Sexual Misconduct Policy/ Title IX
I. Policy Title: Sexual Misconduct Policy/Title IX
II. Who Does This Policy Affect?
This Policy applies to all members of the College community, including, HFC Board of Trustees, students, faculty, employees, staff, independent contractors, vendors, volunteers, others engaged in business with the College, guests, and visitors ("HFC Community Members").
Henry Ford College (“HFC” or “College”) is comprised of two Dearborn campuses, the Main campus and the East campus (MTEC) The College is committed to creating and maintaining a safe and non-discriminatory Campus community that is free from both sexual and gender-based misconduct and that enables individuals engaged in HFC programs or activities to participate fully in the educational mission of the College. In addition to sexual misconduct, Title IX also includes, but it not limited to, pregnancy/pregnancy related issues and gender equality in athletics, academic programs and activities. This policy complies with the requirement of Title IX. 20 U.S.C. 1092 (f)(7) and 1681 (a) and its implementing regulations.
This Policy is intended to ensure a safe and non-discriminatory educational and work environment and describes the process by which HFC meets its obligations under Title IX and its implementing regulations.
The purpose of this Policy is to eliminate, prevent and address sexual misconduct. In addition, this policy describes he process for reporting violations, investigating written complaints and the method to adjudicate the alleged violations. This policy also identifies resources available to HFC Community Members who are involved in an incident of sexual misconduct.
“Unless otherwise indicated, all references throughout this Policy to individuals or titles (e.g., Title IX Coordinator) shall include that individual’s designee.”
“Unless otherwise stated, all references to “days” in the Policy shall mean calendar days. To the extent a deadline falls on a weekend or a College holiday, the next business day shall be the applicable deadline.”
IV. Policy Statement
The College is committed to offering programs, activities and an educational environment free from sex and gender discrimination and conducive to positive learning and working experiences free from sex and gender discrimination. The College prohibits, and will not tolerate, sexual misconduct. For the purposes of this policy, sexual misconduct includes, but is not limited to, behaviors such as rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, sexual harassment, sexual coercion, domestic violence, dating/relationship violence, sexual exploitation, and stalking. College community members shall not engage in sexual misconduct. Persons who engage in such prohibited behavior are subject to disciplinary action, up to and including discharge for employees and dismissal for students and may be subject to criminal prosecution.
The College will respond to all complaints of alleged conduct that may be in violation of this policy. All reported Prohibited Conduct will receive a prompt, equitable, impartial, and thorough investigation and/or resolution; and will provide for appropriate disciplinary or other corrective action.
This Policy will apply when all of the following are met, in the reasonable determination of the Title IX Coordinator:
• occurred on or after August 14, 2020;
• occurred in the United States;
• occurred in the College’s Education Program or Activity education program or activity includes locations, events, or circumstances over which the College exercised substantial control over both the respondent and the context in which sexual harassment occurs, and also includes any building owned or controlled by a student organization that is officially recognized by the College, whether such a building is on-campus or off-campus; and
• At the time of filing a formal complaint, a complainant is participating in or attempting to participate in the education program or activity at the College; and
• Constitutes Sexual Misconduct, as defined in this Policy.
The College will provide due process as described in this policy. The Sexual Misconduct Complaint Procedure is designed to provide due process for both parties. This includes providing the parties with an opportunity to present evidence, witnesses and relevant information during the investigation and hearing process described below.
All College proceedings under this Policy are conducted in compliance with the requirements of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 ("Title IX") and regulations promulgated thereunder in 2020; Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VII"); the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act ("Clery Act"), as amended by the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 ("VAWA"), and state and federal law, as may be applicable.
A. Notice of Non-Discrimination
HFC does not discriminate against any person in any of its education or employment programs and activities on any basis prohibited by federal law or other applicable law, including on the basis of sex or gender, and it does not tolerate discrimination or harassment on the basis of sex or gender. The prohibition on discrimination extends to admission and employment, unless excepted by law.
