Maryville College Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Policy

Maryville College is committed to providing all individuals with an environment free of sexual harassment and misconduct. Maryville College prohibits all forms of sexual discrimination including, but not limited to dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, sex-based intimidation and/or harassment, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, sexual violence, and stalking. Instances of sexual discrimination, in any form, will not be tolerated. Should such issues arise, the college has policies and procedures in place to handle these situations thoroughly, effectively, and in a timely manner. These policies are not and should not be construed to be a replacement or alternative for the criminal justice system. Rather, they provide avenues through which the campus community may work to create a better environment.

The College will:

  • Respond to and investigate every reported complaint in a timely manner
  • Provide involved parties with appropriate resources such as a connection to legal, mental and physical health care providers as well as campus policies on sexual harassment and/or sexual misconduct
  • Provide remedies when misconduct is discovered
  • Impose sanctions in a case-by-case manner
  • Protect the privacy of all those involved to the extent it is possible and where protecting that privacy does not put the individual or others at risk

Maryville College is committed to addressing all forms of sexual misconduct though enacting preventative measures, educating the campus community and the establishment of thorough grievance procedures. Maryville College employees at all levels are responsible for taking reasonable and necessary action to prevent, address and respond to sexual misconduct as permissible by their professional guidelines, which are based on the capacity in which they were hired by the College. For example, those hired as mental health counselors may be exempt from reporting instances of sexual assault if the individual does not pose a threat to themselves or he campus community. However, a faculty member who may hold a degree in counseling would still be required to report as he/she was hired by the College in the capacity of faculty rather than a mental health counselor.

 

Confidentiality Policy

If you are a victim or are aware of an instance of sexual misconduct, we highly encourage you to report. We have resources to offer and may be able to help. There are several options for reporting with different levels of confidentiality. We will make every effort to keep the report as private as you wish.

Certain employees can maintain complete confidentiality (unless there is a concern for your safety or the safety of others) and are not required to share the details of the incident with anyone else. Other employees are required to share certain details of your report with specific professional staff on campus. Likewise, in certain situations the College has Federal reporting requirements. In these cases your information will be shared with as few people as possible and every effort will be made to maintain your privacy.

If you are unsure of a staff or faculty member’s reporting requirement, please ask. This policy is intended to make individuals aware of the various reporting and confidential disclosure options available so that individuals can make informed choices about where to turn should they become a victim of, or are aware of sexual misconduct.

All individuals involved in an investigation or adjudication will be informed of the importance of confidentiality and asked to sign a confidentiality statement.

Options for Assistance

Assistance immediately after an incident of sexual misconduct.  If you or someone you know is a victim of sexual assault, the following procedures are encouraged:

  1. Go to a safe place.
  2. Call someone whom you trust and/or
  3. Please consider seeing a medical professional. There are many benefits from doing so. Seek medical care at an emergency room or hospital of your choice. It is important to have a medical exam to check for physical injuries and disease, to dispense pregnancy information and prophylaxis if necessary, and to collect evidence should you decide to prosecute. If you are planning on filing a criminal complaint, the medical exam must be done within 72 hours of the assault. You may have the exam and then decide not to prosecute. It may be helpful to ask for someone you trust, or a Maryville College staff member go with you.
  4. If you want to prosecute there are steps you can take to help preserve evidence. You should avoid changing clothes, bathing, douching, urinating or defecating before arriving to the ER. Urine samples will be necessary to test for any date rape drugs. Do bring extra clothes with you, as clothing may be held as evidence.

We encourage you to report any instance of sexual misconduct to campus personnel so we may provide you with support, assistance, and resources. Campus personnel can also assist you in contacting other resources both on and off campus.

The College will also offer remedies and /or accommodations for individuals reporting issues of sexual misconduct. No formal complaint or investigation, campus or criminal, need occur before these options are available.

The College will:

  • Inform the complainant of and, offer to assist in accessing available resources both on and off campus such as mental health counseling, physical health care providers, and legal assistance and victim advocacy services.
  • Inform the complainant of the right to report to local law enforcement and provide assistance if the complainant so wishes.
  • Offer other security and support services:
    • Issuing a campus no-contact order against another student who has engaged in or threatens to engage in sexual misconduct, stalking, threatening harassing or other improper behavior that presents a danger to the welfare of the complaining student or others;
    • Arranging a change of living, working arrangements or academic accommodations so the complainant need not face the accused. Academic accommodations will vary based on the situation and class, but may include things such as assignment rescheduling, taking an incomplete in a class, transferring class sections, temporary withdrawal, alternative course completion options, etc.

