Sexual Misconduct and Complaint Resolution Policy
I. POLICY STATEMENT
Harvey Mudd College (“College” or “HMC”) is committed to fostering an environment in which all members of the HMC community are safe, secure, and free from sexual misconduct of any form. In that regard and consistent with federal and California law, HMC has developed this comprehensive Sexual Misconduct Policy.
The purpose of this Policy is to (1) define sexual misconduct and outline behavioral standards; (2) describe the reporting, investigation, and complaint-resolution processes that are used in cases where it is alleged that a member of the HMC community has engaged in a violation of this Policy; and (3) identify resources available on campus and in the broader community to assist members of the HMC community in dealing with the impact of sexual misconduct.
HMC prohibits all forms of sexual misconduct. Sexual misconduct is a broad term, and as more fully defined below, includes but is not limited to sexual and gender based harassment, violence, exploitation, and stalking. An attempt to commit sexual misconduct as well as assisting or willfully encouraging such conduct is also considered a violation of this Policy.
This Policy applies to all faculty, staff, and students of the College. It also applies to third parties (including, but not limited to, volunteers, campus visitors or vendors) who may have contact with members of the HMC community either on the HMC campus or at other HMC events, programs and activities.
As noted, this Policy applies to conduct occurring on campus or in connection with College-related off-campus events, programs and activities, such as College functions hosted in private homes, off-site conferences and meetings, and College-sponsored study-abroad, internship, research, and other programs. It may also apply to conduct that occurred off-campus – but not at HMC-sponsored events, program or activities – if both parties are members of the HMC community and if the conduct could have a substantial adverse effect on or poses a threat to members of the HMC community.
For purposes of this Policy, a Claimant is the person who is the subject or target of the alleged misconduct. A Respondent is the person, group, or organization alleged to be responsible for the alleged misconduct. A reporting party is a person who makes an initial report concerning conduct prohibited by this Policy who may not necessarily be the Claimant.
III. TITLE IX COORDINATOR
The College’s Title IX Coordinator has primary responsibility for the implementation and administration of this Policy. Members of the HMC community are encouraged to contact the Title IX Coordinator or a Deputy Title IX Coordinator to obtain information about courses of action available to resolve reports or complaints of sexual misconduct; to make a report or file a complaint concerning sexual misconduct; to obtain information about available on-campus and community-based resources and support services relating to sexual misconduct; and to ask questions about this Policy.
The College’s Title IX Coordinator, Deborah Kahn, can be reached in person at Sprague 102, by telephone at 909.607.3148, or by email at email@example.com. The names and contact information of Deputy Title IX Coordinators are listed in Appendix A.
All members of the HMC community are responsible for ensuring that their actions and behaviors do not violate this Policy.
College employees, including faculty, staff, administrators, coaches, and student employees, as well as proctors responsible for student welfare, all of whom are referred to in this Policy as “Responsible Employees,” are required to promptly share, with the Title IX Coordinator or a Deputy Title IX Coordinator, any report of sexual misconduct which they receive or of which they become aware.
The College strongly encourages all members of the HMC community, including those who are not “Responsible Employees” under this Policy, to report information regarding any incident of sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator, a Deputy Title IX Coordinator, another Responsible Employee, or Campus Safety.
V. PROHIBITED CONDUCT AND DEFINITIONS1
A. Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other visual, verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
- Quid Pro Quo: a person’s submission to such conduct is implicitly or explicitly made the basis for employment decisions, academic evaluation, grades or advancement, or other decisions affecting participation in a College program; or
- Hostile Environment: such conduct is sufficiently severe or pervasive that it unreasonably denies, adversely limits, or interferes with a person’s participation in or benefit from the education, employment or other programs and services of the College, and creates an environment that a reasonable person would find to be intimidating or offensive.
Harassment based on a person’s sex is not limited to instances involving sexual behavior. That is, harassment on the basis of sex may occur without sexual advances or sexual overtones when conduct is directed at individuals because of their sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sex- or gender-stereotyping, or sexual orientation, but does not involve conduct of a sexual nature or sexual desire.
Sexual harassment can occur regardless of the relationship, position or respective sex of the parties. It can occur between equals (e.g., student to student, staff to staff, faculty member to faculty member, visitor/contracted employee to staff) or between persons of unequal power status (e.g. supervisor to subordinate, faculty member to student, or coach to student-athlete).
In determining whether harassment occurred, the conduct alleged to constitute harassment is evaluated from both the perspective of the targeted individual as well as the perspective of a reasonable person similarly situated to such and in consideration of the context of the behavior. A single isolated incident may create a hostile environment if the incident is sufficiently severe, particularly if the conduct is physical.
Examples of behavior that might be considered sexual harassment include, but are not limited to: (1) pressure for a date or a romantic or intimate relationship; (2) unwelcome touching, kissing, hugging, or massaging; (3) pressure for or forced sexual activity; (4) unnecessary and unwelcome references to various parts of the body; (5) belittling remarks about a person’s gender or sexual orientation; (6) inappropriate sexual innuendoes or humor; (7) obscene gestures of a sexual or gender-based nature; (8) offensive sexual graffiti, pictures, or posters; (9) sexually explicit profanity; and (10) use of email, the internet, or other forms of digital media to facilitate any of the above referenced behaviors.
B. Non-Consensual Sexual Touching/Contact
Non-consensual sexual touching/contact is any intentional sexual contact or touching of another person’s intimate parts, or of any other part of another person’s body when touching/contact is in a sexual manner, no matter how slight, with any object (e.g., penis, object, finger, hand), when such touching is without the person’s consent or is done by force.
C. Non-Consensual Sexual Penetration/Intercourse
Non-consensual sexual penetration/intercourse is any sexual intercourse (vaginal, anal, or oral) with a person, no matter how slight, with any object (e.g., penis, object, finger, hand), that is without the person’s consent or is done by force.
D. Sexual Exploitation
Sexual exploitation is a form of sexual misconduct which occurs when a person takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for his or her own advantage or benefit, or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited, and such behavior does not constitute one of the other forms of sexual misconduct defined in this Policy. Some examples of sexual exploitation are invasion of sexual privacy, non-consensual video- or audio-taping of sexual activity, and inducing incapacitation for the purpose of making another person vulnerable to non-consensual sexual activity.
E. Intimate Partner Violence
Intimate partner violence refers to any act of violence or threatened act of violence, sexual or otherwise, against a person with whom one is or has been involved in a sexual, dating, domestic, or other intimate relationship. Intimate partner violence is often referred to as “dating violence,” “domestic violence,” or “relationship violence.” Intimate partner violence encompasses a broad range of behaviors, including but not limited to physical violence, sexual violence, emotional violence, and economic abuse.
F. Stalking – Gender Based
Stalking is defined as a course of physical or verbal conduct directed at another individual which could reasonably be regarded as likely to alarm, harass, or cause fear of harm or injury to the individual or to a third party. The feared harm or injury may be physical, emotional, psychological, or otherwise related to the personal safety, property, education, or employment of the individual or third party. Stalking may include but is not limited to pursuing, following, waiting for, surveilling/monitoring, or cyber-stalking the individual, or showing up uninvited at or near a residence, workplace, classroom, or other place frequented by the individual.
G. Affirmative Consent
To clarify the kinds of behavior that constitute sexual misconduct, the College provides the following definitions of key terms that the College will use in evaluating whether prohibited conduct has occurred.
Consent: Consent is required before any sexual activity occurs between two or more individuals. Effective consent consists of an affirmative, conscious decision by each participant to engage in sexual activity, where the sexual activity and the conditions of such activity are mutually agreed upon.
In order to give effective consent, one must be of legal age and have the capacity to give consent. The legal age of consent in the state of California is 18 years.
