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Sexual Misconduct

Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Violence, Stalking Resources

Sexual Misconduct Procedures Governing Students and Employees

Board Policies

This comprehensive procedure is the implementation of the following board policies ("Policies").

1. Introduction

Sauk Valley Community College (“SVCC” or “the College”) is committed to cultivating a diverse and inclusive community that recognizes the value of each individual and allows persons to learn and work in an environment free from harassment and discrimination. As part of this effort, SVCC will respond to sex-based harassment and discrimination and through clear policies and grievance procedures, educational programming, rigorous employee training, and sanctioning offenders of the Policies and commits itself to maintaining a safe and healthy educational and employment environment. This comprehensive procedure is created and implemented by SVCC to address allegations of sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking in addition to other prohibited misconduct as identified and defined herein.

SVCC prohibits all forms of sex and gender‐based harassment, as well as the offenses of sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking (collectively referred to in this procedure as “Sexual Misconduct” and also constitutes “Prohibited Conduct” under this procedure.) These offenses may also be prohibited by Title IX of the Higher Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S. C. § 1681 et seq. (“Title IX”), by the Clery Act and Section 304 of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (“VAWA”), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and other applicable statutes, including the Illinois Preventing Sexual Violence in Higher Education Act. This procedure prohibits a broad continuum of behaviors, some of which are not prohibited under Title IX or other laws. Their inclusion in this procedure reflects SVCC’s standards and expectations for a respectful working and learning environment where everyone is free to work and learn safely so they might become the best version of themself.

SVCC will investigate and attempt to resolve all complaints of Prohibited Conduct in a prompt, fair and impartial manner. The College will treat all individuals involved with dignity and respect. All processes are driven by objective fact-finding and approached from a neutral standpoint.

Members of the College community are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that respects the inherit dignity of all people and refrains from any form of harassment or discriminatory practices, including all forms of Prohibited Conduct as defined herein. This procedure has been developed to reaffirm these principles, to provide explicit information regarding when and how the College will respond to allegations of sex-based Prohibited Conduct, and to provide accountability for conduct that violates the Policies.

In addition to discrimination on the basis of sex, the College prohibits discrimination in its employment practices and its educational programs and activities on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, genetic information, disability and veteran status. The College’s commitment to nondiscrimination applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in College programs and activities. The College’s full Non-Discrimination Policy may be found at www.svcc.edu/about/board-policy/400/403.02.html.

Inquiries regarding the application of the Policies and the respective grievance procedures used to resolve complaints may be referred to the recipient’s Title IX Coordinator, to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, or both.

1.1. Definitions

1.1.1. Complainant

“Complainant” means an individual who is alleged to be the victim of conduct that could constitute sexual misconduct.

1.1.2. Respondent

“Respondent” means an individual who has been reported to be the perpetrator of conduct that could constitute sexual harassment.

1.1.3. Party

“Party” means either the Complainant(s) or Respondent(s) in an investigation or action relating to a report of Prohibited Conduct.

1.1.4. Confidential Resources

“Confidential Resources” are designated by the College to provide to student Complainants emergency and ongoing support and to advise the Complainant on options for reporting violations of the Policies.

Confidential Resources may provide confidential and privileged communications with Complainants as permitted under Illinois law. 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 the Policies to the Department of Public Safety for purposes of the anonymous statistical reporting under the Clery Act.

Designated campus Confidential Resources have received 40 hours of training on sexual violence, attend a minimum of 6 hours of ongoing education training annually, and receive periodic training on the campus administrative processes, supportive measures, and the College’s complaint resolution procedures.

1.1.5. Title IX Coordinator

The” Title IX Coordinator” is responsible for overseeing the College’s response to reports of Sexual Misconduct on campus and oversees the College’s centralized response to ensure compliance with Title IX and VAWA. The Title IX Coordinator is also responsible for coordinating the effective implementation of supportive measures and remedies. The Title IX Coordinator or the Vice President of Academics and Student Services may delegate responsibilities under this procedure to the Assistant Title IX Coordinator or other designee, who will be appropriately trained per the requirements of Title IX and VAWA. For purposes of this procedure, any reference to the Title IX Coordinator should be read as the “Title IX Coordinator, Assistant Title IX Coordinator or other designee.”

1.1.6. Investigator

The “Investigator” is the person assigned to conduct the investigation upon the signing of a Complaint and a request for a Formal Resolution Process. The Investigator may be a Title IX Coordinator, an employee, or a contracted service provider.

1.1.7. Decision-Maker

The “Decision-Maker” is the person or persons that will make the determination of responsibility at the conclusion of an Informal or Formal Resolution Process or following an appeal. The Decision-Maker will provide the determination in writing and cannot be the same person as the Title IX Coordinator or the Investigator on a case arise out of the same facts or circumstances. In the case of an Appeal, the Decision-Maker will be different from the person or person who made the initial determination. The Decision-Maker may be an employee or a contracted service provider.

1.1.8. Title IX Personnel

“Title IX Personnel” include all individuals whose duties include resolution of reports and complaints of student and employee violations of the Policies. All Title IX personnel shall receive a minimum of 8 to 10 hours of annual training as required by Title IX, VAWA and Illinois law. Employees falling under this description include without limitation the Title IX Coordinator(s), Investigators, Decision-makers, members of campus security, and any contracted service providers of SVCC with any of the responsibilities outlined herein.

1.1.9. Mandatory Reporters

All faculty and staff members who are not Confidential Resources are “Mandatory Reporters.” A Mandatory Reporter must promptly report suspected violations of the Policies to the Title IX Coordinator in person or by using the Incident Reporter web form in FAST. A report to a faculty or staff member does not result in a Complaint for purpose of triggering an investigation or Informal or Formal Resolution Process.

All employees of the College are mandatory reporters of Child Abuse under the Illinois Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act. This means that all employees have a duty to immediately report whenever they have "reasonable cause to believe that a child known to them in their professional or official capacity may be abused or neglected." Immediate reports should be made to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) at (800) 25-ABUSE (800-252-2873).

To learn more about this Act, or to report abuse/neglect please visit the DCFS website. Additional information on mandated reporter requirements can also be accessed through the online training provided by DCFS.

1.1.10. Support Person

“Support Person” means a person who accompanies, for purposes of providing support, the Complainant or Respondent to any meeting or proceeding in which the Party is required to be present related to the resolution of Prohibited Conduct covered under this procedure. The Support person may not actively participate in the process on the Party’s behalf, except when the Support Person is serving as an Advisor during the live hearing pursuant to a claim under the jurisdiction of Title IX. The College will not restrict the choice of a Support Person and the Support Person can be anyone of the Party’s choosing, although the College may remove a Support Person if he or she becomes disruptive or otherwise hinders a fair and equitable process. The involvement of a Support Person may not result in undue delay of any meeting or proceeding. A Party is not required to have a Support Person.

