Sexual Misconduct Policy - 63.01D
College Procedure Number/Title:
Sexual misconduct is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by state and federal laws, including Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 as amended (“Title IX”) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended, and also may constitute criminal activity. Sexual misconduct is an umbrella term that includes sexual and gender-based harassment or discrimination, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual exploitation, and stalking. Howard Community College (HCC) prohibits and will not tolerate sexual misconduct. HCC recognizes that sexual misconduct damages the integrity of the educational institution, destroys the institution’s positive work and educational atmosphere, and causes psychological and physiological damage to those involved. The college condemns such activity and is strongly committed to providing a learning and working environment free from any form of sexual misconduct.
HCC promotes a climate that is free from sexual misconduct through training, education and prevention programs. The college promotes prompt reporting, prohibits retaliation, and ensures timely, fair, and impartial investigation and resolution of reported sexual misconduct. Any employee, student, vendor, or affiliated person who engages in sexual misconduct in violation of this policy will be subject to disciplinary action including but not limited to dismissal from a class, suspension or expulsion from the college, termination of a contract or debarment in the case of vendors, or termination in the case of employees.
All college community members are subject to this policy, regardless of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. This includes all college students, faculty, and staff, as well as third parties and contractors under the college’s control. Violations of the policy may occur between individuals or groups of individuals of any sexual orientation or actual or perceived gender identity. This policy applies to sexual misconduct in connection with any college program or activity, including: (1) in any college facility or on college owned or controlled property; (2) in connection with any college sponsored, recognized or approved program, visit or activity, regardless of location; (3) that impedes equal access to any college education program or activity or adversely impacts the employment of a member of the college community; or (4) that otherwise threatens the health or safety of a member of the college community.
Any type of retaliatory or intimidating behavior against a person participating in a protected activity because of their participation in that protected activity is expressly prohibited by this policy. HCC takes strong disciplinary action against any individual or group of individuals found responsible for retaliating or intimidating, or attempting to retaliate or intimidate, another person for making a report , opposing in a reasonable manner an act or policy believed to constitute discrimination or harassment, or testifying, assisting, or participating in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing related to a protected activity. Any concern of retaliation should be reported immediately and the college will promptly investigate.
The college encourages HCC community members who have questions about Title IX or who want to make a complaint regarding sexual misconduct to contact one of the Title IX co-coordinators: Dr. Cynthia Peterka, vice president of student services, and Mr. Joseph Pettiford, associate vice president of human resources. The deputy Title IX coordinators are Mr. Geoffrey Colbert, acting senior director of student conduct and athletics, and Ms. Christy Lee Koontz, associate director for student conduct and compliance. Dr. Peterka (firstname.lastname@example.org), Mr. Colbert (email@example.com) and Ms. Koontz (firstname.lastname@example.org) can be reached at 443-518-4809. Their offices are located in McCuan Hall, room 258 (MH 258) Mr. Pettiford (email@example.com) can be reached at 443-518-1100. His office is located in Howard Hall room 100 (HW 100). The most up to date contact information for these individuals can be found on the college website in the staff directory.
HCC community members may also direct questions to the Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights. Additionally, HCC community members may report incidents to any HCC non-confidential college employee because all HCC non-confidential college employees have been designated responsible employees and are required to report any information they receive regarding sexual misconduct to their supervisor and to HCC's Title IX co-coordinators or the HCC deputy Title IX coordinators. The college employees who are designated as confidential include: employees of HCC Counseling Services licensed for and acting as personal counselors and employees licensed for and acting in a medical capacity for a patient.
A student who reports an incident of sexual misconduct, either as a complainant or a third party witness, will not be held responsible for violating the Student Code of Conduct if the student was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the incident. An employee under similar circumstances would not be disciplined under college procedures if the report was in good faith. HCC does not want the fear of receiving disciplinary charges or disciplinary sanction to prevent a student or employee from reporting an incident of sexual misconduct.
Any changes to this policy must be approved by the office of the vice president of student services, the office of human resources, and the Title IX coordinator.
Effective Date: 05/07/19
President's Office Use: VPSS/VPAF - CAT