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College-wide Policies

Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, and Sexual Violence Policies and Procedures

The Colorado College believes that students, faculty, and staff have the right to be free from unwanted sexual harassment, sexual misconduct and sexual violence, including but not limited to: unwanted verbal or written conduct of a sexual nature; unwanted physical conduct of a sexual nature; and sexual assault. The College believes that students, faculty, and staff have the right to be free from similar harmful conduct including but not limited to: intimate partner violence/domestic violence/dating violence; sexual coercion; sexual exploitation; stalking; gender and/or sexuality bias or discrimination; and retaliation against individuals for reporting violations of this Policy. The College does not tolerate sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, sexual violence or the other prohibited conduct listed above and as defined in this Policy; such conduct constitutes prohibited sexual discrimination under federal law (Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972), and individuals who engage in such conduct are subject to disciplinary action under this Policy. The purpose of these Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct and Sexual Violence Policies and Procedures is to prevent sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, sexual violence and other prohibited conduct from occurring by educating students, faculty, and staff about behaviors that may constitute prohibited conduct. When such conduct does occur, this Policy guides affected students, faculty, and staff to support services and resources and explains the procedures for reporting and resolving incidents. The College encourages students, faculty, and staff to promptly report violations of this Policy. Even when a formal report is not made, the College is responsible for investigating and resolving violations when it has notice that a violation has occurred. The College also encourages students, faculty, and staff to report intimate partner/dating/domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault or sexual violence to the local police. This is the sole policy at the College addressing sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, sexual violence, intimate partner violence/domestic violence/dating violence, sexual coercion, sexual exploitation, stalking, as well as retaliation associated with any such prohibited conduct. The College community should also be aware of the College Anti-Discrimination Policies and Procedures which prohibit discrimination on the basis of numerous protected characteristics in accordance with federal, state and local law. That policy addresses sex discrimination other than the conduct covered by this Policy.

Responsible office
Title IX
Responsible party
Title IX Coordinator
Last revision
June 2015
Approved by
Board of Trustees
Approval date
June 2014
Effective date
June 2014
Additional references
None

Scope

All financial and administrative policies involving community members across campus are within the scope of this policy. If there is variance between departmental expectations and the common approach described through college policy, the college will look to the campus community to support the spirit and the objectives of college policy.

Policy

I.    SCOPE

This Policy applies to students, faculty, staff, visitors, and applicants for admission to or employment with the College, who allege sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, sexual violence or other prohibited conduct by any member of the College community or any third party.  This Policy protects individuals in connection with all the academic, educational, extracurricular, athletic, and other programs of the College, whether those programs take place in a College facility, at an off-campus class or program sponsored by the College, or on College-provided transportation.  Additionally, the Policy protects individuals that experience prohibited conduct off-campus when the conduct has continuing effects on the individual in the College setting.  Incidents should be reported to the College as soon as possible after an incident occurs, but there is no statute of limitations for reporting an incident to the College. The College also encourages students, faculty, and staff to report intimate partner/dating/domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault or sexual violence to the local police.


Procedures

  1. What to do if you are the victim of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, Sexual violence or other prohibited conduct

    If you are a student, staff, faculty, visitor, or applicant for admission to or employment with the College and are the victim of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, sexual violence or other prohibited conduct there are a number of options available for you to pursue including: confidential consultation with a member of the College community; informal resolution processes; formal grievance procedures; and reporting to the local police. None of these options are mutually exclusive, meaning that you may choose any option and at any time choose to use another option. For incidents requiring an immediate response please refer to the Immediate Response section.