The following are essential elements of consent:
- Informed and Reciprocal: It is the responsibility of each person involved in the sexual activity to ensure that he or she has the affirmative consent of the other or others to engage in the sexual activity. The existence of a dating relationship or past sexual relations between the persons involved should never by itself be assumed to be an indicator of consent (nor will subsequent sexual relations or dating relationship alone suffice as evidence of consent to prior conduct).
- Freely and Actively Given: Consent cannot be obtained through the use of force, coercion, threats, intimidation, or pressuring, or by taking advantage of the incapacitation of another individual.
- Mutually Understandable: Communication of consent consists of mutually understandable words or actions that unambiguously indicate a willingness to engage in (and assent to the conditions of) sexual activity. In the absence of clear communication or outward demonstration, there is no consent. Consent may not be inferred from silence, passivity, lack of resistance, or lack of active response. An individual who does not physically resist or verbally refuse sexual activity is not necessarily giving consent. Relying solely upon non-verbal communication can lead to a false conclusion as to whether consent was sought or given.
- Not Indefinite: Consent may be withdrawn by any party at any time. Recognizing the dynamic nature of sexual activity, individuals choosing to engage in sexual activity must evaluate consent in an ongoing manner and communicate clearly throughout all stages of sexual activity. Withdrawal of consent can be an express “no” or can be based on an outward demonstration that an individual is hesitant, confused, uncertain, or no longer a mutual participant. Once consent is withdrawn, the sexual activity must cease immediately, and all parties must obtain mutually expressed or clearly stated consent before continuing any further sexual activity.
- Not Unlimited: Consent to one form of sexual contact does not constitute consent to all forms of sexual contact, nor does consent to sexual activity with one person constitute consent to sexual activity with any other person. Each participant in a sexual encounter must consent to each form of sexual contact with each participant.
Force: Consent is not valid if it is obtained through force. Force is the use or threat of physical violence to overcome an individual’s freedom of will to choose whether or not to participate in (and assent to the conditions of) any sexual activity. For the use of force to be demonstrated, there is no requirement that the individual have resisted the sexual advance or request. Resistance by the individual will, however, be viewed as a clear demonstration of no consent.
Coercion: Consent obtained through coercion is not valid consent. Coercion is the improper use of pressure to compel another individual to initiate or continue sexual activity against that person’s will. Coercion can include a wide range of behaviors, including intimidation, manipulation, threats, and blackmail. A person’s words or conduct are sufficient to constitute coercion if they wrongfully impair another individual’s freedom of will and ability to choose whether or not to engage in sexual activity. Examples of coercion include threatening to “out” someone based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression or to harm oneself if the other party does not engage in the sexual activity. When someone indicates, verbally or physically, that s/he does not want to engage in a particular sexual activity, that s/he wants to stop a particular sexual activity, or that s/he does not want to go past a certain point of sexual interaction, continued activity or pressure to continue beyond that point is coercive.
Capacity/Incapacitation: Incapacitation is a state where an individual cannot make an informed and rational decision to engage in sexual activity because the person lacks conscious knowledge of the nature of the act (e.g., the who, what, when, where, why, or how of the sexual interaction) or is physically helpless. An individual is incapacitated, and therefore unable to give consent, if asleep, unconscious, or otherwise unaware that sexual activity is occurring.
Sexual activity with someone who one knew or, based on the circumstances, should reasonably have known to be mentally or physically incapacitated (e.g., by alcohol use, other drug use, unconsciousness, sleep, black-out) constitutes a violation of this Policy.
Although incapacitation may result from the use of alcohol or drugs, consumption of alcohol or drugs alone is insufficient to establish incapacitation. In general, however, sexual contact while under the influence of alcohol or drugs poses a risk to all parties. Alcohol and drugs impair a person’s decision-making capacity, awareness of consequences, and ability to make informed judgments. It is, therefore, especially important that anyone engaging in sexual activity be aware of the other person’s level of intoxication. If there is any doubt as to the level or extent of the other individual’s intoxication or impairment, the prudent course of action is to forgo or cease any sexual contact or activity.
Being intoxicated or impaired by drugs or alcohol is never an excuse for sexual harassment, sexual violence, stalking, or intimate partner violence and does not diminish one’s responsibility to obtain consent.
The impact of alcohol and drugs varies from person to person. Evaluating incapacitation requires an assessment of how the consumption of alcohol or drugs impacts an individual’s:
- decision-making ability;
- awareness of consequences;
- ability to make informed judgments; and
- capacity to appreciate the nature of the act.
Evaluating incapacitation also requires an assessment of whether one knew, or should have known, that the individual was incapacitated.
It is a violation of this Policy to retaliate against an individual because he or she raised allegations of sexual misconduct or otherwise cooperated or participated in the administration of this Policy. The College recognizes that retaliation can take many forms (e.g., threats, intimidation, and reprisals), that retaliation may be committed by or against an individual or a group, and that a Claimant, Respondent, or third party may commit or be the subject of retaliation.
HMC will take prompt action to investigate any report of retaliation and will pursue disciplinary action as appropriate. An individual who in good faith reports potential misconduct under this Policy is entitled to protection from any form of retaliation following the report, even if the reported misconduct is later not proven.
VI. COMPLAINT RESOLUTION PROCESS
Because this Policy governs the conduct of all members of the HMC community different procedures for addressing reports or complaints involving sexual misconduct will apply, depending on who is alleged to have violated this Policy2:
- Where an allegation is made against a student Respondent, complaints are handled through the processes outlined below;
- Where the Respondent is a faculty member, teaching/research assistant, or staff member, complaints are handled in accordance with HMC’s Prohibited Discrimination and Harassment Policy3;
- Where there are multiple Respondents or a Respondent with varying statuses or a student organization, the Title IX Coordinator shall determine which procedure(s) will apply; and
VII. COMPLAINT RESOLUTION PROCESSES FOR STUDENTS
A. Complaint Resolution Options
Claimants who believe they have been subjected to sexual misconduct by a student have the option of using HMC’s Early Resolution and/or Formal Complaint Resolution processes, both described in Section F below. However, depending on the nature of the alleged sexual misconduct, the Title IX Coordinator may determine the appropriate resolution process under this Policy.
It is also important to note that certain forms of sexual misconduct may constitute a crime. A Claimant who has been subjected to sexual misconduct has the right to simultaneously file and pursue a criminal complaint with law enforcement authorities and to use HMC’s Early and/or Formal Complaint Resolution processes. A Claimant subjected to sexual misconduct also has the right to be assisted by HMC in notifying law enforcement authorities, if s/he chooses to make a criminal complaint. A criminal investigation or proceeding does not relieve HMC of its duty to conduct its own timely inquiry into the alleged misconduct. As a consequence, the College typically will not wait for the conclusion of any criminal investigation or proceedings to commence the HMC investigation and complaint resolution processes outlined below. Neither a law enforcement determination of whether or not to prosecute a Respondent nor the outcome of any criminal prosecution is determinative of whether conduct prohibited under this Policy occurred.
Claimants may also pursue civil remedies (including a temporary restraining order or injunctive relief from a court of law) or file an administrative complaint with a government agency. For more information concerning external complaint resolution options, see Appendix B.
B. Making a Report, Anonymous Reports, and Amnesty
Reports concerning conduct prohibited under this Policy should be submitted to the Title IX Coordinator, a Deputy Title IX Coordinator, a Responsible Employee, or Campus Safety by telephone, by e-mail, or in person as soon as possible after an incident. There is no time limit for making a report involving sexual misconduct, but HMC’s ability to respond may diminish over time, as evidence may erode, memories may fade, and Respondents may no longer be affiliated with HMC.4
Any individual may make an anonymous report concerning conduct prohibited under this Policy. An individual may report the incident without disclosing his/her name, identifying the person accused of sexual misconduct, or requesting any action. The level of information available about the incident or the individuals involved may, however, limit the College’s ability to respond to an anonymous report. This allows anyone to report suspected misconduct or other issues with complete confidentiality. It allows the person making the report and College administrators to confer about additional details while the reporting party remains anonymous. All reports go to the Title IX Coordinator or Campus Safety. The links to these reporting pages are respectively (1) Title IX Incident Reporting Form – Sexual Harassment and/or Sexual Misconduct form and (2) Silent Witness Incident Reporting.
