Policy 2.07 - Sex and Gender Discrimination and Harassment

Notice of Nondiscrimination

Southeastern Community College (“Southeastern”), in compliance with and as required by Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and its implementing regulations (“Title IX”) and other civil rights laws, as well as in furtherance of its own values as a higher education institution, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, pregnancy, disability, age, religion, veteran status, or any other characteristic or status protected by applicable local, state, or federal law in admission, treatment, or access to, or employment in, its programs and activities.

Discrimination and harassment are antithetical to the values and standards of the Southeastern community; are incompatible with the safe, healthy environment that the Southeastern community expects and deserves; and will not be tolerated. Southeastern is committed to providing programs, activities, and an education and work environment free from discrimination and harassment and to fostering a community that promotes prompt reporting and fair and timely resolution of those behaviors.

Inquiries concerning discrimination or harassment on the basis of sex or gender may be referred to Southeastern’s Title IX Coordinator/Deputy, Bill Maultsby, and Dean of Student Services Colene Faulk Title IX Coordinator/Deputy. Exhibit A to this document provides Bill Maultsby’s and Dean of Student Services Colene Faulks contact information.

Inquiries concerning discrimination or harassment based on a protected characteristic or status other than sex or gender may be referred to Dean of Student Services Colene Faulk or Bill Maultsby, Director of Human Resources (for employees). Exhibit A also provides their contact information.

Individuals also may make inquiries regarding discrimination or harassment to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights by contacting the District of Columbia Office, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20202-1475; Phone 800-421-3481; email: OCR@ed.gov.

Prohibition on Sex and Gender Discrimination and Harassment, Retaliation, and Providing False Information or Interfering with a Grievance Process

This Policy prohibits discrimination and harassment on the basis of sex or gender. Southeastern strongly encourages the prompt reporting of, and is committed to timely and fair resolution of, such behaviors.

Sexual Harassment, as defined by Title IX and herein,1 is a specific type of sex/gender discrimination/harassment that includes Sexual Assault, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, and Stalking, and that Southeastern addresses using its Title IX Sexual Harassment Grievance Procedures, as required by Title IX.

This Policy also prohibits Retaliation, as defined by Title IX and herein. Complaints alleging Retaliation may be filed with the Title IX Coordinator/Deputy and, at the discretion of the Title IX Coordinator/Deputy, may be addressed under Southeastern ’s Title IX Sexual Harassment Grievance Procedures.

Additionally, any individual who knowingly files a false Formal Complaint (as defined herein) or who interferes with a Southeastern grievance process may be subject to disciplinary action. Interference with a grievance process may include, but is not limited to, attempting to coerce, compel, or prevent an individual from providing testimony or relevant information; removing, destroying, or altering documentation relevant to an investigation; or providing false or misleading information to Southeastern officials who are involved in the investigation and/or resolution of a Formal Complaint, or encouraging others to do so.

Reporting and Period of Limitations

Southeastern strongly encourages all employees and other members of the Southeastern community to promptly report discrimination and harassment on the basis of sex or gender to the Title IX Coordinator/Deputy.

In addition to the Title IX Coordinator/Deputy and Deputy, Southeastern has designated the following employees as individuals with the authority to institute corrective measures on behalf of Southeastern: Dean of Student Services and Human Resources Coordinator. Accordingly, these employees are required to report discrimination and harassment on the basis of sex or gender to the Title IX Coordinator/Deputy.

Additionally, Southeastern has designated the following employees as confidential resources.

  • For students: Student Services Counselor.
  • For employees: Employee Assistance Program Counselor.

Information about sex or gender discrimination or harassment shared with these confidential resources typically will not be reported to other Southeastern personnel (including the Title IX Coordinator/Deputy/Deputy), to the Respondent, or to others, unless the disclosing individual gives their consent to the disclosure or the law requires it (as may be the case with abuse involving a minor or under conditions involving imminent physical harm, for example). (Confidential resources may report non-identifying statistical information to the Title IX Coordinator/Deputy/Deputy for recordkeeping and compliance purposes.)

Any person (whether or not alleged to be the victim) may report sex or gender discrimination or harassment, including Sexual Harassment, in person, by mail, by telephone, or by electronic mail, using the contact information for the Title IX Coordinator/Deputy/Deputy listed in Exhibit A, or by any other means that results in the Title IX Coordinator/Deputy receiving the person’s verbal or written report. Such a report may be made at any time (including during non-business hours).

