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Title IX Discrimination, Harassment and Sexual Misconduct
Members of the SMC community including students, staff, faculty and guests have the right to be free from sexual harassment or sexual misconduct. Sexual misconduct prohibited by this policy includes but is not limited to sexual harassment and discrimination, sexual assault, stalking, domestic and dating violence.
In compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and other federal statutes, SMC does not tolerate harassment or discrimination in any form by any administrator, faculty member, staff member, student, vendor or guest on the campus. This includes but is not limited to: unwelcome sexual advances; unwelcome sexual flirtations or innuendos; the display or possession of sexually suggestive pictures, printed material, or objects; graphic comments about a person’s physical appearance; sexual gestures or any other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature which has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with a person’s education or work or creating an offensive academic or work environment. It also includes discrimination and harassment based on a person’s race, color, creed, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation or any other protected class; the display of objects, pictures, or printed material degrading members of a particular racial, ethnic, religious, or age group; racial, ethnic, age, disability, sexual orientation, or religious nature which unreasonably interferes with a person’s education or work or creates an offensive educational or work environment. All members of the College community, including students, faculty, staff, and visitors to the College and independent contractors are subject to this policy. This policy protects individuals in connection with all the academic, educational extracurricular, athletic, and other programs of the College, whether those programs take place in a College facility, at an off-campus class or program sponsored by the College, or on College provided transportation. Additionally, the Policy protects individuals that experience prohibited conduct off- campus when the conduct has continuing effects on the individual in the College’s programs and activities. This policy also protects employees in the College workplace and independent contractors and third-party visitors to the campus who are participating in the College’s programs or activities. It applies to all areas of employment, including recruitment, hiring, training and development, promotion, transfer, termination, layoff, compensation and all other conditions and privileges of employment.
On campus complaints of Discrimination and Harassment, including gender discrimination and harassment, may be reported to Jenny Dunn, Executive Director of Human Resources & Title IX. See Reporting later in this document for detailed information concerning reporting options and resources. Complaints of Discrimination and Harassment, including gender discrimination and harassment, may be reported to the regional Office of Civil Rights for the Department of Education:
Office of Civil Rights
Sam Nunn Atlanta Federal Center
61 Forsyth Street, SW
Atlanta, GA 30303-8909
Section l: Gender/Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct
Members of the Spartanburg Methodist College community including students, staff, faculty, third-party vendors and guests have the right to be free from sexual harassment or sexual misconduct. All members of the College community, including students, faculty, staff, and independent contractors and third-party visitors to the College are subject to this policy. This policy protects individuals in connection with all the academic, educational, extracurricular, athletic, and other programs and activities of the College, whether those programs take place in a College facility, at an off-campus class or program sponsored by the College, or on College provided transportation. Additionally, the Policy protects individuals that experience prohibited conduct off- campus when the conduct has continuing effects on the individual in the College’s programs and activities.
Sexual harassment is one of two types of conduct: “quid pro quo” harassment, in which submission to sexual advances or requests for sexual favors is made an explicit or implicit basis for making employment or educational decisions; and “environmental” harassment, in which verbal or physical conduct, because of its severity or persistence, has the effect of interfering with an individual’s work or educational performance, or of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for work, learning or participating in any College program or activity.
Harassment creates a hostile or offensive learning environment when it is sufficiently severe or pervasive that it has the effect of denying or limiting a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the College’s programs. Harassment creates a hostile or offensive work environment when it is sufficiently severe or pervasive that it has the effect of changing the terms or conditions of the employee’s employment.
Sexual harassment may involve the behavior of a person of either sex toward a person of the same or opposite sex when that behavior falls within the operative definition of sexual harassment. The following are examples of conduct that may constitute sexual harassment in violation of this policy. This list is not exhaustive.
Verbal harassment: Epithets, derogatory comments or slurs (e.g., name-calling, belittling, sexually explicit or degrading words to describe an individual, sexually explicit jokes, comments about an employee’s anatomy and/or dress, sexually oriented noises or remarks, questions about a person’s sexual practices, use of patronizing terms or remarks, verbal abuse, or graphic verbal commentaries about the body.)