Ongoing Assistance

You may have needs for ongoing support and many questions in the days and weeks following an instance of sexual misconduct. Maryville College encourages you to utilize the following resources. These resources are available to you whether or not you choose to make an official report or participate in an institutional disciplinary and/or criminal process.

  1. Counseling and Advocacy Services
    1. On-Campus: Bruce Holt, Director of Counseling
    2. On Campus: Anne McKee, Campus Chaplain
    3. On-Campus: Sexual Grievance Advisors
  • Advisors are trained in rules of confidentiality, and each party involved in a case will be informed about the need to maintain confidentiality. The advisor will explain the available options and will help you understand your rights as a complainant.
  • A person accused of sexual assault should also seek the assistance of a sexual grievance advisor. The advisor will describe the grievance process, will inform the accused of his/her rights, and will assist the accused person in preparing a written response to a formal complaint, should a formal complaint be made.
  • It is important to remember that you do not have to go through the grievance process alone. Sexual grievance advisors are available to assist you. To contact a sexual grievance advisor, first select the advisor whom you would like to see and then telephone that person for an appointment or stop by his/her office. The Sexual Grievance Advisors are:
    1. Off-Campus: Sexual Assault Center of East Tennessee, 865-522-7273
  1. Health Care Providers
    1. On-Campus: Kaye Howell, College Nurse, 865-981-8716
    2. Off Campus: Blount Memorial Hospital, 1-800-448-0219 
  1. Maryville College Title IX Coordinator: Allison Norris, 865-981-8215
  • The Title IX Coordinator is trained in issues of sexual misconduct and can connect you to resources, answer questions and offer other forms of assistance as appropriate. The Title IX Coordinator can help provide ongoing support with an institutional disciplinary process or a criminal process.

Title IX Coordinator

The Title IX Coordinator for Maryville College is Allison Norris, Assistant Dean of Students. She can be reached at Allison.norris@maryvillecollege.edu or 865-981-8215. To reach her after hours or in an emergency, please contact Campus Safety and Security at 865-981-8112.

 The Deputy Title IX Coordinators support the Title IX Coordinator, Keni Lanagan, Director of Human Resources, 865-981-8308, keni.lanagan@maryvillecollege.edu; and CJ Fayton, Associate Athletic Director, cj.fayton@maryvillecollege.edu

The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for the following:

  • Oversight and implementation of the Sexual Misconduct policy including investigation and adjudication procedures.
  • Ensure all members of the investigation and adjudication teams for sexual misconduct are trained in issues specific to sexual misconduct.
  • Educate the campus community on reporting requirements for sex based offenses including when and how to report instances of sexual misconduct.
  • Coordinate training for the campus community (students and employees) on issues of sexual misconduct.

Definitions

There are many terms used in the issues of sexual misconduct. The following will provide some common definitions and examples.

