Title IX and Sexual Misconduct Resources and Reporting Information

Title IX Coordinator
Steven Winger, Vice President for Operations, Finance and Human Resource Representative

Title IX Training

Title IX Training Materials



Divine Word College is a Catholic college seminary that reflects the values and heritage of the Society of the Divine Word. The College is committed to creating and maintaining a safe and respectful environment for all of its students, employees and visitors. All forms of harassment and sexual misconduct by members of the Divine Word College community will not be tolerated. This policy refers not only to a supervisor’s actions with subordinates, or to a professor’s/professional staff’s actions with students, but also applies to actions between co-workers, co-students, and others with whom students and workers interact during the course of their education or employment at Divine Word College. Disciplinary sanctions will be taken up to and including termination of College employees and expulsion of students. Divine Word College strives to provide equal employment opportunity, equal educational opportunity, nondiscrimination in programs/services and use of facilities, and an affirmative action program.

5.02.01 Harassment. Harassment consists of unwelcome conduct, whether verbal, physical, or visual, that is based on a person’s protected status, such as sex, color, race, religion, national origin, age, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or other protected group status. The College will not tolerate harassing behavior that affects tangible job benefits, that interferes unreasonably with an individual’s work performance, or that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or educational environment for members of the Divine Word College community. Harassment is not always intentional, and does not have to be intentional to be illegal. It is the behavior that counts, not the identity of the participants. A person can feel harassed even if he or she is not the intended target of the behavior. While not all harassing behavior meets the standard of illegal conduct, any workplace harassment is inappropriate and will not be tolerated. Someone who feels harassed or is aware of incidents of harassment at Divine Word College, has a right and a responsibility to communicate and address the situation.

5.02.02 Sexual Harassment is defined under this policy as severe, persistent or pervasive and objectively offensive unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct or communication of a sexual nature that limits or denies a person’s ability to participate in or benefit from the College’s education programs or activities, or creates a hostile working environment when:

• Submission to, or rejection of, the conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or education;

• The conduct has the effect of unreasonably interfering with a person’s work, professional or educational performance, productivity, physical security, participation in living arrangements, extracurricular activities, academic or career opportunities, services or benefits – or of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive learning or work environment. Examples of sex discrimination and sexual misconduct may include, but are not limited to the following examples of unwelcome acts:

• Verbal: Insults, threats, jokes or derogatory comments based on gender; sexual innuendo or suggestive comments; sexual propositions or advances; pressure for sexual favors; corruption of a minor; importuning or public indecency.

• Nonverbal: Posting of sexually suggestive or derogatory pictures, cartoons or drawings; making suggestive or insulting noises, leering, or whistling; making obscene gestures; corruption of a minor; importuning; voyeurism or public indecency.

• Physical: Touching, pinching, squeezing, patting or brushing against the body; impeding or blocking normal work or movement; coercing sexual intercourse or assault, rape or sexual battery; sodomy or assault with an object; corruption of a minor; importuning; public indecency; felonious penetration including oral penetration, penetration with a body part, or penetration with an object no matter how slight; or prostitution.

• Social Media: Posting sexually explicit photos or harassing comments on social media sites. 5.02.03 Sexual Abuse. Iowa law, Code 709.1 (1992), defines sexual abuse as any sexual act between any persons including non-consensual sexual intercourse (rape); non-consensual sexual contact (sexual assault and sexual exploitation) by either one when the act is performed with the other participant in any of the following circumstances:

• The act is done by force or against the will of the other. If the consent or acquaintance of the other is procured by threats of violence toward any person or if the act is done while the other is under the influence of a drug-induced sleep, or is otherwise in a state of unconsciousness or the act is done against the will of the other.

• When the victim is incapable of giving consent because he or she suffers from a mental defect or incapacity or lacks the mental capacity to know the right and wrong of conduct in sexual matters.

• The other person is a child (under age 18 and not married).

Sex Act. Iowa law defines “sex act” as follows: The term sex act means any sexual contact between two or more persons by penetration of the penis into the vagina or anus; contact between the mouth and genitalia or by contact between the genitalia of one person and the genitalia or anus of another person; contact between the finger or hand of one person and the genitalia or anus of another person, . . . or by use of artificial sexual organs or substitutes therefore in contact with the genitalia or anus. Iowa Code 701.17 (1992)

Consent is informed, through mutually understandable words, which indicate a willingness to participate in mutually agreed upon sexual activity. At any time during consensual sexual activity, a person may refuse to continue further with any sexual activity. From the point of refusal; previous consent is rendered invalid.

