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SVCC Title IX - Sex Discrimination and Sexual Misconduct Policy

Sauk Valley Community College does not tolerate sex or gender discrimination, including sexual misconduct such as sexual harassment and sexual assault, stalking, and intimate partner violence. These behaviors are harmful to the well-being of our community members, the learning/working environment, and collegial relationships among our students, faculty, and staff. All forms of prohibited conduct under this policy are regarded as serious College offenses, and violations will result in discipline, including the possibility of separation from the College. State and federal laws also address conduct that may meet the College's definitions of prohibited conduct, and criminal prosecution may take place independently of any disciplinary action instituted by the College.

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex or gender in the College’s programs and activities. The College will respond to complaints or reports about prohibited conduct with measures designed to stop the behavior, eliminate any such gender discrimination, prevent the recurrence of the prohibited conduct, and remediate any adverse effects of such conduct on campus or in College-related programs or activities.

The College has an obligation to make reasonable efforts to investigate and address complaints or reports of sex or gender discrimination, including sexual misconduct, whenever it becomes aware of such a complaint or report. Once made aware, the College must conduct an investigation regardless of how the information was brought to the College’s attention or the extent to which the complainant(i.e., an individual who has been subjected to prohibited conduct, according to the complaint or report) wishes to participate or be involved. All individuals have access to Confidential Resources that they may use for support and guidance without initiating College action.

Retaliation against anyone involved in filing an internal complaint under this policy, filing an external complaint, participating in the internal disciplinary process, or opposing in a reasonable manner an act believed to constitute a violation of this policy, is prohibited and will not be tolerated.

In light of these commitments, the College has adopted this policy, which includes investigation and disciplinary procedures that will be followed in response to allegations of sex or gender discrimination, including sexual misconduct such as sexual harassment and sexual assault, intimate partner violence, stalking, and related retaliation. In a case of alleged sex or gender discrimination or sexual misconduct, this policy supersedes policies and procedures for other forms of misconduct.

1.1 The College's Title IX Coordinator

The College has designated a Title IX Coordinator who is responsible for coordinating the College’s compliance with Title IX.

The Title IX Coordinator will be informed of all complaints or reports of violations of this policy, and oversees the College’s centralized response to ensure compliance with Title IX and the 2013 Amendments to the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). The Title IX Coordinator’s activities include (but are not limited to):

  • Communicating with all members of the College community regarding Title IX and VAWA, and providing information about how individuals may access their rights;
  • Reviewing applicable College policies to ensure institutional compliance with Title IX and VAWA;
  • Monitoring the College’s administration of its own applicable policies, including record keeping, timeframes, and other procedural requirements;
  • Conducting training regarding Title IX, VAWA, and prohibited conduct defined in this policy; and
  • Responding to any complaint or report regarding conduct that violates this policy. In this capacity, the Title IX Coordinator oversees the investigation and resolution of such alleged misconduct, directs the provision of any remedial measures, and monitors the administration of any related appeal.

The Title IX Coordinator may delegate responsibilities under this policy to the Assistant Title IX Coordinator or designee, who will be appropriately trained.

The College Title IX Coordinator’s contact information is as follows:

Daniel McCollum
Criminal Justice Faculty Member
Sauk Valley Community College
Room 3E4
daniel.l.mccollum@svcc.edu
815-835-6256 (Office)
815-355-8787 (cell)

The College Title IX Assistant Coordinators’ contact information is as follows:

Pamela Medema (student - when at least one student is involved)
Director of Enrollment Management
Sauk Valley Community College
Room 1E21
pamela.s.medema@svcc.edu
815-835-6378

Kathryn Snow (non-student -when no students are involved)
Director of Human Resources
Sauk Valley Community College
Room 3L18
kathryn.c.snow@svcc.edu
815-835-6291

1.2 Scope of This Policy

This policy governs the conduct of: College students, regardless of enrollment status; faculty; staff; and third parties (i.e., non-members of the College community, such as vendors, alumni/ae, visitors, or local residents).

Third parties are both protected by and subject to this policy. A third party may make a complaint or report of a violation of this policy committed by a member of the College community. A third party may also be permanently barred from the College or subject to other restrictions for failing to comply with this policy.

This policy applies to conduct that occurs on College property (i.e., on campus) and in the local vicinity. All actions by a member of the College community that involve the use of the College’s computing and network resources from a remote location, including but not limited to accessing email accounts, will be deemed to have occurred on campus. This policy also applies to conduct that occurs off College property (i.e., off campus) when the conduct is associated with a College-sponsored program or activity, such as travel, research, or internship programs or when such conduct may have a continuing adverse effect or could create a hostile environment on campus. Judgments about these matters will depend on facts of an individual case.

1.3 Victim/Complainant/Survivor Rights and Options

Regardless of whether a victim/complainant/survivor elects to pursue a criminal complaint or whether the incident is alleged to have occurred on or off campus, the College will assist victims of sexual misconduct and will provide each of them with a written explanation of their rights and options. Individuals who believe that they were the victim of prohibited conduct as outlined in Section 1.4 of this policy are entitled to:

  • An effective internal investigation by the Title IX Coordinator(s) using the preponderance of evidence standard, separate from any law enforcement or judicial proceedings.
  • The implementation of protective interim steps prior to the final outcome of the investigation (e.g.: schedule changes, work changes, parking changes, safety protocols, etc.)
  • Notification of the investigatory outcome.
  • Protection from retaliation.
  • The filing of an appeal.

1.4 Prohibited Conduct

In determining whether alleged conduct violates this policy, the College will consider the totality of the facts and circumstances involved in the incident, including the nature of the alleged conduct and the context in which it occurred. Any of the prohibited conduct defined in this policy can be committed by individuals of any gender, and it can occur between individuals of the same gender or different genders. It can occur between strangers or acquaintances, as well as people involved in intimate or sexual relationships.