The College complies with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX), and its implementing regulations (34 C.F.R. Part 106, as amended by 85 FR 30026 (May19, 2020), a federal law that provides that: 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, including admissions and employment.
B. Jurisdiction and Timing
- Personal and Geographical Jurisdiction. Any person may file a complaint of sexual misconduct against a registered or enrolled student or current employee under this process. A "student" means any student who is registered or enrolled at the College at the time of the alleged sexual misconduct (including, but not limited to, sexual misconduct that is alleged to have occurred during any academic recess, provided that there is an expectation of the student's continued enrollment at the College). If a student who was currently enrolled at the time of the alleged sexual misconduct subsequently withdraws from all courses, the College shall maintain personal jurisdiction. An “employee” is defined as a current employee.
This process applies to students, employees, and third parties. The process covers acts of Prohibited Conduct committed by or against students, employees, and third parties when the prohibited conduct occurs in the College’s education or employment programs or in activities which include locations, events, or circumstances over which the College exercised/exercises substantial control over both the respondent and the context in which the sexual harassment occurs, and also includes any building owned or controlled by a College student organization that is officially recognized by the College.
- Timing of Complaints and Availability of Procedures. So long as there is jurisdiction pursuant to B.1. above, there is no time limit to invoking this process in responding to complaints of alleged sexual misconduct. Nevertheless, students and HFC Community Members are encouraged to report alleged sexual misconduct as soon as possible in order to maximize the College's ability to obtain evidence, and conduct a thorough, impartial and reliable investigation. HFC encourages reporting within 180 days of an incident as delays in reporting alleged sexual misconduct may result in the loss of relevant evidence and witness testimony and may impair the College's ability to collect information relevant to the process. If the Respondent is a student who will be graduating, a hold will be placed on the Respondent’s account until proper resolution of any sexual misconduct charges may occur, provided that a hearing opportunity can be scheduled in accordance with the Title IX timeline for the earliest practicable date that may reasonably accommodate the parties and their witnesses.
C. Role of Title IX Coordinator
The Title IX Coordinator(s) oversees the College’s compliance with Title IX, including its grievance procedure, education/prevention efforts, and training. The Coordinator(s) review information about sexual misconduct complaints to identify and address any patterns or systematic concerns that arise during the review of such complaints. The Coordinator(s) is available to meet with any College Community Member or campus organization that would like to discuss Title IX compliance at the College. Please see the College’s Title IX policy at: https://policies.hfcc.edu/policy/sexual-misconduct
Assistance may be obtained 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by dialing 911.
During business hours (8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday), you are also strongly urged to contact, whether student or employee, one of the following Title IX Coordinators as soon as reasonably possible to report any sexual misconduct you believe may have occurred. A formal complaint may be filed with the Title IX Coordinator in person, by regular mail, or by electronic mail, by using the contact information listed below.
Title IX Coordinator:
Munira Kassim, Student Compliance & Conduct Supervisor /Title IX Coordinator
Location: Campus Safety Building, Office N227
For complaints against a student, contact the Title IX Coordinator identified above.
For complaints against an employee, contact either the Title IX Coordinator identified above or the Employee Deputy Title IX Coordinator:
Lynn Borczon, Assistant Director of Human Resource
Location: Welcome Center, 3rd Floor
Your health, safety and well-being are the College’s primary concern. If you, or someone you know, may be the victim of any form of sexual misconduct, you are strongly urged to seek immediate assistance.
D. Responsible Employees:
Creating a safe environment is the responsibility of all members of the College community. All College employees are considered Responsible Employees and are required to promptly report allegations of sexual misconduct or other violations of this policy to either the Title IX Coordinator or designees and/or Campus Safety within three business days. All College employees, including the College's Board of Trustees, faculty, and staff, must promptly report sexual misconduct that they observe or learn about, and that involves a member of the College community or occurred at a College event or on College property. The Board of Trustees, employees, faculty, and staff are required to report this information even if the complainant indicates they plan to report the complaint. The Board of Trustees, employees, faculty, and staff are directed to refer to the Title IX Resource Guide for guidance in their reporting obligations. See the Related Documents section below for a link to the Title IX Resource Guide.