The College encourages and seeks to remove any barriers to reporting by making the procedures for reporting transparent and straightforward. The College recognizes that an individual who was drinking or using drugs at the time of an incident may be hesitant to make a report because of potential Honor Code consequences for his/her own conduct. An individual who reports sexual misconduct, either as a Claimant or as a third-party witness, will not be subject to disciplinary action by the College for his/her own personal consumption of alcohol or drugs at or near the time of the incident, provided that any such violations did not and do not place the health or safety of any other person at risk. The College may, however, initiate an educational discussion or pursue other educational remedies regarding alcohol or drugs.
Reports concerning conduct prohibited under this Policy will be addressed confidentially to the extent possible. Such reports will be disclosed only to individuals who, in the interests of fairness and resolution, have an immediate need to know, and as otherwise required by law. Persons involved in the administration of this Policy are required to maintain confidentiality.5
When individuals report conduct prohibited under this Policy and do not consent to the disclosure of their names and/or do not disclose the identity of or identifying information about the alleged Respondent(s), the College’s ability to respond may be limited. In cases where an individual reporting prohibited conduct requests anonymity or does not wish to proceed with an investigation, the College will attempt to honor that request. In some cases, however, the Title IX Coordinator (or the Title IX Coordinator’s designee) may determine that the College needs to proceed with an investigation based on concern for the safety or well-being of the broader HMC community (e.g., concern about the risk of future acts of sexual violence or a pattern of sexual misconduct). HMC reserves the right to take appropriate action in such circumstances, including in cases when the individual reporting the misconduct is reluctant to proceed.
Members of the HMC community who wish to seek advice or assistance concerning, or to discuss options for dealing with, sexual misconduct on a strictly confidential basis may speak with licensed counselors, clergy, medical providers in the context of seeking medical treatment, and rape crisis counselors, who, except in very narrow circumstances specified by law, will not disclose confidential communications. Students who wish to speak to a licensed counselor on a confidential basis may contact the Claremont College Consortium’s Monsour Counseling Center or EmPOWER Center.6 The Employee Assistance Program is a resource for faculty and staff. The Chaplains of The Claremont Colleges are also available to counsel students, faculty and staff on a confidential basis.
All participants in an investigation about a reported violation of this Policy will be informed that confidentiality helps enhance the integrity of the investigation, protect the privacy interests of the parties, and protect the participants from statements that might be interpreted to be retaliatory or defamatory. At the beginning of the investigation, the Claimant and Respondent will be asked to keep information related to the investigation and resolution private, to the extent consistent with applicable law. Witnesses and advisors will, similarly, be asked to maintain complete confidentiality, to the extent consistent with applicable law.
D. Interim Measures
In response to a report of conduct prohibited by this Policy, before any final investigatory, disciplinary, or remedial outcomes have been determined, HMC may take interim measures to minimize the risk of recurrence and mitigate the effects of the alleged misconduct.
TheCollege, after consultation among appropriate administrators and others, will determine which interim measures, if any, are appropriate. Appropriate interim measures will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Potential interim measures include, but are not limited to, assistance in accessing counseling and medical services; safety planning; “no contact” directives; limitations on privileges, activities, and access to facilities; academic accommodations; changes in campus housing, dining, or workspace locations; work schedule modifications; and interim suspension.
Where the reported violation poses a substantial and immediate threat of harm to the safety or well-being of a member of the campus community, the Respondent may be placed on interim suspension. A student who has been placed on interim suspension has the right, within three (3) business days of the notice of the suspension, to meet with the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students (“Dean of Students”) or the Dean’s designee, to request re-consideration of the interim suspension. The Dean of Students will review the appeal to determine whether the decision to place the student on interim suspension was arbitrary or capricious. A decision is arbitrary and capricious where there is no rational connection between the facts presented and the decision made.
E. Initial Assessment
After receiving a report of prohibited conduct, the Title IX Coordinator will gather information about the reported conduct and respond to any immediate health or safety concerns raised by the report. The Title IX Coordinator will further assess the nature and circumstances of the report to determine whether the report raises a potential HMC policy violation, whether the reported conduct is within the scope of this Policy, and the appropriate manner of resolution under this Policy. 7
The assessment usually begins with a meeting between the person making the report and the Title IX Coordinator to gain a basic understanding of the circumstances of the report; this conversation is not intended to be a full-scale interview. At this meeting, the Title IX Coordinator will provide the reporting party with information about support resources, interim measures, and options for resolution.
As part of the initial assessment of the report, the Title IX Coordinator will:
- Assess the nature and circumstances of the report;
- Assess the immediate physical safety and emotional well-being of the reporting party or any other individual;
- Inform the reporting party of the right to notify (or decline to notify) law enforcement if the conduct is potentially criminal in nature;
- Inform the reporting party of the right to seek medical treatment to address one’s physical health, and of the importance of the preservation of evidence;
- Assess the reported conduct to determine whether, under applicable federal law, the campus community should be notified;
- Provide the reporting party with written information about on- and off-campus resources, the range of interim accommodations and remedies, and the options for resolution, including Early and Formal Complaint Resolution;
- Discuss the reporting party’s expressed preference for a manner of resolution and any barriers to proceeding;
- Explain to the reporting party the College’s Policy prohibiting retaliation;
- Notify the reporting party of the right to be accompanied to any meeting by an advisor of choice;
- Assess whether the reported conduct appears to be part of a pattern of conduct by the Respondent;
- Determine the respective ages of the reporting party and Respondent, and if one is a minor, make the appropriate notifications under California’s child abuse and neglect reporting requirements; and
- If the conduct is potentially criminal in nature, enter non-identifying information about the report into the College’s daily crime log.
The scope and timing of further action will depend upon a number of factors, including but not limited to whether the reporting party is willing to participate in an investigation; whether the reporting party requests anonymity or confidentiality; and whether the College has an obligation to proceed with an investigation based on concerns for the safety of the broader HMC community, irrespective of the reporting party’s wishes.
F. Initial Assessment Outcomes
Upon completion of an initial assessment, the Title IX Coordinator will determine the course of action to be followed under this Policy, which may include:
- No Action: For the College to take action in response to a report there must be sufficient information to believe that a policy violation may have occurred, and that the Respondent may be responsible. The Title IX Coordinator may decline to take further action when insufficient information exists to move forward, or when the alleged misconduct, even if proven, would not be a violation of this Policy.
- Early Resolution: The College may resolve a situation or report of sexual misconduct early and informally when the alleged Claimant does not desire to make use of the Formal Complaint Resolution process, or when there is not enough information to proceed with Formal Complaint Resolution process. Use of the Early Resolution process is not a prerequisite to pursing a Formal Complaint Resolution, and the Early Resolution process may be terminated at any time in favor of Formal Complaint Resolution. Early Resolutions can include, but are not limited to, a warning to cease current behaviors; no-contact directives; an educational conversation with the Respondent or others; changes in academic, work, or living arrangements; and/or a mediated resolution of a complaint. Mediation will not, however, be used to resolve complaints involving sexual assault or violence. The Title IX Coordinator will maintain records of all reports and conduct referred for Early Resolution. Early Resolution will typically be completed within thirty (30) days of the initial report. In circumstances when it is not possible to complete the process within this time frame, both parties will be notified in writing of the delay and the anticipated time frame for completion.
- Formal Complaint Resolution: The Title IX Coordinator may determine that there is reasonable information to suggest that a policy violation may have occurred, and that the matter will proceed through the Formal Complaint Resolution process. Formal Complaint Resolution involves an investigation, a determination, and, if applicable, the imposition of sanctions.
