Maryville College Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Policy

Maryville College is committed to providing all individuals with an environment free of sexual harassment and misconduct. Maryville College prohibits all forms of sex discrimination including, but not limited to, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, sex-based intimidation and/or harassment, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, sexual violence, and stalking. Instances of sex discrimination, in any form, will not be tolerated. Should such issues arise, the College has established policies and procedures which are intended to handle these situations thoroughly, effectively, and in a timely manner. These policies are not and should not be construed to be a replacement or alternative for the criminal justice system. Rather, they provide avenues through which the campus community may work to create a better environment.

The College will:

• Seek to respond to and investigate every reported complaint in a timely manner.
• Provide involved parties with resources such as a connection to legal, mental and physical health care providers as well as campus policies on sexual harassment and/or sexual misconduct.
• Provide remedies when misconduct is discovered.
• Impose sanctions in a case-by-case manner.
• Protect the privacy of all those involved to the extent it is possible and where protecting that privacy does not put the individual or others at risk.


Maryville College is committed to addressing all forms of sexual misconduct though enacting preventative measures, educating the campus community, and the establishment of thorough grievance procedures. Maryville College employees at all levels are responsible for taking reasonable and necessary action to prevent, address and respond to sexual misconduct as permissible by their professional guidelines, which are based on the capacity in which they were hired by the College. For example, those hired as mental health counselors may be exempt from reporting instances of sexual assault if the individual does not pose a threat to themselves or the campus community. However, a faculty member who may hold a degree in counseling would still be required to report as he/she was hired by the College in the capacity of faculty rather than a mental health counselor.

 

Confidentiality Policy

If a victim or employee are aware of an instance of sexual misconduct, the College encourages that a report be made. It has resources to offer and may be able to help. There are several options for reporting with different levels of privacy. Every effort is made to keep the report as private as reporters wish when feasible.

 Certain employees, specifically those employed in a counseling capacity, can maintain complete confidentiality (unless there is a concern for personal safety or the safety of others) and are not required to share the details of the incident with anyone else. Other employees are required to share certain details of your report with specific professional staff on campus. Likewise, in certain situations the College has Federal reporting requirements which must be followed. In these cases information will be shared with as few people as possible and every effort will be made to maintain individual privacy.

If unsure of a staff or faculty member’s reporting requirement, please ask. This policy is intended to make individuals aware of the various reporting and confidential disclosure options available so that individuals can make informed choices about where to turn should they become a victim of or are aware of sexual misconduct.

All individuals involved in an investigation or adjudication will be informed of the importance of confidentiality and asked to sign a confidentiality statement.

Options for Assistance

Assistance immediately after an incident of sexual misconduct
If a student or someone a student knows is a victim of sexual assault, the following procedures are encouraged:

• Go to a safe place.
• Call someone whom the student trusts and/or one of the individuals/organization cited below.
• Seek medical care at an emergency room or hospital of choice. It is important to have a medical exam to check for physical injuries and disease, to dispense pregnancy information and prophylaxis if necessary, and to collect evident should the student decide to prosecute. If the student is planning on filing a criminal complaint, the medical exam must be done within 72 hours of the assault. The student may have the exam and then decide not to prosecute. It may be helpful for the student to ask for someone they trust, or a Maryville College staff member to go with them.
• Preserve evidence. If the student wants to prosecute there are steps they can take to help preserve evidence. If possible the student should avoid changing clothes, bathing, douching, urinating or defecating before arriving to the emergency room. Urine samples will be necessary to test for any date rape drugs. Do bring extra clothes as clothing may be held as evidence.
• Report any instance of sexual misconduct to campus personnel so the College may provide students with support, assistance, and resources. Campus personnel can also assist in contacting other resources both on and off campus.

Contact Information
• Campus Safety and Security: 865-981-8112. Available 24 hours a day,Campus Safety and Security can also connect victims with a campus counselor or the Title IX Coordinator in after-hours emergencies
• Staff Member on Duty (SMOD): 865-981-8002
• Title IX Coordinator: 865-981-8194
• Director of Counseling: 865-981-8035
• Local Law Enforcement: 865-273-3700
• Blount Memorial Hospital: 1-800-448-0219 
• Rape Crisis Center: 865-522-7273

The College will also offer remedies and /or accommodations for individuals reporting issues of sexual misconduct. No formal complaint or investigation, campus or criminal, need occur before these options are available.