The College's Licensed Counselors are the only confidential employees not required to report sexual misconduct incidents to the Title IX Coordinator without Complainant permission.
E. Reporting Options
The College encourages all individuals to report Prohibited Conduct or a potential violation of this Policy to the Title IX Coordinator, the Office of Campus Safety, and/or local law enforcement. Any person can make a sexual misconduct report as follows:
- To the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator in person, by mail, phone, email, or by any other means that results in the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator receiving the person’s verbal or written report.
- Report to the Office of Campus Safety
- To the United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights regarding an alleged violation of Title IX (www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/complaintintro.html or by calling 1-800-421-3481).
- Confidential or Anonymous Reporting: There are many supportive resources available at the College. Some of the resources are designated as confidential. Other resources provide support but may need to involve others. For confidential or anonymous reporting, you must either submit an anonymous online report or meet with a licensed counselor at the HFC Counseling Center. If safety to others is a concern, or as required by law, the College may need to report the allegation.
The College is committed to fostering a community that promotes reporting of all types of sexual misconduct. All individuals are encouraged to promptly report conduct that may violate this Policy to the College and report conduct that may violate criminal law to both the College and local law enforcement.
The College can most efficiently and effectively investigate and respond to allegations of sexual misconduct if the complaint is made as promptly as possible after the alleged misconduct occurs.
A. On-Campus Resources:
Office of Campus Safety:
When threatened or confronted with an emergency, call Campus Safety: 9911 from a campus phone or (313) 845-9630 from the outside. Campus Safety can also be reached through your HFC Reach Out App and by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Counseling Center: https://www.hfcc.edu/student-services/counseling
Student Outreach and Support (SOS)
Dr. Brenda Hildreth, (313) 845-9611 or email@example.com
Assisted Learning Services (Disabilities)
Ammie Helling, Counselor, Assisted Learning Services (313) 845-9617 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Office of Student Conduct and Title IX Contact: Munira Kassim at email@example.com or (313) 845-6301
For additional resources, go to https://www.hfcc.edu/student-rights
B. Off-Campus Resources:
For Victims and Families of Domestic Violence/Rape/Sexual Assault:
In Case of Emergency Call
RAINN National Sexual Assault Hotline:
Information and Chat: www.rainn.org
National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline:
Text: Loveis to 22522
Information and Chat: www.loveisrespect.org
National Domestic Violence Hotline:
Information and Chat: http://www.thehotline.org/
First Step-24-hour help lines
2651 Saulino Court
Dearborn, MI 48120.
Phone: (313) 842-7010
Fax: (313) 842-5150
Southwest Detroit Resources:
CHASS –LA VIDA CLINIC
5635 West Fort Street
Detroit, MI 48209
Detroit Police Rape Counseling Center
420 St. Antoine
Detroit MI 48201
Wayne County Resources
4400 S. Venoy
Wayne, MI 48184
1394 Cleophus Parkway
Lincoln Park, MI 48146
VOICES (sexual abuse survivors) - Catholic Social Services (313) 883-2100
Further information about Title IX and sex discrimination in education is available from the Office for Civil Rights, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20202-1100 (by Customer Service Hotline: 800-421- 3481; fax: 202-453-6012; TDD: 877-521-2172; email: OCR@ed.gov; or on the web, at http://www.ed.gov/ocr).
F. Retaliation Prohibited
It is a violation of College Policy to retaliate against any person making a complaint of sexual misconduct, any person cooperating in the investigation of (including testifying as a witness) of any allegation of sexual misconduct, and supporters of the complainant. For the purposes of this document, retaliation means when a faculty/staff member/employer takes adverse action against a/an student/employee because she or he has engaged in a protected activity such as filing a complaint of discrimination or harassment. Retaliation may be found even when the underlying charge does not constitute discrimination or harassment in violation of College policies, and all persons who participate in a discrimination or harassment proceeding, not only the complainant, are protected against retaliation. The College will not tolerate retaliation.