Physical harassment: Actions of a sexual or gender based nature, including but not limited to: assault, impeding or blocking movement, or any physical interference with normal work or movement (e.g., touching, pinching, patting, grabbing, brushing against or poking another employee’s body, hazing or initiation that involves a sexual component, or requiring an employee to wear sexually suggestive clothing.)
Visual forms of harassment: Derogatory posters, cartoons or drawings, (e.g., displaying videos, sexual pictures, writings or objects, obscene letters or invitations, staring at an employee’s anatomy, leering, sexually oriented gestures, mooning, or unwanted love letters or notes.)
Sexual favors: Unwanted sexual advances that condition an employment or academic benefit upon an exchange of sexual favors, (e.g., continued requests for dates, any threat of demotion, termination, threat of poor grade, etc.), if requested sexual favors are not given, making or threatening reprisals after a negative response to sexual advances, or propositioning an individual.
Sexual Misconduct: As used in this policy, Sexual Misconduct refers to Sexual Assault, Non-Consensual Sexual Contact, Sexual Exploitation, Gender-Based Bullying, Stalking, Dating Violence, and Domestic Violence, as those terms are defined in this policy.
Sexual Assault: Sexual Assault is any sexual act directed against another person without the consent of the victim, including sexual acts committed against a person who is incapable of giving consent, such as by someone who is incapacitated due to drugs, alcohol, medication or other reasons, incapable due to mental state, a minor. Sexual Assault may occur through the use of verbal, emotional or physical force, intimidation or coercion. Sexual Assault may include but is not limited to rape, sodomy, forcible oral copulations, sexual assault with an object, sexual battery, forcible fondling, and threat of sexual assault. It also includes any intentional sexual touching, however slight, with an object or body part, by a man or woman upon a man or woman without the explicit consent of that individual
Non-Consensual Sexual Contact: Non-consensual contact means the deliberate unwelcome touching, however slight, of a person’s intimate parts or using force or coercion.
Sexual Exploitation: Sexual Exploitation means taking sexual advantage of another person without that person’s consent and includes, without limitation, causing or attempting to cause the incapacitation of another person; electronically recording, photographing, or transmitting intimate sounds or images of another person and/or allowing other parties to observe sexual acts. Sexual exploitation includes knowingly or recklessly transmitting an STI/STD or HIV to another person or intentional or non-consensual tampering with any form of birth control, prostituting another person (even with that person’s consent) and indecent exposure and/or illicit sexual activity not otherwise defined as Sexual Misconduct pursuant to this policy.
Domestic Violence: Domestic violence is defined under state criminal law as physical harm, bodily injury, assault or threat of physical harm by: Domestic Violence is defined by the College as a felony or misdemeanor crime 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 was cohabiting with or has cohabited with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner.
- A person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the State of South Carolina.
- Any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from the person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the State of South Carolina.
To constitute Domestic Violence under this policy, the relationship between the parties must be more than just two people living together as roommates. The people cohabitating must be current or former spouses or currently or formerly involved in an intimate relationship.
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. The existence of such a relationship is determined based on the reporting party’s statement and with consideration of the length of the relations, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. Dating violence does not include acts covered under the definition of Domestic Violence. Dating violence may include:
- Physical abuse: hitting, shoving, kicking, biting or throwing objects.
- Emotional abuse: yelling, name-calling, bullying, embarrassing, preventing interaction with friends, telling someone that they deserve abuse, or providing gifts to “make up” for the abuse.
- Sexual abuse and violence: forcing someone to engage in a sexual activity or engaging in sexual activity when one of the persons is unable to consent due to the use of alcohol or drugs. This may also be a separate offense as sexual misconduct.
- Threat of violence or abuse.
Stalking: Stalking is 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. For purposes of this policy, “course of conduct” means two or more acts, including but not limited to, acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person, or interferes with a person’s property. For purposes of this policy, “reasonable person” means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the victim. For purposes of this policy, “substantial emotional distress” means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.
Stalking behaviors may include persistent patterns of leaving or sending the victim unwanted items or presents that may range from seemingly romantic to bizarre, following or lying in wait for the victim, damaging or threatening to damage the victim’s property, defaming the victim’s character, or harassing the victim via the Internet by posting personal information or spreading rumors about the victim.