Southeastern will address allegations of sex or gender discrimination or harassment appropriately no matter the length of time that has passed since the alleged conduct. However, Southeastern strongly encourages prompt reporting to preserve evidence for a potential legal or disciplinary proceeding. Delay may compromise the ability to investigate, particularly if the individuals involved in the alleged conduct are no longer Southeastern students or employees.

Applicability of Policy and Grievance Procedures

This Policy applies to any allegation of sex or gender discrimination or harassment made by or against a student or an employee of Southeastern or a third party, regardless of sex, sexual orientation, sexual identity, gender expression, or gender identity.

The Title IX Sexual Harassment Grievance Procedures apply only to allegations of Sexual Harassment in Southeastern’s Education Program or Activity (as defined herein).2

Southeastern will address allegations of other types of sex or gender discrimination or harassment (i.e., that do not meet the definition of Sexual Harassment) (1) using other student and employee conduct disciplinary procedures deemed appropriate by the Title IX Coordinator/Deputy/Deputy in consultation with other Southeastern administrators; and/or (2) with Supportive Measures, which are defined and discussed in more detail herein.

Definitions Applicable to Policy and Grievance Procedures

Capitalized terms used herein are defined as follows.

“Actual Knowledge” means notice of Sexual Harassment or allegations of Sexual Harassment to Southeastern’s Title IX Coordinator/Deputy, Title IX Deputy Coordinator, or a Responsible Employee. This standard is not met through Imputation of knowledge-based solely on vicarious liability or constructive notice. This standard also is not met when the only individual with Actual Knowledge is the Respondent. The mere ability or obligation to report Sexual Harassment or to inform a student about how to report Sexual Harassment, or having been trained to do so, does not qualify an individual as one to whom notice of Sexual Harassment or allegations of Sexual Harassment constitutes Actual Notice. “Notice” as used in this paragraph includes, but is not limited to, a report of Sexual Harassment to the Title IX Coordinator/Deputy/Deputy.

“Clery Act” refers to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, which is a federal statute codified at 20 U.S.C. § 1092(f), with implementing regulations in the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations at 34 C.F.R. § 668.46. The Clery Act requires all colleges and universities that participate in federal financial aid programs to keep and disclose information about crime on and near their respective campuses.

“Complainant” means an individual who is alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute Sexual Harassment.

“Consent” is informed, freely, and actively given, mutually understandable words or actions that indicate a willingness to participate in mutually agreed‐upon sexual activity. Consent is mutually understandable when a reasonable person would consider the words or actions of the parties to have manifested a clear and unambiguous agreement between them to engage in certain conduct with each other. Consent cannot be gained by ignoring or acting in spite of the objections of another.

Consent cannot be inferred from silence, passivity, or lack of resistance alone; a current or previous dating or sexual relationship alone (or the existence of such a relationship with anyone else); attire; the buying of dinner or the spending of money on a date; or Consent previously given (i.e., Consenting to one sexual act does not imply Consent to another sexual act).

Consent is not effective if it is obtained through the use of physical force, violence, duress, deception, intimidation, coercion, or the threat, expressed or implied, of bodily injury. Whether a party used any of these means to obtain Consent will be determined by reference to the perception of a reasonable person found in the same or similar circumstances.

Consent may never be given by the following individuals: minors, even if the other participant did not know the minor’s age; mentally disabled persons, if their disability was reasonably knowable to a

person who is not mentally disabled; or persons who are Incapacitated. The use of alcohol or drugs does not diminish one’s responsibility to obtain Consent and does not excuse conduct that constitutes Sexual Harassment.

If at any time during a sexual act any confusion or ambiguity is or should reasonably be apparent on the issue of Consent, it is incumbent upon each individual involved in the activity to stop and clarify the other’s willingness to continue and capacity to Consent. Neither party should make assumptions about the other’s willingness to continue.

“Education Program or Activity” means all of Southeastern’s operations and includes (1) locations, events, or circumstances over which Southeastern exercised substantial control over both the Respondent and the context in which the alleged Sexual Harassment occurred; and (2) any building owned or controlled by a student organization that is officially recognized by Southeastern.

“Education Record” has the meaning assigned to it under FERPA.

“FERPA” is the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, a federal statute codified at 20 U.S.C. § 1232g, with implementing regulations at 34 C.F.R. § 99. FERPA protects the privacy of student Education Records. FERPA grants to eligible students the right to access, inspect, and review Education Records, the right to challenge the content of Education Records, and the right to consent to the disclosure of Education Records.