An adverse retaliatory action is an action taken to deter a reasonable person from opposing a discriminatory or harassing practice and/or from participating in a discrimination or harassment proceeding or, more generally, from pursuing her/his rights. Examples of adverse actions include failing grade, termination, denial of promotion or demotion, and unjustified negative evaluations or references. Adverse actions do not include petty slights and annoyances, such as stray negative comments in an otherwise positive or neutral evaluation, snubbing a colleague, or addressing poor class/work performance. Students/Employees who have filed a complaint or expressed opposition to discrimination or harassment are still expected to perform their student/employee responsibilities and follow appropriate classroom/work decorum.
The College or other person may not intimidate, threaten, coerce, or discriminate against any individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by Title IX or this part, 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 part. Intimidation, threats, coercion, or discrimination, including charges against an individual for code of conduct violations that do not involve sex discrimination or sexual harassment, but arise out of the same facts or circumstances as a report or complaint of sex discrimination, or a report or formal complaint of sexual harassment, for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by Title IX or this part, may amount to retaliation. Complaints alleging retaliation may be filed according to the grievance procedures for sex discrimination. 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 part does not constitute retaliation. However, a determination regarding responsibility alone will not be sufficient to conclude that any party made a materially false statement in bad faith.
G. First Amendment Protections
The College is also required and committed to upholding the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. Nothing in this process is intended to abridge the rights or freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment, or to infringe on the proper exercise of academic freedom. The protections of the First Amendment must be carefully considered in all complaints involving speech or expressive conduct. The fact that speech or a particular expression is offensive is not, on its own, necessarily a legally sufficient basis to establish a violation of this policy.
This policy is not intended to restrict any rights that would otherwise be protected from government action by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution; (2) Deprive a person of any rights that would otherwise be protected from government action under the Due Process Clauses of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution; or (3) Restrict any other rights guaranteed against government action by the U.S. Constitution.
For purposes of this policy, the following definitions will apply.
“Actual knowledge” means notice of sexual harassment or allegations of sexual harassment to a recipient’s Title IX Coordinator or any official of the recipient who has the authority to institute corrective measures on behalf of the recipient, or to any employee of an elementary and secondary school.
"Clery Act" refers to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act.
"College" means Henry Ford College.
“Dating Violence” means a pattern of assaultive and/or controlling behaviors that one person uses against another in order to gain or maintain power and control in the relationship. The accused student has intentionally behaved in ways that causes fear, degradation and humiliation to control the victim. Forms of abuse can be physical, sexual, emotional and/or psychological.
In determining whether an individual has engaged in “dating violence,” the following must be established: the accused student and the victim have been in a societal relationship of a romantic or intimate nature. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors: 1.) length of the relationship, 2.) type of the relationship, and 3.) the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
“Document Filed by a Complainant” means a document or electronic submission (such as by electronic mail or through an online portal provided for this purpose by the recipient) that contains the complainant’s physical or digital signature, or otherwise indicates that the complainant is the person filing the formal complaint. Where the Title IX Coordinator signs a formal complaint, the Title IX Coordinator is not a complainant or otherwise a party under this regulation.
“Domestic Violence” is a pattern of behavior in which one person uses physical, sexual, economic or emotional abuse to control the victim. This behavior specifically includes assaults or an assault and battery of a person’s spouse or former spouse, an individual with whom he or she has or has had a dating relationship, an individual with whom he or she has had a child in common, or a resident or former resident of his or her household.
MCL 750.81(2) considers “domestic violence” a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 93 days or a fine of not more than $500.00, or both.