1.1.11. Advisor

An “Advisor” means the person conducting the cross-examination during a live hearing pursuant to the Title IX grievance processes. Cross-examination in this setting is limited to the other Party and witnesses. The Advisor cannot make opening or closing statements, ask questions of their own advisees, object to questions, or engage in advocacy other than that permitted herein. An Advisor is not permitted In a Non-Title IX grievance process. The College will not restrict the choice of an advisor and the advisor can be anyone of the Party’s choosing, although the College may remove an Advisor if he or she becomes disruptive or otherwise hinders a fair and equitable process. The involvement of an Advisor may not result in undue delay of any meeting or proceeding. During the Title IX live hearing, if a Party does not have an Advisor, the College will appoint one on behalf of the Party without fee, i.e., free of charge. In this capacity, the Advisor will be appointed for the sole purpose of conducting cross examination of the other Party and witnesses. While any person may serve in an Advisor capacity, a member of the College community is free to decline to serve in this capacity.

1.1.12. Campus Security Authority (CSA)

A “Campus Security Authority” (“CSA”) is a designated College official who has an obligation to report certain crimes reported to them to the reporting structure of the institution as required by the federal Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act). In most cases it is possible for a CSA to fulfill his or her responsibilities while still maintaining victim confidentiality. Except in reference to a report to the Title IX Coordinator, a report to a CSA does not result in a Complaint for purpose of triggering an investigation or Informal or Formal Resolution Process.

1.2. Scope and Jurisdiction

The Policies and this procedure govern 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 the Policies. A third-party may make a report of a violation of the Policies 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 the Policies.

This procedure applies to conduct that occurs on College property (i.e., on campus) and in the local vicinity. This procedure 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.

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. On-line and/or social media conduct may violate the Policies if it meets the definition of Prohibited Conduct. Online postings are in the public sphere and are not private. These postings may subject an individual to allegations of Sexual Misconduct or other misconduct. The College does not regularly search for this information nor does it monitor any particular social media site, but it may take action if and when such information is brought to its attention. See the College’s Acceptable Use of Technology at www.svcc.edu/aup. The College will view any Report of online Sexual Misconduct with the Respondent’s free speech rights in mind.

Individuals are encouraged to report any violation of the Policies as soon as possible in order to maximize the College’s ability to respond promptly and effectively. Reports and Complaints 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 report or Complaint, the College may not be able to take disciplinary action against the Respondent, but it will still seek to meet its Title IX or other legal obligations by offering supportive measures for the Complainant and taking steps, if necessary and possible, to end the prohibited behavior, prevent and address its recurrence, and address its effects.

For Title IX to apply, the incident must be reported while the Parties are all associated with the College (as current students or employees) and must have occurred on property owned or operated by the College, in the United States. Additionally, during the time the misconduct is reported to have occurred, the College must have had substantial control of the Respondent and the context of the misconduct.

1.3. Sexual Misconduct at SVCC and Title IX

This procedure governs Prohibited Conduct that constitutes sex-based harassment and/or sex-based discrimination, however, the government defines “sexual harassment” differently in certain settings. Additionally, this procedure covers behaviors that fall outside of the jurisdiction required for response by Title IX. The College will determine whether an allegation should proceed utilizing the grievance processes mandated by Title IX or the College’s grievance process for non-Title IX Sexual Misconduct, based on the constellation of facts and circumstances surrounding the report or Complaint and the following factors:

  1. applicable law
  2. the status of the Complainant as student, employee, or third-party
  3. the status of the Respondent as student, employee or third-party
  4. the context in which the harassing behavior is reported to have occurred
  5. whether or not the reported behavior occurred within the United Stated; and/or
  6. whether there are continuing effects of such reported behavior on campus or within the College’s educational programs or associated activities.

The Title IX Coordinator is the College official designated to evaluate reports to determine which law(s) attach, what threshold each law holds under the various laws, and which grievance process to utilize to resolve such reported behavior.

2. Prohibited Conduct

As outlined above, the College prohibits behaviors that fall outside the scope of conduct prohibited by Title IX. If a report constitutes behavior as described below, the College will determine which grievance process to utilize to resolve the Complaint.

For purposes of this procedure, all of the following definitions constitute conduct to be “on the basis of sex.” SVCC will treat attempts to commit any Sexual Misconduct as if those attempts had been completed.

2.1. Definitions of Prohibited Conduct

2.1.1. Quid pro quo 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;

To reach the threshold for a claim under Title IX, the person conditioning the provision of the aid, benefit, or service must be an employee.

2.1.2. Hostile Environment Sexual Harassment

Any unwelcome sexual advance, request for sexual favors, or other unwelcome verbal, electronic or physical conduct of a sexual nature when such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance; i.e. it is sufficiently serious, pervasive or persistent as to create an intimidating, hostile, humiliating, demeaning, or sexually offensive working, academic, residential, or social environment under both a subjective and an objective standard.

Gender-based harassment is a form of discrimination that includes verbal, written, or physical behavior, directed at someone, or against a particular group, because of that person’s or group’s sex, gender identity, actual or perceived sexual orientation, or based on gender stereotypes, when that behavior is unwelcome and has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with the individual’s work or educational performance by creating an intimidating, hostile, or demeaning environment for employment, education or associate activities of the College.

Such conduct does not need to be directed at or to a specific individual in order to constitute sexual harassment but may consist of generalized unwelcome and inappropriate behaviors or communications based on sex, gender identity, actual or perceived sexual orientation, or gender stereotypes. Determination of whether alleged conduct constitutes sexual harassment requires consideration of all the circumstances, including the context in which the alleged incidents occurred.

To reach the threshold for a claim under Title IX, the conduct must be determined to be unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the College’s education program or activity as well as meet the required jurisdictional elements.

An evaluation of when an offense meets the definition for Title IX will be determined by the Title IX Coordinator based on the constellation of facts and circumstances surrounding the report or Complaint.

2.1.3. Non-Consensual Sexual Penetration

Penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus, with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.

2.1.4. Non-Consensual Sexual Contact

The touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her age or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental incapacity. Private body parts for purposes of this procedure are breast, buttocks, groin, and mouth.

2.1.5. Incest

For purposes of this procedure, incest means sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law. In Illinois, this includes sexual contacted between persons who are brothers and sisters, parents and children, including stepparents, stepchildren, and adopted persons, as well as aunts/uncles with nieces/nephews and between grandparents and grandchildren.

2.1.6. Statutory Rape

Sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent, which in Illinois is 17 years of age.

2.1.7. Domestic Violence

A felony or misdemeanor crime of violence committed

  • by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim.
  • by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common.
  • by a person who is cohabitating with, or has cohabitated with, the victim as a spouse or intimate partner.
  • by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred;
  • by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred.

According to Section 16 of title 18 of the United States Code, the term “crime of violence” means

  • an offense under Illinois State law that has as an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person or property of another, or
  • any other offense that is a felony in Illinois and that, by its nature, involves a substantial risk that physical force against the person or property of another may be used in the course of committing the offense.

