Title IX Policy and Procedures for Student Sex Discrimination

  1. Hesston College is committed to providing a learning, working, and living environment that promotes personal integrity, civility, and mutual respect in an environment free of discrimination on the basis of sex, which includes all forms of sexual misconduct. Sex discrimination violates an individual’s fundamental rights and personal dignity. Hesston College considers sex discrimination in all its forms to be a serious offense. This policy refers to all forms of sex discrimination committed against students, including but not limited to: unfair treatment based on sex, sexual harassment, sexual violence (such as sexual assault, rape, sexual battery), and sexual misconduct, by other students, employees, or third parties.
  2. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits discrimination based on sex in educational programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance. To ensure compliance with Title IX and other federal and state civil rights laws, Hesston College has developed policies and procedures that prohibit sex discrimination in all of its forms. This policy was created to address issues of student sex discrimination; employees who feel they have been treated unfairly based on sex (or other protected classes) should refer to the Hesston College Human Resources Manual.
  3. Statement on Non-Discrimination. Hesston College does not discriminate against students on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, religion, social or economic class, or disability in its programs and activities. These protections extend to student employment with and admission to the college.
  4. Where a Complaint or Report May be Filed. The college encourages those who have experienced sex discrimination to report these offenses to the Title IX Coordinator:
    Rob Ramseyer, vice president Student Development, Title IX Coordinator
    Hesston College Student Development Office
    301 S Main St, Hesston, Kansas 67062
    Phone: 620-327-8173, email: robr@hesston.edu
    The Title IX Coordinator can assist with all aspects of the reporting procedure and will conduct a preliminary investigation into the complaint.
  5. Guidance on Reporting. Hesston College encourages students who have experienced any form of sexual misconduct to report the incident promptly, to seek all available assistance, and where appropriate, to pursue criminal prosecution of the offender. The student has the right to choose to file charges or not to file charges. However, the state can choose to file criminal charges at their discretion. Hesston College takes complaints very seriously and will work with reporting parties to ensure their safety and to remedy the situation. In case of emergency, call 911 (9-911 from campus telephones). In the event that sexual assault or violence occurred, do everything possible to preserve evidence by making certain that the crime scene is not disturbed. (The decision to press charges does not have to be made at this time. However, following these procedures will help preserve this option for the future.) Reporting parties should not bathe, urinate, douche, brush teeth, or drink liquids. Clothes should not be changed; but if they are, bring all the original clothing to the hospital in a paper bag, as plastic bags may damage the evidence.

    When necessary, seek immediate medical attention at an area hospital and take a full change of clothing, including shoes, for use after the medical examination.

  6. Grievance Procedure. All incidents of sex discrimination, including sexual misconduct or retaliation, should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator or designee. The Title IX Coordinator ensures that adequate, reliable, and impartial investigations are conducted on all complaints.

    The college shall take reasonable steps to prevent the recurrence of sex discrimination in any form. If a recurrence takes place during the initial reporting and investigation, those responsible for the behavior may be subject to actions under the Hesston College Campus Community Standards if they are a student, or they may be subject to immediate actions under college employment policies if they are an employee.

  7. Investigation. A preliminary investigation into the report shall be conducted by the Title IX Coordinator or designee. The preliminary investigation shall be concluded as quickly as possible, typically within ten school days or within a reasonable amount of time required to complete the investigation. The preliminary investigation will be conducted in a manner so that it is adequate, reliable, and impartial.

    The preliminary investigation may include any of the following: interviews of the parties involved, including witnesses, and the gathering of other relevant information.

    At any time during the preliminary investigation, the Title IX Coordinator or designee may recommend that interim protections or remedies for the parties involved or witnesses be provided by appropriate college officials. These protections or remedies may include: separating the parties, placing limitations on contact between the parties, temporary suspension, or making alternative workplace or student housing arrangements. These remedies may be applied to one, both, or multiple parties involved. Failure to comply with the terms of interim protections may be considered a separate violation of Hesston College Community Standard.

    Written notice of the outcome of this preliminary investigation shall be given to the parties involved by the Title IX Coordinator as soon as reasonably practicable after the conclusion of the preliminary investigation.

    The college has developed both informal and formal complaint resolution procedures to respond to sex discrimination. The use of the informal complaint resolution procedure is optional. In instances where the parties involved do not wish to engage in the informal procedure, where attempts at the informal procedure are unsuccessful, or in situations where informal resolution is inappropriate, the formal procedure may be followed.

  8. Informal Procedure. Informal resolution procedures are optional and may be used when the college determines that it is appropriate and both parties are agreeable. Some complaints of sex discrimination can be resolved through informal mediation between the parties by the Title IX Coordinator or designee.

    Informal procedures are never utilized in cases involving allegations of sexual violence or nonconsensual sexual intercourse.

    If either party is unsatisfied with the outcome of the informal resolution procedure, the formal resolution procedure may be pursued.

  9. Formal Procedure. If a reporting party does not wish to utilize the informal resolution procedure or is unsatisfied with the outcome of the informal resolution procedure, a reporting party may pursue the formal procedure.