G. Notice to Respondent
When a decision is made to initiate an Early or Formal Complaint Resolution process, to impose interim measures, or to take any other action that impacts a Respondent, the Title IX Coordinator will ensure that the Respondent is notified and receives written information on available resources and options, consistent with the list contained in Section E above.
In connection with the Formal Complaint Resolution process, written notification will state facts sufficient to apprise the Respondent of the nature of the allegations, including the Claimant’s name; the nature of the alleged policy violation(s) (e.g., sexual assault, harassment, exploitation, or retaliation); the date(s) of the alleged policy violation(s); the location(s) where the violation(s) allegedly occurred; a brief description of the allegations; and the sanctions that may be imposed if the Respondent is found to have violated this Policy.
H. Decision-Making Standard
To determine whether a Respondent is responsible for a violation of this Policy, HMC applies a preponderance-of-the-evidence standard. This means that the Decision Maker (See Section J1) determines whether, based on the information presented, it is “more likely than not” that a violation occurred.
I. Investigation – Formal Complaint Resolution
- As soon as the decision to proceed with a formal investigation has been made, the Title IX Coordinator will select a trained internal or external investigator, or two-person investigative team (which may include two internal or external investigators, or a combination of one internal and one external investigator), referred to in this Policy as an “Investigator,” to conduct a reasonable, impartial, and prompt investigation of the complaint. The parties will have three (3) business days after being notified of the Investigator’s identity to object to the Investigator’s selection on the basis of perceived conflict of interest, bias, or prejudice. If either of the parties objects to the investigator selected, the Title IX Coordinator will evaluate whether the objection is substantiated. The Title IX Coordinator will remove and replace any investigator who the Title IX Coordinator finds to have a conflict of interest or harbors bias or prejudice against either party.
- The Investigator will interview the Claimant, the Respondent, and witnesses, treating each with appropriate sensitivity and respect, and will collect additional information. The Claimant and Respondent will both have the opportunity to present the names of witnesses from whom they suggest the Investigator solicit information and questions that they request the Investigator ask the other party. The Investigator will consider the lists provided by the Claimant and Respondent when determining the persons to interview and the questions to ask, but these decisions remain in the Investigator’s discretion. The Investigator may also choose to interview other witnesses not identified by the parties. It is the responsibility of the Investigator to take possession and arrange for the safekeeping of any physical or electronic records, documents, or other tangible items to be used in making a finding.
- All parties and witnesses are obligated to be completely honest during the course of the investigation. Any person who knowingly makes a false statement in connection with the investigation may be subject to College disciplinary action. False statements include statements that omit a material fact, as well as statements that the person knows to be untrue.
- The Investigator shall prepare a preliminary written report that will contain a summary of issues, key findings of fact, and an analysis of disputed facts based on all available evidence and credibility. It will also include conclusions and a summary of the evidence on which such findings and conclusions are based. In the preliminary report, the Investigator will not state an ultimate conclusion as to whether the Respondent has violated the Policy. The Investigator will attach as exhibits to the preliminary report any and all witness statements, interview summaries, and documentary evidence gathered and relied upon in the investigation.
- The Title IX Coordinator, within three (3) business days of receiving the preliminary report from the Investigator, will provide the preliminary report to the parties for review. Given the sensitive nature of the information provided, the Title IX Coordinator will provide the information in a secure manner (e.g., by providing hard-copy materials in an office designated by the Title IX Coordinator, or by providing digital copies of the materials through a protected “read-only” web portal. Neither the Claimant nor the Respondent (nor their Support Person/Advisor, including but not limited to family members and/or legal counsel), may copy, remove, photograph, print, image, videotape, record, or in any other manner duplicate or remove the information provided. A Support Person/Advisor who fails to abide by this Policy may be subject to discipline and/or may be excluded from further participation in the process.
- Within three (3) business days after the preliminary report is made available to the Claimant and Respondent for review, the Claimant and Respondent may submit comments to the Investigator (which may include feedback, additional documents, evidence, requests for additional investigation, names of additional witnesses, questions to be asked of the other party or any witness, or any other information the party deems relevant). The parties shall send their response to the preliminary report directly to the Investigator and the response shall not exceed seven (7) pages, double spaced, and 12 point font.
- If comments are submitted within the three (3) business day comment period, the Investigator will address any relevant issues raised in the comments and pursue any additional investigative steps as needed. After addressing any comments timely submitted, or after the three (3) business day comment period has lapsed without comment, the Investigator will make a determination, by a preponderance of the evidence, whether the Respondent has committed a violation of this Policy. The Investigator’s final written report will contain all information from the preliminary report, supplemented by the relevant feedback submitted; any additional information gathered; the Investigator’s findings as to whether the Respondent violated the Policy; and a summary of the Investigator’s rationale in support of the findings. The Investigator’s final report and findings must be reviewed and approved by the Title IX Coordinator, who will only then provide the final report simultaneously to the parties and the Dean of Students.
J. Decision, Sanctions, and Remedial Action
- The Dean of Students (or designee) is responsible for acting upon the final report. The Dean of Students may, and in the case of complaints alleging sexual assault/violence, shall, delegate this responsibility to a panel. The Dean of Students, or a panel to which the Dean of Students delegates responsibility for acting on the final report, is referred to in this Policy as the “Decision Maker.”The panel shall include the Dean and two additional members, who the Title IX Coordinator, who in consultation with the Dean, shall select. The additional members of the panel may include any combination of a member of the President’s Cabinet; a senior-level administrator; a Deputy Title IX Coordinator; or one member of the faculty with tenure. The parties will have two (2) business days after receiving notice of the members’ identities to object to a panel member on the basis of conflict of interest, bias, or prejudice. If either of the parties objects to a panel member, the Title IX Coordinator will evaluate whether the objection is substantiated. The Title IX Coordinator will remove and replace any panel member who the Title IX Coordinator finds to have a conflict of interest or to harbor bias or prejudice against either party.
- Within five (5) business days after the Title IX Coordinator sends the final written report to the parties, the Claimant and Respondent may submit any comments concerning the final report (including Claimant-impact or mitigation statements) to the Title IX Coordinator. The Title IX Coordinator may, in an exercise of discretion, impose strict page limits on the comments the parties can submit. The Decision Maker shall be provided with and review the Investigator’s final report and any comments (including Claimant-impact or mitigation statements) which have been submitted by the parties.
- The Title IX Coordinator will also schedule an Investigation Review Meeting (“Meeting”). The purpose of the Meeting is for the Decision Maker to review the results of the final report with the Investigator and to hear from any of the parties who wish to be heard in person concerning the report. The Title IX Coordinator will be present at the meeting in an administrative oversight role only to ensure that the meeting conforms to the standards for fairness, neutrality, and equity set forth in this Policy, and to address any procedural questions that the Decision Maker may have. At the beginning of the meeting, each party will have an opportunity to make a statement to the Decision Maker (in addition to any written statements that may also have been submitted). As reasonable and appropriate, and based on the request of the parties, the Title IX Coordinator will structure the meeting format to minimize or avoid any undue stress or burden on the other party, but to allow each party to hear each other’s statement (such as participation by Skype, teleconference, or other means).
- At the conclusion of any statements from either party, both parties will be excused from the Meeting. The Investigator will then review the final report with the Decision Maker and the Decision Maker will generally be free to ask any questions that the Decision Maker believes are relevant to understanding the finding and conclusions contained in the final written report. The Title IX Coordinator will monitor any questioning to insure that such questions or discussion does not violate of the Policy (e.g., questions related to past sexual history, etc.).
