Title IX

Your health, safety, and well-being are the College’s primary concern. Title IX prohibits sex discrimination in this educational institution. This includes sexual harassment and assault. We are here to help. Feel free and safe to contact us for help or with any questions titleIX@pnca.edu

Title IX Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Policy

PREAMBLE

Your health, safety, and well-being are the College’s primary concern. If you or someone you know may be the victim of any form of sexual misconduct, you are strongly urged to seek immediate assistance. Assistance can be obtained 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from the Portland Police by calling 911 or, during PNCA operating hours when the sexual misconduct is occurring or may reasonably be expected to occur on campus property, by calling the Security phone at 503.621.2061 or by calling the Campus Safety Manager, Manny Guerra at 503.821.8897. You are also strongly urged to contact the Title IX Coordinator as soon as reasonably possible to report any sexual misconduct you believe may have occurred. 

PNCA’s Title IX Coordinator is Cordelia Daniels, the Director of Legal Service, and can be contacted directly to report any misconduct at 503.821.8881 and cdaniels@pnca.edu. You may also email information or reports to the Title IX team at TitleIX@pnca.edu 

Further information about Title IX and sex discrimination in education is available from the Office for Civil Rights, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20202-1100 (or by Customer Service Hotline: 800.421.3481; fax: 202.453.6012; TDD: 877.521.2172; email: OCR@ed.gov or www.ed.gov/ocr

Full Title IX Policy

I) INTRODUCTION

A) OVERVIEW AND PURPOSE Sexual Misconduct, as defined by the College’s Policy and Procedures, comprises a broad range of behavior that will not be tolerated in the College’s community. For purposes of this policy, “Sexual Misconduct” includes Sexual Exploitation, Sexual Harassment, Non-Consensual Sexual Contact, and Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse; see below for each term’s full definition. Sexual Misconduct violates College policy and federal civil rights law and may also be subject to criminal prosecution.

The College is committed to fostering a community that promotes prompt reporting of all types of Sexual Misconduct and timely and fair resolution of Sexual Misconduct complaints. Creating a safe environment is the responsibility of all members of the College community. As a recipient of federal funds, the College is required to comply with Title IX of the Higher Education Amendments of 1972,20 U.S.C. 1681 et seq., which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs or activities.

Title IX requires that the College have a statement of policy and procedure for handling complaints of Sexual Misconduct. This policy constitutes that requirement. Sexual Misconduct, as defined in this policy, is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX. PNCA is committed to providing programs, activities, and an educational environment free from sex discrimination.

The College is also required to provide due process to students accused of Sexual Misconduct. This policy is designed to provide a fair process for both/all parties while also ensuring the complainant’s protections under Title IX. Consistent with due process, an accused student is presumed innocent until proven otherwise under this policy.

The College is also required and is committed to upholding the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. Nothing in this policy is intended to abridge the rights or freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment.

B) DEFINITIONS “Adjudicator” means the standing group of faculty and staff, appointed by the President of PNCA or their designee, to oversee complaints of Sexual Misconduct and draft the final report.

“Clery Act” means the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, 20 U.S.C. Section 1092(f); 34 C.F.R. Part 668.46.

“College” means Pacific Northwest College of Art.

“Educator” means Title IX Educator, a member of the Title IX Team who serves to educate the community on the role and function of Title IX.

“Effective Consent” means words or actions that show a knowing and voluntary agreement to engage in mutually agreed-upon sexual activity. Effective Consent cannot be gained by Force, by ignoring or acting in spite of the objections of another, or by taking advantage of the Incapacitation of another, where the accused student knows or reasonably should have known of such Incapacitation. Effective Consent is also absent when the activity in question exceeds the scope of Effective Consent previously given. In addition, certain states have designated a minimum age under which a person cannot give “Effective Consent,” which is 18 under Oregon State law.

“FERPA” means the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. Section 1232g; 34 C.F.R. Part 99.

“Force” means physical force, violence, threat, intimidation, or coercion.

“Incapacitation” means the physical and/or mental inability to make informed, rational judgments. States of Incapacitation include, without limitation, sleep, blackouts, and flashbacks. Where alcohol or another drug is involved, one does not have to be intoxicated or drunk to be considered Incapacitated. Rather, Incapacitation is determined by how the alcohol consumed impacts a person’s decision-making capacity, awareness of consequences, and ability to make informed judgments. The question is whether the accused student(s) knew, or whether a sober, reasonable person in the position of the accused student should have known, that the complainant was Incapacitated. Because Incapacitation may be difficult to discern, students are strongly encouraged to err on the side of caution; i.e., when in doubt, assume that another person is Incapacitated and therefore unable to give Effective Consent. Being intoxicated or drunk is never a defense to a complaint of Sexual Misconduct under this policy.

