Title IX and Sexual Misconduct

//Title IX and Sexual Misconduct
Title IX and Sexual Misconduct 2018-02-15T10:30:55+00:00

Lincoln College Title IX Policies and Procedures

Sexual Misconduct (Title IX) Policy and Procedures

Statement of Purpose

Lincoln College is committed to creating, fostering and maintaining an educational, employment, business and campus environment that is free of discrimination on the basis of sex, including sexual misconduct, as required by Title IX and other laws.  Lincoln College does not tolerate discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression and is dedicated to prohibiting such conduct in all aspects of college life consistent with the College’s Mission Statement, Vision Statement, Values Statement and Strategic Plan as well as the provisions of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and all other applicable state and federal laws.

Advisor:  An advisor is an individual selected by the complainant or respondent to accompany and assist him/her throughout the College’s process.  The advisor will not be permitted to advocate for the complainant or respondent in the process, or to have any role in the process other than to advise and assist the complainant or respondent.

Consent:    According to Illinois Law, consent is a freely given agreement to the act of sexual penetration or sexual conduct in question.

     –The lack of verbal or physical resistance or submission by the victim resulting from the use of force or

by the accused shall not constitute consent.

     –The manner of dress of the victim at the time of the offense shall not constitute consent.

     –A person who initially consents to sexual penetration or sexual conduct is not deemed to have consent to

any sexual penetration or sexual conduct that occurs after he or she withdraws consent during the course

of that sexual penetration or sexual conduct.

Incapacitation:  A state where someone cannot make rational, reasonable decisions because they lack the capacity to give knowing consent (i.e. to understand the “who, what, when, where, why, or how” to their sexual interaction).

Reporting Party:  The reporting party is any individual other than the complainant who reports an incident of sexual misconduct.

Respondent:  The respondent is the person alleged to have perpetrated sexual harassment or sexual misconduct of the alleged incident.

Sexual Misconduct:  Sexual misconduct can occur both on and off campus and take many forms.  The misconduct may be subtle and indirect or blatant and overt.  Such misconduct can also occur in person or via electronic, print or other media.  It may consist of repeated actions or may arise from a single incident if sufficiently severe.  The complainant, as well as the respondent, may be male or female and the complainant does not have to be of the opposite sex of the respondent.

Sexual Misconduct includes each of the specific types of conduct specifically noted in the Sexual Misconduct Violations section below:

Title IX:  Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (29USC 1681-1688) provides “No person in the United States, shall on the basis of sex be subject to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.”

Essentially, Title IX provides that no person shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any academic, extracurricular, research, occupational training or other educational program or activity operated by the College.  Title IX also provides that no person shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination in employment, or recruitment, consideration, or selection therefore, whether full-time or part-time, under any education program or activity operated by the College.  The College acknowledges its obligations under Title IX and is committed to complying with all Title IX requirements.

Sexual Misconduct Violations:

Dating Violence:  Dating violence is violence committed by a person

    who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim; and

where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following

factors:

the length of the relationship;

the type of relationship;

the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.

Use of the term “sexual misconduct” throughout this policy includes dating violence.

 Domestic Violence:  Domestic violence includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by

a current or former spouse of the victim,

a person with whom the victim shares a child in common,

a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse,

a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the

jurisdiction,

   – any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the

domestic or family violence laws of jurisdiction.

Use of the term “sexual misconduct” throughout this policy includes domestic violence.

Non-Consensual Sexual Contact:  Non-consensual sexual contact is defined as:

any intentional sexual touching;

however slight;

with any object;

by a person upon another person;

that is without consent and/or by force.

Sexual touching includes, but is not limited to, any bodily contact with breasts, groin, genitals, mouth or other bodily orifice of another individual, or any other bodily contact in a sexual manner.

Use of the term “sexual misconduct” throughout this policy includes non-consensual sexual contact.

Non-consensual Sexual Intercourse:  Non-consensual sexual intercourse is defined as:

any sexual penetration or intercourse (anal, oral, or vaginal);

however slight;

with any object;

by a person upon another person;

that is without consent and/or by force.

Sexual intercourse includes, but is not limited to, vaginal or anal penetration by a penis, tongue, finger, or object, or oral copulation by mouth to genital contact or genital to mouth contact.

Use of the term “sexual misconduct” throughout this policy includes non-consensual sexual intercourse.

