Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 states: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.”
The Clery Act of 1990 amended federal financial aid laws to require all post-secondary schools receiving federal financial aid to annually disclose campus crime statistics and security information.
The Violence Against Women Act of 1994 established federal legal definitions of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. In 2013, the Campus SaVE (Sexual Violence Elimination) Act amended the Clery Act to mandate extensive “primary prevention and awareness programs” regarding sexual misconduct and related offenses.
No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any educational programs or activity receiving federal financial assistance.
- From the preamble to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972
Title IX, as a landmark civil rights law, profoundly affects all aspects of schooling by requiring equal opportunity for females and males. By extension, it also affects equity in the labor market. When Title IX is mentioned, most people think about women and athletics. However, Title IX is about so much more; it also covers acts that can impact educational opportunities for all, including sexual harassment, sexual violence, stalking, dating and intimate partner violence (dating and domestic violence).
Intimate Partner Violence (Dating Violence, Domestic Violence)
A pattern of abusive behaviors used to exert power and control over a current or former partner. It can include emotional, sexual, verbal or economic actions, or physical threats of violence. Acts may include any behaviors that intimidate, isolate, manipulate, humiliate, coerce, frighten, blame or hurt someone. It can happen to anyone, regardless of race, sexual orientation, age, education, religion, etc.
General Pattern of Behavior:
- Tension Building: Relationship begins to get strained or tense between partners.
- Explosion: Outburst that includes verbal, emotional, or physical abuse.
- Honeymoon: Apologies where the abuser tries to re-connect with his/her partner by shifting the blame onto someone or something else.
A pattern of unwanted conduct directed at another person that threatens or endangers the safety, physical or mental health, or life or property of that person, or creates a reasonable fear of such a threat or action.
Signs that it could be stalking:
- Following you, with or without your knowledge
- Calling or texting excessively
- Knowing your schedule and/or showing up at places you go
- Threatening to hurt you, your friends, family, pets, or themselves
- Damaging your property
- It can even look romantic or non-threatening, like cards, flowers, emails, etc, but if this behavior is unwanted, it could be stalking.
Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other physical or verbal conduct of a sexual nature when it meets any of the following:
- Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or academic status.
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or academic decisions affecting such individual.
- Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for working, learning, or living on campus. Sexual harassment can occur between any individuals associated with the University, e.g., an employee and a supervisor; coworkers; faculty members; a faculty, staff member, or student and a customer, vendor, or contractor; students; or a student and a faculty member.
Signs that it could be sexual harassment:
- Sexual comments or inappropriate references to gender
- Sexually explicit statements, questions, jokes, or anecdotes regardless of the means of communication (oral, written, electronic, etc.)
- Unwanted touching, patting, hugging, brushing against a person's body or staring
- Inquiries or commentaries about sexual activity, experience, or orientation
- Display of inappropriate or sexually oriented material in locations where others can view them
- Offers of or demands for sex for jobs, promotions, money or other opportunities or rewards
- Unwanted flirtation, advances or propositions
Title IX also prohibits gender-based harassment, which may include acts of verbal, nonverbal, or physical aggression, intimidation, or hostility based on sex or sex-stereotyping, even if those acts do not involve conduct of a sexual nature.
Physical Acts (such as rape, attempted rape, sexual touching and sexual battery) perpetrated against an individual without consent or who does not have the capacity to give knowing consent due to alcohol, drugs or disability.
Examples of Sexual Violence:
- Any sexual activity performed in the absence of consent or through coercion
- Forced oral, anal, or vaginal sex with any body part or object
- Unwanted rough or violent sexual activity
- Rape or attempted rape
- Keeping someone from protecting themselves from unwanted pregnancies or STIs
- Sexual contact with someone who is very drunk, drugged, unconscious or unable to give a clear and informed yes
- Threatening or pressuring someone into sexual activity
As a public institution, HCC cannot promise complete confidentiality. Each situation is resolved as discreetly as possible, maintaining confidentiality to the extent allowed under state and federal laws. Complaints about faculty and staff may be subject to public records requests and there may be situations that mandate reporting, such as child or elder abuse.
Complaints against students are protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Information can only be shared within the college if there is a “legitimate educational need.” No information may be shared outside of the institution without the complainant’s explicit permission or under subpoena by a law enforcement agency. If a survivor or co-survivor has any questions about what will happen if they share information with any university employee, it is important to ask.
All college employees are required to report any allegations to the Dean of Student Affairs Office or the Campus Police Department or both. All reports will be taken seriously and will be followed up on. If an investigation into the incident is required, then it may be necessary to reveal the complainant’s identity in order to complete the full investigative process.
Duty to Act
A duty to act is imposed on all management and supervisory personnel who are responsible for taking reasonable and necessary action to prevent discrimination and harassment and for responding promptly and thoroughly to any such claims. On learning directly or indirectly of conduct or behavior that might violate College policies, management and supervisory personnel are put on notice to act. They should consult with the Dean of Student Affairs Office and/or HCC Human Resources for advice and assistance on addressing the matter. A manager or supervisor who fails to act may be found to have violated HCC’s policies even though the underlying event does not constitute discrimination or harassment.