    In cases alleging sexual violence or nonconsensual sexual intercourse between students, a formal complaint shall normally be filed by the reporting party with the Title IX Coordinator or designee who will follow written procedures for resolving such complaints. In cases where the accused is a college employee or third party, the student may initially make a complaint with the Title IX Coordinator who will assist the student in bringing the complaint to the Vice President of Finance and Auxiliary Services and Human Resources. The Vice President of Finance and Auxiliary Services and Human Resources will follow its written procedures for resolving such complaints.

    In all procedures involving allegations of violations of this policy the standard of proof shall be “preponderance of the evidence.” A preponderance of the evidence means that the information shows that it is “more likely than not” that the responding party violated this policy.

    In all formal procedures involving allegations of violations of this policy by students, the Student Development Committee shall be comprised of persons who have received appropriate training approved by the Title IX Coordinator.

  10. Support Persons: Responding and reporting parties may have support during a Title IX investigation and/or hearing. Policies involving support are as follows:
    1. Attorney Participation: During the investigation process, both the complainant and the respondent may ask an attorney to accompany him or her to meetings with the Title IX Coordinator (or designee). During the meetings the attorney may observe the proceedings, but cannot ask questions or participate in the discussion. They may only advise their client.
    2. Non-Attorney Support Person For Cases Involving Students: During the investigation process, the reporting party and responding party may ask a non-attorney support person from the Hesston College community to accompany him or her to meetings with the Title IX Coordinator (or designee). The support person must be an administrator, faculty member, staff member, or fellow student. In cases involving multiple student reporters or student respondents, the non-attorney support person cannot be another reporting party or respondent. The non-attorney support person does not serve as an advocate on behalf of the reporting party or respondent, and he or she must agree to maintain the confidentiality of the process.
  11. Cooperation with Law Enforcement. Hesston College will comply with law enforcement requests for cooperation, and such cooperation may require the college to temporarily suspend the fact-finding aspect of a preliminary Title IX investigation while the law enforcement agency is in the process of gathering evidence. The college will promptly resume its preliminary Title IX investigation as soon as notified by the law enforcement agency that it has completed the evidence-gathering process, which typically takes three to ten calendar days, although the delay in the college’s investigation may be longer in certain instances.

    The college will implement appropriate interim steps during the law enforcement agency’s investigation period to provide for the safety of the reporting party(s) and the campus community and the avoidance of retaliation.

  12. Important Definitions and Examples. Sex Discrimination is defined as: behaviors and actions that deny or limit a person’s ability to benefit from, and/or fully participate in, the educational programs or activities or employment opportunities because of a person’s sex.

    Examples of sex discrimination under Title IX include, but are not limited to, sexual harassment, sexual assault, failure to provide equal opportunity in education programs, activities, and co-curricular programs including athletics, discrimination based on pregnancy, and employment discrimination.

    Sexual Harassment is defined as: unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or visual, verbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

    1. Submission to such conduct is made a term or condition of employment or the educational relationship;
    2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as a basis for employment or education decisions affecting the individual, or
    3. Such conduct is so severe and pervasive as to objectively interfere with a student’s educational, living, or work performance or environment.

    While sexual harassment encompasses a wide range of conduct, some examples of specifically prohibited conduct include:

    1. Promising, directly or indirectly, a reward to a student, if the student complies with a sexually oriented request.
    2. Threatening, directly or indirectly, retaliation against a student if the student refuses to comply with a sexually oriented request.
    3. Denying, directly or indirectly, a student an education or employment related opportunity if the student refuses to comply with a sexually oriented request.
    4. Engaging in unwelcome sexually suggestive conversation or inappropriate physical contact or touching of a student.
    5. Engaging in indecent exposure. (Lewd and lascivious behavior-KS)
    6. Making repeated or persistent sexual or romantic advances toward a student despite the student’s rejection of the advances.
    7. Engaging in unwelcome physical contact such as touching, blocking normal movement, physical restraint, or assault.
    8. Retaliating against a student for filing a harassment complaint or threatening to report harassment.
    9. Sexual harassment can involve males or females being harassed by members of either sex. Although sexual harassment sometimes involves a person in a position of greater authority than the harasser, individuals in positions of lesser or equal authority can also be found responsible for engaging in prohibited harassment.
    10. Sexual harassment can be physical and/or psychological in nature. An aggregation of a series of incidents can constitute sexual harassment even if one of the incidents considered separately would not rise to the level of harassment.
  13. Sexual Misconduct. Sexual Misconduct is a broad term encompassing any sexual behaviors that violate Hesston College’s Title IX Policy. In general, any harassing behavior or nonconsensual physical contact of a sexual nature may constitute Sexual Misconduct. Sexual Misconduct may vary in its severity, and consists of a range of behaviors or attempted behaviors that may be grounds for student disciplinary action under college policy.

