriminate against any student, or exclude any student from its education program or activity, including any class or extracurricular activity, on the basis of such student’s pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy or recovery therefrom."
According to the DOE, appropriate treatment of a pregnant student includes granting the student leave "for so long a period of time as is deemed medically necessary by the student’s physician" and then effectively reinstating the student to the same status as was held when the leave began. This generally means that pregnant students should be treated by the college the same way as someone who has a temporary disability and will be given an opportunity to make up missed work wherever possible. Extended deadlines, make-up assignments (e.g., papers, quizzes, tests and presentations), tutoring, independent study, online course completion options and incomplete grades that can be completed at a later date should all be employed, in addition to any other ergonomic and assistive supports typically provided by Disability Support Services.
To the extent possible, the college will take reasonable steps to ensure that pregnant students who take a leave of absence or medical leave return to the same position of academic progress that they were in when they took leave, including access to the same course catalog that was in place when the leave began. The Title IX Coordinator has the authority to determine that such accommodations are necessary and appropriate and to inform faculty members of the need to adjust academic parameters accordingly.
As with disability accommodations, information about pregnant students’ requests for accommodations will be shared with faculty and staff only to the extent necessary to provide the reasonable accommodation. Faculty and staff will regard all information associated with such requests as private and will not disclose this information unless necessary. Administrative responsibility for these accommodations lies with the Title IX Coordinator, who will maintain all appropriate documentation related to accommodations.
In situations such as clinical rotations, performances, labs and group work, the institution will work with the student to devise an alternative path to completion, if possible. In progressive curricular and/or cohort-model programs, medically necessary leaves are sufficient cause to permit the student to shift course order, substitute similar courses or join a subsequent cohort when returning from leave.
Students are encouraged to work with their faculty members and the college’s support systems to devise a plan for how to best address the conditions as pregnancy progresses, anticipate the need for leaves, minimize the academic impact of their absence and get back on track as efficiently and comfortably as possible. The Title IX Coordinator will assist with plan development and implementation as needed.
Any member of the Wake Technical Community College community may report a violation of this policy to any supervisor, manager or to the Title IX Coordinator. All mandated reporters are responsible for promptly forwarding such reports to the Title IX Office.
Administrative contact information
The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for overseeing complaints of discrimination involving pregnant and parenting students. Additionally, the Title IX Team is tasked with supporting these duties. Contact information is available in Section 6 for the Title IX Coordinator and Title IX Team.
Complaints may be filed online, using the available available form.
Scope of policy
This policy applies to all aspects of the college’s programs, including but not limited to admissions, educational programs and activities, extracurricular activities, hiring, leave policies, employment policies and health insurance coverage.
Reasonable accommodations of students affected by pregnancy, childbirth or related conditions
Nothing in this policy requires modification to the essential elements of any academic program. Pregnant students cannot be channeled into an alternative program or school against their wishes.
Modified academic responsibilities policy for parenting students
All student-employees will be entitled to the protections of the Family and Medical Leave Act. Pregnancy and related conditions will be treated as any other temporary disability for job purposes, including leave and benefits.
Retaliation and harassment
Harassment of any member of the college community based on sex, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy or parental status is prohibited.
Faculty, staff and other college employees are prohibited from interfering with students’ right to a period of leave, seek reasonable accommodation or otherwise exercise their rights under this policy.
Faculty, staff, and other College employees are prohibited from retaliating against students for exercising the rights articulated by this Policy, including imposing or threatening to impose negative educational outcomes because students request leave or accommodation, file a complaint, or otherwise exercise their rights under this Policy.
Dissemination of the policy and training
A copy of this policy will be made available to faculty, staff and employees in annually required training and posted on the college’s website. The college will alert all new students about this policy and the location of this policy as part of orientation. The Title IX office will make educational materials available to all members of the college community to promote compliance with this policy and familiarity with its procedures.
Pregnancy and Parenting Students’ Resources
Department of Education Resources
Lactation support policy
The college promotes supports for working parents with the transition back to work and school following childbirth. This includes support of nursing mothers wishing to express breast milk periodically during the work/school day. In accordance with provisions of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), upon request, suitable space must be provided for lactation support. Information about the North Carolina State Government policy can be found via the Office of State Human Resources website.
The college provides lactation rooms college-wide. The list of campus lactation rooms includes the locations of the rooms, information on how to reserve the rooms and contact information for accessing the rooms.
As part of its commitment to creating welcoming and inclusive spaces, Wake Tech provides gender-neutral restrooms college-wide. These facilities are open to people of all genders at all campus locations.
Examples of Sexual Harassment
Examples of Stalking
Examples of Sexual Assault
Examples of Retaliation
The College utilizes the professional guidance of the Association of Title IX Administrators (ATIXA) for its Informal Resolution (IR) process.
ATIXA has framed a process for IR that includes:
Alternative resolution approaches such as mediation, restorative practices, and transformative justice are likely to be used more and more often by colleges and universities. ATIXA does not endorse these approaches as better or worse than other formal or informal approaches.
ATIXA believes that if they are to be used in, and are effective for, sex offenses, they need to be designed and executed carefully and thoughtfully and be facilitated by well-trained personnel who take the necessary time to prepare and lay a foundation for success. Although no approach is a panacea, the framework below can help to lay that foundation, regardless of which approach(es) are used.
Here are the principles to be considered in supporting various approaches to informal resolution:
ATIXA 2020 ONE POLICY, TWO PROCEDURES MODEL
USE AND ADAPTATION OF THIS MODEL WITH CITATION TO ATIXA IS
PERMITTED THROUGH A LIMITED LICENSE
TO Wake Technical Community College
ALL OTHER RIGHTS RESERVED.
RefID#E0129_TitleIX_8-HR & Benefits and RefID#C1405_9-Students
A student who is not in agreement with the decision of the Disciplinary Review and Grievance Committee (DRGC) may appeal in writing to the Associate Vice President for Student Services within five business days of official notification of the decision. The only allowable basis for such an appeal is consideration of alleged violation of college procedures in the conduct of the hearing or investigation. It is the student’s responsibility to clearly define and substantiate their grounds for appeal in the letter sent via email to the AVP for Student Services requesting an appeal.
The AVP for Student Services will do the following:
The decision of the AVP is final.