Domestic violence, as defined by Title IX is considered relationship violence and must be “on the basis of sex.” For purposes of this procedure, Domestic Violence does not include acts that meet the definition of domestic violence under Illinois laws that are based solely on cohabitation (e.g. roommates) or family relationship (e.g. parent/child). While non-relationship violence would not be addressed using this procedure, it could still be counted for purposes of Clery Act reporting and may be addressed under other College policies.

2.1.8. Dating Violence

Violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the reporting Party’s statement and with consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. For the purposes of this definition dating violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse.

2.1.9. Stalking

Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for the person’s safety or the safety of others; or suffer substantial emotional distress.

  1. For the purposes of this definition—
    1. Course of conduct means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through third Parties, by any action, method, device, or means follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about, a person, or interferes with a person’s property.
    2. Reasonable person means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the victim.

Substantial emotional distress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.

To reach the threshold for a claim under Title IX, the stalking behavior must be determined to be based on sex.

2.1.10. 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 another offense as defined above. Examples may include acts such as recording, photographing, streaming or otherwise 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), knowingly transmitting a sexually transmitted infection to another, or facilitation the sexual harm of another person. (For a full list and description of applicable state criminal statutes, please visit the following web link:

offices.depaul.edu/public-safety/crime-reporting-prevention/Documents/IllinoisLawDefinitions.pdf)

2.1.11. Retaliation

Retaliation is any attempt to seek retribution against an individual or group of individuals involved in making a good faith report, filing a Complaint, participating in a disciplinary process, or opposing in a reasonable manner an action believed to constitute a violation of this procedure. Retaliation can take many forms, including abuse or violence, threats, coercion, and intimidation. Actions in response to a good faith report or response under this procedure 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 procedure.

Allegations of Retaliation will proceed under the non-Title IX process.

2.2. Definition of Consent

Voluntary, informed, uncoerced agreement through words and/or 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, including when one person overcomes the physical limitations of another person.
  • when coercion is present. Coercion means the improper use of pressure to compel another individual to initiate or continue sexual activity against the individual’s will. Coercion may include intimidation, manipulation, and/or blackmail. Words or conduct may constitute coercion if they wrongfully impair another individual’s freedom of will and ability to choose whether to engage in sexual activity.
  • 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, which could be permanent or temporary. Evaluations of capacity will be viewed in hindsight using a reasonable person standard.

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.
  • A person's lack of verbal or physical resistance or submission resulting from the use or threat of force does not constitute consent.
  • Silence and passivity does not necessarily constitute consent.
  • Initiation by someone who a reasonable person knows or should have known to be deemed incapacitated is not consent.
  • A person's consent to engage in sexual activity with one person does not constitute consent to engage in sexual activity with another.

A person cannot consent to sexual activity if that person is unable to understand the nature of the activity or give knowing consent due to circumstances, including without limitation when a person is incapacitated or not of legal age.

A person who is asleep or unconscious is considered incapacitated and unable to consent. Additionally, a person may be incapacitated due to a mental or physical disability.

In the context of this procedure, 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, which is a state beyond mere intoxication. 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.

3. Reporting

Any person may report an incident of Sexual Misconduct as defined by this procedure. SVCC encourages anyone who experiences or becomes aware of sexual misconduct to immediately contact one of the options listed below including law enforcement, school administrators and confidential options. Reports may be made by the person who experienced the sexual misconduct or by a third-party, including, but not limited to, a friend, family member, advisor, or professor. Reports to the Title IX Coordinator may be made in person, by mail, by telephone, or by electronic mail, using the contact information listed below, or by any other means that results in the Title IX Coordinator receiving the person’s verbal or written report. Such a report may be made at any time (including during non-business hours) by using the listed telephone number or electronic mail address, or by mail to the office address.

A Complainant may pursue some or all of these reporting options at the same time (e.g., one may simultaneously pursue a Formal Resolution Process with the College and a criminal complaint). When initiating any report, a Complainant does not need to know whether they wish to request any particular course of action, nor how to label what happened. Before or during any grievance process, Complainants and other reporting persons are encouraged to consult a Confidential Resource.

3.1. Confidential Reporting options

Several campus professionals are designated Confidential Resources. 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.

Upon receipt of a report from a Complainant, a campus Confidential Resource will provide information on the following:

  1. Possible next steps regarding the Complainant’s reporting options and possible outcomes, including without limitation reporting pursuant to the College resolution processes and local law enforcement
  2. Student services available on campus and through community-based resources, including without limitation sexual assault crisis centers, medical treatment facilities, counseling services, legal resources, medical forensic services, and mental health services
  3. The College’s responsibilities regarding orders of protection, no contact orders, or similar lawful orders issued by the higher education institution or a criminal or civil court
  4. Liaise as requested and appropriate with campus officials, law enforcement and community-based resources including assisting with supportive measures.

Campus Confidential Resources:

  • Academic Advising
    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
  • Counseling Services
    Student Services Center – First Floor, West Mall
    815-835-6204
    Confidential Online Appointment Request Form:www.svcc.edu/students/advising/personal/counseling-referral.html

3.2. Law Enforcement and Campus Security

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.

At the Complainant’s request, the Title IX Coordinator will assist the Complainant in contacting local law enforcement and will cooperate within the extent permitted by law with law enforcement agencies if a Complainant decides to pursue the criminal process.

Immediate Health and Safety:

Call 911

Campus Security:

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

Local Law Enforcement:

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

3.3. Title IX Coordinator

Any individual who may have been subjected to a violation of the Policies, and who is considering making a Complaint under this procedure, 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 procedure, 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 report under this procedure.

The Title IX Coordinator will be informed of all reports of potential violations of the Policies.

Title IX Coordinator:

Daniel McCollum, Title IX Coordinator
Criminal Justice Faculty Member
Sauk Valley Community College
Room 3E2
daniel.l.mccollum@svcc.edu
815-835-6256 (Office)
815-355-8787 (cell)

3.4. 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 interfacing with the criminal justice system. If accessing these resources, individuals are encouraged to clarify whether the resources are confidential.

Medical Resources

Closest Forensic Medical Exam
Corinne Zimmerman
Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner
KSB Hospital
403 East 1st Street
Dixon, Illinois 61021
815-285-5557
czimmerman@ksbhospital.com

Sexual Assault Services
  • 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 to the nearest RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network)-affiliated crisis center.
    24-hour Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE
General Counseling Services
  • Lutheran Social Services of Illinois (LSSI)

    STERLING
    1901 First Avenue,
    Sterling, IL 61081
    815-626-7333

    NACHUSA
    1261 IL Route 38,
    Nachusa, IL 61057
    815-284-7796

    www.lssi.org

  • Sinnissippi Centers

    325 Illinois Route 2,
    Dixon, IL 61021-9162

    125 South Fourth Street,
    Oregon, IL 61061

    2611 Woodlawn Road,
    Sterling, IL 61081

    1321 North Seventh Street,
    Rochelle, IL 61068

    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 Resources
  • YWCA Sexual Assault Program/Domestic Violence Advocate
    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)
  • Illinois Department of Human Services
  • Illinois 211
    2-1-1 or 1-888-865-9903
    www.findhelp211.org

3.5. U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights

All members of the College community may also contact the Office for Civil Rights (a division of the United States Department of Education) to file a complaint pertaining to Title IX.