- Upon completing the Meeting, the Decision Maker shall, with due regard to the preponderance-of-the-evidence standard, accept or reject the Investigator’s final report, request additional investigation, or take such further action as it may deem appropriate. If it is determined that the Respondent violated this Policy, the Decision Maker shall impose sanctions which commensurate with the violation and take such remedial actions as may be deemed appropriate. The determination of sanctions/remedial actions should be guided by the following considerations: the interests of the community, the impact of the violation on the Claimant/(s), documented student conduct history, and any mitigating or aggravating circumstances. Sanctions/remedial actions may include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following:
- Warning: For minor infractions, the Respondent may be issued a written warning. The warning will be noted and may justify more severe sanctions in the event of any further violation of behavioral standards.
- Conduct Probation: The Respondent may be placed on conduct probation for a designated period of time and required to meet certain requirements during the probation. When a student is on conduct probation, s/he is subject to suspension or expulsion in the event of further violations of conduct standards. The student’s academic advisor shall be advised of the student’s probationary status.
- Loss of Privileges: The Respondent may be denied specific privilege(s) for a defined period of time. Privileges include, but are not limited to, participating in extra-curricular activities and events (e.g., social events, intercollegiate athletics, intramural programs, student organizations, and student government); living on campus; living in a specific residence hall; participating in commencement ceremonies; and having a vehicle on campus.
- Restricted Access: The Respondent’s access to campus and/or participation in College-sponsored activities may be limited. Restrictions shall be clearly defined and may include, but are not limited to, exclusion from certain buildings or locations on campus and no-contact orders. In cases involving parties from different Claremont Colleges, restricted access may extend to other campuses.
- Relocation or Removal from Residence Halls: The Respondent may be assigned to a different room in the same residence hall or to a room in another residence hall, or the student may no longer be permitted to reside in HMC housing.
- Community Service: The student may, as a sanction, be required to perform a specified number of hours of uncompensated service to the College, or to an off-campus non-profit organization, within a specified period of time. The assignment of duties must be preapproved by the Title IX Coordinator in consultation with appropriate College administrators. Students must provide appropriate documentation verifying their completed community service. Failure to complete the service satisfactorily within the specified period of time may result in further action through the student conduct process.
- Educational Program/Project: The Respondent may be required to complete a project, assignment, or activity to promote the Respondent’s education and development. Such assignments are at the discretion of the Decision Maker. Assignments may include, but are not limited to, preparing a reflection or research paper; developing a presentation; engaging in a discussion with someone; writing an apology letter; reading specified materials; and completing an online training program dealing with sexual misconduct.
- Referral for Counseling: The Respondent may be required to meet with a health care provider and/or a mental health care provider (including a drug and alcohol counselor) within a specified time frame. In such a case, the student will be expected to participate fully in any relevant assessment requested by the provider and to comply with any consequent recommendation(s), such as a treatment plan or a referral to another provider.
- Removal of Offending Cause: The Respondent may be required to remove the item that was the subject of the complaint.
- Restitution: In cases where the Respondent is found responsible for damaging or misappropriating property, s/he may be required to reimburse the property owner for all or some of the cost.
- Suspension: The Respondent may be separated from the College for a defined period of time. During a period of suspension, the Respondent is not permitted on campus and is not permitted to participate in any College-sponsored or College-affiliated programs or activities. The terms of the suspension may include special conditions affecting the Respondent’s eligibility for readmission or to take effect upon readmission, including a term of conduct probation. During the suspension, the Respondent’s transcript will have the notation “ineligible to register,” this notation will be removed upon the Respondent’s return to campus.
- Expulsion: The Respondent may be separated from the College permanently. A student who has been expelled is not permitted on campus and is not permitted to participate in any College-sponsored or College-affiliated programs or activities. Respondent’s transcript will have the notation “ineligible to register.”
- Withholding of Degree: Because a degree signifies not only successful completion of academic requirements, but also compliance with the College’s standards and good standing as a member of the HMC community, the College may, as a sanction for violation of this Policy, withhold a degree entirely or impose further conditions on the conferral of a degree (e.g., require compliance with other sanctions as a pre-requisite to the conferral of the degree).
- The parties shall be provided simultaneous written notice of the Decision Maker’s decision and of their right to appeal.
- In the event of an appeal, sanctions will normally be held in abeyance pending the outcome of the appeal. If, however, the College determines that there may exist a threat to the safety or welfare of the HMC community, sanctions will take effect immediately.
A. Grounds for Appeal
Either party may appeal the Decision Maker’s decision. The grounds for appeal are limited to the following:
- Significant Procedural Error: A procedural error occurred which significantly impacted the relevant decision/determination as it applies to the appealing party (e.g., substantiated bias, material deviation from established procedures). A description of the error and its impact must be included in the written appeal.
- New Information: New information has arisen which was not available or known to the appealing party prior to the investigation determination; or information was improperly excluded from the investigation despite a request from the party to include it, which could have substantially impacted the determination. Information that was known to the party but which the party chose not to present is not new information. A summary of the new or excluded evidence and its potential impact on the decision or determination must be included in the written appeal.
- Disproportionate Sanctions: Either party may appeal the sanction because s/he feels that the sanction imposed for the violation of this Policy was disproportionate to the conduct found to have occurred. The written appeal must convey more than simple dissatisfaction with the sanction.
B. Appeal Procedures
- Appeals must be submitted to the Dean of the Faculty (or Dean’s designee) within five (5) business days of the date on which the person wishing to file an appeal is notified of the Decision Maker’s decision. The Dean of the Faculty has five (5) business days to determine if the appeal is based on one or more of the grounds for appeal. If it is not, the appeal will be denied. If the appeal is not denied, the Title IX Coordinator will share the appeal with the other party, who shall have three (3) business days from the date on which the party is notified to submit a response. Absent a showing of good cause, appeals and responses to appeals shall not exceed seven (7) pages, 12-point font, double spaced.
- After the other party submits a response or the time for the other party to submit a response lapses without a response, the Title IX Coordinator shall promptly send the appeal, any response, and the underlying appeal record to the President (or the President’s designee), who shall consider the appeal and take such action as s/he deems appropriate. The appeal record will consist of the Investigator’s final report and any supporting documents that accompany the report; any responses to the report submitted by the parties; the Decision Maker’s decision; and any other documents that the Title IX Coordinator deems relevant to the appeal itself.
- Appeals will be decided by the President (or the President’s designee) in a timely manner. There may, however, be circumstances that necessitate additional time for the President to reach a decision. While an appeal is under review, the Title IX Coordinator will update the parties about the timeline as necessary.
- The decision of the President (or the President’s designee) shall be communicated to the parties simultaneously by the Title IX Coordinator. The decision of the President is final.
IX. MISCELLANEOUS & SPECIAL PROVISIONS
A. Time Frame for Resolution
Typically, the student complaint resolution process (i.e., investigation, determination, and any appeal) will be completed within approximately sixty (60) business days following the College’s receipt of a complaint. This time frame may be extended for good cause, which may exist if there is an unavoidable delay due to academic breaks or for other legitimate reasons, or if additional time is necessary to ensure the integrity and completeness of the investigation; to account for case complexities, including the number of witnesses and volume of information provided by the parties; or to accommodate the availability of witnesses and other persons integral to the complaint resolution process. In general, the parties can expect to receive periodic updates as to the status of the complaint resolution process.
B. Support Person/Advisor
The Claimant and Respondent may be assisted and supported, in any meeting or other aspect of the processes and procedures outlined in this Policy, by a Support Person/Advisor (including an attorney) of her/his choice who is not otherwise involved in the incident or investigation. The role of the Support Person/Advisor at any meeting is that of an observer and/or advisor, not an advocate.
C. Student Withdrawal and Notations in Academic Records
If a student Respondent withdraws from the College while the complaint resolution process is pending, the presumption is that the College will complete the process (or any portion of the process) despite the student’s withdrawal. If the College elects to defer the process while the student is no longer enrolled, the student will be ineligible to register at the College until the process is completed. In such a case, the College will record the notation “ineligible to register” on the student’s official transcript. The notation “ineligible to register” will also appear on the official transcript of a student who is suspended or expelled.