Sex Discrimination

Sex discrimination is adverse treatment of an individual based on sex or gender, rather than individual merit. Sex discrimination encompasses sexual misconduct but also includes other discriminatory behavior that does not constitute sexual misconduct. Sex discrimination may also include abusive or harassing behavior, whether verbal or physical, that demeans or intimidates another individual because of sex, gender identity or gender expression. Examples of conduct that can constitute sex discrimination because of sex, gender identity or gender expression include but are not limited to:

  • Singling out or targeting an individual for different or adverse treatment (e.g., more severe discipline, lower salary increase);
  • Failing or refusing to hire or allow participation by an individual in a College activity;
  • Terminating or removing an individual from employment or an educational program; or
  • Verbally harassing, abusing, or demeaning a targeted individual with conduct designed to adversely impact that individual.
Sexual Misconduct

The following behaviors constitute sexual misconduct and are prohibited under this policy. All forms of sexual misconduct are serious offenses and will result in College disciplinary consequences. Sexual misconduct involving force, duress, or inducement of incapacitation, or where the perpetrator has deliberately taken advantage of another person's state of incapacitation, will be deemed especially egregious and may result in expulsion, or termination of employment. The consumption of alcohol or the use of illegal substances does not constitute a mitigating circumstance when it contributes to a violation regarding sexual misconduct.

  • Non-Consensual Sexual Penetration (commonly referred to as rape): Any act of vaginal or anal penetration by a person's penis, finger, other body part, or an object, or oral penetration by a penis, without consent.
  • Non-Consensual Sexual Contact (commonly referred to as sexual assault): Any sexual touching other than non-consensual sexual penetration without consent. Examples of non-consensual sexual contact may include: genital-genital or oral-genital contact not involving penetration; contact with breasts, buttocks, or genital area, including over clothing; removing the clothing of another person; and kissing.
  • Sexual Exploitation: Any act whereby one person violates the sexual privacy of another or takes unjust or abusive sexual advantage of another who has not provided consent, and that does not constitute non-consensual sexual penetration or non-consensual sexual contact. Examples may include: recording, photographing, transmitting, viewing or distributing intimate or sexual images or sexual information without the knowledge and consent of all parties involved; voyeurism (i.e., spying on others who are in intimate or sexual situations).
  • Sexual Harassment: Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
    • Submission to or rejection of such conduct is made implicitly or explicitly a term or condition of instruction, employment, or participation in any College activity or benefit;
    • Submission to or rejection of these behaviors by an individual is used as a basis for evaluation in making academic or personnel decisions; or
    • These behaviors are sufficiently severe and/or pervasive to have the effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's educational experience, working conditions, or living conditions by creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment.
  • Sexually Inappropriate Conduct: Unwelcome sexual conduct that may not rise to the level of sexual harassment or sexual exploitation, but that is sexual in nature. Examples may include: obscene or sexually offensive gestures and comments; and lewdness.
Other Prohibited Behaviors

The following behaviors are also prohibited under this policy.

  • Intimate Relationship Violence (also known as dating violence or intimate partner violence): Acts of violence, threat or intimidation that harm or injure a partner in a current or former intimate relationship (defined below). These acts may be physical, emotional/psychological, sexual, or economic in nature. Intimate relationship violence can be a single act or pattern of behavior.
  • Domestic Violence in the Context of Intimate Relationships: A particular type of intimate relationship violence that occurs when partners in a current or former intimate relationship are or have been cohabiting in the same space. Students are deemed to be cohabiting when they share access to the same private living space or bathroom.
  • Stalking in the Context of Intimate Relationships: A course of conduct (i.e., more than one act) directed at a partner in a current or former intimate relationship that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear, to experience emotional distress, or to fear for the safety of a third person. Acts that together constitute stalking may be direct actions or may be communicated by a third party, and can include, but are not limited to: threats of harm to self or others; pursuing or following; non-consensual (unwanted) communication by any means; unwanted gifts; trespassing; and surveillance or other types of observation.
  • Retaliation: Any attempt to seek retribution against an individual or group of individuals involved in filing a complaint or report under this policy, filing an external complaint, participating in a disciplinary process, or opposing in a reasonable manner an action believed to constitute a violation of this policy. Retaliation can take many forms, including abuse or violence, threats, and intimidation. Actions in response to a good faith report or response under this policy are considered retaliatory if they have a materially adverse effect on the working, academic or College-controlled living environment of an individual; or if they hinder or prevent the individual from effectively carrying out their College responsibilities. Any individual or group of individuals can engage in retaliation and will be held accountable under this policy.

1.5 Terminology

The following definitions clarify key terminology as used throughout the policy.

Intimate Relationship
An intimate relationship is a short- or long-term relationship between persons of any gender that provides romantic and/or physical intimacy or emotional dependence. Intimate relationships may include (but are not limited to) marriages, civil unions, dating relationships, "hook-up" relationships, relationships in which partners are characterized as "girlfriends" or "boyfriends," and relationships between persons with a child in common.
Consent and Incapacitation
In reviewing possible violations of sexual misconduct, the College considers consent as the voluntary, informed, uncoerced agreement through words and actions freely given, which a reasonable person would interpret as a willingness to participate in mutually agreed-upon sexual acts. Consensual sexual activity happens when each partner willingly and affirmatively chooses to participate.
Indications that consent is not present include
when physical force is used or there is a reasonable belief of the threat of physical force; when duress is present; when one person overcomes the physical limitations of another person; and when a person is incapable of making an intentional decision to participate in a sexual act, which could include instances in which the person is in a state of incapacitation.

Important points regarding consent include:

  • Consent to one act does not constitute consent to another act.
  • Consent on a prior occasion does not constitute consent on a subsequent occasion.
  • The existence of a prior or current relationship does not, in itself, constitute consent.
  • Consent can be withdrawn or modified at any time.
  • Consent is not implicit in a person's manner of dress.
  • Accepting a meal, a gift, or an invitation for a date does not imply or constitute consent.
  • Silence, passivity, or lack of resistance does not necessarily constitute consent.
  • Initiation by someone who a reasonable person knows or should have known to be deemed incapacitated is not consent.

In the context of this policy, incapacitation is the state in which a person’s perception or judgment is so impaired that he or she lacks the cognitive capacity to make or act on conscious decisions. The use of drugs or alcohol can cause incapacitation. An individual who is incapacitated is unable to consent to a sexual activity. Engaging in sexual activity with an individual who is incapacitated (and therefore unable to consent), where a person knows or ought reasonably to have understood that the individual is incapacitated, constitutes sexual misconduct.