“Duty to Report” all College Board of Trustees, employees, faculty and staff, are identified as Responsible Employees. All Responsible Employees who learn of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment against a student or employee or other form of discrimination are expected to notify the Student or Employee Title IX Coordinator, including all Title IX violations as described under Section III, Purpose have a Duty To Report under this Policy. If the allegation of gender-based harassment, sexual harassment or sexual assault involves a minor under the age of 17, the Board member, employee, faculty or staff is required to notify the Employee Title IX Coordinator and the Office of Campus Safety. An employee (including faculty and staff) who fails to report may be found to have violated Henry Ford College’s policies, and be subject to disciplinary actions, up to and including termination, in accordance with Collective Bargaining Agreement, if applicable. College employees whose role with the College is to serve in a privileged, professional capacity, such as licensed counselors, are not bound by this expectation except as required to law. College Employee for purposes of this Policy includes the Board of Trustees, all unionized, exempt and non-exempt Community College Members.
“Education Program or Activity” includes locations, events, or circumstances over which the school or district exercised substantial control over both the respondent and the context in which the sexual harassment occurs. 34 C.F.R. § 106.44(a).
"Effective Consent" means words or actions that show a knowing and voluntary agreement to engage in mutually agreed-upon sexual activity. Effective consent is absent when the activity in question exceeds the scope of effective consent previously given. Consent is a free and clearly given yes, not the absence of a no, and cannot be received when a person is incapacitated by alcohol or drugs. See definition of incapacitation, below.
"FERPA" refers to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
“Formal Complaint” means a document filed by a complainant or signed by the Title IX Coordinator alleging sexual harassment against a respondent and requesting that the recipient investigate the allegation of sexual harassment. At the time of filing a formal complaint, a complainant must be participating in or attempting to participate in the education program or activity of the recipient with which the formal complaint is filed.
“Grievance Process” The process of addressing Formal Complaints of Title IX Sexual Misconduct before the imposition of any disciplinary or other actions that are not Supportive Measures against a Respondent.
"Hearing Officers" mean the trained individuals identified/appointed by HFC to serve as the decision maker on Title IX complaints.
"Incapacitation" means the physical and/or mental inability to make informed, rational judgments. States of incapacitation include, without limitation, sleep, blackouts, and flashbacks. Where alcohol [or other drug] is involved, one does not have to be intoxicated or drunk to be considered incapacitated. Rather, incapacitation is determined by how the alcohol consumed impacts a person's decision-making capacity, awareness of consequences, and ability to make informed judgments. It is not the practice of the College to pursue disciplinary action against a complainant or witness for his or her improper use of alcohol or drugs (e.g., underage drinking), provided that such individual is acting in good faith as a complainant or witness to the events of the alleged sexual misconduct.
The question is whether the accused student knew, or a sober, reasonable person in the position of the accused student should have known, that the complainant was incapacitated. Because incapacitation may be difficult to discern, students are strongly encouraged to err on the side of caution, e.g., when in doubt, assume that another person is incapacitated and therefore unable to give effective consent. Being intoxicated or drunk is never a defense to a complaint of Sexual Misconduct under this Process.
"Investigators" refers to the individuals trained and designated by the Title IX Coordinator to conduct investigations of alleged sexual misconduct, and to determine whether or not there is a reasonable basis to grant a hearing (as more specifically described in Section 4, below). The Title IX Coordinators and the Title IX hearing officers are also trained investigators and may be part of an investigative team at any time when necessary. 20 U.S.C. Section 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99. Sokolow, Brett A., Lewis, W. Scott, Schuster, Saundra K., NCHERM Institute on Responding to Campus Sexual Misconduct. 2010, p. 49.
"Non-Consensual Sexual Contact" means sexual contact that occurs without effective consent.
"Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse" means sexual intercourse that occurs without effective consent.
MCL 750.520d(1)(a) states that a person is guilty of third-degree criminal sexual conduct if the person engages in sexual penetration with another person and that person is at least thirteen but younger than sixteen years old. Accordingly, a thirteen-year-old child cannot legally consent to sexual penetration with another person because sexual penetration of a thirteen-year-old child is automatically third-degree criminal sexual conduct. People v. Starks, 473 Mich. 227.