D. Academic Freedom
HMC adheres to principles of academic and expressive freedom. Nothing in this Policy shall be construed to limit the legitimate exercise of academic and expressive freedom, including but not limited to written, graphic, or verbal expression that can reasonably be demonstrated to serve a legitimate educational purpose. Nor shall this Policy be interpreted or applied in a manner that is inconsistent with California Education Code section 94367.
E. False Reporting
It is a violation of College Policy to file a knowingly false or malicious report or complaint of sexual misconduct. A report or complaint that is made in good faith, even if ultimately unproven, does not constitute either false reporting or retaliation.
F. Record Retention
A copy of the investigative file (which will consist of the initial report/complaint, the final investigative report, including a record of any remedial/disciplinary action taken, and any documents created or used during the investigation) shall be maintained in the Title IX Coordinator’s Office for the period of time mandated by applicable law and HMC’s Record Retention Policy.
Should a violation of this Policy be found, a record of the complaint and any disciplinary action taken shall be made part of the student’s file of the person found to have violated this Policy. In the event that the investigation does not result in a finding of violation of this Policy, no record of the complaint or investigation will become a part of any individual’s student’s file.
Please note that whether or not a complaint is made under the Formal Resolution process set forth in this Policy, a record of all reports, complaints, and investigations involving a violation of this Policy, and of the outcomes of such reports, complaints, and investigations, shall be maintained by the Title IX Coordinator for the period of time mandated by applicable law and HMC’s Record Retention Policy.
G. Policy Dissemination
The Title IX Coordinator, Dean of Students, and Human Resources Office are responsible for distributing copies of this Policy to members of the HMC community. References to this Policy are included in faculty, staff, and student orientation materials and handbooks. In addition, this Policy is continuously available at appropriate campus locations and on the HMC website.
H. Modification of Procedures and Processes
The College retains the authority to adapt or modify the complaint resolution process, for good cause and absent substantial conflict with the procedures and processes contained in this Policy, as part of the responsibility to ensure an equitable and prompt process for all parties. Certain modifications may, for example, be necessary to allow for the fair and prompt resolution of a complaint when it is received at the end of a term or during a break in the College’s academic schedule.
X. POLICY SOURCES
California Education Code (Cal. Ed. Code §§ 200, et seq.; 66250, et seq.; 94385); California Fair Employment and Housing Act (Cal. Gov’t Code §§ 12900, et seq.); Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e, et seq.); Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C. §§ 1681, et seq.); Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (20 U.S.C. §§ 1092(f), et seq.); and Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (Pub. Law 113-4).
1 Even though certain definitions used herein are similar to those contained in the California Penal Code and the United States Code, an act that might not violate or be prosecuted under such laws may still violate this Policy.
2 In cases where the individual reported to have engaged in conduct prohibited under this Policy is an employee or student from one of the other Claremont Colleges, the Claremont University Consortium or affiliates (RSABG), HMC will investigate the matter and take steps to stop the conduct and remedy its effects to the extent reasonably possible. However, procedures that may lead to the imposition of discipline against the individual accused of misconduct will be those of the individual’s home institution.
3 HMC’s Prohibited Discrimination and Harassment Policy is available at Policies and Guidelines, from the Human Resources Office, and from the Division of Student Affairs.
4 See Appendix C for information concerning additional reporting options, emergency and medical information.
5 See Appendix D for more information about confidentiality and other frequently asked questions about Sexual Assault and Misconduct.
6 See Appendix E for additional information about Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Risk Reduction.
APPENDIX A Title IX Coordinators and Deputy Coordinators
TITLE IX COORDINATOR AND SECTION 504 COORDINATOR FOR STUDENTS
DEPUTY TITLE IX COORDINATORS
APPENDIX B External Complaint Resolution Options
Discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct, and retaliation are violations of federal and state law. This Policy and the HMC Prohibited Discrimination and Harassment Policy are intended to supplement and not replace such laws. Whether or not the Internal Complaint Resolution processes described in both policies are utilized, an HMC employee who believes that he or she has experienced discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct or retaliation may file a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, or the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In addition, students and/or employees may file a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights, United States Department of Education.
A person who believes he or she has experienced discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct, or retaliation should be aware that both state and federal law impose time deadlines for the filing of complaints, and that the use of the Internal Complaint Resolution processes described in this Policy and the Prohibited Discrimination and Harassment Policy will not change such filing deadlines.
In addition to HMC’s internal Complaint Resolution processes, an individual who is subjected to sexual misconduct may have recourse through the criminal justice system and/or civil litigation (including the right to seek a temporary restraining order and injunction prohibiting harassment pursuant to California Civil Code, section 527.6). HMC will provide full and prompt cooperation and assistance in notifying the proper law enforcement personnel if the individual chooses to pursue such legal action.
A criminal investigation into an allegation of sexual misconduct does not relieve or substitute for HMC’s duty and authority to conduct its own prompt review of a complaint. Accordingly, HMC will typically not wait for the conclusion of a criminal investigation or proceeding to begin its own concurrent investigation and resolution of an alleged violation. The standards for criminal proceedings differ from those used in campus proceedings. As a result, conduct that may not be subject to criminal action may still be addressed through HMC’s processes and procedures. A finding of “not guilty” in a criminal matter does not necessarily preclude a finding of an HMC policy violation in a campus proceeding.
APPENDIX C What to Do If You Experience a Sexual Assault or Other Forms of Sexual/Gender Violence
The first priority for a person who is sexually assaulted or subjected to another form of sexual/gender based violence is to seek safety. If there is an immediate danger or need for an emergency police or medical response, persons on campus should call Campus Safety at 909.607.2000 and/or dial 911. For persons off campus, dial 911.
Persons who experience any form of sexual misconduct are encouraged to seek support, as soon as possible, from someone trusted, such as a friend, family member, HMC faculty or staff member, or from one of the campus or community resources listed below.
On-Call Student Affairs Staff Students can reach an on-call staff member (commonly referred to as the “AD”) 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by calling Campus Safety [tel](909) 607-2000[/tel] and asking to be put in touch with the AD. Campus Safety will notify the AD who, in turn, will promptly contact the student directly.
Persons who experience sexual assault (particularly rape, forcible oral copulation or sodomy) are urged to seek medical treatment as soon as possible by going to the nearest hospital emergency room, specialized sexual assault treatment and trauma center, Student Health Services, or private physician.
The emergency room nearest HMC, which is also a County designated SART Center, is located at Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center, 1798 N. Garey Avenue, Pomona, CA 91767, 909.865.9500. SART is a trauma informed/ survivor sensitive program designed to provide a team approach to responding to sexual assaults. Survivors may take a Support Person with them to the hospital. If assistance is needed in arranging for transportation or if a student would like a member of the HMC staff to accompany the student to the hospital, contact Campus Safety at 909.607.2000 and ask that the AD staff member be contacted. An AD is available whenever the College offices are closed to assist students in emergency situations.
Individuals who promptly seek medical attention benefit from being examined for physical injury, receiving preventative treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, a toxicology examination for date rape drugs, and emergency contraception. In addition, prompt reporting allows for the preservation of evidence, which will only be used if an individual decides (then or later) to press criminal charges or file civil suit.
To preserve evidence, an individual should not bathe, douche, smoke, brush your teeth or change clothes (a change of clothes should be brought along). If clothes have been changed, the original clothes should be put in a paper bag (plastic bags damage evidence) and brought to the hospital. Do not disturb the scene of the assault. If it is not possible to leave the scene undisturbed, evidence (e.g. bedding, towels, loose fabrics, prophylactics, and clothing) should be placed in separate paper bags to be preserved.