Complainant
The term complainant refers to the individual(s) who has been the subject of prohibited conduct, regardless of whether that individual makes a complaint or seeks disciplinary action. Note: May also be referred to as a victim or survivor.
Reporting Party
The term reporting party refers to anyone who is not the subject of prohibited conduct, but who brings the matter to the attention of the College.  This may include, but not be limited to faculty, staff, students or others who learn of the incident through any means.
Respondent
The term respondent refers to the individual(s) who has been accused of prohibited conduct.
Third Party
The term third party refers to any individual who is not a College student, a faculty member, or a staff member (e.g., vendors, alumni/ae, or local residents).

1.6 Relationships with Individuals in Authority

Sexual or romantic relationships involving individuals in a teacher-student relationship or in the context of employment supervision or evaluation is not, in and of itself, sexual misconduct as defined by this policy and will not be investigated or adjudicated under this policy.

A sexual or romantic relationship involving individuals in a teacher-student relationship may violate state and federal anti-discrimination laws. A consensual relationship with a student can also create immediate problems of conflict of interest by raising perceptions of favoritism or unequal treatment.

A conflict of interest may exist if there is a consensual romantic or sexual relationship in the context of employment supervision or evaluation. Therefore, a supervisor may not influence, directly or indirectly, salary, promotion, performance appraisals, work assignments or other working conditions for an employee with whom such a relationship exists. Such actions may violate the College’s Sexual Harassment Policy (SVCC Board Policy 427.01).

1.7 Confidentiality, Privacy, and Related Responsibilities

Issues of privacy and confidentiality play important roles in this policy, and may affect individuals differently. Privacy and confidentiality are related but distinct terms that are defined below.

In some circumstances, the reporting responsibilities of College employees, or the College’s responsibility to investigate, may conflict with the preferences of the complainant and/or respondent with regard to privacy and confidentiality. Therefore, all individuals are encouraged to familiarize themselves with their options and responsibilities, and make use of Confidential Resources, if applicable, in determining their preferred course of action.

Requests for confidentiality or use of anonymous reporting may limit the College’s ability to conduct an investigation.

1.7.1 Confidentiality and Confidential Resources

The term “confidentiality” refers to the circumstances under which information will or will not be disclosed to others.

Confidential resources are designated by the College to advise complainants on their options to report violations of this policy, and how to seek medical, legal and other services.

Several campus professionals are designated Confidential Resources. Conversations with Confidential Resources are privileged. Information shared with Confidential Resources (including information about whether an individual has received services) will only be disclosed to the Title IX Coordinator or any other person only with the individual’s express written permission, unless there is an imminent threat of serious harm to the individual or to others, or a legal obligation to reveal such information (e.g., if there is suspected abuse or neglect of a minor). Confidential Resources may submit non-identifying information about violations of this policy to the Department of Public Safety for purposes of the anonymous statistical reporting under the Clery Act.

An individual who is not prepared to make a report, or who may be unsure how to label what happened, but still seeks information and support, is strongly encouraged to contact a Confidential Resource. See the College Resource Personnel (appendix A) for a complete list of Confidential Resources on campus.

In particular, any individual who may have been subjected to a violation of this policy, or who is considering making a report under this policy, is encouraged to contact the Title IX Coordinator. 

In light of the College’s obligation to make reasonable efforts to investigate and address conduct prohibited by this policy, College community members who are not designated Confidential Resources may be required to notify the Title IX Coordinator or the Campus Security of suspected violations, and cannot guarantee the confidentiality of a complaint or report under this policy.

1.7.2 Confidentiality Rights of Complainants and Respondents

Individuals involved in investigations or disciplinary proceedings under this policy are encouraged to exercise discretion in sharing information in order to safeguard the integrity of the process and to avoid the appearance of retaliation. While discretion regarding the process is important, complainants and respondents are not restricted from discussing and sharing information with others who may support or assist them in presenting their case.

Medical and counseling records are privileged and confidential documents that parties will not be required to disclose.

1.7.3 Privacy

The term “privacy” refers to the discretion that will be exercised by the College in the course of any investigation or disciplinary processes under this policy.

The College has an obligation to make reasonable efforts to investigate and address complaints or reports of violations of this policy. In all such proceedings, the College will take into consideration the privacy of the parties to the extent possible.

In cases involving students, the Title IX Coordinator may notify other College employees of the existence of the complaint for the purpose of overseeing compliance with this policy and addressing any concerns related to educational and College sponsored events. While not bound by confidentiality, these individuals will be discreet and will respect the privacy of those involved in the process.

Any additional disclosure of information related to the complaint or report may be made if consistent with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), or the Title IX requirements.

1.7.4 Responsibility to Report

All members of the College community are encouraged to report any suspected violation of this policy (after consulting a Confidential Resource as appropriate).

In emergency situations, if there is a suspected crime in progress, or imminent or serious threats to the safety of anyone, faculty and staff members must immediately dial 911 from an on-campus telephone whenever possible.

In non-emergency situations, faculty and staff members who are not Confidential Resources must promptly report suspected violations to the Title IX Coordinator in person or by using the Incident Reporter web form in FAST.

A complainant may choose not to make a complaint or report in their own case, even if the complainant otherwise has reporting obligations by being a designated Incident Reporter.

1.7.5 Anonymity

For more information regarding the implications of anonymity in the context of reporting a policy violation, see Anonymous Reporting under Filing a Complaint or Report with the Title IX Coordinator.

1.7.6 Release of Information

If Campus Security becomes aware of a serious and continuing threat to the campus community, Campus Security will issue a timely notification to the College community. In all cases of sexual misconduct, the Title IX Coordinator will be notified.  Campus Security, as required by law, may also be required to complete an incident report and publicly disclose the reported incident of sexual misconduct in the annual security report. In addition, the College may also share non-identifying information, including data about outcomes and penalties, in aggregate form. At no time will the College release the name or other personally identifiable information of the complainant to the general public without the express consent of the complainant or as otherwise permitted or required by law.

1.8 Support Resources

A complainant or witness has many options, including meeting with a Confidential Resource, filing an internal complaint, and/or filing a criminal complaint. The College recognizes that deciding among these options can be difficult. Complainants and witnesses are encouraged to seek assistance from a Confidential Resource before deciding how to proceed.

