Policies

Anti-Harassment/Discrimination Policy

Approved By and Date:Board of Trustees12-12-2013
 Executive Leadership Team09-30-2013
 ICORE09-11-2013

It is the policy of Stanly Community College to provide an educational and working environment free from sexual and other unlawful harassment, discrimination and retaliation. Harassment, discrimination or retaliation against an employee or student on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, gender, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, veteran or active military status, genetic characteristics, or any other category protected by law is strictly prohibited and will not be tolerated of anyone associated with the College (including but not limited to members of the Board of Trustees, College administration, faculty and staff, and students) either at a campus facility or college-sponsored event. The scope of this policy also extends to visitors, vendors and/or contractors while on campus property.

Violation of the policy is considered to be a serious offense and is prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Title IX states in part: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefit of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.†The legislative mandate is clear: the College must provide a safe, harassment- and discrimination-free environment for students and employees.

Anti-Harassment/Discrimination Procedures

Approved By and Date:Executive Leadership Team10-24-2016
 ICORE10-12-2016
  1. Scope

Consistent with federal law, Stanly Community College ("the College" or "SCC") prohibits all forms of harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking. These guidelines apply to all members of the College community (members of the Board of Trustees, administrators, students, faculty, and staff) as well as visitors, vendors, and contractors in circumstances under SCC's control. SCC will respond to complaints of prohibited conduct affecting SCC employment or education whether occurring on or off campus, including electronic and online conduct.

  1. Definitions

The Stanly Community College Anti-Harassment/Discrimination Policy addresses all forms of prohibited harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and sexual violence related to students, employees, and third parties and employs the following definitions:

  1. Discrimination is defined as any act or failure to act that unreasonably and unfavorably differentiates treatment of others based solely on their membership in a socially distinct group or category, such as race, color, religion, creed, gender, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, veteran or active military status, genetic characteristics, or any other legally protected class.

    Discrimination may include but is not limited to giving preferential treatment based on an individual's membership in a protected class, denying access based on an individual's membership in a protected class, or profiling based on an individual's membership in a protected class.
  1. Harassment is defined as unwelcome conduct based on race, color, religion, creed, gender, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, veteran or active military status, or genetic characteristics, or any legally protected class that adversely alters the conditions of continued pursuit of education or employment; is severe or pervasive enough to create an environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile, or abusive; has the purpose or effect of interfering unreasonably with an individual's work or academic performance; or otherwise adversely affects an individual's employment or educational opportunities.

Harassment may include but is not limited to conduct such as offensive jokes, slurs, epithets or name calling, bullying, physical assaults or threats, intimidation, ridicule or mockery, insults or put-downs, offensive objects or pictures, negative stereotypes, hostile acts, and interference with school or work performance, whether in person or via a social networking site or other methods.

  1. Sexual Harassment: unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal, physical, or electronic conduct of a sexual nature that are so severe or pervasive, from the perspective of a reasonable person, creates a hostile, intimidating, or abusive environment, involve verbal, physical, or electronic conduct based on a person's sex, gender or sex-stereotyping that, from the perspective of a reasonable person, creates a hostile, intimidating, or abusive environment, even if those acts do not involve conduct of a sexual nature; or include harassment for displaying what is perceived as a stereotypical characteristic for one's sex or for failing to conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity and femininity, regardless of the actual or perceived sex or gender of the person(s) involved.
  1. Hostile Environment Harassment occurs when unwelcome conduct based upon an individual's age (40 or older), color, disability, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation or veteran status is sufficiently severe or pervasive to:

(For students)

  • Deny or limit a student's ability to participate in or benefit from programs or activities, or
  • Create an intimidating, threatening or abusive educational environment

(For Employees)

  • Create an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.

A Hostile Environment is determined by looking at whether the conduct is objectively offensive (i.e. a reasonable person would find it to be) and subjectively offensive (i.e. the person who is the object of the unwelcome conduct finds it to be).