5.02.04 Stalking. Divine Word College is determined to provide an atmosphere free of violence for all members of the college community. The college does not tolerate stalking, and will hold students or employees who engage in stalking behaviors accountable and will report them to local authorities. Victims of stalking have the right to learn the outcome of their case, including any recommended sanctions against the accused. The College is committed to supporting victims of stalking through the College counselor who can assist with referrals to community-support services. This policy applies to all members of the College community. The College defines stalking as a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear/significant emotional distress. Stalking behaviors may include but are not limited to:

• Non-consensual communication including in-person communication, telephone calls, voice messages, text messages, email, social networking site postings, instant messages, postings of pictures or information on websites, written letters, gifts or any other communications that are undesired and/or place another person in fear

• Following, pursuing, waiting or showing up uninvited at a workplace, place of residence, classroom or other locations frequented by a victim

• Surveillance and other types of observation, whether by physical proximity or electronic means

• Trespassing

• Vandalism

• Non-consensual touching

• Direct physical and/or verbal threats against a victim or a victim’s loved ones

• Gathering information about a victim from family, friends, coworkers and/or classmates

• Manipulative and/or controlling behaviors such as threats to harm oneself or threats to harm someone close to the victim, defamation or slander against the victim.

5.02.05 Dating Violence. Dating violence is defined as the intentional use of physical, sexual, verbal, or emotional abuse by a person to threaten, harm, intimidate, or control another person in a dating relationship. Violent behavior is unacceptable in the College community and should be reported.

5.02.06 Domestic Violence. Domestic violence is defined as felony or misdemeanor behavior with a current or former spouse, domestic or intimate partner, someone who shares custody of a child, someone who cohabitates, or someone who is situated as a spouse. (Section 4002(a) of the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (42 U.S.C. 13925(a).) (Roommates are not considered a domestic relationship unless they are involved in a relationship defined as domestic above.) Violent behavior is unacceptable in the College community and should be reported.

5.02.07 Protection and Safety Tips.

• Educate yourself about the realities of sexual assault. Knowledge can be a powerful tool in abuse prevention.

• Argue against dangerous gender roles and stereotypes that can lead to and perpetuate sexual violence.

• Trust your instincts. Pay attention and listen to your “inner voice” that tells you when something is wrong or feels unsafe.

• Communicate physical and sexual boundaries clearly and assertively. Your body belongs to you. You never lose the right to say “no” and can withdraw your consent in a sexual situation at any time.

• Be cautious when choosing to use alcohol or drugs, as they can increase the risk of sexual violence.

• Stay in well-lit areas when walking at night. Walking alone is not recommended. If a person must walk alone then he/she should let someone at the destination know when to expect him/her.

• Locks to cars and living areas should be in working order and always used.

• Be aware if someone suspicious is in the residence hall or walking around outside, call the Dean of Students or another College officer.

• Know that sexual assault is never the victim’s fault, regardless of the situation they were in.

5.02.08 Reporting Sexual Assault. Anyone who believes he/she is the victim of sexual abuse at Divine Word College should immediately contact the Dubuque County Sheriff at 911 and the President of the College or appropriate administrator. Sexual assault may be reported to the College Counselor, who will maintain strict confidentiality unless the student or employee releases the information to other authorities.

• The victim has the right to choose to remain anonymous or keep a report confidential when reporting an incident.

• Do not wash, douche, shower or launder your clothes after an assault, as such could result in destroying evidence.

• Report to a hospital emergency room as soon as possible for treatment and evaluation.

• Cooperate with police and College officials who will contact you for information to proceed with the case.

• Contact the College Counselor to receive assistance and access to counseling resources from a trained advocate. Victims of sexual abuse are referred to the Riverview Center in Dubuque, Iowa (563-557-0310) or the nearest Emergency Room at Finley Hospital (563-582-1881) or MercyOne Hospital (563-589-9666).

• In compliance with Title IX Law, a person accused of assault while residing at the College may be relocated or may be asked to leave the College pending investigation of the complaint as all students have the right to housing free of sexual or physical intimidation,

• If allegations of sexual assault are, through investigation, demonstrated, appropriate action for the complaint will be taken up to expulsion or termination of employment (title VII, Pub. L. 88- 352, 78 Stat.253 (42 U.S. C 2000e et sez.)

• The College has a number of Campus Security Authorities (CSAs). These individuals, by law, must report any incident for the College to be in compliance with the Jeanne Cleary Act. Mandatory reporters include but are not limited to the President, Dean of Students, Vice President for Operations and Finance, Vice President for Academic Affairs, and the Rector of the SVD religious community.

5.02.09 Retaliation. It is prohibited to retaliate against anyone reporting or thought to have reported sex discrimination/sexual misconduct behaviors or who is a witness or otherwise is involved in sex discrimination/sexual misconduct proceeding. Such retaliation is a serious violation of the policy and will be investigated as an independent act of sex discrimination. Encouraging others to retaliate also violates this policy. Examples of retaliation include, but are not limited to:

• Unfair grading, evaluation or assignments

• Unfair changes to conditions of employment

• Information being withheld or made difficult to obtain

• Ridicule (public or private)

• Oral or written threats or bribes

The fact that someone did not intend to sexually harass an individual is not necessarily a defense to a complaint of sex discrimination. Regardless of intent, it is the duration, effect and characteristics of the behavior that determine whether the behavior constitutes sex discrimination. Harassing conduct may be disciplined even if the complaining person is not the intended target of the conduct. This policy covers all members of, and visitors to, Divine Word College and those otherwise associated with the College including but not limited to: administrators, faculty, staff (administrative, professional and hourly), students, vendors, contractors, and volunteers.