The following resources are available to provide support and/or receive complaints or reports.

1.8.1 Emergency Resources and Law Enforcement

Emergency medical assistance and campus safety/law enforcement assistance are available both on and off campus. Individuals are encouraged to contact law enforcement and seek medical treatment as soon as possible following an incident that poses a threat to safety or physical well-being or following a potential criminal offense. For more information about filing a criminal complaint.

Phone 911

or

  • Amboy Police Department
    227 E Main Street
    Amboy, IL 61310
    815-857-3400
  • Ashton Police Department
    902 Main Street
    Ashton, IL 61006
    815-453-2344
  • Bureau County Sheriff’s Office
    22 Park Avenue
    Princeton, IL 61356
    815-875-3344
  • Carroll County Sheriff’s Department
    301 N Main Street
    Mt Carroll, IL 61052
    815-244-9171
  • City of Polo Police Department
    116 S Franklin Avenue
    Polo, IL 61064
    815-946-2444
  • Dixon Police Department
    220 S Hennepin Avenue
    Dixon, IL 61021
    815-288-4411
  • Franklin Grove Police Department
    105 East South Street
    Franklin Grove, IL 61031
    815-456-2131
  • Fulton Police Department
    415 11th Avenue
    Fulton, IL 61252
    815-589-3617
  • Illinois State Police, Dist. One
    3107 E Lincolnway
    Sterling, IL 61081
    815-632-4010
  • Lee County Sheriff’s Department
    306 S Hennepin Avenue
    Dixon, IL 61021
    815-284-6631
  • Milledgeville Police Department
    334 N Main Street
    Milledgeville, IL 61051
    815-225-7231
  • Morrison Police Department
    200 W Main
    Morrison, IL 61270
    815-772-7650
  • Mt Morris Police Department
    105 W Lincoln Street
    Mt Morris, IL 61054
    815-734-4132
  • Ogle County Sheriff’s Department
    103 Jefferson Street
    Oregon, IL 61061
    815-732-6666
  • Oregon Police Department
    115 N 3rd Street
    Oregon, IL 61061
    815-732-2162
  • Polo Police Department
    116 S Franklin Avenue
    Polo, IL 61064
    815-946-2444
  • Prophetstown Police Department
    339 Washington Street
    Prophetstown, IL 61277
    815-537-2386
  • Rock Falls Police Department
    1013 7th Avenue
    Rock Falls, IL 61071
    815-622-1140
  • Savanna Police Department
    101 Main Street
    Savanna, IL 61074
    815-273-2246
  • Sterling Police Department
    212 3rd Avenue
    Sterling, IL 61081
    815-632-6640
  • Tampico Police Department
    104 W Market Street
    Tampico, IL 61283
    815-537-8813
  • Walnut Police Department
    114 Jackson Street
    Walnut, IL 61376
    815-379-9000
  • Whiteside County Sheriff’s Department
    400 N Cherry Street
    Morrison, IL 61270
    815-772-4044

or

Sauk Valley Community College Security
Information/Security Office (West Mall – room 1C04)
815-835-6323

1.8.2 Confidential Resources

Information shared with Confidential Resources (including information about whether an individual has received services) will only be disclosed to the Title IX Coordinator or any other person with the individual’s express written permission, unless there is an imminent threat of serious harm to the individual or to others, or a legal obligation to reveal such information (e.g., if there is suspected abuse or neglect of a minor). For more information about confidentiality and Confidential Resources, refer to Confidentiality, Privacy, and Related Responsibilities.

The College provides confidential resources that offer support and advocacy services. Individuals are encouraged to access confidential resources to learn about their options. A confidential resource can provide information about the roles and reporting obligations of other offices at the College in order to empower individuals to make informed decisions about their options. 

Campus Confidential Resources include:

Counseling Office
Student Services Center – First Floor, West Mall
815-835-6354

Disability Support Office (DSO)
Student Services Center – First Floor, West Mall
815-835-6220

Student Support Services – SSS (TRiO)
Student Services Center – First Floor, West Mall
815-835-6268

1.8.3 Other Available Resources

Any individual may also access resources located in the local community. These organizations can provide crisis intervention services, counseling, medical attention and assistance in dealing with the criminal justice system. If accessing these resources, individuals are encouraged to clarify whether the resources are confidential.

YWCA Sexual Assault Program
Free and confidential services for survivors of sexual violence include medical/legal advocacy, counseling, information and referral.
24-hour Hotline: Collect calls accepted. 815-626-7277 or 815-288-1011
412 First Avenue,
Sterling, IL 61081
815-625-0333
or
815-626-7277
or
815-288-1011 (Office)

National Sexual Assault Hotline
Connects callers to the nearest RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network)-affiliated crisis center.
24-hour Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE

Evidence Collection/Medical Assistance (will likely result in police involvement)
Dial 911 or contact the nearest police department or go to the nearest emergency room

General Counseling Services

Lutheran Social Services of Illinois (LSSI)
1901 First Avenue,
Sterling, IL 61081
815-626-7333
or
1261 IL Route 38,
Nachusa, IL 61057
815-284-7796 (Nachusa)
www.lssi.org

Sinnissippi Centers
325 Illinois Route 2,
Dixon, IL 61021-9162
or
125 South Fourth Street,
Oregon, IL 61061
or
2611 Woodlawn Road,
Sterling, IL 61081
or
1321 North Seventh Street,
Rochelle, IL 61068 
or
1122 Healthcare Drive,
Mt. Carroll, IL 61053
800-242-7642 - 24 hour emergency number
www.sinnissippi.com

Whiteside County Community Health Clinic (WCHD)
1300 West Second Street,
Rock Falls, IL 61071
(815) 626-2230 Ext. 1267

Other Private Counseling Agencies/Services

(refer to local phone directory)

Other Resources

Illinois 211
2-1-1 or 1-888-865-9903
www.findhelp211.org

1.9 Options for Complainants and Other Reporting Parties

The College encourages all individuals to report any alleged or suspected violation of this policy to the Title IX coordinator, and to report potential criminal conduct to law enforcement. After consulting a Confidential Resource as appropriate, anyone who seeks to make a complaint or report may:

  • Request interim measures from the Title IX coordinator;
  • File a complaint or report with the Title IX coordinator, thereby invoking investigation, disciplinary and appeal procedures as outlined in this document; and/or
  • Contact a local police/sheriff’s office for assistance in filing a criminal complaint and preserving physical evidence;

Any individual needing assistance or accommodation in completing documentation should contact the Title IX Coordinator.