    1. Immediate Response: If you or someone you know is the victim of sexual assault, sexual violence, or any other type of sexual misconduct requiring an immediate response, you are strongly encouraged to seek immediate assistance.  Preservation of evidence and prompt investigation following an incident of sexual assault or sexual violence is critical.  If you need immediate assistance, please contact any of the following:
      1. The Colorado College Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC):
        The SARC can be accessed by calling x8101 on campus or (719) 227-8101 off campus, or (719) 602-0960 for the on-call advocate. The SARC is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The SARC is a College staff member, experienced in working with victims of sexual misconduct, sexual violence, sexual assault, intimate partner violence/domestic violence/dating violence, stalking, or gender bias motivated behaviors and serves as the initial and confidential point of contact for individuals who want assistance from the College in handling their situation. Tara Misra is the College’s current SARC and in addition to the telephone numbers listed above, she can be reached by email at tara.misra@coloradocollege.edu, and her office is Worner Campus Center 219.
      2. Student Organization for Sexual Safety (SOSS): You may contact the College’s SOSS, which can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (719) 236-0526. The SOSS is a student-led organization whose members can support you and act as a confidential source of information and referral. A SOSS member will explain your options in clear terms, and help you in the decision-making process.
      3. Colorado Springs Police Department: Call 911 for emergencies and (719) 444-7000 for non-emergency situations.
      4. Campus Safety: Call x6707 on campus or (719) 389-6707 off campus.
    2. Confidential Consultation: If you are the victim of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, sexual violence or other prohibited conduct, you may contact a confidential source that is a member of the College community to discuss the conduct at issue and the options available to you including: seeking personal counseling; finding community resources to assist with the issue; pursuing resolution of the issue through the College’s informal or formal procedures; and reporting to the local police. This consultation will remain confidential and these sources are not required to reveal your identity to the College.
      1. Colorado College Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC): Anyone may contact the College’s SARC. The SARC can be accessed by calling x8101 on campus or (719) 227-8101 off campus, or (719) 602-0960 for the on-call advocate. The SARC is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The SARC is a College staff member, experienced in working with victims of sexual misconduct, sexual violence, sexual assault, intimate partner violence/domestic violence/dating violence, stalking, or gender bias motivated behaviors and serves as the initial and confidential point of contact for individuals who want assistance from the College in handling their situation. Tara Misra is the College’s current SARC and in addition to the telephone numbers listed above, she can be reached by email at tara.misra@coloradocollege.edu, and her office is Worner Campus Center 219.
      2. Student Health and Counseling Center: Students may contact the Student Health Center, which can reached at x6384 or (719) 389-6384. Medical providers are available to assist you in a confidential manner with your medical and emotional needs. The CC Counseling Center can be reached at (719) 297-7233. Counselors and psychotherapy specialists are available to assist you in a confidential manner with your emotional needs.
      3. Chaplains: Anyone may contact a College chaplain. The chaplains can be reached at x6638 or (719) 389-6638. The chaplains are a confidential resource who can assist with emotional and spiritual needs.
      4. College Ombudsperson: Staff and faculty may contact the College Ombudsperson, who acts as a confidential resource. The College Ombudsperson can be reached at (719) 330-0410.
      5. Employee Assistance Program (EAP): Staff and faculty may access the EAP which provides counseling services for employees. They can be reached at Penrose-St. Francis, The Center for Behavioral Health at (719) 634-1825 or 800-645-6571.
    3. Informal Resolution Procedures: If you are the victim of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, sexual violence or other prohibited conduct, you may contact one of the above named confidential resources and pursue informal resolution of the issue.
      1. Informal Resolution Procedures: Courses of action to informally resolve a case include but are not limited to:
        1. The victim may communicate directly, orally or in writing, with the person who has engaged in the allegedly prohibited conduct, and ask that person to cease the behavior.
        2. The above named confidential resources could help in facilitating communication with the accused individual in cases where the victim should not communicate directly with the accused individual.
        3. The victim, along with a confidential resource if desired, may discuss and attempt to resolve the matter informally with the Title IX Coordinator or the applicable Deputy Title IX Coordinator.
      2. All aspects of the informal resolution procedures will remain confidential to the extent possible, however, the College cannot guarantee confidentiality in cases where such protection allows the behavior to continue, such that future harm is possible.
      3. The victim may at any time end the informal resolution process and begin the formal grievance procedures. Further, the College’s Title IX Coordinator, the applicable Deputy Title IX Coordinator or the confidential resource may determine that a particular incident giving rise to the informal resolution process is sufficiently serious to require immediate interim measures, resolution through the formal grievance procedures, or reporting to the local police.
    4. Formal Grievance Procedures: If you wish to formally report an incident involving sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, sexual violence or other prohibited conduct, to begin the formal grievance procedures, you must report the incident to one of the following College officials:
      • The College’s Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC): If the accused is a student, staff, or faculty, you may report to the College’s SARC. The College’s current SARC is Tara Misra and she can be reached by calling x8101, (719) 227-8101 or (719) 602-0960, emailing tara.misra@coloradocollege.edu, or going to Worner Campus Center 219.
      • The College’s Title IX Coordinator: If the accused is a student, staff, or faculty, you may report to the College’s Title IX Coordinator. The College’s current Title IX Coordinator is Gail Murphy-Geiss and she can be reached by calling x6868 or (719) 389-6868, emailing gmurphygeiss@coloradocollege.edu, or going to Palmer 131A.
      • Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Students: If the accused is a student, you may report to the College’s Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Students. The College’s current Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Students is Rochelle Mason, the Associate Dean of Students, and she can be reached by calling x6800 or (719) 389-6800, emailing RMason@coloradocollege.edu, or going to Worner Center 230.
      • Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Staff: If the accused is a staff member, you may report to the College’s Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Staff. The College’s current Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Staff is Barbara Wilson, the Director of Human Resources, and she can be reached by calling x6421 or (719) 389-6421, emailing bwilson@coloradocollege.edu, or going to Spencer Center, Suite 101.

      After you contact one of these individuals they will assist you in filing a Complaint. Reporting an incident to one of these individuals should be done as soon as possible after the incident occurred, if possible, but there is no statute of limitations on such complaints. Although Complaints about students can only be processed while the accused is a student at CC, and against staff and faculty while the accused is employed by CC, the College welcomes Complaints at any time, in our attempt to maintain a safe and productive educational community. In making a decision whether to file a Complaint, the Complainant may want to confer with one of the confidential resources listed above.  Once the formal grievance procedures have been initiated, the Complaint will be investigated, adjudicated and resolved regardless of whether the Respondent or the Complainant leaves the College.

      The College considers all acts of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, sexual violence and other prohibited conduct to be serious and the College may impose disciplinary action ranging from education, to warnings, to probation, suspension, expulsion, or termination of employment.

      The College has implemented a process that ensures you only have to file one Complaint, which will be disseminated to need-to-know parties, including the Title IX Coordinator, the applicable Deputy Title IX Coordinator, and the Investigators.