Sexual Exploitation:  Sexual exploitation occurs when an individual takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for his/her own benefit or advantage, or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited, and that behavior does not otherwise constitute one of the other sexual misconduct offenses.  Examples of sexual exploitation include:

Invasion of sexual privacy;

Prostitution;

Non-consensual video or audio-taping of sexual activity;

Going beyond the boundaries of conscience, such as letting your friends hide in a closet to watch

intercourse;

Knowingly transmitting an STI or HIV to another individual.

Use of the term “sexual misconduct” throughout this policy includes sexual exploitation.

Sexual Harassment:  Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination on the basis of sex.  Sexual harassment is:

unwelcome, gender based verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that is

      sufficiently severe and persistent or pervasive that it,

unreasonably interferes with, denies or limits someone’s ability to participate in or benefit from his/her

employment with the College or the College’s educational program and/or activities, and is

    –based on power differential (quid pro quo/this for that), the creation of a hostile environment, or

retaliation.

Sexual harassment is unwelcomed conduct of a sexual nature.  Unwelcomed conduct includes conduct that an individual did not solicit or incite and that the individual regarded as undesirable or offensive. Sexual harassment includes any unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s

employment or academic status;

Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for academic or

employment decisions affecting such individual;

Such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s work or academic

performance or creating an intimidating or hostile work or educational environment.

In light of the power differential inherent in the relationship between faculty and students and between a supervisor and subordinate and the potential for either intentional or unintentional misuse of that professional power differential, the College strongly advises against dating, romantic, and/or sexual relationships between faculty and students, between staff and students, or between supervisors and subordinates.  It should be noted that in such cases “consent” may not constitute a defense.

Use of the term “sexual misconduct” throughout this policy includes sexual harassment.

Stalking:   Stalking refers to a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to (a) fear for his/her safety or the safety of others, or (b) suffer substantial emotional distress.

Use of the term “sexual misconduct” throughout this policy includes stalking.

Procedures

Handling of Complaints Covered by this Policy

The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for coordinating the College’s compliance with Title IX as well as other complaints brought concerning violations of this policy.  The Title IX Coordinator’s responsibilities include overseeing, recording and cataloguing all the Title IX reports of sexual misconduct and identifying and addressing any patterns or systemic problems that arise during the review of such reports.  To assist the Title IX Coordinator, the College has designated Title IX Deputy Coordinator’s, who are authorized to conduct investigations.  The Title IX Coordinator may perform the investigations also, but will provide supportive services to the Deputy Coordinator’s and investigators in such aspects of the investigation process as seemed necessary and appropriate including gathering documentation, disseminating information and assuring compliance with the procedures outlined in the policy.

 

                                                                                                   

All students, faculty, staff and external individuals, who have concerns about discrimination on the basis of sex, Title IX violations or requirements, including any concerns pertaining to sexual misconduct covered by this policy, are encouraged to seek the assistance of either the Title IX Coordinator or a Title IX Deputy Coordinator.  The coordinator and deputy coordinators are knowledgeable about and will provide information on all options for addressing and resolving such reports or concerns.  Those options may vary depending on the nature of the incident; whether the complainant is a student or employee; the wishes of the complainant regarding confidentiality; and whether the complainant prefers to proceed formally or informally.  Together, the coordinators play an integral role in carrying out the College’s commitment to create, foster, and maintain an educational, employment, business and campus environment that is free of discrimination on the basis of sex.

 

Reporting of Complaints Covered by this Policy

Title IX Coordinator

All students, faculty, staff, applicants, volunteers, vendors and agents are strongly encouraged to report any incidents of violations of this policy.  Reports may be made orally or in writing to the Title IX Coordinator or a Title IX Deputy Coordinator.

Responsible Employees (Mandated Reporters)

Reports may also be made to any employee, including Residence Hall Directors, of the College.  Such personnel who receive reports of violations of this policy (excluding Confidential Contacts) are considered responsible employees and are required to forward those reports to the Title IX Coordinator. The Title IX Coordinator is to be made aware of all complaints made pursuant to this policy so that she may monitor compliance and direct investigation, if deemed necessary

Confidential Contact

If you wish to report a violation of this policy but would like your information to remain confidential you may choose to report to the following individual listed below.  This employee has a confidentiality privilege to protect your personal identification and will only make general reports for statistical purposes and pattern tracking, but will not divulge personally identifiable information.  Please note that if you report to a Confidential Contact and request confidentiality, your information will not be shared with the Title IX Coordinator and an investigation will not be initiated.

In addition to the foregoing, all faculty and staff who become aware of or suspect sexual abuse of a minor (under the age of 17) must report that information to the Title IX Coordinator or a Title IX Deputy Coordinator who shall then inform local, state and /or federal law enforcement officials of such incidents as required by law.