Time is a critical factor in collecting and preserving evidence. The physical evidence of an assault is most effectively collected within the first 24-48 hours of the assault, but some evidence may be collected for up to 72 hours. If, however, a report of an incident is made days, weeks, or even months after the assault, important support systems are still available and can be arranged, but the delay may make it more difficult to collect physical evidence of the sexual assault that could impact a criminal prosecution or civil lawsuit.
Hospitals that treat any physical injury sustained during a sexual assault are required to report it to law enforcement. An individual can choose whether or not to speak to police at the hospital and does not need to make an immediate decision to press criminal charges. That decision can be made at a later time.
If an individual does not wish to go to the hospital, Planned Parenthood, 1550 N Garey Avenue, Pomona, CA 91767, 800.576.5544 may be contacted, which has healthcare providers who can test and provide preservative treatment for sexually transmitted diseases or an individual can see a personal health care provider for tests and treatment.
Confidential On Campus Resources
Monsour Counseling and Psychological Services
Office: Tranquada Student Services Center, 1st Floor
Hours: Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m. (for after-hours emergencies, call Campus Safety)
Website: Monsour Counseling and Psychological Services
EmPOWER Center Sexual Assault & Intimate Partner Violence Resource Center
McAlister Center Office of the Chaplains
Harvey Mudd Advocates for Survivors of Sexual Assault
Off Campus Resources
House of Ruth
[Provides emergency shelter, transitional housing and other services to women who are the survivors of domestic violence]
[Provides crisis services to women and men who have been sexually assaulted or abused. Volunteer Advocates are also available to provide support and follow up services to sexual assault or abused survivors at the hospital, police station and court appearances.]
National Sexual Assault 24/7 Crisis Hotline
[Trained volunteers available to help survivors at affiliated crisis centers across the country.]
HMC Employee Assistance Program
[Available to benefit eligible faculty and staff] If you have been a survivor of sexual misconduct the sooner you seek help the more options you have available to you. The following steps are important to take as soon as possible.]
Health Education Outreach, Claremont University Consortium
Office: Tranquada Student Services Center, 1st Floor
Hours: Monday–Friday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Wednesday, 10 a.m.–7:30 p.m. (for after-hours emergencies, call Campus Safety) Special services: free, anonymous HIV testing (Tuesdays, 11 a.m.–12:40 p.m.)
Website: Health Education Outreach
Student Health Services, Claremont University Consortium
Office: Tranquada Student Services Center, 1st Floor
Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Friday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Wednesday, 8 a.m.–7 p.m. Thursday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. (for after-hours emergencies, call Campus Safety)
Special services: STI testing, confidential HIV testing, contraception and counseling, emergency contraception/Plan B, pregnancy testing and counseling
Website: Student Health Services
APPENDIX D Frequently Asked Questions: Sexual Assault and Misconduct
Below are some questions regarding sexual misconduct that are often asked by students:
1. Does information about a complaint remain confidential?
The confidentiality of all parties to a complaint of sexual misconduct must be respected, insofar as it does not interfere with the College’s obligation to fully investigate allegations of sexual misconduct. Where confidentiality is not strictly kept, it will still be tightly controlled on a need-to-know basis. Dissemination of information and/or written materials to persons not involved in the complaint procedure is not permitted. Violations of the privacy of the Claimant or the Respondent may lead to disciplinary action by the College. In all complaints of sexual misconduct, both parties will be informed of the outcome. In some instances, the College may choose to make a brief public announcement of the nature of the violation and the action taken, without using the name or identifiable information of the alleged survivor. Certain College administrators are informed of the outcome within the bounds of student privacy (e.g., the President, Dean of Students, Director of Campus Safety, Title IX Coordinator). If there is a report of alleged sexual misconduct to the College and there is evidence that a felony has occurred, local police will be notified if the Claimant consents. This does not mean charges will be automatically filed or that a Claimant must speak with the police. The College also must statistically report the occurrence on campus of major violent crimes, including certain sex offenses, in an annual report of campus crime statistics. This statistical report does not include personally identifiable information.
2. Will I (as a survivor) have to pay for counseling/or medical care?
Students can access the CUC’s Student Health and Counseling Services, and the Counseling Services also hosts a support group for survivors of sexual assault. If you are accessing community and non-institutional services, payment for these services may be covered by your health insurance plan; please check your coverage. If you have elected coverage under the Claremont College’s Student Health Insurance Plan (“SHIP”), payment for these services may also be covered under this insurance plan. SHIP documentation is available at: Student Health Services.
3. What, if anything, will my parents be told?
The College’s primary relationship is to you, the student, and not to your parent/guardian. College officials will only speak with your parents/guardians at your request or when there is a significant threat to your health or safety.
4. Do I have to name the alleged perpetrator?
Yes, if you want the College to pursue its Investigation and Resolution Processes as outlined in the College’s Policy on Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Misconduct and Retaliation. No, if you choose to respond informally and do not file a formal complaint. You should consult the confidentiality provisions set forth in the policy in Section 12 of the Policy. Claimants should be aware that not identifying the alleged perpetrator may limit the College’s ability to respond comprehensively.
5. Will the alleged perpetrator know my identity?
Yes, if you file a formal complaint. Sexual misconduct is a serious offense and the Respondent has the right to know the identity of the Claimant/ survivor.
6. What do I do if I am accused of sexual misconduct?
DO NOT contact the Claimant. You may want to speak with someone in the campus community who can act as your Support Person/advisor. The Title IX Coordinator can explain the College’s resolution processes for addressing sexual misconduct complaints. You may also want to seek confidential counseling through the Student Health and Counseling Services or seek support through off campus services in the community.
7. What about legal advice?
Claimants do not need private legal counsel to pursue criminal prosecution because representation will be handled by the District Attorney’s office. However, you may want to retain an attorney if you are considering filing a civil action. Respondents may want to retain legal counsel given the potential for criminal and/or civil action.
8. What about changing residence hall rooms or other accommodations?
If you are the Claimant, you may request a room change through the Title IX Coordinator, who will work with appropriate staff in the Dean of Students Office, a room change to the first available, suitable room. If you want the Respondent to move, you must be willing to pursue a formal complaint. No contact orders can be imposed. Other accommodations available to Claimants might include:
- Assistance with or rescheduling an academic assignment (paper, exams, etc.);
- Assistance in requesting an incomplete in a class;
- Assistance with transferring class sections, if available;
- Temporary withdrawal;
- Assistance with alternative course completion options;
- Other accommodations for safety as necessary.
9. What should I do about obtaining medical treatment and preserving evidence of a sexual assault?
Survivors of a sexual assault (particularly rape, forcible oral copulation or sodomy) are urged to seek medical treatment as soon as possible by going to the nearest hospital emergency room, specialized sexual assault treatment and trauma center, Student Health Services, or private physician.
The emergency room nearest HMC, which is also a County designated SART Center, is located at Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center, 1798 N. Garey Avenue, Pomona, CA 91767, 909.865.9500. SART is a trauma informed/ survivor sensitive program designed to provide a team approach to responding to sexual assaults. Survivors may take a Support Person with them to the hospital. If you need assistance arranging for transportation or would like a member of the HMC staff to accompany you to the hospital. Contact Campus Safety at 909.607.2000 and ask that the On-Call Student Affairs staff member be contacted. An On-Call Student Affairs Staff member (aka AD) is available whenever the College offices are closed to assist students in emergency situations.
Survivors who promptly seek medical attention benefit from being examined for physical injury, receiving preventative treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, a toxicology examination for date rape drugs, and emergency contraception. In addition, prompt reporting allows for the preservation of evidence, which will only be used if you decide (then or later) to press criminal charges or file civil suit.