OFFICE FOR CIVIL RIGHTS
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

Headquarters
400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20202-1100
Customer Service Hotline #: (800) 421-3481 | Facsimile: (202) 453-6012
TTY#: (800) 877-8339 | Email: OCR@ed.gov | Web: www.ed.gov/ocr

Chicago Office
John C. Kluczynski Federal Building, 230 S. Dearborn Street, 37th Floor, Chicago, IL 60604
Telephone: (312) 730-1560 | Facsimile: (312) 730-1576
Email: OCR.Chicago@ed.gov

3.6. Anonymous Report

An individual may report an incident without disclosing his/her name, identifying the Respondent, or requesting any action. Please note that choosing to make an anonymous report can significantly limit the ability of the College to respond. This information will be used for statistical purposes as well as for enhancing understanding of our campus climate so that we may strengthen sexual misconduct response and prevention efforts.

3.7. Online Report

An individual may report an incident via an online reporting form. The online form will not be considered a complaint that would trigger a full investigation. An online report will result in electronic communication of resources or outreach from the Title IX Coordinator within 12 hours of receipt.

Title IX Incident Reporting Form:www.svcc.edu/about/procedures/title-ix-form.html

3.8. Mandatory reporting

All members of the College community are encouraged to report any suspected violation of the Policies (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.

4. College Response to Reports

The College is committed to responding to all alleged violations of the Policies. Upon receiving a report of Sexual Misconduct, the Title IX Coordinator will promptly contact the Complainant to discuss the availability of supportive measures, provide a written explanation of rights and options, and explain to the Complainant the process for filing a Formal Complaint. The Coordinator will also explain if Informal Resolution is an option if a Formal Complaint is filed. *A Complainant must file a Formal Complaint to access available Informal Resolution options.

4.1. Privacy and Confidentiality

Issues of privacy and confidentiality play important roles in this procedure and may affect individuals differently. Privacy and confidentiality are related but distinct terms. “Confidentiality” refers to the circumstances under which information will or will not be disclosed to others. “Privacy” refers to the discretion that will be exercised by the College in the course of any investigation or disciplinary processes under this procedure.

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

Individuals involved in investigations or disciplinary proceedings under this procedure 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.

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.

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

The College has an obligation to make reasonable efforts to investigate and address Complaints or reports of violations of the Policies. 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 procedure 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.

4.2. Supportive Measures

Upon receipt of a complaint or report of a violation of the Policies, the College will provide reasonable and appropriate supportive measures. Supportive measures mean individualized services offered as appropriate, as reasonably available, and without fee or charge to the Complainant or the Respondent before or after the filing of a complaint or where no complaint has been filed. Such measures are designed to restore or preserve equal access to the College’s program or activity without unreasonably burdening the other Party, including measures designed to protect the safety of all Parties or the College’s educational environment, or deter sexual harassment.

Supportive 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 a mutual 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 procedure.

SVCC will maintain as confidential any supportive measures provided to the Complainant or Respondent, to the extent that maintaining such confidentiality would not impair the ability of the recipient to provide the supportive measures. In cases that meet the definition and jurisdiction of Title IX, Supportive Measures will also be non-punitive and non-disciplinary.

Any supportive measures will not disproportionately impact the Complainant. Requests for supportive 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 supportive 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 a Supportive 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 utilizing the disciplinary process deemed appropriate by the Title IX Coordinator.

4.2.1. Interim Removal

In connection with this procedure, 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, an authorized representative may summarily suspend, dismiss, or bar any person from the College. Prior to taking action against a student in response to an allegation that arises from a complaint under the jurisdiction of Title IX, the College will undertake an individualized safety and risk analysis and provide written notice to the Party. In all such cases involving students, actions taken will be reviewed promptly, typically within one week, by the appropriate College authority and removals subject to Title IX will include an opportunity for redress (appeal) by the Respondent.

4.3. Rights and Options

The Title IX Coordinator will ensure that the Complainant receives an explanation of rights and options written in plain language with concise information. The written notification of rights and options will include the following:

  • The importance of obtaining and preserving forensic and other evidence;
  • The right to report or not report the alleged incident to the College, law enforcement or both, including information about the survivor’s right to privacy and which reporting methods are confidential;
  • The right to request and receive assistance from campus authorities in notifying law enforcement;
  • The right to request and receive assistance in obtaining and enforcing a campus-issued order of protection or no contact order;
  • The right to speak to and receive assistance from on and off campus Confidential Resources and other organizations that provide support and services to victims and survivors;
  • The right to assistance from the College in accessing and navigating campus and local health and mental health services, counseling, advocacy services, legal assistance, financial aid services and immigration/Visa assistance;
  • The right to Supportive Measures with or without the filing of a formal Complaint, no matter where the incident is reported to have occurred and that the college will consider the Complainant’s wishes with respect to available supportive measures including without limitation changes to academic, living, dining, working, and transportation situations;
  • The right to request a Formal or Informal Resolution Process if cause is found to proceed under this procedure and a summary of the appropriate complaint resolution procedures;
  • Contact information for all of the people and organizations listed herein; and
  • Complainants have the right to request an end to the process except as set forth in this procedure.

In the event that a Complaint is filed, the Complainant and the Respondent will receive a written notification of rights and options regarding the adjudication process, to include the following:

  • The right for Complainants and Respondents to be treated equitably by the College which includes providing remedies to a Complainant where a determination of responsibility for sexual harassment has been made against the Respondent, and by following a grievance process that complies with this procedure;
  • The right to a fair, impartial, proceeding that begins promptly and is completed within reasonably prompt timeframes;
  • The right to a resolution process that is consistent with the College’s policies, transparent to the Complainant and Respondent, and in which the burden of proof and of gathering evidence rests with the College and not the Parties;
  • The right to a Support Person of the Party’s choosing during the grievance process and to an Advisor of the Party’s choosing for any hearing under the Title IX Grievance process. If a Party does not have an Advisor present at the hearing, the College will provide without fee or charge, an advisor of the College’s choice for purposes of conducting cross examination;
  • The right to reasonable accommodations during any hearing, such as not being in the same room as the other Party;
  • The right to an objective evaluation of all relevant evidence—including both inculpatory and exculpatory evidence—and provide that credibility determinations will not be based on a person’s status as a Complainant, Respondent, or witness;
  • The right to a determination regarding responsibility made at the conclusion of the resolution process and that the College makes no prior presumption of responsibility; and
  • The right not to be retaliated against for filing a Complaint and/or for participating in an Informal or Formal Resolution Process.

4.4. Amnesty/Immunity

In order to encourage reports of conduct that is prohibited under the Policies, 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. The Title IX Coordinator will make the determination on behalf of the College.

4.5. Timely Warning

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 without personally identifying information. 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.