In response to a complaint, the College will:
• Inform the complainant of available resources and assist in accessing available resources both on and off campus such as mental health counseling, physical health care providers, legal assistance, and victim advocacy services.
• Inform the complainant of the right to report to local law enforcement and provide assistance if the complainant so wishes.
• Offer other security and support services, such as:
1. Issuing a campus no-contact order against another student who has engaged in or threatens to engage in sexual misconduct, stalking, threatening, harassing or other improper behavior that presents a danger to the welfare of the complaining student or others; or
2. Arranging a change of living or working arrangements or academic accommodations so the complainant need not face the accused. Academic accommodations will vary based on the situation and class, but may include things such as assignment rescheduling, taking an incomplete in a class, transferring class sections, temporary withdrawal, alternative course completion options, etc.
 

 

Ongoing Assistance

A victim may have needs for ongoing support and many questions in the days and weeks following an instance of sexual misconduct. Maryville College encourages utilization of the following resources. These resources are available to victims whether or not they choose to make an official report or participate in an institutional disciplinary and/or criminal process.

Counseling and Advocacy Services

On-Campus: Bruce Holt, Director of Counseling
On Campus: Anne McKee, Campus Minister
Off-Campus: Sexual Assault Center of East Tennessee, 865-522-7273
Health Care Providers

On-Campus: Kaye Howell, College Nurse, 865-981-8716

Off Campus: Blount Memorial Hospital, 1-800-448-0219 

Title IX Coordinator

The Title IX Coordinator for Maryville College is Jessica Boor, Director of Student Services. She can be reached 865-981-8194 or jessical.boor@maryvillecollege.edu. To reach her after hours or in an emergency contact Campus Safety and Security at 865-981-8112 The Title IX Coordinator is trained in issues of sexual misconduct and can connect victims to resources, answer questions, and offer other forms of assistance as appropriate. The Title IX Coordinator can also assist in providing ongoing support with an institutional disciplinary process or a criminal process.

 Two Deputy Title IX Coordinators support the Title IX Coordinator. They are the Director of Human Resources, 865-981-8308, keni.lanigan@maryvillecollege.edu, and the Assistant Director of Athletics, 865-981-8280, or cj.fayton@maryvillecollege.edu.

The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for the following:

  • Providing oversight and implementation of the Sexual Misconduct policy including investigation and adjudication procedures.
  • Ensuring all members of the investigation and adjudication teams for sexual misconduct are trained in issues specific to sexual misconduct. 
  • Educating the campus community on reporting requirements for sex based offenses including when and how to report instances of sexual misconduct.
  • Coordinating training for the campus community (students and employees) on issues of sexual misconduct.

Definitions

There are many terms used in the issues of sexual misconduct. The following will provide some common definitions and examples.

Accused: The alleged perpetrator of any form of sexual misconduct.
 
Awareness Programs: Community-wide or audience-specific programming, initiatives, and strategies that increase audience knowledge and share information and resources to prevent violence, promote safety, and reduce perpetration.
 
Bystander Intervention: Positive options that may be carried out by an individual or individuals to prevent harm or intervene when there is a risk of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. Bystander intervention includes recognizing situations of potential harm, understanding institutional structures and cultural conditions that facilitate violence, overcoming barriers to intervening, identifying safe and effective intervention options, and taking action to intervene.
 
Coercion: Coercion is unreasonable pressure for sexual activity.
 
Complainant: The alleged victim or individual reporting the issue of sexual misconduct.
 