Responsible Parties: Responsible Parties are employees of the College that 1) have the authority to redress sex discrimination, Sexual Harassment or Misconduct, 2) have the duty of reporting sex discrimination, Sexual Harassment or Misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator or other school designee, 3) or that a student could reasonably believe has this authority or duty. The following categories of employees are considered responsible employees:
- All College Administrators
- College faculty, staff and employees
- Resident Assistants, Resident Directors
- Campus Safety Officers
A Responsible Party must report all relevant details about the alleged sexual misconduct shared by a complainant to the Title IX Coordinator or a Deputy Title IX Coordinator. The Responsible Party should not share the information with any other person or with law enforcement without the complainant’s consent. Before a complainant is allowed to reveal any information to a responsible employee, the employee should be sure the complainant understands the employee’s reporting obligations and direct the complainant to confidential resources and explain that the College will attempt to maintain the complainant’s privacy.
Retaliation: The College will not tolerate retaliation against students or employees for reporting Sexual Harassment or Sexual Misconduct or for participating, or refusing to participate, in the College’s response to such allegations. Retaliation exists when action is taken against a participant in the complaint process that adversely affects the individual’s employment or academic status or participation in College programs or activities and is motivated in whole or in part by the individual’s reporting of an incident of Sexual Harassment or Sexual Misconduct or by the individual’s participation, or lack thereof, in the College’s response to any such complaint, including any investigation or disciplinary process undertaken in connection with any such complaint. Acts of retaliation shall be grounds for disciplinary action, up to and including expulsion/dismissal for students and termination/dismissal for faculty and staff.
Amnesty: Spartanburg Methodist College encourages the reporting of Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct so all those affected can receive the support and resources needed. To encourage reporting of violations by a complainant or witness, the College affords limited immunity from sanctions for other policy violations related to the incident if violations do not jeopardize the health or safety of others. In place of any otherwise appropriate disciplinary response, the College may choose to pursue educational or therapeutic remedies.
Consent: Consent is affirmative, conscious, and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity. Past consent does not imply future consent. Silence or absence of resistance does not imply consent. Consent must be clearly demonstrated through mutually understandable words and/or actions. Consent can be withdrawn at any time. Consent to one form of sexual activity cannot be assumed to be consent to any other form of sexual activity. Relying on non-verbal communications can lead to misunderstandings. Past consent to a particular activity does not constitute consent to similar acts in the future. Whether consent has been given will be determined contemporaneously with the activities in question.
Consent cannot be given by someone who is:
- Very young or very old
- Mentally or physically incapacitated
- Under the influence of alcohol or drugs
Alcohol/Drugs: One who is physically incapacitated as result of alcohol or other drug consumption (voluntary or involuntary), or who is unconscious, unaware, or otherwise physically helpless is incapable of giving consent. One may not engage in sexual activity with another who one knows, or reasonably should have known, is incapacitated as a result of alcohol or other drugs. The perspective of a reasonable person will be the basis for determining whether one should have known about the impact of the use of alcohol or drugs on another’s ability to give consent. Being intoxicated or high (intentionally or unintentionally) does not diminish one’s responsibility to obtain consent and is never an excuse for sexual misconduct.
Resources for Victims of Sexual Misconduct: In the event of a report under this policy, the College will provide written notification to students and/or employees about existing counseling, health, mental health, victim advocacy, legal assistance, visa and immigration assistance, student financial aid, and other services available for victims, both within the institution and in the community. Further, the College will provide written notification to victims about options for, available assistance in, and how to request changes to academic, living, transportation, and working situations or protective measures. The College will make such accommodations or provide such protective measures if the victim requests them, regardless of whether the victim chooses to report the crime to campus police or local law enforcement. See the Interim Measures section in this document.
A person who is victim of Sexual Misconduct is encouraged to seek medical assistance to aid in the collection of evidence. Prompt collection of physical evidence is essential should a person later decide to pursue criminal prosecution and/or civil action.
Whether the individual makes an official report or not, he or she is urged to seek appropriate help, which may include medical evaluation, obtaining information, support, and counseling, either on or off campus.