“Formal Complaint” means a document filed by a Complainant or signed by the Title IX Coordinator/Deputy/Deputy alleging Sexual Harassment against a Respondent and requesting that Southeastern investigate the allegation of Sexual Harassment. At the time of filing a Formal Complaint, a Complainant must be participating in or attempting to participate in Southeastern’s Education Program or Activity. A Formal Complaint may be filed with the Title IX Coordinator/Deputy/Deputy in person, by mail, or by electronic mail by using the contact information required to be listed for the Title IX Coordinator/Deputy/Deputy in Exhibit A. As used in this paragraph, the phrase “document filed by a Complainant” means a document or electronic submission that contains the Complainant’s physical or digital signature, or otherwise indicates that the Complainant is the person filing the Formal Complaint.

“Incapacitated” means lacking the physical and/or mental ability to make informed, rational judgments. A person may be Incapacitated for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to being asleep or unconscious, having consumed alcohol or taken drugs, or experiencing blackouts or flashbacks.

“Respondent” means an individual who has been reported to be the perpetrator of conduct alleged to constitute Sexual Harassment.

“Retaliation” means (1) any adverse action (including direct and indirect intimidation, threats, coercion, discrimination, or harassment (including charges for conduct violations that do not involve sex or gender discrimination or harassment or Sexual Harassment but that arise out of the same facts or circumstances as a report or complaint of sex or gender discrimination or harassment or a report or Formal Complaint of Sexual Harassment) that is (2) threatened or taken against a person (a) for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by Title IX; or (b) because the person has made a report or Formal Complaint, testified, assisted, or participated or refused to participate in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing related to Title IX. Retaliation does not include (1) the exercise of rights protected under the First Amendment; (2) charging an individual with making a materially false statement in bad faith in the course of a grievance proceeding (provided, however, that a determination regarding responsibility alone is not sufficient to conclude that an individual made

a materially false statement in bad faith); or (3) good faith actions lawfully pursued in response to a report of prohibited conduct.

“Sexual Harassment” means conduct on the basis of sex or gender that satisfies one or more of the following:

  1. an employee of the Southeastern conditioning the provision of an aid, benefit, or service on an individual’s participation in unwelcome sexual conduct. (commonly referred to quid pro quo harassment);
  2. unwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to Southeastern’s Education Program or Activity; or
  3. “Sexual Assault,” as defined in 20 U.S.C. § 1092(f)(6)(A)(v): an offense classified as a forcible or nonforcible sex offense under the uniform crime reporting system of the Federal Bureau of Investigation;
  4. “Dating Violence,” as defined in 34 U.S.C. § 12291(a)(10): violence committed by a person—(A) who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim; and (B) where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors: (i) the length of the relationship; (ii) the type of relationship; and (iii) the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.;
  5. “Domestic Violence,” as defined in 34 U.S.C. § 12291(a)(8): felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction receiving grant monies, or by 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 the jurisdiction; or
  6. “Stalking,” as defined in 34 U.S.C. § 12291(a)(30): engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to (A) fear for their safety or the safety of others; or (B) suffer substantial emotional distress.

“Supportive Measures” are non-disciplinary, non-punitive, individualized services offered as appropriate, as reasonably available, and without fee or charge to a Complainant and/or a Respondent before or after the filing of a Formal Complaint or where no Formal Complaint has been filed. Such measures are designed to restore or preserve equal access to Southeastern’s Education Program or Activity without unreasonably burdening the other party, including measures designed to protect the safety of all parties or Southeastern’s educational environment or deter Sexual Harassment.

Supportive measures may include, but are not limited to, counseling, extensions of deadlines or other course-related adjustments, modifications of work or class schedules, campus escort services, mutual restrictions on contact between the parties, changes in work or housing locations, and leaves of absence, increased security and monitoring of certain areas of the campus. Southeastern will maintain as confidential any Supportive Measures provided to a Complainant or a Respondent, to the extent that maintaining such confidentiality would not impair Southeastern’s ability to provide the Supportive

Measures. The Title IX Coordinator/Deputy/Deputy is responsible for coordinating the effective implementation of Supportive Measures.

Adopted: August 24, 2020

Revised: July 16, 1985, January 26, 1993, July 15, 1997, July 20, 2010, September 17, 2013, May 12,2015, August 24, 2020

Reviewed: August 24, 2020