4.6. Options for Proceeding Through College Process

4.6.1. Informal and Formal Complaints

To initiate the SVCC informal resolution process or formal resolution process, a Complainant must file a Complaint. A Complaint means a written statement filed by a Complainant or signed by the Title IX Coordinator alleging Prohibited Conduct against a Respondent and requesting resolution of the alleged behavior. A complaint may be completed by the Complainant in person or submitted by email, mail or by phone to the Title IX Coordinator.

4.6.2. No Complaint

Complainants have the right not to file a complaint, yet they are highly encouraged to seek medical attention and counseling. Complainants who wish to file a complaint at a later date, may do so by utilizing any of the options outlined in this procedure. However, please note that a delay in reporting could create obstacles to the college’s process for stopping harassment and/or discrimination, remedying its effects, and preventing recurrence as well as potentially weakening evidence that could be useful in determining whether Prohibited Conduct occurred, in obtaining an order of protection or for the State in being able to proceed with a criminal proceeding.

4.6.3. College-Initiated Complaints

In limited cases, the Title IX Coordinator may initiate a complaint without a request by the Complainant upon receipt of a report of Sexual Misconduct. The Title IX Coordinator will initiate the complaint when the Title IX Coordinator, in his or her discretion, determines that a grievance process is warranted given the reported behavior. A Complainant retains standing as a Complainant even in cases where the Title IX Coordinator initiates the complaint. If the Title IX Coordinator initiates a complaint, they will advise the Complainant that they have done so and will provide the rationale to the Complainant regarding why they proceeded.

4.6.4. Dismissals

If the Title IX Coordinator determines that the complaint, even if substantiated, would not rise to the level of a violation of the Policies, the Title IX Coordinator may dismiss the complaint or refer the complaint to another office for review. A case may also be dismissed for not meeting the threshold and jurisdictional requirements for Title IX, however, a dismissal of a case for purposes of Title IX, does not preclude the College from utilizing this procedure for non-Title IX Sexual Misconduct.

If at any time during the investigation or hearing a Complainant notifies the Title IX Coordinator in writing that the Complainant would like to withdraw the formal resolution process or withdraw any allegations therein; the Respondent is no longer enrolled or employed by the recipient; or specific circumstances prevent the recipient from gathering evidence sufficient to reach a determination as to the formal complaint or allegations, the College may dismiss the complaint and end the formal resolution process. The decision as to whether to dismiss the complaint will be determined by the Title IX Coordinator based on the stated goals of this procedure. Upon a dismissal permitted pursuant to this section, the College will promptly send written notice of the dismissal and reason(s) therefor simultaneously to the Parties.

Either party may appeal the College’s dismissal of a Complaint or any allegations by submitting a written appeal within 10 business day of the dismissal. Appeals may follow the grounds outlined in the Appeals section of this procedure. If the appeal is denied, the dismissal of the complaint will remain in effect.

4.6.5. Consolidations

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. Where a grievance process involves more than one Complainant or more than one Respondent, references in this section to the singular “Party,” “Complainant,” or “Respondent” include the plural, as applicable.

If a case involves violations of other SVCC policies, the Title IX Coordinator, in consultation with other school officials, will determine which grievance process to use or if different grievance processes would be more appropriate.

5. Informal Resolution Process

At the time of the filing of a Complaint or at any time prior to a determination of responsibility, either Party may request to proceed under a voluntary Informal Resolution Process that does not involve a full investigation. The Title IX Coordinator will determine, based on the totality of the circumstances, whether an Informal Resolution Process is appropriate given the facts and participants. For example, an Informal Resolution Process is never appropriate for resolving reports alleging sexual harassment of a student by an employee.

Upon request and written agreement by the Parties and the Title IX Coordinator that the Informal Resolution Process is appropriate, the Title IX Coordinator will provide to the parties a written notice disclosing the allegations, and the requirements of the Informal Resolution Process, including when the Parties are precluded from resuming a Formal Resolution Process, any consequences resulting from participating in the Informal Resolution, and the records that will be maintained and shared. Informal Resolutions are not subject to appeal by any Party.

Informal Resolutions may include, but are not limited to;

  • Placing a Respondent on notice that, if such behavior has occurred or is occurring, such conduct should cease immediately;
  • A written warning;
  • Education and/or training for a Respondent and/or department;
  • Permanent Supportive Measures for Complainant;
  • Mediation or other informal communication between the Complainant and Respondent;
  • Messaging to the campus community;
  • Events and/or trainings offered to the campus community or particular departments; and/or
  • Referral and/or collaboration with another College department in order to address the allegations and eliminate any potential sexual misconduct.

For cases that meet the Title IX threshold, the Parties may withdraw from the Informal Resolution Process at any time prior to agreeing to a resolution and resume the Formal Resolution Process with respect to the Complaint.

5.1. Notice of Allegation and Assignment to an Investigator

Upon filing of a complaint requesting a Formal Resolution, the Complainant and Respondent will receive written notice from the Title IX Coordinator of the allegations of Prohibited Conduct, including sufficient details known at the time with sufficient time to prepare before any initial interview. The Parties will receive written simultaneous notification of additional allegations as appropriate.

The Title IX Coordinator will assign one or more Investigators to the case and/or will conduct the investigation personally. The Parties will be provided with the name(s) of the Investigator(s) and allowed 10 business days to request the removal and replacement of an Investigator based on bias or conflict of interest. Any request for a change in an Investigator must be accompanied by supporting information and the decision to assign a new Investigator will be made by the Title IX Coordinator (or, if the Title IX Coordinator is the Investigator, the decision shall me made by the Senior Administrator in Human Resources.)

Throughout the grievance process, the Title IX Coordinator will provide to a Party whose participation is invited or expected, written notice of the date, time, location, participants, and purpose of meetings, investigative interviews, and hearings, with sufficient time for the Party to prepare to participate as well as advise the Party of the opportunity to present evidence and witness information, if applicable.

5.2. Overview of Investigation

5.2.1. Timeframe

The Title IX Coordinator will seek to complete the investigation and any resulting disciplinary process, excluding appeals, within 45 business days after receipt of the complaint.

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 Parties.

5.2.2. Investigation Overview

During the investigation, the parties will have an equal opportunity to be heard, to submit information and other inculpatory and exculpatory evidence, to identify witnesses including fact and expert witnesses, and to submit questions that they believe should be directed by the investigator to the other or to any witness. The investigator will notify and seek to meet separately with the parties and third-party witnesses and will gather other relevant and available information including, without limitation, electronic or other records of communications between the parties or witnesses, photographs, and written documentation.

The College will not require, allow, rely upon, or otherwise use questions or evidence during the investigation, hearing, or determination of responsibility that constitute, or seek disclosure of, information protected under a legally recognized privilege, unless the person holding such privilege has waived the privilege.

The College will not allow questions or evidence, during the investigation, hearing, or determination of responsibility, about the Complainant’s sexual predisposition or prior sexual behavior, unless such questions and evidence about the Complainant’s prior sexual behavior are offered to prove that someone other than the Respondent committed the conduct alleged by the Complainant, or if the questions and evidence concern specific incidents of the Complainant’s prior sexual behavior with respect to the Respondent and are offered to prove consent.