Consent: Consent is the active giving of permission to engage in sexual activity. Consent is clear, knowing and voluntary. Consent is given with a sober verbal yes. Silence should not be interpreted as consent. Absence of protest is not consent. Previous history does not imply consent for future activity. Likewise, consent to one activity does not imply consent to another. Consent to engage in sexual activity with one person does not imply consent to engage in sexual activity with another. Consent can be withdrawn at any time. Consent cannot be given under pressure, force, threats, intimidation, coercion or while incapacitated due to the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. In order to give consent one must be of legal age and in incapacitate mentally or physically. Lack of consent occurs when:
· A person is forced to submit
· The person does not expressively or implicitly agree with a sober verbal yes with the accused person’s conduct under circumstances other than forcible compulsion or incapacity to consent
· A person is deemed to be incapable of consenting if he/she is less than 16 years old, is mentally challenged, suffers from mental illness, or is physically helpless or is totally incapacitated
· A person is rendered temporarily incapable of appraising or controlling his/her conduct as a result of a controlled or intoxicating substance administered to him/her with or without consent or knowledge
· A person is unable to consent when he/she is unconscious, or for any other reason is physically unable to communicate unwillingness to act.
 
Dating Violence: Federal statute 42 USCS § 13925(8) defines dating violence as violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors: the length of the relationship; the type of relationship; and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
For the purposes of this definition: dating violence includes, but is not limited to sexual and/or physical abuse of the threat of such abuse. Dating violence does not include acts covered under the definition of domestic violence.
For purposes of complying with the requirement of this section, any incident meeting this definition is considered a crime for the purposes of the Clery Act reporting.
 
Domestic Violence: Under Tennessee law, domestic assault is defined as an assault against a victim who is a family or household member including: a current or former spouse of the offender; a person with whom the offender resides or previously resided; a person who the offender is dating or previously dated or someone with whom the offender has or previously had a sexual relationship; someone with whom the offender is related by blood or adoption; a person with whom the offender is or was related by marriage, or an adult or minor child of the offender or a family or household member.
 
 
Under Federal law, domestic violence is a felony or misdemeanor crime of violence committed: by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim; by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common; by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or a partner; by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred; or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person's acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred. 
 
Force: The use of physical violence and/or imposing on someone physically to gain sexual access. Force includes threats, intimidation (implied threats) and coercion that overcome resistance or produce consent. The presence of force is not demonstrated by the absence of resistance. Sexual activity that is a result of force is by definition non-consensual, but non-consensual sexual activity is not by definition forced.
 
Incapacitation: Incapacitation is the state where an individual cannot make a rational or reasonable decision because he/she lacks the ability or information to understand the sexual interaction to the fullest extent. Incapacitation can result from mental or physical disabilities, drug or alcohol use, physical restraints, “date-rape” drugs, or anything that affects the individual’s ability to make a clear and informed decision. Incapacitation occurs anytime sexual activity takes place where the alleged victim does not understand the “who, what, when, where, why and how.”
 
Intimidation: Intimidation is the act of using coercion, instilling fear or making threats to include submission, compliance or acquiescence from another.
 
Non-Consensual Sexual Contact: Non-consensual sexual contact is any intentional sexual touching, however slight, with any object, by a man or a woman upon a man or woman that is without consent and/or by force.
 
Ongoing Prevention and Awareness Campaigns: Programming, initiatives and strategies that are sustained over time and focus on increasing understanding of topics relevant to and skills for addressing dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking, using a range of strategies with audiences throughout the institution.
 
Primary Prevention Programs: Programming, initiatives, and strategies informed by research or assed for value, effectiveness, or outcome that are intended to stop dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking before they occur through the promotion of positive and healthy behaviors that foster healthy, mutually respectful relationships, encourage safe bystander intervention, and seek to change behavior and social norms in healthy and safe directions.
 
Proceeding: All activities related to a non-criminal resolution of an institutional disciplinary complaint, including, but not limited to, fact-finding investigations, formal or informal meetings, and hearings. Proceedings do not include communications and meetings between officials and victims concerning accommodations or protective measures to be provided to the victim.
 
Rape: The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.
 
Result: Any initial, interim, and final decisions by any official or entity authorized to resolved disciplinary matters with the institution. The result must include any sanction imposed by the institution. Notwithstanding section 44 of the General Education Provisions Act (commonly referred to as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)), the result must also include the rationale for the results and sanctions.
 
Retaliation: Retaliation occurs when an individual seeks a form of revenge against another for a perceived wrong.
 
Risk Reduction: Options designed to decrease perpetration and bystander inaction, and to increase empowerment for victims in order to promote safety and to help individuals and communities address conditions that facilitate violence.
 