“Investigators” means the individuals designated by the Title IX Coordinator to conduct investigations into alleged Sexual Misconduct.

“Non-Consensual Sexual Contact” means Sexual Contact that occurs without Effective Consent.

“Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse” means Sexual Intercourse that occurs without Effective Consent.

“Non-College Conduct” means conduct that occurred at a place other than: College- owned or -leased property, College sanctioned functions, the permanent or temporary local residence of a College student, faculty member, employee, or visitor, or anywhere in the City of Portland or Multnomah County.

“President” means the President of Pacific Northwest College of Art and their designee.

“Sexual Contact” means the deliberate touching of a person’s intimate parts (including genitalia, groin, breast, or buttocks, or clothing covering any of those areas), or using force to cause a person to touch their own or another person’s intimate parts.

“Sexual Exploitation” means taking sexual advantage of another person without Effective Consent, and includes, without limitation, causing or attempting to cause the incapacitation of another person in order to gain a sexual advantage over that person; causing the prostitution of another person; recording, photographing, or transmitting identifiable images of private sexual activity and/or the intimate parts (including genitalia, groin, breasts, or buttocks) of another person; allowing third parties to observe private sexual acts; engaging in voyeurism; and/or knowingly or recklessly exposing another person to a significant risk of sexually transmitted infection, including HIV.

“Sexual Harassment” means unwelcome conduct, based on sex or on gender stereotypes, which is so severe or pervasive that it unreasonably interferes with a person’s College employment, academic performance, or participation in College programs or activities, and creates a working, learning, program, or activity environment that a reasonable person would find intimidating, hostile, or offensive. Sexual Harassment may include, for example, unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and acts of sexual violence. In evaluating any complaint of Sexual Harassment, the perceived offensiveness of a particular expression, by itself, is not sufficient to constitute Sexual Harassment. The conduct in question must be objectively intimidating, hostile, or offensive, and must interfere with a person’s right to equally participate in College programs and activities. The exclusive purpose of this policy is to protect students from sex discrimination, consistent with both federal regulatory law and the requirements of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

“Sexual Intercourse” means penetration (anal, oral, or vaginal) by a penis, tongue, finger, or an inanimate object.

“Sexual Misconduct” is a broad term encompassing “Sexual Exploitation,” “Sexual Harassment,” “Non-Consensual Sexual Contact,” and “Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse,” as defined in this policy. Sexual Misconduct can occur between strangers or acquaintances, including people involved in an intimate or sexual relationship. Sexual Misconduct can be committed by men or by women, and it can occur between people of the same or different sex.

“Title IX Coordinator” means party designated by the College to oversee the Title IX process.

“Title IX Team” means the committee charged with overseeing the Title IX process, which includes; the Title IX Coordinator, Deputies, Adjudicators, Educators, and others parties as assigned by the Title IX Coordinator.

II) JURISDICTION; TIMING; RETALIATION AND RELATED MISCONDUCT; CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS; INTERIM MEASURES A) JURISDICTION

1) Personal Jurisdiction: Any person may file a complaint of Sexual Misconduct against a “College student” under this policy. A “College student” means any student who is registered or enrolled at PNCA (a) at the time of the alleged Sexual Misconduct (including Sexual Misconduct that is

alleged to have occurred during any academic recess, provided that there is an

expectation of the student’s continued enrollment at the College), and (b) at the time that the Title IX Coordinator prepares and delivers to the

Investigators a formal complaint against such student pursuant to Section IV.B., below.

2) Geographic Jurisdiction: This policy applies to any allegation of Sexual Misconduct against a College student, regardless of where the alleged Sexual Misconduct occurred. Although there is no geographical limitation to invoking this policy, Sexual Misconduct that is alleged to have occurred at a significant distance from the College may be more difficult to investigate. The College reserves the right to determine, in its sole discretion, whether the conduct described in the complaint constitutes a sufficient risk to the College community to warrant with respect to any complaint

(a) by a person who is not a member of the College community, and (b) relating to Non-College Conduct, the College reserves the right to determine, in

its sole discretion, whether the conduct described in the complaint constitutes a sufficient risk to the College community to warrant processing the complaint.