An individual may pursue some or all of these steps at the same time (e.g., one may simultaneously pursue an internal complaint and a criminal complaint). When initiating any of the above, an individual does not need to know whether they wish to request any particular course of action, nor how to label what happened. Before or during this decision-making process, complainants and other reporting persons are encouraged to consult a Confidential Resource.

1.10 Filing a Complaint or Report with the Title IX Coordinator

Individuals are encouraged to report any alleged violation of this policy directly to the Title IX Coordinator. In order to do so, individuals may do so electronically, using the Incident Reporter web form. Reports filed electronically will be acknowledged within 12 hours after the report is transmitted. Individuals may also schedule an appointment with the Title IX Coordinator to make a report.

Anonymous Reporting
If a complainant self-identifies but asks to remain anonymous during the investigation, the Title IX Coordinator will consider how to proceed, taking into account the complainant’s wishes, the College’s commitment to provide a non-discriminatory environment, and the respondent’s right to have specific notice of the allegations if the College were to take action that affects the respondent. In such circumstances, the Title IX Coordinator may arrange for limited fact-finding by an investigator to better understand the context of the complaint.
Amnesty
In order to encourage reports of conduct that is prohibited under this policy, the College may offer leniency with respect to other violations which may come to light as a result of such reports, depending on the circumstances involved.
Timeliness of Report
Complainants and other reporting individuals are encouraged to report any violation of this policy as soon as possible in order to maximize the College’s ability to respond promptly and effectively. Complaints and reports may be made at any time without regard to how much time has elapsed since the incident(s) in question.

If the respondent is no longer a student or employee at the time of the complaint or report, the College may not be able to take disciplinary action against the respondent, but it will still seek to meet its Title IX obligations by providing support for the complainant and taking steps to end the prohibited behavior, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects.

2 Investigations and Disciplinary Procedures in General for This Policy

The College is committed to providing a prompt and impartial investigation of all alleged violations of this policy. During the disciplinary process, both parties (complainant and respondent) have equivalent rights, including the opportunity to present evidence, to be accompanied by an adviser of their choice, and to appeal. The College will concurrently provide both parties with written notification of the outcome of the process and any appeal.

2.0 Interim Measures

Upon receipt of a complaint or report of a violation of this policy, the College will provide reasonable and appropriate interim measures designed to preserve the complainant's educational experience, the safety of all parties and the broader College community, maintain the integrity of the investigative and/or resolution process, and deter retaliation. The College may provide interim measures regardless of whether the complainant seeks formal disciplinary action.

Interim measures may include:

  • Access to counseling services and assistance in arranging an initial appointment;
  • Rescheduling of exams and assignments;
  • Change in class schedule, including the ability to transfer course sections or withdraw from a course;
  • Change in work schedule or job assignment;
  • Imposition of an on-campus "no contact order," an administrative remedy designed to curtail contact and communications between two or more individuals; and/or
  • Any other remedy that can be used to achieve the goals of this policy.

Any interim measures will not disproportionately impact the complainant. Requests for interim measures may be made by or on behalf of the complainant to any College official, including the Title IX Coordinator. The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for ensuring the implementation of interim measures and coordinating the College's response with the appropriate offices on campus.

All individuals are encouraged to report concerns about the failure of another to abide by any restrictions imposed by an interim measure. The College will take immediate action to enforce a previously implemented measure and disciplinary penalties can be imposed for failing to abide by a College-imposed measure.

2.1 Responsibility to Investigate

In order to protect the safety of the campus community, the Title IX Coordinator may investigate allegations of violations of this policy even absent the filing of a formal complaint or report, or if a complaint or report has been withdrawn. The Title IX Coordinator may need to proceed with an investigation even if a complainant specifically requests that the matter not be pursued. In such a circumstance, the Title IX Coordinator will take into account the complainant’s articulated concerns, the best interests of the campus community, fairness to all individuals involved, and the College’s obligations under Title IX.

Where this policy differs from State and Federal criminal law, that law will take precedence. Proceedings under this policy may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following civil or criminal proceedings off campus. Neither a decision by law enforcement regarding prosecution nor the outcome of any criminal proceeding will be considered determinative of whether a violation of this policy has occurred.

2.2 Initial Assessment of Complaints

The investigative process is initiated when the Title IX Coordinator receives a complaint or report of a violation of this policy. The Title IX Coordinator will conduct an initial assessment. Following the initial assessment, the Title IX Coordinator may take any of the following actions:

  • If the Title IX Coordinator determines that the complaint, even if substantiated, would not rise to the level of a policy violation, the Title IX Coordinator may dismiss the complaint.
  • If the Title IX Coordinator determines that the complaint is outside the scope of this policy, the Title IX Coordinator may refer the complaint to another office for review.
  • If the Title IX Coordinator determines that the complaint or report would, if substantiated, constitute a violation or this policy, the Title IX Coordinator will determine appropriate interim measures and initiate an investigation.

2.3 Timing of Investigations and Any Related Disciplinary Proceedings

The Title IX Coordinator will seek to complete the investigation and any resulting disciplinary process within 45 business days after receipt of the complaint or report. The College will seek to complete any appeal within ten business days after receipt of the appeal.

There may be circumstances that require the extension of timeframes for good cause, including extension beyond 45 business days. Timeframes may be extended to ensure the integrity and completeness of the investigation, comply with a request by external law enforcement, accommodate the availability of witnesses, or accommodate delays by the parties; or for other legitimate reasons, including the complexity of the investigation and the severity and extent of the alleged misconduct. The College will notify the parties in writing of any extension of the timeframes for good cause, and the reason for the extension.

Although cooperation with law enforcement may require the College to temporarily suspend the fact-finding aspect of a Title IX investigation, the College will promptly resume its Title IX investigation as soon as it is notified by the law enforcement agency that the agency has completed the evidence gathering process. The College will not, however, wait for the conclusion of a criminal proceeding to begin its own investigation and, if needed, will take immediate steps to provide interim measures for the complainant.