To preserve evidence, you should not bathe, douche, smoke, brush your teeth or change clothes (a change of clothes should be brought along). If clothes have been changed, the original clothes should be put in a paper bag (plastic bags damage evidence) and brought to the hospital. Do not disturb the scene of the assault. If it is not possible to leave the scene undisturbed, evidence (e.g. bedding, towels, loose fabrics, prophylactics, and clothing) should be placed in separate paper bags to be preserved.
Time is a critical factor in collecting and preserving evidence. The physical evidence of an assault is most effectively collected within the first 24-48 hours of the assault, but some evidence may be collected for up to 72 hours. If, however, you choose to report the incident days, weeks, or even months after the assault, important support systems are still available and can be arranged, but you need to know that delay may make it more difficult to collect physical evidence of the sexual assault that could impact a criminal prosecution or civil lawsuit.
Hospitals that treat any physical injury sustained during a sexual assault are required to report it to law enforcement. You may choose whether or not to speak to police at the hospital and do not need to make an immediate decision to press criminal charges. That decision can be made at a later time.
If you do not wish to go to the hospital you may choose to contact Planned Parenthood, 1550 N Garey Avenue, Pomona, CA 91767, 800.576.5544, which has healthcare providers who can test and provide preservative treatment for sexually transmitted diseases or see a personal health care provider for tests and treatment.
10. Will the Claimant be sanctioned when reporting a sexual misconduct if they have illegally used drugs or alcohol?
No. The severity of the infraction will determine the nature of the College’s response, but whenever possible the College will respond educationally rather than punitively to the illegal use of drugs and/or alcohol. The seriousness of sexual misconduct is a major concern and the College does not want any of the circumstances (e.g., drug or alcohol use) to inhibit the reporting of sexual misconduct.
11. Will the use of drugs or alcohol affect the outcome of a sexual misconduct complaint?
The use of alcohol and/or drugs by either party will not diminish the Respondent’s responsibility. On the other hand, alcohol and/or drug use is likely to affect the Claimant’s memory and, therefore, may affect the outcome of the complaint. A person bringing a complaint of sexual misconduct must either remember the alleged incident or have sufficient circumstantial evidence, physical evidence and/or witnesses to support their complaint. If the Claimant does not remember the circumstances of the alleged incident, it may not be possible to impose sanctions on the Respondent without further corroborating information. Use of alcohol and/or other drugs will never excuse a violation by a Respondent.
12. Will either party’s prior use of drugs and/or alcohol be a factor when reporting sexual misconduct?
Not unless there is a compelling reason to believe that prior use or abuse is relevant to the present complaint.
13. What should I do if I am uncertain about what happened?
If you believe that you have experienced sexual misconduct, but are unsure of whether it was a violation of the College Policy, you should contact the College’s Title IX Coordinator who can explain the Policy and resolution options. If you would like to speak with someone in strict confidence to explore the incident, you may want to first speak with a counselor at Monsour Counseling and Psychological Services, a chaplain from the McAlister Center, the EmPOWER center or a rape crisis hotline.
APPENDIX E Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Risk Reduction
Prevention: If you find yourself in the position of being the initiator of sexual behavior, you owe sexual respect to your potential partner and yourself. These suggestions may help you avoid committing a nonconsensual sexual act and reduce your risk of being accused of sexual misconduct:
- Clearly communicate your intentions to your sexual partner and give your partner a chance to clearly communicate intentions to you.
- Understand and respect personal boundaries. Do not pressure a potential partner.
- DON’T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS about consent; about someone’s sexual availability; about whether the individual is attracted to you; about how far you can go or about whether the individual is physically and/or mentally able to consent. If there are any questions or if there is any ambiguity then you DO NOT have consent and you should stop.
- If you think you are receiving unclear or conflicting messages from your partner, this is a clear indication that you should stop, defuse any sexual tension and communicate better.
- Don’t take advantage of someone’s drunkenness, drugged, or otherwise incapacitated state, even if the individual personally caused this.
- Realize that your potential partner could be intimidated by you, or fearful. You may have a power advantage simply because of your gender or size. Don’t abuse that power.
- Understand that consent to some form of sexual behavior does not automatically equal consent to any other form of sexual behavior.
- Silence and passivity cannot be interpreted as an indication of consent. Read your potential partner carefully, paying attention to verbal and non-verbal communication and body language. If you are not sure, stop.
Risk Reduction: Risk reduction tips can, unintentionally, take a victim-blaming tone. With no intention to victim- blame, and with recognition that only those who commit sexual violence are responsible for such conduct, these suggestions may nevertheless help you to reduce your risk of experiencing a non-consensual sexual act.
- If you have sexual limits, make them known as early as possible.
- If you do not want to engage in a particular activity, tell the other person “NO” clearly and firmly.
- Try to remove yourself from the physical presence of a sexual aggressor, if you can do so safely.
- If someone is nearby, ask for help or if it is safe to do so, text or call someone.
- Take affirmative responsibility for your alcohol intake/drug use and acknowledge that alcohol/drugs lower your sexual inhibitions and may make you vulnerable to someone who views a drunk or high person as a sexual opportunity.
- Take care of your friends and ask that they take care of you. A real friend will challenge you if you are about to make a mistake. Respect them when they do.
APPENDIX F Harvey Mudd College’s External Reporting, Timely Warning, and FERPA Disclosure Obligations
I. The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (“Clery Act”)
A. Statistical Reporting
Under the Clery Act, certain College officials have a duty to report certain misconduct for federal statistical reporting purposes. All personally identifiable information is kept confidential, but statistical information must be passed along to campus law enforcement regarding the type of incident and its general location (on or off-campus, in the surrounding area, but no addresses are given) for publication in the annual Campus Security Report. This report helps to provide the community with a clear picture of the extent and nature of campus crime, to ensure greater community safety. Mandated federal reporters include: student/conduct affairs staff, campus law enforcement, local police, coaches, athletic directors, residence life staff, student activities staff, human resources staff, advisors to student organizations and any other official with significant responsibility for student and campus activities. The information to be shared includes the date, the location of the incident (using Clery location categories) and the Clery crime category. This reporting protects the identity of the survivors and may be done anonymously.
The Clery Act permits the College to publicly release the name, the nature of the violation and the sanction(s) for any student who is found in violation of a College policy that is a “crime of violence,” including: arson, burglary, robbery, criminal homicide, sex offenses, assault, intimidation (which may encompass stalking and/or bullying), hazing, destruction/ damage/vandalism of property and kidnapping/abduction. The College will release this information to the Claimant in any of these offenses regardless of the outcome. FERPA allows for the release of student records beyond the Clery exceptions discussed above. Harvey Mudd College reserves the right to exercise discretion in making specific outcome information available to the community at large.
B. Timely Warning
Claimants should also be aware that College administrators must issue immediate timely warnings for incidents reported to them that are confirmed to pose a substantial threat of bodily harm or danger to members of the campus community. For purposes of the Timely Warning requirement, the College will not disclose a Complaint’s name. However, the College will provide enough information for community members to make safety decisions in light of the danger. The reporters for timely warning purposes are exactly the same as detailed in the paragraph above.
II. Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”)
A finding that a violation of HMC’s sexual misconduct policy has occurred will become a part of the educational record of the Respondent, if the Respondent is a student. The educational records of students are protected from release under a federal law, FERPA. The College complies with FERPA regulations regarding the privacy of student records and observes the following exceptions to FERPA as mandated by the Clery Act:
- The Claimant(s) in a non-consensual sexual contact/intercourse incident have the right to be informed of the finding, and sanction(s) of the investigation, in writing, without condition or limitation.
- The Claimant(s) in sexual exploitation, sexual harassment, stalking, relationship violence and any other gender-based offense have the right to be informed of the finding, in writing, and to be informed of any sanction(s) that directly relate to them, and to essential facts supporting the outcome when the outcome is “responsible” (and the underlying offense is a crime of violence as defined below and in 34 C.F.R. 99.39) and/or it is equitable to share the essential findings with all parties.