“Notice” is when the College has actual knowledge is notice of sexual harassment or allegations of sexual harassment to a recipient’s Title IX Coordinator or any official of the recipient who has authority to institute corrective measures on behalf of the recipient. Imputation of knowledge based solely on vicarious liability or constructive notice is insufficient to constitute actual knowledge. This standard is not met when the only official of the recipient with actual knowledge is the respondent. The mere ability or obligation to report sexual harassment or to inform a student about how to report sexual harassment, or having been trained to do so, does not qualify an individual as one who has authority to institute corrective measures on behalf of the recipient.
"Off Campus Conduct" means conduct that occurred on any place other than on College-owned or leased property, at any College sanctioned function, at the permanent or temporary local residence of a College student, faculty member, employee, or visitor, or elsewhere in Michigan, and is reasonably related to a college function or activity.
“Parties” includes the Complainant and Respondent as defined below.
• “Complainant” an individual, who must be participating or attempting to participate in the College’s Education Program or Activity who is alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment.
• “Respondent” an individual who has been reported to be the perpetrator of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment.
“Preponderance of Evidence” is a standard of evidence meaning that a proposition is more likely than not to be true.
“Prohibited Conduct” or "Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct" is a broad term encompassing “Sexual Exploitation," “Sexual Harassment”, “Sexual Assault” “Sexual and/or Gender Based Stalking” “Sex and Gender-Based Discrimination” "Sexual Harassment” which causes a hostile environment," "Non-Consensual Sexual Contact," “Gender-Based Harassment”
“Retaliation” “Intimate Partner Violence” and "Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse," as defined in this process. Sexual misconduct can occur between strangers or acquaintances, including people involved in an intimate or sexual relationship, sexual misconduct can be committed by men or by women, and it can occur between people of the same or different sex.
"Rape" which is a form of sexual assault, is defined as penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim encompasses conduct such as rape and sexual assault.
“Responsible Employees” means all Board of Trustees, faculty, employees, and staff (including teaching assistant, coaches, supervisors, club advisors) responsible for reporting allegations of sexual harassment and gender-based misconduct. Any employee of the College, unless the employee is authorized or required by law to keep information confidential as a result of her/his professional role (including employees of Counseling Services are considered to be Responsible Employees. See Title IX Resource Guide.
“Retaliation" It is a violation of College Policy to retaliate against any person making a complaint of sexual misconduct, any person cooperating in the investigation of (including testifying as a witness) of any allegation of sexual misconduct, and supporters of the complainant. For the purposes of this document, retaliation means when a faculty/staff member/employer takes an adverse action against a/an student/employee because she or he has engaged in a protected activity such as filing a complaint of discrimination or harassment. Retaliation may be found even when the underlying charge does not constitute discrimination or harassment in violation of College policies, and all persons who participate in a discrimination or harassment proceeding, not only the complainant, are protected against retaliation. The College will not tolerate retaliation.
"Sexual Assault" is defined as having or attempting to have sexual intercourse or having sexual contact with another individual by force or threat of force; without consent; or where that person is incapacitated.
"Sexual Contact" means the deliberate touching of a person's intimate parts (including genitalia, groin, breast or buttocks, or clothing covering any of those areas), or using force to cause a person to touch his or her own or another person's intimate parts. Sexual Assault is any sexual contact without consent.
"Sexual Exploitation" means taking sexual advantage of another person without effective consent, and includes, without limitation, causing or attempting to cause the incapacitation of another person in order to gain a sexual advantage over such other person; causing the prostitution of another person; recording, photographing or transmitting identifiable images of private sexual activity and/or the intimate parts (including genitalia, groin, breasts or buttocks) of another person; allowing third parties to observe private sexual acts; engaging in voyeurism; and/or knowingly and intentionally exposing another person to a significant risk of a sexually transmitted infection.