  • Accused: The alleged perpetrator of any form of sexual misconduct.
  • Awareness Programs: Community-wide or audience-specific programming, initiatives, and strategies that increase audience knowledge and share information and resources to prevent violence, promote safety, and reduce perpetration.
  • Bystander Intervention: Same and positive options that may be carried out by an individual or individuals to prevent harm or intervene when there is a risk of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. Bystander intervention includes recognizing situations of potential harm, understanding institutional structures and cultural conditions that facilitate violence, overcoming barriers to intervening, identifying safe and effective intervention options, and taking action to intervene.
  • Coercion: Coercion is unreasonable pressure for sexual activity.
  • Complainant: The alleged victim or individual reporting the issue of sexual misconduct.
  • Consent: Consent is the active giving of permission to engage in sexual activity. Consent is clear, knowing and voluntary. Consent is given with a sober verbal yes. Silence should not be interpreted as consent. Absence of protest is not consent. Previous history does not imply consent for future activity. Likewise, consent to one activity does not imply consent to another.       Consent to engage in sexual activity with one person does not imply consent to engage in sexual activity with another. Consent can be withdrawn at any time. Consent cannot be given under pressure, force, threats, intimidation, coercion or while incapacitated due to the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. In order to give consent one must be of legal age and in incapacitate mentally or physically. Lack of consent occur when:
  1. A person is forced to submit.
  2. The person does not expressively or implicitly agree with a sober verbal yes with the accused person’s conduct under circumstances other than forcible compulsion or incapacity to consent.
  3. A person is deemed to be incapable of consenting if he/she is less than 16 years old, is mentally challenged, suffers from mental illness, or is physically helpless or is totally incapacitated.
  4. A person is rendered temporarily incapable of appraising or controlling his/her conduct as a result of a controlled or intoxicating substance administered to him/her with or without consent or knowledge.
  5. A person is unable to consent when he/she is unconscious, or for any other reason is physically unable to communicate unwillingness to act.
  • Dating Violence: According to 42 USCS § 13925 (8), the term dating violence means “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. (iii) The frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
  • For the purposes of this definition:
    1. Dating violence includes, but is not limited to sexual and/or physical abuse of the threat of such abuse.
    2. Dating violence does not include acts covered under the definition of domestic violence.
    • For purposes of complying with the requirement of this section, any incident meeting this definition is considered a crime for the purposes of the Clery Act reporting.
  • Domestic Violence:      
    • Domestic assault in Tennessee is an assault against a victim who is a family or household member including:
  1. a current or former spouse of the offender
  2. person with whom the offender resides or previously resided
  3. person who the offender is dating or previously dated or someone with whom the offender has or previously had a sexual relationship
  4. someone with whom the offender is related by blood or adoption
  5. a person with whom the offender is or was related by marriage, and
  6. an adult or minor child of the offender or a family or household member. (Tenn. Code Ann. §36-3-601, §39-13-11.)
    • For purposes of complying with the requirements of this section, any incident meeting this definition is considered a crime for the purposes of Clery Act reporting.
    • Federal Definition of Domestic Violence:
      1. A felony or misdemeanor crime of violence committed-
      2. By a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim
      3. By a person with whom the victim shares a child in common
      4. By a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or a partner
      5. By a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred, or
      6. 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 in which the crime of violence occurred.
  • Force: The use of physical violence and/or imposing on someone physically to gain sexual access. Force includes threats, intimidation (implied threats) and coercion that overcome resistance or produce consent. The presence of force is not demonstrated by the absence of resistance. Sexual activity that is forced is by definition non-consensual, but non-consensual sexual activity is not by definition forced.
  • Incapacitation: Incapacitation is the state where an individual cannot make a rational or reasonable decision because he/she lacks the ability or information to understand the sexual interaction to the fullest extent. Incapacitation can result from mental or physical disabilities, drug or alcohol use, physical restraints, “date-rape” drugs, or anything that affects the individual’s ability to make a clear and informed decision. Incapacitation occurs anytime sexual activity takes place where the alleged victim does not understand the “who, what, when, where, why and how.”
  • Intimidation: Intimidation is the act of using correction, instilling fear or making threats to include submission, compliance or acquiescence from another.
  • Non-Consensual Sexual Contact: Non-consensual sexual contact is any intentional sexual touching, however slight with any object, by a man or a woman upon a man or woman that is without consent and/or by force.
  • Ongoing Prevention and Awareness Campaigns: Programming, initiatives, and strategies that are sustained over time and focus on increasing understanding of topics relevant to and sills for addressing dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking, using a range of strategies with audiences throughout the institution.
  • Primary Prevention Programs: Programming, initiatives, and strategies informed by research or assed for value, effectiveness, or outcome that are intended to stop dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking before they occur through the promotion of positive and healthy behaviors that foster healthy, mutually respectful relationships and sexually, encourage safe bystander intervention, and seek to change behavior and social norms in healthy and safe directions.
  • Proceeding: All activities related to a non-criminal resolution of an institutional disciplinary complaint, including, but not limited to, fact-finding investigations, formal or informal meetings, and hearings. Proceedings do not include communications and meetings between officials and victims concerning accommodations or protective measures to be provided to the victim.
  • Rape: The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.  
  • Result: Any initial, interim, and final decisions by any official or entity authorized to resolved disciplinary matters with the institution. The result must include any sanction imposed by the institution. Notwithstanding section 44 of the General Education Provisions Act (20 U.S.C. 1232g0, commonly referred to as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the result must also include the rationale for the results and sanctions.
  • Retaliation: Retaliation occurs when an individual seeks a form of revenge against another for a perceived wrong.
  • Risk Reduction: Options designed to decrease perpetration and bystander inaction, and to increase empowerment for victims in order to promote safety and to help individuals and communities address conditions that facilitate violence.
  • Sex Discrimination/Sexual Misconduct: Sex discrimination and sexual misconduct occurs anytime a person’s sex becomes a factor or basis in treating them unfairly. Sex discrimination may also occur when an individual is treated unfairly due to her/his connection with a group or organization that is typically associated with certain sex. Sex discrimination includes behaviors such as sexual assault, sexual harassment, any non-consensual behavior of a sexual nature, domestic or dating violence, and stalking. Such behaviors could be committed by force, intimidation or use of a victim’s incapacity (physical, mental, or through the use of drugs or alcohol).
  • Sexual Assault: Sexual assault is defined as sexual intercourse or sexual contact with another person by forcible compulsion and/or without consent. Forcible compulsion may be committed by means such as physical power, coercion, or incapacitation. Acts of sexual assault include rape, oral, and/or anal intercourse, and other sexual acts not involving intercourse to which participants are not both consenting.
  • Sexual Contact: Sexual contact includes intentional contact with the breasts, buttocks, groin, or genitals, or touching another with any of these body parts, or making another person touch you or themselves with or on any of these body parts; any intentional bodily contact in a sexual manner, though not involving contact with/of/by breasts, buttocks, groin, genitals, mouth or other orifice.
  • Sexual Exploitation: Sexual exploitation occurs when a student takes non-consensual 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. Examples of sexual exploitation include:
    • Invasion of sexual privacy
    • Nonconsensual video or audio-taping of sexual activity
    • Going beyond the boundaries of consent (such as letting friends view you having consensual sex without the other party knowing)
    • Sexually based stalking and/or bullying
    • Engaging in voyeurism
    • Knowingly transmitting a STI or HIV to another person
  • Sexual Harassment: Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
    1. Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or educational experience.
    2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or educational decisions affecting such individual. This can also include retaliating against the victim by the accused or by friends of the accused or others who are sympathetic to the accused. In addition, retaliation director toward a third party due to their participation in a grievance process of for supporting a grievance may be retaliatory harassment.
    3. Such conduct is sufficiently severe, pervasive and persistent so as to alter the conditions of, or have the effect of substantially interfering with, an individual’s educational opportunity by creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment.