  1. B)  TIMING OF COMPLAINTS AND AVAILABILITY OF PROCEDURES

    1. 1)  Informal Resolution Procedure

      So long as there is personal jurisdiction over the accused student pursuant to Section II.A.1 above, there is no time limit to invoking an Informal Resolution Procedure in response to complaints of alleged Sexual Misconduct. Nevertheless, students are encouraged to report alleged Sexual Misconduct immediately in order to maximize the College’s ability to obtain evidence and conduct a thorough, impartial, and reliable investigation. Failure to promptly report alleged Sexual Misconduct may result in the loss of relevant evidence and witness testimony, and may impair the College’s ability to enforce this policy.

      Where the accused student is a degree candidate (i.e. the student is working on their thesis project), it is the responsibility of the complainant to consult with the Title IX Coordinator regarding the accused student’s intended date of graduation, and to file a complaint in a timely manner when personal jurisdiction over the accused student would otherwise be lost pursuant to Section II A., above. The conferral of a degree may be deferred until any Sexual Misconduct charges have been properly resolved, provided that a hearing is scheduled for the earliest practicable date that may accommodate the parties and their witnesses.

    2. 2)  Formal Resolution Procedure In order to utilize the Formal Resolution Procedure, Complainants must file a written complaint with the Title IX Coordinator within one (1) calendar year of the alleged discriminatory act, or the date on which the complainant first knew or reasonably should have known of such act. Complaints of sex discrimination brought forth beyond the period will be tracked and investigated to the extent possible, consistent with the campus Title IX obligations, including the Title IX Coordinator’s duties to spot patterns and address systemic issues.

  2. C)  RETALIATION

It is a violation of College policy to retaliate against any person making a complaint of Sexual Misconduct or against any person cooperating in the investigation of (including testifying as a witness to) any allegation of Sexual Misconduct. For these purposes, “retaliation” includes intimidation, threats, harassment, and other adverse action threatened or taken against any complainant or third party. Retaliation should be reported promptly to the Title IX Coordinator and may result in disciplinary action independent of the sanction(s) or interim measure(s) imposed in response to the original allegations of Sexual Misconduct. A faculty member, staff member, or student who retaliates in any way against an individual who has brought a complaint in good faith pursuant to this policy or against an individual who has participated in good faith in an investigation of such a complaint is subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination or expulsion.

  1. D)  OTHER RELATED MISCONDUCT In accordance with this policy, the Title IX Team is empowered to hear allegations of, and to impose sanctions for, Sexual Misconduct and any violations of the Student Conduct Code directly related to the alleged Sexual Misconduct, or any alleged violations of the Student Conduct Code itself. Such related misconduct may include, without limitation, violations of the rules of privacy as articulated herein, violations of the Title IX Coordinator’s directive(s) discussed in Section II.F. below, and/ or other Conduct Code violations that occurred in the course of the alleged Sexual Misconduct.

    It is not the practice of the College to pursue disciplinary action against a complainant or witness for their improper use of alcohol or drugs (e.g., underage drinking), provided that such student is acting in good faith as a complainant or witness to the events of the alleged Sexual Misconduct. College students who appear before the Title IX Investigators or other Title IX Team members, whether as parties to the proceedings or as witnesses, are expected to provide truthful testimony in accordance with the Conduct Code.

  2. E)  COORDINATION WITH LAW ENFORCEMENT AND EFFECT OF CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS Because Sexual Misconduct may constitute both a violation of College Policy and a criminal activity, the College encourages students to report alleged Sexual Misconduct promptly to local law enforcement agencies. Criminal investigations may be useful for gathering relevant evidence, particularly forensic evidence.

    Because the standards for finding a violation of criminal law are different from the standards for finding a violation of this policy, criminal investigations or reports are not determinative of whether Sexual Misconduct, for the purposes of this policy, has occurred. In other words, conduct may constitute Sexual Misconduct under this policy even if law enforcement agencies lack sufficient evidence of a crime and therefore decline to prosecute. In such cases, the complainant may not initially understand the results of the criminal investigation, the nature of criminal procedures, or the grounds for the law enforcement agency’s decision not to prosecute. The complainant in such cases may request that the Title IX Coordinator identify a senior member of the College administration to assist the complainant with seeking and attending a meeting with the local prosecutor to gain an understanding of the decision to decline a prosecution.