5.02.10 Security Awareness. Divine Word College safety and security policies are reviewed with all students during the orientation period when school begins in the fall and with new students arriving for the spring semester. Policies are also reviewed with new employees. All College policies are available in the Student and Divine Word College Policy Handbook. General information about sexual harassment and abuse are available in the College Counselor’s Office. Information is also disseminated on area workshops regarding safety, security and sexual abuse.

5.02.11 Formal Complaint and Reporting Procedures. It is the College’s intent to investigate all complaints in accordance with the procedures identified in this policy. Complaints that may be addressed under this policy include complaints based on the conduct of students, faculty and staff members, and other persons acting in College capacities. To the fullest extent practicable, the College will keep complaints and the terms of their resolution confidential. Reporting. Individuals who believe they have been harassed or discriminated against and wish to file a formal complaint should address their concerns to the appropriate administrative official at the College as set forth below.

• A Faculty Member reports to the Vice President for Academic Affairs

• A Staff Member reports to the Human Resource representative

• A Student reports to the Dean of Students

• A Vice President reports to the President

If the complainant feels uncomfortable going to their appropriate administrator above, or the appropriate administrator is the subject of the harassment or discrimination allegations, the complainant should direct the complaint to one of the other appropriate administrators.

Official allegations of harassment or discrimination are to be made in writing to the appropriate administrator as soon as possible and not later than thirty (30) calendar days from the date of the alleged harassing or discriminatory event. The complaint must include the following information: 1) name, address and telephone number of the complainant; 2) the nature of the complaint; 3) date(s) and location(s) of the alleged occurrence(s); 4) evidence on which the complaint is based; and 5) and the redress sought by the complainant.

Supervision. In extreme cases where the safety of individuals, the protection of property, or the continuity of the educational process may be in danger, the appropriate administrator, in consultation with the President, can decree the immediate suspension of an individual or individuals. In these cases, the individual must respond to the charges within 72 hours of notification, or waive his/her right to further appeals process.

Investigation. The appropriate administrator will have twenty (20) calendar days in which to conduct an investigation of the complaint. The appropriate administrator may act as investigator or may arrange for another individual to act as the investigator in the matter. The purpose of the investigation is to establish (1) whether there is reasonable basis for believing the alleger and a violation of the policy has occurred, and (2) the factual circumstances surrounding the claim.

At the present time Divine Word College does not have a trained investigator on staff so a trained person with expertise will be contracted from an area organization in the Dubuque area to investigate and conduct hearings in a manner that “protects the safety of victims” and “promotes” accountability.

The investigator will interview the complainant, the person against whom the complaint is made, and may interview any other persons believed to have pertinent factual knowledge. A copy of the College’s anti-harassment policy and complaint procedure will be provided to both complainant and accused. At all times, the investigator will take steps to maintain strict confidentiality to the fullest extent practicable. The parties and any notified administrator of the College or supervisor will maintain strict confidentiality as well.

The investigation will afford the person against whom the complaint is made an opportunity to respond to the allegations of the complaint. The investigator will be in communication with the complainant until the complaint is resolved. The complainant will be informed of general actions taken but will not be informed of specific conversations held with the person against whom the complaint is made.

Both the complainant and the accused have the same right to have an advocate present during the interviews. This would be a person of the student or employee’s choosing.

The standard of evidence used by the investigator is preponderance of evidence standard of proof. This means that the College resolves complaints based on what they believe is more likely than not to have happened.

Determination of Facts. Upon the expiration of the twenty (20) calendar day period the investigator will have an additional ten (10) calendar days to produce a written report summarizing the findings of fact. This report will be provided to the appropriate administrator of the College or supervisor and to the Title IX Coordinator, currently the Vice President for Operations and Finance. The Title IX Coordinator will review the report within ten (10) days and determine appropriate sanctions if any. Both parties involved will then be notified concerning the determination of facts and any sanctions imposed.

Sanctions. Sanctions may include, but are not limited to, written reprimand of the person against whom the complaint is made, suspension or dismissal of the person against whom the complaint is made, a change of grade or other academic record, a change of course section, a change of reporting line for an employee, or any other appropriate sanction(s) under the circumstances. If sanctions are imposed this report will become part of the personnel file of the individual against whom the complaint is made.

5.02.12 Appeals. If either part disputes the findings or is dissatisfied with the sanctions, they may appeal by filing a written appeal with the President of the College within fifteen (15) calendar days of notification of the findings. The President of the College will review the record of the matter and will reach a final determination as to any action to be taken within ten (10) calendar days of receipt of the appeal.

The determination of the President in the appeal is final.

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