“Sexual Harassment” means conduct on the basis of sex that satisfies one or more of the following: (1) a school employee conditioning education benefits on participation in unwelcome sexual conduct (i.e. quid pro quo); or (ii) unwelcome conduct that a reasonable person would determine is so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the school’s education program or activity; or sexual assault (as defined in the Clery Act) dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking as defined in the Violence Against Women Act (VAWM) The College strongly encourages individuals to report all unwelcome conduct based on sex to the Title IX Coordinators.
In evaluating any complaint of sexual harassment, the perceived offensiveness of a particular expression, standing alone, is not sufficient by itself to be actionable. The exclusive purpose of this distinction is to protect individuals from sex or gender discrimination, consistent with both federal regulatory law and the requirements of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
“Sexual harassment which causes a hostile environment” means unwelcome conduct based on sex or gender (e.g., sexual orientation, gender stereotypes, sexual preference and/or pregnancy or a pregnancy-related status), which is so severe, persistent, or pervasive, that it unreasonably interferes with an individual’s College employment, academic performance or participation in College programs or activities and creates a working, learning, program or activity environment that a reasonable person would find intimidating, hostile or abusive. Types of potential harassment include, but are not limited to, stalking and bullying. The inclusion of a definition of “sexual harassment” that is separate from the definition of “sexual harassment causing a hostile environment” was adopted based on the language used in the Montana-Missoula OCR Letter:
Examples of sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:
• Sexual violence, including sexual assault, rape and sexual exploitation
• Threats or insinuations that led the recipient reasonably to believe that granting or denying sexual favors will affect her/his reputation, education, employment, advancement, or standing at the College
• Sexual advances, sexual propositions, or sexual demands that are not agreeable to the recipient
• Unwelcome sexually explicit material presented via email, text message, or other means of communication
• sexual misconduct such as stalking, cyberstalking, recording or transmitting sexual images without an individual’s consent, and voyeurism
• Unwelcome and persistent sexually explicit statements or stories that are not legitimately related to employment duties, course content, research, or other College activities or programs
• Repeatedly using sexually degrading words or sounds to a person or to describe a person
• Unwanted and unnecessary touching, patting, hugging, or other physical contact of any body part
• Recurring comments or questions about a person’s sexual prowess, preferences, deficiencies or behavior.
Simply because a type of sexual behavior does not fall within a clear definition of sexual harassment that does not render the sexual behavior acceptable in the workplace or classroom. The behavior may be in violation of other College policies, and if disruptive or unprofessional may be subject to disciplinary action.
"Sexual Intercourse" means penetration (anal, oral or vaginal) by, but not limited to, a penis, tongue, finger, or an inanimate object.
“Sexual Violence” means a physical sexual act perpetrated without consent. This encompasses conduct such as rape and sexual assault.
“Stalking” means a pattern of behavior made up of a series of two or more separate non-continuous acts which shares the same purpose and causes a reasonable person to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed or molested, and that actually causes the victim to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed or molested.
“Student Code of Conduct" means HFC's Student Code of Conduct, as enforced by the Office of Student Conduct and Compliance.
“Supportive Measures” The term “supportive measures” or “interim supportive measures” means “non-disciplinary, non-punitive individualized services offered as appropriate, as reasonably available, and without fee or charge to the complainant or the respondent before or after the filing of a formal complaint or where no formal complaint has been filed.” 34 C.F.R. § 106.30(a).
Supportive measures “are designed to restore or preserve equal access to the recipient’s education program or activity without unreasonably burdening the other party, including measures designed to protect the safety of all parties or the recipient’s educational environment, or deter sexual harassment.” Examples include “counseling, extensions of deadlines or other course-related adjustments, modifications of work or class schedules, campus escort services, mutual restriction]ns on contact between the parties, changes in work or housing locations, leaves of absence, increased security and monitoring of certain areas of the campus, and other similar measures.”