The College will not wait for the conclusion of any criminal investigation or proceedings to commence its own investigation into a complaint of Sexual Misconduct under this policy (except that the College’s investigation may be delayed temporarily while the criminal investigators are gathering evidence) and may take interim measures to protect the complainant and the College community, if necessary, as described in Section II.F. below. In the event that an allegation includes behavior or actions that are under review by law-enforcement authorities, the Investigative Team will, in light of status updates from law-enforcement authorities and the Title IX Officer, assess and reassess the timing of the investigation under the Policy, so that it does not compromise the criminal investigation.

F) INTERIM MEASURES In all complaints of alleged Sexual Misconduct, regardless of whether the complainant wishes to pursue Formal Resolution, Informal Resolution, or no resolution of any kind, the College will undertake an appropriate inquiry and take such prompt and effective action as is reasonably practicable under the circumstances to support and protect the complainant, including taking appropriate interim steps before the final outcome of the investigation and hearing, if any. Accordingly, at or after the intake meeting, the Title IX Coordinator may impose a “no contact” order, which typically will include a directive that the parties refrain from having contact with one another, directly or through proxies, in person or via electronic means, pending the investigation and, if applicable, the hearing. The Title IX Coordinator may also take any further protective action that they deem appropriate concerning the interaction of the parties pending the hearing, if any, including, without limitation, directing appropriate College officials to alter the students’ academic, College housing, and/or College employment arrangements. When taking steps to separate the complainant and the accused student, the Coordinator (or Deputy) will seek to minimize unnecessary or unreasonable burdens on either party, provided, however, that every reasonable effort is made to allow the complainant to continue in their academic, College housing, and/or College employment arrangements. Violation(s) of the Title IX Coordinator’s directive and/or protective actions will constitute related offenses that may lead to additional disciplinary action.

III) INFORMAL RESOLUTION

Informal Resolution provides an opportunity for the complainant to confront the accused student, in the presence of, and facilitated by a member of the Title IX Team, and to communicate their feelings and perceptions regarding the incident, the impact of the incident, and their wishes and expectations regarding protection in the future. The accused student will have an opportunity to respond.

A) REQUESTING INFORMAL RESOLUTION

Initiating Parties may make a request, in writing, for informal resolution to Title IX Coordinator. The request should identify the alleged harasser (if known) and describe the allegations with specificity. The Title IX Coordinator, in consultation with the Title IX Team, will assess the severity of the alleged harassment and the potential risk of a hostile environment for others in the community to determine whether informal resolution may be appropriate.

  1. B)  Upon determining that informal resolution is appropriate, the Title IX Coordinator will 1) consult further with the person initiating the request, 2) inform the person who is the subject of the allegations, and 3) gather additional relevant information as necessary from the parties and others, as

    indicated. 4) Assign a member of the Title IX Team to facilitate the conversation between the

    parties and attempt to aid the parties in finding a mutually acceptable resolution 5) Title IX Coordinator also may put in place any appropriate interim measures to

    protect the educational and work environment.

  2. C)  ADVISORS The complainant and the accused student each may bring an advisor to the informal resolution. An advisor should be an officer (faculty or staff) of the College but may not be related to anyone involved in the complaint or have any other involvement in the process. A student may select a secondary advisor of their choosing, including another student, but such secondary advisor may not be an attorney.

    Advisors may offer feedback on their advisee’s written statements, and provide general advice. Advisors may not speak for their advisees, although they may ask to suspend the interviews briefly if they feel their advisees would benefit from a short break.

    When the allegations, if true, might constitute criminal conduct, the party against whom they are brought is hereby advised to seek legal counsel before making any written or oral statements. Those facing allegations may wish to obtain legal advice about how this process could affect any criminal case in which they are or may become involved. Such counsel may privately consult with and advise the parties during the process but may not examine witnesses or otherwise directly participate on behalf of either party.

  3. D)  RESOLUTION A matter will be deemed satisfactorily resolved when both parties expressly agree to an outcome that is also acceptable to the College or Title IX Coordinator. At any point prior to such an express agreement, the Initiating Party may withdraw the request for informal resolution and initiate a formal complaint under these Procedures.

    If the accused contests the complaint of alleged Sexual Misconduct, the Title IX Coordinator may nevertheless impose a protective order agreed upon by the parties or (with or without such agreement) based on information derived from the Informal.

Resolution proceedings, taken with any other relevant information known to the College at the time of the Informal Resolution.