      1. Grievance Procedures
        1. Once a Complaint is submitted, the Respondent is contacted within 24 hours. The Respondent, once informed, has 7 calendar days to respond in writing to the Complaint or file a cross Complaint, all of which will be decided in the same investigation and adjudication process. Any cross Complaint that is filed in bad faith or is frivolous will be considered retaliation against the Complainant who filed the original Complaint, and will become a separate violation of this Policy and will subject the Respondent to potential sanctions.  If no response is received, the formal grievance procedures will still move forward. The Title IX Coordinator or the applicable Deputy Title IX Coordinator will choose two Investigators to investigate and decide the case.
          1. For cases involving allegations against students, the Investigators will be trained College staff members.
          2. For cases involving allegations against staff, the Investigators will be trained College staff and/or faculty members.
          3. For cases involving allegations against faculty, the Investigators will be trained College faculty members.
          4. For cases involving allegations against the President or the Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration, the Title IX Coordinator will notify the members of the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees.  The Executive Committee may remand the Complaint for processing in keeping with the procedure detailed above or they may appoint an Ad Hoc Committee of three investigators comprised of three current members of the Board who do not serve on the Executive Committee of the Board.  At least one member of the Ad Hoc Committee shall have been trained as an investigator.  The Committee has the authority to employ the services of an externally trained investigator.

        2. The names of the Investigators are disclosed to the Complainant and the Respondent, and if either the Complainant or Respondent has objections to either of the Investigators chosen, they must notify the Title IX Coordinator or the applicable Deputy Title IX Coordinator within three days of being advised of the names of the Investigators. The Title IX Coordinator or the applicable Deputy Title IX Coordinator retains sole discretion on whether to replace any of the Investigators originally chosen.
        3. Once chosen, the Investigators review the Complaint and Response, conduct an investigation into the allegations, and examine available evidence. The Investigators communicate individually with both the Complainant and the Respondent and may contact other witnesses. The Complainant and Respondent may provide information to the Investigators including the names of witnesses. The Investigators will not interview, and the College will not consider, witnesses who are presented solely for purposes of supporting or criticizing a person’s character or reputation.  Interviews will only be conducted of witnesses with knowledge of the facts surrounding the alleged incident.
        4. The Complainant or Respondent may have an advisor of their choice to assist them through the formal grievance process. This advisor may be an attorney, or the College can provide a trained College staff member. The advisor is for support and information only and cannot actively participate in the investigation and adjudication process. The advisor may attend interviews or proceedings, but they cannot speak or actively participate in the interview or proceeding. Further, advisors cannot communicate orally or in writing with the Investigators or any other College official involved in the investigation and adjudication process.
        5. If at any time, the Complainant or Respondent feels that they are not being treated fairly during the formal grievance procedures/investigation process, they should contact the College’s Title IX Coordinator or the applicable Deputy Title IX Coordinator to address the issue.
        6. The standard of proof used to determine whether a Respondent has violated the Policy is a “preponderance of the evidence” meaning that the evidence shows that it is more likely than not, or more than a 50% likelihood, that the Respondent is responsible for the violation.
        7. When the Investigators complete the investigation, they create a final written report with the Investigators’ recommended findings as to whether the Respondent is responsible for the violation, and if the Respondent is found responsible, the Investigators’ recommended sanction. The Investigators’ written report is submitted to the Title IX Coordinator, the applicable Deputy Title IX Coordinator, and to the final decision-maker: the Dean of Students (for Complaints against students); the Vice President for Finance and Administration (for Complaints against staff); and the Dean of the Faculty (for Complaints against faculty).
        8. In making recommendations on sanctions, the Investigators may consider:
          1. The severity of the Respondent’s conduct;
          2. The Respondent’s conduct history;
          3. Whether the conduct involved a single incident or repeated acts; and
          4. Any mitigating or aggravating circumstances with respect to either party.
        9. The Respondent and Complainant will be notified of the final decision on whether a violation is found to have occurred and if a violation is found to have occurred, the sanction imposed, in the form of a letter issued by the Dean of Students (for Complaints against students), the Vice President for Finance and Administration (for Complaints against staff), and the Dean of the Faculty (for Complaints against faculty).
        10. The confidentiality of all parties to the formal grievance procedures should be strictly observed, insofar as it does not interfere with the College’s obligation to investigate Complaints fully and to take corrective action. Dissemination of information or materials to persons not involved in the formal grievance procedures is not permitted. When a Complaint is made by or against a member of the faculty or staff, if deemed appropriate by the Title IX Coordinator, the supervisor of the faculty or staff member will be informed.