Types of Sexual Harassment include:

  1. Quid Pro Quo: Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or education experience.
  2. Retaliatory: Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or education decisions affecting such individual. The can also include retaliating against the victim by the accused or by friends of the accused or others who are sympathetic of the accused. In addition, retaliation directed toward a third party due to their participation in a grievance process or for supporting a complainant may be retaliatory harassment.
  3. Hostile Environment: Such conduct is sufficiently severe, pervasive and persistent so as to alter the conditions of, or have the effect of substantially interfering with, an individual’s educations opportunity by creating an intimidating, hostile, or offense environment.
  • Stalking: Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to:
    1. Fear for the person’s safety or the safety of others; or
    2. Suffer substantial emotional distress.

For the purposes of this definition:

  1. Course of conduct means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts 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.
  2. Substantial emotional distress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or professional treatment or counseling.
  3. Reasonable persons mean a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the victim.
    • Tennessee Stalking Laws: Stalking laws came about in the 1990s. Initially stalking laws were written in response to behavior committed against the famous. Now, however, they apply to everyone. Stalking is defined by Tennessee law as willful conduct involving repeated harassment of someone that causes them to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed or molested. Typically stalking is charged as a Class A misdemeanor and is punishable by up to 1 year in jail and fines up to $2,500. However, in some situations, stalking is a felony offense.
      • Aggravated Stalking: If any of the following apply you could be charged with a Class E felony, punishable by 1 to 6 years in prison:
        1. The stalking involved you displaying a weapon;
        2. The victim is under the age of 18 and you were over the age of 23;
        3. This is your 2nd stalking charge within 7 years
        4. You make a credible threat of death or serious harm to the victim or a member of their family; or
        5. A restraining order was in place.
      • Especially Aggravated Stalking: Especially aggravated stalking is a Class C felony and the most serious of all stalking and harassment offenses. This felony is punishable by 3-15 years in prison. If any of the following apply to the offense, you could be charged with especially aggravated stalking:
        1. If you have already been convicted of stalking and the victim is the same;
        2. Commit aggravated stalking and inflict serious bodily harm on the stalking victim or a member of their family.

 With any stalking charge you may be ordered to obtain counseling, undergo treatment, and be on house arrest whether you are sentenced to probation or released early from prison.