The College will not restrict either Party from discussing allegations under investigation or from presenting relevant evidence.

5.2.3. Participation

Exclusive of the Complainant and the Respondent, SVCC 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 participate 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 sanctions, as appropriate. The College will not, however, draw any adverse inference from a Respondent’s silence or stated desire to not participate.

The College will protect the privacy of the participating Parties and witnesses in any proceeding, meeting, or hearing to resolve complaints.

5.2.4. Inspection of Evidence and the Investigative Report

Prior to completion of the investigative report, the Title IX Coordinator will send to each Party a preliminary investigative report containing the evidence subject to inspection and review, redacted of personally identifiable information as necessary, in an electronic format or a hard copy. The Parties will have 10 business days to submit a written response, to meet again with the Investigator, or to request the collection of additional evidence by the Investigator. The evidence subject to inspection and review includes any evidence obtained as part of the investigation that is directly related to the allegation including the evidence upon which the College does not intend to rely in reaching a determination regarding responsibility and inculpatory or exculpatory evidence whether obtained from a Party or other source. The evidence subject to inspection and review will not contain any privileged or inadmissible information as defined in this procedure.

Following the opportunity to review the preliminary investigative report, the Investigator will create a final investigative report that incorporates any written response or new information from the Parties or collected by the Investigator. The final investigative report will also fairly summarize the relevant evidence. The Investigator has the discretion to determine the relevance of any proffered evidence.

The Title IX Coordinator will send to each Party the final investigative report in an electronic format or a hard copy, for their review and the parties will have 10 business days to submit a written response.

If there is significant, substantive, new information and/or evidence provided in the written response, the Investigator will make the final determination regarding whether a revised Final Investigative Report will be issued to both Parties. The Final Investigative Report and any written responses will be provided to the Decision-Maker at least 3 business days prior to the date of the hearing.

For cases that meet the threshold for Title IX, the Title IX Coordinator will secure written permission from the Parties to share the preliminary and final investigative reports with the Party’s Advisor. Reports will not be shared by the College with a Support Person.

5.2.5. Assignment to Grievance Procedures

If at the conclusion of the investigation, the College has not previously determined if the case meets the threshold and jurisdiction for Title IX, the Title IX Coordinator will make a final determination as to whether to proceed under the Title IX or Non-Title IX Grievance Procedures. If the case does not meet the threshold and jurisdiction for Title IX, the Title IX Coordinator will dismiss the case for purposes of Title IX and proceed under the Non-Title IX Grievance Procedures.

5.3. Determination Regarding Responsibility

At the conclusion of the Investigation, the Parties will be provided with the name(s) of the Decision-Maker(s) and will be allowed 10 business days to request the removal and replacement of a Decision-Maker based on bias or conflict of interest. Any request for a change in a Decision-Maker must be accompanied by supporting information and the decision to assign a new Decision-Maker will be made by the Title IX Coordinator. At that time, either party may also request that the Parties not to be in the same room for any hearing or meeting in which both may attend. The College will determine the appropriate use of technology to satisfy the request.

5.3.1. Non-Title IX Grievance Procedures--Students

For Non-Title IX cases in which the Respondent is a student, the determination regarding responsibility will be made at a live hearing utilizing the procedures outlined in this section.

The Parties may have a Support Person of their choice to accompany them to the hearing. The Support Person may not actively participate but may confer with the Party as is reasonably necessary. If the Support Person violates the rules or engages in behavior or advocacy that harasses, abuses, or intimidates either Party, a witness, or the Decision-Maker, that Support Person may be prohibited from further participation.

At least 5 business days prior to the hearing, the Parties must submit names of witnesses they would like to appear at the hearing and any relevant questions to be asked of the witnesses and the other party. The Party’s may ask additional relevant questions at the hearing, but pre-submitted questions will be vetted in advance for relevancy and admissibility. Questions at the hearing are limited to those assessing credibility and relevant questions that have not previously been asked and answered in the final investigative report.

At the hearing, the Decision-Maker is responsible for maintaining an orderly, fair, impartial, and respectful hearing. The Decision-Maker has broad authority to respond to disruptive or harassing behaviors, including adjourning the hearing or excluding any offending person. The Decision-Maker will determine the method for questioning at the hearing, but all questions posed by the Parties will be asked exclusively by the Decision-Maker.

In the absence of good cause, as determined by the Decision-Maker, information, witnesses, and other evidence discoverable through the exercise of due diligence that is not provided to the Investigator during the investigation will not be considered at the hearing.

All hearings are closed to the public. A recording will be made by the College, but all other recordings are prohibited.

A Complainant, Respondent, or witness may decline to participate in the hearing. The Decision-Maker will not draw an inference about the responsibility determination based solely on a party’s or witness’s absence from the Hearing or refusal to submit to questions.

5.3.2. Non-Title IX Grievance Procedures—EMPLOYEES

For Non-Title IX cases in which the Respondent is an employee, the determination regarding responsibility will be made by the Decision-Maker based on the final investigative report. The Decision-Maker is responsible for maintaining an orderly, fair, and impartial process. The Decision-Maker, in his or her discretion, may pose additional questions to the Parties or to witnesses in writing or in person. A Complainant, Respondent, or witness may decline to further participate. The Decision-Maker will not draw an inference about the responsibility determination based solely on a party’s or witness’s refusal to submit to additional questions.

In the absence of good cause, as determined by the Decision-Maker, information, witnesses, and other evidence discoverable through the exercise of due diligence that is not provided to the Investigator during the investigation will not be considered at the hearing.

5.3.3. Title IX Grievance Procedures for Students and Employees

For cases that have been determined by the Title IX Coordinator to meet the threshold for Title IX Sexual Harassment as well as the Title IX jurisdictional requirements, the determination regarding responsibility will be made at a live hearing utilizing the procedures outlined in this section.

The Parties may have a Support Person and an Advisor of their choice at hearing. The Support Person may not actively participate but may confer with the Party as is reasonably necessary. The Advisor is responsible for conducting the cross-examination which includes asking the other Party and any witnesses all relevant questions and follow-up questions, including those challenging credibility. If a Party does not have an Advisor, the College will appoint one on behalf of the Party free of charge. In this capacity, the Advisor will be appointed for the sole purpose of conducting cross examination of the other Party and witnesses. If the Advisor or Support Person violates the rules or engages in behavior or advocacy that harasses, abuses, or intimidates either Party, a witness, or the Decision-Maker, that Advisor or Support Person may be prohibited from further participation.

At the hearing, the Decision-Maker is responsible for maintaining an orderly, fair, impartial, and respectful hearing. The Decision-Maker has broad authority to respond to disruptive or harassing behaviors, including adjourning the hearing or excluding any offending person. The Decision-Maker will determine the method for questioning at the hearing. Only relevant cross examination and other questions may be asked of a Party or witness. Before a Complainant, Respondent, or witness answers a cross-examination or other question, the Decision-Maker must first determine whether the question is relevant and explain any decision to exclude a question as not relevant. The Decision-Maker must explain to the Party proposing the questions any decision to exclude a question as not relevant.