  1. Sexual assault or sexual violence is defined as sexual activity without consent, including: rape or any coerced sexual activity; intentional and unwanted touching of the individual's genitals, breasts, thighs or buttocks (whether clothed or unclothed); touching or fondling by the accused of the individual when the individual is forced to do so against his or her will.
  1. Consent is a voluntary, intentional agreement to engage in a particular sexual activity. A sexual act is nonconsensual if it is committed using force, threat of force, or intimidation, or if the individual against whom the act was committed is physically or mentally impaired or incapacitated due to alcohol or drug consumption, asleep, or unconscious.
  1. Sexual contact is defined as the intentional touching, either directly or through the clothing, of the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh, or buttocks of any person with an intent to abuse, humiliate, harass, degrade, or arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person.
  1. Domestic violence includes any abusive, violent, coercive, forceful, or threatening act or word inflicted on an individual by a romantic or intimate partner.
  1. Dating violence refers to violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the individual.
  1. Stalking occurs when an individual engages in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety or the safety of others, or suffer substantial emotional distress.
  1. Reporting Party is defined as the individual reporting an alleged violation under this policy, regardless of whether that person is seeking action under this policy.
  1. Responding party or Respondent is defined as the individual who has been alleged to have violated this policy.
  1. Confidential Employees are those employees who will not disclose information about prohibited conduct to the College's Title IX Coordinator without the reporting party's permission, subject to the exceptions set forth in the confidentiality section of this policy. Confidential employees are the Director of Counseling and Special Services, and the counselors within the Schools.
  1. Responsible Employees are College employees who are not confidential employees. A responsible employee is required to report to the College's Title IX Coordinator all relevant details (obtained directly or indirectly) about an incident of prohibited conduct that involves any student, employee, visitor, vendor, or contractor.
  1. Retaliation is any adverse action taken against an individual for filing a discrimination or harassment charge, testifying or participating in any way in an investigation, proceeding or lawsuit related to discrimination or harassment based on race, color, religion, creed, gender, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, veteran or active military status, genetic characteristics, or any other category protected by law.
  1. Procedures for Complaints of Discrimination and Harassment other than Sexual Harassment

Individuals filing a complaint of non-sexual discrimination or harassment should follow Stanly Community College's Grievance Procedures.If the reporting party is a student, he/she will file his/her complaint through the Student Grievance Procedures located on the Stanly Community College Policy webpage.If the reporting party is an employee, he/she will consult with the Human Resources Officer to determine the best procedure for resolution.

  1. Sexual Harassment/Discrimination Complaint/Incident Procedures

Following a report of sexual harassment or discrimination, the College will take prompt steps to investigate the report, to correct, prohibit, and remedy any sexual harassment and discrimination, and to protect the student or employee from further harassment or discrimination.Employees who fail to report policy violations will be held accountable based on the Employee Code of Ethics.Disciplinary actions for employees found to be in violation of this policy will be based on the Employee Progressive Disciplinary Policy.

Any determination of a conflict of interest or perceived conflict of interest for individuals involved in receiving complaints, investigating, and determining the outcome of a complaint under this policy may be resolved by having another individual substituted in the process as designated by the College President.If there is a conflict of interest involving the President, the matter will be referred to the Board of Trustees Chair.

  1. Title IX Officers

The Title IX Coordinator is:

Cindy Dean, Associate Dean of University Transfer

Office location: 207 Snyder Building

Telephone: (704) 991-0329

Email: cdean5600@stanly.edu

Mailing address: Stanly Community College, 141 College Drive, Albemarle, NC 28001


The Title IX Deputy Coordinator is:

Human Resources Officer

Office location: 209B Patterson Building

Telephone: (704) 991-0285

Mailing address: Stanly Community College, 141 College Drive, Albemarle, NC 28001

  1. Reporting a Complaint/Incident

Individuals who feel they have been the victim of harassment, discrimination, or sexual violence as defined in this policy or anyone aware of a policy violation should report the incident as soon as possible. A reporting party may choose to report to Law Enforcement, to the College, to both, or to neither. These reporting options are not exclusive.A reporting party may simultaneously pursue criminal and College disciplinary action. Reports to the College can be made in writing, by telephone, by email, or anonymously if necessary. In addition, the reporting party can choose to report only to a Confidential Employee as defined above. The College will support the reporting party in understanding, accessing, and pursuing these options.

  1. Reporting to Law Enforcement

SCC encourages any member of the College community who has experienced sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking, or knows of another SCC community member who has experienced sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking to report the incident immediately to a member of SCC Campus Security at (704) 991-0118 or in person. In case of an emergency or ongoing threat, a reporting party should get to a safe location and call 911 (from a campus phone, dial 911).