No victim of Sexual Harassment or Sexual Misconduct will be required to file an official complaint or request remedy through campus policies and procedures. The College’s ability to respond to an incident is limited when an official report is not filed. In certain instances, including sexual assault by a member of the College faculty or staff or another non-student, the College may need to proceed with an investigation without the consent of the complainant. The College will inform the complainant before beginning an investigation and will take steps to protect the complainant from harm.
Procedures for reporting, instituting interim measure, and conducting an investigation of sexual misconduct:
The College urges an individual who has experienced an act of sexual misconduct to make an official report. Reports can be made to the following individuals:
Title IX Coordinator:
Executive Director of Human Resources & Title IX
Buchheit Administration Building 864-587-4271
Title IX Coordinator is responsible for coordinating College Title IX compliance efforts, including oversight of the implementation and monitoring of Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct policies, education, training and communications, and investigative procedures.
Dean of Administrative and Family Services
Assists the Title IX Coordinator with various Title IX implementation activities that involve faculty, staff and students. She receives reports of sexual harassment, and sexual misconduct. She is a designated Title IX Investigator responsible for investigating complaints of sex discrimination and sexual misconduct. She provides training for other Title IX Investigators.
Women’s Soccer Coach, Student Athletic Retention Officer and Athletic Recruiter
Barrett Learning Center 864-587-4270 or 864-266-0746
Receives reports of sexual discrimination and sexual misconduct and provides information to student athletes and coaches about Title IX to raise awareness about sexual misconduct and its prevention.
Individuals may also report to a member of the Student Development staff or other responsible person. A sexual assault may be reported directly to local law enforcement officers. Campus Police and campus staff are available to assist an individual who experienced a sexual assault with reporting this matter to the local law enforcement authorities.
Complainants will not be disciplined for bringing good faith claims, even if the College is ultimately unable to substantiate the claim.
Confidential Resources: Because the interactions involve sensitive conversations, these resources will not share information with the Title IX Coordinator or any other employee of the College without the individual’s express consent. Confidentiality is limited by reporting requirements under State law when there is imminent risk of serious harm to self or others or when warranted by the nature of the information received. With this understanding, a student desiring confidentiality may seek the support of:
SAFE Home Rape Crisis Coalition
SMC Counseling Center
Burgess Student Center
Other Counselors and Advocates: A complainant may seek assistance from the College nurse or the members of the Counseling Center staff without triggering an investigation by campus officials. While maintaining a complainant’s privacy, these individuals or their offices are required to report the nature, date, time, and general location of an incident to the Title IX coordinator. These individuals will consult with the complainant to ensure that no personally identifying details are shared with the Title IX Coordinator. This offer of privacy is limited by the reporting requirements of State law and the College’s assessment of the nature of the threat—as discussed above.
SMC Health Services
Mon-Thurs 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Fri 7:30 a.m. — 12:30 p.m.
No weekend hours
Other Campus Resources: These resources are available to help students assist students in filing campus and police reports. No student will be pressured to file an official report.
Vice President & Dean of Students
Burgess Student Center
24 Hours per day
Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System
Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System has rape kits available, and staff trained in intake for victims of sexual assault.
SAFE Home Rape Crisis Coalition
800-273-5066 / 864-583-9803
Victim/Witness Assistance Program
Spartanburg County Courthouse
180 Magnolia Street, 3rd Floor Spartanburg, SC 29306
Spartanburg County Solicitor’s Office
Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office
8045 Howard Street
Spartanburg, SC 29303
911 or 864-503-4527
Anonymous Reporting: Campus Conduct Hotline allows anonymous reporting through the use of the toll-free Campus Conduct hotline at 866-943-5787 and is available for the use of faculty, staff and students to report sexual misconduct as well as other violations of college policies and criminal behavior.
Confidentiality and Reporting: The College will, to the best of its ability, respect a request for confidentiality in cases involving Sexual Harassment or Sexual Misconduct. However, confidentiality cannot be guaranteed and situations may arise which require the College to override a request for confidentiality in meeting the requirements of SC state law and federal law requirements to provide an environment that is safe and free from sex discrimination, Sexual Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct. Honoring a request for confidentiality or a request that the College not investigate a complaint may limit the College’s ability to respond to the incident and pursue disciplinary action. As such, such requests cannot always be granted.