Sex Discrimination/Sexual Misconduct: Sex discrimination and sexual misconduct occurs anytime a person’s sex becomes a factor or basis in treating them unfairly. Sex discrimination may also occur when an individual is treated unfairly due to her/his connection with a group or organization that is typically associated with a certain sex. Sex discrimination includes behaviors such as sexual assault, sexual harassment, any non-consensual behavior of a sexual nature, domestic or dating violence, and stalking. Such behaviors could be committed by force, intimidation or use of a victim’s incapacity (physical, mental, or through the use of drugs or alcohol).
 
Sexual Assault: Sexual assault is defined as sexual intercourse or sexual contact with another person by forcible compulsion and/or without consent. Forcible compulsion may be committed by means such as physical power, coercion, or incapacitation. Acts of sexual assault include rape, oral and/or anal intercourse, and other sexual acts not involving intercourse to which participants are not both consenting.
 
Sexual Contact: Sexual contact includes intentional contact with the breasts, buttocks, groin, or genitals, or touching another with any of these body parts, or making another person touch an individual or themselves with or on any of these body parts; any intentional bodily contact in a sexual manner, though not involving contact with/of/by breasts, buttocks, groin, genitals, mouth or other orifice.
 
Sexual Exploitation: Sexual exploitation occurs when a student takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for his/her own advantage or benefit, or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited, and that behavior does not otherwise constitute one of the other sexual misconduct offenses. Examples of sexual exploitation include:
·      Invasion of sexual privacy
·      Nonconsensual video or audio-taping of sexual activity
·      Going beyond the boundaries of consent (such as letting friends view an individual having consensual sex without the other party knowing)
·      Sexually based stalking and/or bullying
·      Engaging in voyeurism
·      Knowingly transmitting a STI or HIV to another person
 
Sexual Harassment: Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
·      Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or educational experience.
·      Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or educational decisions affecting such individual. This can also include retaliating against the victim by the accused or by friends of the accused or others who are sympathetic to the accused. In addition, retaliation directed toward a third party due to their participation in a grievance process of for supporting a grievance may be retaliatory harassment.
·      Such conduct is sufficiently severe, pervasive and persistent so as to alter the conditions of, or have the effect of substantially interfering with, an individual’s educational opportunity by creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment.
 
Types of Sexual Harassment include:
·      Quid Pro Quo: When the submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or education experience.
·      Retaliatory: Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or education decisions affecting such individual. The can also include retaliating against the victim by the accused or by friends of the accused or others who are sympathetic of the accused. In addition, retaliation directed toward a third party due to their participation in a grievance process or for supporting a complainant may be retaliatory harassment.
·      Hostile Environment: Such conduct is sufficiently severe, pervasive and persistent so as to alter the conditions of, or have the effect of substantially interfering with, an individual’s educations opportunity by creating an intimidating, hostile, or offense environment.
 
Stalking: Federal law defines stalking as engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for the person’s safety or the safety of others or suffer substantial emotional distress.
 
For the purposes of this definition:
Course of conduct means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about, a person, or interferes with a person’s property.
Substantial emotional distress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or professional treatment or counseling.
Reasonable persons mean a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the victim.
 
Tennessee Stalking Laws: Stalking is defined by Tennessee law as willful conduct involving repeated harassment of someone that causes them to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed or molested.
Such conduct is considered “aggravated stalking” if: the stalking involves the display of a weapon; the victim is under the age of 18 and the alleged stalker is over the age of 23; it is the alleged stalker’s second stalking charge within 7 years; it involves a credible threat of death or serious harm to the victim or a member of their family; or a restraining order was in place.
 
Such conduct is considered “especially aggravated stalking” if the alleged stalker has already been convicted of stalking and the victim is the same; or the conduct constituted aggravated stalking and inflicted serious bodily harm on the stalking victim or a member of their family.
 