A reporting party is not required to report the incident to local law enforcement in order to receive assistance from or pursue any options within SCC. Reporting sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking to law enforcement (including SCC Campus Security) does not commit the complainant to further legal action. However, the earlier an incident is reported, the easier it will be for law enforcement to investigate, if the complainant decides to proceed with criminal charges.

  1. Reporting to the College
  1. Students: To file a Title IX complaint, as soon as is reasonably possible, students should contact the Title IX Coordinator listed above in person, by telephone, via email, via US Postal Service, or via report form available on the College website.
  1. Employees: To file a Title IX complaint, as soon as is reasonably possible, employees should contact the Deputy Title IX Coordinator listed above in person, by telephone, via email, via US Postal Service, or via report form available on the College website.
  1. Any complaint should include, at a minimum, the following information:
  • the identity of the reporting party (the person or persons making the complaint) and respondent (the person or persons named to have violated this policy);
  • details concerning the incident(s) or conduct that precipitated the complaint including the date(s) of the incident(s) and location(s) of the incident(s);
  • the identity and status of any witness(es) to the incident(s) with telephone numbers, email addresses, and street addresses if known; and
  • the action(s) requested to resolve the complaint.
  1. Mandatory Reporting

Responsible Employees, as defined in this Policy, have a mandatory duty to report incidents of sexual harassment.Employees who are uncertain as to whether they are required to report information disclosed to them about an incident should consult with the Title IX Coordinator.

Anyone who suspects or knows that a minor has been abused or neglected must report such abuse or neglect to Campus Security, which will report such information to the appropriate department of social services in as required by G.S. § 7B-301.

Any student or employee who reports an incident of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking, whether the incident occurred on or off campus, may also:

  1. petition the court by filing a domestic abuse complaint requesting an order restraining your attacker from abusing you, and/or an order directing your attacker to leave your household, building, school, college, or workplace.
  2. report the incident to law enforcement at any time or to otherwise request assistance from law enforcement.
  3. seek medical treatment.
  4. be referred to counseling or other support services, and/or assistance in notifying law enforcement.
  5. obtain assistance from the College with reasonable changes to academic, transportation, or working situations to avoid a hostile environment.
  1. Interim Protective Measures

Regardless of whether a student or employee reports an incident of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking to law enforcement or pursues any formal action, if the College is aware of the alleged misconduct, SCC is committed to providing them as safe a learning or working environment as possible by employing interim protective measures. Possible protective measures can include but are not limited to: rescheduling of classes, exams, work assignments, or transportation; changing of schedules; and/or providing safe movement between locations on campus, etc.

SCC Security Officers will advise a reporting party about how to seek a restraining order from a criminal court that directs the respondent to refrain from abuse and to leave the reporting party's household, building, school, college, or workplace.

SCC is committed to ensuring that orders of protection issued by courts are fully upheld on all College-owned, used, and controlled property. Therefore, if any member of the SCC community obtains an order of protection or restraining order, he or she should promptly inform SCC Campus Security and provide the Director of Campus Security with a copy of that order, so that the College can enforce it. SCC is also committed to protecting the reporting party from any further harm, and if Campus Security determines that an individual's presence on campus poses a danger to one or more members of the College community, Campus Security can ban the individual from any or all SCC locations.

  1. Investigation Process
  1. The Title IX Officers will act promptly to forward any complaints to the appropriate Title IX Investigation Team. Student complaints will be handled by the Student Investigation Team and employee complaints will be handled by the Employee Investigation Team.
  1. The appropriate Title IX Investigation Team will conduct a preliminary review of the complaint, which normally includes interviews with the reporting party respondent, and witnesses. The Title IX Investigation Team may request administrators in areas connected to the complaint to participate in the investigation process on a need to know basis.

Voluntary mediation may be used as a method to resolve the complaint at this stage; provided, however, that mediation may not be used in sexual assault or sexual violence complaints.

After the preliminary review, a determination will be made as to whether circumstances reported in the complaint warrant further investigation as a Title IX complaint.If it is determined that the complaint does not fall under Title IX, the reporting party and the respondent will be notified.

  1. If the Title IX Investigation Team determines that circumstances in the complaint warrant further investigation, the reporting party and respondent will be notified. In addition to interviews with all parties, the Title IX Investigation Team will review all written statements, documentation and policies, and other necessary steps to thoroughly investigate the complaint to determine whether the alleged conduct constitutes sexual harassment, discrimination or other violations of this policy. Neither the reporting party nor the respondent may have direct contact with one another during the investigation process as this may possibly escalate a hostile environment.