Ref: TCA 39-17-315

    • Federal Definition of Stalking
      • Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to-
        1. Fear for the person's safety or the safety of others; or
        2. Suffer substantial emotional distress
      • For the purposes of this definition-
        1. 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.
        2. Substantial emotional distress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.
        3. Reasonable person means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the victim.

Reporting Sexual Misconduct

Maryville College encourages all members of the campus community to report instances of sexual misconduct. You may report if you are a victim, or you are a third party who is aware of an issue of sexual misconduct. There are various avenues for reporting with varying levels of confidentiality and services available. Certain employees can maintain complete confidentiality and are not required to share the details of the incidents with anyone else, unless there is concern for your safety or the safety of others. Other employees are defined as “responsible employee” as they are required to share your report with the Title IX Coordinator so that Maryville College may take steps to offer you support services, to prevent the recurrence of sexual misconduct. In these cases your information will be shared with as few people as possible and every effort will be made to maintain your privacy. Regardless of the reporting avenue you choose, we will make every effort to keep the report as private as you wish.

 If you are unsure of a staff or faculty member’s reporting requirement, please ask. This policy is intended to make individuals aware of the various reporting and confidential disclosure options available so that individuals can make informed choices about where to turn should they become a victim of or aware of sexual misconduct. The reporting avenue, levels of confidentiality and other College reporting requirements are outlined below.

Retaliation

Retaliation against any individual who make a complaint or participates in the complainant process will not be tolerated.

 What to Expect When you Report

  1. If you contact a member of Residence Life (your resident assistant or your resident director), Campus Safety, faculty or professional staff (not including those hired by Maryville College as a physical health provider).
    • The employee will notify the Title IX Coordinator of the incident.
    • You may be contacted by the Title IX Coordinator regarding the incident.
    • An investigation conducted by a campus employee trained as a Title IX investigator may begin if the individual chooses of if the incident suggests there is an ongoing threat to the campus community. An investigation does not mean that your personal identity will be revealed to the campus community nor does it mean that you would ever have to come face to face with the accused.
    • The Title IX Coordinator will offer to connect you to local police, mental and physical health care providers and legal resources if you desire.
    • If the accused is a member of the campus community, the Title IX Coordinator can order the accused to cease and desist from any intentional contact, direct or indirect, with you. We may also be able to offer housing and/or classroom accommodations so that the complainant need not face the accused.
    • You will also be given the opportunity to contact the Maryville College Counseling Center of another agency in the community such as a rape crisis center.
    • The nature of your report (i.e. sexual assault) may be included in the College’s crime log. The crime log does not include personally identifiable information, just that a report of an issue such as sexual assault was taken. Likewise, should the nature of your report pose a threat to the campus community, general information may need to be shared. This is further explained in the Federal Reporting Obligations section.
    • If you choose to move forward with a campus judicial process, the individuals who facilitate that process will be notified, as well as the accused.
  2. If you contact the Student Counseling Center:
    • A counselor will meet with you on campus and provide support.
    • The counselor will not share any information of the incident with law enforcement or a member of the Maryville College Community without your consent unless there is a clear threat to other members of the Maryville College Community of the individual makes statements of a suicidal/homicidal nature.
    • The counselor will explain the options and support you in whatever decisions you make regarding reporting or not reporting.
    • If you choose to file a report with the Title IX Coordinator or law enforcement, grievance counselor may accompany you and support you through the process if you so desire.
  3. If you contact the Maryville Police Department:
    • Maryville police will either meet you on campus, or request that you meet at their office to discuss the incident and create a report.
    • The police will ask you for details of sexual misconduct and explain your legal rights.
    • They may contact a victim advocacy service or the alleged perpetrator. Their actions will depend on what you report and how you want to proceed.
    • The police may contact the Campus Safety and Security Office to let them know they are on campus (if they choose to meet you on campus).
  4. If you go the hospital for an exam:
    • You may request a sexual assault exam be completed.
    • A police officer may be contacted and you may be asked to make a report. The officer is there to collect any evident obtained during the exam.
    • If you are 18, your parents will not be notified without your consent.
    • Making a report and completing an exam preserves the option to prosecute, but NOT commit an individual to pressing charges.

Investigation Procedures and Protocols

The College will investigate all reports of sexual misconduct. However, the level and scope of the investigation may in some cases be decided by the reporting individual. Responsibility for the investigation model is assigned to the Title IX Coordinator. The Title IX Coordinator oversees the training and implementation of the investigator team.