In the absence of good cause, as determined by the Decision-Maker, information, witnesses, and other evidence discoverable through the exercise of due diligence that is not provided to the Investigator during the investigation will not be considered at the hearing.

All hearings are closed to the public. A recording will be made by the College, but all other recordings are prohibited.

A Complainant, Respondent, or witness may decline to participate in the hearing and the Decision-Maker will not rely on any previous statement of that party or witness in reaching a determination as to responsibility. The Decision-Maker will not draw an inference about the responsibility determination based solely on a party’s or witness’s absence from the Hearing or refusal to submit to questions.

5.4. Findings

5.4.1. Standard of Evidence

The Decision-maker shall use a preponderance of the evidence standard to determine whether the alleged violation of the Policies occurred. The preponderance of the evidence means a standard of proof in which the totality of the evidence offered in support of a fact is greater or more convincing than the evidence which is offered in opposition to it; given the totality of information the version of events that is more likely than not. Preponderance of the evidence is understood to require more than 50 percent certainty to determine responsibility for a policy violation (51% or greater).

5.4.2. Written Determination of Responsibility

The Complainant and Respondent will simultaneously receive a written determination regarding responsibility applying the preponderance of the evidence standard typically within five (5) business days of the determination of responsibility. The written determination letter, drafted by the Decision-Maker, will include:

  • The allegations constituting sexual harassment;
  • A description of the procedural steps taken during the grievance process;
  • Findings of fact supporting the determination;
  • Conclusions regarding the application of the Policy to the facts;
  • A statement, and rationale for the result of each allegation including findings, sanctions, and remedies; and
  • Options for appeal.

The determination of responsibility becomes final either on notification of the results of the appeal, or the date on which an appeal would no longer be considered timely.

5.4.3. Sanctions and Remedies

If there is a finding of responsibility based on a preponderance of the evidence, the determination of sanctions and remedies will be made by the Decision-Maker in consultation with the Vice President of Academics and Student Services for cases in which the Respondent is a student, and in consultation with the Director of Human Resources or Dean of Faculty for cases in which the Respondent is an employee.

Sanctions will be determined based on the seriousness of the misconduct and the Respondent’s previous disciplinary history (if any).

Remedies are designed to restore or preserve equal access to the recipient’s education program or activity. Such remedies may include Supportive Measures; however, remedies need not be non-disciplinary or non-punitive and need not avoid burdening the respondent.

The following are types of disciplinary action which may be imposed, singly or in combination for students.

  1. Warning - Verbal or written notice to the student that the student is violating or has violated institutional rules, policies, and/or regulations and that the continuation of such conduct or actions may result in further disciplinary action.
  2. Reprimand - A formal letter of reprimand sent to the student stating the violations of the Code of Student Conduct. Repetition of conduct resulting in reprimand may result in further disciplinary action.
  3. Disciplinary Probation - A specified period of observation and review of conduct during which the student must demonstrate compliance with College rules and regulations. Terms of probation and the probationary period will be determined at the time the sanction is imposed. A student on disciplinary probation is subject to suspension for any further disciplinary referrals.
  4. Limitation to Participate in a Selective Admission Program - Suspension or denied access to the opportunity to participate in a selective admissions program.
  5. Suspension of Privileges or College Services - Suspension or loss of rights to specified privileges and College services for a specific period of time.
  6. Restitution - Compensation for loss, damage, or injury. This may take the form of appropriate service and/or monetary or material replacement.
  7. Discretionary Sanctions - Work assignments, service to the College or neighboring communities, or other related discretionary assignments.
  8. Limited Access - Administrative restriction to selected parts/locations of campus sites.
  9. Withdrawal from Class - Administrative withdrawal with consequent loss of tuition and fees from a class or classes.
  10. Temporary Suspension from Class - Temporary suspension of the opportunity to participate in a class.
  11. College Suspension - Separation of the student, with consequent loss of tuition and fees, from the College for a definite period of time, after which the student may be eligible to return. Conditions for re-admission may be specified.
  12. College Expulsion - Permanent separation, with consequent loss of tuition and fees, of the student from the College.

The following are types of disciplinary action which may be imposed, singly or in combination for employees: warning(s), suspension, and termination.

6. Appeals

The Complainant and the Respondent have equal rights to an impartial appeal. All appeals will be referred to an Appellate Decision-Maker appointed by the Dean of Student Services and the Vice President of Academics and Student Services. The Decision-Maker for the appeal will not have served as Investigators or Decision-Maker in the previous steps of the process.

A Complainant or Respondent may file a written appeal with the Title IX Coordinator on the grounds that:

  1. Procedural irregularity that affected the outcome of the matter;
  2. New evidence that was not reasonably available at the time the determination regarding responsibility or dismissal was made, that could affect the outcome of the matter;
  3. The Title IX Coordinator, investigator(s), or decision-maker(s) had a conflict of interest or bias for or against Complainants or Respondents generally or the individual Complainant or Respondent that affected the outcome of the matter; and
  4. The imposed penalty does not fall within the range of penalties imposed for similar misconduct.

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 Decision-Makers may decide to uphold the original decision, to alter the imposed penalty, or to return the case for additional proceedings or other action.

The deadline for filing a written appeal is 10 business days from the date the Parties are provided the written determination of responsibility. If either Party files an appeal, the Title IX Coordinator will notify the other Party in writing and provide both parties in writing the opportunity to submit a written statement in support of or challenging the outcome.

The Office of Dean of Student Services 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. The written decision regarding the appeal will be provided simultaneously within 10 business days after the conclusion of the review and will describe the results of the appeal and the rationale for each result.

7. Record-Keeping and Annual Reports

The College will keep for 7 years, the following:

  • All information obtained as part of each Sexual Misconduct investigation, including any determination regarding responsibility and any audio or audiovisual recording or transcript; any disciplinary sanctions and/or remedies; any appeal, including the result of the appeal; and any informal resolution and the result therefrom.
  • All information regarding any action taken, including supportive measures, and a rationale as to why a Complaint was not filed. If a Complainant was not provided supportive measures, a rationale must be provided as to why supportive measures were not provided.
  • All training materials used to train Title IX Coordinators, Investigators, Decision Makers, and those who facilitate the informal resolution process.

Generally, information from a student’s discipline file is not released without the written consent of the student. However, certain information may be provided to individuals within or outside the College who have a legitimate legal or educational interest in obtaining it. Typically, the information that is released to those outside of the College is limited to information associated with findings of “in violation” which resulted in a suspension or expulsion (discipline file). Please refer to the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA).

Personnel files are the property of the College and will not be shared without a subpoena, except as otherwise provided by law or collective bargaining agreement.