Reporting Sexual Misconduct

 

Overview

 Maryville College encourages all members of the campus community to report instances of sexual misconduct. Individuals may report if they are a victim or if they are a third party who is aware of an issue of sexual misconduct. There are various avenues for reporting with varying levels of confidentiality and services available. Certain employees can maintain complete confidentiality and are not required to share the details of the incidents with anyone else, unless there is concern for your safety or the safety of others. Other employees are defined as “responsible employee” as they are required to share reports with the Title IX Coordinator so that Maryville College may take any necessary steps to offer individuals with support services and to prevent the recurrent of sexual misconduct. In these cases information will be shared with as few people as possible and every effort will be made to maintain privacy. Regardless of the reporting avenue chosen, College personnel will make every effort to keep the report as private as possible.

 If an individual is unsure of a staff or faculty members’ reporting requirement, they should ask.  This policy is intended to make individuals aware of the various reporting and confidential disclosure options available so that they can make informed choices about where to turn should they become a victim of or aware of sexual misconduct. The reporting avenue, levels of confidentiality and other College reporting requirements are outlined below.

Retaliation against any individual who makes a complaint or participates in the complainant process is strictly prohibited.

 

 What to Expect When a Report is Made

Any employee of the College, excluding campus counselors and health care providers, will take the following actions:

 ·         The employee will notify the Title IX Coordinator of the incident. The reporter may be contacted by the Title IX Coordinator regarding the incident.
·         An investigation by a campus employee trained as a Title IX investigator may begin if the individual chooses or if the incident suggests there is an ongoing threat to the campus community. An investigation does not mean that the personal identity of the reporter will be revealed to the campus community nor does it mean that they would ever have to come face to face with the accused.
·         The Title IX Coordinator will offer to connect the victim with local police, mental and physical health care providers, and legal resources if desired.
·         If the accused is a member of the campus community, the Title IX Coordinator can order the accused to cease and desist from any intentional contact, direct or indirect, with the victim. The College may also be able to offer housing and/or classroom accommodations so that the complainant need not face the accused.
·         The victim will also be given the opportunity to contact the Maryville College Counseling Center or another agency in the community such as a rape crisis center.
·         The nature of the report (i.e. sexual assault) may be included in the College’s crime log. The crime log does not include personally identifiable information, just that a report of an issue such as sexual assault was taken. Likewise, should the nature of the report pose a threat to the campus community, general information may need to be shared. This is further explained in the Federal Reporting Obligations section.
·         If the victim chooses to move forward with a campus conduct process, the individuals who facilitate that process will be notified, as well as the accused.

 

Should a member of the Student Counseling Center, Pastoral Counselor, and/or Health Care Provider (known as protected employee) be contacted:

·         The protected employee will meet with the reporter on campus and provide support.
·         The protected employee will not share any information of the incident with law enforcement or a member of the Maryville College Community without consent unless there is a clear threat to other members of the Maryville College Community or the individual makes statements of a suicidal/homicidal nature.
·         The protected employee counselor will explain the options and support the reporter in whatever decisions they make regarding reporting or not reporting.
·         If the reporter chooses to file a report with the Title IX Coordinator or law enforcement, a grievance counselor may accompany them and support them through the process if they so desire.

 

When the Maryville Police Department is contacted:

·         Maryville police will either meet the reporter on campus, or request that they meet at their office to discuss the incident and create a report.
·         The police will ask for details of sexual misconduct and explain the legal rights associated with the report.
·         They may contact a victim advocacy service or the alleged perpetrator. Their actions will depend on what is reported and how the reporter wants to proceed.
 
·         The police may contact the Campus Safety and Security Office to let them know they are on campus (if they choose to meet someone on campus).
·         Contacting local police does not automatically start the Title IX process or Student Conduct process.

 

If the individual goes to the hospital for an exam:

·         The individual may ask that a sexual assault exam be completed.
·         A police officer may be contacted and the victim may be asked to make a report. The officer is there to collect any evident obtained during the exam.
·         Parents will not be notified without consent for individuals who are 18 or older.
·         Making a report and completing an exam preserves the option to prosecute, but does not commit an individual to pressing charges.

Investigation Procedures and Protocols

The College will investigate all reports of sexual misconduct. However, the level and scope of the investigation may, in some cases, be decided by the reporting individual. Responsibility for the investigation model is assigned to the Title IX Coordinator. The Title IX Coordinator oversees the training and implementation of the investigator team.