Duty to Report
A duty to report conduct or behavior that violates these policies is imposed on all College officers, including Adjunct Faculty. An officer performs her or his duty to report by reporting the conduct or behavior to the Dean of Student Affairs Office. College officers who learn of an allegation of gender-based misconduct against a student are expected to notify the Dean of Student Affairs Office. College officers who learn of an allegation of discrimination or harassment against a student are expected to notify the Dean of Student Affairs Office. College officers who learn of an allegation of gender-based misconduct involving a minor under the age of 17 are required to notify the Dean of Student Affairs Office and the HCC Police Department. An officer who fails to report may be found to have violated HCC’s policies even though the underlying event does not constitute gender-based misconduct, discrimination or harassment.
The Dean of Student Affairs handles all complaints against HCC students and student groups. Please contact the Dean’s office to arrange a meeting at (240) 500-2526.
- A full description of the incident in writing is very helpful. The more details you can provide, the better.
- The Dean of Student Affairs may investigate and adjudicate complaints which occur on and off campus if incidents occurred at college-related events.
- Remember, some violations of the code of conduct and Title IX are crimes. Please consider reporting to HCC Police if the assault occurred on campus or directly to the local police department if it occurred off-campus. You are welcome to discuss those options with the Dean of Student Affairs. There does not need to be an official police report or complaint filed in order for the Dean to proceed with the college conduct process.
- Once the complaint is filed, the Dean is responsible for notifying the student or student group of the charge, conducting a timely investigation (within 45 days), and determining if there is a potential violation of the Student Code of Conduct.
- When a complaint is made, you will be asked to write down what you saw, heard, or experienced. Witnesses may be required to meet with the Dean to provide witness statements. Remember, the person or persons named in the complaint have a right to see the report.
- Complainants may bring a support person with them to meetings with the Dean of Student Affairs.
Students, faculty and staff who are survivors of sexual assault, stalking, domestic or dating violence are strongly encouraged to report the incident(s) to law enforcement in the jurisdiction in which the incident(s) occurred.
To report an assault or other crime to the HCC Police Department, please call 240-500-2312. In an emergency, please dial 9-1-1.
Reporting an assault to the HCC Police or other law enforcement authorities does not require filing criminal charges, but it does allow all support systems to be put in place for the survivor. Filing a police report will provide the opportunity for collection of evidence, which is helpful in prosecution and will allow the survivor to be connected with the appropriate support and medical resources.
Reporting immediately is the best scenario, but it may be done at any time. Immediate reporting is important in order to preserve physical evidence at the scene as well as on the person who was harmed. If possible, do not wash, use the bathroom or change clothes prior to a medical/legal examination. The gathering of evidence can lead to a successful prosecution.
If a sexual assault victim chooses to report the incident days, weeks, or even months after the assault, important support systems are still available and can be arranged; however, criminal investigations become much more difficult. No matter when the incident is reported to the college, a full investigation will take place and code of conduct meetings will be held.
- View HCC's Code of Student Conduct
- View HCC's Sexual Harassment Policy
- Learn more about HCC's Campus Police Department
Any questions about these polices can be directed to the Dean of Student Affairs at email@example.com.
The College will assist students, faculty and staff who report sexual violence, sexual harassment, stalking, dating violence and or domestic violence in obtaining medical support as well as counseling and support services. The Dean of Students will also assist students, faculty and staff in notifying the Campus Police or other local police if the assistance of law enforcement is requested.
If requested by the survivor, and if reasonably available, the College may assist the survivor in:
- Exploring options to address academic concerns, such as transferring class sections, taking an incomplete in a class or filing a grade appeal
- Dealing with financial concerns, including providing financial aid guidance
- Requests for accommodations may be made to the Dean of Student Affairs Office. In addition, if accommodations are necessary due to an injury or disability, you may contact:
Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex-including pregnancy, parenting and all related conditions-in educational programs and activities that get federal funding. This means that schools must give all students who might be, are, or have been pregnant the same access to school programs and educational opportunities that other students have.
- HCC must excuse absences due to pregnancy or any related conditions for as long as your doctor says it is necessary for you to be absent. When you return to school, you must be reinstated to the status you held before your leave.
- Professors who base grades on class attendance cannot penalize a pregnant student for their absence and must allow the student to earn back the credit from the classes that were missed.
- HCC is required to let you make up the work you missed while absent from class due to pregnancy or any related conditions, including bed rest or recovery from childbirth. It is recommended that for an extended absence, the student and professor work together to keep up with regularly scheduled assignments.
- HCC students who are pregnant or dealing with any pregnancy-related conditions must be permitted to continue their off-campus work, including internships and career rotations. HCC cannot require a doctor to approve the continuation of these activities unless a note is required of all students with a medical condition.
- HCC students who feel they are being discriminated against or who have been harassed by other students, staff or faculty should seek help immediately from the Dean of Student Affairs Office.