Investigations will proceed according to the aforementioned timeframes during the summer and at other times when the College is not in session. The Title IX Coordinator will work with the parties to balance the need for promptness and the preference for in-person meetings regarding the investigation.

Timeframes for all phases of the disciplinary process, including the investigation, any related disciplinary proceedings, and any related appeal, apply equally to both complainant and respondent.

2.4 Cooperation with Investigation and Disciplinary Procedures

Sauk Valley Community College expects all members of the College community to cooperate fully with the investigation and disciplinary procedures. The College recognizes that an individual may be reluctant to participate in the process; nevertheless, any student or member of the faculty or staff who refuses to cooperate in an investigation may be subject to discipline. Refusal to cooperate includes delaying or failing to acknowledge requests from College officials for information, and delaying or failing to make oneself available for meetings with College officials.

It is understood that there may be circumstances in which a complainant wishes to limit their participation. The complainant retains this right and will not be subject to discipline, although the College may be obligated to conduct an investigation.

If a respondent chooses not to answer any or all questions in an investigation for any reason, the College process will continue, findings will be reached with respect to the alleged conduct, and the College will issue any penalties, as appropriate. The College will not, however, draw any adverse inference from a respondent’s silence.

2.5 Sexual History

The sexual history of the complainant and/or the respondent will generally not be used in determining whether a violation of this policy has occurred. However, in certain circumstances, the sexual history between parties may have limited relevance. For example, if consent is at issue, the sexual history between the parties may be relevant to determining whether consent was sought and given during the incident in question, although it must be remembered that even in the context of a relationship, consent to one sexual act does not constitute consent to another sexual act, and consent on one occasion does not constitute consent on a subsequent occasion. In addition, under very limited circumstances, sexual history may be relevant to explain injury, to provide proof of a pattern, or for another specific question raised by an allegation.

2.6 Consolidation of Investigation

The Title IX Coordinator has the discretion to consolidate multiple complaints or reports into a single investigation if evidence relevant to one incident might be relevant to the others.

2.7. Circumstances Relating to Misconduct Affecting Health or Safety

In connection with this policy, in circumstances seriously affecting the health or well-being of any person, or where physical safety is seriously threatened, or where the ability of the College to carry out its essential operations is seriously threatened or impaired, the president or an authorized representative may summarily suspend, dismiss, or bar any person from the College. In all such cases, actions taken will be reviewed promptly, typically within one week, by the appropriate College authority.

3 Making a Criminal Complaint to Law Enforcement

At the complainant’s request, the College will assist the complainant in contacting local law enforcement and will cooperate with law enforcement agencies if a complainant decides to pursue the criminal process. See #1.7.1 for contact information related to law enforcement.

4 Investigation, Disciplinary, and Appeal Procedures for Cases When the Respondent Is a Student

4.1 Investigation and Adjudication

When the Title IX Coordinator receives a complaint or report alleging that a student violated this policy, the Title IX Coordinator will conduct an inquiry and determine, by a preponderance of the evidence, whether this policy was violated. The Title IX Coordinator will interview the parties to the complaint separately. Each party may select an adviser of their choice who may accompany them to any meeting or related proceeding, but the adviser may not participate in the interview process. Also, each of the involved parties shall be provided with the College’s Title IX Policy and the rights of the parties.The Title IX Coordinator will interview witnesses.  Witnesses may not bring advisers.

The Title IX Coordinator will keep notes,prepare a case file of all interview summaries, witness statements, and other document sand retain any evidence and/or photographs, recordings, etc. The case file, redacted of personally identifiable information as necessary, will be shared with the complainant and the respondent. The Title IX Coordinator will describe in writing for the parties the charges that will be adjudicated.

After reviewing the file, each party will have an opportunity (1) to meet again with the Title IX Coordinator, (2) to respond in writing to the Title IX Coordinator, and (3) to request the collection of other information by the Title IX Coordinator. If any additional information is gathered, it will be shared with both parties and each will have the opportunity for further response. The Title IX Coordinator will designate reasonably prompt time frames to ensure a timely completion of the process but also an adequate opportunity for both sides to respond thoroughly to the information gathered in the investigation.  The College may not compel one party to testify in the presence of the other party.

Following the investigation, the Title IX Coordinator will determine whether the respondent, based on the preponderance of evidence standard, violated College policy. The Title IX Coordinator will prepare a report, which will include findings of fact, findings of responsibility, and the rationale.

4.2 Penalties

If a student is found responsible for violating College policy, the entire case file will be forwarded to the Assistant Dean of Student Services and the Dean of Academics and Student Services who will jointly determine the penalty. Penalties will be determined based on the seriousness of the misconduct and the student's previous disciplinary history (if any). Remedial measures will be determined based on the need to afford the parties an educational environment free from discrimination under Title IX. The findings regarding fact and responsibility, as well as the decision regarding the penalty in cases where violations of College policy have occurred, will be conveyed to the parties at the same time in writing. The notification will include the parties’ appeal rights.

If a student is found responsible for violating College policy, the Office of the Assistant Dean of Student Services will record the penalty and retain records in accordance with protocols for all other disciplinary cases. In all cases, the case file will also be archived by the Title IX Coordinator.

4.3 Rights of Appeal

Both parties, the complainant and the respondent, have equal rights to an impartial appeal. All appeals will be referred to a three-person appellate panel appointed by the Dean of Student Services and the Vice President of Academics and Student Services composed of administrators and/or outside parties. All members of the appellate panel will have training regarding Title IX and prohibited conduct defined under this policy. The members of the appellate panel will be impartial and unbiased.

A complainant or respondent may file a written appeal on the grounds that: (1) there is substantial relevant information that was not presented, and reasonably could not have been presented during the investigation; (2) the imposed penalty does not fall within the range of penalties imposed for similar misconduct, or (3) there was procedural unfairness during the disciplinary process.

The purpose of an appeal is not to initiate a review of substantive issues of fact or a new determination of whether a violation of College rules has occurred. The appellate panel may decide to uphold the original decision of the Title IX Coordinator; to alter the imposed penalty; or to return the case to the Title IX Coordinator for additional proceedings or other action.