In addition to any other state or federal reporting requirements related to this procedure, 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

8. Education Programs and Training of Title IX Personnel

8.1. Training for the College Community

The College engages in comprehensive, intentional, and integrated programming, initiatives, strategies, and campaigns intended to reduce and eliminate sexual misconduct or other forms of prohibited conduct which:

  • are culturally relevant, inclusive of diverse communities and identities, sustainable, responsive to community needs, and informed by research, or assessed for value, effectiveness, or outcome;
  • consider environmental risk and protective factors as they occur on the individual, relationship, institutional, community and societal levels; and
  • include primary prevention and awareness programs directed at incoming students and ongoing prevention and awareness campaigns directed at current students.

Risk Reduction means options designed to decrease perpetration and bystander action, and to increase empowerment for victims in order to promote safety and to help individuals and communities address conditions that facilitate violence. Experiencing Sexual Misconduct or other forms of prohibited conduct is never the victim’s fault. Only abusers are responsible for the abuse they perpetrate. However, the following are some strategies to reduce risk of victimization. For example, The Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network (RAINN) has created a list which can be find by clicking here: www.rainn.org/safety-prevention.

Bystanders play a critical role in the prevention of sexual and relationship violence. The College promotes a culture of community accountability where bystanders are actively engaged in the prevention of violence without causing further harm. Individuals may not always know what to do even if they want to help. Below is a list of some ways to be an active bystander. If you or someone else is in immediate danger, dial 911, if a person is yelling at or being physically abusive towards another and it is not safe for you to interrupt.

  • Watch out for your friends and fellow students/employees. If you see someone who looks like he or she could be in trouble or need help, ask if he or she is ok.
  • Confront people who seclude, hit on, attempt to make out with, or have sex with people who are incapacitated.
  • Speak up when someone discusses plans to take sexual advantage of another person.
  • Believe someone who discloses sexual assault, abusive behavior, or experience with stalking.
  • Refer people to on or off campus resources listed in this procedure for support in health, counseling, or with legal assistance.

8.2. Training of Title IX Personnel

The College will require that the Title IX Coordinator, Investigators, and Decision-makers and any person who facilitates an informal resolution process have received a minimum of 8 hours of annual training per the requirements of Title IX, VAWA and Illinois law, and do not have a conflict of interest or bias for or against Complainants or Respondents generally or an individual Complainant or Respondent.

The annual training provided includes but is not limited to the following: the definition of sexual harassment, including an understanding of educational program or activity; how to conduct an investigation and grievance process including hearings, appeals, and informal resolution processes; how to serve impartially, including avoiding prejudgment about the facts at issue, conflicts of interest, and bias; the technology to be used at a live hearing; issues of relevance, including questioning, and investigative reports.

9. Disability Accommodations and Interpretive Services

Sauk Valley Community College (SVCC) makes every reasonable effort to accommodate individuals with disabilities in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (504) and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA). In compliance with this commitment SVCC employs a Program Director of Disability Support Services to determine reasonable and appropriate accommodations and auxiliary aides for access and participation in college sponsored classes, services, and programs. Students with a disability who desire an accommodation regarding this procedure must request an accommodation with the Title IX Coordinator. The Title IX Coordinator will make a determination regarding the request after consultation with Disability Support Services and notify the appropriate Parties. An Individual will not be considered to have a disability allowing for an accommodation unless and until the student has met with Disability Support Services, completed the process as outlined here: www.svcc.edu/students/disability-support/get-help/requesting-service.html and is designated as a person to whom accommodations will be made.

Students who require interpretive services as non-native English speakers should make the request for translation services to the Title IX Coordinator.

Employees with a disability who desire an accommodation regarding this procedure must request an accommodation with Human Resources.

Similarly, those in need of interpretive services are encouraged to make their request for translation services to the Title IX Coordinator.

10. Revision and Interpretation

The procedure is maintained by the Title IX Coordinator and was most recently approved by The Sauk Valley Community College Board of Trustees on August 31, 2020. SVCC reserves the right to review and update the procedure in accordance with changing legal requirements and specific needs of the College.

Any questions of interpretation regarding the procedure shall be referred to the Title IX Coordinator. The Title IX Coordinator’s determination is final.

All reports received by the College after this date will be administered as described under this procedure.

11. 1st Amendment Considerations

The College is committed to protecting, maintaining, and encouraging both freedom of expression and full academic freedom of inquiry, teaching, service, and research. Nothing in this procedure shall be construed to penalize a member of the community for expressing an opinion, theory, or idea in the process of responsible teaching and learning. Accordingly, any form of speech or conduct that is protected by the principles of academic freedom or the First Amendment to the United States Constitution is not subject to this procedure.

12. Related Procedures

12.1. Students:

12.2. Employees:

Consensual Relations
  • Perceived sexual harassment frequently occurs in a situation where there is a superior/subordinate relationship between the parties to the relationship. Such relationships exist between administrator and faculty or staff, between faculty member and staff member, between staff and students, or between faculty and students.
  • In evaluating whether sexual harassment has occurred, the superior employee’s perception of consent shall not be given greater weight than the student’s or subordinate’s assertion that the relationship was not one of mutual or voluntary consent simply because of the superior employee’s position or status.
  • College employees who enter into a sexual or amorous relationship with a student or subordinate where a professional relationship exists shall recognize that, if a charge of sexual harassment is subsequently made, the student or subordinate will assert the relationship was not one of mutual or voluntary consent.
  • If an employee enters or seeks to enter into a sexual relationship with a student or subordinate when a professional relationship exists, and the student or subordinate brings any complaint or action against the College claiming sexual harassment, the College shall utilize all appropriate legal recourse against the employee to recover all costs, expenses, settlements, judgments, awards and attorney fees incurred by the College in any way arising out of such claim or action.
Minors on Campus

Sauk Valley Community College is committed to ensuring a safe and secure environment when College faculty, staff, and students have direct contact with minors. The purpose of this procedure is to ensure that minors are provided appropriate treatment and protections when

  • Participating in programs and/or activities being held on property owned or controlled by Sauk Valley Community College, or
  • When agents/representatives of the College including but not limited to employees, students and/or volunteers have direct contact with minors.
  • All College employees will complete an education program on mandatory reporting, sign the certification of completion, and carry out reporting obligations as mandated by state and federal law. College representatives, including but not limited to employees, students, volunteers, and vendor/contractors who have direct contact with minors in any College program/activity are required to complete and pass a successful criminal background check which includes a sex offender check prior to having direct contact with minors.
  • Those responsible for planning or undertaking any College program or activity involving minors must ensure that prior written permission from a parent/legal guardian for the minor’s participation in the program or activity has been obtained. Faculty, staff, and students working with minors (or supervising such work) in schools, clinics, hospitals, and other external agencies are also expected to conform to the requirements of those institutions.
Employee Code of Conduct

Per the employee handbook, students are our first priority. How each employee interacts with students and how we interact with each other are vitally important to the success of the College. All employees are expected to maintain a professional image and conduct at all times. Employees are responsible for knowing Board policy and administrative procedures as they affect their respective position.

Training Materials for Title IX Personnel