Response: A complaint of Sexual Harassment or Sexual Misconduct will be handled promptly. The privacy of all parties will be respected and safeguarded. Information related to a report of Sexual Harassment or Sexual Misconduct will be shared with only those College employees and agents who have a “need to know” in order to assist in an investigation of a complaint. All reported incidents of Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct will be investigated and the appropriate judicial procedures will be initiated if the evidence supports the allegation. Information regarding allegations of sexual violence will be shared only with individuals who are responsible for handling the College’s response to the complaint.
To help ensure a prompt and thorough resolution, complainants are encouraged to provide as much information as possible, including the following:
- The name, department, and position of the person or persons allegedly causing the discrimination, harassment or retaliation.
- A description of any relevant incidents(s), including the date(s), location(s), and any witnesses.
- The alleged effect of the incident(s) on the complainant’s academic standing, educational benefits or opportunities, position of employment, salary, employee benefits, promotional opportunities, or other terms of employment.
- The names of other students or employees who might have been subject to the same or similar discrimination, harassment or retaliation.
- Any other information the complainant believes to be relevant to the alleged discrimination, harassment, or retaliation.
Interim Measures: In order to protect a complaining party from continued discrimination or harassment, prevent its recurrence, address its effects, and prevent retaliation, interim measures can be requested by the parties or imposed by the College. Interim measures can include, but are not limited to, placing an employee on paid or unpaid administrative leave, student suspension, removing a student from campus housing and/or current classes, modifying course schedules, issuing a no-contact order, which typically will include a directive that the parties refrain from having contact with one another, directly or through proxies, whether in person or via electronic means, pending the investigation and any other measure that the College deems necessary.
These interim measures may remain in place even after a finding of “no violation.”
Requests for accommodation should be submitted to the Title IX Coordinator or either Deputy Coordinator.
The investigation of a complaint under this policy will be adequate, reliable, and impartial. One to three investigator(s) will be selected by the Title IX Coordinator to investigate a suspected or alleged violation of this policy. In all cases, the investigation will be conducted by trained members of the College faculty and/or staff.
Initially, the investigator(s) will conduct a preliminary review of the allegations to determine if the allegations indicate a potential violation of this policy. If the investigator(s) concludes that the allegations, even if true, would not constitute a violation of any College policy, the complaint will be dismissed. If the investigator(s) concludes that the allegations, if true, would constitute a violation of another College policy but not this policy, the investigator(s) will refer the matter to the appropriate process. If the investigator(s) concludes that the allegations involve a potential violation of this policy, then the investigator(s) will commence a formal investigation.
The investigator(s) will use a preponderance of the evidence standard to determine if this policy has been violated. Parties to the investigation will be permitted to have a representative of their choice present when they are interviewed, during meetings, or during any other proceeding. Mediation will not be used in matters involving Sexual Misconduct. Both parties will receive adequate and timely notice of any meetings, hearings, etc.
When an investigation commences, the respondent will be notified that a report has been filed within seven (7) business days of when the matter was referred to the investigator(s). The respondent will have an opportunity to review the complaint and to submit a written statement within five (5) business days to the investigator(s) whenever possible. The complainant will be notified simultaneously that a formal investigation will be initiated.
The investigation will be completed in a timely manner. The College will attempt to complete an investigation within sixty (60) days of the filing of a complaint or the date on which the College became aware of a suspected violation of this policy unless unforeseen circumstances occur and cause a delay. The parties to the action will be notified of any delay. Audio or video recording of any proceedings are prohibited by any party other than the College throughout this process. The decision regarding tape recording will rest with the College and will be used only as the College sees necessary. As part of the investigation, the investigator(s) will seek separate interviews with the complainant, the respondent, and any witnesses deemed relevant to the investigation.
An investigation may be briefly delayed pending the completion of evidence gathering by local law enforcement authorities. Parties will be notified about the reasons for any delays.