Formal Investigations

Formal investigations with willing participants provide the most thorough and effective process. They are also necessary for campus disciplinary proceedings. Formal investigations of sexual misconduct will be handled using an investigator model. In this model, an investigator(s) serves as neutral fact finder who will interview the complainant, the accused, witnesses and gather any other evidence as necessary. The lead investigator will be assigned by the Title IX Coordinator and will be trained in issue of sexual misconduct. Issues such as impartiality, appropriateness based on involved parties, etc. will be considered in appointing the lead investigator on any case.

 The lead investigator may interview the complainant, the accused, witnesses, any parties with potentially relevant information, review video footage, and investigate any other appropriate avenues that may provide pertinent information. The investigator will keep both the complainant and the accused appraised of their rights and the status of the process. The investigator will compile all the investigation material into a report. The report will be submitted to the Title IX Coordinator, who will work with the salient cabinet member, to make a determination of charges. Should a hearing be deemed necessary, the report will be given to the Title IX Coordinator to schedule adjudication.

Informal Investigations and Requests for Confidentiality

If a complainant discloses an incident to a responsible employee but wishes to maintain confidentiality or requests that no investigation into a particular incident be conducted or disciplinary action taken, the College must weigh that request against the College’s obligation to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment for all students, including the complainant.

If the College honors the request for confidentiality, a complainant must understand the College’s ability to meaningfully investigate the incident and pursue disciplinary actions against the alleged perpetrator(s) may be limited.

Although rare, there are times when the College may not be able to honor a complainant’s request not to investigate in order to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment for all students. When weighing a complainant’s request for confidentiality, or that no investigation or discipline be pursued, the College will consider a range of factors, such as the increased risk that the accused will commit additional acts of sexual or other violence. Factors to be used in making this determination include:

  • Whether there have been other sexual violence complaints about the same accused;
  • Whether the accused as a history of arrests or records from a prior school indicting a history of violence;
  • Whether the sexual violence was committed by multiple perpetrators;
  • Whether the sexual violence was perpetrated with a weapon;
  • Whether the complainant is a minor
  • Whether the College possesses other means to obtain relevant evidence of sexual violence (e.g., security camera or personal, physical evidence); and
  • Whether the complainant’s report reveals a pattern of perpetration (e.g., via illicit use of drugs or alcohol) at a given location by a particular group.

 The presence of one or more of these factors could lead the College to investigate and, if appropriate, pursue disciplinary actions. If none of these factors is present, the College will likely respect the complainant’s request for confidentiality.

 If the College determines that it cannot maintain a complainant’s confidentiality, the College will inform the complainant prior to starting an investigation and will, to the extent possible, only share information with the people responsible for handing the College’s response.

 The College may not require a victim to participate in any investigation or disciplinary proceeding. Because the College is under continuing obligation to address the issue of sexual violence campus-wide, reports of sexual violence (including non-identifying reports) will also prompt the College to consider broader remedial action such as increased monitoring, supervision or security at locations where he reported sexual violence occurred, increasing educations and prevention efforts, conducting climate assessments/victimization surveys and/or revisiting its policies and practices.

 If the College determines that it can respect a complainant’s request for confidentiality, the College will also take immediate action as necessary to protect and assist the complainant. The College will offer remedies and/or accommodations for the complainant. No formal complaint or investigation, campus or criminal, need occur before these option are available.

 Confidentiality

All individuals involved in an investigation and/or adjudication process will be informed of the importance of confidentiality and privacy and will be asked to sign a confidentiality statement. Conversations and information that result from an investigation or disciplinary proceeding are private and should not be shared.

 Time Frames

Investigations will be conducted in reasonable and prompt timeframes with a goal for resolution of any sexual misconduct complainant being 60 days. Certain issues, such as the point in the semester when the incident is reported may result in prolonged investigations. For example, conducting interviews during semester breaks may be more challenging as students, faculty, and staff may be away. Every effort will be made to find resolution with the 60 day time frame. If the incident is also being investigated by the local law enforcement, the campus process need not wait for the outcome of the criminal justice system process before making a final determination.

 

Grievance/Adjudication Procedures

 

Adjudication

Mediation is never an appropriate means for handing issues of sexual misconduct. Sexual misconduct hearings will be heard by a trained board.