Formal Investigations

Formal investigations with willing participants provide the most thorough and effective process. They are also necessary for campus disciplinary proceedings. Formal investigations of sexual misconduct will be handled using an investigator model. In this model an investigator(s) serve as neutral fact –finder who will interview the complainant, the accused, witnesses and gather any other evidence as necessary. The lead investigator will be assigned by the Title IX Coordinator and will be trained in issue of sexual misconduct. Issues such as impartiality, appropriateness based on involved parties, fit, etc. will be considered in appointed the lead investigator on any case.

 The lead investigator may interview the complainant, the accused, witnesses, any parties with potentially relevant information, review video footage, and investigate any other appropriate avenues that may provide pertinent information. The investigator will keep both the complainant and the accused apprised of their rights and the status of the process. The investigator will compile all the investigation material into a report. The report will be submitted to the chair of the Sexual Grievance Committee who will make a determination of charges. Should a hearing be deemed necessary, the report will be given to the Sexual Grievance Committee for adjudication.

Informal Investigations and Requests for Confidentiality

If a complainant discloses an incident to a responsible employee but wished to maintain confidentiality or requests that no investigation into a particular incident be conducted or disciplinary action taken, the College must weigh that request against the College’s obligation to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment for all students, including the complainant.

If the College honors the request for confidentiality, a complainant must understand the College’s ability to meaningfully investigate the incident and pursue disciplinary actions against the alleged perpetrator(s) may be limited.

 Although rare, there are times when the College may not be able to honor a complainant’s request not to investigate in order to provide a safe, non-discriminatory environment for all students. When weighing a complainant’s request for confidentiality or that no investigation or discipline be pursued, the College will consider a range of factors, including the following:

The increased risk that the accused will commit additional acts of sexual or other violence, such as:

  • Whether there have been other sexual violence complaints about the same accused
  • Whether the accused as a history of arrests or records from a prior school indicting a history of violence
  • Whether the sexual violence was committed by multiple perpetrators;
  • Whether the sexual violence was perpetrated with a weapon;
  • Whether the complainant is a minor
  • Whether the College possesses other means to obtain relevant evidence of sexual violence (e.g., security camera or personal, physical evidence);
  • Whether the complainant’s report reveals a pattern of perpetration (e.g., via illicit use of drugs or alcohol) at a given location by a particular group.

 The presence of one or more of these factors could lead the College to investigate and, if appropriate, pursue disciplinary actions. If none of these factors if present, the College will likely respect the complainant’s request for confidentiality.

 If the College determines that it cannot maintain a complainant’s confidentiality, the College will inform the complainant prior to starting an investigation and will, to the extent possible, only share information with the people responsible for handing the College’s response.

 The College may not require a victim to participate in any investigation or disciplinary proceeding. Because the College is under continuing obligation to address the issue of sexual violence campus-wide, reports of sexual violence (including non-identifying reports) will also prompt the College to consider broader remedial action such as increased monitoring, supervision or security at locations where he reported sexual violence occurred, increasing educations and prevention efforts, conducting climate assessments/victimization surveys and/or revisiting its policies and practices.

 If the College determines that it can respect a complainant’s request for confidentiality, the College will also take immediate action as necessary to protect and assist the complainant. The College will offer remedies and/or accommodations for the complainant. No formal complaint or investigation, campus or criminal, need occur before these option are available.

 Confidentiality

All individuals involved in an investigation and/or adjudication process will be informed of the importance of confidentiality and will be asked to sign a confidentiality statement. Conversations and information that result from an investigation or disciplinary proceeding are private and should not be shared.

 Time Frames

Investigations will be conducted in reasonable and prompt timeframes with a goal for resolution of any sexual misconduct complainant being 60 days. Certain issues, such as the point in the semester when the incident is reported may result in prolonged investigations. For example, conducting interviews during semester breaks may be more challenging as students, faculty, and staff may be away. Every effort will be made to find resolution with the 60 day time frame. If the incident is also being investigated by the local law enforcement, the campus process need not wait for the outcome of the criminal justice system process before making a final determination.

Grievance/Adjudication Procedures

Sexual Grievance Committee

Mediation is never an appropriate means for handing issues of sexual misconduct. Sexual misconduct hearing will be heard by the Sexual Grievance Committee. The Sexual Grievance Committee is comprised of a chair, three faculty members and three staff members. Each case will be heard and investigated by a subcommittee of the Sexual Grievance Committee, which will be referred to as the Hearing Panel. The Hearing Panel will consist of two faculty, and two staff members.