The investigator(s) will communicate with both the complainant and the respondent and may contact other witnesses. Both the complainant and the respondent will have the opportunity to present evidence and identify potential witnesses. The investigator(s) will conclude the investigation and submit a report of the investigation and recommend a determination of “Violation” or “No Violation,” as well as recommend corrective actions and remedies appropriate to the determination. Both parties to a complaint will have the opportunity to review and respond to the investigation report before it is submitted to the final decision-maker. Both parties will be granted five (5) business days to review and respond to the report in writing.
The investigation report is submitted to the Title IX Coordinator and to the assigned decision-maker for a final decision of determination “Violation” or “No Violation,” and determination of sanctions. One of the following normally will be assigned as the decision-maker: Provost & Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs; Vice President for Student Development & Dean of Students; Vice President for Operations; Athletic Director. At their individual discretion, the decision-maker may contact the investigator(s) or parties to the complaint with follow-up or clarification questions prior to reaching a final decision on violation and appropriate sanctions. The investigator(s) recommendations on sanctions and the final decision on sanctions may consider the following: severity of the respondent’s conduct; the respondent’s conduct history; whether the conduct involved a single incident or repeated acts; and/or any mitigating or aggravating circumstances with respect to either party. The Title IX Coordinator has the discretion to request follow-up or clarification.
Appropriate, corrective actions/remedies by the College will seek to eliminate the misconduct, prevent recurrence of the violation, and address the effects of the violation.
Within seven (7) business days of the delivery of the investigation report to the Title IX Coordinator and the final sanction decision-maker, both the complainant and the respondent will be informed in writing of the outcome of the investigation. The letter will state the ruling of “Violation” or “No Violation” of the policy and any corrective actions/remedies that will be put into place. Both parties will be reminded of their rights to appeal (see below).
Sanctions and Corrective Actions: Sanctions and corrective actions will be based on the severity of the offense and will follow the disciplinary procedures that are incorporated in College policies and procedures for each constituency.
For students who are found responsible for violating the sexual misconduct policy, sanctions may include, but are not limited to one or more of the following:
- Incident report/reprimand
- Community service
- Corrective assignment
- Disciplinary probation or suspension
- Mandatory counseling
- No Contact Order
- Dismissal from the College
A monetary fine and disciplinary points may be assessed in addition to other sanctions. See the Student Handbook for more information about sanctions and corrective actions.
Faculty and Staff:
College employees who are found responsible for violating the sexual misconduct policy may face disciplinary action deemed appropriate by the College based on the severity of the offense including the following:
- Oral warning
- First written warning
- Subsequent written warnings
- Required counseling
- Suspension or termination
- Removal from campus and no trespass orders
- And other punishment that is deemed necessary in light of the behavior
Visitors and other third parties: Third parties will be subject to corrective action deemed appropriate by the College based on the severity of the offense and may include oral warning, written warning, removal from the campus, issuance of no trespass orders and termination of any applicable contractual or other arrangements.
Sanctions and disciplinary actions will be imposed immediately unless the final decision-maker in consultation with the Title IX Coordinator stays the implementation in extraordinary circumstances, pending the outcome of an appeal.
Appeals: Appeals must be requested in writing within seven (7) business days of a receipt of a written outcome of an investigation.
Either party may appeal the decision of the investigation to the Title IX Coordinator.
Appeals may be based on:
- Relevant new information sufficient to alter a decision or other relevant facts not known at the time of the original investigation.
- Allegations of procedural errors of sufficient gravity to have altered the finding or sanctions decision.
- Contention that the sanction is inappropriate to the severity of the violation.
Disagreement with the findings of the hearing is not sufficient grounds for appeal.
The Title IX Coordinator will appoint one administrator who was not involved in the investigation process to review and decide the appeal. The Title IX Coordinator may also serve as the appeal administrator.
The appeal administrator will initially review the submitted appeal and determine whether viable grounds for an appeal exist. If no viable grounds exist, the appeal will be dismissed. The appeal administrator will render a decision within in seven (7) business days.
If viable grounds for an appeal exist, the appeal administrator will review the appeal submission and the investigation file including the investigation report and determine the appropriate course of action. In his/her sole discretion, the appeal administrator may:
- Rule on the appeal and submit a written final decision to both parties.
- Return the appeal to the investigation panel for consideration of additional information.
- Request that the Title IX Coordinator appoint a new investigation team to review the matter.