Supportive measures are coordinated by the Title IX Coordinator, and should be kept confidential, to the extent that maintaining confidentiality does not otherwise interfere with the provision of supportive measures.
“Title IX Coordinator” means the individual identified by HFC who will receive Title IX Complaints, issue appropriate notice to the parties, determine interim measures, and determine whether the complaint is appropriate for the Title IX process, or informal resolution, or dismissal.
"VP" refers to the Vice President of Student Affairs and Vice President of Human Resources (and/or their designees). The College has designated the VP’s designees as the Title IX Coordinators listed above for purposes of this process and in accordance with federal regulations.
"Vice President’s Office" means the Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs or the Vice President of Human Resources located in the Administration Building, currently Room numbers 430 and 424.
Related Misconduct; Criminal Proceedings
A. Other Related Misconduct.
In accordance with this process, the Hearing Officer is empowered to hear allegations of, and to recommend and/or impose sanctions for, sexual misconduct and any other violation(s) of the College's Student Code of Conduct directly related to the alleged sexual misconduct. Such related misconduct may include, without limitation, violations of the rules of privacy as articulated herein, violations of the Title IX Coordinator’s directive(s) discussed in the Title IX Complaint Procedures, and/or violations of other College policies that occurred in the course of the alleged sexual misconduct.
Employees, students and other College Community Members are expected to comply with all College policies, including without limitation, the College’s Drug and Alcohol policies.
Any students, employees or College Community Members who appear before the Panel, whether as parties to the proceedings or as witnesses, are expected to provide truthful testimony in accordance with the College's Student Code of Conduct, employment or other College policies.
B. Effect of Criminal Proceedings
Because sexual misconduct may constitute both a violation of College policy and criminal activity, the College encourages students to report alleged sexual misconduct promptly to local law enforcement agencies. Criminal investigations may be useful in the gathering of relevant evidence, particularly forensic evidence within 72 hours of incident. Because the standards for finding a violation of criminal law are different from the standards for finding a violation of College Policies, criminal investigations or reports are not determinative of whether sexual misconduct, for purposes of this process or applicable College Policies, has occurred. Conduct may constitute sexual misconduct under this process even if law enforcement agencies lack sufficient evidence of a crime and therefore decline to prosecute. In such cases, the complainant may not initially understand the results of the criminal investigation, the nature of criminal procedure, or the grounds for the law enforcement decision not to prosecute. The complainant in such cases may request that the Title IX Coordinator identify an advocate to assist the complainant in seeking and attending a meeting with the local prosecutor to gain an understanding of the decision to decline a prosecution.
The filing of a complaint of sexual misconduct under this process is independent of any criminal investigation or proceeding, and (except that the College's investigation may be delayed temporarily while the criminal investigators are gathering evidence) the College will not wait for the conclusion of any criminal investigation or proceedings to commence its own investigation and take interim measures to protect the complainant and the College community, if necessary, as described in the Procedures.
The Procedure for filing a Title IX sexual misconduct or sexual harassment complaint at the College shall be developed by the President and/or his or her designee in accordance with this Policy. These Procedures shall appear on the College's website and there is a link below under Related Documents that will take you to this Procedure.
VI. Responsible Party for Administration and Enforcement
Vice President of Student Affairs
Title IX Coordinators
VII. Related Documents
Incident Report Form
Student Code of Conduct
Procedure for Reporting a Sexual Misconduct/Title IX Complaint (need to add link to updated procedures)
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Federal) at
Equal Educational and Employment Opportunities and Non-Discrimination
Drug and Alcohol Policy
Dangerous Weapons Policy
Jeanne Clery Act
Title IX Resource Guide
VIII. Policy History
a. Current Policy Approved by Board: December 14, 2020
b. Previous Revisions: June 22, 2015; November 20, 2017
c. Previous Policy Section(s): Students Previous Policy No(s).:8550
This policy supersedes and replaces any and all policies related to this subject