        11. The College also may act as the Complainant and formally report incidents of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, sexual violence or other prohibited conduct for processing through the formal grievance procedures if the College knows that prohibited conduct has occurred. Such complaints will be initiated by the Title IX Coordinator.
        12. If the Investigators find that the Complaint was not brought in good faith, and that the allegations of misconduct were fabricated or malicious, it may recommend that sanctions be imposed on the Complainant. The Investigators should consider that allegations of violations of the Policy cannot always be substantiated, and that lack of corroborative evidence should not be interpreted as lack of good faith on the part of the Complainant.
      2. Appeals
        1. Either the Complainant or the Respondent may appeal the final finding of responsibility or non-responsibility. Appeals may only be granted for one of the following reasons:
          1. New Evidence or Information: New evidence or information sufficient to alter a decision, or other relevant facts not known at the time of the original investigation.
          2. Failure of Investigative or Decision Making Process: Allegations that the Investigators deviated from the Policy in a way that substantially altered the outcome of the case.
          3. Bias in Decision Making Process: Evidence that an Investigator or person involved in the formal grievance procedures have relevant history of interaction or involvement with either Complainant or Respondent sufficient to establish bias or conflict of interest.
          4. Disagreeing with the imposed sanction is not grounds for an appeal.
        2. Appeal Procedures:
          1. Appeals are limited to one per case. Written appeal requests should include: The grounds for the appeal; supporting documentation; and information and arguments relevant to support the appeal.
          2. Anyone that wishes to appeal must submit the appeal in writing to the President of the College within four days of receiving the letter outlining the finding of responsibility or non-responsibility.
          3. If the Respondent wishes to have a sanction suspended pending the outcome of the appeal, the Respondent must request this when they request an appeal. It is within the sole discretion of the President of the College, or their designee, to grant a suspension of the sanction pending an appeal determination.
          4. The President of the College, or their designee, reviews the appeal materials to determine whether there are sufficient grounds for the appeal to move forward.
          5. If the President of the College, or their designee, determines the appeal should move forward, they will choose three individuals to sit as an Appeal Panel to decide the appeal. If the allegations are against a student or staff, the Appeal Panel members will be chosen from the Student and Staff Appeals Board. If the allegations are against a faculty member, the Appeal Panel members will be chosen from the Faculty Appeals Board.
          6. The Appeal Panel reviews the file of the Investigators and may interview the Investigators or any other person that participated in the investigation and decision-making process. The Appeal Panel does not substitute its judgment for that of the Investigators and limits their review to the three grounds for appeal stated above: (1) new evidence or information; (2) failure in investigative or decision making process; and (3) bias in decision making process.
          7. The Appeal Panel may uphold the original decision, reverse the original decision, issue additional or different sanctions, send the case back to the original Investigators to redecide the case, or send the case to new Investigators to redecide the case. The decision of the Appeal Panel is recommended to the President of the College who will make the final decision regarding the appeal, except in rare instances where the President was involved in the adjudication of the initial Complaint, in which case the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the College will make the final decision regarding the appeal.
          8. The final appeal decision will be sent to the Complainant and Respondent in a letter. This final decision cannot be appealed.
      3. Timeline for Grievance Procedures: The application of the formal grievance procedures to any case must be promptly completed, with the Complainant and Respondent being informed of the final outcome, including any outcome of an appeal, no more than 60 days from the date of submission of the Complaint. On rare occasions, stated timelines under the formal grievance procedures may be extended for good cause.
      4. Post-Decision Follow-Up: Should the Respondent be found to have committed a violation of the Policy, the SARC, the Title IX Coordinator or the applicable Deputy Title IX Coordinator, will follow-up with the Complainant periodically to ensure that the prohibited conduct has ceased and that no acts of retaliation have occurred.
      5. Continuing Effects:  The College acknowledges that even after a sanction is served, a student may feel continuing effects of the incident. The College retains discretion to address continuing effects by instituting reasonable measures to minimize them while ensuring that all parties involved are able to continue with their education.
  2. Immediate Responses, Interim Measures and Accommodations
    1. The College reserves the right to take, and the Complainant has the right to request, whatever immediate response, interim measure or accommodation necessary and appropriate to eliminate sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, sexual violence or other prohibited conduct, prevent its recurrence and address its effects, or to protect an individual’s safety, physical and mental well-being, and rights.