The deadline for filing a written appeal is ten business days from the date the parties are notified of the decision. If either party files an appeal, the Title IX Coordinator will notify the other party in writing. The Office of Dean of Student Services will serve as record keeper for all appeals and will have primary responsibility for interactions with the parties, for the gathering of information needed for the appeal, and for notifying both parties in writing of the outcome of any appeal.

4.4 Student Enrollment Status

Pending action by the Title IX Coordinator on the charges or pending an appeal, the respondent may be permitted to attend classes, and make use of some or all College facilities, except for circumstances relating to the physical or emotional safety or well-being of a member (or members) of the College community, or the ability of the College to carry out its essential functions. Certain restrictions may be imposed by the deans on the respondent in order to provide the complainant with an educational environment free from discrimination under Title IX.

The respondent should understand that if the decision of the Title IX Coordinator and appeal proves unsuccessful, the penalty will normally be considered effective as of the date of the original decision. In cases adjudicated prior to the last day of classes, if the final decision is a separation from the College (i.e., suspension, suspension with conditions, or expulsion), the respondent will normally not earn credit for the semester in which the infraction occurred. If the case is adjudicated during an exam period or if the respondent has successfully completed course requirements while awaiting the final disposition of the matter, obtaining credit for the semester will be at the discretion of the Assistant Dean of Student Services.

Pending an investigation and adjudication or the respondent's decision about whether to appeal a separation from the College or the withholding of the degree, and/or while an appeal is in process, an administrative hold will be placed on the respondent's College transcript. Should the respondent decide not to appeal a separation or the withholding of the degree, or should an appeal not result in an alteration of the assistant dean's decision to dismiss the respondent or withhold the degree, the registrar will record the fact of the penalty on the respondent's transcript.

5 Investigation, Disciplinary, and Appeal Procedures for Cases When the Respondent Is a Faculty or Staff Member

5.1 Investigation and Adjudication

When the Title IX Coordinator receives a complaint or report alleging that a member of the faculty or staff violated this policy in conjunction with a student, the Assistant Title IX Coordinator (student) will be responsible for conducting the investigation.

In the circumstance when the complaint is made by a member of the faculty or staff alleging a violation of this policy by another member of the faculty or staff, the Assistant Title IX Coordinator (non-student) will prepare a case file of all interview summaries, witness statements, and other documents. The Assistant Title IX Coordinator (non-student) will present both parties with a summary of the case file, after which each party will have an opportunity (1) to meet again with the Assistant Title IX Coordinator (non-student), (2) to provide additional written information to the Assistant Title IX Coordinator (non-student), and (3) to request the collection of other information by the Assistant Title IX Coordinator (non-student). If any additional information is gathered, it will be shared with both parties and each will have the opportunity for further response. The Assistant Title IX Coordinator (non-student) will designate reasonably prompt time frames to ensure a timely completion of the process but also an adequate opportunity for both sides to provide thorough information in the investigation.

In the circumstance when the complaint is made by a student alleging a violation of this policy by a member of the faculty or staff, the Assistant Title IX Coordinator (student) will prepare a case file of all interview summaries, witness statements, and other documents. The file, redacted of personally identifiable information as necessary, will be shared with the complainant and the respondent. After reviewing the file, each party will have an opportunity (1) to meet again with the Assistant Title IX Coordinator (student), (2) to respond in writing and (3) to request the collection of other information. If any additional information is gathered, it will be shared with both parties and each will have the opportunity for further response. The Assistant Title IX Coordinator (student) will designate reasonably prompt time frames to ensure both a timely completion of the process but also an adequate opportunity for both sides to respond thoroughly to the information gathered in the investigation.

Following the investigation, the Title IX Coordinator and Assistant Title IX Coordinator will meet to determine whether the respondent, based on the preponderance of evidence standard, violated College policy. The Assistant Title IX Coordinator (student or non-student depending on the case) will prepare a report, which will include findings of fact, findings of responsibility and the rationale.

5.2 Penalties

The appropriate disciplinary authority based on the role of the respondent is as follows:

  • If a faculty member is found responsible, the panel’s report will be forwarded to the Vice President of Academics and Student Services who will determine the appropriate penalty.
  • If a staff member is found responsible, the report will be forwarded to the Director of Human Resources, supervisor and President, who will determine the appropriate penalty in consultation with the staff member’s supervisor.

The findings regarding fact and responsibility as well as the decision regarding the penalty in cases where violations of College regulations have occurred will be conveyed to the parties in person by the Vice President of Academics and Student Services or the Director of Human Resources or a designee as well as in writing. The notification will include the parties’ appeal rights. In all cases involving sex discrimination or sexual misconduct, the case file will be archived by the Title IX Coordinator.

5.3 Rights of Appeal

Both parties, the complainant and the respondent, have equal rights to an impartial appeal. A complainant or respondent may file a written appeal on the grounds that (1) there is substantial relevant information that was not presented, and reasonably could not have been presented during the investigation; or (2) there was procedural unfairness.

  • In a case where the respondent is a faculty member, the process provided by the faculty contract under “Faculty Grievance Procedure” will serve as the guiding process.
  • In a case where the respondent is a staff member, a written appeal should be filed with the President.

The purpose of an appeal is not to initiate a review of substantive issues of fact or a new determination of whether a violation of College rules has occurred. The appellate authority may decide to uphold the original decision of the panel and/or disciplinary authority; to alter the imposed penalty; or to return the case to the panel for additional proceedings or other action. The appellate authority will have training regarding Title IX and prohibited conduct defined under this policy and will be impartial and unbiased.

The deadline for filing a written appeal for staff members is ten College business days from the date the parties are notified of the decision by human resources or a designee. If either party files an appeal, the other party will be notified. Both parties will be notified in writing of the outcome of the appeal.

6 Disciplinary Procedures Where One Party is a Member of the College Community and the Other Party is a Non-Member of the College Community

When a third party, (i.e., a non-member of our College community) is involved as a complainant or a respondent, the College will use disciplinary procedures that are generally consistent with the disciplinary procedures stated in section 3.0, appropriately modified based on the particular circumstances involved and taking into account privacy requirements and the like. In no case will a member of our community (i.e., current student, faculty member or staff member) be afforded lesser rights or lesser opportunities to participate in the disciplinary proceeding than the non-member of the College community.