Disciplinary action for students found responsible for violating the College’s Sexual Assault policy may include suspension or expulsion from the College.

College officials shall take precautions to ensure that a complainant and individuals testifying on behalf of a complainant are not subjected to any form of retaliation. In cases of alleged retaliation, a College official or any person at whom the retaliatory action is directed may file a complaint against the individual(s) who participated in the retaliation. Such cases fall under the jurisdiction of the College’s Harassment Policy. Violations of confidentiality can constitute a form of retaliation.

Standard of Proof

The standard of proof used for hearing cases sexual misconduct will be preponderance of the evidence of “more likely than not.” Findings of responsible or not responsible for sexual misconduct cases will be made based on this standard proof in determining if a violation occurred.

 Rights of Complainant:
  • Prompt access to appropriate College services.
  • Self-determination concerning their medical, psychological and legal support.
  • Complainants have the right and are encouraged to seek counseling and support services, internal and external to the College.
  • To request a change of academic or housing situations and to be notified of what options are available.
  • The College will make all reasonable efforts to ensure the preservation of confidentiality, restricting information to those who have a legitimate need for it.
  • The right not to have irrelevant prior sexual history admitted as evidence in a campus hearing.
  • The right to appeal the finding and sanction of the Sexual Grievance Committee in accordance with the standards for appeal.
  • The right to report incidents of sexual assault to a law enforcement agency, regardless of whether or not he/she is pursuing disciplinary options within the College community.
  • Be informed in writing of the outcome of any disciplinary proceeding.
Rights of Accused Student:
  • Prompt access to appropriate College services.
  • Self-determination concerning their psychological and legal support.
  • Accused students have the right and are encouraged to seek counseling and support services, internal and external to the College.
  • To request a change of academic or housing situations and to be notified of what options are available.
  • The College will make all reasonable efforts to ensure the preservation of confidentiality, restricting information to those who have a legitimate need for it.
  • The right not to have irrelevant prior sexual history admitted as evidence in a campus hearing.
  • The right to appeal the finding and sanction of the Sexual Grievance Committee in accordance with the standards for appeal.
  • Accused students can expect a presumption of innocence throughout the disciplinary process until found responsible and will be treated with respect throughout the process.
  • Be informed in writing of the outcome of any disciplinary proceeding.

If any party in uncomfortable being in the same room for the hearing, accommodations will be made such as using Skype, thereby allowing the hearing to take place without direct confrontation.

Notification of Hearing

All parties whose presence is requested at the hearing will be notified in writing five calendar days prior to the hearing. Notifications will be made via campus email by the Title IX Coordinator and include:

  • The date, time and location of the hearing
  • Notice of the alleged violations within the complaint
  • The names of the members of the Sexual Grievance Committee assigned to the case. Neither the accused not the complainant may directly or indirectly contact any member of the Sexual Grievance Committee.
  • The names of all witnesses who will be called at the hearing, except in cases where a witness; identity may not be revealed for compelling safety reasons. Upon review of the witnesses called wither the accused or the complainant may request additional witnesses be called. Witnesses may be added no later than 48 hours prior to the hearing.
  • All documentary evidence to be presented at the hearing (subject to confidentiality limitations imposed by state and federal law). Both the complainant and the accused have the opportunity to review this at least 48 hours prior to the hearing. Requests to review this evidence should be made to the Title IX Coordinator.
Hearing Steps

The investigator report will be given to the Sexual Grievance Committee Chair who will make a determination of charges and if necessary, schedule a hearing with the Sexual Grievance Committee. The steps are as follows:

  • Introductions: The hearing will be facilitated ty the Sexual Grievance Committee Chair and begin with introductions.
  • Presentation of the Investigator Report: the lead investigator will present the report to the Sexual Grievance Committee.
  • Questioning:
    1. Members of the Sexual Grievance Committee will be given the opportunity to ask questions of the accused, the complainant and/or investigator.
    2. The accused and complainant may not directly ask questions of each other. Should a question arise, the complainant will in writing submit the question to the committee chair. The committee chair will determine the appropriateness and/or usefulness of the question and then present the question or deny it.
    3. Questions about prior sexual conduct with any individual are prohibited.
    4. Evidence of a previous consensual dating or sexual relationship between the accused and complainant does not imply consent or preclude a finding of sexual misconduct
  • Witnesses: Any witnesses or individuals with relevant information will then be called.  Video footage and other types of evidence will be reviewed. The Sexual Grievance Committee will first be allowed to ask questions of witnesses. The complainant and accused will then be permitted to ask questions of witnesses. Witnesses will be called as needed, questioned and dismissed. Witnesses will be present only for the portion of the questioning that applies to them directly.
  • Statements: The complainant and the accused will then both be given a chance to make a statement after all questioning is finished.
  • Dismissal: At this point the complainant, accused, investigator, advocates, witnesses and any other individuals will then all be dismissed, leaving only the Sexual Grievance Committee.
  • Deliberation: The Sexual Grievance Committee will deliberate and make a determination of responsible or not responsible for the accused.
  • Sanctioning: If a determination of responsible is reached, the board will then assign sanctions.
 Notification of Outcome

In sexual misconduct cases, both the accused and the complainant will be notified simultaneously, in writing via campus email of the outcome within 48 hours of completion of the hearing. The complainant will also be notified of any sanctions assigned to the accused that may impact the complainant. Compliance with these provisions does not constitute a violation of section 444 of the General Education Provisions Act (20 U.S.C. 1232g), commonly known as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA).

 Appeals Process
  • Both the complainant and the accused are granted one opportunity for appeal
  • Appeals should be submitted in writing to the Title IX Coordinator within 7 days of the notification of outcome
  • Appeal requests may be made on the following grounds:      
    1. An excessive or inappropriate sanction was given
    2. Procedural errors or bias existed in the hearing that were sufficient enough to deny a fair hearing process
    3. Lack of sufficient evident to support the finding
    4. Admission of new material or evidence that is not merely collaborative repetitive and was not present at the time of the initial hearing
  • A request for an appeal does not necessarily mean that one will be granted
  • The Sexual Grievance Committee Chair and the Title IX Coordinator will appoint an appellate committee. Membership of the appellate committee will be determined based on the status of the involved individuals.
  • The Appellate Committee will decide within seven calendar days of an appeal request if the appeal will be heard.       This will be communicated to the appellant in writing with the date, time and location of the appeal hearing. The appellant will have at least 48 hours’ notice prior to the scheduled hearing.
  • The following individuals will be present at the appeals hearing:
    1. The Appellate Committee
    2. The appellant
    3. The appellant may bring one advocate.       This may be a College official, legal counsel, friend, parent, etc. The appellant may confer with the advocate, but the advocate may not participate in the hearing
  • The Appellate Committee will hear the statement of the appellate, review any new evidence and ask any relevant questions. The appellate will then be dismissed and the committee will deliberate and make a determination.
  • Should an appeal be granted and heard, both parties will be informed of the outcome in writing via campus email within 48 hours of the decision.
 Prevention and Education

Maryville College has several avenues for preventing issues of sexual misconduct and educating the campus community. Some of the highlights are listed below:

  1. Bystander Intervention Training: The Assistant Dean of Students is trained in Step Up Bystander Intervention Training and facilitates the program yearly.
  2. Awareness and Educational Campaigns: Several Campus Life offices such as Residence Life, Maryville College Student Programming Board, Student Government Association, and other student organizations under faculty/staff supervision conduct programs throughout the year on topics such as consent, dating violence, sexual assault myths, making healthy choices, sexual violence awareness, etc.
  3. Orientation educates new students every fall on issues of sexual misconduct and Maryville College’s sexual misconduct policies and procedures.
  4. The Title IX Coordinator educates the campus employees on issues of sexual misconduct and to report these issues. Likewise, the Title IX Coordinator trains campus employees on how to sensitively handle such reports.
  5. Maryville College provides ongoing prevention and awareness programs in the area of sexual misconduct, including dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. Maryville College provides a training program through EverFi called Haven, for all new students. Haven used a population-level approach to educate all students on the issues associated with sexual assault and relationship violence.
Training

Maryville College is committed to ensuring all employees are trained in addressing issues of sexual misconduct. Training for faculty and staff on issues of sexual misconduct is the responsibility of the Title IX Coordinator. Employees are trained annually on what constitutes sexual misconduct, their reporting responsibilities, and how to handle reports of sexual misconduct. Likewise, any individual involved in investigating or adjudicating issues of sexual misconduct undergoes training prior to engaging in such responsibilities. Trainings are conducted by the Title IX Coordinator, in collaboration with other experts versed in sexual misconduct issues.