  1. E)  TIMING Please see Section II.B.1. for the Timing requirements for filing an Informal Complaint. Ordinarily, the informal resolution process will be concluded within two to three weeks of the date of the request.

    The College or the complainant may, at any time prior to the conclusion of the Informal Resolution, elect to end such proceedings and initiate Formal Resolution instead, so long as Section II.B.2. are still satisfied. In such cases, statements or disclosures made by the parties in the course of the Informal Resolution may be considered in the subsequent Formal Resolution.

  2. F)  PRIVACY OF INFORMAL RESOLUTION In order to promote honest, direct communication, information disclosed during Informal Resolution must remain private while the Informal Resolution is pending, except where disclosure may be required by law or authorized in connection with duties on behalf of the College.

IV) FORMAL RESOLUTION

A) INITIATING A COMPLAINT An Initiating Party may file a formal complaint alleging a violation of the Policy. A complaint of sexual or gender-based harassment should be filed directly with the Title IX Coordinator, regardless of the identity of the Respondent (student, staff, faculty, or third party). The Title IX Coordinator will inform the Title IX Team that a complaint has been received, and if necessary, request that appropriate interim measures be put in place.

A formal complaint must be in writing and signed and dated by a Complainant or a third party filing on behalf of a potential Complainant (Reporter). It should state: 1) The name of the alleged harasser (if known) 2) Describe with reasonable specificity the incident(s) of alleged harassment including date and place of such incident(s).

The complaint must be in the Complainants or Reporter’s own words, and may not be authored by others, including family members, advisors, or attorneys. Attached to the complaint should any sources of information (for example, witnesses, correspondence, records, photos, etc.) that the Complainant or Reporter believes may be relevant to the investigation. However, a complaint should not be delayed if such sources of information are unknown or unavailable.

The Title IX Team will not investigate a new complaint if it has already adjudicated a formal complaint based on the same circumstances or if the parties and the College, Title IX Coordinator, or Title IX Team have already agreed to an informal resolution based on the same circumstances.

  1. B)  INITIAL REVIEW Once a complaint is received by the Title IX Coordinator, the Title IX Coordinator will assign the case to an Investigator or Team of Investigators for initial review. Investigators will have appropriate training, so that they have the specialized skill and understanding to conduct prompt and effective sexual and gender-based harassment investigations.

    The Investigative Team will contact the Complainant or Reporter in an attempt to gather a more complete understanding of the allegations, as well as any related conduct that may implicate the Policy. When a complaint is brought by a Reporter, the Investigative Team will endeavor to meet with the person identified as the potential Complainant to both gather information and discuss their interest in participating in an investigation.

    Based on the information gathered, the Investigative Team will determine whether the information, if true, would constitute a violation of the Policy such that an investigation is warranted or whether the information warrants an administrative closure. The Investigative Team will convey this determination to the Complainant (and the Reporter, if there is one) and the Title IX Coordinator. The Investigative Team will work with the Title IX Coordinator to implement any appropriate interim measures to be put in place by the College pending the completion of the case (or to revise as necessary any measures already in place).

    Ordinarily, the initial review will be concluded within two weeks of the date the complaint was received.

  2. C)  INVESTIGATION Following the decision to begin an investigation, the Investigative Team will notify the Respondent in writing of the allegations and will provide a copy of these Policy and Procedures. The Respondent will have one week in which to submit a written statement in response to the allegations. This statement must be in the Respondent’s own words; Respondents may not submit statements authored by others, including family members, advisors, or attorneys. Attached to the statement should be a list of all sources of information (for example, witnesses, correspondence, records, and the like) that the Respondent believes may be relevant to the investigation.

    If the decision is made to begin an investigation in a case where a Reporter filed the complaint, and the Complainant is unwilling to participate but the College has assessed the severity of the harassment and the potential risk of a hostile environment for others in the community and has determined to proceed, then, for the purposes of these Procedures, the Title IX Coordinator (or a designee) will be considered the Complainant. 

The Investigative Team will request individual interviews with the Complainant and the Respondent, and, as appropriate, with other witnesses, which may include those identified by the parties as well as relevant officers of the College or others. When identifying potential witnesses, the parties should understand that the purpose of interviews is to gather and assess information about the incident(s) at issue in the complaint, not to solicit general information about a party’s character.