Amnesty Policy

The College will not pursue the conduct process for possible violations of the College’s Alcohol and Substance Abuse Policies against a student who reports an alleged violation of the College’s Title IX Policy when conduct that violates the College’s Alcohol and Substance Policies is revealed during the course of the student’s report, provided that such consumption did not or does not place the health or safety of any other person at risk or if the possible violation is otherwise egregious.

Support Services

Options of Reporting and Availability of Support

In addition to reporting the matter to the Title IX Coordinator, Title IX Deputy Coordinator or a supervisor, persons may also need to address immediate physical and/or emotional trauma associated with the harassment or assault.  Importantly, a victim should contact any of the following immediate care support providers:

  • Emergency Call 911
  • Lincoln Police Department 217-732-2151
  • Lincoln Hospital 217-732-2161
  • Prairie Center Against Sexual Assault 24/7 Hotline 217-753-8081
  • Counseling Center – 217-735-7293
  • Diane Stephenson, Health Services – 217-735-7340 (after hours via LC Security)
  • LC Security – 217-737-4477
  • LC Security can also reach the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Coordinator at this number

217-737-4477

Investigation

  • Preliminary Inquiry: Upon receipt of a report of a complaint covered by this policy, the Title IX Coordinator or the Deputy Coordinator shall inform the complainant about:
  • Available counseling, medical and other support services;
  • The option to avoid contact with the respondent during the pendency of the investigation;
  • Their Title IX rights;
  • Their grievance rights;
  • Their right to file a criminal complaint, if applicable.

The Title IX Coordinator shall provide the complainant with a copy of this policy and applicable grievance procedures identified herein.

Additionally, the Title IX Coordinator or the Deputy Coordinator may make a preliminary, non-binding assessment of the information contained in the report, and any supplement to the report, to determine whether that information, if true, would pose an imminent threat of immediate harm to the complainant or others.  If there is imminent threat of immediate harm, then consistent with the grievance procedures identified below, temporary measures may be imposed against the respondent to mitigate the threat during the pendency of the investigation.  The need for such temporary measures will be reevaluated on a regular basis during the pendency of the investigation to ensure that need for such temporary measures remain present.

  • Investigation: Upon receipt of a report of a complaint covered by this policy, the Title IX Coordinator, the appropriate Title IX Deputy Coordinator or the Title IX Investigator will conduct a prompt, thorough and impartial investigation of the incident consistent with the applicable grievance procedures identified below. Such investigations shall, barring exigent circumstance, be completed within thirty (30) calendar days.

The complainant and respondent are both entitled to one advisor of his/her choosing to accompany and assist him/her throughout Lincoln College’s investigation process.  The advisor can be a friend, parent, faculty mentor, attorney, or any person the complainant or respondent wishes.   The college maintains a pool of trained advisors who are College employees; however, the complainant or respondent is also able to choose from outside the pool if he/she prefers, but the advisor will not be trained in Lincoln College procedures.

In all investigations the Title IX Coordinator shall monitor compliance to ensure the parties are provided with a parity of protections.  Additionally, all investigations shall utilize a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not) standard in determining whether or not sexual harassment occurred.

  • Decision-Making and Sanctioning: Upon completion of the investigation, the investigating deputy coordinator or investigator, in consultation with the Title IX Coordinator, will make a determination as to whether sexual misconduct occurred and recommend any sanctions to be imposed, if any are deemed necessary.

The final decision on sanctioning will be the responsibility of the Vice President responsible for the individual receiving the discipline (i.e. decisions on academic sanctions will be enforced by the Vice President of Academic Affairs of the College, decisions on residential sanctions will be enforced by the Dean of Students, employment-related sanctions will be enforced by the Vice President of that office or department)  Additionally, the Vice President will be responsible for enforcing any sanctions.

  • Outcome of Investigation: The Title IX Coordinator or the designee, shall provide the complainant and respondent with written notice of the outcome of the investigation (i.e. whether harassment was found to have occurred) within seven (7) days of such a finding being made. If the coordinator has determined that harassment has occurred, the coordinator shall immediately take reasonably effective action to eliminate the harassment, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects.  When allowed for by applicable State and Federal law the coordinator shall also notify the complainant of any sanction(s) imposed upon the respondent.

If resolution of the complaint is reached following the investigation, the investigating deputy coordinator or investigator will file a summary report to be kept on file.