7 Other Investigation and Resolution Procedures

If a complaint or report of conduct prohibited by this policy is made against multiple individuals, an office, or the College in general, the Title IX Coordinator will review the matter and take appropriate action, in accordance with this policy. The Title IX Coordinator may conduct an investigation, using investigative and disciplinary procedures that are generally consistent with those stated in this policy, appropriately modified based on the particular circumstances involved. The Title IX Coordinator also has the discretion to conduct a climate review, after which the College may implement appropriate remedial measures.

8 Range of Penalties under This Policy and Disciplinary Procedures

Members of the College community may be subject to disciplinary penalties for violating this policy.

8.1 Additional Accommodations

If a respondent is found responsible for violating this policy, the complainant may request accommodations not already in place, such as a one-way no contact order. The College will promptly implement the accommodation as appropriate. In no circumstance will the burden of the accommodation be placed on the complainant. The accommodation shall be effective even if the respondent files an appeal or if such an appeal is pending.

8.2 Penalties Applicable to Students

For violations of this policy by students, in general the penalties, in ascending order of severity, are listed in the College Code of Student Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures (section IV. A. Disciplinary Actions) for either students as listed in the College catalog, faculty in the faculty handbook, or for staff in the appropriate staff handbook.

8.3 Task Force Participation

The College will participate in an area task force for the purpose of evaluating this policy and related issues in the prevention of sexual violence.  Meetings, at a minimum, will be held twice a year. The members of the task force shall include:

  • The Title IX Coordinator
  • A member of the College Advising Staff
  • A member of The College Security Staff
  • A member of the Sterling YWCA
  • A  member of the Student Government Association
  • A member of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office

8.4 Annual Training

Annual training, in accordance with the law, shall be provided as follows:

Students

Students will receive training on this policy as well as issues of:

  • Consent
  • Retaliation
  • Reporting procedures
  • College resources
  • Bystander intervention
  • Risk reduction strategies
College Employees

College employees will receive trauma-informed, survivor-centered annual training on this policy as well as the issues of:

  • Relevant laws
  • Responding to survivors/complainants

Access the annual online training

Title IX Coordinator and Assistant Coordinators
The Title IX Coordinator and Assistant Coordinators will receive 8-10 hours of annual training to include resolving complaints.
Confidential Advisors
In addition to completing 40 hours of sexual violence training before appointment, confidential advisors shall complete 6 hours of ongoing education annually.

8.5 Annual Reports

In addition to any other state or federal reporting requirements related to this policy, as of November 1, 2017, in accordance with 110 ILCS 205/9.21(b), the College shall report the following to the Illinois Attorney General’s Office:

  • Training conducted
  • Prevention programs
  • Incidents reported
  • Complaint resolution outcomes

Appendix A – Spring 2015

SVCC Title IX Coordinator

Daniel McCollum
Criminal Justice Faculty Member
Sauk Valley Community College
Room 3E4
daniel.l.mccollum@svcc.edu
815-835-6256 (Office)
815-355-8787 (cell)

SVCC Assistant Title IX Coordinators

Pamela Medema (student - when at least one student is involved)
Director of Enrollment Management
Sauk Valley Community College
Room 1E21
pamela.s.medema@svcc.edu
815-835-6378

Kathryn Snow (non-student -when no students are involved)
Director of Human Resources
Sauk Valley Community College
Room 3L18
kathryn.c.snow@svcc.edu
815-835-6291

SVCC Campus Confidential Resources include:
  • Counseling Office
    Student Services Center – First Floor, West Mall
    815-835-6354
  • Disability Support Office (DSO)
    Student Services Center – First Floor, West Mall
    815-835-6220
  • Student Support Services – SSS (TRiO)
    Student Services Center – First Floor, West Mall
    815-835-6268
Other Available Resources

Any individual may also access resources located in the local community. These organizations can provide crisis intervention services, counseling, medical attention and assistance in dealing with the criminal justice system. If accessing these resources, individuals are encouraged to clarify whether the resources are confidential.

YWCA Sexual Assault Program
Free and confidential services for survivors of sexual violence include medical/legal advocacy, counseling, information and referral.
24-hour Hotline: Collect calls accepted. 815-626-7277 or 815-288-1011
412 First Avenue,
Sterling, IL 61081
815-625-0333
or
815-626-7277
or
815-288-1011 (Office)

National Sexual Assault Hotline
Connects callers to the nearest RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network)-affiliated crisis center.
24-hour Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE

Evidence Collection/Medical Assistance (will likely result in police involvement)
Dial 911 or contact the nearest police department or go to the nearest emergency room

General Counseling Services

  • Lutheran Social Services of Illinois (LSSI)
    1901 First Avenue,
    Sterling, IL 61081
    815-626-7333
    or
    1261 IL Route 38
    Nachusa, IL 61057
    815-284-7796
    www.lssi.org
  • Sinnissippi Centers
    325 Illinois Route 2,
    Dixon, IL 61021-9162
    or
    125 South Fourth Street,
    Oregon, IL 61061
    or
    2611 Woodlawn Road,
    Sterling, IL 61081
    or
    1321 North Seventh Street,
    Rochelle, IL 61068 
    or
    1122 Healthcare Drive,
    Mt. Carroll, IL 61053

    800-242-7642 - 24 hour emergency number
    www.sinnissippi.com
  • Whiteside County Community Health Clinic (WCHD)
    1300 West Second Street,
    Rock Falls, IL 61071
    815-626-2230 Ext. 1267

Other Private Counseling Agencies/Services (refer to local phone directory)

The appropriate disciplinary authority based on the role of the respondent is as follows:
•    If a faculty member is found responsible, the panel’s report will be forwarded to the Vice President of Academics and Student Services who will determine the appropriate penalty.
•    If a staff member is found responsible, the report will be forwarded to the Director of Human Resources, supervisor and President, who will determine the appropriate penalty in consultation with the staff member’s supervisor.
The findings regarding fact and responsibility as well as the decision regarding the penalty in cases where violations of College regulations have occurred will be conveyed to the parties in person by the Vice President of Academics and Student Services or the Director of Human Resources or a designee as well as in writing. The notification will include the parties’ appeal rights. In all cases involving sex discrimination or sexual misconduct, the case file will be archived by the Title IX Coordinator.