When determining whether a violation of policy has occurred, the College will use a "preponderance of the evidence" standard.This standard means that based on the evidence presented, it is more likely than not that the allegations in the complaint are true.

  1. Rights of both parties:
  1. An equal opportunity to present relevant witnesses.
  2. Timely access to any information that will be used at a hearing.
  3. Parties will not be allowed to personally question each other during the course of the investigation.
  4. Each investigation will be conducted and completed within a reasonable time frame (60calendar days unless the Decision Maker deems further time is necessary to render a decision)
  5. To receive periodic status updates.
  6. A clear description of SCC's disciplinary process and know the range of possible sanctions that can be applied.
  7. To have an advisor of their choice, including legal counsel, participate in the complaint and investigation process. Advance notice to the College is required if an advisor or legal counsel is included in the process. Legal counsel or others filling this role participate as an advisor to the individual only and cannot speak for the individual or participate directly in the process. Any legal fees incurred are the responsibility of the individual contracting with the attorney as an advisor. It is not required to have legal counsel present during any or all portions of the proceedings, however, if either party exercises his/her right to have legal counsel present, the College may choose to have an attorney present as well.
  1. Even where law enforcement conducts a criminal investigation regarding the allegation, the College will conduct its own independent investigation in determining whether a College policy violation has occurred. As criminal investigations and violations of Title IX policy use different standards, the determination of whether a College policy has been violated will not be based upon law enforcement decisions.
  1. Should a party waive the right to go through the process of resolving a complaint, a decision will be made based on information gathered by the Title IX Investigation Team. The College reserves the right to proceed with investigating a complaint, even after the reporting party withdraws it, in order to protect the interests and safety of the College community.
  1. Resolution and Notice
  1. Documentation of all stages of the process will be maintained by the Title IX Officers.
  1. Upon completion of the investigation, the Title IX Investigation Team will report findings to the Title IX Decision-Maker. This individual will lead the College in taking appropriate disciplinary actions for conduct found to be a violation of this Policy. The Decision-Maker may name individuals to assist in the resolution process.

Disciplinary action may be taken for violation of this policy, up to and including dismissal from the educational program, from employment, or from the Board of Trustees.In determining disciplinary action, the Student Code of Conduct and the Employee Progressive Disciplinary Policy will be utilized. A third party may be barred from campus or prohibited from engaging in future business dealings with the College.

  1. Once the Decision-Maker has made necessary disciplinary decisions, the appropriate Title IX Officer will be notified of the decision in writing. Both parties will be simultaneously notified in writing of the outcome of a complaint and the right to any appeal, including information about the appeal process. If a complaint involves a student, the College will disclose to the Complainant the College's final determination and any disciplinary sanctions imposed on the Respondent.

The Title IX Officer will also notify the President of the College of the decision. The President may make a report to the Board of Trustees if warranted.Should a case be brought against the President, the Board Chairman will refer the matter to the Board of Trustees for action.

  1. Privacy and Confidentiality

SCC recognizes the sensitive nature of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking incidents. SCC is committed to protecting the privacy of individuals who report incidents of harassment pursuant to this Policy, to the extent that doing so is permitted by law and consistent with the College's need to investigate the allegations and to protect the safety of the college community.

  1. All students should understand their reporting options and the consequences of disclosing information about alleged events to a Confidential Employee or to a Responsible Employee, respectively. Reporting students who are uncertain as to whether a particular College employee is a Confidential Employee or a Responsible Employee should ask before disclosing information they wish to keep confidential

Should a reporting party desire to keep a report confidential, the complainant should report the complaint to a Confidential Employee.Information disclosed to a Confidential Employee will only be disclosed with the reporting party's specific permission, unless there is some continuing threat of serious harm to any individual or a legal obligation to disclose the information.

  1. Reports received by the College concerning the abuse of a minor or juvenile must be reported to state officials in compliance with state law requiring mandatory reporting of child abuse. Anyone who suspects or knows that a minor has been abused or neglected must report such abuse or neglect to Campus Security, which will report such information to the appropriate department of social services in as required by G.S. § 7B-301.
  1. For the purposes of Clery Crime Statistic Reporting, reporting statistical information about the incident is required, but no personally identifiable information about the complainant is included.
  1. All parties involved in the complaint process are expected to maintain confidentiality in order to avoid interfering with the investigation and resolution of each complaint.
  1. Appeal Process

Either party may appeal the outcome of the investigation and disciplinary decisions.The only permissible bases for appeal are procedural error or previously unavailable relevant evidence that significantly impacts the outcome of the case.