When a complaint involves allegations that, if true, also might constitute criminal conduct, Respondents are hereby advised to seek legal counsel before making any written or oral statements. The investigation process is not a legal proceeding, but Respondents might wish to obtain legal advice about how this process could affect any criminal case in which they are or may become involved.

After the collection of additional information is complete but prior to the conclusion of the investigation, the Investigative Team will request individual follow-up interviews with the Complainant and the Respondent to give each the opportunity to respond to the additional information.

  1. D)  ADVISORS Both the Complainant and the Respondent may bring an advisor to any interviews with the Investigative Team. An advisor should be an officer (faculty or staff) of the College but may not be related to anyone involved in the complaint or have any other involvement in the process. A student may select a secondary advisor of their choosing, including another student, but such secondary advisor may not be an attorney.

    Advisors may offer feedback on their advisee’s written statements, and provide general advice. During interviews, personal advisors may not speak for their advisees, although they may ask to suspend the interviews briefly if they feel their advisees would benefit from a short break.

    When the allegations, if true, might constitute criminal conduct, the party against whom they are brought is hereby advised to seek legal counsel before making any written or oral statements. Those facing allegations may wish to obtain legal advice about how this process could affect any criminal case in which they are or may become involved. Such counsel may privately consult with and advise the parties during the process but may not examine witnesses or otherwise directly participate on behalf of either party.

  2. E)  CONCLUSION OF THE INVESTIGATION AND ISSUANCE OF FINAL REPORT At the conclusion of the investigation, the Investigative Team will provide a report to the Adjudicators who will make findings of fact, applying a preponderance of the evidence standard, and determine based on those findings of fact whether there was a violation of the Policy. A preponderance of the evidence means that the information shows that it is “more likely than not” that the accused student violated this policy.

The Adjudicator will prepare a written draft of the findings of fact and analysis, which the Title IX Coordinator will provide to the Complainant and the Respondent. Both parties will be given one week to submit a written response to the draft.

The Adjudicators will consider any written responses before finalizing these sections of the report and the final section of the report, which will outline any recommended measures to be taken by the College to eliminate any harassment, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects. The Adjudicators and the Title IX Coordinator will work with the College and relevant parties to put in place such measures as they determine are appropriate. Consistent with College policies, measures imposed might include, among others: restrictions on contact; counseling; course-schedule or work- schedule alteration; changes in housing; leaves of absence; expulsion; or increased monitoring of certain areas of the campus.

The investigation will be completed and the final report provided to the Complainant, the Respondent, and the Title IX Coordinator concurrently within 14 calendar days following the submission of the Complainant and Respondents written responses unless the Adjudicators determine there is good cause for a delay.

The Title IX Coordinator will notify the parties of any disciplinary action as appropriate. For cases involving faculty, staff, or third parties, the imposition of sanctions will be considered separately by the appropriate officials at the College through their relevant policies.

  1. F)  EFFECTIVE DATE OF SANCTION. A sanction imposed by the Adjudicators is not effective until the resolution of any request to review the process. However, if advisable to protect the welfare of the complainant or the College community, the Adjudicators may determine that any probation, suspension, or expulsion be effective immediately and continue in effect until such time as the Title IX Coordinator may otherwise determine. The Title IX Coordinator may suspend the determination pending exhaustion of any appeal, and may allow the accused student to attend classes or to engage in other activity on a supervised or monitored basis, or may make such other modifications to the determination as may be advisable in the sole discretion of the Title IX Coordinator. The Title IX Coordinator’s decision may not be appealed.

  2. G)  TRANSCRIPT NOTATION IN CASES OF SUSPENSION OR EXPULSION. If the Adjudicators imposes a sanction of suspension or expulsion, then, following exhaustion of any appeal, the Adjudicators or Title IX Coordinator will notify the College Registrar to place a notation on the student’s transcript reading “Disciplinary Suspension” or “Disciplinary Expulsion,” as the case may be.

  3. H)  PRIVACY, FERPA, AND CLERY IN THE FORMAL PROCESS

1) In order to comply with FERPA and Title IX and to provide an orderly process for the consideration of relevant information without undue intimidation or pressure, the Investigation and Adjudication processes are not open to the general public. Accordingly, documents prepared during the Title IX case, including Investigative Reports, Final Reports, Evidence Reports, Witness Lists, documents, testimony, and other information, may not be disclosed outside of the Investigation and Adjudication process, except as may be required or authorized by law.