      Such measures and accommodations include but are not limited to:

      1. Immediate modification of living arrangements;
      2. Immediate modification of class schedule;
      3. Ordering the accused individual/Respondent to have no contact with the victim/Complainant;
      4. Immediate removal from campus;
      5. Immediate modifications in work arrangements; and
      6. Reporting to local police.
    2. Any immediate response, interim measure or accommodation may be imposed at any time after prohibited conduct has become known to the College. Such measures or accommodations may be requested by the Complainant or recommended by the Investigators or administratively imposed according to the discretion of the Title IX Coordinator, the applicable Deputy Title IX Coordinator or the President of the College. The College retains discretion on what type of measures or accommodations to implement and any measure or accommodation will be designed to minimize the burden on the Complainant’s educational program.
  3. Confidentiality
    1. If you seek assistance from the SARC, chaplains, individuals within SOSS, the Student Health Center, the Counseling Center, the Ombudsperson, or the Employee Assistance Program in dealing with an issue of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, sexual violence or other prohibited conduct, these individuals are not required to report your identity to the College unless you request that they do, and therefore do serve as a confidential resource. Individuals can talk with any of these confidential resources before, during, or after deciding to go through the informal resolution process or formal grievance procedures.
    2. If a victim requests confidentiality or asks that a formal Complaint not be pursued, the College will take all reasonable steps to investigate and respond to the allegations including taking steps to prevent the recurrence of the conduct and limiting the effects of the conduct on the victim consistent with the request for confidentiality. However, if a victim insists that his or her name or other identifiable information not be disclosed to the accused individual, the College’s ability to respond to the incident may be limited.
    3. The College cannot ensure complete confidentiality should the victim desire to pursue informal resolution procedures or formal grievance procedures. However, the College will preserve the confidentiality of all parties to the maximum extent possible. When a Complaint is made by or against a member of the faculty or staff, if deemed appropriate by the Title IX Coordinator, the supervisor of the faculty or staff member will be informed.
    4. The College is required by federal law to report the occurrence on campus of any of six major violent crimes, including certain sex offenses, in an annual report of campus crime statistics. This statistical report does not include personally identifiable information.
  4. Miscellaneous
    1. Colorado Springs Police Department: The College encourages individuals to report intimate partner/dating/domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault or sexual violence to the local police. You may report incidents to the local police as well as pursue resolution through the College’s informal resolution procedures or formal grievance procedures. Should an incident be reported to the police, the College is not relieved of its independent duties to investigate and resolve any allegations as provided for under the Policy, and take whatever immediate steps are needed to protect the Complainant in the College setting.
    2. Education and Training of the College Community: The College’s Title IX Coordinator, the Director of Human Resources and the SARC have the responsibility of educating students, faculty, and staff regarding the nature and negative consequences of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, sexual violence and other prohibited conduct. Their responsibilities include: conducting workshops for students, faculty, and staff; training relevant members of the College community on the nature and consequences of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, sexual violence and other prohibited conduct and how to conduct informal consultations; training Investigators and Appeals Board members on the Policy, how to investigate and resolve Complaints in a way that protects the safety of the victim and promotes accountability, the problems related to sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, sexual violence and other prohibited conduct, and federal, state, and local laws regarding sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, sexual violence and other prohibited conduct; and training students, faculty, and staff about how to identify and report sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, sexual violence or other prohibited conduct.
    3. Immunity for Victims and Witnesses – Reporting Violations when Drugs and Alcohol are Involved: The College encourages victims and bystanders to report incidents of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, sexual violence and other prohibited conduct, including when drugs and alcohol are involved and victims and bystanders are concerned about whether they will face disciplinary action. The College’s primary concern is the safety of the members of the College community and it encourages behavior that demonstrates care and concern for members of the College community. Accordingly, the College reserves the right to provide a reprieve from disciplinary actions for victims and other individuals who exhibit responsible and proactive behavior in reporting sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, sexual violence or other prohibited conduct, or acting as a witness during the formal grievance procedures.
    4. Student Allegations Against Faculty: Students who have allegations about faculty conduct in the classroom and in other academic contexts should consult with the Title IX Coordinator who will consult with the Dean of Students about academic freedom issues.
    5. Recordkeeping: When a student, staff, or faculty member is found responsible for violating this Policy, a disciplinary file is created. This file contains all of the information pertinent to the resolution of the case. This file is maintained by the Title IX Coordinator (and the Student Life Office if you are a student) until ten years after the disciplinary file was created, at which point the file will be destroyed, meaning that the violation will no longer be officially part of the student, staff or faculty member’s College record for future reporting purposes (e.g., employment or graduate school admission). However, files of severe violations (those that result in suspensions, expulsion or termination) will be maintained by the College as a permanent record and will be considered part of the student, staff, or faculty member’s College record for future reporting purposes.

      When a student, staff, or faculty member is accused of a violation of this Policy but is not found responsible for the violation, a file is also created. This file is maintained only by the Title IX Coordinator and after ten years the file is destroyed. However, when a student, staff or faculty member was found not to have violated this Policy, the person is not considered to have a disciplinary record with the College for future reporting or any other purposes.

      If you have any questions about whether or not you need to report any violations of this Policy for any reason in the future please contact the Title IX Coordinator, and if the record was created when you were a student, the Student Life Office.

    6. Authority of Title IX Coordinator: The College’s Title IX Coordinator oversees the College’s handling of violations of this Policy and has final decision-making authority over all violations. Further, any questions about this Policy or Title IX’s requirements can be directed to the College’s current Title IX Coordinator, Gail Murphy-Geiss (Office: Palmer 131A. Phone: 719-389-6868. E-mail: gmurphygeiss@coloradocollege.edu).
  5. Students, Staff and Faculty Consensual Relationship Policy
    1. The educational mission of the College depends upon a learning and working environment marked by mutual respect and trust among members of the College community and by confidence in the fundamental fairness of decisions that affect their well-being. Personal relationships that have the potential to undermine personal trust or the perception of fairness are thus contrary to the College’s central purpose. Particularly problematic are consensual sexual relationships, past or present, between two members of the College community in which one person exercises direct supervisory or evaluative authority over the other (for example, supervisor and subordinate employee, chair and member of his or her department, teacher or advisor and student). Because of their inherent power differential, such relationships are fraught with possibilities for abuse. They can lessen confidence in any evaluation process that affects the subordinate party. They invite suspicion about decisions regarding grades, recommendations, or professional advancement. They can hamper the effectiveness of established procedures and subtly alter the dynamics of collegial relations. In these and other ways such relationships can interfere with the proper fulfillment of professional responsibilities.
    2. In the interest of ensuring a living, learning, and working environment that supports its mission, the College has adopted the following policy regarding consensual sexual relationships:
      1. The College prohibits all sexual relationships between members of the faculty and students.
      2. The College prohibits all sexual relationships between members of the staff and students with one exception:  College alum who immediately upon graduation, or starting in August after May graduation in the same year, begin working for the College and are in an existing relationship with a student on the start date of the contract.
      3. The College does not allow any member of the College community who is involved in a sexual relationship with a person over whom they have direct supervisory or evaluative authority to continue to exercise such authority over the subordinate party.
    3. Enforcement of the consensual relationship policy:
      1. Any faculty member who violates the College’s prohibition of sexual relationships between faculty members and students will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.
      2. Should a staff member meet the exception regarding graduates who immediately begin working at the College upon graduation and at the time of beginning work is in an existing relationship with a student, the recent employee must notify the College Human Relations Department of the relationship immediately upon starting work for the College.