The decision of the appeal administrator is final and cannot be appealed. In the event that the matter is referred to a new investigation team, the decision of that investigation team will become the final decision in the matter and cannot be appealed.
Rights of Complainants and Respondents in Sexual Misconduct Matters: Complainants and respondents shall be entitled to the following in connection with any investigation, or other proceeding used to reach a decision regarding whether any violation of this policy has occurred, or any appeal of a determination of violation or sanction:
- To be informed of and have access to campus resources for medical, counseling, and advisory services.
- To be informed in writing of any charge or charges against the respondent and of the time/date/location of a hearing at least 72 hours before the beginning of a formal investigation. The formal statement of charges must state the nature, time, and place of the alleged sexual misconduct.
- To object to an investigator or decision-maker based on perceived or actual conflict of interest.
- The opportunity/right to speak on one’s own behalf.
- To be accompanied by an advisor or support person who may take notes and advise the complainant but otherwise not participate.
- To present witnesses who can speak about the alleged conduct at issue.
- To submit question to be asked of the other party and to witnesses.
- To present other evidence on one’s own behalf that will be heard and/or considered by the investigator(s) at their discretion.
- To be informed if the investigation is delayed for any reason.
- To review and respond to the investigation report before it is submitted to the final decision-maker.
- To be informed of the outcome of the investigation.
- And to be informed of the right to appeal the outcome of the investigation.
- At no point during the investigation or decision-making process will the parties to a complaint be required to meet in person.
Inappropriate behavior should be reported immediately to appropriate College officials. These officials include the Vice Presidents of the College, the Dean of Students, the Chief of Campus Police, the Director of Student Conduct and Ethics, and the Executive Director of Human Resources and Title IX or Deputy Coordinator.
The completed case file including the complaint, report of investigation, documentation and final decision are maintained in the office of the Executive Director of Human Resources and Title IX.
Section 2. Discrimination and Non-Gender/Non-Sexual Harassment
Non-Gender/Non-Sexual Harassment includes derogatory comments about a person’s race, ethnic heritage, religious beliefs, age, veteran status or disability; the display of objects, pictures, or printed material degrading members of a particular racial, ethnic, religious, or age group;
Procedures for Reporting Allegations of Discrimination and non-Gender/Non-Sexual Harassment:
- Employees or students who believe that they have been discriminated against based on a protected characteristic or harassed based on a protected characteristic (excluding gender and/or sex) should:
- Tell the offending person that the behavior is considered offensive.
- Ask the offending person to stop the offensive behavior.
- If the offensive behavior does not cease, or if for any reason the student or employee does not feel comfortable confronting the offender, or if the individual believes that further action is needed, the individual should contact anyone of the following:
- Their immediate supervisor
- Their department head
- Provost & Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs & Student Development, Dr. Mark Gibbs, Ellis Hall, 864-587-4218
- Executive Vice President for Business Affairs, Mr. Eric McDonald, Buchheit Administration Building, 864-587-4200 (or any other Vice President)
- Executive Director of Human Resources and Title IX, Ms. Jenny Dunn, Buchheit Administration Building, 864-587-427l
- Dean of Students, Ms. Teresa Ferguson, Burgess Student Center, 864-587-4002
Persons who receive complaints concerning discrimination or non-gender/non-sexual harassment should advise the Executive Director of Human Resources and Title IX who will initiate appropriate procedures.
Official Grievance: In cases of non-gender/non-sexual discrimination and harassment may be filed using the procedures in Section III-K.
Informal Resolution of Allegations of Discrimination and Non-Gender/Non-Sexual Harassment: In some situations an informal resolution or resolution through mediation may be appropriate. Mediation is not an option for resolution in cases involving allegations of Sexual Misconduct. Mediation will be pursued only with the written consent of both parties. If the mediation results in a resolution, the case will be closed. If these efforts are not successful, a formal investigation may commence. A written response to both parties in the complaint must be issued within 60 days. Any agreement reached during the informal resolution process must be approved by the Executive Director of Human Resources and Title IX and/or appropriate final decision maker.
Changes to the Title IX, Sexual Misconduct Policy: This policy is subject to frequent review. Any changes to the policy will go into effect immediately. The revised policy will be published on the SMC website.