The appeal must be in writing and submitted to the Title IX Officer using the Title IX Appeal Form within 15 working days of the issuance of the decision.The appeal will be forwarded to the President, who will review the initial complaint, the investigation report, the appeal documentation, and initial decision.Within 15 working days following receipt of the appeal, the President will make a determination and forward that determination to the Title IX coordinator for appropriate action. If the President determines that an error has been made at any point in the case, the case will revert back to the Title IX team for review and additional investigation, if necessary, and a new or revised decision will be rendered and distributed to both the reporting party and the responding party.

Any new decision or changes to an initial decision resulting from an Appeal are final and not subject to further appeal.

  1. Retaliation

The College will take appropriate interim measures during the investigation to ensure safety and non-retaliation for all persons involved.Retaliation or discrimination against a student or employee at any time for reporting or complaining about sexual harassment or discrimination or otherwise participating in this process is also prohibited and is a violation of this policy.The reporting party will be advised to report any retaliation or further discrimination or harassment.Disciplinary actions for employees found to be in violation of this policy will be based on the Employee Progressive Disciplinary Policy.

Individuals can be sanctioned for retaliation even if the underlying complaint is not substantiated. Retaliation can be committed by the reporting party, the accused, or others. The filing of a sexual discrimination, harassment, or related retaliation complaint will not stop, delay, or have any effect on pending student disciplinary or personnel actions.This includes but is not limited to performance evaluations or disciplinary actions related to a reporting party who has violated College policies or who is not performing at acceptable levels.

ANTI-HARASSMENT/DISCRIMINATION APPENDIX

  1. Filing an OCR Complaint

Anyone who believes that an education institution that receives federal financial assistance has discriminated against someone on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age may file a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR). The person or organization filing the complaint need not be a victim of the alleged discrimination but may complain on behalf of another person or group.

A complaint must be filed within 180 calendar days of the date of the alleged discrimination, unless the time for filing is extended by OCR for good cause shown under certain circumstances.

Prior to filing a complaint with OCR against an institution, a potential complainant may want to find out about the institution's grievance process and use that process to have the complaint resolved. However, a complainant is not required by law to use the institutional grievance process before filing a complaint with OCR.If a complainant uses an institutional grievance process and also chooses to file the complaint with OCR, the complaint must be filed with OCR within 60 days after completion of the institutional grievance process.

Complainants wishing to file a complaint may do so by:

  • Mail or Facsimile: Complainants may mail or send by facsimile a letter or use the OCR's Discrimination Complaint Form available from one of OCR's enforcement offices. Information to be provided include the complainant's name, address and telephone number where the complainant may be reached during business hours; information about the person(s) or class of persons injured by the alleged discriminatory act(s) (names of the injured person(s) are not required); the name and location of the institution that committed the alleged discriminatory act(s); and a description of the alleged discriminatory act(s) in sufficient detail to enable OCR to understand what occurred, when it occurred, and the basis for the alleged discrimination (race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age).
  • E-mail:Complainants may file a complaint using the following e-mail address: ocr@ed.gov . Use the same procedures as above.

  1. Filing an EEOC Complaint

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person's race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability, or genetic information. It is also illegal to discriminate against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit.

An employee who believes he or she has been discriminated against at work because of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age, disability or genetic information, may file a charge of discrimination. All of the laws enforced by EEOC, except for the Equal Pay Act, require the individual to file a Charge of Discrimination before filing a job discrimination lawsuit against the employer. In addition, an individual, organization, or agency may file a charge on behalf of another person in order to protect the aggrieved person's identity. There may be time limits for filing a charge.

Charges are not accepted by telephone, but an employee may call 1-800-669-4000 to submit basic information about a possible charge to begin the process.The information will be forwarded to the appropriate EEOC field office.

COMPLAINT/INCIDENT REPORT: ANTI- HARASSMENT/DISCRIMINATION POLICY

APPEAL FORM: ANTI- HARASSMENT/DISCRIMINATION POLICY