  1. 2)  Under the Clery Act, both the complainant and the accused student must be informed of the hearing outcome, and the College may not impose any limitations on the re-disclosure of this information. Accordingly, following the hearing, the Panel will issue a written decision letter (the “Final Report”), concurrently to the accused student and the complainant. The Final Report will set forth, as required by the Clery Act, the name of the accused student; the violation(s) of this policy for which the accused student was found responsible, if any; any essential findings supporting the Panel’s decision on the issue of responsibility; and the sanction(s) imposed, if any.

  2. 3)  College policy neither encourages nor discourages the further disclosure of the Final Report by either the complainant or the accused student. The College acknowledges that sharing the Final Report with others, including family, friends, legal counsel, mental health professionals, and sexual assault advocates or victims, may be a critically important part of a student’s healing process.

  1. I)  TIMEFRAME Please see Section II.B.2. for the Timing requirements for filing a Formal Complaint. The Title IX Team will work diligently to ensure a prompt investigation. While there is no fixed time frame under which they must complete the Title IX investigation, the Team will make a good faith effort to conduct a fair, impartial investigation in a timely manner designed to provide all parties with resolution. In most cases, the Title IX Team aims to move from the date of the filing of the Formal Complaint to the Resolution in sixty (60) days.

  2. J)  ADMINISTRATIVE CLOSURE If, after conducting the initial review of a formal complaint, the Investigative Team finds that the allegation, if true, would not constitute a violation of the Policy, then the Title IX Coordinator will administratively close the case and notify the Complainant (and the Reporter, if there is one).

    Where the Complainant is unwilling to participate in further investigation, the Title IX Coordinator, in consultation with the Title IX Team, will assess the severity of the alleged harassment or the potential risk of a hostile environment for others in the community and will determine whether administrative closure is appropriate or whether the College should proceed with an investigation.

Within one week of the decision to close a case administratively, the Complainant or Reporter may request reconsideration on the grounds that there is substantive and relevant new information that was not available at the time of the decision and that may change the outcome of the decision. The Title IX Coordinator will consider requests for reconsideration and inform the Complainant or Reporter of the outcome, ordinarily within one week of the date of the request.

In cases where the Title IX Coordinator concludes that the alleged conduct, while not a violation of the Policy, might implicate other College conduct policies, the Title IX Coordinator may refer the complaint to the appropriate College official.

  1. K)  REQUEST TO WITHDRAW THE COMPLAINT While every effort will be made to respect the Complainant’s wishes to withdraw a formal complaint, the College must be mindful of its overarching commitment to provide a non- discriminatory environment. Thus, in certain circumstances, the Title IX Coordinator may determine that investigation is appropriate despite a Complainant’s request to withdraw the complaint or failure to cooperate. Other circumstances also may result in a request to withdraw the complaint being declined, where, for example, a request to withdraw is made after a significant portion of the investigation has been completed and terminating the investigation would be inequitable.

  2. L)  REQUEST FOR INFORMAL RESOLUTION AFTER A COMPLAINT HAS BEEN FILED Once a complaint has been opened for investigation and before the final report has been provided to the parties, a party may request informal resolution as an alternative to formal resolution of the complaint, but that disposition requires agreement of the Complainant and the Respondent and the approval Title IX Coordinator.

    If such a request is approved the timeframes will be stayed and the Title IX Coordinator will assign a Title IX Team member to oversee the informal resolution process. The Title IX Team member will take such steps as they deem appropriate to assist in reaching a resolution. If the parties cannot reach an informal resolution within two weeks from receipt of the request, then the Investigative Team will resume the investigation of the complaint in accordance with the formal complaint procedures.

  3. M)  APPEAL Both the Respondent and the Complainant may appeal the decision of the Adjudicators to the Title IX Coordinator based on the following grounds: 1) A procedural error occurred, which may change the outcome of the decision; or 2) The appellant has substantive and relevant new information that was not available at the time of investigation and that may change the outcome of the decision.

    Disagreement with the Adjudicators’ findings or determination is not, by itself, a ground for appeal.

Appeals must contain: A clear statement of the grounds for the appeal. If appealing under Section M.1., the document must contain the specific procedural error that occurred and how the appellant believes it impacted the outcome of the decision. If appealing under Section M.2., the document must contain the substantive and relevant new information, details as to why the information was not available at the time of the investigation, and how the new evidence might impact the outcome of the decision.