Appeal of the Decision:  If a resolution is not reached and either party wishes to appeal the decision, the complainant or the respondent may appeal the decision to the Title IX Coordinator.  The appeal must be made in writing within five (5) calendar days of receipt of notification of the outcome.

If either party chooses to appeal the decision pursuant to this policy procedure the appeal shall be conducted as follows:

Appeals can have three grounds:

  • That a procedural error or omission occurred that significantly impacted the outcome of the hearing
  • Examples: The investigation and related actions did not correctly follow Lincoln College’s policies and procedures or there was substantial bias.
  • To consider new evidence, unknown or unavailable during the original investigation, that could substantially impact the original finding and sanctions(s)
  • A summary of this new evidence and its potential impact must be included in the appeal letter.
  • Failure to participate at the time of the investigation cannot constitute an appeal on new evidence.
  • That the sanctions imposed are substantially disproportionate to the severity of the violation, or the sanctions fall outside the range of sanctions the College has designated for this offense.

If there is an appeal, the Title IX Coordinator will call together the appeal committee consisting of:

  • Three members from the campus community who have been trained in Title IX investigation.
  • The appeal committee members must be current staff or faculty of Lincoln College and cannot have been persons providing any information for the investigation or involved in the incident under investigation.
  • None of the appeal committee members may be attorneys.

After the appeal committee has met, reviewed and discussed the information the appeal committee will make a decision, by vote if necessary. The majority rules.

The appeal committee must come to a decision within seven (7) calendar days of the appeal to the Title IX Coordinator.

The appeal committee may choose from the following decisions for the Title IX Coordinator to implement:

  • To affirm the decision and actions taken by the investigating deputy coordinator and to direct implementation of the committee’s decision.
  • To return the case to the investigating deputy coordinator with instructions for further investigation or reconsideration of particular issues.
  • To assign the case for further investigation by a different deputy coordinator if there is a conflict of interest with the original investigating deputy coordinator.

After the appeal process is exhausted and the Title IX Coordinator directs implementation of the decision, the decision is final.

Sanctioning Statement

Not all forms of sexual misconduct are equally serious offenses, and the College reserves the right to impose different sanctions, ranging from verbal warning to expulsion, depending on the severity of the offense.  The College will consider the concerns and rights of both the complainant and the respondent of sexual misconduct.

Students

  • Any student found responsible for violating the policy on non-consensual sexual contact (where no intercourse has occurred) will likely receive a sanction ranging from probation to expulsion, depending on the severity of the incident, and taking into account any previous campus conduct code violations.
  • Any student found responsible for violating the policy on non-consensual sexual intercourse will likely receive a sanction of suspension or expulsion.
  • Any student found responsible for violating the policy on sexual exploitation or sexual harassment (and related violations) will likely receive a sanction ranging from a warning to expulsion, depending on the severity of the incident, and taking into account any previous campus conduct code violations.
  • Any student found responsible for violating policies on dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking will likely receive a sanction of suspension or expulsion, depending on the severity of the incident and taking into account any previous campus conduct code violations.

Employees

  • Any employee found responsible for violating the policy on non-consensual sexual contact (where no intercourse has occurred) will likely receive a sanction ranging from unpaid suspension to termination, depending on the severity of the incident and taking into account any previous campus conduct code violations.
  • Any employee found responsible for violating the policy on non-consensual sexual intercourse will likely receive a sanction of unpaid suspension or termination.
  • Any employee found responsible for violating the policy on sexual exploitation or sexual harassment (and related violations) will likely receive a sanction ranging from written warning to termination, depending on the severity of the incident, and taking into account any previous campus conduct code violations.
  • Any employee found responsible for violating policies on dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking will likely receive a sanction of unpaid suspension or termination, depending on the severity of the incident, and taking into account any previous campus conduct code violations.

Additional Procedures or Considerations for Sexual Misconduct

A person who believes he/she may have been the victim of sexual misconduct should understand that under some circumstances designated officers of the College to whom such incidents are reported, may be required by state or federal law or College policy to pursue a complaint by the process described above, even if the person making the allegation does not wish to do so.

At any time during the mediation or investigation of complaints brought pursuant to this policy, a complainant may request that the College provide relief from intimidating work, classroom, or living situation which relate specifically to the alleged policy violation.

While any member of the College community who believes he or she has been the victim of sexual misconduct is strongly encouraged to use the procedures established by the College to make a complaint about such misconduct, such a person may also elect to make a complaint outside the College by initiating civil and/or criminal charges against the accused party or parties.