 Disciplinary action for students found responsible for violating the College’s Sexual Assault policy may include suspension or expulsion from the College.

 College officials shall take precautions to ensure that a complainant and individuals testifying on behalf of a complainant are not subjected to any form of retaliation. In cases of alleged retaliation, a College official or any person at whom the retaliatory action is directed may file a complaint against the individual(s) who participated in the retaliation. Such cases fall under the jurisdiction of the College’s Harassment Policy. Violations of confidentiality can constitute a form of retaliation.

 
Standard of Proof

The standard of proof used for hearing cases sexual misconduct will be preponderance of the evidence or “more likely than not.” Findings of responsible or not responsible for sexual misconduct cases will be made based on this standard proof in determining if a violation occurred.

 Rights of Complainant:
  • Prompt access to appropriate College services.
  • Self-determination concerning their medical, psychological and legal support.
  • Complainants have the right and are encouraged to seek counseling and support services, internal and external to the College.
  • To request a change of academic or housing situations and to be notified of what options are available.
  • The College will make all reasonable efforts to ensure the preservation of confidentiality, restricting information to those who have a legitimate need for it
  • The right not to have irrelevant prior sexual history admitted as evidence in a campus hearing
  • The right to appeal the finding and sanction of the Appellate Committee in accordance with the standards for appeal
  • The right to report incidents of sexual assault to a law enforcement agency, regardless of whether or not he/she is pursuing disciplinary options within the College community
  • Be informed in writing of the outcome of any disciplinary proceeding
Rights of Accused Student:
  • Prompt access to appropriate College services.
  • Self-determination concerning their psychological and legal support
  • The right for and encouragement to seek counseling and support services, internal and external to the College
  • The right to request a change of academic or housing situations and to be notified of what options are available
  • Reasonable efforts on the part of the College to ensure the preservation of confidentiality, restricting information to those who have a legitimate need for it
  • The right not to have irrelevant prior sexual history admitted as evidence in a campus hearing
  • The right to appeal the finding and sanction of the Appellate Committee in accordance with the standards for appeal
  • Accused students can expect a presumption of innocence throughout the disciplinary process until found responsible and will be treated with respect throughout the process
  • Be informed in writing of the outcome of any disciplinary proceeding
Hearings

If any party in uncomfortable being in the same room for the hearing, accommodations will be made such as using Skype, thereby allowing the hearing to take place without direct confrontation.

Notification of Hearing

All parties whose presence is requested at the hearing will be notified in writing five calendar days prior to the hearing. Notifications will be made via campus email by the Title IX Coordinator and include:

  • The date, time and location of the hearing
  • Notice of the alleged violations within the complaint
  • The names of the members of the hearing board assigned to the case. Neither the accused not the complainant may directly or indirectly contact any member of the hearing board.
  • The names of all witnesses who will be called at the hearing, except in cases where a witnes's identity may not be revealed for compelling safety reasons. Upon review of the witnesses called wither the accused or the complainant may request additional witnesses be called. Witnesses may be added no later than 48 hours prior to the hearing.
  • A list or description of all documentary evidence to be presented at the hearing (subject to confidentiality limitations imposed by state and federal law). Both the complainant and the accused have the opportunity to review this evidence at least 48 hours prior to the hearing. Requests to review this evidence should be made to the Title IX Coordinator.
Hearing Steps

The investigator report will be given to the hearing board who will make a determination of charges and if necessary, schedule a hearing. The steps are as follows:

  • Introductions: The hearing will be facilitated by the board chair and begin with introductions.
  • Presentation of the Investigator Report: the lead investigator will present the report to the hearing board.
  • Questioning:
    1. Members of the hearing board will be given the opportunity to ask questions of the accused, the complainant and/or investigator.
    2. The accused and complainant may not directly ask questions of each other or any witnesses. Should a question arise, the complainant will submit the question in writing to the committee chair. The board chair will determine the appropriateness and/or usefulness of the question and then present the question or deny it.
    3. Questions about prior sexual conduct with any individual other than the alleged perpetrator are prohibited.
    4. Evidence of a previous consensual dating or sexual relationship between the accused and complainant does not imply consent or preclude a finding of sexual misconduct.
  • Witnesses: Any witnesses or individuals with relevant information will then be called.  Video footage and other types of evidence will be reviewed. The hearing board will first be allowed to ask questions of witnesses. The complainant and accused will then be permitted to ask questions of witnesses. Witnesses will be called as needed, questioned and dismissed. Witnesses will be present only for the portion of the questioning that applies to them directly.
  • Statements: The complainant and the accused will then both be given a chance to make a statement after all questioning is finished.
  • Dismissal: At this point the complainant, accused, investigator, advocates, witnesses and any other individuals will then all be dismissed, leaving only the hearing board.
  • Deliberation: The hearing board will deliberate and make a determination of responsible or not responsible for the accused.
  • Sanctioning: If a determination of responsible is reached, the board will then assign sanctions.
 Notification of Outcome

In sexual misconduct cases, both the accused and the complainant will be notified simultaneously, in writing via campus email of the outcome within 48 hours of completion of the hearing. The complainant will also be notified of any sanctions assigned to the accused that may impact the complainant. Compliance with these provisions does not constitute a violation of section 444 of the General Education Provisions Act (20 U.S.C. 1232g), commonly known as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA).

 Appeals Process
 

Both the complainant and the accused are granted one opportunity for appeal. Appeals should be submitted in writing to the Title IX Coordinator within 7 days of the notification of outcome.

Appeal requests may be made on the following grounds:

·         An excessive or inappropriate sanction was given

·         Procedural errors or bias existed in the hearing that were sufficient enough to deny a fair hearing process

·         Lack of sufficient evident to support the finding

·         Admission of new material or evidence that is not merely collaborative repetitive and was not present at the time of the initial hearing

A request for an appeal does not necessarily mean that one will be granted. The hearing board and the Title IX Coordinator will appoint an appellate committee. Membership of the appellate committee will be determined based on the status of the involved individuals. The Appellate Committee will decide within seven calendar days of an appeal request if the appeal will be heard. This will be communicated to the appellant in writing with the date, time and location of the appeal hearing. The appellant will have at least 48 hours’ notice prior to the scheduled hearing.

 The following individuals will be present at the appeals hearing:

 ·         The Appellate Committee.

·         The appellant.

The appellant may bring one advocate. This may be a College official, legal counsel, friend, parent, etc. The appellant may confer with the advocate, but the advocate may not participate in the hearing. The Appellate Committee will hear the statement of the appellate, review any new evidence and ask any relevant questions. The appellate will then be dismissed and the committee will deliberate and make a determination. Should an appeal be granted and heard, both parties will be informed of the outcome in writing via campus email within 48 hours of the decision.

Prevention and Education

Maryville College has several avenues for preventing issues of sexual misconduct and educating the campus community. Some of the highlights are listed below: 

  • Bystander Intervention Training: The Director of Student Services facilitates yearly programming
  • Awareness and Educational Campaigns: Several Student Affairs offices such as Residence Life, Maryville College Student Programming Board, Student Government Association, and other student organizations, under faculty/staff supervision, conduct programs throughout the year on topics such as consent, dating violence, sexual assault myths, making healthy choices, sexual violence awareness, etc.
  • Orientation programming includes education for new students every fall on issues of sexual misconduct and Maryville College’s sexual misconduct policies and procedures.
  • The Title IX Coordinator educates the campus employees on issues of sexual misconduct and how and when to report these issues. Likewise, the Title IX Coordinator trains campus employees on how to sensitively handle such reports.
  • Maryville College provides ongoing prevention and awareness programs in the area of sexual misconduct, including dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking.

 Maryville College is committed to ensuring all employees are trained in a trauma-informed approach to issues of sexual misconduct. Training for faculty and staff on issues of sexual misconduct is the responsibility of the Title IX Coordinator. Employees are trained annually on what constitutes sexual misconduct, their reporting responsibilities, and how to handle reports of sexual misconduct. Likewise, any individual involved in investigating or adjudicating issues of sexual misconduct undergoes training prior to engaging in such responsibilities. Trainings are conducted by the Title IX Coordinator, in collaboration with other experts versed in sexual misconduct issues.