Appeals of the Adjudicators’ decision must be received in writing by the Title IX Coordinator within one week of the date of the final report. Likewise, appeals of decisions to administratively close a case or to deny a request to withdraw the complaint must be received by the Title IX Coordinator within one week of the date of the decision under appeal. Such appeals must contain a clear statement of the grounds of the appeal.

Ordinarily, appeals will be decided within two weeks and the parties and the Title IX Coordinator promptly will be informed of the outcome in writing.

V) COMPLAINANT DOES NOT WISH TO PURSUE RESOLUTION OR REQUESTS CONFIDENTIALITY If the complainant does not wish to pursue Formal or Informal Resolution and/or requests that their complaint remains confidential, Title IX nevertheless requires that the College investigate and take reasonable action in response to the complainant’s information. The Title IX Coordinator will inform the complainant that the College’s ability to respond may be limited. The Title IX Coordinator may conduct a preliminary investigation into the alleged Sexual Misconduct and may weigh the complainant’s request(s) against the following factors: the seriousness of the alleged Sexual Misconduct; whether there have been other complaints of Sexual Misconduct made against the same accused student; and the accused student’s right to receive information about the allegations if the information is maintained by the College as an “education record” under FERPA. The Title IX Coordinator will inform the complainant if the College cannot ensure confidentiality. Even if the College cannot take disciplinary action against the accused student due to the complainant insisting on confidentiality or that the complaint not be resolved, the Title IX Coordinator reserves the authority to undertake an appropriate inquiry, issue a “no contact” order, and take other reasonably necessary measures.

VI) CONFIDENTIALITY

PNCA will endeavor to maintain confidentiality to the extent permitted by law. In cases where the complainant’s desire to maintain anonymity may constrain attempts to establish facts and eliminate the alleged harassment, PNCA will attempt to find the right balance between the complainant’s desire for confidentiality and PNCA’s responsibility to provide an environment free of sexual harassment. However, PNCA may take formal action to ensure an environment free of sexual harassment and/or sexual misconduct.

Once a complaint is filed, the Complainant or Reporter, the Respondent, and any witnesses will be notified of the potential for compromising the integrity of the investigation by disclosing information about the case and the expectation that they therefore keep such information – including any documents they may receive or review – confidential. They also will be notified that sharing such information might compromise the investigation or may be construed as retaliatory. Retaliation of any kind is a separate violation of the Policy and may lead to an additional complaint and consequences.

The parties remain free to share their own experiences, other than information that they have learned solely through the investigatory process, though to avoid the possibility of compromising the investigation, it is generally advisable to limit the number of people in whom they confide.

VII) STUDENT, FACULTY, AND STAFF RELATIONSHIPS

Consensual Relationships Romantic or sexual relationships between a faculty member and a student or between a supervisor and a person under their supervision create situations that may lead to sexual harassment, conflicts of interest, and favoritism. Therefore, PNCA strongly discourages consensual relationships between supervisors and subordinates, faculty and students, and advisors and students. Failure to report such consensual relationships and to cooperate in making alternative arrangements may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination or expulsion.

This policy is not intended to discourage the interaction of faculty and students and supervisors and employees where it is appropriate and ethical. If a romantic or sexual relationship exists or develops between a faculty member and a student enrolled in the faculty member’s course, the faculty member must disclose the relationship’s existence to an immediate supervisor and cooperate in making alternative arrangements for the supervision, teaching, grading, or advising of the student and/or student employee.

Supervisors must disclose a romantic or sexual relationship that exists or develops between the supervisor and an employee under their supervision to an immediate supervisor, and must cooperate in making alternative arrangements for the supervision of the employee. The supervisor and employee, or faculty member and student, involved must understand appropriate behavior for the classroom and/or workplace. In the event that a complaint of sexual harassment or sexual misconduct is brought by either party regarding the relationship, there will be no presumption by PNCA that the relationship was consensual. Behaviors that include inappropriate displays of affection are prohibited on campus and may result in disciplinary action. Inappropriate displays of affection include, but are not limited to, unwarranted comments of a sexual nature and any deliberate physical contact that might cause humiliation or intimidation to other students, faculty, or staff.

VIII) AMENDMENTS

This Policy may be amended, in writing, by the President or the President’s designee at any time. 

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Questions or concerns?

Please reach out to our Title IX Coordinator. We are here to help and want to hear for you.

Cordelia Daniels
Director of Legal Service
Title IX Coordinator
503.821.8881
cdaniels@pnca.edu
titleIX@pnca.edu

email Title IX