      3. Should a sexual relationship develop between members of the faculty or staff in which one of the partners in the relationship has direct supervisory or evaluative authority over the other, the College requires the person with authority to recuse themselves in a timely manner from exercising that authority over the subordinate party and to assume no direct supervisory or evaluative authority over the other person in the future. To these ends, the person with authority must inform their supervisor or the Dean of the College or the appropriate Vice President, of the consensual relationship in which they have become involved. While keeping this information as confidential as possible, the superior so informed will take the steps necessary to ensure that the staff or faculty member with supervisory or evaluative authority does not exercise that authority over the other party involved in the relationship and that some other person assumes the role of supervisor or evaluator. The person with authority over the other person in the relationship is prohibited from having direct supervisory or evaluative authority over the other person in the relationship at any time in the future. Any staff or faculty member who fails to inform their superior of a consensual relationship covered under this consensual relationship policy will be subject to disciplinary action that may range from a written reprimand to suspension without pay to termination.

Definitions

  1. Definitions
    1. Definitions of Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Violence and Other Prohibited Conduct
      1. Sexual harassment: Any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, which can include unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal and nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature.
      2. Sexual misconduct: Any non-consensual behavior of a sexual nature including but not limited to: unwanted verbal or written conduct of a sexual nature (including texts, phone calls and internet-based communications); crude, obscene, or sexually offensive gestures or unwelcome sexual comments (including texts, phone calls and internet-based communications); and any unwanted physical touching of a sexual nature.
      3. Sexual violence: Any unwanted physical conduct perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent (e.g. due to the person’s use of drugs or alcohol, or because an intellectual, mental or physical disability prevents the person from having the capacity to give consent). Such conduct includes but is not limited to: sexual assault; sexual exploitation, sexual coercion; and unwanted sexual intercourse (rape).
        1. Prohibited sexual misconduct and sexual violence could be committed by force, intimidation, or use of victim’s incapacity (physical, mental, or through use of drugs or alcohol).
        2. All sexual contact between individuals must be with each person’s active consent.
        3. Acts of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct and sexual violence may be committed by men against women, women against men, men against men, and women against women.
      4. Active consent: When each person involved in sexual contact expressly agrees to the sexual activity freely, willingly, and knowingly. A person who has been threatened, intimidated, or whose judgment is substantially impaired by drugs or alcohol or by other physical or mental impairment cannot, by definition, give active consent to sexual contact
        1. A person cannot consent if they are:
          1. Unconscious;
          2. Frightened;
          3. Physically or psychologically pressured or forced;
          4. Intimidated;
          5. Coerced;
          6. Impaired because of a psychological condition; or
          7. Intoxicated by use of drugs or alcohol.
        2. It is the responsibility of the initiator of sexual contact to obtain consent from the other person and to determine whether such consent is freely, willingly, and knowingly given. Engaging in sexual contact with a person whose judgment is substantially impaired by drugs or alcohol, or who is unconscious or asleep, or giving a person drugs or alcohol with the intent to impair their judgment or make them unconscious is a violation of the Policy. The initiator of sexual conduct will be found in violation of the Policy if it is determined that they knew or should reasonably have known that the other person’s judgment was substantially impaired at the time consent was obtained or sexual contact was initiated.
        3. Consent to one form of sexual activity does not provide consent to other forms of sexual activity. Similarly, neither previous relationships nor prior consensual activities provide consent to future sexual activity. Consent must be present throughout the activity and can be revoked at any time. It is important not to make assumptions.
        4. The best practice is to obtain or give consent verbally in order to avoid misunderstandings inherent in non-verbal communication. Silence or non-communication should never be interpreted as consent. A lack of communication is a signal to stop and ask a partner verbally what they would like to do. No contact should be initiated, and sexual contact should be stopped until communications are received. A verbal “NO” or physical resistance, no matter how indecisive or weak or passive, always means NO. If there is any doubt about whether a person’s judgment is substantially impaired or whether a person who initially agreed to sexual contact has changed their mind, sexual contact should not be initiated or should be stopped immediately.
        5. Use of alcohol or drugs never makes the victim at fault for sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, or other prohibited conduct.
        6. The College prohibits all sexual relationships between members of the faculty and students. For purposes of consent, this means that a student cannot consent to sexual activity with a faculty member.
        7. The College prohibits all sexual relationships between staff or faculty or between a student and a staff member, when one of the individuals holds direct supervisory or evaluative authority over the other person. Thus, a student, staff or faculty member cannot consent to sexual activity with a member of the staff or faculty that has direct supervisory or evaluative authority over them unless the person with the supervisory or evaluative authority has informed their superior and recused themself from exercising any supervisory or evaluative authority over the other person.
      5. Sexual exploitation: When an individual takes abusive sexual advantage of another for their own benefit including but not limited to: unwanted photographing, video or audiotaping of sexual activity; invasion of sexual privacy; sexually-based bullying; sexually-based defamation and slander; and going beyond the boundaries of consent (such as having friends hide in the closet to watch you have consensual sexual activity).
      6. Sexual coercion: When an individual is pressured unreasonably for sexual activity. Coercion is different than seduction. Coercing someone into sexual activity violates the Policy in the same way as physically forcing someone into sexual activity.
      7. Intimate partner violence/domestic violence/dating violence: Violence occurring between people who are dating or consider themselves to be a couple at present or in the past is prohibited. Intimate partner/domestic violence/dating violence includes but is not limited to pushing, hitting, slapping, punching, kicking, choking, and stalking behaviors.
      8. Stalking: A course of conduct that directly or indirectly targets a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear is prohibited. Stalking includes any behaviors or activities occurring on more than one occasion that collectively instill fear in a victim, and/or threaten their safety, mental health, or physical health. Such behaviors include but are not limited to unwanted in-person contact, surveillance, and unwanted telephone or computer-based contact.
      9. Gender and/or sexuality bias or discrimination: Any physically or verbally harmful act directed against a person, group, or property because of the person’s or group’s gender, perceived gender, gender identification, gender expression, sexual orientation, sexual preference, or sexual behavior in the past or present. Examples include, but are not limited to: verbal epithets; defacing signs; graffiti; threats; and violent acts that target a person or community.
      10. Retaliation: Any action or behavior taken toward an individual as a consequence of their decision to pursue or participate in any way in the formal or informal procedures related to allegations of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, sexual violence or other prohibited conduct. Retaliation may result in immediate administrative disciplinary action. Examples of retaliatory action include but are not limited to:
        1. Attempting to discourage an individual’s use of or participation in the informal or formal procedures addressed in this Policy.
        2. Harassment (verbal or physical) and/or intimidation of any member of the College community, including a victim or accused individual, supporters of either a victim or accused individual and Investigators.
        3. Coercive, threatening, intimidating, or interfering behavior toward any member of the College community for reporting information, filing a Complaint, assisting, or participating in any manner in an investigation or other process under this Policy.

