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TITLE IX POLICY AND PROCEDURE

 

 

POLICY: III-7-8

DATE OF ADOPTION: August 20, 2020

REVISION DATE(S):   

LEGAL REFERENCE: Public Law 92 318, 86 Stat. 235 (June 23, 1972)

 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

Under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972:

 

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.

 

This Title IX policy is based on the Department of Education’s Final Rule dated May 6, 2020.  Developed to reaffirm these principles, this policy has been established to provide recourse for those individuals whose rights have been violated. It is intended to define community expectations and establish a mechanism for determining when those expectations have been violated.

 

Seminole State College (the “College”) uses the preponderance of the evidence, also known as “more likely than not” as a standard for proof of whether a violation occurred. In campus grievance proceedings, the burden of proof is the responsibility of the College and not the parties involved.  The College never assumes a responding party is in violation of College procedure. Campus grievance proceedings are conducted to take into account the totality of all evidence available, from all relevant sources.  The College may address sexual harassment affecting its students or employees that falls outside Title IX’s jurisdiction in any manner the school chooses, including providing supportive measures or pursuing discipline.

When responding to sexual harassment (e.g., by offering supportive measures to a complainant and refraining from disciplining a respondent without following a Title IX grievance process, which includes investigating formal complaints of sexual harassment), Title IX provides clear definitions so recipients, students, and employees clearly understand how a school must respond to sexual harassment incidents in a way that supports the alleged victim and treats both parties fairly.  For purposes of Title IX, some definitions may vary from other similar definitions mandated by State and Federal legislation.

 

 

 

INSTITUTIONAL RESPONSE EXPECTATIONS

 

Upon receiving a formal complaint, the College will respond in a way that is not deliberately indifferent when the College has actual knowledge.  The College has actual knowledge if the Title IX Coordinator or any official who has authority to institute corrective measures on behalf of the recipient is informed.  Regulations allow any person to report, but only Complainant, or Title IX Coordinator in limited cases, can initiate Formal Complaint

 

 

GRIEVANCE PROCESS

 

The College will provide a consistent, transparent grievance process for resolving formal complaints of sexual harassment.  The College grievance process will:

 

EMERGENCY REMOVAL

 

In certain instances an emergency removal action may be appropriate for the College to avoid a deliberately indifferent response. The College will conduct a prompt, individualized safety and risk analysis which must confirm there is an immediate threat to the physical health or safety of one or more individuals, who may be the respondent, the complainant, or any other individual such as a third-party witness.

 

 

INVESTIGATION

 

The College will investigate the allegations in any formal complaint and send written notice to both parties (complainants and respondents) of the allegations upon receipt of a formal complaint.

 

During the grievance process and when investigating:

 

LIVE HEARING

 

The College will adhere to the Title IX requirement to provide a “live” hearing with cross-examination.

 

 

STANDARD OF EVIDENCE AND WRITTEN DETERMINATION

 

The College will utilize a preponderance of the evidence standard of evidence, also known as “more likely than not”, for all formal complaints of sexual harassment whether the respondent is a student or an employee (including faculty member).

 

Range of Sanctions

 

Sanctions for violation of college regulations may include any one or a combination of the following:

  1. Formal or informal warning and reprimands.
  2. The imposing of specified restrictions.
  3. Financial restitution to the appropriate party.
  4. Fines
  5. Loss of privileges, such as use of college facilities, visitation, and attendance at college functions, etc.
  6. Conduct probation. When a student is placed on conduct probation, the student, the student’s parents (if applicable), and the college President are notified.  A second violation means that disciplinary action taken will be based on both violations.  A student who is placed on indefinite conduct probation may petition the Vice President for Student Affairs to be removed from probation status not sooner than one calendar year from the date probation took effect.  A record of conduct probation is kept in the student’s file in the Admissions Office.

 

As a provision of conduct probation the student may receive one or a combination of the following sanctions. They include:

  1. Suspension. A student may be suspended for a definite or indefinite period. Readmission to the college can be granted only by Vice President for Student Affairs. Suspension may be recorded on the student’s transcript at the discretion of the Vice President for Student Affairs.
  2. Expulsion. When a student is expelled, a record of this action is included in the student’s permanent record in the Office of the Registrar.  A student who is expelled will not be allowed to re-enter Seminole State College unless by permission of the President.

 

APPEALS

 

The College will offer both parties an appeal from a determination regarding responsibility, and from a school’s dismissal of a formal complaint or any allegations therein, on the following bases: procedural irregularity that affected the outcome of the matter, newly discovered evidence that could affect the outcome of the matter, and/or Title IX personnel had a conflict of interest or bias, that affected the outcome of the matter.  Appeals will not consist of meeting with the Complainant or Respondent, but

 

 

INFORMAL RESOLUTION

 

The College, at its discretion, may choose to offer and facilitate informal resolution options, such as mediation or restorative justice, so long as both parties give voluntary, informed, written consent to attempt informal resolution. Any person who facilitates an informal resolution must be well trained.

 

 

RETALIATION

 

The College adamantly prohibits retaliation of any kind. Charging an individual with code of conduct violations that do not involve sexual harassment, but arise out of the same facts or circumstances as a report or formal complaint of sexual harassment, for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by Title IX constitutes retaliation.  The College will keep confidential the identity of complainants, respondents, and witnesses, except as may be permitted by FERPA, as required by law, or as necessary to carry out a Title IX proceeding.  Complaints alleging retaliation may be filed according to a school’s prompt and equitable grievance procedures.  The exercise of rights protected under the First Amendment does not constitute retaliation.  Charging an individual with a code of conduct violation for making a materially false statement in bad faith in the course of a Title IX grievance proceeding does not constitute retaliation; however, a determination regarding responsibility, alone, is not sufficient to conclude that any party made a bad faith materially false statement.

 

 

TITLE IX COORDINATOR

 

The College Title IX Coordinator oversees compliance with all aspects of the sex/gender harassment, discrimination and misconduct procedure. The Coordinator reports to the Vice President for Student Affairs.  Questions about this policy and procedure should be directed to the Title IX Coordinator or Vice President for Student Affairs. Anyone wishing to make a report relating to discrimination or harassment may do so by reporting the concern to the College Title IX Coordinator:

 

Leslie Sewell, Title IX Coordinator

Assistant Athletic Director

Seminole State College

2701 Boren Blvd; Raymond Harbor Fieldhouse #3

Seminole, OK 74818

(405) 382-9541

Email:  l.sewell@sscok.edu

 

The College Deputy Title IX Coordinator oversees compliance with all aspects of the sex/gender harassment, discrimination and misconduct procedure concerning employees. Anyone wishing to make a report relating to discrimination or harassment may do so by reporting the concern to the College Deputy Title IX Coordinator:

 

Jeanie Nix, Deputy Title IX Coordinator                  
Sponsored Programs Compliance Officer                  
Seminole State College
2701 Boren Blvd; Dan and Andrea Boren Bldg.
Seminole, OK 74818
(405) 382-9290                                                           
Email:  j.nix@sscok.edu

 

 

Should any portion of the Title IX Final Rule, 85 Fed. Reg. 30026 (May 19, 2020), be stayed or held invalid by a court of law, or should the Title IX Final Rule be withdrawn or modified to not require the elements of this policy, this policy, or the invalidated elements of this policy, will be deemed revoked as of the publication date of the opinion or order and for all reports after that date, as well as any elements of the process that occur after that date if a case is not complete by that date of opinion or order publication. Should the Title IX Grievance Policy be revoked in this manner, any conduct covered under the Title IX Grievance Policy shall be investigated and adjudicated under the existing Code of Conduct or Employee Handbook.