A complainant has the right to contact the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR), Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) about filing a formal complaint regarding harassment or retaliation.  An OCR and IDHR complaint must be filed within one hundred eighty (180) days of the alleged incident.  A complaint with the EEOC must be filed within three hundred (300) days of the alleged incident.  In addition, an appeal process is available through the Illinois Human Rights Commission (IHRC) after the IDHR has completed its investigation of the complaint.

Administrative Contacts

Office for Civil Rights (OCR)

Sex Discrimination under Title IX

Phone: 800-872-5327

Email: ocr@ed.gov

Website: http:www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/complaintintro.html

 

Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR)

Sexual Harassment in Education

Chicago: 312-814-6200

Chicago TTY: 866-740-3953

Springfield:  217-785-5100

Springfield TTY:  866-740-3953

Website: http://www2.illinois.gov/dhr/FilingaCharge

Confidentiality

A complainant may report or make a complaint pursuant to the policy, yet request confidentiality.  If the complainant requests confidentiality or asks that the report not be pursued, the College will take all reasonable steps to investigate and respond to the report consistent with the request for confidentiality or request not to pursue the investigation – as long as doing so does not prevent the College from responding effectively to the complaint and preventing harassment of other third parties.

Upon a request for confidentiality, the College shall inform the complainant:

  • If the College cannot ensure confidentiality;
  • That a confidentiality request may limit the College’s ability to respond to the report;
  • That the College prohibits retaliation and that such retaliation is subject to disciplinary action

under this policy.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, should the report concern an instance of sexual violence involving a minor (under the age of 17), then in that event, the College shall investigate the report without regard to the request for confidentiality and shall inform local, state and/or federal law enforcement officials of such incident as required by law.

Amnesty for Sexual Misconduct Complainants and Witnesses

Lincoln College encourages reporting of sexual misconduct and seeks to remove any barriers to making a report.  The College recognizes that an individual who has been drinking or using drugs at the time of the incident may be hesitant to make a report because of potential consequences for their own conduct.  To encourage reporting, an individual who makes a good faith report of sexual misconduct that was directed at them or another person will not be subject to disciplinary action by the College for a conduct or policy violation that is related to and revealed in the sexual misconduct report or investigation, unless the College determines that the violation was serious and/or placed the health or safety of others at risk.  The College may, however, initiate an educational discussion or pursue other educational interventions regarding alcohol or other drugs.  These interventions do not include involuntary leaves for students from the College.  Amnesty does not preclude or prevent action by police or other legal authorities.  This Amnesty provision shall also apply to student groups making a report of sexual misconduct.

Retaliation

It is a violation of this policy for any person to retaliate against, interfere with, coerce or take any other adverse action against a student, faculty, staff, applicant or other third party that:

  • Seeks advice concerning a violation of this policy;
  • Makes a report of a violation of this policy;
  • Assists or supports another individual that makes a report of a violation of this policy;
  • Participates as a witness or in the investigation of a report made pursuant to this policy.

Such conduct is in violation of this policy and will be treated as another possible instance of harassment or discrimination.  Acts of alleged retaliations should be reported immediately to the Title IX Coordinator and will be promptly investigated and adjudicated accordingly.

Malicious, False Accusations

A report of a violation of this policy that is known to be false by the person reporting is a serious violation and will be investigated and adjudicated accordingly.

 

Title IX Coordinator

Kristen Robinson
Director of Human Resources and Risk Management
Harts Science Building – Lower Level
300 Keokuk St.
Lincoln, IL 62656
Phone: 217-735-7224
Fax: 217-735-7395

Title IX Deputy Coordinator

Susan Boehler
VP of Enrollment and Student Services
University Hall
300 Keokuk St.
Lincoln, IL 62656
Phone: 217-735-7227
Fax: 217-735-4902

Title IX Deputy Coordinator/Investigator

Bridgett Thomas
 Dean of Students
Student Services Office
300 Keokuk St.
Lincoln, IL 62656
Phone: 217-737-7302
Fax: 217-735-5214

Investigator

Derik Hollyfield
 Financial Aid Counselor
Harts Science Building
300 Keokuk St.
Lincoln, IL 62656
Phone: 217-735-7285
Fax: 217-735-9016

Confidential Contacts

Ken Krueger
Coordinator of Counseling Services
University Hall
300 Keokuk St.
Lincoln, IL 62656
Phone: 217-735-7293

Prairie Center Against Sexual Assault
24/7 Hotline: 217-753-8081

 

Not Alone- Together Against Sexual Assault

Not Alone is the website created by White House’s Task Force. It includes all the relevant Department of Education guidance documents to help you comply with the law.

(January 4, 2018 Updated)