        Any concerns of retaliation should be immediately reported to the SARC, the Title IX Coordinator or the applicable Deputy Title IX Coordinator.

    2. Definitions for the Formal Grievance Procedures
      1. Complainant: A person submitting a Complaint alleging sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, sexual violence or other prohibited conduct.
      2. Complaint: A written document alleging sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, sexual violence or other prohibited conduct.
      3. Respondent: The person accused of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, sexual violence or other prohibited conduct.
      4. Response: A written document providing Respondent’s response to the allegations in the Complaint.
      5. Investigators: Two individuals selected by the Title IX Coordinator or the applicable Deputy Title IX Coordinator to investigate and resolve a Complaint. Investigators are chosen from a pool of staff and/or faculty, all of whom have been trained on: this Policy; how to investigate and resolve Complaints in a way that protects the safety of the victim and promotes accountability; the problems related to sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, sexual violence and other prohibited conduct; and federal, state, and local laws regarding sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, sexual violence and other prohibited conduct.
  2. Frequently Asked Questions

    Below are some of the most commonly asked questions regarding this Policy:

    1. Will my parents be told?

      Whether you are the Complainant or the Respondent, the College’s primary relationship is to the student and not to the parent. However, in the event of major medical, disciplinary, or academic jeopardy, students are strongly encouraged to inform their parents. College officials will directly inform parents when requested to do so by a student, in a life-threatening situation, in certain other emergency situations, or if a responding student has signed the acknowledgment at registration, which allows such communication. In all cases, such reporting shall comply with both or either the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”), as the case may be. The College reserves the right to inform parents of circumstances affecting a student when that student has been claimed as financially dependent according to IRS guidelines.

    2. Do I have to name the person who I accuse of violating the Policy?

      If you want to pursue the informal resolution procedures or the formal grievance procedures then you must name the person. If you choose to have a confidential consultation and do not pursue informal resolution procedures or file a formal Complaint, then you do not have to name the person.

    3. What do I do if a Complaint is filed against me?

      You will be informed that a Complaint has been filed against you and you will be informed on the processes involved with the formal grievance procedures. If you would like to have an advisor through the investigation and decision making process, you may have an advisor of your choice, including an attorney, or the College can provide you a trained College staff member. You may also contact the Associate Dean of Students’ office who can further discuss with you the formal grievance procedures and your rights during the process.

    4. Will I have to pay for counseling or medical care?

      You should not let the cost of treatment deter you from seeking treatment as the College can assist with costs. The College’s primary concern is that students receive the treatment they need. Hospital and off-campus fees are covered according to your own insurance policy. The Student Health Center charges reasonable fees for care provided by the medical director, nursing staff, and counselors. Emergency money may be available through the director of student loans and accounts (loans), the Dean of Students/Vice President for Student Life (emergency grants), and/or the SARC office (emergency funds). You may also be able to get your expenses paid from the Victim’s Compensation Fund through the local district attorney’s office if you file criminal charges.

    5. What kinds of safety and support services are available?

      Victims of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, sexual violence or other prohibited conduct are entitled to reasonable accommodations. Some of the accommodations that may be available to you include but are not limited to:

      • Campus no-contact agreement;
      • Civil protection order;
      • Services of a student victim advocate;
      • Academic accommodations;
      • Provision of alternative housing opportunities;
      • Provision of resources for medical and/or psychological support; or
      • Work accommodations
      • For assistance in obtaining these safety accommodations, please contact the SARC at (719) 227-8101 or (719) 602-0960. If safety is an immediate concern, you are encouraged to contact Campus Safety at (719) 389-6707 or the Colorado Springs Police Department at 911.
    6. What about changing residential rooms?