    Prohibited conduct under this Sexual Misconduct Policy includes:

    1. Nonconsensual Sexual Contact, which is defined as any intentional sexual touching, however slight, with any object or body part, by a man or a woman upon a man or a woman, without consent.
    2. Nonconsensual Sexual Intercourse, which is defined as any sexual intercourse (anal, oral, or vaginal), however slight, with any object or body part, by a man or woman upon a man or a woman, without consent.
    3. Forced Sexual Intercourse, which is defined as unwilling or nonconsensual sexual penetration (anal, vaginal or oral) with any object or body part that is committed either by force, threat, intimidation, or through exploitation of another’s mental or physical condition of which the assailant was aware or should have been aware.

    Sexual Contact Includes:

    1. Intentional contact with the breasts, buttocks, groin, or genitals of another person, or touching another person with any of these body parts; or making another person touch you or themselves with or on any of these body parts; or
    2. Any intentional bodily contact in a sexual manner, even where the touching does not involve contact with/of/by breasts, buttocks, groin, genitals, mouth or other orifice; or
    3. Intercourse, however slight, meaning vaginal penetration by a penis, object, tongue or finger, anal penetration by a penis, object, tongue or finger, and oral copulation (mouth to genital contact or genital to mouth contact).

    Sexual Exploitation:

    1. Sexual Exploitation occurs when a person takes nonconsensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for his/her own advantage or benefit, 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.
    2. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to: prostituting another student; nonconsensual video or audio-taping of sexual activity; going beyond the boundaries of consent (such as letting your friends hide in the closet to watch you having consensual sex); engaging in voyeurism; knowingly transmitting an STD or HIV to another.

    Consent: Effective consent is the basis of the analysis applied to unwelcome sexual contact. Lack of consent is the critical factor in any incident of sexual misconduct.

    1. Consent to participate in sexual activity is freely and actively given, and requires clear communication between all persons involved in the sexual encounter.
    2. Consent is active, not passive. Consent can be communicated verbally or by actions, but in whatever way consent is communicated, it must be mutually understandable. Silence, in and of itself, cannot be interpreted as consent.
    3. It is the responsibility of the initiator of sexual contact to make sure they understand fully what the other person(s) involved in the activity wants and does not want sexually.
    4. Consent to one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity.
    5. Previous relationships or previous consent does not imply consent to future sexual acts.
    6. Consent cannot be procured by use of physical force, compelling threats, intimidating behavior, or coercion. Coercion is unreasonable pressure for sexual activity. Coercive behavior differs from seductive behavior based on the type of pressure someone uses to get consent from another.
    7. Effective consent cannot be given by minors, mentally disabled individuals, or persons incapacitated as a result of consumption of drugs or alcohol.
    8. If you have sexual activity with someone you know to be–or should know to be — mentally or physically incapacitated (by alcohol or drug use, unconsciousness or blackout), you are in violation of this policy.
    9. Incapacitation is a state where one cannot make a rational, reasonable decision because they lack the ability to understand the “who, what, when, where, why or how” of their sexual interaction.
    10. This policy also covers someone whose incapacity results from mental disability, sleep, involuntary physical restraint, or from the taking of a so-called “date-rape” drug. Possession, use and/or distribution of any of these substances, including but not limited to: Rohypnol, Ketomine, GHB or Burundanga is prohibited, and administering one of these drugs to another student for the purpose of inducing incapacity is a violation of this policy.

    Use of alcohol or drugs will never function to excuse behavior that violates this policy.

  14. Good Samaritan Policy: The intent of the Good Samaritan Policy is to empower students to report concern for others who are in danger. The health and safety of every student at the Hesston College is of utmost importance. Hesston College recognizes that students who have been drinking and/or using drugs (whether such use is voluntary or involuntary) at the time of a sexual violence incident occurs may be hesitant to report such incidents due to fear of potential consequences for their own conduct. Hesston College strongly encourages students to report incidents of sexual violence to the Student Development Office.
  15. Retaliation: Hesston College prohibits retaliation against any member of the Hesston College community who reports or assists in making a complaint of discrimination or harassment or who participates in the investigation of a complaint in any way. Therefore, any retaliation, intimidation, threats, coercion, or discrimination against any such individual, undertaken or attempted either directly or by someone acting on behalf of another, will be addressed in the most serious way by Hesston College, and individuals who engage in such actions are subject to discipline up to and including suspension, exclusion, or dismissal from the college, consistent with college procedure.
  16. Support Sources: There are various supportive measures available for those who have experienced sex discrimination. These support sources include:
    1. Title IX Coordinator. The Title IX Coordinator serves as the central reference person for information about reporting and the investigative procedure.
    2. Hesston College Student Counseling Services. Students who have experienced any form of sex discrimination, including sexual misconduct, may receive free and confidential counseling at the college’s student counseling services. Julie Lehman 620-327-8238.
    3. Harvey County Domestic & Sexual Assault Task Force. Individual counseling, support, information and referrals. 24-hour Crisis Hotline 316-283-0350
  17. Notification of Outcomes: The outcome of a Title IX investigation involving students is part of the education record of the student parties involved, and is protected from release under a federal law, FERPA. However, the college observes the legal exceptions that allow for notification of the parties involved and others whom the college determines to inform based on the law and this policy.

Handbook 2015-16