      If you want to move, you may request a room change. Room changes under these circumstances are considered emergencies. It is the College’s policy that in emergency room changes, the student is moved to the first available suitable room. If you do not want to disclose any information about the incident, the wait list process is also an option for you. The College also has discretion to impose a room change on the Respondent/accused individual.

    7. In the definition of sexual misconduct and sexual violence, reference is made to a person whose judgment “is substantially impaired by drugs or alcohol.” What does this mean and what is my responsibility for assessing the other person’s physical or mental state?

      Substantial impairment generally means that a person cannot make a reasonable or rational decision about an important matter, such as the decision to engage in sexual activity with another person. Before you engage in sexual contact with another person, you are responsible for assessing whether the other person is freely, willingly, and knowingly agreeing to such contact. If you know or should know that the other person has had too much to drink or has taken drugs or if you suspect at any time that they have, you must refrain from and stop all sexual contact even if they say “yes” to sexual contact and even if such contact has already started. Even if you do not know for sure how much a person has had to drink or if they have taken drugs and you were not with them when such actions occurred, you may be found responsible for violating the Policy if you should have known they were substantially impaired because of behaviors they displayed or circumstances surrounding the contact.

    8. What do I do about preserving evidence of a sexual assault?

      Physical evidence of a criminal sexual assault must be collected within 72 hours. If you believe you have been a victim of a criminal sexual assault, you should go to the Memorial Hospital emergency room (1400 East Boulder Street, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80909), before washing yourself or your clothing. The sexual assault nurse examiner (a specially trained nurse) at Memorial Hospital is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week (call the emergency room at (719) 365-5221 if you first want to speak to the nurse; ER will refer you). The police will be notified by hospital staff. The SARC (call (719) 227-8101 or (719) 602-0960), a SOSS volunteer (call (719) 236-0526), or other College staff can also accompany you to Memorial Hospital and campus security can provide transportation.

    9. What kinds of behaviors are included in the definition of stalking?

      It is important to recognize that context is extremely important in determining whether a behavior is stalking or not. Stalking offenders often engage in behavior that will have specific meaning for their victims. However, stalking behaviors can include, but are not limited to:

      • Unwanted communication including in-person communication, telephone calls, voice messages, text messages, email messages, social networking site postings, instant messages, posting of pictures or information on web sites, written letters, gifts or any other communications that are undesired and/or place another person in fear;
      • Following, pursuing, waiting or showing up uninvited at a workplace, place of residence, classroom or other locations frequented by a victim;
      • Surveillance and other types of observation, whether by physical proximity or electronic means;
      • Use of electronic devices or software to track or obtain private information;
      • Trespassing;
      • Vandalism;
      • Direct physical and/or verbal threats against a victim or a victim’s loved ones;
      • Non-consensual touching;
      • Gathering of information about a victim from family, friends, co-workers and/or classmates;
      • Manipulative and controlling behaviors such as threats to harm oneself, or threats to harm someone close to the victim; or
      • Defamation or slander against the victim.
    10. What should I do if I am receiving unwanted communications?

      It is recommended that you do not engage with the person sending you unwanted communication. In other words, do not respond to any emails, social media posts (e.g. Facebook and Twitter), or text messages; if the communication is a phone call, do not engage in conversation. It is also important to document these kinds of unwanted communications. It is recommended that you keep any emails, text messages, or social media posts (e.g. Facebook and Twitter) without altering or forwarding them. If the communication was verbal, try to write down verbatim what was said. A stalker tracking sheet is available through the SARC, as well as on-line at: http://www.ncvc.org/src/AGP.Net/Components/DocumentViewer/Download.aspxnz?DocumentID=39028.

      The SARC can also assist you in documenting communications and/or making decisions about safety planning, reporting options, etc.

    11. What should I do if I believe I have been a target of gender or sexuality bias motivated behavior?

      It is important to document the incident. Documentation should include the date, time, location and names of people involved, as well as a description of what occurred. It is best not to erase or remove graffiti, vandalism, or public postings until a campus official and/or police officer has seen and documented it. If the incident was verbal, try to write down verbatim what was said. Keep any emails in your in-box. Do not delete, alter, or forward them. Take a “screen shot” or print the webpage with any social media messages. The SARC can also assist you in making decisions about safety planning, reporting options, etc.

    12. Will the use of drugs or alcohol by either myself or the other person affect the outcome of a sexual misconduct judicial case?

      Use of alcohol or drugs never makes the victim at fault for sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, sexual violence or other prohibited conduct. Alcohol and drug use is not an excuse for a violation of the Policy, and it is the College’s policy that a person who is impaired from their use of alcohol or drugs CANNOT give consent to sexual activity. Alcohol and/or drug use may affect the Complainant’s and the Respondent’s memory and, therefore, in this context, may affect the outcome of the case.

    13. What should I do if I am uncertain about what happened?

      If you believe that you have experienced a non-consensual sexual contact, but are unsure of whether it was a violation of the Policy, you may contact the SARC, a member of SOSS and/or the Student Health Center to assist you in deciding which options to pursue.